How To Install a Solar Panel: All You Need To Know

The solar panel installation cost for the average home has dropped by an astounding 65 percent since 2010. Also, if you consider the various federal and state incentives available, solar energy is now more affordable than ever.


Now is the perfect time to grab a piece of the solar power pie for yourself!

If you’re interested in getting a solar upgrade for your home, you’re probably curious about what actually happens during an installation. What are the steps you need to take to install a solar panel system?

To help you prepare for what’s coming, here’s a simple guide that covers a typical solar panel installation process.

Can You Install a Solar Panel Array Yourself?

Let’s get this out of the way first. Even the most avid DIYer will find the installation process complicated and even dangerous.

And while you can save some money (about 10 percent of the total costs), you might lose out on manufacturing and installation warranties. For example, the folks at Blue Raven Solar offer a 25-year manufacturer warranty for their premium solar equipment. That’s a lot of value that goes down the drain if you chose to DIY.

In the end, the money you save in the beginning may end up costing you in the long run.

Meet With the Solar Company Representative

After you sign a contract for your solar panels, you’ll get a visit from an engineer to evaluate your current electrical system. The engineer will tell you if you’re good to go or if you need to upgrade your electrical panel.

You’ll also receive a general site visit from your installer to take photos and measurements of your property. The roof size, amount of shading, and ability to support the weight of the solar array are some of the crucial details that they’d want to look into.

Finishing Some Paperwork and Ordering Your Panels

Fortunately, the solar energy company will handle most of the paperwork. All you need to do is lend your signature to the various documentation that ensures the legality of the installation. Some of the paperwork that you can expect are building permits, applications for solar incentives, etc.

Once that’s out of the way, you are ready to place an order for the panels and other equipment. Depending on the site visit evaluation results, the installer will recommend parts that they deem suitable for your home. These include the panels themselves, inverters, and a specialized mounting system if needed.

After placing your order, the company will add your name to their installation queue. Scheduling will depend on how fast your paperwork gets approved and how many home installations are above you on their list.

Installation and Activation

This is it, the day when the actual installation happens. The installers will head to your roof and start prepping it for mounting. They will also establish the wiring that will connect the solar panel system to your general power system.

Next, they will install the racking system, place the panels onto the racks, and attach the inverter and battery pack. Once the system is in place, your installer can now activate your new power source.

All in all, it takes about one to three days for the whole shebang.


Now that you know the steps on how to install a solar panel system, you’re ready to take the plunge. Powering your home with solar energy is worth the investment and then some.

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Abigail Jones

Hi, I'm Abigail. I like spending time tearing my house apart and putting it together back again. Join me on home improvement tutorials, tips on my blog.

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