Updated: Oct 29, 2020
Interested in installing solar panels but not sure if it will conflict with your upcoming home renovation?
This article will explore how a home renovation can be the best time to incorporate solar, and in conjunction with the home renovation experts at AAG Constructions, we will provide some tips on how to navigate that conversation with your builder.
First of all, congratulations on making the decision (or at least considering) to incorporate solar into your project. Going solar not only improves your homes energy efficiency and reduces your carbon footprint, but it can dramatically cut energy costs and improve your property value.
Here in Australia, we have a lot of sunshine to use. On average, Australian homes are drenched in 2800 of glorious sunshine rays each year — now that’s a lot of sunshine!
Making the decision to go solar, is one that should be considered before you commence your project. Discussing your options with your builder from the beginning stages of the design process is essential. Incorporating solar into your original plans can assist your builder and design team to identify the best location for your solar panels, not only for maximum efficiency and financial benefit but also for aesthetically pleasing results.
Here are our top 3 tips on how to prepare for including solar in your new project:
Tip 1: Talk to your builder
While many builders will tell you that it’s no problem to install solar panels, it’s one thing to say, and a whole other thing to do it well. Ask your builder or project manager if they have experience with solar installation and their references.
We can’t stress just how important it is for solar panels to be carefully considered and included in the design phase, particularly so that they are installed at the right time of the build. For example, an experienced builder will know that it is much easier to install electrical wiring in your walls before they have been gyp rocked.
Not only can this save time, but it can also save money. We also recommend pre-laying your solar panels on the roof (especially if your home is multi-story) before your scaffolding comes down. It can save you having to resurrect the scaffolding at a later date (another time and money saver). Don’t leave it to the last minute!
Another good idea is to talk to your builder on their views on solar and ask them to educate or guide you about what you should consider.
Most builders who are environmentally conscious will have a good understanding of the impact that solar can have on the environment. Installing solar panels not only improves your homes energy efficiency and reduces your carbon footprint, but it can also cut energy costs and improve your property value dramatically. An experienced contractor can answer questions that you hadn’t even thought to ask while developing creative solutions to save you time, energy, and the planet to boot!
Tip 2: Consider your roof
Most of the time, your roof will be the most suitable place to install solar due to its unobstructed exposure to the sun and also because it can be hidden from sight.
However, not all roofs are suitable for solar. Your builder will need to consider the materials of your roof and if it is in good shape structurally.
If you are replacing your rooftop or adding features such as skylights or chimneys, you will need to consider how to include all of these items alongside solar panels, without making your roof look like tetris.
If the roof is pitched or angled, you might consider having any skylights or satellites on the opposite side of the roof to your solar panels. These are all options that your project manager can explore with you, but we also recommend including your chosen Solar company in the planning stage not only to draw from their expertise but to ensure that they work well with your builder and support their recommendations. Remember, open communication is key to a seamless solar installation.
AAG Top Tip: If your roof might need replacing in the next few years, do that first before installing new solar panels!
Tip 3: Let’s talk about money
When it comes to talking about money and budget, most of us will begin to squirm. We get it, talking money can feel awkward and tedious... especially when you have a budget which you need to stick to.
But guess what, builders LOVE budgets! It helps to ensure that both client and builder are on the same page and can help provide an accurate quote so that you can prioritise your spending accordingly.
This can ensure that enough funds are set aside not only for the installation of solar, but also any other provisions that need to be made to the structure or design of the build or renovation well ahead of time.
Be cautious of the builder that tries to steer you away from solar because of its cost. Remember that the cheapest solution might not necessarily be the most economically sustainable in the long run.
Need to talk to a builder?
AAG Constructions is a boutique residential building company on Sydney’s Northern Beaches specialised in new homes, renovations and extensions. Their director Adam has a passion for design and has built strong relationships with architects and designers to help you create the perfect design, tailored to fit your needs.
About The Guest Author
Adam Gabay is a highly sought after qualified carpenter and builder with over 10 years experience in the building industry. He is the heart and soul of AAG Constructions and is passionate about the work that he does.
Gabay is well-known for his high-quality finishes and attention to detail, he believes in creating an enjoyable experience from start to finish.
He lives in Dee Why and loves spending his free time outdoors away from the city lights with family.