Think "FRESH" When Selecting Roof Colors


Thinking about a new roof for your home? Then think "FRESH." That's the advice national color expert Kate Smith recommends for homeowners considering a new roof.

"The acronym FRESH stands for fixed features, regional colors, environment, style of home and historic colors," says Smith, president of Sensational Color. "Considering these five elements can help you select the perfect roof color."

FRESH Approach

* Fixed Features -- These are the permanent design elements of the home that need to be considered a constant feature of the house, such as the foundation, partial stone or brick facades, pathways and retaining walls. Each feature may be of a different material, but they usually will have a common color or color cast. Once you identify that common color, you can find a roof tile with a similar color or undertone that will work well for the overall home.

For a home with slate tile walkway in shades of gray, Smith recommends a DaVinci Slate Castle Gray combination of three tones of gray in a slate blend. A predominantly white brick house may look best with a solid slate black Bellaforte roof ... or with a Milano blend of grays with a tinge of purple.

* Regional Colors -- Each region of the country has prevalent colors based on the housing styles, available materials, natural surroundings and the quality of light. Determine the colors in your area (mostly those you see a great deal of on other homes) to stick with regional colors.

According to Smith, a southwestern style home in the desert may look best with a slate roof comprised of a Sonora blend of medium and dark terracotta colors gently mixed in with light and dark clay colors. Or, West Coast homeowners seeking the feel of real wooden shakes, but the advantages of fire-resistant polymer shakes, can benefit from an Abruzzo color blend of light, medium and dark mountain tones.

* Environment and Surroundings -- Is your home in a rural setting or a downtown? Are you near the waterfront, a desert or a mountain? Temper the colors to complement your surroundings and the natural colors around you. The goal is to stand out while still fitting in.

Consider a Mountain blend of multi-width shake tiles that complement wooded settings or a Chesapeake blend of oceanfront grays for coastal area homes.

* Style of the Home -- Remember that colors support the home's style and architecture, not the other way around. So, determine your home's style (are you a Ranch? Tudor? Art Deco? Greek Revival?) and then research to determine what colors are most associated with your style of home.

For a Craftsman style home, Smith recommends considering a natural looking shake roof in a New Cedar or Weathered Gray color. And, while you can't go wrong with an elegant solid black roof, she recommends softening the appeal of the roof by considering a combination of neutral tones, such as medium tan, dark gray and light stone to create a warmer roof appearance.

* Historic Colors -- If you live in a historic district, check for local guidelines and/or restrictions on adding colors to your home. More traditional colors, such as whites, browns, and shades of blue and green, work well on historical homes. Match them up with a Tahoe blend of shake roofing tiles with five varying shades of brown and you have a stunning house decor.

Smith suggests "playing" online with the free DaVinci Color Design Program to determine the color roof that works best for your home. There are roofing colors and 28 standard color blends available at to make the roof color decision easy for everyone.


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment