Why you should avoid DIY solar panels

Why you should avoid DIY solar panels

Last Updated: May 7th, 2021 at 10:10 am
Read Time: 4 Minutes

Do-it-yourself projects are a great way to potentially save money when working on your home. With the explosion of solar panel installations in the U.S., the most ambitious homeowners might consider installing solar panels to get the biggest bang for their buck. If you’re one of those, we’re here to tell you that installing solar is not as easy as replacing a ceiling fan in your master bedroom! POWERHOME SOLAR advises against DIY solar for the following reasons.

Pre-installation process costs time and money

Installing solar panels isn’t as simple as visiting your local home improvement store, buying the materials, and placing the panels on your roof. You typically need a building permit or electrical permit, or both, from your city or county. You must work with your utility company to connect your solar panel system to the power grid. That’s because every solar system POWERHOME SOLAR installs is tied to the grid. Utility companies don’t allow you to go off the grid if you’re already on it.

Building permits and interconnections applications typically cost hundreds of dollars each, which is a hidden cost to you. The processing of those applications takes time, as does approval from your homeowners association, if you have one. HOAs have up to 30 days to approve solar projects, which can be the piece that takes the longest to get approval to install. Contacting each entity and filling out the applications takes time, and as you know, time is money!

Add the time spent on all of these items, along with designing how your system will look on your home and determining whether your roof is capable of holding panels, and we’re looking at 6-8 weeks before solar can be installed. Shading issues are another potential hurdle and cost. You may need to cut down trees to make solar production possible.

In contrast, POWERHOME SOLAR’s army of employees know the 10 states where we operate, and we do all that behind-the-scenes work as part of our process. We make it look easy because it’s done quickly and efficiently, but our process is far from it!

DIY solar is not a one-person job

Consider all the time and money spent just to get your solar panels installed. You’re easily in the thousands of dollars when thinking of those factors. Now consider the amount of work done to install the solar panels.

POWERHOME SOLAR typically has crews of 5-6 trained professionals that complete our customers’ solar panel installation projects. Most projects are finished in one day, and if we assume each project takes about 8 hours, that’s 40-50 hours of work. We prep the roof and we install the racking that holds the panels in place. Additionally, we connect all the panels so they tie into your electrical panel. So, do you have 5-6 people ready to help you? If not, solar panel installation may take at least a week. That assumes you properly do the electrical work. Improper installation could damage your roof or solar panels, meaning more costs for you.

Safety concerns with DIY solar panels

Most solar panels are installed on rooftops, meaning there’s risk for falling off your roof during installation. Buying harnesses to stay safe costs more money. Also, when connecting the solar system to the grid, are you safely handling all the wiring? These two factors alone show the chance for injury is high. And if you ever have a problem with your system, the repairs fall on you.

It’s time to go solar

So let’s recap all the hassles presented by DIY solar. You have paperwork to complete and fees to pay just to install solar panels. Installing the panels themselves takes 40-50 man/woman hours to complete. Safety concerns could be a big issue. Why deal with any of that?

POWERHOME SOLAR believes in providing fast, safe installations for customers. We send out a field energy consultant to assess your home and determine if it’s right for solar. POWERHOME SOLAR then takes care of every step from the time you sign your contract through installation of your panels by our own employees. Our goal is to make installation easy for our customers. Call 1-800-POWER-90 and we’ll help you get started. Home-cooked meals are great, home-cooked solar is not.