If you need a new roof and are open to modern options, you might be considering solar shingles. These are metal and glass shingles that capture sunlight and convert it to electricity. They work in basically the same way as solar panels, but they don't sit on the roof—they are the roof. Solar shingles have a lot of benefits, which is why they are becoming so popular. However, they also have a few drawbacks, which are worth looking at if you are seriously considering installing them. Take a look at both sides below. 

Pro: Solar shingles can help offset your electricity bill.

Solar shingles produce quite a lot of electricity. In sunny areas, homeowners are often able to obtain so much energy from their solar shingles that they're able to disconnect from the grid completely. In less sunny areas, you may still need to use some "public" electricity, but not a lot. It's really nice to have a lower energy bill every month. The savings can add up and eventually offset the cost of your solar shingles.

Con: Solar shingles are expensive.

The initial cost of having solar shingles installed can be quite high. They cost more than standard metal or tile roofing, and significantly more than asphalt or cedar shake roofing.

Pro: Solar shingles are out of the way and unobtrusive.

Most other equipment that allows you to generate your own electricity takes up a lot of space or is an eyesore. Windmills, for example, take up significant space and are noisy. Solar panels have a distinct look that not everyone likes, even if they are on your roof. Solar shingles, on the other hand, don't look very different from ordinary roofing tiles. Most people won't even know you have a solar roof unless you tell them.

Con: Solar shingles require professional installation.

Not all roofers can install solar shingles. Doing so requires specialized training, usually from the company that manufactures solar shingles. If you have a roofer in your area that does this work, then you are golden. Otherwise, you may have to hire an out-of-town company, which often means a longer wait and a higher cost.

Consider the pros and cons above as you decide whether solar shingles are right for your home. It does not hurt to get a quote or two and then go from there. They work really well for many homes, but they are not for everyone.

Contact a local roofer to learn more about solar shingles, including Timberline solar shingles