Think “FRESH” When Selecting Roof Colors

KANSAS CITY, KAN. - National color expert Kate Smith recommends that homeowners and roofing contractors think "FRESH" when selecting the best colors for the roof. She recommends people use the acronym "FRESH" to consider:

  • Fixed Features
  • Regional Colors
  • Environment and Surroundings
  • Style of the Home
  • Historic Colors

"Considering these five elements of a home can help you select the perfect roof color," says Smith, color consultant for DaVinci Roofscapes®. "If you take the FRESH approach when looking at your home and its setting, you're on the right track for selecting a 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 Bellaforté roof ... or with a Milano blend of grays with a tinge of purple.

Regional Colors - West Coast? South? Midwest? 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 homes 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. And, in your neighborhood look for color hints from your neighbor's homes. The goal is to stand out while still fitting in!

Created especially for homes in wooded settings, the Mountain blend of multi-width shake tiles from DaVinci includes three shades of rugged colors. As a contrast, homes in a coastal surrounding may work best with a Chesapeake blend featuring four toned-shades of oceanfront gray.

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? Victorian? Art Deco? Greek Revival?) and then do some research online 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. Other style homes that match up with these colors include Bungalow and Cape Cod. 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 restricts 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 DaVinci shake roofing tiles with five varying shades of brown and you have a stunning house d?cor.
For a stunning complement to a home — historic or otherwise — Smith suggests considering an Aberdeen blend of slate roof featuring dark gray, light brown, dark purple, green stone and dark stone. The colors combine to accent the historic nature of a home while playing off of painted trim work, gutters, shutters and louvers on a home's exterior.

Colorful Options

DaVinci, the color leader in the polymer roofing industry, offers 28 standard color blends. Homeowners may also create their own custom blends using the company's 49 roofing colors. And, custom color blends and even custom colors are also available from the manufacturer.

A free DaVinci Color Design Program is available to homeowners with an online Color Design tool located at

DaVinci Roofscapes has manufactured award-winning synthetic slate and shake roofing since 1999. The polymer roofing tiles are virtually maintenance free and far more cost effective than the natural product. DaVinci leads the industry in tile thickness, the tile width variety and the greatest selection of subtle earth-toned colors. Company products have a 50-year warranty and are 100 percent recyclable. DaVinci proudly makes its products in America and is a member of the National Association of Home Builders, the Cool Roof Rating Council and the U.S. Green Building Council, and a sponsor of Homes for Our Troops. For additional information call 1-800-328-4624 or visit our website.


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