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How Do I Choose The Best Color For My Roof

Going GreenWhether you’re suffering from multiple leaks and blown-off shingles, or you just want a change from the tacky color chosen by the previous owner of your home, sometimes you just need a new roof. It used to be as simple as that, a new roof was a new roof. Nowadays there is so much to consider, it can be mind numbing.

Should you use 3-tab or dimensional shingles?
Do you want generic felt paper or a synthetic underlayment?
Do you hire a contractor, or do you use your nephew and his buddies?

Well, at least the last question shouldn’t take you too long to consider. Once you get past the material aspects of things however, you’ll find that there are a surprising number of color options available to you when choosing your new roof.

Many shingle manufacturers offer their shingles in a vast variety of colors and shades of colors. While this is great if you like personalization and customization, this can also add an additional layer of confusion and worry to a process which can already be complicated. Here are some helpful tips for picking a color for your new roof:

1. Similar or Contrast

For many homeowners, it really comes down to whether they want a color similar to their brick or siding, or a nice contrast. If you have a sandy brown brick home, perhaps you want a light-brown roof such as GAF’s Shakewood. On the same token, if you have a darker brown home, with dark brown doors, trim, and shutters, perhaps you’ll find that a darker brown roof just wouldn’t look as well as you would hope.

An easy solution? Your car! You can take a ride around the neighborhood and check out what other homeowner’s have chosen. This is a great way to see real live examples of existing roofs on different types of houses. This works even better if you live in a neighborhood with houses similar to yours, but by all means feel free to travel around. If there is a newer subdivision in the area, take a look there too. There you’ll find many more newer roofs, in styles and colors available in your region.

At Dunlap Construction, we keep several lists of the roofing jobs we have recently done. We felt that our potential clients would like to be able to check out jobs we had previously completed. Ironically, we found that these lists were actually the most helpful for our current clients, those homeowner’s who have already chosen Dunlap Construction to do their roof, but were still not sure of which color to choose. After narrowing it down to a few specific colors, we bring out actual shingles of those colors for the homeowner to see, but also one of our lists containing nearby roofs done in those same colors. This gives the homeowner the opportunity to check out houses that they know have the colors they are interested in, and they are able to check out how these colors go with various types of house styles as well as brick and/or siding colors. Check with your contractor to see if he or she would be able to provide you with a similar list, as this can be very helpful when you are making your decision.

2. Manufacturer’s Websites

Many roofing manufacturers put pictures, examples, and samples of their shingles and colors online. You can easily view these at home on the web. For some examples, check out these websites:

*Note – The first link will take you to the manufacturer’s website, the second will take you directly to the selection of shingles.

GAF Shingles –

CertainTeed –
CertainTeed Shingles –

Tamko –
Tamko Shingles –

Check these websites out, or our own color selection page, for more information on the various colors available to you. Be sure to put in your zip code, because some colors are regional, meaning they are available in some parts of the country and not others.

3. Digitalize Your Home

As you’ve read, many shingle manufacturers offer pictures and samples of their colors online. However, some take this one step further and use digital pictures of homes to show you better examples. Basically, their website will ask you to choose which style of home you have, such as a Victorian, a Ranch, or a Colonial, often offering several examples of each. You should be able to find one similar in structure and appearance to your own home.

Next, you’ll choose color options for the siding, brick, trim, and sometimes even more areas of the home. This will allow you to customize it more effectively.

Finally, you choose the roof. You’ll choose the shingle style (3-tab, architectural, premium, etc.) and shingle color, and the computer does the rest. You’ll be shown excellent depictions of what your home might look like with a new roof, of the style and color of your choosing.

If this doesn’t suit your needs, or if you were unable to find a home similar to yours, you might be able to use your own home in place of one of theirs! Many offer the option of uploading a picture of your own home, so that you can customize it right on the website. Doing this is as simple as taking a picture, saving it to the computer, and uploading it when it asks. Consider taking 2 or 3 pictures, as one may come out a little better than another. Also, try to stand in a spot which shows as much roof area as possible, so that you’ll get the best view of the actual shingles.

Keep in mind that using pictures of your own home does not always work as well as you would hope, depending on a variety of factors including the quality of the camera, photo, lighting, house, etc., and you may be better off just using the sample homes.

For some examples of these, check out the following websites:

GAF Virtual Home Remodeler –

CertainTeed –
CertainTeed ColorView –

4. Go With What You Know

If you’ve tried everything, and still can’t come to a decision, perhaps it’s best to leave the color as-is. Talk to your contractor and see if he or she can find shingles as similar to your existing shingles as possible. You may have wanted a new color, but if you’re driving yourself crazy trying to decide which one, consider just upgrading your current color. Remember, a new roof is made up of new shingles, and if your roof is 10, 20, or 30+ years old, a new set of shingles is going to completely change the look of your home, regardless of whether or not you change the color. Getting rid of the faded, curled, cracked, patched, and missing shingles will really beautify your home.

So thats that. Hopefully you’ll leave here able to make a better decision about which color you should choose. Just remember, at the end of the day, it is your home, and it is your choice. By all means, ask your family, your friends, your neighbors, and your contractor for their opinions. Keep in mind however, that you’ll be the one living at your home. You’ll be the one who sees that roof every time you leave for work and every time you return home from the grocery store. Make sure that you will be happy with the color you choose!

*Interested in a new roof in the Greater Detroit Metro Area? Call Dunlap Construction at (586) 792 – 5926 today!*

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