How to choose the Right Shingle Color?

Apr 03, 2013

Choosing a color for your roof project is not always easy. Here are some guidelines I’ve picked up over the years to help determine what color best suits your personality and your home. Remember, you have to live with the choice the next 20-30 years so, choose wisely.

18Dark vs. Light  
I have had many people ask me over the years about dark colors versus light colors and heat retention. A study done a while back concluded that a totally white shingle made the attic temperature about 10 degrees cooler than a totally black shingle. However, when they compared the other shades (light & dark grays and browns) they found very little difference. My advice is to choose the color you like. You are going to have to live with it for a long time.

Brick is Permanent
When choosing colors, remember this, paint and shutter colors can always be changed, the brick color is permanent. Start by comparing sample colors to the brick, then move to the siding or paint colors.

Are you changing the Paint Colors of your Home?  
If you are planning to make a change to the outside color of your home, compare the new color to the shingle/siding samples. Go to the local hardware store, buy a 2X6 board and paint it the new color. Put the board next to the samples and place them next to the permanent colors on your home.

Complimenting, NOT Matching 
Some of the worst color mistakes I’ve seen are when a homeowner chooses a color that almost perfectly matches the siding or brick.  It winds up being a monotone, boring, almost lifeless color scheme. Always try to compliment your colors, not match.

Busy is Dizzy  
Rule of thumb, if the “non roof” part of your home is busy (multicolor in your brick, stone facades, multiple paint colors) you will want to choose a “toned down” shingle color. Too many patterns and colors overwhelm the eyes. However, if your home has a monotone feel to it, a vivid shingle color can add tremendous curb appeal.

Made in the Shade….and the Sun
Here is a tip when using samples to match your outside colors. Look at the sample both in the sun and in the shade. Put the sample in a sunny place where the brick colors meet the paint and siding colors (example: by an entry door or on a window ledge). Then wait and check the same sample area when it is shaded. Make sure the colors are complimentary both in the sun and in the shade.

A bold, bright color may be great for your taste, but is not everybody’s cup of tea. If you are thinking about selling your home in the near future, go with a more neutral color. I’ve seen homes where the buyers love the inside of a home but “could never live with that awful green roof”. I think green shingles are a great look on the right home, but if it does not appeal to the majority of your buyers, you may have a harder time selling your home. If however, you are planning on staying put, a bold, rich color can really add character and charm to your home.

We hope this was helpful information. We have assisted many homeowners in the Cincinnati Tri-State area with choosing shingle colors – We hope to help you do the same. At Advantage Roofing, we believe quality workmanship, blended with excellent service, is the foundation of a successful business.