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The 3 Best Solar Roof Systems for Residents in Maryland


The best solar roof system for residents in Maryland is GAF’s Timberline Solar™ Shingles. The next best system is Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles, and the third best is traditional solar panels.

Do you want to produce solar energy on your Maryland rooftop? Keep reading because we researched and compared the best solar systems available in the state.

This article will illustrate how these three options rank when compared to one another. See our easy-to-follow decision-making.

The 3 Best Solar Roof Systems

Here’s the ranking for the best systems to add solar generation to your home’s rooftop. We will briefly describe each option and then get down to the factors influencing the ranking.

1.    GAF’s Timberline Solar™ Shingles

These cutting-edge shingles are installed by a roofing contractor using traditional roofing equipment. The shingles blend into surrounding shingles for a low-profile design with better aesthetics than traditional solar panels.

2.    Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles

Tesla’s solar shingles have been on the market since 2016. These sleek shingles have the advantage of seamlessly integrating solar and non-solar tiles for the most aesthetic design on the market.

3.    Traditional Solar Panels

A variety of solar companies offer traditional solar panels. These panels are mounted onto an existing roof or structure.

Installation Comparisons

Let’s look into how these systems compare to one another in the installation process.

GAF Timberline Solar™ Installation

Roofing contractors install GAF Timberline Solar™ Shingles. Using only GAF-certified roofing contractors means you can match your warranty options with the lifespan of the entire roof.

Using roofing contractors means installation costs for the whole roof will typically be lower than the other options.

Tesla Solar Tiles

Tesla Solar Tiles are installed by Tesla’s in-house crews using specialized equipment. Even though the final appearance is top-notch, installation for the tiles is usually the most expensive.

Traditional Solar Panels

To install traditional solar panels, you will need the services of a solar company. The solar company isn’t a roofing contractor. You can also install these panels on top of an existing roof.

Not redoing the roof means that short-term costs for panel installation are the lowest cost solar system.

However, any major roof repairs will require labor from two different crews in the future. You will have to hire both roofing contractors and solar crews.

Warranty Comparisons

Another factor in our decision was longevity. We used warranties to compare longevity.

GAF Solar Shingles Tesla Solar Tiles Traditional Solar Panels
25 Years 25 Years 20 Years

On the surface, these warranties all seem very similar.

In the warranty terms and conditions, we see the caveat that both Tesla and traditional solar panels share.

GAF Solar Shingles Tesla Solar Tiles Traditional Solar Panels
50 Years Non-prorated 10 Years Non-prorated Usually Prorated

GAF Energy will offer the full value or replacement for the life of the warranty. The other two options will begin pro-rating the cost after a set time.

That means GAF honors the full warranty for the entire warranty period. The other solar system options will provide you with a fraction of the value based on the age of the system.

For the Tesla roof, owners get a reduction in coverage after just 10 years, less than half of the warranty span.

Cost of Solar Systems Comparison


GAF’s Timberline Solar™ Solar Shingle

GAF’s solar shingles has the lowest solar shingle installation cost. The cost is lower because roofing contractors the solar shingles using standard equipment.

And although the overall cost of solar shingles is higher than traditional panels, the estimated price per watt is lower for solar roof options because more of the roof is utilized to produce energy.

Tesla Solar Tiles

Tesla’s solar roof is one of the most expensive options on the market when looking at the total cost. The tiles are expensive to produce and must be installed by specialized in-house crews.

However, solar roofs use more of the roof’s surface area to generate electricity, so the estimated price per watt is better than traditional solar panels.

Traditional Solar Panels

Traditional solar panels are the cheapest option for purchase and installation. In the long run, their shorter life span and limited rooftop area will reduce their output.

So even though traditional solar panels are the cheapest short-term option, they may not be the best solar option for your long-term financial goals.

Solar Roof Systems Conclusion

Whether you choose GAF Timberline Solar™ Shingles, Tesla Roof Tiles, or traditional panels, you are improving your residence!

All three options will increase home value and reduce your carbon footprint.

If you want the most accessible installation and longest warranty coverage, you’ll want to select GAF Solar Shingles and have them installed by a local Master Elite Contractor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are solar panels more expensive than a solar roof?

Solar panels are cheaper than solar roofs in terms of overall cost. However, a solar roof has a lower estimated price per watt. That is because more of the roof’s surface is used.

What are the drawbacks of solar power?

The biggest drawbacks of solar power include the waste of used solar panels and the limitations of solar. For example, the location or shape of the roof may not provide energy. Solar roofs do not generate power at night.