Color Choices. Dark vs Light

DARKER VS LIGHTER ROOF COLORS

This post is part of our Q&A with A1 Roofing owner, Travis Baldwin. Travis discusses design factors to consider when choosing between a lighter or darker roof color for your home.

Choosing Dark or Light Home Exterior Design Features

Homeowner Question: Should I put a darker or lighter roof color on my house?

Travis’ Answer: There are a few design considerations on this one.    

Contrast

When it comes to dark or light design features on your home, including a roof color, a design principal to reference is the concept of ‘contrast’.  

A dark roof will look great in contrast to siding or trim in a lighter color, and vice versa. 

Monochromatic

The opposite of using a lot of contrast within your color pallete would be monochromatic, which would be a house with a beige roof, beige siding, and beige trim or accents, which was the trend in the ‘90s.  

Surrounding Environment 

From an aesthetic standpoint, roof color preferences may depend on where you live.  It might be hard to imagine a black roof on a colorful South Florida home with pink or teal exterior design elements, or a white roof on a cabin in the mountains of North Carolina.  

As an example, if you prefer to use a gray roof shingle color, the Owens Corning Duration line has a range of grays from light to dark—from blended to colorful and high in contrast.   

This gives you design flexibility but still gives you the color you desire.     

Function

On exteriors, I frequently hear people talk about dark colors being warmer and light colors being cooler for the house.   

While I can’t speak to that as a designer, I do know that if a house is properly insulated, (in warm and cool climates), the interior climate of the house is much less likely to experience any interior climate impact due to the exterior colors chosen, cladding or roofing. This means that you should pick the roof color that you like. 

Additionally, in some areas there are now “cool” shingles available that use special solar-reflecting granules using darker colors. 

Unless local building codes or HOA requirements prevent you from doing so, my advice is to pick the exterior colors you want for your home. Your roof will continue to do its job – protecting your home from the elements.    

Your Personal Preference

In the end, your choice of roof color is exactly that—your choice regardless of what the design books say.  Since picking a roof color to best complement your exterior color pallate can be a big decision, be sure to do your research, such as taking a drive around your neighborhood to see color combinations you like. You can also try our Design Your Roof feature and see what different shingles colors would look like on your home. 

Take note of the examples with dark and light roofs so you can see the effect before you make your decision. And as always, feel free to consult a design professional if you still have questions.  

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