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Two Things to Consider When Selecting a Roof

by Kathy Ziprik, Staff Writer

Buying a roof for your new home is similar to selecting appliances, flooring or windows. How? Choices. Every product decision you make should be based on investigating the pros and cons, along with the features and benefits of that product. Roofing is no different.

However, not every product decision you make involves subjecting your chosen product to heavy rains, snow, strong winds and even the threat of fire. With a roofing selection, you need to take these factors into consideration.

To make life easier for you, we can sum up the top two things you should consider in a roof decision: Durability and Aesthetics.

DaVinci Roofscapes Multi-Width Slate

Read the story of how this home got its Multi-Width Slate roof from DaVinci Roofscapes, and why the owners chose the Aberdeen color blend that they did.


Protecting your home and family should be your number one concern when looking for a roof. You need tough, weather-resistant roofing material that can stand up to whatever Mother Nature decides to send your way.

Whether you live in an area prone to direct or indirect threats of tornadoes or hurricanes, or you simply live in a region that experiences strong storms, take note: flying debris associated with severe weather can become dangerous in high winds.

Damage from airborne tree branches and flying loose items can be devastating to a roof not equipped for impact. Having a synthetic slate or shake roof that has achieved the highest ratings on impact resistance tests can help protect your property.

Another consideration in protecting your home is the potential for your roof to serve as kindling for a wildfire.

Real wood shake roofs can be extremely combustible. A spark from a wildfire a mile away can travel on the wind, land on a wood shake roof and ignite it.

If you live in an area with even a remote possibility of wildfires, consider investing in a roof that resists flame spread. While no roof will resist a “ground up” fire that engulfs the entire home, polymer roofing tiles, like those from DaVinci Roofscapes, that are installed with proper underlayments, can help protect a home from wind-driven embers that can ignite the roof.

No matter where you live, it’s important that roof tiles can handle wear and tear. Ideally, roof tiles should resist curling, fading, cracking, mold, algae, fungus and insects. Roofing products that come with a strong warranty can also offer you greater peace of mind.

FRESH Color Guide

Read all about the FRESH system for coordinating exterior design in this free e-book from Kate Smith, the expert behind Sensational Color.


A home exterior should be viewed from "the top down" to form a unified, appealing look. When planning out a home exterior, think about the style and color of the roof and how it will look married with the siding you're choosing, windows and trim, doors and the overall style of the home.

Think "FRESH" when planning out your home exterior:

Fixed Features

Regional Colors

Environment and Surroundings

Style of the house

Have-to-Use Colors

These five considerations will help lead you to the best looking roof option for your home. When considering the fixed features, think about the foundation materials, chimney structure, porch, walkways, decks and patios of your home. The color cast and materials of these elements of your home should be considered as you start the process of determining your roof.

Next, look at your geography to influence the color scheme of your home's exterior and roof. If you live in the Southwest, a bright terra cotta color on your roof might look great with a concrete or stucco home. However, in the Northwest, where it's a more natural setting, you may want to use simulated shake shingles in tones of brown.

For your environment and surroundings, simply look around. You want your home (and your roof) to look like it "fits" in your neighborhood. Certainly it can have its own stand-out curb appeal, but it should complement rather than contrast with the natural landscape and existing setting.

FRESH Color Guide

If you want to learn how to find the best colors for your home's style, download this free e-book and you'll be well on your way to crafting a stunning exterior with Smith's help.

Here's the fun part. Talk to your builder and look at your home plans. Then identify its style. If you have a Bungalow, Prairie, Ranch or Cape Cod style home it may look best with composite shake roofing. However, if you have a Colonial, Greek Revival, Georgian or Contemporary style home, then simulated slates may be the best choice to complement your home.

Finally, think about any restrictions you may have in a planned community, homeowners association (HOA) or neighborhood. Determine if there are any regulations you need to comply with when selecting your roofing material and color. For example, some HOA groups have a strict choice of pre-approved colors for home exteriors so that the community harmonizes. You should know this information before designing your home exterior.

Keep it simple when reviewing your roof options by thinking of durability and aesthetics. These two factors will focus you on making the best roofing decision for your home.