We hear you. When there are so many options for roofing, sometimes you just want someone else to decide for you.
While we can’t look at each of your roofing projects and offer our personalized recommendation, we can offer some basic color palette recommendations. We can also share helpful design concepts so you can decide what-looks-best-with-what.
In our final post of the series, we will discuss the various components to a home’s exterior, tips from color theory (we promise to keep it simple), and, at long last, what color combinations work best for your home. The goal here is to find a color combination that will complement each part of your home while also increasing overall curb appeal.
Your Home’s Exterior: Broken Down
Naturally, it’s important to consider the other components of your home’s exterior when picking a shingle color.
There are so many parts to a home – whether it’s the interior or exterior of your house. Ideally, you want all the parts to work together to form a cohesive whole. Luckily, unless you are doing a total exterior makeover with new siding, paint, and gutters, you only have one decision to make here: your roof.
So, with that in mind, let’s review the different parts of a home’s exterior.
- Siding – Vinyl, Composite, Wood, Brick, Stone, or Aluminum
- Gutters – Vinyl, Aluminum, Steel, or Copper
- Chimneys – Brick, Stone, Siding
- Roof – Asphalt Shingle, Metal, Cedar, Terra Cotta
- Windows & Doors
- Trim & Wood Accents
You’ll want to keep each of these components in mind as you select a color for your roof replacement.
Design Concepts to Pick the Perfect Roof Shingle Color
I’ve always found color theory to be a bit too complicated for me. Why would I want to use a Triadic color scheme with blue, pink, and orange? It’s never quite clicked in my brain.
Even so, there are still multiple *simple* color and design concepts that are useful as you choose the color and material for your roofing project.
To avoid overcomplicating things, we are going to stick with three basic color schemes for your roofing project: monochromatic, analogous, and complementary.
A monochromatic color scheme means that you want all the parts of your home to have similar colors. This can either look bold or muted, depending on the color scheme.
For a bolder look, a home could have white siding, a white metal accent roof, white gutters, white trim, and a silver roof.
For a milder look, you might have dark gray siding, gray trim and gutters, and a dark gray roof.
An analogous color palette for your home includes colors near each other on the color wheel. This could mean choosing a gray roof with blue hues, blue siding accents, and navy shutters.
A complementary color scheme begs the phrase opposites attract. One popular and striking example of this is the modern farmhouse style home. This specific look has white siding or brick, white trim, black gutters and shutters, and a black roof.
A less common and more cottage-inspired option is the green-red combination. This looks best with a mossy, muted green siding color and a red roof.
If color schemes and the color wheel are too confusing, then don’t worry about them. There are simpler, more straightforward concepts you can utilize that will help you pick the best color for your roof. Let’s talk about them now.
Unless you want the monochromatic, single color-scheme look, you want to consider contrast. Contrast is, well, just that, contrast. When you select the color for your roofing project, make sure it is lighter or darker than your siding in order to provide a pleasant contrast for the eye. Without contrast, everything can blend together and appear dull.
When it comes to color, temperature refers to warm or cool color schemes. In most instances (not all), you want to stick to one temperature.
Cool colors: blues, greens, blues,
Warm colors: browns, reds, orange, yellow, cream
Neutral/Depends: whites, grays, blacks
If you are installing a metal roof, neutral colors can function as either cool or warm depending on your color scheme. This is because metal roofs have little-to-no color variation.
If you are installing a shingle roof, however, then the gray and black shingles will most likely come with some color variation that makes them a cool or warm color.
For CertainTeed Landmark shingles, Silver Birch, Georgetown Gray, Pewter, and Moire Black are all cool colors. In comparison, Cobblestone Gray, Colonial Slate, Weathered Wood, & Driftwood are all warm colors.
Saturation is a concept used in photo editing, referring to the intensity of the colors in an image. The key to saturation is to find the perfect balance that keeps your photo from looking too dull or too intense.
For home exteriors, over-saturation could look like a home that’s too bright, bold, intense, or full of color. An undersaturated home could look too muted, faded, & dull. One important caveat to remember is that – when it comes to your home – your preference is what matters most. If you like bright and bold, then go bright and bold. If you want muted, simple colors, that’s great too.
However, if you are looking to pick a shingle color that is most pleasing to the eye and has good resale value, try to pick one that balances the saturation levels of your home. If you have muted colors on the rest of your house, consider picking a bolder, brighter shingle color. If, however, you already have turquoise siding, we’d recommend going with a muted gray roof to balance things out.
