How to Choose the Best Color for Asphalt Shingle Roof?

Asphalt roof shingle colors are numerous, giving homeowners plenty of options. This is important, as the roof represents a large percentage of a home’s outward appearance and the color you choose will have a big impact on the home’s curb appeal, but more importantly, making the right decision will impact your level of enjoyment of the home for many years to come.

Architectural roofing shingle tiles on display in store

The best color for roof shingles depends on a variety of factors, the most significant of which is the homeowner’s personal tastes. And because there are so many colors from which to choose, this decision can be rather daunting. However, there are some ways to help you make that decision. For example, is your home/roof large? You can choose a darker color to minimize the largeness of the home. Is your home/roof small? Choosing a lighter color will make the home appear larger.

There is also the architectural style of the home that can influence your color choices. And finally, and perhaps the most influential factor, what color is your siding? The contrast between the roof and the siding needs to be spot on. If you’re looking for information about how to choose roof shingle color, you’ve come to the right place.

How to pick the right roof color for your house?

If you’ve ever been to the paint section of a big box store, you will be familiar with the wall of color swatches that give homeowners an idea of what each color variety will look like on a home. The same can be done for homeowners who want to know how to pick a roof color – they can simply look at the roofing colors in person and get a better idea of what they like and what they want to rule out.

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Personal preference is important, but there are other aspects involved that should be a good indicator of how to choose a roof color that will be best on your home. From architectural style to environmental, lighting and climate considerations, we have some important considerations detailed below.

Top factors to consider when choosing your roof color:

Architectural style

There are certain styles of siding and colors of siding that only look good on specific types of homes, so that is the first tip in choosing a roof shingle color – look at the color of the siding and match the roof to a color that provides the right type of contrast.

Smaller homes are often painted lighter colors to make them appear larger, and the rule of thumb is lighter shades of roofing shingles look best paired with lighter shades of paint. The same is true of dark colors – choose a darker shade of roof shingle to go with a home that has darker siding.

Color contrast

While it is true that lighter shades of siding pair well with lighter shades of roof colors, it is important for there to be some contrast, as you don’t want the exact same color for both because the home will look bland and unattractive. In fact, there should be contrast between other elements as well, such as trim, doors and window shutters. When chosen correctly, an aesthetic harmony is achieved. Begin with creating the contrast between the roof and the siding, then move on to other elements.

Pattern contrast

Roof shingles will come in various patterns with slightly different hues of the same color on each tab, but shingles also come in solid colors. Choosing the pattern can be a personal preference, but the goal is to not get too busy with other aspects of the home. For example, if the pattern contrast is distinctive on the siding, prevent the overall look of the home from becoming too busy by choosing a solid roof shingle color. Conversely, if the pattern contrast is minimal on everything below the roof, the appearance can be enhanced by choosing roof shingles with patterns.

Size of your house

The average roof represents around 40 percent of the exterior of a home, but roofs with a steeper slope will have more square footage, which is something to keep in mind when choosing shingles. For example, lighter colors tend to be more dominant on a roof than darker colors, so if you want to de-emphasize the size of your roof, choose a darker color. Also, if the home and roof are rather large, don’t go with very light colors, as this can make the home look bland. Finding the happy medium is important.

Environment and lighting

The environment and lighting make a big impact on the contrasting colors on a home. For example, lakeside properties often have blue roofs that go well next to the water. A home surrounded by deep green evergreens will benefit with shingles that have a green hue, which plays nicely with the surrounding trees.

The sunlight and shade a home receives can also dictate the proper color of shingles, as the roof shingles will look different when in the shade than it will in the sun. Finding the shingles that work well in both, with the environmental considerations also taken into account, is important.


Dark colors tend to absorb more sunlight than lighter colors, which tend to reflect the light. However, studies have shown that the attic under a dark roof is only around 8 to 10 degrees warmer than the attic under a light roof. This difference can be further reduced with better insulation. While climate is nearly a negligible aspect of choosing shingle colors, a home that has zero shade and takes the full brunt of harsh sunlight in summer months, could benefit slightly with a light colored roof.

