Solar Panel System Aesthetics: What to Look For

As with many other aspects of a home, aesthetics is a primary concern for most residents considering a solar system installation. A properly-crafted solar array can maintain and even improve the appearance of a roof by covering unsightly roof characteristics and by accenting its overall appearance. An attractive solar array requires several key features: covering unpleasing roof characteristics, excluding visible solar components, and proper and careful design and installation.

Ugly Roof

Plumbing vents and roof staining can detract from the look of a beautiful home.

Many roof aspects are unpleasing to homeowners such as plumbing vents, roof sag, discoloration (asphalt shingle roofs), and fading/rusting (metal roofs) and these aspects can worsen over time. A properly-designed system will modify plumbing vents to accommodate solar panels, making them totally invisible from the ground. Most solar racking systems have height adjustment capabilities so that systems can be flushed even on wavy roofs. A solar system will also hide discoloration and fading that roofs experience as they age and help prevent those effects altogether by shielding them from the two biggest causes of roof deterioration—moisture and sunlight.

Another critical feature of an attractive solar array is hiding the various mechanical and electrical components necessary for the function of a solar system. A quality system will have all mechanical attachments and junction boxes inside the array, where they cannot be seen. When possible (the vast majority of the time), electrical should be run through the attic, eliminating the need for rooftop conduit runs. This is one of the most systematically-ignored features of aesthetically-pleasing solar systems, especially by the national installation companies. Lastly, systems should be designed to minimize electrical components, preventing a multitude of devices having to be installed by the meter.

Ugly Exposed Roof-Top Electrical

Electrical components should be routed through the attic

Poorly Designed Ugly Electrical

Improperly managed electrical can ruin an otherwise attractive looking system

Finally, there is proper design and installation. Expert designers will arrange solar panels in a neat row-column format, giving the array an intentional, organized look. Experienced installers will mount the panels flush, straight, and centered inside the roof face. Improper design can give system layouts a jagged, unprofessional look.

Bad Panel Layout

Nova Solar takes the same tremendous pride in the craftsmanship of our systems that our customers take in their homes. That’s why every system we install is not only designed for optimal performance but also for industry-leading aesthetics.

A Beautiful Solar Installation

To see more photos of our work check out our Instagram Profile. As always, if you have any questions or are interested in getting a quote for your home, please fill our online form, email us at, or give us a call at (703) 679-8607.

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