Little did I know when I arranged to get a new roof that I quickly be faced with the decision about what color roof I wanted. Who knew that roof shingles came in so many colors? Not me — all roofs looked alike as far as I was concerned. But it turns out that choosing the best roof shingle colors for your house is critical.
There are many variations in roof shingle colors. If you’re a bit color blind, as I am, shingle color variations really don’t stand out. In fact, shingles come in several different color families with various shades and mixtures of colors and tones. When you look at a shingle up close you’ll see that the grains that make up the asphalt covering are often several different colors. You can actually use those color combinations when choosing a paint scheme for your home — selecting the paint for the body, trim, and doors from the shades on your roofing shingles.
The roof is a dominant feature on your house. Most roofs can be seen from the street and from your neighbor’s homes. Since you’re going to be living with your choice for some twenty years or more it’s important to put some thought into the selection.
The appropriate color for your roof shingles depends in large part on the color of the body of your house. So if you’re planning to also paint your house you’re going to need to make that color choice in advance in order to choose the appropriate shade for your roof. You want to consider both the color of the home’s siding and the color of the trim on the house.
Here are some color combinations that work well. If your house is:
Yellow — black shingles will look sharp
Red — consider brown tones
Green — a brown or gray roof works well
White — looks best with dark gray or black
Blue — dark gray or black shingles
Tan or cream — shades of brown work best
Natural wood — green is a good choice
Daring or offbeat choices are not wise when you’re re-roofing. It’s too big an investment and too long-lived a house feature to opt for the trendy or highly personalized choice. Your goal should be to harmonize with the neighboring properties rather than call attention to your home with an unusual choice. Look around your neighborhood to see what colors have been used. If you see a color that you like point it out to your roofer. He’ll be able to suggest colors that are popular in your area.
Best roof color choices are also impacted by the climate and weather in your area. Light colors will reflect sun and lessen heat build up, important in areas where high temperatures are the norm. In some areas white or very light shingles are popular choices to deflect heat. In colder climates a darker color will absorb heat and ensure that snow on the rooftop is quicker to melt.
Don’t be afraid to get some help when selecting your roof color. Some shingle manufacturers’ websites have online tools that show you how different color combos will look. You might consider enlisting a color specialist to advise you. It’s a small investment before this major purchase. Your neighbors might be able to help — pull over and ask if you pass a house with a striking roof and siding combo. And remember, your roofer does this for a living — he’s probably your best source for advice on what colors his clients have been most pleased with in the long run.
You’ll be living with your roof for years to come. Time spent now choosing the right roof color is time well spent.