Installing a new roof over your head is a major project, with a huge outlay and consequences. Adding solar panels to the mix can complicate the process and make it even more demanding. If you already have a solar panel system up on the roof, you’ll need to pass two extra steps to complete the roof replacement.
It’s common for people with solar energy systems on their rooftops to ask several questions before the project starts. If you have a roof with solar panels, you could be wondering:
Is it necessary to have solar panels removed to replace the roof? Should the roofing company remove solar panels, or do you have to contact the solar installers first? Can you set up solar mounting hardware right on top of your new roof?
We’ve created this guide to answer these and other common questions you may have in mind about roofing and solar panel systems, but also answer four crucial things you need to know before you embark on a roof replacement project.
Remove Your Solar Panels to Replace the Roof
There’s no way around this issue. All your solar panels have to come down for the roofer to replace your existing roof. You’ll lose access to renewable energy during the entire roof replacement period, meaning you will revert to using utility grid power. Energy costs may go up a little, but won’t it hurt your finances. You’ll also be off-grid for a few minutes during both solar removal and re-installation. So, prepare for the brief interruption in the power supply.
Another thing to know is that roofers aren’t the ones to uninstall your solar panels. The reason is simple. Most roofers don’t have the training or skill to perform proper solar removal. You’ll have to contact your solar installer and ask them to come and take down the panels before the reroofing job starts. This way, you can avoid accidental damage or voiding any existing warranties. Keep the panels in the garage or shed, not on the outside or front lawn.
Uninstalling your panels can take a day’s work, and re-installation roughly the same time as well. However, timelines are not cast in stone. Plan on adding a few extra days to your reroofing project to accommodate for solar panel removal and re-installation. Solar panel removal cost ranges between $2,000 to $3,000 for a a 1,500 sq.ft. roof with 15 panels. Costs will vary from one solar panel company to another, depending on the roof size and type of roof, and job complexity. Many solar installation companies provide coverage.
Think Carefully About Your New Roof Material
We know it’s quite tempting to replace your existing roofing system with new roofing material before solar panel installation. Whether you opt for a more affordable option or energy-efficient ones, not every roofing material accommodates the same solar mounting brackets. If you’re installing new materials, say solar shingles, you may have to change the mounting hardware too, and that could add to the overall cost of replacing your home’s roof in Phoenix.
Talk with your solar installers ahead of time to learn if your new roofing material can work with the existing mounting hardware. If not, arrange with the solar company to have new mounting hardware delivered to your home roof replacement is completed. This way, you won't wait around on another delivery to get your traditional solar panels reinstalled.
Choose Solar Installers & Roofers Who Can Collaborate
Although your local roofer and solar installation company may not work alongside each other, they both provide a service that directly impacts your home and the roof. You’ll want to work as a liaison or go between the two teams. As a homeowner, you’re in control over your roof installation and solar project. You have the right to say what roofers can do and how it gets done, and when.
You can simplify your re-roofing or roofing replacement job by hiring a roofer that is willing and able to work directly with your solar installer. Likewise, sharing the contacts of your roofing company with a solar installer and allowing the two to work together on your project can lead to better outcomes and less stress.
Some roofers and solar installation companies have partnerships that can benefit you as a homeowner. When you receive quotes for rooftop solar panels, the installers can offer a discount on a new roof if you opt to do a roof replacement at the same time. Such price reductions are not uncommon as the roofing company won’t incur customer acquisition costs.
Replace the Roof Before You Install Solar Panels to Cut Costs
If you’re thinking of switching to solar energy, you’ll want to arrange a roof inspection first. Many local roofers will ask you whether you’ve had your home’s roof inspected recently. A proper roof inspection can help determine the condition of your roof and its health before reroofing work starts. If your roof is 5-years away from the end of its useful life, your solar installer may advise you to replace your roof before getting solar panels installed. Removing the panels from your roof for a few days can be costly. You can avoid additional costs by reroofing your home in advance. Doing so can potentially cut a couple of thousand dollars off the cost of installing solar panels now and replacing the roof at later date.
Combine Roof Replacement with New solar Installation
It costs roughly $10,000 to replace a traditional roof, depending on the roof’s size and other factors. Your new roof could offer you service for 20-50 years depending on the type of roofing materials. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates that it costs $19,000 to install a residential solar system on a rooftop. Add this amount to the cost of roof replacement, and you could end up with a bill in the region of $30,000. When you combine roof replacement with a solar installation, you can bring down the cost to around $25,000, saving at least $5,000 on your home improvement project.
Want to replace your roof in the Phoenix Area?
A reroofing project costs significant money and gets tricky when you throw in solar panels to the mix. It's important to work with the right roofing contractor and a professional solar contractor to protect your investment. The Phoenix Roof Company has over a decade of roofing experience, and our reroofing services are heads and shoulders high than our competition. We have a highly skilled team with vast knowledge of roof replacements and reroofing, and a can-do attitude.
Customer smiles have shown us the real value of the roofing services, especially roof replacement, and roof repair in the Phoenix area. If you want to replace your roof and have a solar energy system on top, call our team to arrange an inspection and know the way forward. We are happy to work with your solar company and provide expert roof repairs and replacements on an asphalt shingle roof, all designed with your solar energy system in mind.