Tesla Solar Roof Vs Metal Roof – Let’s Talk Dollars and Cents!


Tesla-Solar-Roof-Vs-Metal-Roo

Deciding between a metal roof and a Tesla Solar Roof will most likely come down to the cost difference and the durability. Both have their merits, but the question is, what are those differences, and how do they compare when the price is concerned?

A metal roof will cost between $4 to $13 per square foot, while a Tesla Solar Roof will cost around $7.65 per square foot, or $2.01 per watt of solar power.

For a house that is 1500 square feet, you will be paying anywhere between $8,500 to $10,000 for the cheapest version of a metal roof. On the other hand, for roughly the same size house, a Tesla Solar Roof will cost approximately $31,000. Although those are the average costs, what do you get for that money?

Metal Roofs

With a metal roof, you are paying strictly for two things: durability and lifespan. The average lifespan of a metal roof, depending on which type you choose, is anywhere from twenty-five years to sixty years if it is properly maintained. So, why pay the money for a metal roof as opposed to a traditional one?

ProsCons
LifespanMay leak overtime
Durability in inclement weatherLooks

Lifespan

The average lifespan of a metal roof varies greatly depending on several different factors:

  • How the roof is maintained
  • The exact material used
  • Wear and tear of the roof over time

In most cases, a metal roof will last someone between 25 to 60 years. Sometimes, they last even longer. The biggest factor behind how long a metal roof will last is the homeowner properly performing maintenance to ensure that no leaks or damage develop over time.

Durability in Inclement Weather

A metal roof will last longer due to the material used, provided it is not the cheapest material. Cheaper metal roofs tend to show damage quicker than those that are of the more expensive variety. This difference is because the more expensive the material used in making a metal roof, the thicker and stronger it is.

Metal roofs are known to take a beating from a hailstorm with little or no signs of wear or tear. They also typically hold up well in high winds and are fireproof, which is important in areas prone to wildfires.

May Leak over Time

Metal, like wood, tends to expand and shrink depending on the climate it is located in. That means that any screws or bolts that are used to secure the metal roofing to your house may develop larger holes in those areas that will allow water to leak through.

To prevent this type of issue from occurring, the roof itself should be inspected annually to ensure that the methods used to secure it to the house are in good shape. If there are gaps noted during your inspection, those areas should be fixed before any type of problem develops.

Looks

If you stick to the cheapest metal roofs available, the odds are that it will look exactly like what it is, a metal roof. For some people, this is not an issue because it is only a roof. However, some people find this look appalling and need something that makes the house feel normal.

Thankfully, there are several options when it comes to metal roofing, some of which include:

  • Metal sheet panels
  • Metal shingles, which make the roof look more like a traditional one
  • Paint for metal roofs

While the looks will likely not compare to a traditional or Solar Roof, the different styles can provide a unique look and feel to your home or place of business.

However, when you purchase a metal roof, that is all that you are getting. You get peace of mind that the roof over your head will last quite a while longer than an average traditional roof, nothing more. If you are also looking to add solar options, you can do so at additional costs.

Solar Paneling

Solar panels are available to be added to your metal roof if you so choose. Depending on which solar company you decide to go with, the extra cost to purchase the panels and have them professionally installed will differ.

The average cost of 6kWs worth of panels with installation will set you back roughly $10,000 to $13,000 after you have received all applicable federal rebates. Keep in mind that those costs are in addition to any money you are budgeting for the metal roof installation.

Installation of Solar Panels on a Metal Roof

When it comes to adding anything to your roof, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration before you sign any type of contract:

  • Costs
  • Design of Roof
  • Water Concerns

Costs

Your specific house and solar goals may require you to add additional panels if you can with the design of your roof. While a 6kW setup may be sufficient for a smaller home, it may not make a big enough difference in a larger home to notice any real money savings.

In overstating the obvious, the more panels you need, the more money you need to budget to get the performance out of the solar panels you are installing.

Financing a Metal Roof

Most people cannot fork out large sums of money when it comes time to make a large purchase like replacing a roof. In this circumstance, the homeowner will need to secure some type of financing to secure the purchase.

Some companies will offer financing to secure your business. However, terms are not easily found by navigating their website, and oftentimes, their terms are not something that just anyone can afford.

If that holds, you will be forced to either find some type of grant, home improvement, or personal loan to replace your roof. If you can find a grant that applies, it will most likely not be enough to make a significant impact on the purchase of your home.

In those circumstances, the homeowner will be forced to either accept the financing terms of the roofing company or take out a loan. Know that the cost of the roof will increase over the term of the loan based upon the APR that is assigned. Consider this when looking at the real cost of the metal roof as opposed to any other type.

Design of Roof

Not all roofs are designed the same, even for what is referred to as “cookie-cutter” homes. There are differences that make up the overall design of the roof., such as:

  • Shape
  • Size
  • Pitch

That means that your roof might only be able to have a small number of panels installed to provide your home with solar energy.

In other words, you may need two or three solar panels to see real money savings, but your roof may only allow you to install one. In this circumstance, if your goal is significant savings due to solar power, you may consider scrapping the idea of a metal roof and look at a Tesla Solar Roof.

