Homeowners spend countless hours selecting exterior paint colors for their homes. For someone who has a knack for exterior design, it’s a cinch. The rest of us put off choosing a color because we’re afraid of making a mistake.
With all the resources available to you, the chances of making a mistake are slim.
Regardless of your level of design finesse, or your current house color, shingle colors aren’t challenging to pick. Read our tips before you schedule your roofing project.
We promise you’ll find a range of color pairings that complement the rest of your exterior elements.
First Things First
If you live in a planned community or one governed by an HOA (homeowner association), you’ll want to make sure you know the rules on roof color.
Most HOAs include CC&Rs—covenants, conditions, and restrictions—in their new-resident binder. Find the section on property restrictions and read through the guidelines on what is acceptable in your community.
It’s also wise to visit the property management office to discuss your project. That way, you can make sure you’re informed about any revisions not included in your binder.
Do this before falling in love with a particular shingle color. You want to have this conversation before your roofing contractor orders your shingles.
Shingles and Curb Appeal
You know about curb appeal if you’ve bought (or sold) a home. The landscaping, the front porch, exterior paint, and the roof’s color (and condition) either add to or take away from your home’s curb appeal.
Whether you’re in your home for the long term or getting ready to list it, curb appeal matters.
The roof is one item potential buyers look at when shopping for a new home. The right roof color can increase curb appeal. If you choose well, you may also increase the perceived value of your home.
Where Do You Begin?
One misconception about selecting the color for a roof is that everything must match. Too much of the same color makes for a bland exterior.
While you want to choose a color that works well with your exterior colors, it’s more about creating contrast than trying to match siding and trim.
It’s also vital to consider the architectural style of your home.
Colonial, Victorian, and Plantation-style homes look best with a roof in a traditional color. Since houses from these eras often had natural slate roofs, you can mimic the look with a dark gray or black shingle. Go with brown shingles if you’re going for the look of natural wood shake.
A dark blue or green could work, too. It just depends on your siding and trim color.
Rural and waterfront homes usually have a less formal look.
Choose weathered browns and grays or muted greens if that’s your design style. These colors complement the casual, relaxed vibe and fit well with the natural surroundings.
Single Color vs. Color Blends
Next time you drive through your neighborhood, take note of roof colors. Some homeowners will have chosen shingles with a single color. Others selected shingles that have a blend of colors.
Blended color shingles add visual appeal to a home.
You’ll find shingles that combine several shades of the same hue. Shades of brown or gray are popular. Other color combinations include two or more colors.
For example, brown with hints of orange and red or gray mixed with touches of green or blue can bring the exterior of a home to life.
The key to choosing shingle colors is to strive for visual balance.
Do You Want to Make a Statement?
Maybe you enjoy standing out from the crowd and want your home to match your personality. There are a few things to consider if you’re attempting to make a statement with your exterior décor.
First, what is the character of the neighborhood? Observe roof colors on your neighbors’ homes. If things lean toward conservative colors, you might want to do the same with your roof.
It’s not such a big deal if you live in a neighborhood where the homes are spread out. Perhaps you can pull off a multi-colored roof.
If the homes are closer together and you choose something totally different from the other neighbors, it will be more noticeable. Going against the crowd could result in your home standing out in the wrong way.
Another thing to consider is whether you plan to sell your home in the next few years. If that’s your intention, consider choosing a color that fits in with the rest of the houses in the neighborhood. It could be a selling point.
At the beginning of this article, we advised checking with your HOA. Often HOAs make rules about which shingle colors residents can use. In some cases, the HOA will choose for you.
If you’re not concerned about HOA rules or the opinions of others, you can use unexpected color combinations to make your house stand out.
Using Temperature to Choose Shingle Color
When you selected your interior color palettes, you used color psychology (even if you didn’t realize it). You probably spent a lot of time looking at paint chips and talking about warm vs. cool colors.
You can use the principles of color psychology when picking shingle colors, too.
Most people don’t mix warm and cool colors. If they do, they risk creating the wrong mood for the space they’re painting. The same principle applies to exterior color palettes.
If your siding is a warm color, choose shingles in a warm color. Cool shingles go with a cool siding color.
All your exterior elements—siding, trim, shutters, and shingles—should be the same tone. That doesn’t mean everything needs to be the same color.
Ask your roofing contractor what other people choose. You’ll likely find out that the most popular colors include variations of the following:
Greens and reds are also popular and can look stunning if paired with the right exterior colors. For example, if you have white or cream-colored siding, a green roof can add a touch of elegance.
