Are you replacing your roof or building a new home?
What type, style, and color of roof that you choose might be one of the biggest decisions that you’ll make about your property.
Choosing the right type of roofing material, the right shingle color, and everything else about your roof is a big decision that will affect not only the appearance of your home, but maintenance costs and the overall value of the property.
You want the color and material of your roof to blend in seamlessly with your natural surroundings, your neighborhood, and most importantly the architecture of your home.
Your home’s roof should enhance the curb appeal and value of your property as well as express your aesthetic and personality.
The roof makes up about 40% of the visible exterior of your home depending on the style of the house, so choosing the right shingle colors and roofing materials means that when you make your choice you are also deciding on the type of first impression you want to make with your home, and even bigger decisions like the resale value of the property.
Your new roof is a choice that you and your family – and your neighbors – will have to live with for years – so check out our guide and choose wisely!
The best roof shingle and house combinations for your unique property can be tough to figure out, but there are plenty of resources including roof color visualizers, roof color charts, roof color simulators, roof color apps, and more.
Here’s how to get started designing your ideal roof…
- What Do You Need to Consider When Choosing a New Roof?
- Choosing the Roof Shingle Colors
- Roof Color Choice & What Color Is Your House?
- Roofing Color Selector
- Roof Building Materials
- Siding Color Selector
- How Climate Affects Your Roofing Choices
- How Architecture Affects Your Roofing Options
- Your Personal Style & Desired Aesthetic for Your Roof
- Resale Value of Various Types of Roofing Materials
- Homeowners Association Rules or Similar Requirements
What Do You Need to Consider When Choosing a New Roof?
The literal “roof over your head” is an incredibly important aspect of your home or any other property.
Here’s what to do if you are considering replacing your roof and where to get started with everything from picking the color and material to determining what you actually want your roof – and therefore your home – to look like based on your own preferences and style.
First, consider the style of your home – you will of course want to choose a different style and color roofing material if you have a Georgian style home versus a ranch versus something super contemporary.
Your climate also matters; for instance, in warmer or hot areas a metal roof might be more desirable because it will reflect heat, while an asphalt roof can absorb heat, so that could be a good option if you live in a cold climate that has real winters.
Another key consideration is the actual shape of your house.
Things like gables, dormers, and other masonry or structural details will affect how your roof looks.
You also want to consider your backyard, porch, or any other outdoor living areas.
After all, if you have a deck, a pool or hot tub, a spot to dine outside, a BBQ area, or even a complete outdoor kitchen, you’ll want to consider the color and material of your roof, especially if much of it is visible from your outdoor hangout spots.
After all, your roof is a key design element of your new home.
It can lend your house a warm, welcoming vibe, a contemporary chic look, some historic grandeur, or even create a bold and dramatic statement that sets your house apart from the rest of the neighborhood.
Choosing the Roof Shingle Colors
This might be one of the most important decisions you can make when you’re getting a new roof.
The color and type of materials set the tone for the rest of your property and might be one of the most noticeable or defining aspects of your home.
It all starts with the type of home that you have.
For instance, a trendy color might look odd on an old-fashioned colonial, while wooden shingles might be strange on a more modern residence.
Consult with your roofing contractor and architects for ideas, look online for examples of houses similar to yours and see what you like.
Perhaps you should even make a Pinterest board or create a folder of example images so you can start to refine your choices and establish the colors and textures that you like.
One of the most difficult aspects of replacing your roof or building a completely new property is figuring out what color roofing shingles that you want to use.
There are lots of ways to get ideas and of course there are some standard or classic combinations that you should consider, such as a black or gray roof with a white house or a black or slate gray roof with a red brick house color combination.
You should also consider the pattern and texture of your shingles as well as the color.
Different materials such as asphalt or cedar have various texture options.
Think about the contrast of your roof with the rest of your home – it is often best to mix and match the textures.
Think brick walls or stone masonry with smoother textured roofing materials like slate, metal, or a more minimal asphalt option; on the other hand, smooth siding might work well with multicolored or more textured asphalt.
