Colorful Roofing: How to Choose the Right Hues for Your Home

Brad Smith
Written By Brad Smith

The roof is more than just a part of your house’s exterior that may or may not be very visible, it can absolutely be a crown jewel or centerpiece. Colorful roofing is one way to have your home stand out from the rest but color can be tricky in itself as you will still need to match the roof color and style with the rest of the house. 

colorful roofing how to choose the right hues for your home

Why Color Matters

While aesthetics alone is enough to want to choose a particular color palette for your roof, color serves a wide variety of functions from reflecting off the heat of the sun to fitting in with the neighborhood. Homeowners can choose bright and bold colors or more neutral tones but at the end of the day choosing a color for your roof requires a fair amount of effort. Furthermore, color has a direct correlation with how well your roofing material lasts in different kinds of weather. 

Better energy utilization is tied to color since lighter colors or white roof keep the heat of the sun from absorbing and darker roofs can reduce the effect of insulation in your home. You can state to your contractor that you would like an approach to color in your roof that provides energy savings and they will make recommendations accordingly. 

Use Contrast To Your Advantage 

Color contrast is an incredibly powerful approach to choosing color for the exterior of your house. Contrasting colors can bring out certain structural aspects of your house and downplay less attractive elements. High-contrast colors are great for emphasizing a particular part of the exterior and low-contrasting colors are better for hiding less glamorous elements in your home like a drain pipe or an old wall. 

Contrasting colors should be chosen according to the architectural style of the house. An old Spanish style house for example may not benefit from very neutral tones (as richer colors like orange and red are more suitable) and a modern home may look odd with a bright red roof. Going brighter is always an option but it should be synergistic with the theme of the house. 

Creative Neutrals

In recent years exterior design has been more colorful and impactful but a neutral color palette can sometimes get a bad reputation or be deemed unimpressive. Nothing could be further from the truth as neutrals used creatively can look timeless and stunning and add just the right amount of color to a house’s exterior. Brown, grey, cream, black and their different shades can really stand the test of time in terms of durability, energy efficiency and aesthetic charm and relevance. 

Neutral colors that can be both light and dark do increase resale value since the new owner would have to spend less to change the color of the roof. If the roof is very bright like a bright yellow, orange or red, more effort and finances will be required to drastically change its color. Maintenance costs apply for brighter colors too as they can fade, chip or otherwise fall prey to wear and tear over the years. 

How Much Maintenance Is Too Much? 

Color hues should depend on the level of maintenance you can exercise per year and when you are rebuilding or renovating your roof that is a question you should ask yourself. Some people regularly rent out their properties, have busy schedules or want to put their house on the market, while others may be home more often. If you fall in the region of the latter you can choose very bright high-maintenance colors and look after them year after year. 

If you fall in the category of the former you might want colors that age well without continuous care. The choice of roofing material will affect the level of maintenance required as well and in general roof cleanings and professional inspections should be carried out a minimum of twice a year. The weather conditions will act on the color so make sure you are able to create a schedule for patching up and maintaining the color well. 

Certain Colors May Cost More Than Others

It is no secret that your choice of color may end up costing you quite a lot especially if you opt for more unique finishes and choose different shades and hues for the sides of the roof and so forth. The cost of hiring professionals like post falls roofing also plays into this choice as fees per hour may be greater for a more luxurious, high quality finish or a multi-color job. Certain roof colors may be designed for better energy savings and therefore will cost more initially. 

The Light & Dark Conundrum 

It can be hard to decide whether light or dark colors are going to look stunning on your roof especially in relation to or contrasting with the rest of the house’s exterior. They both boast of their own benefits and disadvantages and these will need to be considered inside of a framework of other factors such as reigning weather conditions, cost, and architectural style. 

Dark shades on the roof can have a grounding effect paradoxically such as making your house appear cozy and warm and maybe a little smaller. Light or neutral colors open up spaces and the exterior of homes so they can appear airy and refreshing. Certain dark and light colors may simply be dependent on the design era the house borrows from, in which case the former or the latter will be chosen accordingly.  


Homeowners are now living in an era which defies many well-established and traditional design rules. That being said, certain unsaid color and contrast rules exist for a good reason so do your research and wherever possible consult a professional designer so you make the right and appropriate choice as far as color is concerned. Color should always tie in with your choice of roofing material as clay, wood, composite shingles and so forth all take to color differently. Choosing the right roofing material can result in the right finish and texture emerging as the color is painted on.

smith brad omni

Written by Brad Smith

CEO & Lead Interior Designer

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.