How to Save Your Time and Money While Simplifying Solar Installations
With the COVID Pandemic in full force, more small businesses are shutting down than ever before. That’s why it’s especially important to cut costs where you can for your business and increase your income in the process.
Solar installation involves so many different moving parts - racking, panels, electrical, mounting, the roofing materials, and not to mention the actual costs of running a business! As solar becomes more popular it will only get more complicated, and your job would be a lot easier if it were simpler right?
We think so. So in this article, we’ll show you how to spend less time on each solar installation, which will allow you to take on more jobs, save costs in the process, and do it all without sacrificing quality.
Always Look for Innovation
The first step to success for us has always been about how to keep up with innovation. How can we, as a company, adapt and stay relevant? So consider the same from your viewpoint.
Adaptability and innovation are key to surviving the business world. Innovation is easiest achieved by revisiting problems. Are you a manufacturer? What can you do to cut down production/shipping costs and times? Engineer? What software or codes do you need to be learning to ensure best practices? Are you an installer? What tools are you using? What materials?
Anyone can benefit from revisiting their methods, habits, and workflow often to look for obstacles and problems. QuickBOLT revisits the problem of solar installation all the time. We have never been shy about talking to our customers, about the good and especially the bad. That's how we've been able to introduce innovation to solar installers repeatedly over the years. We just ask you what you need!
These big changes are hardly made in a bubble, whether it be talking to customers, competition, or working with your team to flesh out new ideas. To us, it's important to communicate how to make products more effective with the goal of growing our business by keeping our customers' business' growing as well.
It would be easy to shut out the naysayers and people who disagree with our innovative products, but that’s where the magic happens. Those are the people with an outside perspective, the people that are seeing our products differently.
Often they may not understand the product, the reason or need behind something we see as an improvement – like the Microflashing® - and simply need a more in-depth conversation about it. Other times, they have considered something we haven’t, and whenever that happens we introduce improvements to products.
This way, we are always improving our products and our customers can improve their installation methods as a result.
Stay Ahead of the Curve
Solar is a young and wild industry, we all have to adapt to constantly changing codes and the constantly changing economy. But some things never change: it's always labor being up on the roof. So how can you make your time on the roof more effective, less painful, and ultimately more profitable? One method to tackle that is still stuck in the past is flashing.
Our company has been ahead of the curve for years, 8 years to be exact. We introduced the first-ever Top Mounting solutions to the market with feedback from installers like yourselves. Listen to what your competitors are saying, what they're using, and what new methods are coming onto the scene.
As a 33 year old company, and with 8 more years of field testing than the other guys, we're confident in our innovative solutions. They may be new to you, they may be scary, but we know they work. Don't be afraid to give in to your complaints, live a little.
Read below to learn a bit about our groundbreaking QuickBOLT product before more tips on how to save yourself some of that sweet sweet moneys.
Save Money by Acknowledging Obstacles
We’ve heard it time and time again: “I hate carrying around big, bulky flashing”, “I hate lifting shingles”, “I hate pulling out nails and leaving holes on roofs”. You’ve experienced sore backs and cut knuckles. Solar installation takes time, energy, and is costly, but it doesn’t have to be if you rethink the flashing part of the installation.
Unlike traditional aluminum and other sheet metal flashings, you can install Microflashing® without lifting any shingles, and install in under 30 seconds. We'd mention other alternatives but there really isn't anything else like it.
At QuickBOLT, we have established ourselves as solar mounting innovators by finding solutions to your current, and even future problems. That’s why we introduced the Microflashing® in 2012 and changed the solar industry for the better.
It's been a long road since then, and some of the industry has been slow to change. Some of you may be thinking "well we'd change if we could, but the codes require sheet metal flashing." We're with you, some codes are stuck in the past as well. To accommodate those that insist on sheet metal flashing, we cut out fat where we could with the invention of Miniflashing®.
This is an example of compromise. The code requires you to have sheet metal flashing? Okay, fine. It may not specify that you need 12' x 12' flashing, and when it doesn't you can be happy that you have an option available. Cut a bit off the side, lop off some on the top, and boom you've got another code-compliant solution that keeps the inspectors happy, and your expenses lower.
