How To Pick A Roof Color

Work with the colors on your home to achieve visual happiness:

Did You Know? The roof can account for about 40% of your home’s outward appearance. This makes choosing the right color a vital part of the overall curb appeal of your home.

Whether you plan to stay in your home for the long-term or have plans to sell soon, choosing a color that enhances the curb appeal of your home can have significant outcomes in the longevity of your home.
Here is a 7-step guide to determining the color of your roof.

1. Home Color

  • The first thing to look at is the primary color of your home. Whether you have brick, siding, stucco, or another type of material, you should begin with the overall appearance to determine a broader range of colors to choose from. Below is a quick guide to get you started in the right direction.

  • A big tip that will help to determine a color is to stick with contrasting colors. Some people try to match their roof color to the exact color of their bricks. While it may match in color, you end up with a home with no depth or curb appeal and there is little distinction of the roof to the exterior of the home. Choose a darker shade of the same color if you would like to choose a matching color, this will help to give your home the character that it deserves.

This home did a good job of pulling the red color from the brick’s color palette and choosing a solid, darker shade color that does not clash with the brick’s multi-colors.

2. Patterns in Roof Materials

  • Something to watch out for! There are different styles of shingle colors. There are shingles that use the same color throughout the entire roof, and there are shingles that blend multiple colors to create a multi-colored roof.
Solid color shingle
color blend shingle
  • While patterns are very fun to work with, you need to picture what would work best for your home. As a rule of thumb, multi-colored shingles should not be mixed with a multi-colored material on the rest of the home. (Ex: multi-colored shingles on a brick that has different colors in it)
  • The best way to handle multiple colors on the elevations (or sides) of your home would be to choose a more solid color shingle for the roof. If you have a simple siding or stucco, have fun with all of the multiple colors in the shingles!

This home’s colors “work”, but a darker more solid gray/black would have been more appropriate. This is due to the brick having the dark color mixed throughout, as well as the shutters being darker.

3. Trim

  • Don’t forget the details! To help determine shingle color it is best to consider all aspects of the exterior of your home. This means not leaving the trim out of the equation! 
  • Often, trim is in the shade of white, cream, or even a stained wood. However, trim can be any array of colors. To best choose the color of your roof, ensure that it goes well with your trim. Even though it is a small part of your exterior, it can change the look of the roof drastically to the eye of the beholder. For example, if you have brown wooden trim, but you want your roof to appear grey, some shingles have just enough brown in them that they will pull from the trim and make the shingles appear more brown/tan than grey.

This home has a very uniform brick exterior, which goes nicely with the medium/dark grey shingles. The shutters and trim pop more now because of the complimentary color of the shingles and shutters. These colors work really well together. Dark red with a medium/dark gray is very contrasting and looks nice.

4. Architectural Style

  • There are some homes that have a very traditional appearance. Should you desire to keep to it’s traditional aesthetic, you should consider the history of the home. If you like change, you may want to go in a different direction than traditional. But before you do so, be sure that you are confident that you want something different for your specific style of home.
  • While this may not help you with the color as much, knowing the right style will definitely help with the type of shingles you need on your home. This often narrows color choices down.
  • Here are a few examples of homes that need specific roofs to stay true to its origin:
      • Cape Cod Homes: shingle
      • Tudor-Style Houses: slate
      • Mediterranean: tile 
      • Contemporary: flat roofs
      • Mid-Century Modern: shingle

The brown on brown gives very little contrast and causes the entire house to blend together. While it does match, in a sense, it does not make the home’s curb appeal go up. A darker color would have made the roof differ more from the home’s exterior.

5. HOA/Neighborhood Regulations

  • Many neighborhoods have regulations for homes such as how tall your grass can be, what Christmas lights you can have in your yard, and how your flower beds should look. However, something you may not realize is there could also be regulations for the color, style, etc. for your roof.

  • Speak with your HOA before falling in love with your new roof color. They may require clay ridge tiles, which could also change the shingle color you decide for your roof. This is a great thing to do as soon as you realize you are in the market for a new roof.

This home looks good in the overall color tone, but the multi-colored shingle takes away from the aesthetics some. The dark grey looks great but should have been a solid gray since the brick is multi-colored as well.

6. Neighbors

  • If you are like me, your home cannot be seen at the same time as your neighbor’s home, therefore, their shingle color does not affect my choice. However, like many others, you may live in a subdivision, or a row of townhomes, or close enough to a neighbor that you don’t want to stick out like a sore-thumb. 
  • Think about the colors of the roofs on your street and try to picture your roof near theirs. While some colors go great together, others may stand out in a way you may not want for your brand new roof!

This home is a wall of orange/brown.  Had they pulled in a darker color from the bricks and chosen it. they would have created a very nice contrast on this home.

7. One-Story or Two-Story

  • Lastly, consider how spread out your home is. Some homes are one-story and are very short. By adding a dark color roof to your home, you may make it appear short, stubby, and drab. However, if you add a lighter color, it may give the appearance of extending the roof and making your home appear taller and more profound.
  • For homes that have 2-stories, you may want to consider going bold with a darker color to enhance the roof and ensure that it does not get swallowed by the grandeur of your home. 

This roof works well as it took the color of the home and installed a shingle that matches in color tones but is multiple shades darker. It also has multi-colored shingles that are not overwhelming due to the uniform, neutral color of stucco.

How to Visualize your Roof Color:

Choosing a color can be easy for some and daunting for others. I hope that helping you to consider all of the above items has eased your mind in choosing a color, but I also realize that you may now have to narrow your choice within the color-wheel of the manufacturer you chose. For example, if you chose a brown roof, you now need to determine which brown shingle you prefer from Atlas, Certainteed, Owens Corning, etc. 

To help you out with this, you should consult with your roofing specialist to see color samples, and check out the tools that the manufacturer’s have given us. 
You can find photos of shingle colors on the manufacturer or contractor’s website. Look through those to compare roofs that have been installed with the color, material, trim, etc. similar to your own roof. 
Here are some links to manufacturers that allow you to upload a photo of your home to the site and virtually see the different colors on your roof. While it is animated, and may not be perfect, it does a great job of seeing the different colors on your home before seeing them in person through a sample.

This home chose well to choose a color out of the brick’s color palette. I would have chosen a slightly darker color to match the shutters more, but this home looks great.

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