Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.
There could be any number of reasons why you need a new roof, but most often it’s because there is damage and it’s leaking. Knowing you need a new roof is the easy part, but if you have a brick home, the process of choosing a color for your roof is slightly more complicated. You definitely don’t want the color to clash with the bricks.
How to choose the roof color for a brick houses is not as easy as one might think. There are a few variables to take into consideration.
- What are the most popular brick colors?
- Does my roof have to match?
- What to do if the bricks are multicolored
- What is a brick color cast?
- The style of your house
- Trim color
- Popular roof colors
- The cast color of your bricks.
This guide with information about choosing the correct roof color for your brick home will help take some of the guesswork out this process. Your home will have this roof, hopefully, for a long time and the last thing you want is to hate seeing your house when you come around the corner due to a mismatched roof.
What is the Most Popular Brick Color?
The most popular brick color for the exterior of houses can actually change from year to year. One way to determine the time period a brick home was built is by the color of the brick. There are certain colors, such as red brick with different colors throughout, that was very popular in the ’60s that you often see in older suburban neighborhoods.
However, today, the most popular colors for new buildings are very different. While you will see some red brick homes, most new construction has lighter brick colors such as tan, white, buff, and shades of gray. Even if you have an older home, you could jump on this trend and have your brick painted.
Today we’re seeing an upswing of older brick homes being painted in popular color shades to update the look of the home. When painting, you really do need to take the color of your roof into consideration. If you want to paint your house white and have black shutters, but you have a tan roof, then it will clash.
Does the Roof Have to Match?
There is no law saying that your roof has to match or coordinate with your brick color or the trim on your house. It just won’t look as nice as it could if you don’t take the time to thoughtfully coordinate the coloring. This can lower the resale value of the home and decrease curb appeal.
As a homeowner, the purpose of doing anything to your house, besides just enjoying it, is to increase value and not decrease it. It may seem silly that the color of your roof can damage the value of your home, but any work done has the potential to help or hurt your investment.
So no, it doesn’t have to match, but it should at least complement the color.
What if my Brick is Multicolored?
One thing that can sometimes throw
But which color is best? When we think about this, we need to be aware that even if a brick is multicolored, there is a base color to the brick. This is called a cast color. We will go into more detail on this in a moment because it’s important to understand this and to know what your brick’s cast color is.
What is the Color Cast?
As mentioned previously, all bricks have a base color. This is the color that all other colors in the brick are based on. They coordinate and add a level of depth to the look of a house. There are actually six cast colors that are seen in bricks.
Even if the brick is multicolored, there is one base color that you will need to recognize in order to choose the trim and roof color. Most of the base colors would be considered neutral colors and can go with almost any other color. Two of the color cast options are not neutrals and will need to be matched carefully.
This is important because you want the best match, not just an okay match. These are the six cast colors that are seen in exterior bricks on houses. Millennials really like the bottom three choices, while red is seen in homes built in the 1960s and 1970s, and black/brown are seen in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
The time periods of these color casts are flexible because some people prefer a certain color over a trend.
- Red is the most common color cast but currently is not the most popular. The red brick color scheme is not hard or easy to match. It is actually middle of the road. With this color matching the trim you already have on the house might be an easier way to help choose a color.
- Brown/Black is a color cast that is really versatile. You can do a really dark roof or a light roof and keep your home looking coordinated and nice without needing to stress too much over color choices. It will probably be more important with this color of brick to match the roof to the trim since anything can go with these colors.
- Pink is more difficult to match. You may think that you have never seen a pink brick house, but chances are you have. These are the houses that, from the road, look like an almost salmon color. That is a pink brick cast. The roof color schemes that look best with this color of brick would be in the gray family. Nothing too dark and definitely nothing too light.
- Tan/Buff is one of the trendy brick cast colors right now because the new generation of homeowners loves neutral tones. The best thing is that almost any roof color can go with this base color. The thing that will matter most is making sure you coordinate your shutters, trim, pillars, and doors with the roof color.
