Many customers enter the Do-It-Yourself Solar process confused, nervous and often times questioning their confidence when taking on such a project.
In truth, installing your own solar energy kit isn’t as difficult as you may think. Does it take some work? Yes! Do you need a construction background to do it right? Definitely not. So why not follow in the footsteps of thousands of other DIY solar customers to save thousands on your solar project?
Quickly build confidence as you move through the step-by-step project timeline below. If you get stuck or need questions answered, we’re here to support you with start-to-finish design advice and post-sale tech support.
Since 2002, we’ve helped thousands of customers research, design and install their DIY solar systems with confidence.
Whether you choose a 100% DIY approach, or hire a local contractor to help with installation and electrical hookup, everything you need to conquer your DIY solar project starts right here on this page.
We’ve created tons of videos, articles, tutorials, guides and tools to make the whole process simple and easy to follow.
Ready? Let’s get started...
Solar energy systems can pay for themselves in only a few years by taking advantage of reduced utility bills and available incentives from local, state and federal tax credits.
Read the article to learn how to calculate solar’s value as a long-term investment. In a rush? Here’s the ROI formula:
(Total Installed System Cost - 30% Federal Tax Credit) ÷ Value of Electricity Generated ÷ Your Annual Electricity Usage = Payback Time
Use our Solar Cost Calculator to estimate your system size for Off-Grid, Grid-Tie or Grid-Tie + Energy Storage solar energy package solutions.
The most important choice is the type of system you need.
Grid-Tie or Grid-Tie + Energy Storage systems (if you want battery backup) are designed for properties “tied” to utility access. Off-Grid systems are self-sustained and designed to deliver power without access to the grid.
Not sure what size solar energy package you need to cover your monthly usage?
Use our Solar Calculators to get a tailored system size estimate based on your zip code and some basic power usage data (found on your energy bill). The calculator will provide an early estimate of cost and space requirements to give you a sense of the scope for your project.
Over the years, we’ve compiled a massive database of articles and tools in our Solar Information Center to aid your research. It’s free to access by anyone.
To dive even deeper (and become a DIY Solar Expert), we offer in-depth guides on important solar topics, tax credits and core solar system components. Subscribe once and receive all solar guides for free. (We NEVER share your information with any third party.)
Speak with our Design Techs early in the process---they’re here to help! Customers who seek help early nearly always have a smoother process from planning to installation. While not incredibly difficult, buying and installing solar can pose unforeseen issues. Our knowledgeable design team can catch problems early on, and our tech team reviews all diagrams and plans to ensure your system is up to code.
When you’re ready to choose your solar system kit or custom package, browse our Products and let the fun begin! Your design tech is available to help put your order together.
All of our Off Grid and Grid Tie package pages clearly list the components and parts for your selected system, or necessary for any customized solar power solution.
We only feature brands we trust that have a stable history in the solar industry.
For most installations, you will need a permit to ensure your system and installation is up to code in your local area or state. This is especially true for all Grid-Tie system installations.
Our design techs can offer valuable insights to help you navigate the permitting process. We can even recommend outside services to handle permitting for you.
For more permitting guidance, download our Solar Permit Guide below.
Obviously, a full solar power system package isn’t wrapped in a small shipping box. Your solar kit arrives on large, heavy pallet, and will need to be inspected on delivery to ensure you’re ready to start your installation.
Make sure you understand freight shipping logistics and have enough space available to receive your order. Watch the video below for an overview of the process:
Thanks for checking out DIY Solar basics. As you can see, almost anyone can install solar with the right information, confidence and support.
Now, Let’s Learn HOW to Power Your Own Way!
Make your experience and concern selections, then sign up for our Free DIY Solar Boot Camp.
"When the system came I was initially a bit overwhelmed by the amount of stuff, but the WWS website had videos that, within 25 minutes had me ready to do the job. Many folks have asked me about my system and are surprised that I did it myself, or that one can do it on your own. Every roof!"
"Just finished the install and found all the components to be of great quality and fit. Ian was great, helpful and professional. I completed the install myself, so I found the install instructions with each item to be helpful. When I did have questions I just called Ian and got my answers."
"I did a lot of research and Wholesale Solar kept coming up with the best reviews, plus local people that had worked with Wholesale Solar previously raved about them. I was paired up with Cheyenne as my contact. She ALWAYS treated me with respect and patiently answered all my questions (treated me with customer service rarely found in today’s world)."
"Jeremy Allen at Wholesale Solar advised me with competence and patience, going through several commutations before I understood everything and could make a decision. I did some comparison shopping and found that their pricing was very fair, considering that they take responsibility for delivering a complete and well designed system."
