Did you know that the roof of your home will account for about 40% of the visual exterior? This means that curbside appeal is going to depend a lot on the look of the roof and how well the colors of the shingles complement everything else. No wonder choosing the right roof can be so difficult. You are going to want something that is not only functional and protects your household but also accentuates your home’s most beautiful features.
That is why we made this guide: to take the guesswork out of choosing roofing colors. Here’s how to choose the shingle color that will look best on your home.
Things To Consider When Choosing Roof Color
Even if you already have a color in mind for your roof, there are a few things you need to consider before finalizing that choice.
Complement Architectural Elements
The first few things you want to think about when choosing a roof color is your home’s surroundings and the architecture. A home ringed by trees without other landscape elements is going to look different than one without trees and heavy landscaping. Think about the bricks, siding, landscape, and other features of the building.
Next, your take those elements and think about accentuating them. You want a color scheme that flows and makes sense, but you can also lean towards the more exciting if it’s plausible. If you plan on repainting the exterior of your home, compare and contrast various palettes to see which one will look best.
Consider the following combinations:
- White, yellow, gray, or blue siding or masonry looks great with neutral, gray, and black shingles.
- Red, orange, or yellow bricks are complemented by grays, browns, and blacks.
- Natural siding, such as plain stucco, earthy stone, or beige vinyl will look great with browns, tans, and clay colored shingles.
- Blues, yellows, and white or gray or black work well together.
- Greens (like moss green) and yellows (like lemon) and other pastels pair well with charcoal or black shingles.
- White siding can be considered a blank canvas. Any color roof will look fantastic.
- Darker exteriors, like storm gray, pair nicely with blues, blacks, and lighter grays.
Check out the color wheel (primary, secondary, and tertiary) for more inspiration.
You can also use the color of shingles to make a small home look larger than life. Although it is usually recommended to choose colors that contrast to make a statement, you can do the opposite. By choosing shingles that subtly blend in with the siding of your home can draw a viewer’s eye upward, making small buildings appear much taller. One example is putting taupe shingles on a rancher with earth-toned siding. Because the roof’s color is a continuation of the theme, it will ultimately “lift” the house.
If you have a small home with masonry, such as red brick or slate-colored stone, you can choose variegated color schemes that match the natural hues of the stonework. It will work the same way.
Showcase Special Features
Does your home have something unique about it that you want to highlight? Think about the brick and masonry work, the stunning wall of windows, the wrap-around porch, or even the dormers! If you have a favorite exterior element, you can choose to highlight that with a complementary color.
For example, if your deck is stained red, you don’t want to choose red shingles, because that will draw attention away from the deck. Instead, choose a color that pops with red, such as blue or gray.
Another example would be complementing wood trim. Let’s say you have shutters that are a bright color, like teal or yellow. Select a roof color that contrasts. Your windows will pop. However, if the shutters on your home contrast with the siding, then you are going to want to pick a roof color that closely matches the shutters, so the roof can tie the exterior together. So in the above example, you would choose a light gray or a sand. If you choose variegated roofing, make sure one color matches the shutters.
The same idea can work in reverse. You can use colors to take the eye away from less interesting design elements, like a flat roof. In this scenario, your home’s exterior will be bright, and the roof color will be neutral or gray.
If you are having difficulties deciding which features to highlight, you can consult with your roofer or even an architect to help.
Mix Patterns Thoughtfully
Think about fashion or interior design for a moment. When you want to mix patterns, you often choose a large print that is bold and match it with a smaller print that contains complementary hues. That is why loud floral prints are often paired with neutral colored dots and stripes.
Apply this thinking when your home has anything multicolored, like bricks. If the color variations between bricks or stone is too much, adding a variegated rooftop will only make the exterior look busy.
Additionally, consider the size and shape of the stone veneer around your home. If the stones come in multiple colors and sizes, pairing that with shingles that have pronounced texture or having multiple contrasting colors will create visual dissonance. You don’t want elements to clash.
There are roofing types and colors that are more energy efficient than others. The general rule of lighter colors reflecting heat while darker colors absorb is true. This means that black shingles are going to heat things up way more than white, gray, or even brown. Metal roofing is excellent at reflecting heat back to keep your house cool, while asphalt shingles are known to trap heat.