Last but not least, remember that lighter colors can make your home appear larger and make it stand out amongst the neighboring properties, while darker colors decrease attention from your home and put other elements into more prominent focus.
Roof Color Choice & What Color Is Your House?
Choosing the color for your roof starts with the color of your home.
If you’re not planning on painting it any time soon you should consider the color of your house and what would complement the property most, otherwise you may want to do that at the same time or close to your roof replacement, or consider the color that you’re planning on painting before you make your final decision on the color of the roofing materials you’re using.
Another important element is the structure of your roof.
The greater the slope or higher the pitch (the angle of your roof), the more of your roof will be viewable from the ground or street level and therefore affect the appearance and curb appeal of your home.
Accordingly, it’s essential to choose a shingle color and roofing material that fit with and even enhance your property’s general architectural look and look and feel and even draw the eye towards unique features like gables, dormers, skylights, and even things like turrets if you have a particularly dramatic or unusual home.
Google images of homes in your desired color palette and perhaps even look through real estate listings in your area.
You can also drive around the neighborhood and nearby areas and see what appeals to you for inspiration.
Asking your architect or contractor what they think and what they have recommended in the past is a good way to assess their skills and expertise as well as a way to determine whether or not they understand the aesthetic you are going for.
After all, you’re going to see your roof (nearly) every day and it is a major investment.
White: White and white shingles are perhaps the most versatile shade to work with when you’re deciding what color roofing shingles or materials you want.
You could really do practically any color roof from black to gray to brown, blue, green, or go for a monochromatic look with a white roof.
It all depends on your location, the architecture of your home and neighborhood, and your personal preferences.
Taupe/Cream: Taupe, cream, or beige is almost as versatile as white. Black, brown, gray, blue, green, or similar taupe or cream hues can all work.
Gray: Black, a contrasting shade of gray, white, green, or blue can all pair nicely with a gray brick or painted house.
Red: Gray, black, darker shades of brown, and some softer shades of green (think celadon or grayish green) can all look lovely with a red brick or similar home.
Brown: Complementary shades of brown, black, and most shades of green or blue can work well with a brown house.
Wood: While wood comes in a variety of hues, there are certain shingle colors that tend to look great with wooden houses, such as black, brown, gray, gray-greens, or even slate blues.
Keep it simple and natural to complement the vibrance and richness of the wood.
Remember that color has a psychological effect on you and your family – and your guests and neighbors – so you should never discount the importance of choosing the ideal color – from your perspective – for your shingles and roofing materials.
Roof Building Materials
What’s in your budget and perhaps more importantly, available in your area?
Your roofing contractor will be able to help you decide what will work best with your climate, the color and style of your property, your personal style, and your home in general.
Look for contractors with experience with your particular sort of home in regard to its architecture, location, climate, and even your specific neighborhood in the case of a homeowners’ association with strict requirements.
Asphalt: Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials in many areas in the United States, and for a good reason.
They come in a variety of shades and they are relatively cost-effective, and can sometimes even be installed over older shingles, further saving costs.
In addition, be aware that algae resistant asphalt shingles are becoming more readily available, making asphalt roofing a more popular option in humid climates where it didn’t use to be a common choice.
There are three types of asphalt roofing shingles commonly available – strip shingles, dimensional shingles, and luxury shingles.
Strip shingles are made from a single layer of asphalt and are generally the most inexpensive option.
Dimensional asphalt shingles are made of two or more layers of asphalt and they are the most prevalent type of roofing shingles in many areas; they are also called architectural shingles or laminate shingles.
Finally, luxury asphalt shingles are the most expensive option but also perhaps the most visually stunning option for your new roof if you are interested in asphalt shingles.
They are multi-layered and can mimic the look of old school quarried slate or shake style roofing.
Wood Shingles: Wooden shingles are another common roofing solution.
There is a wide variety and price range when it comes to wooden shingles; the options include everything from high-end Old-World style shake shingles to more inexpensive pine, cypress, or redwood shingles.