A Few Classic Color Pairings
There’s nothing wrong with choosing a classic color combination. The result will be an exterior look that stands the test of time (and the trends).
Here are two to consider:
- White house – black or gray shingles
- Red brick house – black or slate gray shingles
There’s another point to remember about light and dark shingle colors.
Light colors can make a home look more prominent. Lighter colors can also make a house stand out in a neighborhood.
Dark colors may draw attention away from the home’s structure, making landscaping and other exterior elements the primary focus.
What About Textures?
Something many people forget about when selecting shingles is texture.
If you select 3-tab shingles, you won’t have as much texture as the shingles are flat. Architectural shingles, a.k.a. dimensional shingles have more texture.
So, you’re trying to create contrast between the roof and the rest of the exterior. One way to accomplish that is to use various textures.
You could use a shingle with minimal texture for a home with brick or natural stone masonry. If you have vinyl or aluminum siding, contrast the smooth texture with a shingle that has more texture.
Your roofing company should have samples available so that you can feel and see the different asphalt textures.
What Shingle Colors Go Well on a Brown House?
Earth tones and natural stone are popular for home exteriors. If brown is the primary exterior color, choose brown or black shingles. If you go with a brown shingle, ensure there’s enough contrast between siding and roof.
For a home constructed with natural stone, consider shingles in brown shades or tans. You can also use these colors on a green house.
Choosing Shingles for a Neutral Colored House
Have you heard that neutral colors are back in fashion? The truth is they’ve never gone away, and plenty of people use beige, tan, and cream for siding and trim.
Shades of browns or blacks look great on a neutral-colored house. If you want to make your house pop, you could go with a brown shingle that has a blend of copper.
Best Shingle Color for Gray or Blue Houses
If you have a gray or blue house, you’re in luck. Your job is going to be easy.
Choose black or gray shingles.
If you pick gray shingles for a gray house, make sure the shingles are a lighter gray. Dark gray shingles look beautiful against a light or dark blue exterior.
Avoid browns and tans. Neither color compliments blue.
Shingle Color for Yellow Houses
If you chose yellow for your home exterior, you could pair black, dark brown, or dark gray shingles.
Unless the house is a vibrant yellow or deep gold, stay away from light gray or silver shingles. On a more delicate yellow house, they may look washed out.
Don’t Forget About White Houses
When selecting shingles for a white house, you’ll want to pay attention to temperature. If your siding color is a warmer shade of white (think almost cream), consider brown shingles.
Otherwise, gray or black shingles are the best option.
Tip: Silver shingles on a white house add a sleek, sophisticated look.
Energy Efficiency and Shingle Colors
While Boise’s climate is nothing like the desert Southwest or other areas that get extreme weather, homeowners still want to keep heating and cooling bills as low as possible.
Homes lose a significant amount of heat through the roof during the winter. In the summer, the roof absorbs heat. If you have a multi-level house, the HVAC system works hardest to cool the rooms at the highest level.
A light-colored roof reflects solar energy and absorbs less heat during the warmer months. Dark-colored shingles absorb heat, which can help rooms at the highest level be 10-15 degrees warmer (on a sunny day).
It’s possible to keep your heating and cooling bills low and prevent your HVAC system from working harder than it should by choosing shingle colors wisely.
So, what if you’ve fallen head over heels in love with a color that could make your home feel too hot or cold?
If you’re concerned about heat, attic insulation is an excellent solution. It’s one of the most effective ways to regulate heat absorption from the roof.
Make Sure You Look at Samples
Please don’t place an order for shingles before you get a good idea of how the color will look on your home.
You have a few options for sampling colors.
Most roofing companies have physical samples they can bring to your home. Make sure you look at the samples outside at different times of day and under different light conditions. Place the samples up against your siding.
Some manufacturers offer virtual samples. They’re called color visualizers or color selectors, and they allow you to try them before you buy.
Using a color selector, you can see what various shingle colors will look like with your exterior color palette. While it’s not an exact science, you should be able to get a rough idea of what colors you like and narrow down your choices.
Sampling minimizes the risk of getting the wrong color. Your roofing company can also advise you on what shingle colors will look best.
Need Help Pairing House Color and Shingle Colors?
Choosing the color for a new roof isn’t like selecting a new color for wall paint. You can swap an ugly paint color in a few hours, but you’ll keep your roof color for at least 10-15 years (maybe longer).
If you’ve read this article and still don’t feel confident in selecting the best house color or shingle colors, we can help.
The team here at Point Roofing & Restoration is happy to assist you with any of your roofing questions. Whether you need help choosing colors or you’re ready to schedule roofing service, contact us today, and let’s get your project started.