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Selecting Timeless Roof Colors

by Kathy Ziprik, Staff Writer

When it comes to selecting roof colors, try imagining colors that you'll feel as comfortable with on the top of your home in 30 years as you do today. That's the advice of color expert Kate Smith, who recommends homeowners consider "timeless" roof colors for their home.

"The most long-term popular colors used on American homes are black, gray and cedar," says Smith, president and chief color maven at Sensational Color. "Black never goes out of style. Think of a sleek black luxury car, a classic little black dress or a crisp black tuxedo. There's elegance in all these items that can be replicated on the roof of a home."

DaVinci Roofscapes Multi-Width Slate

Slate black Multi-Width Slate roofing from DaVinci Roofscapes dresses up this modest home and gives it a more formal finishing touch that won't go out of style.

Smith relates that the color black is typically associated with power and authority. The color works well with many siding options and home styles, making it a longtime favorite. Gray, which is basically a lighter shade of black, is also a timeless favorite. There are a variety of shades and variations of gray, making it popular for many home styles.

"When we think of gray we think of distinguished hair on celebrities like George Clooney and Richard Gere," says Smith. "Gray is associated with wisdom, calmness and authority, which is why many people select it for a roof color."

DaVinci Roofscapes Bellaforte Slate

A Bellaforté Slate roof in Slate Gray-Variblend is the perfect choice to top a beautiful European home.

Smith, who provides color consultancy for DaVinci Roofscapes, notes that bright colored roofs were far more common historically than people realize.

“Colorful roofs with a range of reds, greens and even golds were used in all styles of homes in the past,” says Smith. “And, for homes with wood roofing, nothing matches a natural cedar color for a timeless appeal. Again, the historical aspect of people using real wood shakes, which were widely available in rural areas, has driven the popularity of this color over the years.”

While timeless black and gray reign in popularity, Smith relates that some consumers want to express themselves with a blend of colors on their roofs.

DaVinci Roofscapes Multi-Width Slate

The subtle green-gray color of this Multi-Width Slate roof in Evergreen is a great choice that looks natural in wooded locations.

“Working with DaVinci, I’ve seen how people’s tastes vary and how they enjoy having 50 standard roof colors to choose from,” says Smith. “While a majority of people request the polymer roofing tiles in black and gray, some people really wish to ‘shake up’ their roofs.

"Those homeowners may select a green blend of roofing tiles that beautifully complements both warm and cool tones on the rest of the home. And, green roofs work well in wooded settings or can easily ‘soften’ the look of a home in an exposed location.”

For a Mediterranean style home, Smith suggests that a terracotta or clay color can add accent appeal to the exterior. To replicate the look of cedar, but get all the advantages of a polymer shake roof, Smith recommends a Tuscano blend of light, medium light, medium and dark autumn colors that combine to provide the timeless “color feeling” of cedar.

To learn more about the 50 Shades of DaVinci, visit and see the polymer roofing color choices available in black, several variations of gray and many other colors.