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How Many Roof Panels Do I Need

Factors That Affect The Price Of All Types Of Metal Roofing Materials

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need?

The price of metal roofing panels varies depending on many factors including:

  • Panel Profile – There are two types of metal roofing systems. Exposed fastener panels such as a wavy corrugated metal roofing or concealed fastener panels such as a standing seam panel. Exposed fastener panels will cost about half the price when compared to standing seam metal roofing panels.
  • Gauge or Thickness of Steel – Metal roofing panels will range in gauge from as light as 29 gauge to as heavy as 20 gauge. If you have a typical residential metal roof thats on a wood substrate, then purchasing a heavy gauge steel such as 20 or 22 gauge would not be necessary. Conversely, we wouldnt recommend a flimsy 29 gauge roof that doesnt perform that well and only saves a minimal amount of money.Most metal roofs will be 26 gauge or 24 gauge steel. Heavier 24 gauge steel will cost 25% to 40% more than 26 gauge steel.
  • Finish And Paint System – In most instances a metal roof will have a galvalume substrate and then a paint finish on top of that. There are two types of paint finishes, SMP or PVDF.

SMP paint finishes are typically available in lighter gauge steel such as 29 or 26 gauge. The color of panels will fade at a faster rate than a PVDF paint. This is the most cost effective paint system.

PVDF costs 30% to 40% more than SMP painted roofing panels because you are both buying a better paint and a heavier gauge steel.

For a more specific price, we suggest requesting a free quote.

Determine Your Energy Usage

Check out your most recent power bill to see your monthly electricity consumption. In most cases, the total amount of electricity used will be shown at the bottom of the bill in kilowatt-hours .

Your yearly energy usage will give you the best estimate for how many solar panels you need, as energy usage fluctuates in different seasons .

Because monthly energy usage varies so much, it can be beneficial to dig up your monthly electric bills for the past year, add the electric usage together, and divide by 12.

But using just one utility bill to find your energy consumption is still enough for a ballpark estimate.

Common Metal Roof Sheet Sizes

Roofing panels come in many styles and dimensions with different overlap dimensions. The most common lengths are 8, 10, 12, and 16, however many distributors will cut to length.

The most common widths are 24 and 36 exposed, but the actual width of the panel will be larger to accommodate an overlap. Each style of panel is unique and may have a different actual width and exposed width.

Metal roofs are beautiful and very durable. When installed correctly, they can last a very long time with little maintenance. See our other roofing resources for more roofing calculators and tools.

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Minimum Slope For Metal Roof: Requirements And Recommendations

My neighbor finally decided to ditch his metal roof over the summer, and I asked him what took him so long since hed been complaining about his shingles for years. He said he was concerned about a low-sloped addition on the home hed built awhile back. He wasnt sure if the minimum slope for a metal roof would fit with that part of his home.

The minimum slope for a metal roof with exposed fasteners and seams without sealant is 3:12, which means 3 of drop for every 12 of horizontal run. Roofing with exposed fasteners and lapped seams with sealant can go lower ½:12. Standing seam metal roofs, which are either mechanically fastened or click into place, can go as lows as ¼:12.

The key to understanding the minimum slope for metal roofs is getting familiar with various types of metal roofs available to homeowners. With metal roofing becoming more popular, there are exponentially more products on the market every year. Below, well go through your metal roofing options and determine which might be best for your low slope roof application.

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How The Calculator Works

How many panels or what size system will I need?

To get the most accurate results, you will need to provide the exact building measurements and roof pitch.

Very Important Note: Before you order your metal roofing panels, you will need to get on the roof and physically measure its run, to the exact number of feet and inches. REMEMBER that the calculator provides only an APPROXIMATE length for your roof panels. If you do not measure the exact length of your roof run, your panels may come out too short or too long. If your panels are too short, they may be unusable. We are not responsible for the accuracy of any measurements on your part.

When measuring your metal roofing panels, always measure from the eave all the way up to the ridge line, and add at least 2 inches for drip edge and return lock.

Measuring your roof you will need to use a tape measure to get the width and the length of your roof. You will also need to calculate your roof pitch, and properly identify your roof type. Use the following guides, which will help you to accurately measure your roof:

  • Roof measuring guide learn how contractors measure and estimate roofs.
  • Roof Pitch guide learn how to measure and calculate roof pitch. Roof Pitch multiplier table is provided at the end of this guide.
  • Roof Types learn how to identify your roof type, and discover the difference between Gable, Hip, Mansard, Gambrel and Shed roofs.

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What Type Of Solar Panels Should I Install

The choice of solar panel type can be based on efficiency, cost, and available space. Some types of solar panel are more efficient that others, and this would affect the number of panels you need to install.

For example, you need less space to install monocrystalline panels compared to thin film and polycrystalline solar panels.

