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Luke from Madison County asked, “I’m planning a new build and considering putting solar on my roof. What do I need to know?” 

Thanks for your question Luke and happy to help.  I’ve developed a list of best practices: 




  1. Design large south (180 degrees) facing roof to optimize sunlight collection. 
    • North facing exposures are not suitable for solar. East and west are also viable options.
  2. Reduce or eliminate obstructions on south/east/west facing roofs.
    • Examples: 
      • minimize vent pipes,  reduce or eliminate shading created by chimneys
      • consider future shade impact from tree planting or home orientation on property with existing trees.
  3. Ideal roof pitch is 23-30 degrees.
  4. Best roofing materials include metal standing seam, architectural grade shingles or flat membrane.
  5. Install 2″ metal conduit from attic to utility closet.
    • PVC is fine for outdoor tracing
    • Metal conduit required for inside DC wiring
  6. Install cat 5 wire for internet service to the utility closet.
  7. Leave a 4′ x 4′ of wall space in the utility area for the inverter.
  8. When you have architectural plans (PDF format) contact StraightUp Solar.
  9. At that time, we can provide you rough pricing so you’re able to explore
    • Financing options.  
  10. Our work commences before sheet rock is installed on the walls and the before the landscaping is completed.
Send your solar genius questions to and put in the subject line SOLAR GENIUS.