How to Pick Shingle Colors for Your Home?

Shingle colors will impact your home’s visual appearance.

With the prospect of installing a new sloped roof assembly; colour selection becomes an important consideration for today’s homeowner.

For many homes; the roof can represent forty percent of the visual appearance, or curb appeal; in the designer’s vernacular. This is particularly true on homes that have steeper pitched roofs. The selection of roof colour becomes an important design element that can make or break the visual appeal of the home.

At one time, it was widely accepted that choosing a lighter roof colour would greatly influence how long a roof would last. The idea being that lighter colours would serve to reflect the heat of the sun, and therefore resist premature clawing or curling of the shingles, as well as avoid premature granule loss.

While this may have been true with respect to the older, traditional three tab asphalt shingles; today’s modern fibreglass laminate shingles are more robust, and due to the nature of their construction characteristics, are not impacted in the same way.

The era of the fibreglass laminate shingle has ushered in bolder, textured styles which can simulate the look of cedar shingles or slate tiles. The available colour blends, and deep shadow lines, create the appearance of greater depth, and a three dimensional appearance. Such colour blends provide more design possibilities that have never been available previously.

So just as important as the function of a shingle product; the aesthetic quality of these modern shingles provides the ability to greatly enhance the appearance of most homes.

What to consider when picking a shingle color?

Some design elements to consider when selecting a shingle colour include the type of brick, stone, siding, or stucco, that exists on the home’s facade. Other considerations include the dominant trim colours of the home, which include elements such as the front door, shutters, soffits and fascias.

Some people find it difficult to visualize a particular roof colour in contrast with existing colour elements of the home.

As a general guideline, one wants to stay within the same colour family to create a monochromatic look.
An example would be the use of various grey tones. If a house had light grey bricks; a darker grey or black roof would serve to compliment the brick colour, and draw the eye upward. Further using a blended grey colour shingle would add design appeal if the brick was a plain type. The overall result is that the home would appear larger, and yet very neat in appearance.

In comparison; a home that has a multi-coloured, mottled, type of brick, would be better served to have a more uniform coloured shingle, so as not to appear too busy.

Further to consider, is that trim colours are easily changed with paint, or aluminum cladding, which can serve to transform the appearance of a home completely; and to suit the desired roof colour.
When selecting a shingle colour; it is important to view actual examples of the shingle. Sample swatches provided on manufacturer sample boards do not typically provide enough surface area to allow the observer to detect nuances in the colour blend of granules, and to consider how the colour may change under different light conditions.

Some people like to visualize the appearance of a completed roof in their desired colour, which can be good for some people; but not for all. The reason is that looking at the appearance of someone else’s home can trick the eye, due to trim colours that they have used, and light conditions at the time of observation.

It is therefore best to look at the specific shingle colour in the context of the actual design details of the home where the roof will actually be installed. Looking at other homes can certainly give some people a good sense of the overall appearance, but may not accurately consider their particular design elements and shading of the property. It is also suggested to spend some time observing the sample shingle colours to account for various changing light conditions.

Why shingle colour matters?

It is an important decision to choose the right shingle colour. Done well; it will serve to increase the value of one’s home. Choosing the right colour combination for both the shingles and accessory elements represents one of the most economical ways to increase property value. Home remodel experts have suggested that the return can be $1.50 for every one dollar invested in such an improvement. Of course, there is additional value in the fact that a new shingle roof represents the protection of what for most people; is their single greatest investment.

Further to note, is that many shingle manufacturers have on-line visualization tools which allow homeowners to scan in a photo of their home; and “try on” various roof shingle styles, and roof shingle colours. This can be an excellent aid when beginning the vetting process of selecting the right product choice.

There are some people who do not possess the ability to choose the correct colour of shingles for their home. One example is people whom are colour blind. Choosing to receive help from a designer or from their roofing professional, can be another way to help achieve the best appearance for one’s new roof and home’s overall exterior design aesthetic.

Related Content: How to Shingle a Roof

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