There are different types of solar panels that can be installed on your roof, but the most commonly installed panels are monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels.

  • Lower efficiency rate compared to monocrystalline
  • More sensitive to high temperatures compared to monocrystalline

How Much Does Metal Tile Roofing Cost

Metal tile roofing costs $4.00-$6.00 per square foot for material. The installed price of a metal tile roof is slightly higher than the other metal roofing options listed in this article.

By comparison, a clay tile roof costs anywhere from $10.50-$18.50 installed, but without factoring in the potential cost of reinforcing your home if needed.

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How Do I Verify Measurements For My Metal Roof

Are you a do it yourself person or a contractor thats familiar with shingles but new to metal roofing? If thats you, or if you just want to answer the question How do I verify measurements for my metal roof then this vlog post is definitely for you!When it comes to figuring materials for your roof it all starts with a sketch. And over the years Ive seen all sorts of sketches. Ive seen them range from a doodle on a napkin to full-blown architectural drawings.

How Can I Calculate How Many Solar Panels I Will Need

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

There is a somewhat basic formula to help you understand how much solar panels you”ll need to go off-grid and it looks like this.

Let me break this formula down even further so you can understand how to use it better.

Step 1 – Figure out how much electricity you use.

Go ahead and grab your most recent power bill and figure out how much energy you used for the last month.

Most energy bills will display the kWh used at the bottom of the document with the cost of electricity multiplied by that.

In the example below you can see that we used 1000 kWh for that month and were charged $134,35.

Step 2 – Work out how much sunlight your county receives

In order to know how many solar panels you’ll need to go off-grid, you have to figure out how many peak hours of sunlight your area receives.

Keep in mind though, that peak hours of sunlight do not equal the time between sunrise and sunset.

Peak hours of sunlight equal the amount of time the sun reaches an average of 1000 Watts per square meter.

So in summary, peak hours of sunlight equal the amount of time the sun is at its most powerful allowing the solar panels to be at their most productive.

If you live somewhere like California, an area with a very high peak sunlight rate, your solar system will not need to be as big.

However, if you stay in a less sunny place you may need more solar panels in order to produce the same amount of electricity you would with less panels in a sunnier location.




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Metal Roofing Panel Types

If you decide to purchase a metal roof there are more options than just metal roofing panels. Western States Metal Roofing doesnt sell metal shingles, slate, or tile, but they are excellent systems that we will touch upon.

  • Corrugated Metal Roofing– Exposed fastener panel.
  • Standing Seam Roofing– Concealed fastener panel.
  • Metal Shingle Roofing– Metal roofing with a traditional look.
  • Metal Slate Roofing– Affordable alternative to slate.
  • Metal Tile Roofing– Affordable alternative to clay tile.
  • What Is The Average Number Of Solar Panels In A Uk Home

    One of the determining factors in figuring out how many solar panels you need is the number of people in a household. A 6kW solar panel system is recommended for a home with over five people, while a 5kW solar system is typical for a home with four people. A 4kW solar system is one of the most common sizes for domestic solar systems, as it suits homes with 3 to 4 people.

    The number of solar panels you need will vary depending on whether your installation is a 3kW or 6kW, and the size of solar panels you will use. For example, if you install a 3kW solar system using 250W panels, then you need 12 solar panels. A 6kW system would need 24 solar panels.

    The average number of solar panels will also be determined by whether you would like your solar panels to generate all your electricity needs, or only a percentage.

    An average UK home consumes between 3kWh and 6kWh of energy daily, and some UK homeowners use solar energy to power only parts of their energy consumption, which would then reduce the number of solar panels installed.

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    Fast Payback On Additional Kws

    The cost of increasing the size of the system to 5kW is only $657 per kW. If we assume that you receive a feed-in tariff of 11.1c for every kWh you export back to the grid, it will only take 4 years to pay back the extra 2kW this is assuming that all of the additional solar power output is exported back to the grid. If you self-consume the power, it will pay back much faster. You can expect the panels to continue generating solar power for another 20 years.

    How Much Storage Capacity Do I Need


    Many solar systems supplement what is coming in from the grid to reduce your homes energy costs. Others may use a smart meter that regulates where energy is drawn from, using grid energy when panels are insufficient and putting power back into the grid when there is a surplus.

    Whats becoming more popular is storing surplus energy for times when the sun is not shining. Storage is accomplished by installing a battery bank in your house.

    Both lead-acid and lithium ions batteries are suitable for this purpose. Lead-acid batteries, like those in your vehicles, are the cheapest option. But, they do not last as long and require deep cycling to charge correctly. Lithium-ion has higher up-front costs but will last much longer.

