Solar Roof

Should I cancel the roof?

After reading over all the threads in this Solar Roof form they all seem to have one thing in common. Awful customer support, paired with incompetence, and long...very long waits for every step of the process.

Started the process in May 2020 took over a month to get anyone to return our phone call. Went through a few advisors and finally got one who would call us back.

Long story short at every step of the process its like pulling teeth.

They have pushed back install dates 6 times already and after looking at all the install threads on here - none of them seem to have gone smoothly.

Tesla dropped of two pallets of materials that has been sitting on our street for the past few weeks, with an install date that keeps getting pushed farther and father back.

Thinking of cutting our losses and terminating the roof. Thoughts?
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Comments

  • Well, we're all different and I'm not in your flip flops, but it all comes down to personal preference. Being a super-patient type with high standards and aesthetics, one who appreciates that there may be technical, managerial and logistical obstacles with this new technology even in the best of times, let alone during the pandemic, I would adjust my expectations accordingly and stick with the original plan no matter how long it took to execute. Look at it from a long-term perspective and remind yourself why you chose this roof to begin with. Focus on the positive install stories (yes, they do exist, I'm sure you've read them) and learn from the negative ones shared here. Maybe these delays are part of weeding out the bad actors so that you get a decent contractor and Tesla crew that will do a good job on your roof. The company is still growing and learning how to be efficient, so I would cut them a lot of slack. Just make sure those pallets don't get stollen from your street in the next 6 months while you wait :)
    Good luck and do report back on the rest of your experience.
  • Keep in mind every house is different, and in a different local, with different building codes. Often delays are caused by building departments that have never dealt with a solar roof and don't quite know how to handle it. Most seems to understand it and have little problems. My permits were approved in a week. Installation was delayed about 4 weeks, but that was due to weather, which was fine with me. Installation was very high quality, but we had a few issues (dry rot), which Tesla took care of without a problem. Seems most problems customers have are getting the process started, as I expect Tesla has far more people interested than the capacity to create tiles and install, which leads to frustrations for those who want results instantly.

    With the materials on-site, it sounds like they are through most of the hard parts and just need the install team. With COVID that can make it more difficult, but I'd hang in there. The end results are impressive. Lots of people comment on my roof as it's the first one in our area. I've seen 2 more go up since my roof within 6 blocks.
  • I don't see why you need to worry, they have been doing this for many years now. keep in mind they installed these units as solar city before they merged with Tesla. You just need to be patient.
  • Are there any other solar roofs in your area? When I first ordered I assumed it was a ready to go product in Seattle. But as time went on it became clear that it was not that. It's more of an enthusiast thing and we are the ones camping out in front of the line to get the first products in our respective areas. In that context, all we can do is get to know the people camping out with us and have some fun along the way.
  • Silver2k, Solar City never installed Solar Roofs. The Solar Roof is a Tesla Energy product.
  • > @avid_98123008 said:
    > Are there any other solar roofs in your area? When I first ordered I assumed it was a ready to go product in Seattle. But as time went on it became clear that it was not that. It's more of an enthusiast thing and we are the ones camping out in front of the line to get the first products in our respective areas. In that context, all we can do is get to know the people camping out with us and have some fun along the way.

    @david, I am in Snohomish County to the north and would like to know how it goes on your project. We will be starting our rebuild process in calendar '21 which will replace all roof trusses, and obviously all current roofing.

    First item I am concerned about is the 25 year material and power warranty. It seems very short. Have five homes with 40 year roofs and one with 37 solar panels. The panels produce well. The next house will have a southern exposure for optimal collecting. As you probably know, 40 year roofs last 35 years at best in the Pacific NW.
  • I would be very reluctant to make a Solar Roof a part of a much larger project. Horror stories abound here, with significant delays and just plain ghosting by the Tesla team. I'd be afraid that I'd be without a roof of any type, during a rainstorm.
  • To the original poster, yes, you should run screaming from Tesla if it's not too late. Sorry for the hyperbole -- but it's not really. I am in the SF Bay Area market -- the install stories out of Southern CA and other market seem to be less grim. I don't have the energy or wherewithal to detail the complete saga of the nightmare of my install -- but it has truly been the worst customer experience of my life, hands down. Their operational management is practically non-existent, and many of the crews they send out are incompetent and inexperienced. I got on the waiting list in November of 2019, and my install didn't start until June of 2020. The production is nowhere near what they promised, the designers can't even get the compass orientation of my house right, they have missed multiple deadlines, they have damaged my home -- and time and again they have displayed utter disorganization and incompetence. I am truly nervous about the quality and maintenance issues I will face in years to come given how badly they have handled literally every step of the process so far. I strongly fear I'm going to end up having to litigate. So yes -- stay very far away from this company, if you can. They have proven to me repeatedly that they simply don't know what they're doing.
  • Wow, my experience is the polar opposite of BLD. Ordered in October 2019, installed in January 2020 in SF bay area. Very professional in working with Tesla and the installation. It was delayed about a month due to the weather, which was fine with me. BLD has been a long time complainer, so I don't know if he's real or not or just a competitor bashing Tesla (anyone can post here). If he's real, I feel sorry for him, but it is not at all normal. Several other solar roofs when in after mine within blocks of me and they went on even faster than my roof install. They look great too.
  • TeslaTap, One thing to consider is that your installation was pre-COVID impact.

