When they’re surrounded by gray asphalt, many homeowners may not give much thought to the roofing options available to them. But one color expert says that the roof can make a great canvas for exterior home design.

“Depending on the style of a home, as much as 40% or more of the visual you get when looking at a house is the roof,” says Kate Smith, owner of Sensational Color, and resident color expert consultant for DaVinci Roofscapes. “The more roof that is shown, the more important it is to allow the roof color to help define the home’s style.”

DaVinci currently offers 28 blends of its polymer roofing tiles, or 49 individual colors from which customers can create their own blends using the Color My Roof tool on DaVinciRoofscapes.com. The company can also whip up a custom color per the customer’s specifications. Smith recommends following these guidelines when choosing the right roofing color.

  • Green roofs look best with homes that have natural wood siding or are painted gray, white, or a lighter green than the roof itself.
  • Brown roofs complement houses painted tan, yellow, cream, off-white, or a different shade of brown or brick homes with a yellow or brownish cast. Avoid a brown roof if the main body of the home is a cool color.
  • Black roofs provide an anchor for tall homes by helping to visually lower the roof but should be avoided on single-story or small homes for the same reason. Black roofing links strongly with blue, gray, green, or white siding.
  • Gray roofs ideally complement traditionally styled homes and also work well with blue, green, black, or white house colors. Bold accent colors for trim, shutters, or entry doors can broaden the visual appeal of a home with a gray roof.
  • Terra-cotta color roofs work well with stucco and brick homes, as well as on houses with a mixture of exterior materials. White is a classic color to use with a terra-cotta roof for its high contrast, which offers a crisp, clean aesthetic. This is often a choice in warmer climates.
  • Red roofs match well with gray or warm brown house colors. Consider a red roof for a white or cream exterior to create a country look for a home.

This is a longer version of an article that appeared in the February 2011 issue of REMODELING.

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