Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles: Thoughts from a Professional Roofer

Should you consider installing Tesla’s solar roof tiles instead of a traditional roof?

solar roof tiles

If you’ve been thinking of investing in photovoltaic power and are in need of roof repair or replacement, this might seem like an attractive option. After all, the solar tiles look just like French slate and Tuscan clay roofing tiles, but they can provide your home with electricity.

From the perspective of a professional roofer, however, Tesla’s solar tiles aren’t quite as impressive as they sound.

Solar Companies Lack a Roofing Contractor’s Experience

It’s important to understand that a professional roofer won’t be the one installing the solar roof tiles. That must be handled by a photovoltaic system contractor.

Solar contractors typically don’t have roofing experience. Their job involves working on rooftops, but expertise in photovoltaic panel installation doesn’t include knowing how to replace a roof.

And since these tiles are a new product, even a professional roofer would need additional training to learn to install this type of roofing while preserving the home’s structural integrity.

Solar Roof Tiles Will Be More Expensive than a Traditional Roof

More than half of the homes throughout the United States have asphalt shingle roofing. This material is practical and affordable. An average 2,000-square-foot asphalt roof cost ranges from $5,000 to $7,000.

Tesla’s founder, Elon Musk, estimated that installing his new photovoltaic-powered roof will cost about the same as installing a normal roof. However, Consumer Reports estimates that the cost will be exponentially higher, and professional roofing contractors concur with this prediction.

If solar tiles are priced like the high-end materials they resemble, homeowners can expect to pay thousands — or even tens of thousands — more than they would for asphalt shingles.

Why Installing Traditional Solar Panels Makes Better Sense

Rather than waiting for Tesla’s solar tiles (which likely won’t be available for a year or more), you may find that replacing your roof and then installing traditional photovoltaic panels is more cost-effective.

By doing so, you’ll have the best of both worlds. A professional roofer can properly install structurally sound roofing that will protect your home, and a professional photovoltaic contractor can install an effective rooftop solar array to power your home.

Plus, industry experts suspect that Tesla’s solar roof may be less efficient than standard photovoltaic panels. Because of their color coating, angle of installation and the lack of airflow around the photovoltaic cells, solar roof tiles may compromise PV efficiency. Consequently, they may be unable to provide the energy output your household requires.

Knockout Roofing, serving the greater Salt Lake City area, can answer all your questions regarding roof repair and replacement in northern Utah. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation with a member of our professional roofing team. We look forward to showing you the many practical and affordable alternatives to solar roof tiles available today.