Solar Panels For Homes – Get Professional Installation Help Or Do-It-Yourself?

December 27th, 2010

Solar panels for homes can be bought or even made at home…the big question after that is whether to hire a professional to install them on your roof or do it yourself. There are pros and cons to each choice, and we’ll discuss them in this short article. This can help you make an informed decision to hire a professional…or not.

A quick search on your local directory or the Internet reveals numerous companies that offer professional installation. The cost of hiring them varies from state to state so be sure to check out different retailers and ask for their price and scope of service.

The advantage of getting a contractor to install your solar energy panels includes completeness and warranty. Professionals seldom miss out steps or materials needed for proper installation. Even if they do, they are obliged to return to your property to amend their mistakes. There will often be warranty for the workmanship and materials provided.

The downside of paying for a contractor is its high cost. Not only are you paying for the worker’s time, you’re also paying for part of the salary of his boss who sits in the air-conditioned office. Obviously they have to cover their overheads, and their customers have to for this. Cost is a big issue. Because if you’re shelving out about $25,000 for the entire installation, your panels will most likely take more than 10 years to pay for itself. Most folks are not willing to wait this long.

But if you are willing to apply a little elbow grease and handle simple tools, you can do the entire job yourself. What’s needed is a checklist to ensure completeness and knowledge so you can take care of your own “warranty” issues.

You’ll first need to check whether your home is suitable for installation. Since you’re probably living in the northern hemisphere, your solar panels have to face southward. Thus you’ll need a south-facing roof and an area with little tree cover. Then you’ll need solar mounts to fix the panels on the roof. After you’re done, the cables must be laid to the inverter so direct current (DC) can be converted to alternating current (AC).

Installation details can be found in step-by-step instructional materials made by experts. They’ll not only take you through the whole process, you’ll be able to see how they do it as well. These guides come with videos so there is very little chance for you to make mistake. There will also be tips on where to get good quality yet dirt-cheap parts for your project.

If you have much cash to spare and want a hassle-free installation, get the professionals. But if you’re someone who can follow simple instructions and don’t mind a little hassle, then install the panels yourself. As such, you can recover your upfront investment much sooner.

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