- White/Cream is something that has gained momentum as the farmhouse movement has become extremely popular. This is a clean and bright look that really works with cedar shutters and pillars, as well as a brown toned roof. It can also look great with black roofing and accents. The color scheme is very flexible and can be personalized by the homeowner to suit their tastes.
How to Choose the Best Color
So how do you choose the best roofing color for your brick house? There are more things that need to be thought about when choosing colors. While the color of brick is important, it’s only one aspect that needs to be in the color-choosing formula.
If you only take the color of the brick into consideration, then it’s possible that the end result will not be optimal. The roof color could be off for the style of house, trim, brick, and current trend. Next, let’s take a look at the other things that should be considered when picking a color for your roof.
Style of House
The style of your house matters when it comes to the color of your roof. It even matters when it comes to the materials used for the roof. Some homes will simply not look right with a metal roof. In this case , traditional shingles will be the way to go.
Homes that are built in a classic architectural style will always look better with a classical color palette. This is not to say that you can’t choose a different color scheme to shake things up a little bit, but it may not look as good as a traditional color would.
Farmhouse styles almost always look better with dark brown or black roofs. This choice will depend on the color of the shutters, pillars, trim, and doors, but it is a safe bet that either of these colors will look amazing.
While this is not a rule set in stone, it is a good tip to make the most of what your house already has to offer.
This is a big one. This variable is truly a must to consider when you are choosing a roof color for your house. The cast color of the bricks is the base color that the rest of the colors in the brick play too. Trim, doors, roof, and shutters all need to, at the very least, compliment the base color of your bricks.
Coordinate Trim Colors
If you just need a new roof because it was damaged and don’t plan on replacing anything else or repainting any other part of your home, then you need to consider the current trim colors on your home.
Most Popular Colors
Not everyone wants to be trendy, but every time period has colors that define it. These are the most popular colors of the time, and most of the trends do have some staying power. Neutrals such as buff, tan, white, gray are all great colors right now. But if your brick isn’t that color, you can use these colors in your roofing choices.
A multicolored shingle that has these trendy neutrals could be great for a solid brink color but may not work well for a multicolored brick. If that is the case, then you can choose a solid shingle.
Nothing says you have to be trendy. It’s your house after all, and it’s okay to choose what you like. However, you should keep in mind that you may choose to or need to sell at some point. Your house will need curb appeal and not look outdated.
Where you Live
The location of your home really does matter when it comes to the choice of roofing to go with your brick home. We aren’t talking about your neighborhood – we will get to that later. We are talking about the climate and geographical location of your home.
You may wonder why that even matters. Roof color is roof color, right? Well, not exactly. There are environmental factors that can make a difference when you are making your choice.
For example, if you happen to live in a warm, humid climate that tends to get a large amount of rain, you may want to choose a darker shingle that still coordinates with the brick. This will hide the black streaks left by harmless, but ugly algae build up. Just keep in mind, however, that dark-colored shingles do tend to absorb more heat.
Shingles today do have a chemical that can help prevent the streaking and algae build up from happening, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen eventually as your roof ages and is worn out by the elements.
Another example is if you happen to live in a lush, green part of the country. When you live in an area that is very natural and almost wild, such as the Pacific Northwest, then you may want to choose a roof that not only coordinates with your brick but also with the natural landscape surrounding your home.
When you live in northern areas that have a cooler natural hue to the light and the surroundings, a roof that works for the color of your brick and the environment will not necessarily work in a southern or tropical area that has a warmer tone to the natural light and environment.
This may seem like it complicates the process of choosing a roof color for your brick home, but really it all matters and should be taken into consideration, so you increase the value and curb appeal of your property.
Look at the Neighbors
You don’t necessarily have to keep up with the Jones’ or perfectly match what your neighbors are doing with their homes. However, it isn’t a bad idea to maintain a semi-cohesive look to your neighborhood.
If you happen to live out away from neighbors, then this step in choosing a color to match your brick home will not apply to you. On the other hand, if you live in a suburban neighborhood, it’s a good idea to at least consider coordinating somewhat with the surrounding houses.