    FWIW, COVID seems to have wreaked havoc extraordinarily on Tesla Energy customer service. It's not an excuse, but an observation.

    My experiences (not in 2020) with Solar City and Tesla Energy, much like TeslaTap's, has been exemplary.
  • I'm in the middle of my install. The advisor / permit team were unbearably annoying with their lack of communication. So far, the tear off crew and plywood / underlayment crew have been good. Waiting on the solar roof to be installed in 3 weeks. Had major rain yesterday and no leaks so I am happy with that.
  • TeslaTap, I assure you I’m “real” and do not work for a competitor, I could just as easily accuse you of working for Tesla. What an obnoxious and rude thing to say about another user, but that is not your first time doing that — so I should not be surprised. I am a long time “complainer” because Tesla has given me a litany of causes. Congratulations on getting lucky with your installation experience — but you’re a real piece of work to insult me for mine.

    Tesla had the compass orientation of my house wrong by 45 degrees in their design, they punctured sprinklers in the tear off, the initial crew installed much of the flashing badly and they had to call in a new crew to start over, they couldn’t get the specs right for the emergency disconnect with the County for two months, the production was obviously way off the moment they turned it on, it took me three months to convince them of that, they finally did a new design, which their crew promptly punted on because apparently their designers never had accurate measurements of my roof from the very start despite multiple drone flyovers and photos, they left equipment and a portable toilet on site for weeks despite no work being done, they left nails in my driveway that punctured tires, they destroyed a bush with their ladders at the edge of my house, and now finally they’ve conceded they just never had the right design and are writing down the contract, providing some extra “goodwill” and still need to paint parts of my house where their bad flashing job marred things. And that list is not exhaustive— just what comes straight to mind.

    There have been a few shining spots of some good guys working for them — the electrician who installed the Powerwalls was fantastic and went beyond the extra mile for me, and the lead of the second roof crew was also great.

    But these guys alone could not make up for the gross and hideous mismanagement I have suffered almost literally every day because of this project. I still won’t be done with them for months despite this having started in June.

    So TeslaTap, if that makes me a fake or a complainer, then you deserve stronger words than I’ll put here. Count yourself lucky you had a great install experience and quit diminishing those of us who did not.
  • And back to the original poster or anyone else starting or considering proceeding with a solar roof, my advice would be to demand a detailed walk through of the installation plan with the actual lead electrician and roof team lead for your house BEFORE they touch anything. And examine your blueprints with a fine tooth comb and challenge the leads above to guarantee in writing that they can do what’s on the plans. And be prepared to micromanage and watch the crews every day like a hawk and take lots of photos and ask for a summary ever day.
  • @BLD - I apologize and back off my assertions. There are times when it appears some are not who they say they are and are shorters or competitors. When someone states everyone has the same problem they do, when clearly they have no idea if anyone else has such issues, it raises credibility questions, as does repeating them over and over.

    You clearly had a lot of problems. It seems many of them could have been avoided with a little more observance at the start of the project. Having a bad crew clearly was not good and hopefully, Tesla fired that crew.

    You offer good suggestions on how to get a good install no matter the vendor. I don't think you need to micromanage the project, but it is worth it to be vigilant and observe and ask questions, especially before the start of any major house project.
  • @TeslaTap - I reject your sanctimonious, half-hearted apology. "I apologize, BUT blah blah blah" is no apology. You're still making claims about me without substance. I never stated everyone has the issues I have had with Tesla, although the number of complaints on this forum clearly show my experiences are far from unusual at the very least. Even your "little more observance" is judgmental -- fwiw I *did* point out a lot of these flaws in the design before anything started and was assured by the regional operations manager not to worry about it. My mistake was putting too much trust in their reputation, competence, organization and verbal assurances. I have given feedback to other users in this forum just as you have -- but I have not cast judgment on others' opinions like you have done with me and others.
  • Hang in there. My project is 99% complete and I'm very happy with how it turned out. (I posted some thoughts in this forum.)

