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Solar roof installation and its required gutter removal

dl1978

New Member
Jul 29, 2021
4
0
NJ
Tesla Energy removed and disposed my gutter during the solar roof installation. They then claimed that I was responsible to pay another contractor to put a new one back, When I went through my contract, I could not find any mention of that. The other postings mentioned that Tesla changed the inclusion of gutter in the last year or so. Can anyone share your contract related to gutter replacement? Can I ask Tesla pay my gutter replacement as they never put that in my contract?
 

wjgjr

Active Member
May 11, 2020
1,349
1,063
Silver Spring, MD
Does your agreement mention gutters at all? If it was completely silent on gutters, I would think you have a case in that the normal expectation would be if they are silent about something, it will not be altered by the project. However, if the agreement did say something about Tesla removing the gutters, and nothing else, it would be your responsibility to replace them. (There might still be a question of remove vs. remove + dispose.) My understanding is there should at least have been a line item in the price sheet for gutter removal. We have older contract with a line item for "gutter replacement" - a job which they subcontracted - before Tesla apparently changed policy to not include gutter replacements in contracts, only removal.

Gutter removal can be necessary for some solar roof installs. In some cases, the old gutters can be re-attached, and in some cases different gutters are a requirement. As this is a known issue, Tesla should have discussed this with you earlier and a site visit should have identified this issue. If not, they project lead should have discussed this with you when they arrived and, if there was an increased cost, should have had a scope/price change order issued before work commenced.
 

SaveOurPlanet

Member
Jan 6, 2018
277
192
San Francisco
I only got a verbal advice from my advisor that rain gutters will likely need to be removed by the tear down sub-contractor but Tesla Energy is not responsible for putting them back in. I actually got a separate document from Tesla Energy titled Gutter Contractor Contact Info which says Tesla does not complete or manage gutter installation but only suggesting a local sub-contractor to put on new gutters. The tear down sub-contractor tried very carefully not to remove my old gutters initially but was asked by me to remove them all as I want new bigger wider gutters and gutter guards, I figured I want updated gutters to match the solar roof instead of keeping the old ugly ones.
 

mje123

Member
Oct 6, 2021
8
10
North Bay
Same here. I received a verbal advice on the gutters. Tesla site inspector asked me if I wanted to have my old gutters saved and re-installed after the roof was complete or if I wanted to have new gutters installed. I went with the new gutter route. The Tesla site inspector gave me a contact of a local contractor that had experience installing on Tesla roofs. They were lower priced than a few other quotes as well.
 

holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,364
1,707
East Bay NorCal
That interesting that some Tesla reps (or their subs) are giving a verbal statement on the gutters. It suggests someone over there believes this is a potential hazard of "perspective mis-alignment". To the extent they'd bother to explain it to the homeowner, but not so far as to be something their corporate/standard order template is putting on the contract.

At the corporate level, lots of salaried people get together and determine which fields/data need to be on each boilerplate contract. How the gutters just somehow fell into the grey zone is perplexing. To me, it feels like an obvious disclaimer to put into the standard solar roof contract since it's a possible grey area. The solar roof product is so novel, it is difficult to determine what is a "no brainer therefore no language" item.
 

trautmane2

Member
Jul 13, 2019
258
175
Leesburg, VA
I received a separate "Gutter Contractor Info" document from Tesla that stated "Tesla does not complete gutter installations or manage gutter installations with sub-contractors during the Solar Roof installation". So, it was clear to me that I had to decide whether to replace the gutters and if I chose replacement that I was responsible for arranging and paying for the replacement. I initially wasn't sure which way to go which is why I started this thread: Solar Roof Gutter Replacement
 

slcasner

Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 20, 2011
1,392
939
Sunnyvale, CA
I tried really hard to get Tesla to agree to have the roof tearoff team remove the skip sheathing and apply the plywood solid sheathing directly over the rafters so that the existing solid-wood sheathing over the eaves and the gutters could remain in place. They would not do it. Since I have an all-hip roof on an H-shape house, there is run of solder-joined gutter sections that includes six corners. So no way that could be taken down and put back.

