Solar panels have been getting increasingly prevalent among residential homes in the United States since it can significantly lower energy costs. If you’re considering buying solar panels, you should consider the different factors and requirements for installing them. 

Unlike other roofing materials that you place on your roof, installing solar panels can be a tricky and delicate process. If you’re going to ask almost any roofing contractor to install solar panels on your roof, you’ll be getting a lot of raised eyebrows. There are some roofing contractors that do know how to install solar panels, but there are also some you don’t have the necessary practice and knowledge on how to install them. 

Since solar panels are a bit trickier to install, how long will it take to install them? What are the processes needed to make sure that they are installed the right way? 

But before we do get on how long it usually takes to install your solar panels, we have to first look at the different factors that will affect how long it will take to install the panels. 

Factors That Will Affect Installation Time 

Normally, it will usually take a roofing contractor or a solar installation company around 1 – 3 days to install your solar panels. However, there are still some factors that have to be taken into account:


Naturally, the best time to install anything on your roof is when the weather is favorable. When you’re installing solar panels, you’re dealing with electronic materials that are might be vulnerable to water and other elements of the weather. If it does rain or if the weather is not cooperating, you can always consult your contractor and the solar panel’s manufacturers on whether this can be installed under these conditions. Harsh weather conditions can impede the process of installing your solar panels.

However, when you’re installing solar panels on your roof, it’s automatically assumed that your roofing system is already completed and designed to withstand rain and high winds. But for the safety of the crew that’s working on your roof, it’s best to make sure that they have the proper safety equipment. 

Acquiring A Permit 

Whether you’re installing a roof, a new part of your home or an exterior structure for your garden, you will always need a permit. The same can be said for solar panels, your solar installation company should file a permit for the local governing body ahead of time. 

There are usually three permits that are needed to install your solar panels:

  1. Photovoltaic Specific Permit
  2. General electrical permit
  3. Construction permit (if necessary)

If the permitting office has a long queue or if they are a bit busy at this moment, this can lengthen the time of your solar panels being installed. 

Additionally, right after the installation process, the local governing body will usually send an inspector to check your solar panels if they adhere to the standards that are imposed. Just like the process of permitting, how long the inspection process will take will also depend on how busy they are and where you are located.

Size And Type Of Solar Panel

Once everything’s been approved by the governing body, you can now start the process of installing your solar panels. Installing your solar panels is perhaps the easiest and quickest part of the process. 

It will usually take a roofing contractor 1 – 3 days to install depending on the size of your roof or how many panels that have to be set on the roof. If you’re planning on installing the solar panels on a commercial building, then you’ll need to install a large commercial solar panel system which will take a week on average. 

Contrary to what most people believe, ground-mounted solar panels usually take more time to do than being installed on your roof since your land needs to be trenched beforehand. Additionally, you’ll have to mount the solar panels as well. 

Your Roof’s Design 

Finally, every property and roof is different in its own way. Most commercial buildings will have a wide roof to work on. Residential roofs are usually gable shaped roofs and will usually have a pitch. You’ll need to inspect your roof if the pitch is compatible with the solar panels that are being installed. 

If your roof is not compatible with solar panels, then you can make the necessary upgrades like reinforcing your roof’s supporting beams to carry the additional weight of solar panels or by having new electrical panels. 

Hiring The Right Professionals 

The best way to expedite the installation of solar panels on your roof is to have a qualified and licensed professional working on it. Installation contractors with a good rapport in building good customer service and competent project managers can help shorten the time needed to install your solar panels. 

Ultimately, it will take a contractor 1 – 3 days to install on a residential scale and well over a week if it’s a large commercial-sized solar panel system. 

Again, there’s no hurt in doing your own background check on a certain contractor. Knowing the contractor’s track record can help you paint a picture of what the finished product will be like and when it will be finished. 

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