What are solar panels

Known as Building-Integrated PhotoVoltaics (BIPV) or Building-Applied PhotoVoltaics (BAPV), but commonly referred to as solar panels are construction materials that can be integrated into the building in order to generate electricity using the solar energy. When it comes to residential construction, there are typically 2 approaches to adding energy generating materials to the house:

Solar Panels

These are classic solar panels that are being mounted on top of the existing roof

Solar Shingles

These are the materials used to substitute the classic roofing materials

Keep in mind that installing solar panels or shingles is only part of the needed infrastructure. You may also require battery cells to store the energy when there is no sunlight, AC/DC inverters, controllers for battery cells, wiring and possibly electrical equipment to integrate the solar installation with the grid.

Another thing to keep in mind is that having solar panels makes sense when used in conjunction with an efficient HVAC or water heating solution. Feel free to check Muradu Construction solutions that can augment the solar installation.

When to replace the solar panels

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    Solar installation significantly increases its resale value and increases its curb appeal. It addresses many aspects, such as environmental awareness, better energy autonomy, lower utilities costs, better overall protection against the elements – it serves as a sort-of second roof and works well in hot and sunny climates to absorb the heat. Typically the lifespan of the modern solar panels is around 20-30 years. You need to invest into solar panels accordingly, since their output may decrease significantly afterwards. Some solar panels are also impact sensitive, so if your house roofing was damaged, you may need to replace some of the panels.

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    Types of solar roofing

    Typically there are 2 approaches to solar installation: solar panels augmentation and solar shingles integration. Each choice comes with its own set of pros and cons:

    Solar shingles

    Solar shingles were designed to substitute the classic roofing materials and provide better aesthetics. The pros are: good durability, seamless integration and lighter weight. The cons are: less mature technology and less efficiency compared to panels, requires much longer installation and is pricier (from $16k and up to $70k per roof).

    Solar panels

    Consists in installing solar panels atop of the existing roof. The pros are: better efficiency, ability to change angle based on the sun, more affordable compared to shingles. The cons are: more intrusive aesthetics and slightly lower durability, especially when it comes to the electrical components used for angle adjustment.

    Cost of solar installation

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      When it comes to Muradu Construction, there are 2 components to the cost: the cost of the materials and the labor cost. You don’t need to worry about anything else – the cleanup costs and garbage collection and disposal are already included in the labor costs. What you see is what you get – there are no hidden costs. When it comes to a specific number – it’s nearly impossible to compute it without the expert seeing the building, assessing the roofing solution requested by the client and understanding the roofing specifics for a certain specific building and region. We highly recommend requesting a visit from our expert. The visit does not require any purchases or commitment on your behalf. It is important to keep in mind that solar installation impacts the whole house when it comes to battery cells and inverters installation and wiring. Keep those in mind when planning the costs.

      How to select the correct photovoltaics

      The best approach is to talk to the expert. Whenever considering the solar roof installation, you need to understand the total cost of ownership. These are the aspects that you need to take into account:

      Maintenance costs

      Usually, the cheeper the solution is, the less efficiency you will get and the more you will invest into maintenance. Best if the installer works with many solutions and offers maintenance. You need to understand whether the photovoltaics benefits justify the cost of maintenance and vice-versa – if lower costs justify the lack of those benefits.

      Labor costs

      Some solar roofs are more difficult to work with, resulting in higher labor costs. Usually you will not know this judging by the material sticker price, therefore talking to an expert is very important. You need to factor in that any repair or maintenance will also result in a higher cost resulting from this difficulty.

      Cost of error

      Solar installation is a complex infrastructural solution for your house. It requires proper wiring and appropriate equipment to run. Each of the elements can significantly impact the benefits you gain with solar installation. You may want to track the construction company’s certifications and the number of finalised roofing projects.

      Timeline for solar installation

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        The classic approach is the following:

        Meeting with our expert – helps select the best solar installation solution for you specifically and factor in all of your requests.

        Assessing the building and taking the measurements – our employee will evaluate the structure of your house and take all the necessary measurements for the solar panels installation in order to provide you with the exact quote.

        Signing the agreement and ordering the materials – we place the order for all the photovoltaics and electronics required.

        Installation – when materials are delivered, our construction workers perform the solar installation and the cleanup.

        Common pitfalls of siding installation


        Factoring in only the cost of the solar panels/shingles As mentioned previously, a given material may require a certain level of maintenance, which can be significant. Moreover, there is a lot of electrical equipment needed to process the solar energy – you need to keep this in mind.


        Cutting the labor costs. Not following the strict installation procedure may significantly reduce the lifespan of the solar panels or shingles. Try making sure the construction company has experience or preferably certified to work with the material selected.


        Skipping the correct installation steps. Sometimes the solar panels or shingles require reinforcing the structure or underlayment to ensure proper insulation. Not doing those may significantly shorten their lifespan.


        Not performing the proper solar equipment maintenance. Not doing the maintenance in a timely manner may result in a very quick material degradation, structural damage or electrical failures. Make sure you get proper instructions from the construction company on what is the maintenance routine.


        Hidden costs. There are many companies that provide the customers with the labor and material costs, but fail to disclose the hidden costs associated with additional installation steps, cleaning and garbage disposal. Make sure those costs are included or disclosed in advance.

        Remember – if it’s not done by the book, it’s covered by your wallet.


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