Can I Install A Do It Yourself (DIY) Solar System

Installing DIY Systems

Potential solar owners now have the option of installing their own system in a unique, hands-on experience that also benefits them with substantial savings on labor.

As much as 30 to 50% of the system cost can be saved by the DIYer, making this a fantastic return on investment. SolarPod has been designing and supplying self-installed (DIY) solar systems for over 14years. We have outfitted 100s of customers with our DIY systems via Lowes and Menards online stores, and our own web store. 

Our Kits Include:

  • Engineering documentation required to obtain permits. 
  • Prefabricated solar system including solar modules, inverters, racking, and shipping.
  • Manuals, datasheets, and instructional videos to support installation.
  • Tech support and guidance to make the project a success.

It can take anywhere from 1 to 2 months to go through the permitting process with the utility company. Once all permits have been approved, installation can take a few days to a couple of weeks depending on how large and how involved the DIYer is with the project. Once installed, inspections from local building and electrical officials must be completed before the utility will allow for the system to turn on. 

Should I DIY?

Itis essential to evaluate if one has the skills, talents, energy, time, and resources to do a DIY project.

Your project will be a success if you are a handy person who has: 

  1.  Building and/or electrical skill and experience.
  2.  Access to tools to cut rails, bend conduit, torque bolts, and complete other necessary steps for solar installation. 
  3.  Willingness to work safely on roof (for roof installations). 
  4.  Knows or can read code compliance to install equipment to current electrical code.


  1.  Access to help from others with the qualifications listed above.


  1.  Willingness to learn the above qualifications knowing that building a solar system is complex and does require understanding of home building and electrical code.

To be successful with your DIY system, it is important to be knowledgeable in some areas of electrical wiring and structural reinforcement. Many qualified local electricians who have home wiring knowledge can learn how to install a system successfully on their own. 

How to Complete a DIY Project

There are 7 main steps to a typical DIY installation:

1. Planning:   

  • How much solar is needed? (What are you trying to produce electricity for or offset?)
  • What is the physical size (sq ft.) present in the location?  
  • What are the obstructions (trees, buildings, poles, etc.)?  
  • What is the best option, rooftop, or ground? 
  • Do I need a net metered grid-tied, off-grid, or hybrid system?

        Note: Grid-tied is the simplest and most cost-effective installation option.

2. Choice:   

  • Standard design: If you are buying one of our prefabricated minimal effort systems (Models 1001 through 1008) purchase can be made on our webstore without the need for a contract.
  • Custom Design: If the project uses custom design you can pick from the options for custom system that tailors to your specific system requirements. (Sloped roof custom system).

3. Design:

  • SolarPod will design once planning and choice are made. The design will include a layout with line diagrams and site plans that are PE Stamped and ready for permitting. Custom system designs will be tailored to your home.

4. Permitting:

  • With the design plans (plan set) provided by SolarPod, DIYer can submit to the authorities having jurisdiction (utility, state, and building) a permit application for approval. The DIYer must obtain the appropriate forms and submit to the right authorities to obtain permits. SolarPod will support all appropriate technical details to fill in the forms at this step.  

5. Shipping:

  • SolarPod will ship materials directly to the requested site. Receiving materials will require someone to be present, shipment is palletized and typically heavy.

6. Installation:

  • Once permitting is completed and materials received, DIYer must study the manuals, get familiar with the components, and have a good plan on execution of the system. The installation must meet and exceed code. DIYer may need skilled labor help to complete the installation to code compliance. 

7. Commissioning:

  • The final step includes inspection of the system by the authorities having jurisdiction and obtaining approval to turn on the system (utility company). Once the inspections are complete, the system is ready to turn on. There may be steps to install monitoring of the system by connecting to the local router/modem. Once the monitoring is set up, you can enjoy the system.

Advantages of SolarPod DIY systems: 

  1. Prefabricated, plug, and play systems that provide easy installation.
  2. Use of our own patented racking - the only non-penetrating sloped-roof racking solution on the market.
  3. No roof holes in rooftop systems, no need to find rafters or joists.
  4. All instructions and details for construction provided.
  5. PE Stamped plan set for all 50 States.
  6. Completely UL listed components, shipped right to your door with appropriate quantities for the completion of your project.*
  7. Great tech support.

*Conduit, disconnects, and PV line are to be sourced locally to accommodate individual utility requirements and conduit runs can be built to system owner's preference. SolarPod will be happy to provide further insight into these areas upon request.

Do It Yourself!

We strongly encourage anyone considering solar to explore a DIY system. Doing It Yourself provides a lot of self-control which means you can understand exactly how the system works providing the system longevity, stability, repairability and serviceability. Installing solar yourself helps to reduce costs significantly, making your return on investment greater. Install a SolarPod Grid-tied or Standalone system today! 

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