Choosing a shingle color can be difficult. It’s an expensive purchase that will greatly influence your home’s overall appearance, you probably don’t have much experience choosing shingles, and (to add even more pressure) the shingles you choose will be on your home for decades to come. Clearly, this should not be an unthinking decision. You need to consider the type of shingle, your home’s style, the color of the siding, and the surrounding houses in your neighborhood. If you don’t want to end up choosing a shingle color that you, your family, your neighbors (and maybe even the home’s future owners) will despise, take some time to consider your options.
Choosing a Shingle Color
- First, think about the climate in your area. Choosing a shingle color can affect your home’s temperature and, depending on your choice, it can either keep your energy bills down or allow them to jump up. The temperature in the attic can fluctuate by 20-40 degrees based on your choice in shingle color. Light-colored shingles reflect sunlight and will keep your home’s temperature down (think of the white-roofed homes in Greece or the Bahamas). Dark shingles absorb heat, help homes stay warm in the winter, and help snow and ice melt off the roof.
- Next, look at the colors of the other exterior elements of your home—the siding, bricks, wood, stone, stucco, etc.—and decide which roof shades look best with those colors and textures. To make this process easier, you might consider taking a photo of your house and then using an editing program like Photoshop to “try on” different roof colors. Find a shade that complements the home’s siding or brick, rather than one that matches it.
- Then, look for inspiration online, in magazines, or around town. If you spot a home with similar exterior colors to your own, check out the roof and note the ones that you find attractive and complementary. This should really help you narrow down your choices as you’re choosing a shingle color.
- After that, think about what different shades will add to your home. Neutral colors, for example, are safe and have a good resale value; trendier shades like a mixture of blues and grays may be more divisive but also more striking. Dark colors can make a home look smaller; light colors can make it look bigger. High-contrast roofs highlight the home’s features; low-contrast roofs hide imperfections.
- Finally, if you’re really struggling to make a decision, try speaking with an expert at a building supply store. Bring in photos of your home and ask for advice. After selling shingles to hundreds of families, a roofing salesmen is sure to have some solid tips for you. They may also let you take home samples that you can hold up next to your home and view at different times of the day (to check out how lighting will affect the color).
If your street is a part of a neighborhood association, you may also need to check with the rules to be sure that your chosen shade is approved. And even if you don’t have a neighborhood association, it’s a good idea to think about how your home’s new roof will fit in with the neighborhood’s appearance. Although you don’t need to make it mesh beautifully with all of the surrounding houses, you could at least try to avoid choosing a shingle color that clashes with your neighbors’ homes.