The Pantone Color of the Year for 2021 is actually two colors: “Ultimate Gray” and “Illuminating.” You may want to know this when selecting the ideal shingle color for your Birmingham-area home. 

Is “Color of the Year” Really a Thing?

Color is a vital part of the human experience, so Pantone selects trending colors every year. The two colors are not necessarily ideal for shingles — well, maybe the Ultimate Gray if you’re feeling a bit timid about your house. As Pantone sees it, gray is “emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation.” 

Most Alabama homeowners would not opt for an “Illuminating” shingled roof, since it’s Pantone’s word for yellow. Bright, bright, cheerful yellow. It’s an upbeat color but not really ideal as the crown on your castle. So just how should you choose a shingle color?

How Can I Choose a Shingle Color?

Several considerations come into play with shingle colors for your Birmingham-area home. We will break them down one at a time, so you can decide what your priorities are.

  • Your home’s architectural style — Different color palettes work for different architectural styles. For example, a Dutch Colonial or Georgian brick home will probably look best with earthy, traditional tones.
  • The neighbors — Stand out from the neighbors; let your house announce your presence to the world! Bold, beautiful colors can help your home shine amid beige and bland homes on either side. Or, if you feel more comfortable fitting in, sedate colors in tans, desert greys, and other tranquil colors will harmonize with the neighborhood’s overall sense of calm. 
  • Environment — Woods and grass mean a brown or green roof; a beachfront property deserves a sand-colored shingle.
  • HOA — If you live under the auspices of an HOA, always check your by-laws and regulations to ensure the shingle color of your dreams does not become the tear-off of your nightmares; some HOAs frown on festive colors like eye-popping red or patriotic blue.

Your Home, Your Choice

You can put all the various factors — HOA, neighbors, nature, Pantone, architecture — on one side of the scale; they still will not outweigh your personal preference. You own your home; you choose the color. 

Careful selection of the right residential roofer is essential here. Pick a roofer who has the pick of the best manufacturers, such as Owens Corning and GAF. These world-renowned companies offer veritable rainbows of shingle colors, all tastefully designed to enhance, complement, or harmonize with your home. 

From earthy browns to brilliant, bubbly blues and many hues and shades in between, these notable manufacturers can offer you the color you have longed for. 

Color Theory

Still, it helps to consider some basic color theory in picking the roof color:

  • Light colors tend to make shapes and spaces appear larger and pushing forward.
  • Dark colors tend to make shapes and spaces appear smaller and receding away.
  • In low light, red becomes very hard to see, while yellow is visible the longest.

The color wheel automatically provides color schemes for complementing, contrasting, highlighting, and subduing colors:

  • Red, yellow, and blue are the primary colors
  • Orange, purple, and green are the secondary colors
  • Yellow-orange, red-orange, red-violet, blue-violet, blue-green, and yellow-green, and the tertiary colors

The color wheel divides into visually “warm” and “cool” colors. The warm colors are the reds, yellows, and oranges, while the cool colors are the blues, greens, and purples.

Say your home has an exterior in “putty,” a warm color in the yellow family. You can complement a warm color by selecting its opposite on the color wheel, choosing a cool color for your shingles. 

Other color options for shingles include analogous and triadic color combinations. There are also monochromatic, split-complementary, and tetradic color schemes. Your contractor can help with shingle selection based on hundreds of installations. 

Energy Efficiency

Most fiberglass-asphalt shingles are energy efficient, though some colors of shingles qualify under the federal Energy Star program as more energy-efficient. These are the light colors which reflect sunlight and heat away from your home. The reflectivity helps to lower your cooling costs. 

You need to look at a shingle as a complete package since an “Arctic White” shingle made by an inferior manufacturer will not provide the benefits of a superior quality shingle. And, too, the installation process boosts energy efficiency when you select a highly trained roofing crew. The proper underlayment, ice and water shield, and ridge vents contribute to your whole-house energy efficiency.  

Please contact us at Yellowhammer Roofing to draw on our years of experience and expertise in choosing shingle colors. We would be happy to provide you with practical advice, color samples, and options to make your Birmingham-area home the most beautiful home on your block.