Neighborhood colors

One of the best tips for choosing shingle colors is to look at what’s on the roofs of homes in your neighborhood and choose a color that is consistent with those around you. And remember, if you want to go bold and choose a color that stands out from the crowd, this might not be in your best interests if you plan on putting the home on the market, as you’ll limit your target audience to only those who also have bolder tastes.

However, if you live in a neighborhood where bold colors are the norm, you are free to go as bold as you like. If your home is part of a homeowner’s association, check the bylaws to make sure your choice doesn’t run afoul with the rules.

Taking cues from what’s around you, factoring in your personal tastes and the architecture of your home, you are sure to make the right decision on the color of your roof. Also, consult with your roofing contractor about all the colors you’re considering. At VIS Exterior, we’ve got years and years of experience helping homeowners make the right decisions and we can help you.

What are the different colors of asphalt shingles in the market?

Leading asphalt shingle manufacturers, such GAF and Owens Corning, produce some of the best roofing products on the market today. So many different colors of asphalt shingles come from the factories operated by these companies, so there is no shortage of options. In fact, if you’re looking to change the appearance of your home to something new and fresh, changing the shingle color is a great way to achieve that.

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Asphalt shingle color choices can be difficult to make and there are definitely some pros and cons involved in each of them, but by researching the most popular colors homeowners choose today, you will find information that will help you make the right decision for your home. From black to white, brown to red, check out the attributes of each of them here.

Asphalt shingles are available in the following colors:

Black roof shingles

A black shingle roof is quite popular with homeowners throughout the U.S. because this is a color that works with practically everything. Black shingles are believed to be more popular in homes in the northern U.S. compared to homes in the south based on the assumption that dark colors absorb heat, which can be advantageous in the winter months. Unfortunately, there isn’t much science to back up this claim.

Matched with the right siding color, black roof shingles can be quite attractive on homes of just about every architectural style. Black asphalt shingles are generally more affordable, as they do not require the pigments involved with colored shingles.

Gray roof shingles

Gray roof shingles are popular in northern Illinois, as they offer an icy gray appearance that is accentuated by the natural blue light that shines here. This is not the case with natural light in the south, which offers a reddish hue, which dominates the light gray color.

Fortunately, dark gray roof shingles and light gray roof shingles are a neutral color, which makes them a great match for just about any type of house and explains why they are so popular. Gray also works well with a variety of lighter colored siding, so keep that in mind as you pair your roof to your siding.

Brown roof shingles

Brown roof shingles fit the sweet spot on homes that have white siding, and because white is such a popular siding color, light brown roof shingles are similarly popular. Light brown architectural shingles bring a unique texture and the right contrast that make this pairing a fantastic option.

A lighter or darker hue of roof shingles will also work on a brown or beige home, as long as the colors are different enough to provide that much-needed contrast. Brown can appear very monochrome if your siding is the wrong color, so be sure the important element of contrast is there before choosing brown shingles.

Red roof shingles

Red roof shingles, obviously not cherry red or fire engine red, contain a blend of colors that make them take on a reddish hue without being overpowering. Many shingle manufacturers will make red shingles that fall between a brick red and a rust color, which is a great choice on homes with various shades of brown, tan and beige.

Red asphalt roof shingles also compliment white and gray homes. A bolder choice would be yellow, which also pairs excellently with red, but might be too loud in neighborhoods where the home colors are more neutral. Be sure to take a look around you to see what others are doing and how your red roof might fit in.

Green roof shingles

Green shingles have not been manufactured as many years as the more common red, black, gray, and brown. For people looking for a more modern and less traditional roof color, green may be the bold option you are looking for. Green pairs well with a gray house. Green is also an excellent choice for homes in a more natural or rural setting.

Moss green and forest green are popular shingle colors, as they provide an elegant air to the home. When the light is just right, light green shingles will appear gray, which is a plus for homeowners who value variety.

Blue roof shingles

Blue asphalt shingles bring just about the same amount of versatility as black shingles, as blue complements so many different colored homes. For example, light blue roof shingles match light gray, white and beige homes. However, unlike black, dark blue shingles are a bold choice and can make a home pop.