The color my gutters are painted is not one of the standard ones, so that means in addition to the expense of new gutters I'm also facing a painting expense. Hence my motivation for trying to keep the existing gutters.
 

garcianc

Member
Oct 12, 2021
17
2
Maryland
I received a separate "Gutter Contractor Info" document from Tesla that stated "Tesla does not complete gutter installations or manage gutter installations with sub-contractors during the Solar Roof installation". So, it was clear to me that I had to decide whether to replace the gutters and if I chose replacement that I was responsible for arranging and paying for the replacement. I initially wasn't sure which way to go which is why I started this thread: Solar Roof Gutter Replacement
I had my solar roof installed in June and my contract documentation had the same language as yours. However, since I had just installed new gutters and trying to find a gutter contractor in this area during a pandemic was causing delays, Tesla was nice enough to let me negotiate the gutter issue with the install team. I had a Tesla installation team that was awesome (best part of the project). They looked at what I had and agreed to leave my gutters intact, and they did an amazing job. I know they probably had to work harder to accommodate me. I wish everything else had gone that well.
I think this might be dependent on your specific build, so I would not count on Tesla being able to do it for everyone, but at least for me it was possible to retain my gutters.
 

Hardtobgreen23

New Member
Oct 28, 2021
1
0
10570
Just found this forum and thread after a very frustrating couple of days with the Tesla Solar Roof process. Skipping ahead to today, the tear down sub crew finally arrived around 9:15 am and about 45 minutes later the leader of the sub team introduced himself. About 90 minutes later, and quite a while after work had started, he rang the bell and told me that Tesla told him to tell me that they "recommended" we replace the existing 4" gutters. I acknowledged this and asked him why this is the first time this came up and whether Tesla would put in the replacement gutters, and he told me he wasn't authorized to answer those questions. While I reached out by text to my Tesla project advisor and waited to hear back, and also reach a local gutter specialist to get an opinion and a quote, the tear down team took off the gutters. So now I am left with no choice but to replace those. When I finally got hold of the specialist, he acknowledged that this is a "known issue", but said Tesla doesn't cover this work. I can agree that if we affirmatively chose to upgrade or replace the gutters, that would have to be a separate cost and either done by a Tesla sub or someone else. But how the hell can it be that if they just decide to tear them down it is the customer's cost and inconvenience?
 

holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,364
1,707
East Bay NorCal
Just found this forum and thread after a very frustrating couple of days with the Tesla Solar Roof process. Skipping ahead to today, the tear down sub crew finally arrived around 9:15 am and about 45 minutes later the leader of the sub team introduced himself. About 90 minutes later, and quite a while after work had started, he rang the bell and told me that Tesla told him to tell me that they "recommended" we replace the existing 4" gutters. I acknowledged this and asked him why this is the first time this came up and whether Tesla would put in the replacement gutters, and he told me he wasn't authorized to answer those questions. While I reached out by text to my Tesla project advisor and waited to hear back, and also reach a local gutter specialist to get an opinion and a quote, the tear down team took off the gutters. So now I am left with no choice but to replace those. When I finally got hold of the specialist, he acknowledged that this is a "known issue", but said Tesla doesn't cover this work. I can agree that if we affirmatively chose to upgrade or replace the gutters, that would have to be a separate cost and either done by a Tesla sub or someone else. But how the hell can it be that if they just decide to tear them down it is the customer's cost and inconvenience?


Yeah it's poor form for Tesla to not discuss the gutters with homeowners during the up-front process, so it kind of becomes a surprise for the homeowner to remediate during/after the install. Hopefully you'll find a good roofer/gutter-specialist that can come out before you get much more rain or snow. The good news is now you can get the gutters painted to match the roof :)

BTW, the reason Tesla can do whatever they want is they don't have to care about the individual purchaser. Because there many more people lining up to get access to their tech. Good service is only something needed by companies if their product fails to provide a unique selling proposition. Tesla is doing just fine with whatever their current status quo is, so it's unlikely they'll change any time soon.

But consider this, if there's something we've learned from anecdotes about this type of stuff... you're better off paying to make sure your house isn't at risk. It seems you're going to have more headache if you instead take up a case with Tesla right now and stall things out.

There was an article a while back (edit, a while back is a few months) where some homeowners found a leak in their roof. The homeowners felt Solar City (Tesla) should be responsible for a repair. Tesla (or whoever their sub is) disagreed and said the leak was due to the aging. These homeowners started to battle it out with Tesla to figure out who was "right". But the problem is the homeowners never actually spent money to repair the leaks. Fast forward, and the roof kept suffering more and more damage while they kept fighting and fighting. Ultimately, I don't actually think that article said who was at fault. It just said the house had a lot of structural damage due to all the leaks.

My point is, I wouldn't get hung up trying to determine right/wrong/fault to the extent it actually puts the home at risk. I believe your best bet is to get your house in good working order (even if it does take some extra money/borrowing for new gutters). And if you feel you suffered monetary damage because of Tesla's business practice, then you take up such a claim to seek remedy later. Or, if you think it's not worth the effort... then you're about to get both a new roof and new gutters and move on.
 
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