Solar Shingle Installation: A Step-by-Step Guide to Upgrading Your Roof


You’ve most likely seen them around your neighborhood but never noticed them for what they were; after all, a part of their charm is their sleek, inconspicuous appearance. A cousin to the much bulkier solar panel, solar roof shingles are well on their way to dominating the roofing industry and becoming the face of sustainability and green living for Americans nationwide.

If you’ve thought about upgrading your roof to solar energy but aren’t quite sure what that would entail, keep reading! You’re sure to find something useful about this exciting new technology with our blog post. 

How Do Solar Shingles Work?

Just like regular solar panels, solar roof shingles use the photovoltaic effect (PV) to convert the sun’s rays into electricity for your home. Both solar panels and shingles are made up of semiconductors that help carry this energy–known as direct current (DC) electricity–to an inverter, where it will then shift to alternating current (AC) electricity. AC electricity is the one you need to power your home!

Of course, there’s more to it than that–the laws of physics can hardly be summarized in a sentence or two, but we’ve already written about solar shingles technology before, so let’s get to the meat of the matter instead: how do you go about installing them and how much do they cost?

How Do You Install Solar Roof Shingles?

Solar shingles–also known as solar roof tiles or photovoltaic shingles–can be integrated into your current roof. They can be installed on top of already-existing shingles, or you can do a complete makeover and overhaul your entire roof with just solar tiles! It all depends on your budget and how much power you’re looking for. 

Solar energy is a relatively new concept in the roofing industry, and not many contractors are familiar with their installation process. Always do your research before hiring a roofing company to install solar shingles or panels for your home; look up any solar roof projects they’ve completed.  Also, make sure to read up on their customer reviews. If done right, a solar-powered roof can be a great boon to your investment!

How Much Does It Cost to Install Solar Shingles?

There’s no sugarcoating it–solar shingles can get pricey, depending on the brand you’re looking at and the size of your property. According to Angi, a full solar shingle roof installation can range anywhere between $35,000 and $75,000. Still, many homeowners choose this option regardless of cost, as they know solar energy will pay them back tenfold after a few years of use. It’s hard to disagree with that when we look at the statistics; properties with solar roofs have a higher resale value and lower energy bills, and you may even be paid by your power company for any extra electricity you produce that gets sent back to your neighborhood’s power grid.  This is known as net-metering.   

Solar shingles come in a variety of wattage levels, and the higher you go, the more you’ll be expected to pay. At the moment, modern solar shingles produce between 13 to 60 watts of energy, with some premium options reaching 71 watts

How Long Do Solar Shingles Last?

If installed and maintained properly, solar shingles can be expected to last 30 years or longer–about the same as solar panels. Most manufacturers sell solar shingles and panels with a 10- to 25-year product warranty. 

Take good care of your roof, and it’ll take good care of you! Keep your roof clean of debris, and if you’ve ever wondered “can you walk on solar shingles?”, the answer is generally yes. While solar shingles are made to be durable so they can withstand all sorts of harsh weather, they can also be slippery, especially if your roof is sloped at a steep angle, or if conditions are wet or icy. 

Going Green? New Jersey’s #1 Solar Contractor Is Here to Help

With hundreds of roofing projects completed under our belt, Fortified Roofing is the company to call if your property is looking for a new lease on life with solar energy. Solar roof shingles are an aesthetically pleasing and efficient solution for the modern eco-friendly consumer. 

Reduce your carbon footprint and have a great-looking home at the same time–contact Fortified Roofing for a FREE estimate today!