Tesla Solar Roof Guide – Specs, Reviews, Cost

Updated February 2, 2021

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It’s not just a vision for tomorrow: Sustainable 9 Design + Build creates homes for tomorrow today, reflected in its enduring commitment to green, high performance, energy-efficient homes that are stunningly designed and custom-built.

Tesla has been all the rage lately—and not just because of their electric cars, record-setting stock prices, or Elon Musk himself. Tesla is a bit of a renaissance company because of its ties to solar, electric vehicles, space programs, and artificial intelligence technology. Putting all that aside, today we’re just focusing on the Tesla Solar Roof.

While the solar roof still isn’t all that popular, it is definitely something to look into and consider when you decide to rework your roof in the future.

Tesla Solar Roof Panels

tesla solar roof

Just last fall, Tesla launched the newest version of its roof panels. Version 3 of the Tesla solar roof tiles offer many improvements in the design. One of the biggest victories that folks in the industry are acknowledging is its affordability. Compared to the previous version, quotes often come in up to 40% lower than they did previously. One of the biggest downsides that have been reported is the long install times. Many have found that it’s not easy to install without extensive experience because of the product’s complexity.

Don’t let the install time deter you from looking into the product more fully. There are a lot of advantages to installing a solar roof. Not only will it help to power your home, but a solar roof will actually take the place of shingles or other roofing materials. Because of that, you’re essentially killing two birds with one stone. You’ll get a new roof and a solar energy system.

Note: All of our information for this post is coming from Tesla’s website.

How Do Solar Tiles Work?

Tesla’s solar roof panels are comparable to tiles that would traditionally be installed on a roof. The Solar tiles follow roof tiles really closely in their design and installation. That’s why you must recognize these solar tiles as your roof system instead of just an addition to your existing roof. Traditional solar panels are mounted to an existing roof, whereas solar tiles from Tesla are actually all you need on your roof.

It’s definitely a different way of doing things, and it’s not how solar panels were originally designed to work. It does offer new waves of innovation and opportunity. Additionally, many homeowners really dislike the look of solar panels on a roof. They find them to be extremely unappealing and ugly. Making solar panels more appealing makes it hard to recognize the difference between solar tiles and other tile roofs, especially from a distance.

Overview of Installation

Tesla’s 100% in house crew for roofing handles the entire solar tile system’s entire design and installation. The first step in the process starts with designing the system for the roof that it’s being installed on. After the number of panels is determined, and their orientation, the existing roof will be removed from the home. While removing the roof, the team makes any repairs necessary to the structure so that the new roof will last for many years to come.

After the old roof is removed, a new rubber roof will be installed and prepped. This material creates a barrier for rain and other water that gets past the solar tiles. Think of it as a safety net. After the rubber is installed, the solar tiles are placed on the roof and installed.

All of the other elements of the solar energy system are also needed. These elements include power inverters that connect the power to your home. From there, you might consider using a solar battery pack to store the energy. A Tesla Powerwall could be the perfect thing to help take your home’s energy needs to an almost completely sustainable level.


Tesla boasts some astounding specs for their solar tiles, and we love what it means for homeowners.

Lifetime & Warranty:

The warranty that Tesla offers for the tiles is three-fold. Each warranty offered is for 25 years. There’s a warranty on the tiles themselves, a power warranty, and a weatherization warranty. These warranties help to ensure that you’ll be able to get clean solar power for at least 25 years. Not to say that you’ll need to replace the solar tiles after 25 years, but the roof should at least be inspected.

Hail Rating:

If you’ve owned a home for any time, you likely know the dangers that a big storm can bring. Hail is one of those big dangers. Thankfully the engineers at Tesla already thought of hail when designing these roof tiles. The tiles are rated as class 3 ANSI FM 4473 or (in English) they can handle hail at the diameter of 1.75 inches.

Wind Rating:

The wind rating for this roofing material is equally impressive and has been extensively tested. These tiles are able to withstand winds up to 166 miles per hour. That means you won’t have to worry about them being ripped off of your roof anytime soon.

Fire Rating:

And last but definitely not least, the solar tiles have received the best possible fire rating of Class A UL 790. That’s as good of a fire rating as clay tiles or slate roofing.

App Monitoring:

Many solar companies include mobile app monitoring as a great incentive that allows you to track how much electricity your solar energy system is producing. Tesla is no different and offers a great tool for tracking this.


The cost of solar tiles can be somewhat comparable to that of a traditional roofing system. Every project is priced for each square foot of roof that your home needs covered. In some situations, the solar tiles won’t be needed on the entire roof due to shading.

Here’s a little cost comparison that you can do for yourself on their website. We’ll give you a brief rundown of what the cost would be for a 4,000 sqft two-story house in Minneapolis with an average electricity bill of $100 a month.

The cost of installing a Tesla solar roof on a home like this would be roughly $35,000 before incentives and closer to $26,000 after federal tax credits. That same roof would cost close to $50,00o if you chose to install the highest-quality roofing materials instead. For that reason alone, it seems that installing a Tesla solar roof along with a Powerwall is a no-brainer for any homeowner that’s hoping to make an impact on their energy bill.

Reviews of the Solar Roof

Tesla has struggled immensely to get its product on the market. Both versions one and two were seen as extremely expensive and poor alternatives to solar panels themselves. But, nonetheless, they did sell some as consumers were starting to catch on to the innovation. Version 3, the version that we’re covering in this post, has been a far better investment for consumers and thus has wielded some great reviews.

Solar reviews recently wrote a review on the Tesla solar roof that everyone considering this product should definitely look into. This post is from a recent customer review in the bay area. This Tesla customer was one of the first bay area installs and became one of their most successful. Be sure to check out that post to see how much money they saved by using a Tesla solar roof!

If you’re interested in learning more about other sustainable building practices, check out other articles on our blog. There are many options when it comes to making your home more sustainable, and we’d love to help you get there. Reach out to us for more information on our sustainable home-building practices.


A custom-built home means you don’t have to sacrifice the details that make your home one-of-a-kind. View our award-winning work and get inspired.

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Sustainable 9

It’s not just a vision for tomorrow: Sustainable 9 Design + Build creates homes for tomorrow today, reflected in its enduring commitment to green, high performance, energy-efficient homes that are stunningly designed and custom-built.

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