Blue is similar to gray in terms of how the natural light plays off it, which makes it a good option for homes in northern states like Illinois. Owens Corning makes a blue shingle called Pacific Wave that is popular and comes with a 25-year limited warranty.

White roof shingles

White asphalt roof shingles aren’t actually white, as that would be way too bold, but they are more closely associated with an extremely pale gray hue. When you want to get maximum contrast without going too far, pair the white asphalt shingles with gray siding.

It’s widely believed that white deflects heat, which makes this a popular color in hotter climates, but the color is also popular in areas where winters are harsh. GAF makes a white shingle in the Timbercrest bullnose line that is a popular choice with contractors everywhere.

When you take into account the style of your home, the color of your siding, your exposure to the sun and what your neighbors have on their houses, you can quickly get a better idea of the right color options for your home. But for even more information about choosing the right color of asphalt shingles, keep reading.

What is the best roof color for your house?

What is the best color for a roof? It’s a question many roofing contractors have fielded and the simple answer is that the best color for roof shingles is the one that fits your tastes and your home. That could mean a solid shingle color or one with a more multi-color look that utilizes a few different shades of the same color, whether it’s a variety of greens, blues, reds, browns or grays.

owens corning architectural shingles roofing homer glen

To know how to choose the right color shingles for your house, you need to look at the color of your siding. Assuming it will remain when the new roof goes on, you’ll want to pick a shingle color that goes with your siding and adds the right amount of contrast. There are some roof shingle colors that seem to go with just about any color siding, including black (assuming the siding is not really dark) and gray.

The best shingle and siding color combinations

There is an art and a science to pairing roof shingles to siding. The human eye picks up on the subtle differences between each and the following matches seem to be the best fit:

House facade color

Best matching shingle roof colors


Take your pick: gray, brown, black, green, blue, white all work

Gray / light gray

Black, dark gray, dark blue, dark green, white

Tan / beige / cream

Gray, brown, black, dark green, dark blue


Green, black, blue, charcoal and light or dark browns


Black, brown, gray, white


Dark gray, dark brown, dark green, black

Don’t risk clashing colors – talk to your roofing contractor about which roofing products work on your home based on the color of your facade. Making the right choice will boost the curb appeal of your home and bring you years and years of enjoyment.

What color shingles look best for your house:

From white to gray, light blue to dark blue, rustic colors to bold yellow siding – you need to know what color shingles will work best with your facade. Check out the information below about popular pairings.

Best roof colors for white exterior house

What color roof works for a white house? Solid white is a popular option for the facade of many homes, especially older A-frame homes and smaller houses that appear larger with white paint. The rule of thumb for choosing asphalt shingles on a white house is to go with primary colors, so choosing a variation of red, yellow and blue will look great. The fact of the matter is that just about any color roof will work with white, including black shingles on a white house, but primary colors really make the home pop and are popular with homeowners today.

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Best roof colors for gray exterior house

What color roof goes with gray siding? You’re in luck with this neutral color, as there are a variety of roof dark colors that will work, including dark blue, dark green, black and dark gray. You can even go with a more rustic option with gray, as reddish browns will also play nicely with gray siding. If your siding is a darker shade of gray, go with a lighter roof, such as light gray or white.

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Best roof colors for tan exterior house

If you like dark roof shingle colors and you’re wondering what color roof goes with tan siding, you’ll be happy to know that you can achieve a really pleasant contrast with darker brown colors. You can actually go with a variety of darker colors with a tan house, such as blue, green and black. You can choose solid colors for your asphalt shingles, or go with a mix of darker hues in the same family. While tan is an earth tone, it is a lighter color that simply pairs best against darker colors.

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Best roof colors for brown exterior house

If you have your heart set on a brown shingle and you want to know what house colors go with a brown roof, you’ll be happy to know that a variety of lighter colors are a great match. Unless you’ve got dark siding on your house, you can go with your favorite color of shingles. But what color roof goes with a brown house? Take your pick among charcoal, dark gray, lighter or darker brown (depending on the hue of your siding), green, lue and black.

