Many factors go into roof replacement. Homeowners must think about cost, materials, choosing a contractor, warranties, and how soon they need the job done or whether they can hold off a few months. What they might initially overlook is which color their new roof should be. The choice is important because once a color is picked and the roof is installed, they will be stuck with it for 30 years or longer.
The contractor you hire for roof replacement can offer some advice choosing a color, but ultimately, you will make the final decision on the look of your roof. Here are six tips to help with that decision:
1. Look at your existing roof.
Just for a moment, ignore any structural issues with your roof and look at the color. Do you like its appearance? Does it work with the rest of the house? Could you live with the same color for the next roof? Sometimes, this determination can be difficult, particularly if your current roof is unusually old and faded. But if the current color, minus any missing or rotting shingles, looks fine, you may be halfway toward picking a color for your roof replacement.
2. Look at your home’s exterior.
Now look at the rest of the exterior of your home and ask yourself what you want your roof color to do in relation to it. Do you want the replacement roof to complement the paint job, the siding, or the brick (e.g., beige siding and dark brown shingles)? Do you want it to be a near match to the exterior (e.g., reddish shingles for red brick)? Or, do you hope to create an elegant contrast (e.g., cream-colored brick with dark gray shingles)? Another thing to consider: If you want to change the look of your home later, you can always repaint or install a different color siding, but you will be locked into whatever roof color you choose.
3. Consider the architecture.
Some home architectural styles simply lend themselves to specific roof colors. Older, wood-frame homes are served well by traditional colors; newer designs can get away with bolder hues. Larger houses benefit from lighter colors, but darker colors can make a smaller home appear bigger. Earthier colors obviously will look good on more rustic homes.
4. Think about your energy bill.
The roof is your home’s first line of defense against the sun. Therefore, a darker color is going absorb more sunlight than a lighter shade will. This isn’t too big a concern during the winter, but in the summer, it could bump up your air conditioning bill. (Note, a dark roof in winter will not provide much of a heating benefit.) If you are considering green factors—environmentally green, not necessarily your roof color—think about a lighter roof replacement color.
5. Check out your neighbors’ roofs.
Your neighbors’ homes can offer insight on which colors you should consider for your roof replacement. If many home styles are the same as yours, you can see what works and what doesn’t. Even if the architectural styles aren’t similar, you will be able to get an idea of roof colors that contribute to the character of your neighborhood. You don’t want to go too bold and appear gaudy in comparison, nor do you want your home to be too dull and get lost on your block. If you want to sell your home someday, your roof should stand out just right amid your neighbors.
6. Seek online help.
We understand: This is much to take in when you want the color choice (as well as the rest of your roof replacement) to be easy. GAF has a wonderful tool that can help with picking a shingle color: the GAF Roofing Wizard. This online resource shows all the shingles the manufacturer makes available in your area and then offers color choices for each. The GAF Roofing Wizard is a good place to start gathering information on which colors you like and dislike, as well as which might look good atop your home.
Are you happy with the color of your current roof?