Even though installing solar panels is more affordable than ever, it still requires a significant upfront investment.
If you’re a DIY-type person, you might think you can install your solar panels to save some money upfront. While we do not doubt your technical abilities, we do not recommend installing the panels yourself because the process is time-consuming and poses some financial risks.
In fact, there are four main reasons why you shouldn’t install your own solar panels in Colorado:
- The installation process is complex and potentially dangerous
- Finding the right materials is time-consuming and expensive
- Understanding and complying with local codes can be confusing
- You’ll probably void the manufacturer warranties and miss out on a labor warranty
We’ll take a closer look at each of these reasons below.
The installation process is complex and potentially dangerous
It’s one thing to take on reasonably simple home improvement projects, such as repainting a room or fixing minor plumbing issues. But if you attempt to install solar panels, you’ll quickly find yourself in over your head.
Correctly installing solar panels is a complex process that requires in-depth calculations and extensive technical knowledge. For example, to install solar panels you’ll need to consider the following:
- The total wattage output of your solar panels: Your solar panels should provide enough electricity to power your home. It’s best to let a professional handle wattage calculations so that you don’t overspend or misjudge the number of panels you need.
- The construction and pitch (angle) of your roof: In some cases, your roof may not support the weight of the panels. If you are unaware of your roof’s limitations, you could end up causing major damage to your roof as you attempt to install the panels. Or, if you install the panels incorrectly, they may not receive as much sunlight, limiting the power they can produce.
- Your home’s electrical configuration: Typically, you’ll need to upgrade your home’s electrical panel to accommodate the new solar panels. Only a licensed electrician should handle these types of electrical modifications. Otherwise, you run the risk of doing something incorrectly, which could result in damage to your equipment or severe electrical hazards.
Besides these considerations, you’ll also need to consider the labor required to install the solar panels. A highly-trained team of solar experts can install a complete system in one to three days. If you attempt to do it yourself, that timeframe will increase dramatically — as long as several weeks — because you have less experience. You’ll also have to spend extra time researching and gathering materials (more on that below).
Finding the right materials is time-consuming and expensive
As a DIY’er, you know the value of research when buying materials. You know that poorly-made materials may lead to additional repairs or problems down the road, so it’s better to purchase high-quality materials from the get-go.
We’re confident in your research abilities, but we also know that comparing different types of panels takes time. Lots of time. Solar experts have years of experience researching and comparing different types of panels. As a result, the fastest way to get reliable equipment recommendations is to consult with a team of solar professionals.
Consulting with solar panel professionals can also save you money on equipment costs. Solar installation companies usually get equipment deals from top-tier manufacturers, allowing them to pass those discounts to you. After you add up the cost of buying panels by yourself, you may be surprised to learn that you’ll save more by working with a team of professionals.
Understanding and complying with local codes can be confusing
Every city or county in Colorado has its own set of regulations for installing solar panels. If you ignore these codes or if you accidentally install the panels incorrectly, you may be subject to expensive fines and have to pay for a professional to fix the problem.
Learning these codes can be confusing for homeowners who are installing solar panels for the first time. (For example, look at Denver’s long list of solar panel installation requirements.) However, solar panel installers know these code requirements inside out. A professional will comply with local codes and pull the necessary permits for you, saving you a considerable amount of time and effort.
You’ll probably void the manufacturer warranties and miss out on a labor warranty
Solar panel manufacturers offer two types of warranties:
- An equipment warranty, guaranteeing the solar panel will work for at least ten years
- A performance warranty, which guarantees that the panel will produce at least 90% of its power output capacity after ten years and 80% after 25 years
Manufacturers only honor these warranties if the panels are installed correctly, according to their specific requirements. If you install the panels yourself, you may accidentally use a non-compatible part or do something incorrectly, which would void these warranties. This means if your solar panels fail, you’ll be responsible for the full repair or replacement cost.
Additionally, if you opt to install the solar panels yourself, you’ll miss out on the labor warranty offered by the solar panel installer. A labor warranty typically lasts up to ten years from the installation date and covers the labor costs of a solar panel repair. Since solar panel repairs can cost several hundred dollars, you’ll definitely want to count on a labor warranty should something go wrong with your panels.
Want a free installation quote from a Colorado solar panel professional? Call Photon Brothers.
Contact Photon Brothers at (720) 370‑3344 or schedule an appointment online below. Our solar engineers can provide you with an accurate estimate based on your home, budget, and electrical needs.
For more information about our 5‑star installation service, visit our residential solar power page.