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Best roof colors for blue exterior house

Given the popularity of blue siding in recent years, there are plenty of examples of what works on the roofs in neighborhoods throughout Illinois. Two of the more popular asphalt shingle options are various shades of gray and white. Depending on the shade of blue, black and brown asphalt shingles also look marvelous. Following the rules of contrast, darker roofing pairs better with lighter blue siding and vice versa.

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Best roof colors for red exterior house

While red is often associated with agricultural buildings, homeowners are using red elements to achieve a classic, yet modern look. So, what color shingles work best for a red brick house or siding that has a brick-like color? Consider a darker color for your shingles, including dark brown, dark gray, black or even dark green. The degree of darkness will depend on the shade of red on your home, so be sure to work with your roofing contractor to ensure you’re getting the right combination.

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Achieving the right contrast between colors is the key to choosing the right shingles for your roof. You can also play with different textures, such as a traditional three-tab shingle all the way up to a highly textured architectural shingle. The colors can have subtle differences on each, so weigh your options carefully before making the decision.

When should you choose solid shingles over blended colors?

Multi-colored asphalt shingles are the alternative to the solid color roof shingles. Also referred to as blended shingles, the multi-color option combines different shades of the same color to offer an aesthetic that is completely different from what you will achieve with a solid color. For those who have a difficult time choosing a solid color, such as in the case where they like a variety of different solid colors but can’t pick a favorite, the blended shingle tends to be the more popular option.

A sample of multi-colored asphalt shingle products

Solid color roof shingles work best on a home with an exterior that has more than one color, such as trim, doors and/or window shutters that differ from the color of the siding. If the exterior is one solid color, the multi-colored shingles will compliment that exterior, adding more variety. A multi-colored shingle on a home with a variety of colors on the exterior can look too “busy.”

It is also possible to create an appearance that is too understated. For example, a dark brown house with a black roof does not do much in terms of adding curb appeal to a home, as there is no contrast in the dark colors. A dark brown home will benefit from installing multi-color shingles or solid, lighter colored shingles. Again, the helpful tip is always going to be choosing what works best to create color contrast, whether it’s subtle or bold.

What’s trending in one area of the country might very well be unpopular in others, but to answer the question, “what is the most popular roof shingle color,” the response requires multiple parts. As you might already know, because black goes with just about every color (exception being dark siding colors), it has been and will continue to be among the most popular roof shingle color.

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Recently, popular colors have included pewter gray, light brown, light blue, tan and green, which doesn’t differ much from years past, and there is a reason for that. Because roofing shingles last a minimum of 20 years, choosing a color that is highly trendy and bold today means that within a few years it could completely fall out of favor with the general public and be seen as passe at best or offensive at worst.

Yes, new colors or a pattern of colors will emerge from time to time, but rarely will a roofing shingle manufacturer release a product considered too “over the top” and bold. The key is consistency, catering to consumer demands and offering variety without reinventing the wheel.

The following are some of the most popular options today, which in part is a response to trending siding colors, as the roof and siding need to match:

The top trending colors for shingles we’ve seen this year include:

  • Light brown hues – sand, taupe, desert
  • Dark brown hues – autumnal brown, tree bark, weathered wood
  • Gray hues – dark gray and light gray
  • Beige and off-white hues – beige, stone, tan, khaki
  • Black

If you’re seeing a trend toward the lighter colors, that is partially due to the cost involved, as lighter colors require less pigment and therefore are less costly to produce. Furthermore, homeowners are under the impression that reflecting light, which is what lighter colored shingles do better than dark colors, will save them money on utility bills during the sunny and hot summer months.

Furthermore, natural colors tend to be a fairly safe option, which is popular with homeowners who don’t want to commit to a color that might be seen as too bold and make their home stand out too much from those around it.

Choose the best shingle color from leading manufacturers

While homeowners are committed to getting the best roof colors for their home, they are equally as focused on getting their shingles from a manufacturer that makes a reliable product that will hold up to Mother Nature and provide protection and beauty for years to come. The best color for roof shingles are those that are made by quality roofing shingle manufacturers.

GAF shingle colors and which are the most popular?

