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How Long Does It Take to Install Solar Panels?

Regardless of the work being done to your home, you’re going to want to know how long it is going to take to complete. 

If you’re thinking about having solar panels installed, it’s important to understand that there are varying factors that can come into play.

Not every homeowner will have the same outcome, so you’ll need to know what to consider before installation begins. 

In this guide, we’ll look at all of the potential factors involved so that you’ll know what to expect.

two men carrying a metal sheet
Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

What Can Affect Installation

Like most jobs, you shouldn’t expect to have your home outfitted with solar panels right away. There are a few things to consider before installation can begin.

The Installation Company

Once you have signed the contract for solar panels to be installed on your property, the time it takes for installation to begin and end can vary wildly from company to company.

If you’re dealing with a larger solar panel installation company, you can often look forward to them having bigger sets of crews. This allows them to take on more jobs at once, often resulting in you getting taken care of in a timely fashion.

In addition, they may also have more contractors available to survey your home, allowing for faster contract signing. 

Conversely, if you’re dealing with a smaller local company, they may be backed up for quite some time with other customers ahead of you. 

While it’s never a sure thing, bigger installation companies can usually get to you much sooner than smaller ones. 

On a side note, if you aren’t in any big hurry to get your solar panels installed, you may find that you can get a better deal by going with a smaller company. It pays to weigh your options as to who can give you the better deal.

Permits and Inspections

Like most other jobs done to your home, permits play a big role in how quickly work can get started. As such, your solar panel installation company may need to get a permit from your local officials before work can begin.

While the permits needed vary from state to state, you should expect an electrical permit, a photovoltaic permit, and possibly even a construction permit.

Depending on how many permits are needed, as well as how busy your local permit office is, you could be looking at several weeks before installation is allowed to get started.

Aside from all of the permits involved with installing solar panels, your local government will have to conduct an inspection once the installation is complete. 

This is to ensure that everything was done according to code and that it meets the standards set by your local officials.

Fortunately, these inspections are conducted relatively soon following the completion of the installation. You should see someone less than a week after your solar panels are up.

Size of Solar Panels

After all of the paperwork is completed and the necessary permits are obtained, the process of installing solar panels is usually quite expedient.

As a homeowner, a typical solar panel system that is being installed on the roof can often be done so in as little as one to three days. 

For systems that are made up of several solar panels, you should expect the installation process to take slightly longer.

If you are having solar panels put up on your business, a commercial system will often be used, requiring much more time to complete.

For projects such as this, you should expect to allow as many as two months for installation.

If you are having a ground-mounted panel system installed, a lot more time and work will be needed. This involves preparing your land by running wires underground.

And if your system is located far from your residence, you should expect even more time to be tacked on to the installation process. 

Property

Since all properties are unique, your installation times may vary from the norm. For the most part, solar panels can be installed on homes as they are. There are, however, instances that require additional work to be performed before installation can begin.

If your roof isn’t readily suitable for solar panels, preparation work will need to take place to get your home ready. This can include reroofing your house, adding reinforcements to your roof, or installing a new electric panel.

Depending on the work that needs to be done and how extensive it is, you may see considerable delays in the time it takes for installation to commence. 

With that being said, if your home does need to be prepared for any reason, most installations can take place during the necessary upgrades. This helps to cut down on the time it takes to install your new solar panel system.

Conclusion

By knowing what to expect before installation, you can look forward to a smoother experience with your solar panel company.

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