Skip to content

Solar Installations: Other Key Factors To Consider

As the interest in solar continues to boom, so do the sizes and types of solar installations. From steep roof mounts to ground mounts and other detached structures, SIG Placerville offers a broad range of installation options including backup batteries and generators. Our skilled engineering team and knowledgeable installation crews are willing to go beyond the basics to meet the unique needs of our customers. This article touches on the other aspects of solar installations and the wide range of factors we encounter on a daily basis. Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in!

Roof Slope

Steeper roofs are a problem for many solar contractors and many will not install solar on roofs with a slope greater than 4/12. Standard roof slope can range anywhere from 3/12 to 9/12, but anything above 8/12 is considered very steep and not practical for solar installations. Although it depends on the project, SIG Placerville does installations on most roofs with a slope of 0/12 to 8/12.
  • Flat Roof: 0/12
  • Low Pitch Roof: 1/12 to 2/12
  • Standard Pitches: 3/12 to 9/12
  • Steep Pitch: 10/12 to 12/12
Understanding Roof Pitch and Slope Image Source

Roof Material & Readiness

While many solar companies are only willing to install on rooftops with asphalt or composite roofing, SIG Placerville has experience working on many types of roofing materials including asphalt composite shingles, composite shingles, metal roofs, metal tiles, concrete tiles, synthetic tiles (polymer, plastic or rubber), membrane/TPO roofing and others. However, due to their delicate nature once installed, SIG Placerville will not install solar on roofs with clay tiles, Spanish tiles (clay), or slate tiles. Additionally, the age and integrity of your current roof are critical to a successful solar installation. Because of this, it’s important to get your roof inspected before starting any solar project. It’s best to identify and resolve problems upfront, and it can be less expensive in the long run. It’s costly to have solar panels removed and reinstalled to repair or re-roof a house once solar panels have been installed. SIG Placerville solar install on tile roof In situations where a new roof it needed before going solar, we offer financing that can roll the new roof and solar power system into a single project. This approach can simplify the entire project, plus provide some additional tax advantages. Contact SIG Placerville if you have questions about solar, roofing, and project financing.

Solar on Barns, Shops, Carports and More

If your home’s roof isn’t at the right angle, doesn’t face south, (or west or east), or has obstructions like chimneys or skylights, then other structures on your property may be more ideal for your solar array. As long as your structure is permitted and built to code, we can typically install solar on it. SIG Placerville has experience completing solar installations on all types of structures, including barns, shops, sheds, garages, carports and modular homes. Ground mount solar installation for car port

Solar Ground Mounts and Raised Ground Mounts

While rooftop solar arrays are the most common choice for homeowners, there are many reasons to consider a ground-mounted solar panel system. Generally, ground mount solar panels cost a bit more than rooftop solar on a per-watt basis because of additional labor and permitting that may be required for the installation. That being said, if your property isn’t ideal for rooftop solar, installing a ground-mounted system can actually save you more money in the long run.

Solar ground mount in Camino, CA

Rooftop solar arrays are restricted by the characteristics of the roof on which they are installed. If your roof isn’t at the right angle, doesn’t face south (or west and east in certain cases), or has obstructions like chimneys, skylights and/or trees, then your solar array may be less productive. On the other hand, ground-mounted solar panels can be located wherever the conditions are best and may require fewer panels. In addition, if your home uses a lot of electricity, your roof might not be large enough for a solar energy system that meets your electricity needs. In contrast, ground-mounted solar systems can be sized to match your electricity consumption without the space restrictions of a rooftop system.

Pros of Ground Mounts:

  • Great way to bypass any roof issues, existing or potential (limited space, structurally weak roof, etc.).
  • Higher energy production and lower cost (can use fewer panels), as you can position your solar panels in the optimal direction and angle.
  • Easier access to clean and maintain.
  • Easier to expand, as long as you have planned for it.

Cons of Ground Mounts:

  • Generally more expensive than a rooftop solar system, but not always.
  • It requires extra real estate space.
  • Can negatively affect the property’s overall aesthetic appearance.
  • Can be more costly, but not always depending on the project.
  • Can require extra permitting, depending on the jurisdiction.

Solar on Modular or Manufactured Homes

Unlike site-built homes, some modular homes aren’t structurally designed to handle a solar panel installation. This type of manufactured housing uses smaller roof joists, which sometimes aren’t strong enough to safely hold the weight of the solar array. However, each home and situation is different. SIG Placerville understands the constraints and has experience installing solar on modular homes. Many solar companies won’t go near modular homes. However, if you’re interested in solar and have a modular home, give SIG Placerville a call to discuss your needs, location and type/age of your modular home. Solar installation on modular home

Getting Started with Solar Power

Given our experience in El Dorado County, we’ve seen a wide range of unusual needs and many successful solar projects. If you have other questions related to solar power, contact SIG Solar Placerville.