Installing Solar Panels on roofs

More homeowners are now considering whether to install solar panels on their roofs. Learn more about the process, how long it takes, and the pros and cons of installation.

Many homeowners are now choosing to install roof solar panels. If you are considering installing solar panels on your roof, it’s important that you know all the facts so that you can make an informed decision.

The installation process

Firstly, it’s worth mentioning that you should take your time in finding an MCS approved installer to carry out work. Always get a quote and talk through what you want to gain from having solar panels installed.

A roof survey and consultation should always be conducted before any work takes place.

The team will comprise of at least two roofers who will begin the process by erecting scaffolding to gain safe access to the roof.

Once the scaffolding is up, the roofers can then begin to attach anchors to the roof that will hold the frames for the solar panels. To do so, some roof tiles will need to be removed as the anchors are fixed to the roof rafters.

The next step is attaching the frame, which is made from aluminium, to the anchors. These will cover the majority of your roof space.

Once the frame is in place then the panels can be attached via clamps. This allows them to be placed exactly where they are needed.

The final stage is to wire the panels into an inverter, which will have been installed in your loft space. This is a job for an electrician.

They will also do any final checks, including installing a metre near your fuse box that is for solar panel use only.

Time taken for the installation

On average, the installation of solar roof panels usually takes one day. However, for larger properties, or for the installation of large solar panels, it can take up to two days. This includes the panels being attached plus all accompanying electrical work.

Disruption to home life

The majority of the work is carried out on the roof and in the roof space, so workers will need access to these spaces, as well as where your electricity meter is situated.

The biggest disruption is when the panels are being wired in and being connected as to do so involves the mains electricity being switched off. This is usually only for a few hours at most.

FAQs about roof solar panels

What happens when there isn’t much sun?

Your panels will still generate electricity even in dull weather, but when none is produced you just simply use electricity from the grid.

Can I have solar panels in a rented property?

This decision is down to your landlord as they own the property.

Can any roof support solar panels?

You will need to have a roof survey carried out to check the rafters and suitability for solar panels. Not all roofs are suitable.

The negatives and positives

The cons are…

  • The initial cost, which is on average around £7,000.
  • They take up space and need to be on a roof that is ideally south facing with a 40-degree pitch.
  • Not everyone likes how they look, which could put off potential buyers should you come to sell.
  • They are dependent on the weather, and obviously produce less energy during the winter months.

The pros are…

  • It is renewable energy, meaning you use the energy from the sun, rather than what comes from the grid.
  • Quick and easy installation with minimal effort and disruptions.
  • Your electricity bill will be less and more discounts will be given when you put electricity back into the grid.
  • In most cases, you won’t need planning permission.

So, hopefully, now you feel more informed about the process that is involved and know that on average it can take up to two days to get the job done.

There are many pros and cons to having solar panels on your roof, including the initial cost and reducing your electricity bill, so you need to think carefully about installing solar panels on your roof.

Ultimately, you need to decide if they would suit your type of property, budget, lifestyle and your needs. Most importantly, do your research and use a reputable and fully skilled MCS approved installer.