Picking a color for a roof is often left as an afterthought and we get it. Most assume that it’s simply an aesthetic decision. You pick what you think looks the best and move on. The reality is though that roof color determines far more than the appearance of a property. Did you know that it can affect the resale value, long-term maintenance, and even the energy efficiency of your home?
Keep reading for a full look at why the color you choose for a new roof is so important. We’ll cover everything from aesthetics to practicalities so that your roof looks great and also keeps your home in good shape.
Picking a Roof Color for the Best Aesthetic Impact
How the color of a roof makes a property look isn’t the only issue to consider, but it’s probably one of the first things you notice about a home. We’re talking about one of the most visible parts of a property so choosing the right shade matters.
Here are some of the aesthetic factors to consider when choosing a color for your new roof:
- Property Style: The roof color you choose should ideally match the overall style of the property. For example, a red tile would look completely out of place on a colonial home but help highlight the features of a Spanish Revival.
- Property Location: Where a home is located also affects what color roof suits best. Neighboring properties as well as the tones in the surrounding landscape will affect things. For example, a desert property with a sandy, beige roof might make it look quite drab in its location, while a cool blue will help it stand out more.
- Color Coordination: The exterior color and trims of a house are one of the first things to consider when picking a roof color. You can either choose to match the roof color to something like your window shutters or choose to contrast. Either way, the tones need to be able to work together.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to simply pick a roof color a few shades darker than the home itself. This ensures that it matches, while still providing added visual interest to the property.
- Your Personal Style: Though picking a roof color might not seem like the most exciting way to exercise your design taste, it really does alter the look of an entire building. If your personal style leans more modern, deep greys and charcoals will probably suit best, but those wanting something funkier can look at russet tones or even a fun green.
Resale Value and Roof Color Trends
Just like there are trends on Paris runways, there are trends when it comes to roof colors. Orange, Tuscan-style roofs were all the rage at one point until dark greys started to pop up everywhere.
If resale value is a concern of yours, we’d usually recommend sticking to neutrals for your roof color. Classic grey and tan shades are timeless and will help ensure that a property doesn’t look old-fashioned after just a few years. That said, if you have a historical property, matching the roof color to the style of the home is paramount as it will enhance its distinctive look and selling potential.
How Roof Color Shapes Energy Efficiency
Another reason why a roof’s color can affect resale value is because it alters the energy efficiency of a property. No, we’re not talking about solar panels on the roof – just the roof color itself. Did you know that depending on the shade you choose, it can impact how much electricity a building has to use to stay cool in the summer?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, white roofs are your best bet for energy efficiency as they reflect about 60-90% of the sunlight they’re exposed to. This means that they absorb very little heat, and thus reduce how much needs to be spent on keeping a home cool.
If you’re in a warmer climate, it’s best to go for a lighter roof shade. Cold areas however often benefit from darker roofs that retain heat. There are also darker roof colors available that have cooling pigments in them and help reduce how much sunlight they absorb.
Does the Color of the Roof Affect Durability?
The biggest factor when it comes to roof durability is ventilation, but color can play a small role too because as discussed, it can alter how much sunlight a roof absorbs. Picking a cooler color or at least a pigment with cooling properties won’t just mean less money spent on air-conditioning in the summer but will limit heat and sun damage on the roof itself. It’s why you tend to see less discoloration and fading on lighter roofs than you do on very dark ones.
The Link Between Roof Color and Home Insulation
The fundamental property of any good roof is that it keeps a home protected from outside weather and temperatures. How much you need to insulate a roof to keep a home comfortably temperate is hugely affected by the color and materials of a roof. As we’ve mentioned, darker roofs will keep homes in cold climates a bit warmer while light colors are ideal for lowering the impact of hot, sweaty summers.
As such, when it comes to helping with insulation, pick a roof color that suits your dominant climate best. It’s also important to check if the home will be shaded at all by nearby trees as this will affect the home temperature as well. One thing’s for sure: if you live in a very sunny and warm environment, a lighter roof is going to create a far more comfortable indoor temperature than a dark roof.
The Long-Term Maintenance of Different Roof Colors
Taking care of a property can be a huge amount of work but the right roofing choices can help drastically reduce maintenance costs and effort. Here are three key ways that your roof color can affect long-term maintenance:
- Cleaning frequency: If your property is in a damp climate or the house itself positioned under large trees, moss and dead leaves on your roof will always be a concern. While the color doesn’t change how much debris collects, it will alter how much it shows. For example, a very light-colored roof will show dirt far more easily than a dark one.
- Easy Touch-Ups: Even the best roofs can get damaged and will need patch fixing over the years. To make things easier for yourself, pick a roof color that is fairly easy to get hold of again. This applies whether you’re dealing with tiles, a colored coating on a metal roof, or any other material. The more easily available, the simpler it will be to color match or cover over any future fixes that have to be done.
- Color Fading: Darker colors are generally more prone to fading and may need more frequent re-painting. However, fading is often determined more by the type of product used to color your roof, rather than the shade itself.
How to Choose the Right Color for Your Roof
As you can probably tell by now, picking a color for your new roof can impact both its look and functionality. Here are some bonus tips on how to pick a color that balances all these factors:
- Consult a Professional: If you’re working on a new build, you may already have a construction manager or architect on hand that you can talk to but if you don’t, consult your roofers. Our team at Woodiwiss Roofing has seen when roof colors have helped increase the value and functioning of a home, and when it’s caused long-term issues. Click here to contact us with any of your questions. We can help you figure out exactly what’s best for your home’s style, climate, etc.
- Chat with Neighbors: If you notice a great-looking roof in your neighborhood, chat to the homeowners about how their roof color has served them in the long run. They may be able to give insight on certain colors weather in that climate, or any other issues local to the area.
- Consider Future Changes: Just like future touch-ups and maintenance tasks are made easier with more commonly available roof colors, so too are any renovation plans. If you already know that you’re likely to update your home in the future, pick a color that will be easy to match in years to come.
Legal and HOA Considerations to Keep in Mind
Depending on your area or whether you’re in a historical property, there may be legal and HOA guidelines to factor into your decision. Make sure to go through any regulations thoroughly before making a final color choice for your roof to avoid fines or complaints from neighbors.
Roof Color Matters
Choosing a roof color might seem like a small thing, but it impacts everything from the aesthetic appeal of a property to its overall functioning and maintenance requirements. That’s why our team at Woodiwiss takes extra care to help clients with the decision.
Click here to chat with us now and take advantage of our years of roofing expertise. We look at everything from the local climate and geography to style and trend factors so that you get a roof that looks as good as it performs.