Water Concerns

No matter the company, when solar panels are added, they must be bolted into the metal roof to secure it. That means that the solar company must drill holes through the metal to place bolts and secure it.

Those holes will then have some type of chemical sprayed in them to prevent any type of water from leaking through. While these chemicals are effective for long periods, they also erode typically due to sun damage.

If you are someone who routinely checks your roof to ensure that everything is in proper working order, this should not concern you since you will notice when this needs maintenance.

However, if you are someone who does not check often, the odds are that eventually, the area will leak, and you may not discover any type of water damage until major repairs must be done.

Bottom Line

So, what are you paying for when it comes to purchasing and installing a metal roof? Beyond the cost of the materials, permits, construction, and clean-up of the project, you are also paying for a metal roof.

While that seems like an obvious statement, it is also a fact. There is nothing additional in the cost of adding a metal roof to your home. If you want solar power, you will most likely have to contract with a different company, and the costs for those solar panels will vary upon how many you can add and who performs the installation.

On the other hand, if you consider replacing your roof with a Tesla Solar Roof, you are not only adding a new roof to your home, but you are also adding a solar power system. If you compare the cost of a metal roof and adding solar panels to the cost of a Tesla Solar Roof, the difference will not be significant.

Tesla Roof

If you are looking at replacing your roof and adding solar power to your home at the same time, then you should consider a Tesla Solar Roof. The Tesla Solar Roof system is designed in a manner that hides the solar cells inside of thick, tough glass paneling made to look like shingles.

The number of solar cells built into the Tesla Roof depends on the size of the home and the desire of the owner to develop a certain amount of electricity. Thus, not every Tesla panel has solar cells embedded in them, with a significant number of them not being needed to power an average-sized home.

Cost

The Tesla Solar Roof is usually more expensive than adding solar panels or replacing your current roof with a metal one. If you are considering paying the extra expense of replacing your current roof with one from Tesla or a metal one, here are some pros and cons of going solar with Tesla Solar Roof:

Going Solar with Tesla
ProsCons
Reduced energy costsCosts of installation
Better for the environmentLength of time to pay for itself
Power continuityNot ideal if you plan to move
Design 
Selling Electricity 

Reduced Energy Costs

Solar companies, regardless of whether they are selling solar panels or the Tesla Solar Roof, will tell you that you will save money on your electricity bill when you switch to solar. While that is true, in actuality, how much money you save each month depends on which type of system you get and how much solar energy production you have.

If you have enough solar panels installed, or if you switch to a Tesla Solar Roof, you might see your electricity bill drop as low as $20 a month. In some cases, you might also see your solar power system providing an energy surplus, which you can sell back to your local power company.

Better for the Environment

There is no denying that utilizing solar energy is better for the environment than utilizing power generated by a power company. On average, power companies emit millions of tons of pollutants into the air each year during the production of electricity.

If reducing your carbon footprint is important for you, then switching to solar will provide you peace of mind in knowing that you have done your part to save the planet. If going green means saving money, it is an additional benefit to an already positive change.

Power Continuity

If you purchase only the Tesla Solar Roof and not their battery system, then you will not see any type of power continuity out of the solar system. However, if you invest in one of their batteries, known as a Powerwall, then you can see power continuity even in cases of prolonged power outages.

Powerwall Considerations
ProsCons
Efficiently stores excess powerCosts
Enables the ability to sell powerTakes up space

The Powerwall is designed to take extra solar power and store it for times that there is no power being generated by the sun. In theory, this means that the stored energy will be stored until needed.

The cost for each Powerwall will run roughly $12,000 depending on permitting and installation costs. It should be noted that larger homes may require more than one Powerwall battery to get the maximum benefit, but there are some small discounts when you purchase more than one.

For instance, for a 2500 square foot home, according to Tesla’s website, they suggest a total of three Power Walls. Although some people may think that is because Tesla wants to make more money, it is also because there is more power needed to run larger homes, meaning more power is needed to last during an emergency.

Design

Tesla’s design of the roof makes it impossible to notice from the ground that there is any type of solar power system installed on your home. The glass tiles are made in a few different styles and colors that give the appearance that they are made of slate, which provides a rich look.

The solar cells built into the glass tiles will depend on how much solar energy is needed to efficiently power your home, meaning that not every tile on the roof will have a solar cell embedded. But, again, no one can tell the difference unless they are standing on the roof and directly looking at the tile.

This design takes away the sometimes-awful look of solar panels on top of the home and makes it more pleasing to the eye.

Selling Electricity

In certain cases, the amount of solar energy generated for your home with a Tesla Solar Roof will be sufficient to add a surplus. When this happens, the homeowner has the option to sell the overages back to the local power company.

The power company will either credit your power bill for the overages or offer you some type of payment each month. In these circumstances, most power companies require that a net meter be installed on the home to determine the exact amount of money that the power company will owe you each month.

If this is something that will drive you to pick a Tesla Solar Roof over another roof, make sure that you check with your local power company to see what the requirements are before making your final decision.

