How to Choose a Shingle Color

Choosing a Shingle Color

Did you know that your roof can account for up to 40% of your home’s exterior? This is why choosing the right shingle color can be challenging. After all, the color cannot be changed. You can expect to see the color you choose for the next 20-25 years, or when you are due for a roof replacement, so it is important to thoroughly do your research and choose a color that you enjoy.

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Since your roof accounts for a significant portion of your home’s exterior, you should consider other exterior elements of your home. Some factors that will determine which shingle color you should choose include the color of your shutters, the color of your brick or siding, and the color of your front door.

vinyl windows vs wood shingle color
Custom Home by Balducci Builders, Inc.

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Creating a Color Scheme

When choosing your shingle color, it is important to consider your home’s architectural style. Homes with a higher pitch or greater slope will have more of the roof showing from the street. This includes Colonial, Cape Cod, Cottage, and other styles. If your home has any special features, such as dormers or gables, you will want to choose a color that will draw the eye up to these points of interest.

It is also important to create the right amount of contrast between your shingle color and brick or siding. Without enough contrast, your home can appear bland and boring. Creating contrast can be achieved through combining light and dark colors, as well as combining complementary colors. The same also goes for patterns. If your home is busy, with multi-color brick, stone, or siding, then it is best to choose a simple shingle color. On the other hand, homes with vinyl siding in one color may benefit from having shingles with some variation.

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Consider Location

Another factor that will help you decide what shingle color you should choose is your geographic location. What is the weather like where you live? For those in a warmer climate, there is a possibility that lighter colored roofing shingles can possibly help keep the home’s interior cooler. According to a three year study, “on sunny days, the top ply of plywood roof sheathing under black shingles was 10˚F to 15°F (5˚C to 8˚C) warmer than that of identical white shingled roof chambers.” However, the black-shingled chambers were exposed to temperatures above 120˚F for longer periods of time than the white-shingled chambers. While the study does show that it is possible that black shingles might make your home warmer, it is likely your home’s insulation quality and ventilation that determines your home’s energy efficiency. Choosing to go with lighter or darker colored shingles in the hopes of making your home cooler or warmer is up to your discretion.

Also, consider the colors around where you live. For example, the skies in the North are much more cool-toned than in the South. It is common to see home’s with gray and blue color schemes in the North, and red and brown colors in the South. This information can help to determine what color family you should choose.

Along with your geographic location, take a look at your specific neighborhood or area where you live. When choosing a shingle color, take a look at your neighbors. You don’t want your roof to stick out like a sore thumb. Instead, choose a shingle color that harmonizes well with the neighboring homes and landscape.

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Choosing the shingle color for your roof can be overwhelming; however, considering some factors such as your home’s architectural style, siding or brick color, shutter color, and geographic location can make the selection process a little easier.

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Qualities to Look for in Roofers for Your Home

After you have determined whether your roof is due for a replacement or a repair, perhaps the most difficult step is choosing a roofing contractor near you. When choosing between roofers in your area, there are a few major credentials that you need to look for.

Licensed and Insured

One of the first things that you should search for in a roofing company is checking whether they are fully licensed and insured. The contractor should have insurance that covers all employees and subcontractors. Feel free to request their business license and a copy of their insurance for any roofing contractor you are considering doing work on your home.

Knowledgable

It is important to choose a roofing contractor that is knowledgable in good roofing practices, installation, dealing with problem spots, and roof flashing details. In addition, it is helpful to choose a roofer that knows about different shingles, grades, colors, low slope roofing, and flat roofing materials. Perhaps, your roofing contractor can suggest something for your roof that you had not thought of previously.

Experience

While a roofer doesn’t necessarily need many years of experience to do a good job, it is beneficial to choose a contractor that has seen a variety of jobs. Experience is great in the event that you choose a not as common shingle material, or if your roof has interesting slopes, or any other factor. Then, your roofer of choice can share a time when they had previously worked with that material, or on another house similar to yours.

Testimonials

Speaking of experience, it is also a good idea to ask roofers for some testimonials, or feedback, from previous clients. This can help you get a better feel of what it is like to work with different roofers. It is also a good idea to reach out to neighbors, friends, and family when choosing a roofer to see who they would recommend to get the job done.

