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Need help with timely temporary removal of panels

arnolddeleon

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
915
993
SF Bay Area
We are in the process of buying a property in Glendale, AZ. It pains me to say that unfortunately it has Tesla (nee SolarCity) panels on it.

During the inspection period our roofer said the roof is at the end of life and needs to replaced pretty much now. I figure no problem, the contract says I can pay Tesla $499 for removal and reinstallation. The problem is that Tesla is quoting no earlier than Spring of 2020 do this work. This is nuts! They told me I can hire my own contractor to do the removal but then I'm on my own.

Any recommendations for escalation? I just want to actually be able to talk to human that can problem solve instead of saying it is what it is. I suspect the panels can be removed by competent people in half a day. I can be very flexible in the exact date as long as it is relatively soon. From what I know it is not unusual for them to have a job put on hold because of some issue and crew then needs to find another job to do. For this one they don't have to worry about materials. We just need a crew.

Alternatively any recommends on a contractor that can do the job?

The solar panels will have been on the roof only 4 years this Nov. I thought SolarCity/Tesla wouldn't install on a roof that didn't have at least 10 years of life remaining (I know people that Tesla wouldn't install panels for until they redid their roof). How the heck did this install happen?
 

Boatguy

Active Member
Apr 3, 2014
1,000
668
SF Bay Area
Any update on this situation? Seems like a classic Tesla "don't worry" in the buying process that then totally collapses when it's time to execute.
 

Dan123

Member
Jun 19, 2018
451
322
Miami
During the inspection period our roofer said the roof is at the end of life and needs to replaced pretty much now.

What kind of roof is it? I wouldn't necessarily trust what is said during the inspection period. There is an incentive to bring up as many problems as possible to negotiate the price down. It is kind of hard to estimate the remaining life of the roof by just visually looking at it.
 

KSilver2000

Active Member
Dec 23, 2017
1,368
2,438
CA
What kind of roof is it? I wouldn't necessarily trust what is said during the inspection period. There is an incentive to bring up as many problems as possible to negotiate the price down. It is kind of hard to estimate the remaining life of the roof by just visually looking at it.

OP is the buyer of the home, and he is the one who brought in the roof inspector. From what he wrote, it seems like he wants to close on the home, not negotiate the price down.
Are you questioning his own roofer?
 

arnolddeleon

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
915
993
SF Bay Area
It's a concrete tile roof. It turns out new roof just means new water proofing membrane. The membrane apparently typically has a 20 year life. The house is 24 years old and apparently on the original waterproofing membrane.

The seller and I did the transfer paper work (and now it is just pending the close) so Tesla would finally talk to me directly about the property. They confirmed that I'm looking at spring 2020 to get a panel removal. If I hire my own contractor then I'm responsible for the costs. I highly doubt I can find someone remove and reinstall the panels for $500, I'll ring up the recommendation. I would think a Tesla crew can do the removal in 2 to 4 hours. If they have job that is cancelled or postpone they can easily do this job with a minimum of notice. I would even be ok with reinstall postponed until spring (as long as they were willing to suspend the contract in the interim).

This is a bit sad and frustrating for someone who already has two PV systems installed by Tesla (SolarCity).

If 3rd party removal is too costly I may just wait (betting on not much rain) till Tesla gets around to it

Closing is less than 8 days away. So it becomes real soon.
 

Dan123

Member
Jun 19, 2018
451
322
Miami
It's a concrete tile roof. It turns out new roof just means new water proofing membrane. The membrane apparently typically has a 20 year life. The house is 24 years old and apparently on the original waterproofing membrane.

The seller and I did the transfer paper work (and now it is just pending the close) so Tesla would finally talk to me directly about the property. They confirmed that I'm looking at spring 2020 to get a panel removal. If I hire my own contractor then I'm responsible for the costs. I highly doubt I can find someone remove and reinstall the panels for $500, I'll ring up the recommendation. I would think a Tesla crew can do the removal in 2 to 4 hours. If they have job that is cancelled or postpone they can easily do this job with a minimum of notice. I would even be ok with reinstall postponed until spring (as long as they were willing to suspend the contract in the interim).

This is a bit sad and frustrating for someone who already has two PV systems installed by Tesla (SolarCity).

If 3rd party removal is too costly I may just wait (betting on not much rain) till Tesla gets around to it

Closing is less than 8 days away. So it becomes real soon.

With a concrete tile, they will remove the old concrete tile, remove the membrane, may remove some of the wood, and then replace the membrane, and install new concrete tile. Get white or some other reflective tile.

Frankly, I don't understand what's the rush? You can re-roof the house in spring 2020. Concrete tile + membrane is supposed to last 30+ years if installed correctly, although this is AZ with its extreme heat.
 
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Pale_Rider

Member
Jul 28, 2016
675
755
Houston, TX
I probably wouldn't sweat waiting until spring. Unless you have active leaks, the odds of it spontaneously springing a leak in the next few months is probably low. You might try to tie Tesla down on an exact date in the spring.
 
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arnolddeleon

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
915
993
SF Bay Area
I probably wouldn't sweat waiting until spring. Unless you have active leaks, the odds of it spontaneously springing a leak in the next few months is probably low. You might try to tie Tesla down on an exact date in the spring.

We are leaning this way. This is an investment property and we didn't wanted to do all the work up front before renting it out.
 
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jboy210

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,504
3,489
Northern California
The big question is who is responsible if the roof leaks. A 20 year old tile roof is going to be quite fragile. We are on our 3rd roof in 30 years. And every time anyone has worked or walked on the roof they break tiles.
 

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