When it comes to choosing the right color of roofing shingle for your house, the process can be overwhelming. There are many colors and styles to choose from, and you don’t want to make a costly mistake. You know, your roof is probably the second largest area of color and texture on your building, next to the brick, stone, or siding that covers your house.
Your first objective is to find a roofing company, and get all the color and style samples they offer, or go to a local or nationally known hardware / building supply store, like Home Depot or Lowe’s, and get samples from them.
Once you get your roofing samples, slowly one by one, pass each sample over / by the surface it will be paired with (brick, stone, or colored siding). Look for shingles that pick up, or have some of the same color(s) that are in your brick, stone or siding.
Your objective is to find shingles that coordinate / go with / complement what you have, not just be another color for the roofing surface.
Once you find a few color samples that you like, ask for a larger sample of those shingles, so you can take them home and put them against your house’s covering, to see how they look together.
Look at your samples close up, and step back really far to see how they work with your house. Look at your samples, placed next to your house, in the early morning, at mid day, and early evening to see how different light effects the colors. If your house is clad with the same product on all four sides, bring the samples around your house to see how they look in different kinds of directed light (north, south, east and west).
If you can’t get large samples of your final roof color choices, pick up many small samples of the roofing and glue them to a board, to make a large color swatch.
When looking at different samples of architectural shingles, keep in mind that shingles with highly contrasting colors and shades, will be more visually busy / stimulating like (illustration 1A), than shingles that have colors that are closer together like (illustrations 1B).
If you have a brick or stone house, with many different colors of brick or stone making up the covering of your building, try to look for a roofing shingle that is not that busy looking. Design is like the Stage. You have one star (your brick or stone), one co-star (your roofing shingles), and a supporting cast (your colored siding). There are never two stars on the same stage at the same time. Diva-Stars fight each other!
At this point, I want to say, there are really no wrong color ways of shingles by themselves. The wrong comes with a poor pairing of shingle and house covering.
When picking out shingles, never just pick them out at the store and say this is it. There is where the visual problems and disappointing effect starts.
When buying your shingles, get the best quality, and go for a high number of years, that the shingle is good for. Don’t skimp because of price. The cost of the shingle is probably 1/3 of the total cost of the project. When you think about taking off the old shingles, the cost of and putting on the new, and dumping fees, buying an architectural shingle with a long life span is cheaper in the end. A 40 year shingle is not that much different in price from a 20 or 30 year one. Remember, the labor and dumping is the same price, if you buy the expensive or cheap. If you are planning on living in the house for a long while, 20 years is here in no time.
Now look at illustration 2A.
The stone pavers in this illustration, represent the colors of decorative stone that could be on the front of a house. Notice how I pulled the gold, gray, and soft rust-terracotta tones from the pavers, and found a roofing sample that has the same colors in it.
In illustration 2B look at the light and medium gray tones on the stone pavers. Also notice the gray-brown mortar that surrounds the stone. With stone this color, I have two options to choose from. The first is a roofing shingle that picks up the gray colors of the stone pavers. The second option is to pair the stone with a roofing shingle that matches the mortar around the stone.
Illustration 3A shows pavers that represent a red brick house. Here I came up with 3 possible options. Option one picks up the rusty red-brown colors of the brick, and some of the dark antiqued marks on the brick. Option two is a slate gray shingle, but it has small amounts of rusty red-brown grains of sand in it, that pick up the brick colors. A third option (not shown) could be a medium gray shingle with notpronounced shadow bars.
So there you have it. I hope this post was helpful. If my instructions work for you, come back and tell us. We are all for hearing your success stories.
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How I wish I had read this before I impulsively pointed at a shingle and said “this one.” It clashes with my brick. Now I’m stuck with it for 20 years. Only option would be to paint the brick which spouse will never go for. SO LISTEN TO FRED, EVERYONE!
Hi there Janine, sadly I’m laughing at your comment of “Listen to Fred, Everyone”. Is there any way that you can take a color from the new shingles and use it for the trim around your windows, or shutters, or front door, garage door(s), etc to try to bring a color from the roof down onto the face of you house?
I am replacing my metal roof with asphalt. My house is light yellow/cream with whit trim. I have red brick patios around the house. I live in Florida nest the beach. White picket fence and whit trim around deck. I’m torn between Shasta white, antique silver or even a reddish (terra cotta) . Any advice would be appreciated