Shingle, Shingle… What Color Shingle?

Is it time for your roof to be replaced? It has probably been close to 20 years since you needed to do this. In that time, there have been so many advances in shingle roofing technology. And now, there are so many textures and colors to choose from. Let’s take a look at some of the criteria you might want to consider for choosing the right color.

We’ll do that by discussing the type of home you live in.

Colonial Clapboard

A classic colonial style home with wood clapboard siding should take a cue from history. A true colonial would likely have had a wood cedar shake roof. That would have been brown that was either oiled to a very dark, almost ebony color, or left to weather to a gray tone. For this type of home, consider going with a medium gray tone or even a dark brown.

Red Brick, Including Federal Style

Brick was historically considered a material reserved for those of stature or economic fortune. Brick is now a fairly common building material. It is still more expensive than wood and may warrant a more classically expensive roof shingle look. Federal style brick homes were capped off with slate roofs. These could last up to 70 years. Slate roofs have a distinctive darker gray look with tones of green, blue, or brown, depending on where the slate came from. With a brick home, try for charcoal gray or slate green colors.

Earthy Stone

This one is easy. If you live in a home that has a stone veneer with brown earth tones, it is advisable to choose a complimentary roof color in the brown family. Brown on brown just seems to work.

Gambrel Dutch Colonial

It may surprise you that Dutch style gambrel roofed buildings, especially barns, were often red. This could be the siding painted red, or the roof being standing seam metal coated in red paint. Why red? The base of red paint was from iron ore, which was pretty cheap in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Farmers often used the cheaper red paint to protect their barns and roofs from damaging sun and harsh winter weather because they could buy a lot of it. If you have a Dutch Colonial home and want to make a period statement, give a red toned shingle a try. It actually looks nice with white painted siding or deep brown shingle siding.