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New home build w/ solar tiles?

strago13

Member
Feb 9, 2018
237
1,202
Washington dc
We are in the process of signing a contract to build a new house with Toll Brothers (Big developer). One thing I wanted to know is if anyone has worked with their builder to incorporate Tesla Solar tiles into the build?

On Tesla's website, it wants me to upload the builders info / blue prints and apparently Tesla will work with the builder to get it all installed?

The other thing I noticed about the solar tiles at a quick glance is they provide less energy than panels? Is that right? I plugged in 4k sqft, 2 stories, and a $500 electric bill (3 heat pumps, 400 amp service) and I was shocked it only thought I needed a 9.6 kw system and 1 power wall. Considering I have a 14k/w system and 3 power walls now, it doesn't add up.

One thing that is appealing to me is potentially saving the cost of shingles on the new build and getting a federal tax credit instead :)

Thanks in advance for anyones feedback on the tiles and or new construction?
 

EVRider-FL

Active Member
Aug 18, 2015
1,026
582
South Florida
I wanted to install a Solar Roof on a home we had built this year, but I couldn’t make it happen. Three issues:
  1. My builder didn’t want to depend on Tesla to install the roof. The builder doesn’t get anything out of that.
  2. Tesla had very little capacity to handle new construction when I looked into this in summer 2020.
  3. The Solar Roof was not yet certified for south FL windspeed requirements.
I ended up using a third party certified Tesla installer to install solar panels and Powerwalls, and I’ve been happy with their work.

Your builder might be more willing to deal with Tesla, but you’ll have to ask them. I can’t say if Tesla is better able to handle new construction now than they were last year.
 

gpez

Member
Apr 25, 2019
751
616
USA
I'm fully aware this is a Tesla energy forum and the discussion is about solar panels but you brought up who the builder is @strago13 so I had to chime in...

As someone who bought a new home recently I was appalled at the quality of construction and service we received when working with Toll Brothers. We found a fantastic lot, location, and build plan for our home in a TB development and were about to sign a contract with them but not until we looked at a few of their developments and saw the floorplan in person at another development. It was an eye opening experience: doors didn't close properly, the stair railing wasn't attached at the studs (you could see the drywall anchors popping out), bathroom fixtures with half inch gaps between walls...and that was what we could see in the model home! The same floorplan home we saw was in even worse shape. When we brought these up to the TB rep it seemed like he both new but didn't care and wanted us to sign ASAP. We passed and went with another builder who we researched even more and have been quite happy with.

Regardless of how you proceed, good luck! Building a home even one with a developer is a rollercoaster!

Just my $0.02.
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: BGbreeder

BGbreeder

Member
Jun 19, 2020
496
298
Bay Area
Given the prior history of Tesla roofing being unable to stick with a firm date for installation, it will be hard to coordinate with any builder, unless the builder is willing to tarp the house for you, and you are ok with all the potential damage that may/will ensue. I wouldn't be.

Large scale developers work on tight schedules to make money, and Tesla roofing is likely (ok, will definitely) throw a monkey wrench in that.

If you want a custom home, I would find go find a custom home builder and work through the issues with that builder.

Just my $0.02

All the best,

BG
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,464
13,359
Riverside Co. CA
If I had the ability to build a new home, as much as I would love to have a solar roof for it, I personally would not trust tesla to meet any kind of timeline that my builder would need to get that done.

OP you might have better luck, but "scheduling things on time" is NOT (repeat NOT) a "Tesla area of competence". It just isnt, not for anything they do customer facing. They dont deliver cars to people on a specific schedule (it moves around all the time), they take a very long time to do things like submit the paperwork for PTO, etc.

I would not want to pay (daily) for teslas delays. If you force your builder to do this, they are going to need the roof done on the schedule they have for your build, and every DAY delay is likely going to cost you money in things not getting done, etc.

It might sound like I am down on Tesla, but I am not, really. I have a Tesla vehicle, tesla solar on my roof, and tesla powerwalls in my garage. I just know that, one of the things they DONT do well is "perform on someone elses schedule", and thats exactly what would have to happen in a new home build. I wouldnt do it, I would get a regular roof and panels, and work with the builder on having that done during the install because its likely to be done on the schedule needed (as long as you are not trying to get Tesla to do the panels).


Tesla works much better in a retrofit situation or any other situation where you are only waiting on them, not waiting on them to integrate with someone else.
 

wjgjr

Active Member
May 11, 2020
1,349
1,061
Silver Spring, MD
We are in the process of signing a contract to build a new house with Toll Brothers (Big developer). One thing I wanted to know is if anyone has worked with their builder to incorporate Tesla Solar tiles into the build?

On Tesla's website, it wants me to upload the builders info / blue prints and apparently Tesla will work with the builder to get it all installed?

