Choosing the Best Roof Colors for Your Home

Ginny Bartolone
Written by Ginny Bartolone
Updated June 11, 2021
dark gray shingles on top of house with tree
Photo: Rattanachat / Adobe Stock

The best roof color should balance with the hue of your home's siding, stonework, and even the surrounding landscape

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Whether you're strolling up the front walkway or lounging in the backyard by the pool, the color of your roof plays a significant role in your home's aesthetic. Set against the palette of your property, your roof’s color can create a bold, calming, or classic statement about your style. Explore these essential tips on choosing shingle pigments when you're building a new home or renovating one of the most important parts of your house's exterior.

1. Stick to Natural Hues

Let's begin with your primary roof color options. While it may be tempting to make a bold statement with bright yellow or pastel pink, shingles typically reflect natural hues, and for good reason.

Much like your home's siding, a roof should complement the tones around your yard and under natural sunlight. Modern shingle colors borrow from traditional roof materials like wood, slate, and clay. You'll find sturdier and more resilient materials today such as asphalt, steel, and concrete, but the upgraded original favorites remain as well.

These are some of the most common roof colors:

  • Black

  • Gray

  • Tan

  • Brown

  • Red

  • Blue

Just like paint, you'll find endless variations within each category. Terracotta shingles, for example, combine red and brown hues. And when blue makes it on the scene, it often mixes with gray to pair with a cool home siding color. Gray itself scales from slate to silver, so you'll have your pick of hues when the time comes.

2. Consider Your Roof Slant

How much of your roof can you see from the front, side, and back of the house? The angle of your roof's slant determines how it balances with the rest of your home. Steep roofs show off a lot of shingles, significantly altering a home’s color scheme. A more gradual slope that is hard to see from the road means the tint plays less of a role.

If you can see a large part of your roof due to a steep slant, steer away from dark, rich colors, especially if your siding is a cool or pale color. This can make it look like your roof is overwhelming the bottom half of your house, throwing off the general balance.

3. Complement Your Home Colors

Here's where the big decision comes in. Picking a roof color typically comes down to the tint of your home's siding.

Stonework—like walkways, walls, and patios—should always play a role if they take up significant space. You should be able to look from the ground to the eaves and see one cohesive look.

As a general rule of thumb, try to pair cool tones with cool tones and warm with warm. You can still find plenty of bold contrast when following this guideline, but it does help you avoid clashing colors.

Let's look at the common hues and materials of your home's siding and their corresponding roof colors.

White House Roof Colors

White homes welcome the largest selection of roof colors. The most popular picks are:

  • Brown

  • Black

  • Gray

  • Red

  • Blue

Make a bolder statement by choosing red for a farmhouse look or a slate blue to reflect a colonial-style home. Tie in the color you select with your shutters or door color.

Red Brick House Roof Colors

Whether your home's siding is constructed with brick or simply fits the color scheme, consider:

  • Tan

  • Black

  • Gray

  • Blueish-gray

Brick varies quite widely, incorporating both cooler and warmer colors depending on their makeup. Remember to choose a shingle color that balances its unique hue.

Gray House Roof Colors

Overall, try not to steer too far from your siding color when working with gray. Much like brick, gray can jump between warm and cool hues. If the gray siding mixes with tan, opt for a brown or sand roof. If it's a cool, blue tan, pick black, gray, or slate.

Blue House Roof Colors

Blue is already a bold color for home siding, even if you go the pastel route. Create a cohesive, calming look by choosing:

  • Slate gray

  • Pale gray

  • Gray-blue

  • Black

gray brown roof with brick siding and windows
Photo: rickster007 / Adobe Stock

Yellow House Roof Colors

Like blue, yellow makes a strong statement for home color, so you don't need to pull focus with an even bolder roof choice. However, the level of contrast you choose can alter the house's overall style. The best roof colors for yellow homes are:

  • Gray

  • Black

  • Tan

  • Slate blue

Cream House Roof Colors

The same concept applies to cream as white and yellow houses—stick with neutral hues but play with contrast to make a statement. In this case, you can lean warm or cool depending on your preferred color combinations. Top colors include:

  • Gray

  • Blue

  • Tan

  • Sand

  • Brown

4. Think Energy Efficiency

In the old days, you wouldn't see a lot of darker roofs in warmer climates. However, with the rise of improved ventilation, insulation, and advanced shingle materials, the roof color does not have as much effect on your home's heat as it used to. In fact, the anatomy of your roof plays a more significant role.

The US Department of Energy outlines unique ways to choose eco-friendly roof materials. While the color of your roof plays a small role, the slope and materials used in constructing a new roof are crucial.

Outside of your local climate's temperature, keep the hue of your sunlight and local materials in mind as well. For example, you'll encounter more reddish and tan stonework in the southwest than you will on the Eastern Seaboard. Be sure to view your potential shingle colors out in the sunlight instead of the store.

Choose hues for your home—including on your roof—that complement the colors of your surrounding landscape. For example, a New England home is more likely to match the cool tones of the seasons, while southern California homes see an abundance of terracotta to match the foliage.

6. Think Logistics

Consider factors like the cost and availability of shingles near your area or whether you plan to paint your metal roof. The color of your shingles and paint won't likely sway the price significantly, but the materials will. If you're dreaming of that naturally slate tile look, remember to check local material and installation prices as well.

Most importantly, work with local roofers near you that can walk you through the decision-making process with ease. They've seen it all—from bold choices to high-style designs—so lean on their professional knowledge whenever in doubt.

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