The cost to install a home solar energy system has fallen rapidly over the past few years, and prices continue to decline. If you’re thinking about going solar, there’s no better time than during the design process for your new home. When you incorporate solar into your new home’s construction, you take advantage of solar’s environmental and financial benefits without having to retrofit your home with a solar installation later down the road.

In addition, owners of new residential and commercial solar can deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes thanks to the investment tax credit (ITC), also known as the federal solar tax credit.

If you think you want to install home solar energy, here are a few things you’ll need to consider:

Orient the home for solar panels
It is important to have a large south-facing roof. If your home has a rectangular shape, one of the long sides should face south. This provides more roof space for your solar panels. You’ll need plenty of space if you want your solar system to produce all the electricity your house will consume throughout the year. A small south-facing roof will limit your space for panels, decreasing the possible size of the array.

Have a roof pitch of 30 to 45 degrees
The angle of the solar panels impacts the solar energy production. Mounting your solar panels at an ideal angle will increase the solar electricity output throughout the year. If solar panels are placed at a steep angle, they produce more electricity in the winter because the sun is lower in the sky. When panels are installed at a 0-degree angle, they produce more electricity in the summer because the sun is higher in the summer sky.

Strategically place dormers, vents, and chimneys
Solar systems generate the most electricity when they are completely unshaded, especially in the middle of the day. Even vents, dormers, and chimneys can create shadows on the panels, decreasing your energy output. It is important to strategically place these building features to maximize the energy production of your system and available space for mounting solar panels.Avoid trees and building obstructions
Trees and buildings can shade your solar panels, causing a significant reduction in your solar energy production. When building a new home, locate the home clear from obstructions that will shade your solar panels. Even deciduous trees create branch shade during the winter months, significantly decreasing your energy production. If some shade is unavoidable, select solar equipment that is specifically designed for shaded conditions.

Do you or a member of your household use a wheelchair to get around? If so, you may benefit from modifying to make your home wheelchair accessible. Making some basic adjustments can be a great help for accessibility.  The key is to consider how you can promote independent living and provide a safe, easy to maneuver living space. 

Modify Your Home Entrance

The entrance to your home is a top concern. Build a wheelchair ramp for each entrance of the house. The costs of constructing a ramp will vary depending on its size and materials. Make sure the pathway is wide enough, consider handrails, and use a non-slip surface and a cover. You can also opt for a vertical platform lift if a ramp isn’t possible. 

Make Floors Safer for Travel

Floors can be problematic if you travel from room to room on wheels. If your house is decorated with carpets and rugs, it may be time for a change. Tile or hardwood flooring is ideal, but you can also use a low-pile carpet. Install rubber ramps to make thresholds safer, and cover any exposed cords on the floor. 

Widen Doorways for Easy Navigation

One of the most difficult areas to navigate while in a wheelchair is through a doorway. You can provide a safer and more pleasant experience for yourself or your loved one by widening the doorways in your home. Caroline Contractors can help adjust your home’s structure to accommodate a wheelchair. 

Create A Safer Kitchen

You can make positive changes in your kitchen, too. By lowering countertops, installing appliances that are easy to reach and providing roll-out storage units, you can make your kitchen safe and easier to use. You can also install a sink that allows the individual to roll his or her wheelchair underneath it. Adjust the location of all controls and outlets, and use rocker switches for lighting. 

For more information about how to make your home wheelchair accessible, Call Caroline Contractors at 813-931-4611 and let us help you build your dreams.