Powerwall Batteries

A Powerwall battery measures 45.3 x 29.7 x 6.1 inches and weighs a total of 276 pounds. Powerwall batteries can either be mounted physically to a wall or a floor, but they are certainly large, no matter where they are kept. Powerwall batteries also cost around $12,000, which includes:

  • The battery
  • The gateway
  • The installation

Remember that your home might require more than one battery to run and store solar energy efficiently, so consider that while looking at the overall costs of the roof. Also, note that there is a federal tax credit that affects the price of all solar options, including the Powerwall.

The number of Powerwall batteries that are recommended by Tesla will vary based on the size of your home. The larger your home, the more Powerwall batteries will be recommended.

If you do not know how many Powerwall batteries your home will need to store the electricity needed to keep your power on during a prolonged power outage, simply navigate to their website. There, you can input your home’s information, and the system will let you know how many are recommended for your house.

Cost of Installation

The installation of a Tesla Solar Roof at first glance looks significantly higher compared to an average metal roof. However, when you look at exactly what your money is buying with Tesla versus a metal roof, you will see that the costs are not that far off.

On any roof that you plan on getting, the costs will vary depending on the size, grade, and materials needed for the job. If you go with the cheapest metal roof and are not wanting to add solar, you are only getting the roof, which may not hold up as well over time as a Tesla Solar Roof.

However, if you intend to add solar energy, then purchasing a system through Tesla may be the best way to go. Adding solar panels on top of a metal roof will run you anywhere between around $10,000 to $13,000 after you have received all applicable federal credits.

Pricing Options for Tesla Roof

If you have decided to go the route of a Tesla Solar Roof, there are two main options to pay for one. One is to pay the total amount in cash, which is cheaper in the long run. The other way is to finance the Tesla Solar Roof and overall installation.

The below table will provide you with an idea of the price of a Tesla Roof without Powerwall batteries that are 2500 square feet.

CashFinance
$49,387 Total including installation$49,387 Total including installation
Less $9,466 Federal Tax CreditLess $9,466 Federal Tax Credit
$39,922 Final Price$39,922 Final Price
 Twenty Year Loan
 6.99% APR
 0 Down

Federal Tax Incentives

The federal government wants you to move to solar to reduce the carbon footprint of the country and lessen the strain on the power grid. Currently, the tax credit is at 26% and can be applied toward the purchase of any solar option between now and December 31st, 2022.

However, the federal credit will be reduced to 22% afterward, continuing until the end of 2023, at which time the credit will cease to exist.

In addition to the tax credits provided by the federal government, some states allow for additional incentives to switch to solar. Those states that provide further incentives are noted below:

StateIncentive
CaliforniaUp to $1,000
ColoradoNot specified, some power companies may provide a credit
Connecticut$300 per KW PTC
DelawareNot specified, some power companies may provide a credit
Hawaii35% of the actual system or $5,000 per 5 KW, whichever is less
Illinois$1,000 per KW reduced from cash or loan price.
Maryland$1,000
MassachusettsUp to $1,000
NevadaUp to $3,000 for Powerwall (battery) only
New YorkMax of $350 per KW and $5,000
Oregon$300 per KW up to $2,400
TexasSome utilities may offer up to $2,500
UtahUp to $1,600
Vermont$0.02 per KW for ten years

Cash Payment for Tesla Roof

With any large purchase, the consumer always pays less overall when they can pay everything in cash. However, most consumers cannot pay cash for large purchases. In these cases, those who have good credit can apply for and receive a loan for the cost of the roof and installation.

If you are in a position as most people are, you will have to apply for the loan, which will increase the total payment to purchase the Tesla Solar Roof due to interest payments.

Financing

When you finance something, you are not only paying the principal for the object you are buying, but you are also paying the interest for the loan. While interest rates differ with lenders, if you are planning on financing as long as you can to make the payments affordable, plan on your interest rate being higher to compensate.

The cost of the Tesla Solar Roof in the previous example was around $40,000 for the cost of the roof and installation if paying cash. However, when you add in Tesla’s quote of an interest rate of 6.99%, your total payment for everything will rise to a potential $70,000 figure.

Of course, you can shop around to find a lower interest rate, but when you do, you will most likely find that there will not be that much of a difference than what is offered here, regardless of how great your credit may be. Banks increase the interest rates for loans with long terms, regardless of what the purchase is or who is making it.

Something else to consider if you are going to try to finance through a different lender is that they might require a substantial down payment to get the loan funded. In some cases, banks can require down payments of up to 10% before they will consider funding.

Final Thoughts

There are a million different ways to quantify the actual dollars and cents between a Tesla Roof and a metal one. Here, we broke down what you are getting when you purchase a roof and the different pros and cons for both.

In the end, if you are interested solely in the cheapest, most durable option that a metal roof would be the way to go. On the other hand, if you are replacing a roof and are wanting to add solar as an option, then paying a couple of thousand extra and getting the entire roof and solar power seems more logical.

Solar Discounts:

Greg

Hi, I'm Greg. My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 Performance. I've learned a ton about Teslas from hands-on experience and this is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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