Tesla Solar Roof on New Construction? Read This First


Tesla Solar Roof on New Construction

If you like the environmental benefits and cost savings of having solar panels on your roof but aren’t keen on the appearance of a traditional solar panel system, you may be curious about having a Tesla roof put on your new construction. Tesla solar roofs give you all the benefits of solar panels but with a much more refined look. There has been some bad press for Tesla though, so it could lead to some hesitation.

Can you install a Tesla Solar Roof on a new construction home? Yes, you can install a Tesla Solar Roof on a new construction home.

Although Tesla may have gotten to a rough start when the company started offering solar roofs, things have been improving with new expansion efforts. Tesla is dedicated to making solar power more accessible to more people with lower pricing and a larger workforce to install its unique integrated solar tiles in a timely fashion.

To give you a more complete picture of Tesla roofs so you can make an informed decision about whether or not to have one installed on your new construction, we’ll go over some of the bumps in the road the company experienced, as well as the current state of things with Tesla. A company’s past does not always indicate the direction of its future so it’s important to consider all sides before investing in a product of this nature.

Tesla’s Early Learning Curve with the Solar Roof

Let’s address some of the criticisms of the Tesla roof first before we go into how things have changed with the company.

Some of the bad press for the Tesla roof stemmed from:

  • A two-year gap between the introduction of and the first installation of Tesla roofs
  • The low number of Tesla roofs installed
  • The cancellation of some customer preorders
  • Inconsistency with roof installation timeframe
  • Complaints about poor customer service

While Tesla did experience some growing pains when taking their technology to solar powered roofs, the company has learned from its shortfalls and is working hard toward improvement. Much of the negative press Tesla received in the early stages of its solar roof initiative was related to long waits to have a roof installed and timeframes that stretched to two months for project completion.

The problems Tesla encountered early on mainly concerned not being able to meet customer demand in a timely fashion which then resulted in negative customer experiences that tainted the company’s image. However, Tesla has taken the time to address these issues and has implemented changes that should help improve extensive wait times, pre-order cancellations, and projects going into overtime.

If you’re considering a Tesla roof for your new construction, it’s good to know where the company is coming from but also to see where they’re going.

Let’s consider how things are looking for Tesla roofs today and why you may want to have one installed on your new construction.

What Makes a Tesla Roof Different Than Other Solar Panel Roofs?

With the variety of solar panel companies out there, you may wonder what would make a Tesla roof different from the competition. Let’s go over a few of the differences to understand what makes a Tesla roof unique.

A few things that stand out about a Tesla roof are:

  • Tesla solar roofs are much more visually appealing.
  • Tesla solar roof tiles are three times stronger than standard roofing tiles.
  • Tesla solar roofs come with a 25-year warranty.
  • Tesla has brought down the price of its solar roofs over the past few years.

Tesla Solar Roofs Look Better Than Standard Solar Panel Roofs

One of the hangups many people have about switching to a solar roof is the unsightly appearance of the solar panels. Tesla honed in on this concern to make their product stand out from the pack. Tesla’s unique system uses building-integrated photovoltaic tiles that are actually part of the roof rather than just bolted onto your existing roof shingles.

There are other solar companies that have joined the push for more aesthetically pleasing solar-powered roofs so you will be able to find other solar integrated roofs. However, as you will see later in this article, those options are more expensive than a Tesla solar roof. Also, other solar tile companies don’t seem to have mastered the sleek look of solar tiles as well as Tesla has.

Built-to-Last: Tesla Solar Tiles Offer Triple the Strength of Standard Roofing Tiles

When you’re investing in a solar roof, you don’t want to have to worry every time there’s a storm. Tesla has worked to design solar tiles with impressive strength and resistance to extreme weather conditions.

Some key features of Tesla’s solar tile strength:

  • Withstand winds of up to 130 MPH
  • Equipped with waterproofing underlayment, flashing, and a ridge cap

Tesla includes protective weatherization on its solar tiles. The solar tiles are made from tempered glass and have proven to be even more reliable than traditional slate or tile roofs.

