5 Steps to Pick the Perfect Roof Color

Customer looks at roof color options with shingle sample booklets

Picking a roof color can feel as complicated as picking a rug, curtains, or flooring.

What looks best with the rest of your house?

Why does every color look the same?

Skip the overwhelm, and follow our step-by-step guide for how to pick a roof color for your home that you’ll love (and that will complement the rest of your house!).

Before we dive into our color selection process, let’s first talk about what not to do. 

5 Things to Avoid When Selecting a Roof Color

Do not…

1. Pick the same color as your siding

Just like the inside of your home, you do not want the outside to look too monochromatic. Colors and design thrive on contrast. Make sure that, whatever color you select, it isn’t the same color as the rest of your house.

2. Decide based on an online picture

No matter how accurate it may look, an online photo of a property will never look the same as it will in person. Even if the photo seems accurate, the shingle color can appear differently depending on the lighting, home exterior, and photo edits.

Most digital shingle samples also look different from the physical samples. While the general colors are the same, it’s difficult to notice any of the slight color variations from an online photo. Lastly, the colors can look different based on your screen brightness and display settings.

When looking at colors for a home improvement project–regardless of what type of project–physical samples will always be the most accurate.

3. Decide solely based on a small shingle sample

Small shingle samples are incredibly helpful. However, they don’t show the full picture. When you look at a small sample, it’s easy to get carried away with the very fine variations and differences between shingle colors. Once you see the color stretched across the full roof, you’ll realize that those subtle variations show up differently depending on the home. 

It’s not too different from paint, carpet, or tile samples. While helpful, small samples are hard to imagine across an entire space.

4. Forget to check with your HOA

Some HOAs have strict rules regarding roof shingles and colors. If you have a strict HOA, they might want total uniformity across all roofs. In other instances, they might just have a few color restrictions. Avoid the potential fees, and check with your HOA before replacing your roof with Cottage Red shingles. 😉

5. Assume a color match will look exactly like what you have now. 

Many homeowners ask us to match the color that is currently on their roof. This is definitely a great option. However, an important thing to remember is that, even if your contractor replaces your roof with the exact color you had before, it will look different.

This is because shingles fade and grow lighter over time. If you had a CertainTeed Charcoal Black roof twenty years ago and replace it with the same color, chances are your new roof will look much darker.

If you do want to match how your faded roof looks now, make that clear to your contractor so they can provide the appropriate recommendations. And remember: whatever color you select, it will fade over time, especially if you live in a sunny area. When in doubt, pick the darker color.

5 Steps to Picking the Perfect Roof Color

Now that we’ve covered what not to do, let’s pick a new color for your roof! First things first:

1. Ask your roofing contractor what resources they have.

Every contractor has different resources to help you select a color. Some contractors have a small swatch pad, while others will automatically recommend a like-for-like color match. In many instances, homeowners will select from a tiny swatch not realizing that they could see the color on a roof. Before assuming all you have is a 1 square inch shingle sample, ask your contractor about their color resources. 

Pro tip: Beware of contractors that don’t want to provide you with addresses of previous projects. They could be hiding their poor workmanship or how long they’ve been in business.

2. Look online and at samples

While you don’t want to rely solely on photos and samples, they are an excellent place to start. Take some time to look at online swatches, photo galleries, and physical sample boards to select a few colors you like best. 

3. Review the color choices with your roofing contractor

Once you’ve picked out a few colors, review them with your contractor and ask for recommendations. If your contractor has been in the industry long enough, they will have a good eye for what will look best on your home.

4. Visit nearby properties to see the colors in person

After reviewing the colors you like, ask your roofing contractor for local addresses of roofs they’ve replaced in those colors. This way, you can see the colors on different style homes, stretched across full roofs, and in different lightings. Seeing the colors in person is by far the best way to decide on a color. 

5. Pick a color for your home!

Finally, pick a color! You don’t need to overthink it. Yes, there are a lot of options. But, in the end, roof colors are very forgiving. If you like the color, that’s what matters most. 

Final Tips to Pinpoint the Perfect Color

  1. Use Pinterest or Google images to look up homes similar to yours for inspiration.
  2. Look at your neighbor’s roofs. If you like the color of their roof, ask them or your roofer what color it is.
  3. Ask for a color match. Even if you don’t want a color match, it can be a helpful starting point to know the current color of your roof.
  4. Finally, check out different online home visualizer tools. Some shingle manufacturers even offer tools where you can upload a photo of your home and visualize it with the different shingle color options!
  5. If you don’t like any of the colors available, ask your roofing contractor about the other shingle brand options. Each brand has a different color pallet and a unique way utilizing granule color variation.
  6. Finally, stay tuned for the rest of our blog series posts, and check out our first post, Shingle Brand Colors & Textures!

We hope you find these tips and resources helpful as you navigate the roof replacement process. If you have questions or need help picking a color, leave a comment below or give us a call at 919-906-3791! We offer free roof consultations and inspections throughout the Raleigh-Triangle Area.

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