An energy efficient roof, also known as a cool roof, can actually lower the temperature of an attic by 20-40 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 – 4 degrees Celsius). If your home gets an excessive amount of sun throughout the day, choosing the right color of shingles can positively influence your utility bill.
Consider The Climate
Following the tip from above, you should think about how weather plays a role. Did you know that your location changes what sunshine looks like? It’s true. The farther north you are, the more sunlight seems cool and blue; to the south, it’s warmer, more red. That is why the blues of New England do not work in Florida, or why some coral homes with red roofing seem out of place in Vermont.
In other words, when you are considering shingle colors and materials, remember to look at how they appear in different lighting. Natural light varies throughout the day, so select a color that looks great no matter the time or the weather.
Here’s another reason to consider climate: precipitation. Compare a house with a roof that is directly in the sun with one shaded by trees. Ignoring the color of the shingles, the one in the sun is going to be rid of the snow much faster than the one that is in the shade. However, if the house with the shade were to have dark colored shingles, the shingles would absorb heat and, in turn, help with melting the snow faster than if it had light colored shingles.
Do you live in a suburban area or development? Before choosing a wild color, you might want to check with your local homeowners association. Read the rules of your development to ensure that your color choice is not going to violate the regulations. Even if there are no rules to follow, you need to think about how your home is going to look among the rest, especially if every other house has the same color roof.
While it is fine to standout, a red roof, for instance, among a sea of gray, will ultimately look out of place. In these situations, it is best to choose a similar color to those houses that surround you.
Discuss Options With a Professional
Sometimes, it is best to get professional advice. Talk to a certified roofing contractor or roofer about shingle types and colors. You can take some photos of your home to the roofer, receive samples, browse catalogues, and much more. If you have an idea of the look you are trying to achieve, bring some examples with you as well. The roofer will be able to tell you if it is doable and what will be needed.
Hardware stores with shingles for sale can also be of assistance. Ask about their roofing process and what kind of shingles are available.
Tips For Getting Inspiration
Even after considering certain things, you still may be having trouble visualizing what would look good on your home. Since the choice is important, you should take as much time as necessary to figure out exactly what you want.
Here are some tips to help you find the shingles that match your home perfectly:
Check Out Houses Like Yours
If you cannot imagine what your home will look like with a different roof, then it is time to do field work. This means hoping in your car—or taking a walk—around the neighborhood to see what other homeowners in your area are doing. Learn from the mistakes and successes of those around you.
You can also use the internet. Using an image search like Google, you can search for pictures of “homes with stone veneer and brown shingles,” for example. Try to be as specific as possible so you get an accurate representation.
Also, don’t be hesitant to ask friends and family about their decisions. Inquire about how they chose their roof color, as well as roofing contractors.
Try Visualizer Tools
Many manufacturers will have online apps or tools available that are free to use. You can view vast collections of shingles of all styles, materials, and colors. This gives you the freedom to play around with color combinations to see what appeals to you the most.
Try to find apps like Design EyeQ that allow you to upload an image of your own home so you can get a clear representation of what specific colors will look like in real life. It takes the guess work out of everything.
Get Samples of Colored Shingles
Similar to upholstery, flooring, and other textiles that allow you to take samples home, you can also receive shingle samples. Bring these home and directly compare the samples to the siding on your home. If you plan on redoing the entire exterior, you can match up color combinations with paint samples to see which look is most appealing.
When In Doubt, Go Neutral
One color in particular can be used anywhere and pairs excellently with anything—charcoal gray. If you cannot decide or some kind restriction prevents you from being able to get another color, you can count on neutral colors on the gray scale to be a modest addition to your home.
The Best Shingles For Your Home
Since your roof is so important and plays a key role in curbside appeal, you want to put the best roof forward. Since shingles will last around 20 years or so with decent upkeep, selecting a color that complements the exterior of your house while protecting your entire home from inclement weather is crucial. Use the tips from this article to help you make an informed decision.
Looking for a roofing contractor? Have more questions about shingles? Then get in touch by filling out the contact form! We’re more than happy to help!