How to Pick the Best Roof Color for Your Home

Barbara Bellesi Zito
Updated September 16, 2021
Cozy cottage with dormer windows
Marje / E+ via Getty Images

There are several factors to consider when choosing the best color for your roof.

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Your home’s roof plays an essential part in protecting your home and your family. Beyond structure, though, it can provide an attractive aesthetic based on the color you choose. While it ultimately comes down to personal preference, you’ll want to keep some factors in mind to help you choose the best roof color for your home.

Consider Dark vs. Light Colors

A dark roof will absorb heat from the sun, while a lighter roof will reflect it. Studies have shown that the top level of a home with a dark roof (think black or a dark brown) can be around 10 degrees warmer than an identical roof with lighter shingles. That can be an advantage in the colder months and save on energy bills, but you’ll likely experience the opposite in the warmer months. 

While brightly painted shutters or a bold color for your front door can add curb appeal, you’ll likely want to stay with neutral colors like beige, brown, or gray for your roof. Neutral color palettes tend to be a hit with homebuyers, so this is especially important to keep in mind if you plan to sell your home in the next few years. Just don’t choose a roof color that’s too light, as it will start to look dirty and unattractive over time.

Coordinate Your Roof Shingles With Your Home’s Exterior

Wood shake roof
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If you have a home exterior that can be repainted, that’s much easier to do when matching it to your new roof than, say, rebricking your home or replacing the vinyl siding. But if you’d rather keep your home’s exterior the way it is, be sure to choose shingles that coordinate. All you have to do is place a sample of the roof shingles up against the home’s exterior to see if you like the color and texture combination. Try this out several times of the day as the sunlight and shadows change to get a better idea of how it will look.

Remember To Consider All Sides of Your Home

Is your home’s facade different from the sides or back of the home? Be sure to test out shingle samples against all parts of your home so that you will be satisfied with how the roof looks from various spots and angles. Try to leave the samples out against the brick or siding for several days and give yourself some time to get acclimated to the new color combination. If you still like the way your potential new roof looks after a week, then you have made your decision. If not, pick a new shingle color and start again. Avoid trying multiple shades at once, as too many color choices might overwhelm the eye.

See What the Neighbors’ Roofs Are Like

Unless you belong to a homeowner’s association with strict rules on how you can renovate the exterior of your home, you can choose any roof color you want. However, if your home is situated rather close to your next-door neighbors’ homes, you might not want to choose the same color in order to avoid a plain or boring look for your block. On the other hand, you don’t want to clash, either. Doing so will certainly make your house stand out—just not in a good way.  

Replacing your roof is an extensive and expensive project, and it’s one that you don’t want to rush into, especially when choosing a color. In addition to keeping your own personal preferences in mind, be sure to enlist the advice of a professional roofer who can explain all of the advantages and disadvantages of the different colors for your new roof.

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