Wood shingles are often referred to as “shakes” because that describes the way that the shingles are crafted from split logs.
If wood shingles or other wooden roofing materials are common in your area, your contractor should be able to advise you as to the best solution for your climate, your home, and your budget.
Cedar: Cedar shingles or cedar roofing are a popular wooden shingle choice that can be very elegant and perfect for historic homes and similar structures; although, you should be aware that they can be high maintenance and more expensive to repair and replace.
If you choose cedar shingles for your roof, you should be prepared to potentially cover more initial costs as well as the costs of treatment and other potential repairs.
That said, their rustic look is a classic for a reason and a cedar roof can be incredibly beautiful.
Metal: Metal roofing can be a significant asset for residential properties as opposed to other materials, but depending on the style and location of your home metal roofing might not be necessary or the best roof.
That is because while metal roofing is generally more expensive, it is great for hotter climates because it reflects heat while asphalt and other options tend to absorb it.
Having said that, metal roofing can generally add greater value to your home depending on the area.
Slate: Slate roofing is expensive compared to the other options, but a properly installed slate roof can last for decades and add significant value to your home.
The elegant look of slate is also an asset and choosing a slate roof can result in a significant upgrade to your property, and you can enjoy the classic look of slate shingles for years to come.
How Climate Affects Your Roofing Choices
There’s a reason why certain materials and styles are popular in different areas.
After all, darker colors absorb heat and lighter colors reflect it, so the climate in your area matters when you are choosing what color shingles and type of roofing material that you plan to use.
Of course, lighter colors reflect the light – keeping things cooler – while darker colors absorb the light and keep warmth in.
And this is key in areas with colder winters like the Midwest.
You might love the look of a white roof, but a darker shade might be more energy efficient if you live in an area that gets seriously cold winters.
It’s also useful to understand the natural sunlight in different areas and how that might affect the appearance of your roof.
The natural light in somewhere like Illinois or Wisconsin is very different than it is somewhere like Arizona or southern California, so keep your location in mind not only in regard to climate, but as to how the natural light will be cast and reflect on your roof and the overall colors of your home.
The local vegetation – and what type of landscaping you have around your home – also matter.
If you have a lot of deep green trees and bushes or other lush foliage, some colors will have a very different effect than if you are in the desert or in a tropical environment with palm trees and similar shrubbery.
For instance, in chillier northern areas like the Midwest, New England, and the Pacific Northwest, the sunlight tends to have a cooler or bluish cast, while in places like the Southwest or the Deep South it tends to have a reddish or warmer cast.
This will affect your shingle color choice of course, as well as the type of roofing material that you choose.
Be sure to look at all the roofing samples, shingle color samples, and any other options provided by your contractor in a variety of types of natural light – first thing in the morning, in the middle of the day, at dusk, and even at night to see what each one looks like on your actual property.
Your roofing contractor or architect should provide you with samples to think about and view in the various lights – after all, you will have to live with that roof for years so you should make sure it looks great at all times of the day and night.
You wouldn’t consider repainting a room without getting paint chips and samples after all – the same should go for your roof. And a new roof is a considerably larger investment!
Know what materials are available and best suited in your area – your roofing contractor can help you.
Look for a roofing company who has worked in your area for a while, has plenty of positive references, and not only understands the look you are going for, but can provide helpful feedback and even positive criticism to ensure that your new roof looks the way you want it too, that it will be ideal for your location and its climate, and will add value to your property.
How Architecture Affects Your Roofing Options
Certain types of materials and colors work better on different types of homes.
For instance, wooden shingles might look awkward on more modern homes, while a metal roof might be out of place on a classic Georgian, Queen Anne, Plantation, Colonial, or Victorian style home.
Brick homes or stone veneer homes tend to be better served by more classic looks, but stucco or frame homes might offer more room for experimentation in terms of roofing materials and roofing shingle colors.
Look at common choices for similar properties and typical colors and materials in your neighborhood for ideas.