Standing out from your neighbors can be a bad thing when it comes to resale value and the appeal of your home if you choose to sell it in the future. Going against the crowd and the trend is not always bad, but this is one case when it may not be beneficial to you.
Another consideration when you think about your neighborhood is whether or not you have a homeowner’s association. Depending on the association rules, you may need to check with the bylaws to find out what color your roof is allowed to be when reroofing your brick home.
HOAs have tremendous power over what the homeowners in the neighborhood are allowed to do to their homes and surrounding property. If you don’t check with your Homeowner’s Association first and choose a shingle color or material that is not approved, you will likely have to have the roof redone at your own cost.
Since this can be expensive, it’s important to do your due diligence before making any changes to your
What do you Want to Stand Out?
Your brick color cast will be the main factor in choosing a roof color, but one of the other things you need to think about is whether there is something you want to enhance or something you want to hide. Certain roof colors can do different things to help increase the appeal of your home and make things stand out or fall to the background.
For example, if you have a smaller home but want to make it appear larger from the road, then you would want to choose a light-colored roof that also coordinates with the brick. But if you have some imperfections on the exterior of your home that you want to draw the eye away from, you will want to go with a darker color for the roof.
These are things that may seem unnecessary but could really matter in the long run if you choose to sell your home. Choosing a roof color based on the color of the brick but also with an eye on the future will set you up to make a wise decision for your home.
Why the Roof Color Matters
You may be wondering at this point why your roof color really even matters that much. As long as it keeps the water out of your home, isn’t that enough? Well, not really. That is very important, of course, but the color does, in fact, matter.
- Your roof makes up a large percentage of your home. Depending on the type of home, the roof could take up almost half of the exterior surface of your home. For a home with higher peaks, the surface level will be larger than the average home. When something takes up that much surface area, the color does matter. If your roof clashes with the other 50-60% of your brick home exterior, then it will definitely show. There is really no way to hide that.
- Roofing cannot be changed easily or cheaply. Having a new roof put on your brick home is an expensive undertaking that should not be done unless the life of the roof is spent or the roof is damaged. For that reason, making the right color choice from the beginning is vital.
- Energy efficiency can be affected by color. Some people will say that other factors matter more when it comes to energy efficiency, and that is somewhat true. However, color does play a part in this. Darker roofs on your brick home will absorb heat and may drive up cooling costs in the summer. Proper ventilation will help with this, but the color does matter. A lighter-colored roof will reflect the sun and the heat that will help lower cooling costs but may raise heating costs in the winter. These are just a few other factors that will play into the color decision for the roof of your brick home.
Best Time to Roof a Brick House
Did you know that there are times of the year that are better to roof your brick house? You may not think about this when reroofing, especially if there is damage and it just needs to be done to prevent further water damage. However, if you just need to replace an old roof that is not leaking, then waiting for an ideal time of year would be best.
These are really just suggestions and will need to be tailored for your area and that particular climate. This also may change from year to year because weather can be unpredictable. One year spring might be dry and cool, making it a great time to replace the roof, but maybe the next year, it rains almost daily, so it is important to be flexible.
Late Spring/Early Summer
Late spring or early summer is generally thought to be the best time of year to roof a house because the rain has usually stopped in most areas while still not being too hot. This may not be the case in your area, for example, in some southern states that are already incredibly hot by this time of year.
Fall is the next season that is a front runner for replacing a roof. This is a better time of year for states in the southern part of the country because the weather is cooling down, and the rain has not typically started to fall regularly like the winter and spring. However, northern states may already be getting snow, so this time of year may not work there.
As you can see, there are many factors that go into selecting a roof color for a brick house. From brick cast color to the architectural style and trim color of the home to current trends, the options for color can vary widely. You need to weigh all of these factors together to come up with the best color selection.
While you may think of the roof as just a practical cover from the elements, it does make up a large percentage of the surface area of your home. As such, it makes sense to devote some time to selecting a color that is well-coordinated with the brick siding as well as the other materials of the exterior.
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