It’s said, “Mother knows best.”
Why is that? Simply put, it’s because she’s the person that always sees the best in you.
John Hardy with Divided Sky Roofing and Solar has taken the saying one step further and believes you can add Mother Nature to the equation.
Over the last dozen years Hardy has been making a name for himself as being a leader in the roofing industry. But over the last year he’s expanded his business to include solar roofing to his lineup of services.
Through his partnership with GAF Energy, Hardy became aware of the company’s solar roofing commitment and wanted to learn more.
“I told them I wanted to get into their solar roofing program and thought it wouldn’t just be a neat thing to offer, but something that could save people some money while being good stewards of the environment,” Hardy said. “So, they reached out to us last fall since we were a Master Elite Contractor; we’ve even won the President’s Award which put us in the top one percent of all installers.”
Hardy said he began working and promoting solar at the perfect time, when the company released a new product last January during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
“We spoke with them, believed in the product they were selling, and made an investment in it,” Hardy said. “During the show the company won a dozen awards for their innovation.”
Hardy said getting into solar was a little overwhelming at first but with the support of GAF it has been a “breeze.”
“They are committed to making sure we can be the best we can be and have provided tons of training,” Hardy added. “They created the first ‘nailable solar shingle’ so the install is very similar to a regular roof.
“GAF is the largest manufacturer of roofing material in North America and most of the shingles are made up of roofing materials they already produce so they didn’t have to reinvent the wheel. They provide all the electrical and design work to make sure everything electrical is up to code. GAF support and commitment to this product is phenomenal.”
Hardy said there’s a variety of solar options roofers are selling, primarily panels. He said the great thing about his product is that it is customizable and low profile.
“Basically, every house we do gets a custom roof. You’ve got different corners and cuts you can make; and GAF figured out how to fix those problems making it easy to install,” Hardy added. “They’ve got a much better warranty and we can do a full roof and similar timeframe as a traditional roof.”
Hardy said the material they use, Timberline solar shingles, are the only solar products available on the market that are UL certified as a roof covering — even without solar working.
“The shingle is super low profile so people like the way it looks,” Hardy said. “When you look at it, it looks just like a regular roof.”
Hardy said the warranties for solar are 25 years and what’s unique is it covers the power output.
“Not only do they warrant the usefulness of the product in terms of waterproofing, leaking and not tearing up while producing power, they’re warranting the amount of power it produces for 25 years,” Hardy said. “So, 20 years from now, if they say it’s going to make X amount of power and it doesn’t, they’re going to write your checks for the difference.”
Hardy said the shingles last about five years longer than the typical solar panels and have a better warranty that’s all inclusive.
“What’s great right now is you can get a 26 percent investment tax credit,” Hardy said. “Whatever you spend on the solar system you get that back. If you spend $10,000, you’re going to get $2,600 worth of tax credits. If the new inflation bill passes it will increase the tax credit even more, to 30 percent for another 10 years, plus there are a ton of rebates to upgrade your electrical work.”
It’s fully transferable should the house sell, Hardy said. It also adds approximately four percent value to homes when installed, too.
As a bonus, Divided Sky Roofing and Solar is an elite Pearl contractor. The Pearl Certification helps homeowners capture the value of their home improvement investment for resale and appraisal with a Pearl Certification report and completed appraisal addendum. While manufacturers of high-efficiency equipment may certify their products, Pearl thoroughly vets all of their contractors in its elite network.
“I think as solar becomes more popular, and energy prices continue to rise, you’re going to see more people looking for homes with solar,” Hardy said. “It’s going to be an asset for your home. You’re essentially locking in the price of your power.”
Above, a home with solar panels installed by Divided Sky Roofing and Solar. Divided Sky recently completed the largest Timberline solar roof of its kind in Texas. Photo courtesy of Divided Sky Roofing and Solar
Hardy said your electrical bill could fluctuate based on the home’s air conditioner and a homeowner’s lifestyle, but the price shouldn’t change much.
“Right now, you essentially rent power,” Hardy added. “You have no control over what your electricity bill is going to be. It does cost more initially, but you must think of it like a fixed rate mortgage on your house. As the cost of energy increases you keep the price of your energy the same.”
The cost of having a solar roof varies according to the size of the roof and the customers’ needs according to Hardy.
A factory just broke ground on a manufacturing plant in Georgetown that will be making the solar shingles Hardy is using. Just down the road in Pflugerville, Divided Sky Roofing and Solar just completed the largest Timberline solar roof of its kind in Texas.
“I don’t know why every home doesn’t have solar,” said Matt Darst, who works for Hardy. “I was skeptical at first but once you do your research it totally makes sense.”