Are there certain houses in your area that you love and are they similar to your own property? Take note of the types and materials that their roofs are made of – and if the houses are similar to yours – and consider using similar colors and materials.
The color of your roof shingles should be a secondary selection after you pick out the material.
You may be replacing your roof with a similar type of material (or the same of roofing material and components) as the previous one, or perhaps you are upgrading or making a stylistic change to your home or both.
Let your climate and the rest of your home’s exterior elements guide you – as well as the advice you get from your roofing contractors or architects – and go from there in regard to the color of your roofing.
Also, remember that wood siding and even brick can be painted and shutters and doors can be painted or changed, most other exterior features like stucco, brickwork, cedar logs, and masonry are costly and difficult to change even if you wanted to alter them.
Your Personal Style & Desired Aesthetic for Your Roof
Do you pick an unusual color for your neighborhood or do you go more traditional?
Check out what your neighbors have done and decide if you like it.
You need to also consider what is typical for your area and climate, along with any rules from your homeowners’ association or any similar types of community boards.
Using style boards and other tools to decide on the shade and material of your roof can be incredibly useful.
There are a lot of roofing visualizers or roofing color selection tools on the web, and of course there is always the option of using Google Images or even Pinterest or various Instagram hashtags for real estate or homes in your area might be useful.
Roofing color charts are also readily available online so you can input the colors of your home and other factors and you’ll get a variety of options to consider.
While your personal aesthetic and desired look for your roof is the most important part of the roof placement puzzle, you should also be mindful of your neighborhood, even if you don’t have an HOA or similar organization to deal with.
After all, they have to look at your house too, and if you live in a historic neighborhood or area with a specific style, you might be best served by sticking within those guidelines or that overall look and feel.
Whether it is because of the tradition in the area or because those roofing materials and shingle colors are best for the local weather and climate (also hail and storms), there is probably a good reason and it’s worth at least thinking about before you make your final decision about your choice of a new roof.
Don’t forget that your garage, shed, or other outbuildings will need a roof too!
You want to make sure that your new roof matches or at least coordinates with the other buildings on your land (if applicable). A significant contrast or mismatch could be problematic in terms of resale value, and your neighbors or even your HOA might consider it an eyesore.
Any other structures like garages should be included in your budget when you’re planning replacing your roof.
Resale Value of Various Types of Roofing Materials
Know that your roof accounts for up to forty percent of the building’s visual appearance and “curb appeal” and take that into consideration.
This goes doubly so if you plan on selling in the near future or if you are planning on flipping the property, since you need to make sure you choose something that will add to the resale value of the home and is perhaps relatively neutral in order to make sure that potential buyers will be able to see how they can put their own stamp on the house.
Higher end or more expensive roofing materials may also help to increase the resale value of your home; for instance, metal roofing or cedar shake shingles tend to add more value than an asphalt roof.
The color combination of your home’s siding or brick or other materials with your roof may help improve the value as well – a harmonious color combination will obviously be more appealing.
If you plan to sell in the near future, you may want to discuss what is most popular with your contractor and take a look at comparable properties in your area to see what the competition is doing in terms of house and roof color combinations.
Homeowners Association Rules or Similar Requirements
Make sure that you’re aware of any rules or requirements in your community (including rules for historic homes) before you start making changes to your roof.
Many homeowners’ associations or community associations have specific requirements regarding the color and style of your roof – as well as the rest of your house, yard, and other property – so you want to make sure that your new investment fits within their guidelines or you might face some very expensive repairs.
Are you considering a new roof?
There are so many factors to consider but perhaps the biggest one is your personal style and desires for your home.
There is also your property’s overall value and resale value, your climate, the aesthetic and curb appeal, your neighborhood’s requirements, and more.
This is why working with a contractor who has experience with your type of home and your area is important in order to get the best possible roof shingle color and home color combination possible.
Struggling with color choices for your roof or do you just want to look at all the available options? Contact us today and check out our roof shingle colors in the meantime and start imagining what your dream home looks like!