The roof is one of the most significant features of your home’s exterior. In addition to protecting your home from the elements, it also makes up anywhere from 25-40% of the visible exterior. It is typically the first thing people notice when they see your house. Though it sits atop your home, it sets the foundation for the exterior design. With modern shingles offering warranties upwards of 30 years, the roof is also one of the most permanent features of your home’s exterior. Given the impact and permanence of the roof, deciding on a roofing color may seem a bit daunting. Here are some things to consider as you move through the process of deciding on a color for your new roof.
Coordinate Roofing Color with Home’s Permanent Exterior Features
Generally speaking, unless you are revamping the entirety of your home’s exterior, a roof should coordinate with the permanent features of your house. This includes the exterior wall colors, shutters, and any stonework that may be present. You will want to consider what tones are present in these fixtures and choose a color that complements them. Cool exterior features (greys, blues, and greens) often look best with grey, black or white, while warm exterior features (reds, oranges, and browns) often pair nicely with black, white, brown or red. Homeowners typically decide between choosing a color that creates contrast with the rest of the home and the roof (choosing a dark roof with a light house, for example) or selecting a color that will blend in with the overarching palette. Lighter roofs tend to make a home appear larger, as does choosing a roofing color that is close to the home’s exterior walls. Both will draw the eye upward, creating the impression of a larger, taller house.
Choose a Color that Matches the Architectural Style of the Home
As permanent features go, the architectural style of your home is easily the most unchangeable. Short of major renovation, a colonial will always be a colonial and a ranch will always be a ranch. You want your roofing color to coordinate with the architecture and style of the home. For many homeowners, a single-color roof is the most popular choice for a taller home, such as a colonial, while a combination of colors is more often seen in ranch homes. Tudor and Spanish style houses often feature red or clay colored roofs. If you are seeking inspiration for your home’s architectural style, we recommend taking a drive around several neighborhoods to get a sense for the color choices others with similar style homes have made. Get a feel for what you like – and what you don’t like – as well as what color and style of roof is often paired with your home’s design.
Consider the Surrounding Climate
When you consider that a roof accounts for 25-40% of your home’s exterior, it is easy to understand how the roofing color will impact the heating and cooling costs of your home. For this reason, we always encourage people to consider the surrounding climate when choosing a roofing color. Darker roofs will absorb more heat, which will in turn increase the temperature of the unconditioned space above the home. Lighter roofs will reflect sunlight, with a cool roof reflecting up to 80% of the sun’s rays, and help keep the internal temperature of the home markedly lower. Lighter roofs not only help to lower the energy costs of heating and cooling your home, but they also tend to last longer than darker roofs, which absorb more heat and bake in the hot summer sun.
Check HOA Rules on Roofing Color
If your home is within a homeowner’s association, be sure to check the rules before making any final decisions on roofing color. HOAs often have rules regarding the exterior appearance of homes in order to create a unified neighborhood look and feel. In many instances, HOAs will stipulate that only neutral colors may be used for exterior design. In some cases, HOAs will push for lighter roofing colors to help avoid urban heat islands created from dark roofs in neighborhood clusters. The last thing you want is to spend the time and money on installing a new roof only to learn you have violated your HOAs rules.
Are you in the process of choosing a roofing color for your home? Contact us today for a consultation!