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How do I choose a shingle color for my roof?

Choosing the right shingle color for your roof is an important decision that can dramatically affect the look and feel of your home. The roof is often the first thing people notice about a house, so you’ll want to select a shade that complements your home’s exterior color scheme. Here are some tips to help you pick the perfect roof shingle color.

Consider Your Home’s Exterior Colors

When selecting a shingle color, you’ll want to take into account the other exterior colors of your home. Look at the color of your siding, brick, trim, shutters, and other architectural details. The roof color should complement these existing colors without clashing. Some guidelines:

  • Similar or matching colors: For a cohesive look, choose roof shingles in a similar shade to your home’s main exterior color. If your brick or siding is beige, opt for beige or brown shingles.
  • Contrasting colors: Go for a roof color that contrasts nicely with the home’s exterior colors. For example, a home with gray siding could look great with black or brown shingles.
  • Avoid matching bright colors: Don’t necessarily try to match a bright exterior paint color exactly. Go for a more muted shade or you may end up with a neon looking roof.

Consider the Roof’s Architecture and Pitch

The style and pitch of the roof can also influence what color looks best. Here are some examples:

  • Shallow pitch roofs: On shallow pitched roofs, darker colors help hide the roofline. Lighter colors emphasize the roof shape.
  • Steep pitch roofs: Steeper roofs look great with darker shades that make the angles really stand out.
  • Victorian homes: Muted earth tones work well on intricate Victorian rooflines.
  • Farmhouse style: For a farmhouse, opt for black or gray to match the traditional look.

Choose a Color that Complements Nearby Landscaping

Consider how the shingle color will look alongside plants, trees, and other landscaping elements. You generally want a roof color that fits in nicely with the surrounding environment. Some ideas:

  • Natural green backdrop: Earth tones like brown, tan or slate gray nicely complement lush green landscaping.
  • Trees with colorful leaves: For trees with red, orange, or yellow fall foliage, a neutral roof color works well.
  • Flower gardens: Muted blue-grays or greens can allow vibrant flower colors to pop against the landscape.

Factor in the Direction the Roof Faces

The sun’s light hits different roof directions differently throughout the day. This can impact how a color looks. North-facing roofs look great with cool tones like blue-grays or greens. South-facing roofs tend to suit warm brown and terra cotta tones. West or east-facing roofs can handle a wider range of colors.

Consider Climate and Weather in Your Region

Think about your area’s climate and typical weather patterns when choosing a roof color. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • Sunny regions: Lighter and more reflective colors like white, tan or light gray can help reflect heat.
  • Rainy or overcast areas: Darker grays or browns don’t show dirt as easily as lighter colors.
  • Cold climates: Darker roofs absorb heat from the sun to help melt snow more quickly.
  • Coastal regions: Neutral tones like gray resist fading in salty sea air.

Choose Based on Your Home’s Style

Selecting a shingle color that fits your home’s architectural style is usually a safe bet. Here are some typical style guidelines:

Home Style Recommended Shingle Colors
Colonial Black, gray, brown
Victorian Earth tones like slate gray, brown
Cape Cod White, light gray, tan
Mediterranean Earthy terra cotta, brown
Farmhouse Black, dark gray
Contemporary Neutral grays, blacks

Consider How Much Contrast You Want

The level of contrast between the roof color and exterior paint colors is a stylistic choice. Here are some guidelines on contrast:

  • High contrast: For visual drama, go with a roof color that starkly contrasts your home’s siding or brick. This eye-catching combo works well on contemporary homes.
  • Moderate contrast: Choose a roof color that’s clearly different from the exterior walls but still complements them. This creates visual interest without going overboard.
  • Low contrast: Minimizing contrast with similar roof and exterior colors provides a more monochromatic, soothing look.

See Color Samples on Your Roof

When narrowing down your color selection, get free shingle samples from manufacturers. Install them on your actual roof in various spots to see how the color looks in real life. View the samples at different times of day when the roof lighting conditions change. This will give you the best sense of each color option.

Factor in Future Re-Roofing Needs

Think about whether color continuity with future re-roofing will be important to you. Opting for a standard color like black makes matching new shingles down the road much easier. Unique custom colors can be impossible to replicate when it’s time for a new roof.

Don’t Forget the Underside Color

For homes with rooflines visible from higher elevations, consider the color of the underside of the roof. You’ll want an underside color that coordinates nicely with the top shingle color. White or light gray are common versatile choices.

Compare Different Brands’ Color Options

The exact same color name can look quite different from one manufacturer to another. Be sure to check out color options from various top brands like Owens Corning, GAF, and CertainTeed before deciding. Review color samples to make apples-to-apples comparisons.

Research How Color Affects Resale Value

While personal preference matters most, roof color does impact potential resale value. Neutral tones like black, gray, brown and tan are safer bets. Bolder hues like red or blue may appeal less to future buyers. Research typical home colors in your neighborhood.

Don’t Rush Your Decision

Don’t feel rushed to pick your shingle color. It’s smart to take your time weighing all the options and factors. A roof is a long-term investment, so making the right color choice is key. Get input from family but follow your own instincts.


Selecting the perfect roof color for your home is all about finding the right shade that enhances your exterior, fits your style, and suits your personal taste. Consider all the angles – from your siding color to the roof pitch and climate to resale value. And don’t forget to get color samples to see how options look on your house. With the right combination of research and vision, you can pick a roof color that gives your home maximum curb appeal.