The roof project

We were ready to get the solar PV array installed on our roof. We did our research on when a renewable energy installation makes sense and got ourselves familiar with the solar lingo. We went through the basics on how to size a solar PV system, and how it gets connected. And the timing was perfect to maximize the rebates available for a solar PV system installation.

That sounds pretty ready, right?

Yes, this was a trick question, and no, we were not ready at all.

You see, you don’t want to put a roof mounted solar system onto an old roof. You want to put it onto a new roof (or at least fairly new roof), so that the solar system has about the same life expectancy as the roof.

Not only did we have to address the old roof issue, we also had to deal with the desperately needed repairs to our front parapet and the attached cornice. Plus we had to raise the elevation of the side parapets, because we had planned to add insulation on top of the roof deck.

So what did our path to roof solar look like?:

  • Cornice bracing
  • Front parapet demo
  • Cornice repair
  • Rebuilding front parapet
  • Raising elevation of side parapets
  • Roof tear off
  • Insulation installation
  • Integration of solar system attachments
  • New roofing system installation
  • Flashing
  • And (drum roll) – installation of the solar array

Well, it is good to get all these items out the way and fixed up once and for all. If we were diligent about it, we knew we wouldn’t have to touch any of those items again for a few decades to come.

Stay tuned as I will keep posting about each of the steps and the decisions involved.

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About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

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