The other thing I noticed about the solar tiles at a quick glance is they provide less energy than panels? Is that right? I plugged in 4k sqft, 2 stories, and a $500 electric bill (3 heat pumps, 400 amp service) and I was shocked it only thought I needed a 9.6 kw system and 1 power wall. Considering I have a 14k/w system and 3 power walls now, it doesn't add up.

One thing that is appealing to me is potentially saving the cost of shingles on the new build and getting a federal tax credit instead :)

Thanks in advance for anyones feedback on the tiles and or new construction?
As others have said, past experience has been that Tesla has been a real challenge for timelines, which presents a particular challenge for new construction. However, as you are seeing, there are at least some indications that they might - and I emphasize might - be making an effort to work more closely with builders for new construction. But, I'm not sure I have seen reports yet on these forums of any experiences with this new approach. Given Tesla's track record with schedules, I would certainly be cautious until I saw a number of positive reports with new construction projects.

As to the sizing, the website can sometimes have inaccurate information, particularly with the cost of electricity. Or, if you are moving to a different area, you might double-check the electric rates there. In any case, you can just increase the electric rates until you hit the size you want (or Tesla decides you have run out of roof space.) This will at least give you a better estimate of the cost. In the end, you will need to work with Tesla to get the final size to meet your energy needs (again, within the roof and your price constraints.)
 

EVRider-FL

Active Member
Aug 18, 2015
1,026
582
South Florida
So advice to @strago13 - just have your builder not put on a roof! :D
We actually looked at that option, but the builder wouldn’t have been able to get a certificate of occupancy for the house without a permanent roof, so we couldn’t have closed. Different municipalities might have different rules about that, so don’t assume it’s not an option for you without checking into it.
 

gpez

Member
Apr 25, 2019
751
616
USA
We actually looked at that option, but the builder wouldn’t have been able to get a certificate of occupancy for the house without a permanent roof, so we couldn’t have closed. Different municipalities might have different rules about that, so don’t assume it’s not an option for you without checking into it.

Oh sure, but you could hold off on occupancy until after the solar roof is installed. Would move the contract chaos from the builder to the lender. Not sure how many lenders would be OK lending on a home that does not yet have a CoO.
 

EVRider-FL

Active Member
Aug 18, 2015
1,026
582
South Florida
Oh sure, but you could hold off on occupancy until after the solar roof is installed. Would move the contract chaos from the builder to the lender. Not sure how many lenders would be OK lending on a home that does not yet have a CoO.
My builder needed to get the CO in order to get final payment from me, so they wouldn’t have been willing to delay the CO.
 

Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
2,187
2,671
Silicon Valley, CA
We are in the process of signing a contract to build a new house with Toll Brothers (Big developer). One thing I wanted to know is if anyone has worked with their builder to incorporate Tesla Solar tiles into the build?

On Tesla's website, it wants me to upload the builders info / blue prints and apparently Tesla will work with the builder to get it all installed?

The other thing I noticed about the solar tiles at a quick glance is they provide less energy than panels? Is that right? I plugged in 4k sqft, 2 stories, and a $500 electric bill (3 heat pumps, 400 amp service) and I was shocked it only thought I needed a 9.6 kw system and 1 power wall. Considering I have a 14k/w system and 3 power walls now, it doesn't add up.

One thing that is appealing to me is potentially saving the cost of shingles on the new build and getting a federal tax credit instead :)

Thanks in advance for anyones feedback on the tiles and or new construction?

The only way I have heard of this working with a new home build schedule is if the builder puts on a cheap sacrificial roof to get occupancy, then the Solar Roof installer comes through and removes the whole thing after the rest is complete.

Hopefully in the future, the process will be improved, as it's a total waste to put a roof down first thing, only to tear it off just because of a timing and coordination issue.
 

strago13

Member
Feb 9, 2018
237
1,202
Washington dc
The only way I have heard of this working with a new home build schedule is if the builder puts on a cheap sacrificial roof to get occupancy, then the Solar Roof installer comes through and removes the whole thing after the rest is complete.

Hopefully in the future, the process will be improved, as it's a total waste to put a roof down first thing, only to tear it off just because of a timing and coordination issue.

Thanks, the only reason I am asking this question in the first place is that its the default workflow on Tesla's website for a new home build.
 

sunwarriors

Member
Jun 30, 2021
76
45
Southern CA
I can only comment on my own install, but honestly, right now, with the supply chain issues and the state of the world overall for labor shortages, certain basic parts, almost everything seems to be delayed. My installer is booked solid every single day till the end of the year and there has been some challenges with parts, etc...

The more dependency any project has on anything else, it's going be a headache IMO.

Just know what you are getting into I guess if you want to do a solar roof on a new home build right now since it'll be a lot of babysitting on your own part to speak up when things get messed up.
 

UrMouthaMotor

New Member
Oct 1, 2021
1
0
us
Was thinking about this with a new build as well but will probably opt solar panels on the main roof. Wondering if it makes sense to put solar tiles on the extended patio roofing since it would easier to maintain and would be facing west towards the sun afternoon to sundown?
 

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