How to choose the right shingle color for your roof

While extremely dark or light shades of shingles have shown to have an affect on roof temperature, other gray and brown shades have a lesser impact and may be a good choice for your roof, Mallory says. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Mark B. of St. Louis)

While extremely dark or light shades of shingles have shown to have an affect on roof temperature, other gray and brown shades have a lesser impact and may be a good choice for your roof, Mallory says. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Mark B. of St. Louis)

Choosing a color for your roof project is not always easy. Remember, you have to live with the choice the next 20 to 30 years so choose wisely!

Here are some good things to consider when choosing the color of your roof: 

Dark vs. light

I have had many people ask me about dark colors versus light colors and heat retention. One study concluded that the plywood sheathing under black shingles was 10 degrees warmer than an identical white shingled roof on a sunny day. However, there is found to be less difference between other shades (light and dark grays and browns). My advice is to choose the color you like. You are going to have to live with it for a long time. 

Brick is permanent 

When choosing colors, remember that paint and shutter colors can always be changed, but brick color is permanent. Start by comparing sample colors to the brick, then move to the siding or paint colors.

Paint colors

If you are planning to make a change to the outside color of your home, compare the new color to the shingle/siding samples. Go to the local hardware store, buy a two-by-six board and paint it the new color. Put the board next to the samples and place them next to the permanent colors on your home.

Complementary colors

Some of the worst color mistakes I’ve seen are when a homeowner chooses a color that almost perfectly matches the siding or brick. It winds up being a monotone, boring, almost lifeless color scheme. Always try to complement your colors instead of matching them exactly.

Tone it down

Rule of thumb, if the non-roof part of your home is busy (multi-color brick or stone facades, multiple paint colors) you will want to choose a toned down shingle color. Too many patterns and colors overwhelm the eyes. However, if your home has a monotone feel to it, a vivid shingle color can add tremendous curb appeal.

Shade and sun

When using samples to match your outside colors, look at the sample both in the sun and in the shade. Put the sample in a sunny place where the brick colors meet the paint and siding colors, then wait and check the same sample area when it is shaded. Make sure the colors are complimentary, both in the sun and in the shade.

Resale

A bold, bright color may be great for your taste, but is not everybody’s cup of tea. If you are thinking about selling your home in the near future, go with a more neutral color. I have seen homes where the buyers love the inside of a home but are turned off by the roof color.

I think green shingles are a great look on the right home, but if it does not appeal to the majority of your buyers, you may have a harder time selling your home. If however, you are planning on staying put, a bold, rich colored roof can really add character and charm to your home.


About this Angie’s List Expert: Tim Mallory has been in the roofing business for over 25 years and is the owner of Advantage Roofing located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company specializes in providing Cincinnati-area homeowners roofing replacement and repairs and earned the 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award.

As of June 24, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.


More Like This

Choosing the right finishes and paint colors for your kitchen

kitchen_remodel.jpg

No one piece in the kitchen will stand alone; it all has to work together. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member David D.)
No one piece in the kitchen will stand alone; it all has to work together. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member David D.)

Paint colors and finishes can make a big difference in the look and functionality of your kitchen. Here are some tips to keep in mind when remodeling your kitchen.

Comments

On thing to takeinto account is that if homeowners started replacing their shingles with the lightest color available, it would decrease energy consumption in the house and also decrease the heat sink effect of their town - if enough of us do it, it could slow heating of the atmosphere. We have a responsibility to our big home, the earth.

Add comment

Anonymous reviews are Internet graffiti.  Angie's List has real reviews from real people.

What is Angie's List?

Angie’s List is the trusted site where more than 2 million households go to get ratings and reviews on everything from home repair to health care. Stop guessing when it comes to hiring! Check Angie’s List to find out who does the best work in town.

Local Discounts

Daily deals up to 70% off popular home improvement projects from top-rated contractors on Angie’s List!