A 25-Year Warranty Gives Peace of Mind with a Tesla Roof

With such a large investment as a solar roof, it’s essential to have an adequate warranty in the event that there is damage to or malfunction of the solar tiles that is no fault of the homeowner. You will want to be protected from acts of nature and faulty equipment or installation.

When purchasing a Tesla solar roof, you’re backed with a 25-year warranty that covers some of Mother Nature’s most vicious acts:

  • Hail up to 1 ¾” diameter
  • Fire-rated for Class A UL790
  • Wind up to 130 MPH

To help potential customers feel more confident about purchasing a Tesla solar roof, the company is offering a 25-year warranty that will cover acts of nature such as hail damage from hail up to 1 ¾ inch diameter. The Tesla roof warranty also boasts the top coverage for fire damage: Class A UL790. A wind warranty of up to 130 MPH winds should cover you for just about any storm that comes your way.

Tesla Has Brought Down Their Pricing to Make Solar Power More Accessible

With Tesla’s efforts to bring down the cost of its solar roofs, it has become the most cost-effective option for a solar powered roof when compared to traditional solar panels with a new roof. However, it is also the more affordable option when compared to other solar tiles.

Price Comparison for Solar Tiles

 Tesla Solar TilesDeSol Power TilesLuma Solar Tiles
Price per installed watt$2.11$7.00$4.50

While the average cost for standard solar panels with a new shingle roof would work out to be only $1.85 per watt, higher-end roofs all end up costing more than the Tesla solar roof. Not to mention, traditional solar panels will not provide the same sleek look as solar tiles.

How Much Does a Tesla Roof Cost?

There are several options offered through Tesla that will determine the cost of the solar roof. See the table below for the 2021 rates for a Tesla solar roof. Not included in the table is the solar cost of $14,873 which remains the same across the board regardless of the type of roof. All costs include federal tax incentives and are based on cash payment, a 10kW system, mid-range materials, and a licensed contractor.

2021 Average Rates for a Tesla Roof vs. Traditional Solar Panels

 Tesla Integrated SolarTraditional Solar Panels
Typical Roof$16,260$17,520
Premium Roof$16,260$28,608

As you can see, the price changes based on whether you choose to have the solar power integrated into the roof or have the solar panels placed on top of the roof. To receive a customized recommendation and cost for a Tesla roof for your new construction, just enter some information about the size and location of your new home here

One of the potential drawbacks of purchasing a Tesla roof is that the cost may end up being more than installing solar panels from another company, but that doesn’t take into account that you are getting a complete roof with integrated solar tiles. If you are having a Tesla roof put on new construction, this concern is irrelevant since you will be purchasing a roof anyhow.

It’s important to make the decision before you have a roof put on so you can fully benefit from the cost-savings of having a Tesla integrated solar roof rather than having to spring to replace the entire roof at a later time.

Tesla is Continually Working to Improve Solar Power Accessibility

If you’re considering investing in a Tesla solar roof, you’ll want to know that the company is dedicated to improving the customer experience and plans on sticking around for the long haul.

Some promising details about Tesla solar roofs:

  • Tesla is currently on version three of their solar roof.
  • Tesla is working to improve the customer experience.
  • Tesla is collaborating with Mississippi Power on a smart neighborhood project.

Tesla Solar Roof V3 Offers New Features

The latest version of the Tesla roof came out in the fall of 2019 a bit more streamlined.

Some of the changes in the Tesla Solar Roof V3 are:

  • The Tesla roof comes with fewer parts than the previous versions.
  • Version 3 is available in just one style option.
  • Tesla lowered pricing of its solar tiles.

When planning out version 3 of the Tesla solar roof, the company wanted to refine the solar tiles and the installation process to cut down on the time needed to complete each homeowner’s project. This method was designed to address complaints of some solar roofing projects taking nearly two months to complete while others took only four days. Tesla is pushing hard for consistency in this area by streamlining as much as possible.

