When a homeowner goes solar one issue that can derail the process is unexpectedly finding out that they first need to replace their roof.

Traditionally this often means double the effort: Managing two projects with two sets of budgets, contractors and timelines.

Fortunately, with GAF Energy’s new roof-integrated solar system, there’s a better option: A GAF roof that comes with a solar system that’s installed simultaneously by one contractor.

One family’s path to a solar roof.

Ryan and Lisa Bicking, the first in their neighborhood to install a GAF Energy solar roof, can attest to the advantages of this. When they moved into their three-story Westminster, Maryland, colonial-style home in 2018 they knew they eventually wanted to go solar, and they knew their roof only had a few years of life left in it.

“Ryan studies and researches the latest and greatest technology. By nature that’s his interest, and he has always looked into things to make our house more efficient,” Lisa Bicking said. “Since this was our forever house it was always part of his plan to get solar panels.”

But Ryan Bicking wasn’t fond of how traditional solar systems look or how they are mounted above an existing rooftop. And he wasn’t looking forward to dealing with more than one installer.

“I wasn’t thrilled with traditional roof-mounted, bracketed systems,” he said. “I didn’t like the idea of a lot of points of failure in your roof, and those projects are often done by different contractors.”

He had previously considered Tesla’s solar roof product but felt the price point was prohibitive. He also said finding a local Tesla contractor would have been very challenging.

Their roofing contractor, who happened to be a longtime friend, David Silverstein, vice president of American Home Contractors in Maryland and a GAF factory-certified Master Elite® Contractor, noticed that their roof size and southerly orientation made it a perfect candidate for a GAF Energy solar roof.

Silverstein had recently installed a GAF roof-integrated solar system on his own home. He said he had a great experience with the install and liked how it looked and how it was producing energy, and he was confident about recommending it to the Bickings, whose he’s known since their high school days.

Selecting a solar roof.

Choosing GAF shingles with a 4.3 kilowatt GAF Energy solar roof meant the Bickings were getting solar and a new roof from one of the longest standing roofing companies in America in one seamless process.

And seamless it was. The Bickings said they were especially impressed given that their install took place just a few months after the pandemic had shut down most of the U.S.

“Dave kept us updated along the process about the permits and ordering,” Lisa Bicking said. “The crew was pretty flawless, not disruptive, clean. They protected our house. From start to finish I was very pleased.”

While she was initially a little nervous about how they panels would look, both agreed they really like the sleek black appearance compared to traditional rack-mounted or blue solar panels.

Now they’re looking forward to the long-term benefits of a solar system that will be generating energy for the next 25 years or longer as they raise their son, 3, and daughter, 6.

Ryan Bicking said he expects they’ll cut their electricity bill in half and eventually get a return on their investment.

“We will make money off of it,” Ryan Bicking said.


  1. Contractors enrolled in the GAF factory certified contractor programs are independent contractors and are not employees of GAF.