Q&A – When to Reroof When Adding Solar Panels

Reroof with solar panels
May 17, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.

Having a roof with half its life left and wanting to add solar panels, this Oregonian asked the experts when he should reroof – now or in 15 years. 

Jarrod, a homeowner in Oregon, wants to switch to a metal roof and add a solar system, but doesn't know if it makes more sense to reroof now or after his roof has fulfilled its 30-year lifetime. Jarrod asks: 

I’m looking into putting solar panels on my roof. I was wondering, should I reroof my house and switch to a metal roof even though my roof probably still has 10-15 years of life in it? Would I be money ahead to reroof before putting the panels up or waiting the 10-15 and then have the added cost of removing and installing the panels again when my roof is due to be done? 

Below is what our roofing expert John Stout from Go Roof Tune Up had to say in response: 

Thank you for an interesting question.   

If it is necessary to install solar panels on your roof, the roof should be new.   

If you now have a “30 year” shingle roof that is 15 years old, it may not have 15 years of life left — or it could have more than 15 years left. If you install the solar over your shingles with the thought of removing and replacing the solar panels after your metal roof is on it may not be a savings of money.  The cost of installing solar panels is part of the sale of your system. To remove and reinstall your solar panels may be very expensive as a stand-alone project.    

The answer to your question is to have the metal roof installed now, and install the solar system on the metal roof. Aside from normal maintenance, don’t think about it for another 30 years. 

You may have the best-looking roof on the block. Enjoy your new roof and your solar system! 

Your friends at AskARoofer. 

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