Better Business Bureau (BBB)

The Better Business Bureau is a great resource to look at reputable companies in your area. Checking for different roofers’ ratings can help you find out more about them from an unbiased source. Always be on the lookout for an “A+” rating by the Better Business Bureau when choosing between roofing contractors.

Slate Roofs: What You Should Know About Them

Origin of Slate Roofing

The first slate quarry in the United States opened in 1785 in Pennsylvania; however, it wasn’t until the middle of the nineteenth century that slate roofs saw more demand and popularity. This was largely due to an increasing population, advances in technology developed for quarrying, and the extension of the railroad. In addition, several slate quarries opened in Virginia, New York, Vermont, and Pennsylvania. Near the turn of the century, the United States slate roofing industry reached its all time high with over 200 slate quarries.

Slate saw a drop in demand around 1915 due to an an increase in competition from substitute materials, including asphalt shingles. These alternative materials then surpassed slate in popularity since they were  offered at a cheaper price. This is because they could be mass produced, more easily transported, and had a simpler installation than slate roofs. However, there has been a recent increase in popularity in slate roofs due to their obvious advantages over asphalt roofs.

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Photo: GAF TruSlate Onyx Black slate shingles

Slate vs. Asphalt Roofing

The biggest differences between asphalt and slate roofs is the price tag and the longevity. Asphalt shingles are one of the least expensive materials, while slate roofs tend to be one of the most expensive options. One of the biggest drawbacks of asphalt shingles is their short lifespan; asphalt shingles only last around 25 years. This is a small period of time compared to slate roof tiles, which last over twice as long. Some slate roofs can even last for over 2 centuries.

Benefits of Slate Roofing

Aside from their natural beauty, slate roofs are best known for their longevity and fire resistance. As we discussed, slate roofing tiles outlast asphalt roofs by a long shot. This is a major advantage, especially for those who plan to stay in their homes for some time. Additionally, slate roofs are available in a variety of colors including: gray, black, blue-gray, red, green, and purple.

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Slate Roofing Tiles

Since slate roofs are a huge investment for your home, it is worth it to perform regular maintenance and inspections on your roof. After all, regular maintenance is important to maintain the longevity of your slate roof. Maintenance includes cleaning out gutters and replacing broken tiles. Additionally, an overall inspection on your slate roof should be performed by an experienced professional approximately every 5 to 7 years.

Perhaps one of the biggest concerns of slate roofs is the installation. Slate shingles are extremely fragile and prone to breaking or cracking, which is why it is important to hire a professional with experience in slate roofing. Slate is a beautiful option for any home and has a natural beauty unlike any other roofing option.

What to Look for in Roofing Companies

Finding a trustworthy and reliable contractor requires much more research than just a simple Google search for “Roofing Companies in Richmond, Virginia,” or even a referral from a neighbor or friend. It is important to choose a contractor that is honest and that will get the job done correctly and with professionalism. Here are some guidelines to help you choose a contractor for your home:

Roof Repair Richmond roofing companies

Licensed and Insured

In addition to being fully licensed to perform business, insurance coverage is an absolute must. Every employee and subcontractor should be insured. According to GAF, “Not having adequate insurance could potentially lead to litigation between a contractor and homeowner if a roofing employee sustains an injury at the home.” A useful tool is to check out to see if the business is accredited with the Better Business Bureau.

A Reliable, Local Contractor

It may help to choose a company that is more established in your local area. For example, you wouldn’t want to get a roof replacement, then need repairs in 5-10 years, only to find out that the company you used originally has closed its doors. An established contractor can help you put your mind at ease knowing that you can give them a call for any future problems that may arise.

There’s More to Look at Than Just the Price

Cheap bids tend to be cheap for a reason. Larger companies tend to have more expensive overhead to pay for a plethora of things such as a insurance, rent, utilities, and pay for employees. A contractor that works on the side will always be cheaper. Customers that are sold solely on price may end up having to pay more in the end if the installation wasn’t done correctly.

Find Out More About The Job Specifications

When considering contractors, it is important to find out the details of how they plan on completing the work. In addition to price and payment method, it is good to know what size crew the company has to offer and how long the project is estimated to take for completion.

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When choosing from the roofing companies near you, it is important to consider price, reputation, and whether they are licensed and insured. Luckily, Balducci Exteriors has over 30 years of experience in the Richmond, Virginia area with an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Feel free to contact us with an questions or concerns!