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What to keep in mind before you hire a contractor to install your solar panels

By Jamie Richardson | July 3, 2019

Although it is possible to buy kits and install your own solar panels there are many reasons why hiring a contractor to do this for you makes sense. It’s because this is a job often best left to the experts that choosing a good contractor from a place like must always be your priority.

Find and hire the best possible solar panel installation experts by keeping the following points in mind.

The contractor should be suitably qualified

You may be surprised to learn that a fully qualified solar installation technician is also often qualified as an electrician. At the very least they are trained and certified to carry out the electrical work required, although they could also contract that section of the job out.) This is important because solar panels (photovoltaic panels) need to be wired into the main power supply to operate properly, so if this stage is not completed correctly you risk all kinds of problems

The contractor should be experienced

Installing your solar panels isn’t the ideal time for a contractor to be learning how to do this task! Incorrect installation could lead to all kinds of issues, not least problems selling our home in the future. The contractor will also be doing this work on a roof, and moving heavy panels from the ground to the roof. All of these things need experience to reduce the risk of accidents.

Another advantage of hiring someone with extensive knowledge in residential solar panel installation is that they know which permits are needed, and how best to secure them fast. They may also be able to help you organize the required official (government) inspection, and advise you on how to secure the okay from your utility provider to connect to the grid.

The contractor should be fully insured

It goes without saying that anyone you hire to install solar panels will be fully insured, rather than leaving you vulnerable to dealing with claims should something happen to a member of the public, or the contractor themselves.

The contractor should insist on inspecting your roof before agreeing on the job

This is vital because your roof may not be suitable for solar panel installation.  Mostly this is because it is in a poor condition and therefore needs to be repaired or replaced before the job can go ahead.

The contractor should be clear on who will carry out the work

Always ask, (and get the answer in writing), who will install the solar panel system? Some contractors do all the work themselves, others may subcontract the work, hiring others to do it either during busy periods or just because they work that way. Subcontracting the job isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it will mean you need to get the details of the person doing the work and ask them all the same questions you already went through with the contractor. (If you suspect this may be the case early on it is probably best to ask at that stage, and save yourself some work.)

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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