To further iron out issues with scheduling and completing customer orders, Tesla started out by offering its version 3 solar roof in just one style option. While some may view this as a step backward, it can actually help the company focus on mastering this one style as it works to turn around its reputation. This would be a temporary move with more style options added as things get rolling.

Instead of the expected price increase of many products as time goes on, Tesla decided to cut the costs of its solar roofs to attract a larger customer base that may have been scared off by its early slew of bad reviews.

When comparing the cost of a standard roof for new construction with that of a roof with solar panels or an integrated solar roof while also considering tax credits and savings on utility bills, a Tesla solar roof seems like the clear winner for overall long-term cost-effectiveness.

Tesla is Focusing On Improved Customer Experience

One of the major solutions from Tesla to repair its reputation from its early days with solar roofing is to improve the customer experience and provide more consistency in timing and quality.

Some ways that Tesla is trying to turn around its image with its solar roofs:

  • Tesla has been expanding its workforce to combat the issue of long waitlists and cancelled preorders.
  • Tesla has been finetuning its solar roof installation techniques for optimal efficiency.
  • Tesla is trying to perfect their process with one style of roof initially before offering a variety of styles.

In response to criticism about inconsistent Tesla roof installation timeframes and cancelled preorders, the company is expanding its workforce to increase its capacity to handle orders in a more timely manner. Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated that the company was putting their focus first on “hiring and training specialized installers at first,” then would open opportunities for third-party contractors.

While making plans for a larger workforce to cover more ground, Tesla also focused on perfecting installation techniques to cut down on the time needed for solar roof installation and create more consistency in timeframes. The drive behind this stemmed from tales of Tesla roofs taking only four days to install on one home while another homeowner complained that the whole process took two months on their home.

Rather than providing alternative solar roof styles, Tesla is adopting the philosophy of mastering its trade before branching out. Since its early work brought a lot of criticism, Tesla wanted to launch with one look. This is a smart move when trying to achieve consistency in customer timeframes.

Once everything goes smoothly, Musk claims “the company will roll out additional variants as quickly as it can, including tiles that resemble clay and other alternatives.”

To get an idea of the improvement in the customer experience with Tesla solar roofs, take a look at some of the recently completed solar roofing projects:

To demonstrate Tesla’s dedication to improving the customer experience, there are several examples of newer projects with the version 3 solar roof that show impressive speed. Tesla roofs between 12kW and 15kW are getting installed in one to four days. Tesla has also shown it can take on very large solar roofing projects with the largest currently at 44kW.

Tesla is Involved in a Smart Neighborhood Initiative

Working together with Mississippi Power and Southern Company, Tesla is going to create the world’s first smart neighborhood with the project expected to begin in early 2021. Constructions in the Lauderdale County neighborhood will consist only of homes with Tesla solar glass roofs and Powerwalls.

Each of the 150 homes in the smart neighborhood will be built with maximum energy efficiency from carefully-selected equipment and appliances and will be set up with smart home automation. 

Seeing Tesla partnering with other companies to create innovative smart neighborhoods is a great sign for the company’s future.

Tesla Roof: A Promising Solar Power Option for New Construction

If you have been looking for the best options for incorporating solar power into your new construction, you have likely heard of the Tesla solar roof and it’s early negative reviews. While this may have concerned you enough to sway your opinion toward another company, it’s important that you do your research to get the full picture before you make a large investment.

This article provided you with the good and the bad on a Tesla solar roof. An understanding of why the company received bad press early on can help you when deciding if you want to do business with Tesla. With the growing pains Tesla went through, it has also proven itself dedicated to improving all areas of shortcoming.

If you were hesitant because of the early problems the company had when rolling out the solar roof, it may be time to consider the Tesla roof a viable option for your construction. A larger workforce of specially trained contractors, a more streamlined production and installation process, a superior quality product, and an improved price point all make Tesla a major contender for the best solar roof option out there.

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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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