Residential Roof Style Guide
Here are some general guidelines for choosing a roof color and product:
1) Your roof is more permanent than your paint color so choose your roof color according to other more permanent exterior choices like house style and stone or brick elements that aren’t likely to change. Resist the urge to match stone or brick. Instead, choose a solid and contrasting color.
2) Do not try to match your house color. If you are replacing a roof and don’t plan to change the color of your paint, resist the urge to match your roof to your paint. Your roof should act as an accent to the main color of your house. If you think in threes, you should coordinate your main house body color, your window and door trim color and your roof color. In general, your roof color should be darker than your main body paint color.
3) Be careful with texture. There is a trend to choose shingles that are “high definition” and carry the wooden shake feel. These are more interesting and have a higher-end feel than the old 3-tab flat shingle. If your house already has a lot of texture going on with brick or stone or even shake siding, you will need to be careful to choose a roof product that doesn’t add too much busyness.
My eyes feel strained looking at the texture of this home. The shake-like texture of the roof is an unneeded element. A smoother roof texture would help accentuate the brick.
4) There is another current trend in roofing that offers a lot of color variance in your shingles. This works best if your house body is mainly straight siding. Choosing these shingle colors on a house with a lot of stone is a no-no.
4) Use specialty roofing appropriately. Consider the style of your home. A spanish revival home calls for clay tile, a saltbox colonial doesn’t. Do your homework and research historically accurate materials for your house style and geographic area. Full metal roofs are perfect for modern farmhouses and coastal cottages, but might be best left off your 70’s ranch.
THIS IS FABULOUS:
THIS IS NOT:
THIS IS PERFECTLY APPROPRIATE:
5) In general, darker roofs look newer much longer than lighter roofs. Red tones tend to fade out quickly – keep this in mind especially in roofs with color variance.
6) A good rule is, if you pull up to your house and notice the roof, you might have made a bad choice. Your roof should not be the star of your house, but a beautiful supporting role, aiding in the overall curb appeal of your property. This is, of course, unless you have designed your roof as a feature of your home, in which case, it should be the feature of the exterior.
In conclusion, your roof is a very important investment and the choice you make is a long term one. (Most roofs should last 25 – 30 years.) Drive around your area and look at other homes that are similar in color and style to your home and take pictures and notes. Your roofing professional should be able to help you identify roofing products and colors that appeal to you and are best for your home’s style.