Easier Installations = More Roofs Completed = More Money
As a business you’ll have to make the decision between learning new methods or sticking with the techniques your installers have already nailed (ha, pun). Being a 33+ year old company, we love our tried and true ways but never dismiss an opportunity to adapt. Things that will make your installations easier overall are easy: decrease installation time, stock fewer SKUs and bring fewer components up the ladder, carry fewer tools. Those are just a few to get you thinking.
Cut your installation time, increase the number of roofs you can do in a day, reduce the risk of voiding roof warranties, all while being fully code-compliant? Thousands of installers have happily jumped on the opportunities in the market nowadays by ditching convoluted mounting systems.
By eliminating extra materials with your solar arrays you can cut down on cost AND weight in parts which makes your installers’ times on the roof way easier.
Always be improving, then keep on improving.
Keep on Improving
So you're feeling good, adapted to some new systems, costs are dropping like rainfall, what's next? Keep going! You've got it, it's a process. It takes time but you can do it. Your competition will be continuously improving so why don't you?
With Microflashing® we introduced a product that bucks the status quo and then kept on improving it. We improved the design three times over since 2012.
First, we introduced the Low Profile QuickBOLT (seen above), then this past February we introduced the fastest and most efficient solar mounting system yet - the QB2 (seen below).
The original QuickBOLT and Low Profile QuickBOLT were already innovative, but we didn’t stop there. We improved the QB2 design to provide a hassle-free experience to save you time and energy on your installations. One of which was making sure installers could carry fewer tools on the roof to complete the install.
Carry Fewer Tools
Another installation cost is your set of tools. So many mounting kits require you to carry a number of different tools to install them on the roof. We kept on hearing that complaint, so again we improved our product designs.
You won’t have to worry about getting special tools and equipment for installing QB2. We put in a Dual Drive Shoulder Screw (compatible with either a standard 1/2” Hex Nut Setter or a 6mm Hex Driver) so you can use the drive that works best with the rest of the components of your array.
You know what else kicks ass and will bolster your business? Versatility. Keep on reading below to learn why.
Think about the hardware you use for each job, then think about all the different jobs you have. Think about your truck/van/storage unit/etc., then think about how much of a pain it is to organize all the different hardware for different roofs.
Versatility is key to your success, and it is key to our QB1 and QB2 mounting systems. Not only can they be installed on Asphalt Shingle, TPO, or EPDM roofs, but they are also compatible with 99% of the racking systems on the market.
That means that installers could stock those products and cut down on all the sorting, the organizing and the time wasted dealing with products that aren't as versatile.
Less is More
Ultimately, if you could carry fewer tools/materials, organize less hardware, but still knock out the same or MORE roofs in a day wouldn’t you? We think so. We love the adage “less is more” because of how it supports those goals for our customers.
Our innovations have been aimed at decreasing the burden that installers feel so that they can get more out of their jobs.
The main feature of our QB2 design is – surprise! - it has fewer features in total. The mounting kit is composed of only 3 parts versus QB1’s 4 parts. It's a simple change but one that adds up when you're installing a couple of dozen kits per array.
You’re either getting off the job faster or moving on to the next one sooner. Whether you are a residential or commercial installer or DIY master, the methods we covered in this article will help you save your time, money, and efforts up on the roof during installations and in turn, you'll reap the benefits.
QuickBOLT is THE cost-efficient solution for any type of solar mounting project.
If you agree with the adage of 'less is more' then enjoy this goldmine (video below) of comedy skits/ads we shot five years ago when I still had hair.
Admittedly, some of the videos are better than the others, and, some are incredibly embarrassing BUT they gave my girlfriend a good laugh and that was the encouragement I needed.
*NOTE - the graphics at the end of the videos are outdated as we changed the company name from SolarRoofHook to QuickBOLT, and the QuickBOLT product advertised in the video currently comes with fewer parts (which is an improvement).