"They gave me all the support I needed to apply for permits, and information on how to assemble the system. When I had questions Wil was there to help. Since I completed my system, my neighbor has bought and installed his system from Wholesale solar; my cousin saw my system and also bought two systems from them."
"Purchased a 6kW off grid system from Wil. I had no previous solar experience, some previous homeowner type electrical work: installing a new circuit, adding a sub panel, etc... Bolted everything together following the manuals, closed the breakers and all worked. Had a few questions/calls on tuning and maximizing performance and all were answered promptly."
"Wholesale Solar and John Grenvik where a pleasure to do business with. I found it interesting and quite unusual that John would not let me up-size my battery bank beyond what my panels would support on my off grid system, as he said I would be destroying the batteries by their not getting a full charge. How's that for looking out for the customer even at the expense of additional sales."
"Wholesale Solar and Jeremy Champt were the greatest to work with. They helped with all my needs to make the DYI project as smooth as possible. Wasn't sure about ordering from an online company, much less from California since I'm in PA. And indeed they did deliver as promised. Thanks for all your help with making it a great experience!"
"I came across Wholesale Solar's website and found out that we could purchase a system and install it ourselves. I researched their products and called several times with questions. Wil was readily available to answer every question, spent time looking at pictures that I sent of our property, and gave us several options that he felt would work well.
"I have been looking for a reasonable DIY solar kit off and on for years. After coming across wholesale solar I had a few questions. From the first response I felt like I was respected and valued as a customer. Which is pretty rare these days. I would highly recommend Wholesale solar to anyone looking for a kit at a great price and fantastic service before and after the sale."
"I purchased a self install solaredge system package from Wholesale Solar a year ago and they were helpful before and after the sale. This year my parents bought a similar system and the experience was just as positive. Everyone from Ian Shurtleff the design/sales rep to the people at the warehouse were helpful and friendly."
"Even though I had never done an installation before the wiring diagram they provided was custom to the job. I still had questions along the way and the staff always took the time to help, particularly Jeremy Champt who spent a lot of time with me. I couldn't have asked for anything more."
"I purchased an approximate 10kw ground mount system which included the electrical diagram and all vendor documents. It was a straightforward installation without any code issues with the AHJ or the local electric company. I would highly recommend them for a DIY installation. Thanks for all the assistance!"
"Jeremy was easy to work with and instilled confidence from the beginning. I never felt pressured to purchase, and every question was answered. I felt confident and I knew that if I had a question or an issue he would help. On the installation, I was a bit nervous at first but once I understood the layout and installation it went together quite fast, and it was relatively easy."
"My job is sales for a manufacturing company. I understand that small things can happen like damage during shipping or the occasional missing part. A really great company Is determined by how they address the problem. Wholesale Solar, in my opinion, is one of the few really great companies."
Still not sure you’re ready to take on a DIY solar project? Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration. Take a look at our Install of the Month feature, where we showcase the awesome systems that Wholesale Solar customers have built for themselves.
If these folks can do it, so can you!
Yes! Over half of our customers install and maintain their own solar power systems. Some hire extra help for part of the installation. Most have an electrician connect the wires to your home electrical panel.
If you commit to the research, there’s nothing stopping you from completing the entire installation yourself. Of course, if you get stuck, our experienced design and support team is here to lend advice and get you back on track.
We suggest leaving solar panel manufacturing to the companies who keep tight control on production quality and safety. You can find information on the web about building DIY solar panels, but we don't recommend it because the panels would not be approved for permitting.
However, there's plenty you can do yourself—sizing your system, picking components, mounting and installing the solar panels, inverter(s), safety disconnects, and so on. The more you do yourself, the more you’ll save.
Your system size depends on your unique circumstances. Some common factors that influence system size are:
We have two calculators to help you size your system:
To understand what we factor into these calculations, take a look at our article: "How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?"
Of course, there’s no substitute for personalized help. Give us a call at 1-800-472-1142 to connect with an expert solar tech. We’ll help you design the perfect system for your needs.
The cost of your system will depend on how much electricity you plan to use. To estimate the answer to that question:
In over your head? Call us at 1-800-472-1142.
Many of our grid-tied customers do. Grid-tied solar—for homes that are already plugged into utility power—is less complex to install than off-grid and can be easily expanded.
Because you are tying into the utility grid, your installation may be more regulated. Check out the regulations, legislation, and policies in your state, and plan to have an electrician or licensed contractor do the final hook-up.
Of course! Off-grid solar power is for independent-minded people who want no restrictions on where they choose to live. Off-grid solar power allows you to buy undeveloped land that you can afford more easily. Where other people wouldn’t have power, you’ll have clean, effective solar energy.
Our design techs are ready to get your system designed, packaged, and on its way for your DIY install.
Call us today at 1-800-472-1142
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