Roof mounting of solar is common for two reasons: 1) It's out of the way, and 2) that's usually the only place a homeowner has space to put them. A roof with a good SW to SE face, little or no shading, and is large enough to fit the array is ideal. Roofs should have a lot of "life" left in the shingles (10+ years) or it might be better to re-roof before installing solar. We can put solar on shingle, metal (standing seam or exposed fastener), tile or slate. We're also licensed roofers, so the danger of leaks is essentially zero.
We attach our roof mounts directly into the rafters, and by calculating the mount spacing we can achieve wind load ratings of 120+mph. In other words, if your roof stays on your house, the panels will still be there too.
For folks who may not want a solar array on their roof, or don't have adequate unshaded roof space, ground mounts are good options. So far in 2013 we've install just about as many ground mounts as roof mounts. They can be placed as far as 400' from your utility meter, anywhere that you can get good sun, some owners turn them into shades for tractors, chicken houses, whatever, as the height is variable, up to maximum 8' on the front (low) side.
If you're planning on building a home in the near future and you're considering solar, or even if you're already under construction, contact us and we can help make the process go smoother right from the start.
Also, by rolling the costs of the solar system into your construction loan allows you to get all the credits/refunds when you file your taxes, but spread the cost out over 15+ years!