A reader asked me for help because she thought she ruined her house. She had read one of my blog posts about curb appeal and asked me what she should do. She has a house with light to mid-brown bricks and dark brown shutters & garage doors. She had just installed a black roof and was concerned about the look of her house. Unfortunately the jet black roof color was too dark for the color of her bricks AND the color of the other elements of her house.
Choosing the wrong roof color is a VERY costly mistake and can devalue your home. A roof typically takes up approximately 40% of the landscape of your house, so it NEEDS to coordinate with whats going on with the rest of the house.
What To Consider?
1. The Color(s) of Your House
The colors of your house needs to be your FIRST consideration when choosing a roof color. What color(s) are the bricks, stone and/or siding. Your colors absolutely need to be taken into consideration unless you’re painting the color of your house. (That’s a whole other story!)
Also what are the other colors are on your house like your front door, trim, shutters & garage door? These need to be considered but to a lesser extent because you can paint these to switch them if your roof color is the best choice for your exterior but doesn’t complement your door, a garage door, shutters etc.
2. The Style of Your Home
A black roof on a Spanish styled house would look silly. Likewise an orange-red terra cotta color on a traditional styled home would look inappropriate as well. The style of the home definitely needs to play a factor on choosing the right color. If you’re not sure what style your home is and what would be a suitable color, take a drive around your neighborhood and others with similar styles and get a feel for the colors that they are using. Don’t just go to one or two houses, because they could have chosen the wrong color!
3. How Big Is Your Roof?
Some houses have a higher pitched roof where you see alot of the roof whereas others have a lower pitched one. For high pitched roofs, darker colored roofs can dominate and make the house look top heavy. The roof should NOT be the first thing you notice on a house.
This home would have benefited from a lighter shade in the brown tones due to the pitch of the roof and the warm earth tones of the stone & paint color of the house.
4. Your Neighborhood
You also need to take into consideration what your neighbors’ roof colors are as well. You don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb and be the only red, blue or green roof in the neighborhood. Similarly, you don’t have to be exactly the same as everyone else, but the color you choose should complement the neighborhood. This is the best approach for your curb appeal AND for the value of your home.
Most Common Roof Colors
Warm tones: Weather Woods & Driftwood Colors
Houses in the warm color family, like creams, beige, taupe & tan do well with roof colors that are mid-to-darker tones of brown commonly referred to as weather woods & driftwood among roof manufactures. Be careful not to choose a color too close to the color of brick, stone or siding. There must be some variety or the house will look totally bland. Pick a color from the brick or stone as your queue. If the house is a light cream, you will want to pick a darker shade for contrast. Constractly, if the elements of your house are a darker brown for example, pick up a mid-tone shade in this family.
Mid to light Grays
Pictured above it a traditional red/orange brick with black shutters and a charcoal gray roof. Black or charcoal gray would typically be the go to choice for this type of architecture but because of the steep roof, a mid-tone gray was a good choice for this house. A jet black roof could have over powered this house.
Black is a very popular roof color and very versatile. It works well on lighter cream or white houses. It also shows well with orange or red brick. Charcoal gray is also a good option as shown in the picture above because of the steep roof.
Even though black may be one of the most popular roof colors, it may not be, however, the best choice for your house. Especially if you have dark brick or stones, and/or if you have a large or high steeped roof. Black could be too heavy in those situations. In our picture above, a black roof would have made this house too top heavy.
Be careful when picking black or dark roofs in warmer climates. They attract heat and can make a house warmer.
Blues & Greens are appropriate if you live in a beach or coastal town. This color would stick out in a negative way in a house in a city.
This blue roof color is perfect for this tan siding house.
Like the blue & green colored roofs, red is a popular color but is more common in the south west part of the country. Again, you need to look at what are popular colors in your neighbor. If no one has a red roof in your neighborhood, there’s a reason! Don’t pick it!
Don’t Choose Multi-Color Roof Tiles
Multi-color roof tiles are currently trendy. However, they can make a house look too busy if the brick or stone is a busy pattern. Also over time they can look blotchy on a house.
Multi colored tiles is a trend that the roofing companies promote, but that doesn’t mean that you have to go choose it. It’s a trend that may date over time and thus make your house look dated, especially for resale. Since changing a roof is expensive, its best to stay with a solid colored roof.
This house above would have been better off if they had picked the dark gray shade of the colors shown above. Also switching the front door to a color that popped would really add to the curb appeal of this house.
Get A Roof Visualization
Most roofing companies are able to give you a roof visualization. They take a picture of your house, upload it to their software and are able to help you visualize the final product before you hand over your hard earned money!
Still Need Help Picking Your Roof Color?
Did my reader ruin her house like she thought? A weathered brown look would have been a better choice but lightening up some of her existing house features and with appropriate landscaping will help solve her too dark roof dilemma.
Do you need help with picking a roof color, front door color, your overall curb appeal or another design or staging question? Check out my online services here
Or email me at [email protected] to chat about your needs and how I can help you with that.
Welcome! I’m Debi Collinson. Designer. Stager. Real Estate Investor. In 2006, at the request of a realtor, I staged my very first home. Staging houses was just starting to become popular. I watched every staging show on HGTV that I could find. I was very nervous staging my first house, but the sellers liked their newly redesigned home so much that they turned down an offer for full asking price. I went back to design school and have never looked back. Since 2006, I have been staging & designing spaces to make them look like they belong in a magazine page, and buying “fixer uppers” to fix up & either sell for a healthy profit or to rent them out. Sign up to receive my e-mails of how to make your home stunning and how to sell your house for top dollar!