Solar panels to replace knackered roof?

Bonjour à toutes et à tous!

Here’s a question for which I be grateful for advice.

One section of our ancient roof is in a very bad state. We have huge leaks pouring into the house every time it rains. The bathroom is covered in black mould and the plaster is falling off the ceiling. One bedroom ceiling and beam is saturated with a colony of mushrooms flourishing on it. The lambris in the kitchen is beginning to fall in.

Late last year I was given a ‘rough’ quote for repairs, which I could just about afford. I asked for a written devis so I could be certain we could afford it, and the roofer came back today to have a good look and measure up.

He has found the ‘big’ wood OK, but some timber and a lot of tiles are going to have to be replaced, and it is going to cost quite a bit more than he originally estimated and more than we are able to afford at least until we can sell our other property.

I was just thinking that there are currently grants for the installation of solar panels, and wondering if this would be an option instead of replacing the tiles, and if so, how to go about applying and finding out more.

If anybody has some definite knowledge on this subject, I’d be very interested to learn about it.

Thanks for reading.

PS Weather seems to have finally warmed up, hooray!

Grants - tricky one, depends on your circumstances etc. My family were going to have panels on the roof this year but after three different devis from well known companies, they were advised that they would have to get a bank loan as grants were not forthcoming. They applied to the bank but looking at the figures and the time for getting any investment back via cheapr power was not attractive, about ten years and they are looking to move in a couple of years so feel that taking out such a big loan and still paying it off even if they move is counter productive when they want to build and could install them at same time. You need to weigh up pros and cons, its not always what it appears to be. They also missed out on any government help too. They feel now that installing a second WC/bathroom would be more attractive to future buyers and will spend money doing that.

I think you would be unlikely to find any reputable company that would be prepared to install PV panels on a knackered roof. Risk to workers is the first problem.


When we had the business and did roof repairs, it was never guaranteed under the Déçenelle insurance and clients had to sign and agree to this. Only a complete new roof work was insured meaning basically the old roof completely replaced with all new charpente, volige and ardoises, anything else is usually considered throwing good money after bad where a roof is concerned. However if they are still in good repair, some tiles can be used again but have to mentioned in the devis thus so.

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