Colors Held Hostage

KANSAS CITY, KAN. - Across America, one in four homeowners* is restricted from updating the exterior colors on their homes by rules imposed by their local homeowners association.

According to the 2011 DaVinci Roofscapes' Homeowners Exterior Preferences Study, 26 percent of homeowners, whose home exterior color is not their dream color and says there is something that prevents them from changing it, indicate they are stopped from adding their dream color to their house exterior by covenants imposed by their homeowner's organization. "Basically, colors are being held hostage by local communities in an effort to create conformity rather than individuality," says Kate Smith, chief color maven and president of Sensational Color.

"While cost was also identified as a major factor in preventing people from updating their homes with their ideal colors, that's less of a concern to me. Generally, people can save up to make home improvements and will aspire to make color changes. However, if they're 100 percent restricted from making these changes by their local homeowner's association, then they may never have the chance to create a home exterior that they truly love."

Home Exterior Palette

The same nationwide consumer study, conducted online by Harris Interactive©, also shows that when house hunting or designing their own home, the most attention-grabbing exterior feature was the style of the home, followed by how the home looked on the property. One in five homeowners mentioned the fact that they were pleased to be able to have some input into the design of their home's exterior during the house hunting or design process.

"A house's exterior is an open palette for homeowners," says Smith. "There's a growing trend of looking at the house from the 'top down' to add color and accents that personalize the home to more fully reflect the homeowner's personal style.

"Starting with a roof color or blend of colors sets the stage for the entire home. People then look at their siding, windows, doors and trim to create an eye-catching exterior that they feel a connection with. When the ability to add your favorite colors on the home's exterior is hampered by local homeowner restrictions, then people may accept and even 'like' their home's exterior but I believe they'll never truly embrace the home."

To help homeowners understand more about exterior color selections, Smith has partnered with DaVinci Roofscapes to offer the free "FRESH Home Exterior Colors" guide available at The easy-to-read 30-page downloadable guide helps homeowners choose color palettes that that complement the exterior of the home and the main features of the house. The DaVinci Color Studio also offers an interactive advice component with a Smith, the ability to create custom roof blends using any of DaVinci's 49 roofing colors and a masterpiece gallery showcasing different home styles and exteriors.

For more details on color selection for the home from Kate Smith, visit the Sensational Color website.

DaVinci Roofscapes has manufactured award-winning polymer slate and shake roofing since 1999. The 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. For additional information call 1-800-328-4624 or visit



Study Methodology

This 15-minute survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of DaVinci Roofscapes among 1,005 U.S. homeowners age 40+ with household incomes of $150,000 or more and who own a single-family home of at least $400,000 in value in the South and Midwest, at least $500,000 in the Northeast and West (excluding California) and at least $700,000 in California between November 22 and December 13, 2011 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through its North American and European offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help its company — and its clients — stay ahead of what's next. For more information, visit

*For the purposes of this study, homeowners are defined as those age 40 or older with household incomes of $150,000 or more and who own a single-family home of at least $400,000 in value in the South and Midwest, at least $500,000 in the Northeast and West (excluding California) and at least $700,000 in California.




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