How to Pick the Right Color for Your Roof

Your roof makes a big difference in the overall look of your home. Knowing which color to choose for your roofing shingles will help you make a decision that will suit your home’s appearance and work well in the climate where you live. Other possible determining factors affecting your choice of roof color include the architectural style of your home, your neighborhood, and energy efficiency.

The first thing you should consider is the climate around your home. Believe or not, the color of your roof will affect your attic’s temperature by 20 to 40 degrees, ultimately affecting the temperature within your home. Dark shingles will absorb heat and can end up being even hotter than the actual temperature outside. That’s great if you live in a colder climate, but not here in South Florida.

White or light-colored shingles will have the opposite effect, as they reflect sunlight and heat away from your home, resulting in roofing that can be 50 to 60 degrees cooler than a dark roof, which helps keep your home’s overall temperature down. You might also end up using your air conditioning a lot less or at least turning it down. Lighter shingles combined with proper ventilation and quality insulation will help you save on energy costs in your home.

Added bonus: The lighter colors will make your home look larger (compared to darker roofs, which make homes look smaller). While a white paint or reflective coating is best for cooling your roof and home overall, you should consider other factors before choosing your roofing color.

The next thing for you to think about is what kind of statement you want the exterior of your home to make, and how the color of the roof will play into that. Your roof can account for up to 40% of your home’s external appearance, so you should give it as much thought as you would your home’s interior design (especially if you spend a lot of time just outside of your home, in the backyard or pool area, or on your front porch, because it means you’ll be staring at your home’s exterior a lot more).

Your roof color should reflect your tastes, but it should also be a color that works for your home and isn’t an eyesore. You want to either keep or enhance your home’s curb appeal. Any color in the family of cream, tan, brown, gray or black is considered a neutral color, and therefore a safe color that will be in style for years to come.

Neutral colors can also help your home get a good resale value whenever you choose to move out. However, you can also combine colors for a little more variety and a slightly trendier look. Pick a few shades from the same color family, or use contrasting colors. If contrasting, consider using low-contrast colors to hide any problem areas or defects on the exterior of your home, or use high-contrast colors to highlight the best outer features of your home.

Also, consider how your roof shingles’ color can be coordinated with the rest of your exterior. For example, if the rest of your home’s exterior is white, you’re better off with a dark-colored roof like black or dark gray, but you can likely get away with any light color, like a light gray or light blue roof, or even a light green color. If your home is brown, tan or cream, a contrasting brown or cream, or a combination of colors in the same color family will work best.

Do you have a home that’s a less traditional color like red, yellow or green? Then you have a lot more options for roofing shingle colors. Black, gray or brown are the suggested colors, but you could get away with contrasting lighter colors, like a light blue, light tan or white. Concerning sidings and facings, while wood siding can be painted to work with your roofing color, most sidings and facings like brick, stone or masonry, stucco, cedar logs, vinyl siding, and more are permanent and can’t be changed easily. So choose wisely.

However, if you like living on the edge and you want to mix patterns, do it with care and a watchful eye, especially if there’s already a big contrast in color between the facing and the roofing shingles. Mix your patterns on the exterior of your home the very same way you’d mix them inside of your home (i.e., place a large print with a smaller print in a complementary color). Don’t use multicolored shingles with multicolored facings and sidings, or used particularly textured shingles with textured facings and sidings. For example, does your home’s facing feature a pattern of multicolored bricks?

That said, you can use the color of your roof to draw attention to your home’s architecture and material makeup. Is your home made of mostly wood, stone, stucco or brick? Is your home a log home, a simple, ranch-style house, or is it contemporary? Do at least a little bit of research on the roofing color your home’s style tends to have. (For example, dark brown, black, grey, green shingles are suggested for red brick homes.) You can even drive around town and find homes similar to your own in both style and color to see what roofing color looks best.

Also note that the higher the pitch or the more sloped your roof is, the more you’ll see your roof shingles from street level. So choose a color and profile that will positively draw attention to your home’s architectural style and draw the eye upward toward any special architectural details.

Something else to consider when choosing a shingle color is different light conditions. Always make sure to look at actual samples in every light condition possible at all different times of the day (and night). Remember that natural lighting doesn’t just differ based on the time of day, but also your location. Natural sunlight looks warmer and redder in the southern U.S., whereas in the north, natural sunlight has a cool, bluish cast to it. So that super pale shade of blue or cool grey you’re looking at might look quite off in the sunset here in Florida, even if it looked good in that picture of that Vermont home you were looking at. So, try a few samples before you decide on what you’ll buy. That way, you know exactly what you’re getting and how it will look.

If you’re redoing your entire roof and not just painting your roof, you’re also going to have many choices to pick from when considering what material your roofing should be made from. Focusing on just the color here, if you are considering clay tiles, makes sure that they were fired in a kiln so the color won’t fade over time. However, note that concrete tiles will offer just as many color choices and a lot more versatility, as they can be made to look like other materials, such as the aforementioned clay tiles, slate or wood shakes.

One last thing you need to consider before officially making a color change to your roof is what your neighborhood rules and standards are. If you have a neighborhood or homeowner’s association, you’ll need to ensure that the roofing color you’re choosing doesn’t violate their rules. If there aren’t set rules for you to follow concerning your roof, you should still think about how your roof will look in comparison with all of your neighbors. You don’t want your roof to look too similar to theirs (unless that’s how many or all of the roofs look in your neighborhood). But you also don’t want your roof color to clash with theirs. You want a happy medium that makes your roof and home overall look nice sitting next to or across from any one of your neighbors’ homes, works well with the natural surroundings and your landscaping and will be a color that the next owner of your home likes.

Whatever you decide to do with your roof, make sure you consult with a roofing expert to get a quality, professional-looking roof that will last a lifetime. And, as we’ve said before, while you can do your roofing yourself, it’s absolutely best to get professional roofers to roof your home.

Need additional help picking out your roofing color? Need a roof repair or replacement? Whatever the roofing issue, give Caldwell Roofing a call at 561-392-0971. We offer top-quality roofing services for the Palm Beach County and Broward County areas in South Florida.