Noise in photography refers to the grainy look of photos that can overwhelm the eye and make it difficult to focus on an image as a whole. Your roofing material, style, texture, and color variation can impact how much “noise” your home has. Another good way to describe noise is “visual busyness.”
To be pleasing to the eye, you don’t want too many busy components. If you already have a unique brick siding with extensive color variation, don’t pick a busy shingle or a color with lots of variation. If you do have busy siding, we would recommend choosing a CertainTeed or GAF shingle. While Owens Corning makes nice color options, the shingles tend to look busier.
If, however, you have a simple home with little color variation, you can pick a more unique shingle product and color. Note that increasing noise isn’t as important as making sure you don’t have too much noise.
Finally, we want to touch on accent colors. Accent colors are the little pieces of color on your home that make the rest of the home pop. They match the rest of your home but are usually a completely different color.
If you are installing an asphalt shingle roof for your roofing project, paying attention to your house’s accent color is a great way to pick a shingle color. Since most asphalt shingles have slight color variations, as long as you can see some shingle samples in person, you can pick the shingle color with variations that match your accent color.
For example, if you have a home with red shutters, CertainTeed Landmark Colonial Slate could highlight that feature with the red flecks that are dispersed throughout the otherwise gray shingle.
Before we move on to color combinations, we wanted to share a few other design tips for picking your roof color.
Other design tips for picking your roof color:
- Choose your color scheme based on the largest element already in the space. For your home exterior, this would be your siding. Base every other color decision off that color.
- Consider future changes. If you are about to remodel your home and paint or change your siding, be sure to select a roof color that goes with the new siding color.
- When in doubt, pick the darker shingle color. Asphalt shingles fade in color over time, especially in sunny areas.
Color Combination Ideas for Your Home’s Exterior
Note that these are not hard-and-fast rules, but a general guidelines to help you narrow down the best color options for your home.
For brown, earthy colored houses (including stone)
Browns and sometimes blacks will look best. Avoid gray shingles. Be sure to pick a shingle with good contrast to the rest of the home. If you want a bolder look, green or red could also pair well depending on your siding color. In the photo above, the homeowners opted for less contrast and chose to match the roof color to the accent color of the stonework. Because the house has dark black shutters, there is still color contrast on the home.
Examples in the CertainTeed Landmark line include Weathered Wood, Burnt Sienna, Moire Black, and Charcoal Black.
For cream, tan, & beige houses
For these homes, browns, blacks, and colors with copper-hues look best. Examples in the CertainTeed Landmark line include Heather Blend, Burnt Sienna, and Weathered Wood.
For gray, blue, & green houses
If your home is gray, blue, or green, you can pick pretty much any color except brown. Some good options from CertainTeed include Silver Birch, Georgetown Gray, Cobblestone Gray, & Moire Black. In some instances, Cottage Red can also add a nice pop and whimsical, cottage look.
For white houses
For white exteriors, we also recommend anything except brown. Grays, silvers, and blacks tend to look best. However, red and green can also add a bold or whimsical look. Some great options include CertainTeed Charcoal Black, Moire Black, and Silver Birch.
Sidenote: if your home has brown or warm accents like red or brown shutters, we would then recommend going with a roof color with brown hues.
For red or yellow houses (including brick)
Black shingles will always look nice on these homes. However, you can also try dark brown or dark gray colors like Burnt Sienna or Driftwood.
What about the fun shingle colors for roofing?
If you are interested in a red, green, or blue for your new roof, here are a few siding colors that pair best with those roofs.
|Red roofs look best with…||Cream or white, storm blue, storm gray, muted green|
|Green roofs look best with…||Cedar, beige, white, log cabin|
|Blue roofs look best with…||White, beige, blue, storm blue, storm gray, light gray, log cabin|
Ultimately, we recommend following these steps when picking a shingle for your roofing project.
- Note the temperature of your house’s color scheme.
- Note what accent colors your home has
- Use the guide below for color combinations go well together
- Pick a color that highlights your accent color.
- If you’re still stuck, consider design elements like color schemes, contrast, temperature, saturation, & noise.
We know we’ve said it before, but if we could give you one solid piece of advice, it would be this: pick what you like. While color and design theory are important, and there are natural color combinations that go well together, this is your home. You can pick a color you like, and chances are, it will look good too. We are naturally drawn to what feels comfortable and good in our space.
So, we hope this advice is helpful, but we also don’t want you to read it, think you have to follow each step to a T, and start hyperventilating. You can consider all these factors, or you can look at your house and say “my siding is white. Black might look nice.” Boom, decision made. Wasn’t that simple?
Need help selecting a shingle color? Book a free roof replacement consultation with one of our roofing experts!