    Here's my timeline...and this is gonna sound crazy, but this is how it played out:
    -Nov '19: Placed order
    -Jan '20: Design accepted and agreement signed
    -Jun '20: Install started
    -Aug '20: 80% complete
    -Sep '20: 90% complete (PTO from utility)
    -Dec '20: 99% complete
    So, a little over a year from start to finish.

    My biggest piece of advice - you are going to have to be prepared to play project manager. That's just the way it is - Solar back office is overwhelmed and can take days to respond to emails/phone calls. I kept a list of names and phone numbers and made hundreds of calls to keep things moving. Also, I was fortunate to have a very experienced crew and foreman. Something you might want to ask about before construction starts.
  • @BLD - Ok, I agree that there is no pleasing you. Your attitude might have far more do with some of the problems you encountered.
  • @TeslaTap -- if you had offered a heartfelt mea culpa that did not equivocate, I would have gladly accepted your apology. We all have knee-jerk stupid moments when we are unnecessarily rude. But you seem incapable of doing so and even now continue to pontificate about the source of my "attitude." Try holding up the mirror to your own high-handed words sitting in judgment of others' experiences and see what kind of "attitude" that would cause in you if you were on the receiving end.

    I should never have responded to your nonsense in a public forum -- and for that, I sincerely apologize to the rest of the readers trying to distill through these threads for useful information.
  • @NDNFO -- sounds like your timeline was almost identical to mine. Curious what market you're in? Again, mine was in the SF Bay Area. Did you run into any problems beyond just things taking a huge amount of time to finish? I also had literally hundreds of phone calls and emails to get to where I finally am now (which is not good but as good as I think Tesla will ever achieve).
  • Hello & happy holidays everyone...
    I'm not sure how someone who has their mind set on something would read this, but for the OP - my advise is be patient and follow the good advise you've been given.
    My timeline:
    -5/22/2017 put in my deposit($1000) for the Solar Tesla Roof
    -Today PTO...
    from 2017 till today(12/31/20)
    it's been a crazy journey and I could go into the crazy details of my installation, but I just wanted to answer the OP with my thoughts and that's be patient if you want the thing bad enough it will bear fruit....I'm in NY-LI so we get things alot later than most of the country and we have 4-seasons...
    Good luck whichever direction you choose and if I can offer any assist let me know...I'm going to "find" time and post up my documentation of the process but:
    -be patient
    -ask alot of question
    -do your research and ask more questions
    Good Luck!
  • @DarkOthello- thanks for the info. My situation in Virginia is similar as I made a $1,000 deposit in August 2017. Good you are installed. I am waiting for the “Slate” version. Did you get the “Textured” version? Thanks.
  • @grins.va - Only the textured version is available now. I wonder if the slate version (which looks nice in the pictures) will be sold. I found the textured tiles very slippery and you need special deck shoes to walk on it. I'd expect the slate to be far more slippery. I also found the textured roof has quite a bit of reflection on some sun angles. The slate roof would be more like a mirror and could be blinding. Anyway, a couple of thoughts when deciding between the two. I am happy with the textured look.
  • My beigeish, brick faced colonial will not look right with a black roof. I was offered the textured version early last year but declined for the this reason.

    The original photos (two dimensions) of the prototype slate version appeared to show significant surface texture so I am not sure how slippery it will be if ever put into production. Time may tell.

    The original terra-cotta version did look extremely slippery.
  • I did like the slate-style too! Hopefully, it will get into production. If it does have a similar texture, then I wouldn't have any concerns.
  • Here's my timeline:
    Feb. '20: Agreement signed.
    March '20: Construction began.
    June '20: Major construction finished.
    Nov. '20: PTO
    Jan. '21: About 95% complete.

    As others have said, you have to be patient and be prepared to be the project manager (lots of questions, phone calls, and e-mails). The work crews were mostly really great, but they were there to do one specific thing and no one was in charge of the overall project. If I hadn't kept pushing, I don't think we would have even gotten to the "major construction finished" stage.
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