Replacing the shingles on your home’s roof can be an expensive home improvement—which means that doing it right and taking time to think about what options might be best for your home is especially important.
It looks simple at first, since it comes down to only two questions: What style shingle and what color. Sounds easy, right? For many homeowners who wrestle with the numerous options while finding their way to the right combination of style and color to suit their homes exterior, the process can feel more difficult than not.
To make it a little easier for you, we’ve created some questions and guidelines to help get you started on your way to a beautiful new roof that complements your home’s exterior.
Let’s Start with Style…
If you are putting a shingle roof on your house, most likely you will be using asphalt shingles, which make up over 80% of the residential roofing market. They are made of either an organic paper fiber or fiberglass mat infused with asphalt and coated with mineral granules.
For asphalt shingles, there are two style choices: traditional 3-tab shingles or thicker laminated architectural shingles.
3-Tab or Architectural: Which is Right for Your Home?
The difference between architectural and three-tab is that architectural shingles aren’t made with cutouts. They also contain extra asphalt, which gives it more curves than three-tab shingles. Architectural shingles are waterproof but aren’t recommended for roofs with a low slope due to the roof’s susceptibility to wind-driven rain.
To choose between these two options, the following questions will help determine the best style for your home.
Does My Home have a Steep Pitched Roof?
Stand on the ground in front of your home: Can you see a lot of roof? This indicates that your home has a steep pitch. With a home that has a steep-pitched roof, architectural shingles will give it an interesting and complex texture. They are multi-layered and laminate, adding style to your home’s roof.
Do I Want My Home to Stand Out?
Architectural shingles give homes a distinct and individual look, from slate to shake-like.
Architectural shingles are a good choice if algae is a concern, since many types feature an algae-resistant system to protect them from algae discoloration.
Now for the Hard Part: Shingle Color
Choosing the color of your shingles is the most difficult part of this process because your color decision will be based on factors like climate in your area, what the neighboring houses look like, style of your home, and the colors of your siding and trim. Here are some questions to consider when selecting your color:
What Climate Do You Live In?
- The color you choose will help keep energy bills from skyrocketing.
- Your roof color can affect the temperature in your attic by 20 to 40 degrees and make a real difference in heating or cooling your home.
- White or light shingles reflect sunlight and help keep the temperature of your home down.
- Dark shingles absorb heat and will help homes in colder climates stay warm. They also help melt snow and ice from your roof.
What Color is the Exterior of Your Home?
- Dark gray or black work well with a gray or blue house.
- Use a brown or mix of cream and brown roofing shingles if you have a brown, cream or tan colored house.
- Use dark gray or black on a white house. It will give your house a traditional look.
- Green, red or yellow-painted homes give you more flexibility in choice with shingle color. You can use brown, gray or black.
What Color Can Create the Most Curb Appeal?
- Neutral colors are safe and ensure a good resale value. Tans, creams, brown, blacks, grays and clays are among colors which can be considered neutral.
- To get trendy, think about using color combinations such as a palate of various tones of brown or a mixture of blues, blacks and grays. A professional can help with these choices to ensure the best result.
- High-contrast colors highlight features of your home while low-contrast colors tend to hide defects.
Do I Want My Home to Appear Larger or Smaller?
If your house is large and tends toward the imposing side, consider a dark color to make the house appear smaller. On the other hand, light colors will give the illusion of a larger house. This can add to curb appeal and attract buyers if you have a small home.
What Do the Neighboring Houses Look Like?
- Check with your neighborhood association, if you have one, to make sure your choice of roofing color does not violate any neighborhood rules or covenants.
- Even if you don’t have set rules to follow, think about how your roof will look alongside your neighbor’s house. Try not to duplicate their roof unless that is the norm in your neighborhood. On the other hand, try not to make it clash. Be sure result is harmonious.
Does the Exterior of My House Contain Brick or Stone?
- If you are incorporating stone which is generally much more patterned than brick on your exterior, stay away from multi-colored shingles that can create a very busy look for your exterior.
- Coordinate them with the natural colors in your brick or stone, and opt for a custom color if necessary.
Want Great Results for Your Roof? Choose a Reputable Roofing Company
In addition to choosing the style and color of your shingles, one of your important choices is deciding on a roofing company to install your new roof. Your best bet is to choose a local contractor who is reputable (check out online reviews to find out), has insurance, and gives you the job specs and estimate in writing. The roofing company should give you a fair price (check out other local companies) and communicate professionally on the job. With the right roofing company to do the job, you will be on your way to a beautiful new roof!