How to Choose the Right Shingle Color for Your Roof

Your roof can represent up to 40% of your home’s exterior – and an attractive shingle color can greatly impact its curb appeal. For this reason, choosing a color that complements but contrasts with your home’s existing siding and facing is important.

Whenever possible, request large shingles samples from your roofing company. They can be dropped off and picked up free of charge.

We had my roof replaced in 2017 – a little over 5 years ago. As I live in an HOA community, I had to follow CC-R community guidelines when it came to color and we were given an option of two shades of black/dark gray to stay within those guidelines. If you are in a similar situation, you may have to adhere to that kind of protocol too. 

Here’s a snapshot from then. Notice the patch job to the right (multiple shingles had been replaced more than once) as I’d had an ongoing leak problem for a number of years. Yes, that’s me walking towards the door.

my rook before repair

Look at Your Home’s Exterior

As with picking a paint color for your home’s walls, the best way to determine the right shine color for your roof is to look at your exterior. The color of your siding, trim, and doors will influence what shingle colors work well with them.

As mentioned earlier, a shingle roof often makes up 40% or more of your house’s total appearance, so a decision you make now will impact how your home looks for years to come. It can also have a significant effect on its value.

If you live in a sunny area, dark shingles absorb solar heat, while lighter shingles reflect it. This helps to keep homes cool, although the amount of energy saved varies depending on other factors like sufficient insulation. It gets very hot where I live; your area may vary.

Think About Your Roof’s Location

As the roof is a very noticeable part of your home’s exterior, choosing a color that creates a beautiful overall impression is important. A light-colored roof on a small house (I live in a rowhome) can make it look out of proportion, while a dark-colored roof on a large multistory home can overwhelm it.

Roof shingle colors can also vary depending on your location. For example, darker shingles may help retain heat during winter in cold climates, while lighter shingles can reflect the sun’s rays and potentially save energy.

Drive around your neighborhood and note the shingle colors used on other homes. You can then test a few shingle color combinations using an online visualizer. Just as you might take sample paint chips home to see what they look like in your space before making a final decision, you should do the same with shingle samples.

Consider Your Home’s Architectural Style

Your roof represents a good deal of your home’s visual exterior and can greatly impact its curb appeal and resale value. When selecting a shingle color, it’s important to consider your home’s architectural style and surrounding neighborhood, and natural environment.

For example, a brick home with various color tones and textures can be enhanced by a shingle shade that complements those colors. Likewise, rural homes constructed of cedar logs, stone veneer, and masonry can look good with roofing shingles that coordinate with those elements.

Just as you wouldn’t grab a bucket of paint for your home without first taking home sample chips to test them out in the space, it’s a good idea to do the same with shingle color blends. Drive around your neighborhood and look at the shingles on nearby homes to get a feel for how different shingle colors might look in sunlight or over rain.

Think About Your Home’s Natural Environment

Choosing the right shingle color is important to enhance curb appeal and help your house stand out in the neighborhood. A dark shingle color can draw attention away from the size of your home and work well with multi-level homes, while lighter colors are ideal for ranch-style houses. If you live in a warm climate, consider opting for a dark-colored cool roof shingle designed to reflect sunlight and lower indoor temperatures.

This is my roof as it looks for the past five years. This picture was taken about an hour before noon – when the sun was almost at its peak in the sky. The shingles are the same color as the old ones but you can tell they look lighter at this time of day.

roof 2023

For a white house, shades of grey, black, and brown can complement the brick, trim, and other fixed exterior elements. For a chateau-style house, consider using a shingle color blend with varying shades of brown to mimic the natural wood shake construction look.

Think About Your Roof’s Material

In addition to your house’s colors, the material your roof is made from also plays a role in which shingle color will look best on your home.

For example, consider a natural-looking dark brown or charcoal shingle shade for a wood-siding home. Dark neutrals like these can complement various house colors, from lighter shades to darker browns or tans.

On the other hand, if you have a brick home or a home with varied color elements like stone or elegant wood shingles, a solid shingle color might clash. For instance, a solid black shingle would overwhelm a home with textured brick or a stone front. Stick to blended shingle colors in these cases.

Conclusion

I think these are the main points of contention you’ll have to deal with. Hope you will find this article helpful going forward in your roofing project! Comment below if you have any questions or an experience with shingles you’d like to share.

 

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