    Batteries are rated in terms of Amp Hours, the number of hours they can run at a given Amperage. So, a 400 amp-hour battery can run at 4 amps for 100 hours. You can convert this to kWh by multiplying ti by the voltage and dividing by 1,000.

    So, a 400 amp-hour battery running at 6 volts would supply 2.4 kWh of power . If your home uses 30 kWh per day, it would require 13 batteries .

    Again, you will want to budget for a bit extra to compensate for faulty batteries, poor charging, loss to inverters, and other losses in the system.

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    Quality Vs Quantity: Panel Efficiency Isnt Everything

    Another aspect that affects the size of your system is the efficiency of the solar panels themselves. Most residential panels range from 275W to 360W. If you go with a 275 watt option, youll need several more panels to build your array.

    When it comes to solar, efficiency isnt always the most important factor to consider when you build your system. It really depends on what your specific goals are.

    For example, if you look at your solar panels primarily as an investment and a quick ROI is your biggest goal, you might be better off with a lower output, lower cost panel.

    If a panel is 50% more efficient, but costs 100% more, youre better off paying for of less efficient panels.

    -Brady Schimpf, technical marketing engineer at Ironridge

    Brady Schimpf, technical marketing engineer at Ironridge, he had a few thoughts on this matter. He said one of the most common mistakes he sees people make is that they buy into ultra-efficient, high-quality, and technically advanced system, and it might not be worth it especially if ROI is your biggest concern.

    While a lot of the proprietary systems like that have really good equipment, it is important to look at the cost per watt, he explained. He urges consumers to consider this: How much are you paying for the total wattage/production of the system?

    It doesnt really matter how efficient a panel is if it costs a lot more. If a panel is 50% more efficient, but costs 100% more, youre better off paying for of less efficient panels.

    Is It Worth Upgrading An Electric Panel For Solar

    Upgrading your panel to make it solar-ready is essential to get the full benefits from your investment and ensure that it will operate safely. If the electrical panel is not rated for the electrical load supplied by the solar panels, it could catch fire or have other issues.

    Replacing the panel is not very expensive. Generally, it can cost between $1,000-$3,000 to replace a panel, depending on the system and the quality of the new panel. Considering that typical solar installations cost $15,000 and $25,000, upgrading the breaker box is not cost-prohibitive.

    Upgrading the new panel will also give you peace of mind knowing that it can handle the power load you put on it. Many older homes were not designed with many appliances, computers, and TVs that most modern homes have.

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    It is estimated that about 13% of home fires are caused by old electrical equipment and appliances, so upgrading is generally a good idea.

    Lastly, if you plan to purchase an electric vehicle, that will require an additional 220 V outlet and a 40 amp breaker. California is shifting legislation to require homes to have this capacity, and many other states may soon follow suit.

    Do I Need to Install a Critical Load Panel?

    In addition to a new electrical panel, you may also want to evaluate the need for a critical load panel.

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    And Finally Lets Do Out The Math

    We have our three main assumptions now how do those numbers translate to an estimated number of solar panels for your home? The formula looks like this:

    Number of panels = system size / production ratio / panel wattage

    Plugging our numbers in from above, we get:

    Number of panels = 10,649 kW / 1.3 or 1.6 / 320 W

    which gives us between 20 and 25 panels in a solar array, depending on which production ratio we use . 25 panels each at 320 W results in a total system size of 8 kW, which is right around the average for EnergySage shoppers looking for a solar installer. Tada!

    What Does It Mean To Go Off

    How Many Solar Panels Do You Need?

    Off-grid living is a characteristic of housing and lifestyle.

    The term off the grid can be associated with people that decide to disconnect their homes from the national electrical grid.

    Today, going off grid is still considered the ultimate path to living rough, but it does not have to be all that serious though.

    Off-grid living can also mean people create and utilize their own utilities, like gas, water and electricity generated from solar systems .

    In general, self-sustainable off grid homes tend to be popular in locations that are more isolated from common governmental utilities like electricity.

    However, isolated homes are not the only ones that make use of solar panels to generate their own electricity.

    Off-grid living also attracts environmentally conscious, forward thinking individuals who want to reduce their ecological footprint while saving on monthly utility costs.

    • In summary, taking your home off-grid means you are able to create/supply energy, drinkable water, grow food and manage waste/wastewater for yourself.

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    Failing To Properly Calculate The Number Of Materials Required

    When it comes to buying roofing materials, the calculations can be quite complex. Most roofs have a lot of peaks and valleys, making it difficult to figure out exactly how many panels you need. There are free calculators that you can use online that may help simplify the process.

    If you are struggling to figure out how many roof panels you need or if you are afraid of making costly mistakes, don’t hesitate to hire a roofing contractor to do the project for you. They can usually complete the work much faster than you could on your own and are much less likely to make mistakes along the way.


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