GAF shingle colors are plentiful, as the company is devoted to producing products that will be a hit with consumers of all tastes. To date the most popular GAF shingle color is a tossup between weathered wood, barkwood, pewter gray, charcoal and shakewood. These are neutral shades that appeal to a wide audience.

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GAF Timberline HDZ shingles come in a variety of colors and are among the most popular with roofing contractors. The Timberline series offers advanced roof protection from eave to ridge, bringing technologies that protect from the wind and algae damage. They also come with a 15-year WindProven warranty and a 25-year StainGuard Plus algae protection warranty.

GAF also offers the Timberline UHDZ shingles, which are “ultra high definition” shingles that offer a combination of beauty and benefits that make them a premium shingle. GAF says this shingle is for the homeowner that wants to “go beyond expectations” with a premium laminate shingle featuring patent-pending Dual Shadow Line for “daratic sunset shadows all day long.”

The UHDZ shingles are built to high standards, which is why they have a 30-year StainGuar Plus Pro limited warranty and 30-year workmanship coverage when installed by a qualified GAF roofing contractor.

Owens Corning shingle colors – which are the most popular?

Owens Corning architectural shingles bring everything from a classic to a contemporary look to a home, boosting its curb appeal. And because there are many different Owens Corning shingle colors from which to choose, just about any preference will be catered to with this line of asphalt shingles.

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Some of the more popular shingles from this company include the Duration and Duration Designer shingles, both of which are made with the TruDefinition color platform. TruDefinition is the company’s trademarked formula that captures bright, vibrant hues and dramatic shades that “showcase the aesthetic appeal of your home.”

The Duration series features 15 colors, matching the most popular hues of today and will likely remain popular for many years to come. For example, Harbor Blue, Sierra Gray, Desert Tan and Amber are hugely popular options, as are Shasta white and Onyx Black. But the rich deep colors, such as Terra Cotta and Teak, aren’t the only pluses with Duration – you also get the Energy Star-rated color design that will reflect more of the sun’s ultraviolet light away from the home.

Whether you’re choosing popular Owens Corning shingle color combinations from the Duration of Duration Designer line, you’re sure to be happy with your selection.

Hire a trusted roofer for your shingle roof installation

Regardless of what shingle type and color you choose, you can only get the desired results if you work with a trusted roofer to have them installed. Whether it’s a light or a dark shingle, solid color or multi-colored, a trusted roofing contractor is going to help you make the right decision and install the shingles with an eye for perfection.

Your contractor will weigh the options, such as the slope of your roof, the size of it and the style of your home, before offering an opinion. They’ll also consider important aspects such as your roof’s exposure to the elements and survey the landscape to see what impact area trees will have on your roof.

At VIS Exterior, we only use shingles from trusted brands because we want our work to look amazing and last a long, long time. That can only happen when we install shingles from trusted manufacturers of roofing systems, including GAF and Owens Corning.

When it’s time to take on a roofing project, only partner with a local roofer that has your best interests at heart. At VIS Exterior, we know about all the different colors of shingles on the market today and we will help you find the one that fits your tastes and your home.

roofing homeowners illustration

Expert answers to your frequently asked roofing color questions

When you’re seeking out answers to your questions about shingle roof color, go to the roofing professionals! At VIS Exterior, we’ve answered many questions and the following are some of the most common ones about choosing shingle roof color.

Do lighter-colored shingles save energy?

Everyone wants to cut their energy costs, and having a new roofing system installed is a great way to do that, as new roofs offer a better barrier between your home and the elements that can impact your utility bills. But do lighter-colored shingles save energy? While lighter colored surfaces reflect light and dark surfaces absorb light, the impact on your home is minimal.

Fortunately, top shingle manufacturers are making shingles today that are built to reflect more ultraviolet rays, which is a benefit for those who want to fight the heat and keep their air conditioners from working overtime during the hot summer months.

Despite this technology, light-colored roofs are still referred to as “cool roofs” because they will keep the attic in the home between 8-10 degrees cooler than a dark colored roof. So, the answer to the question is “yes,” but it’s practically negligible in terms of the comfort in the living areas of your home.

Do black shingles make your house hotter?

For homeowners looking to get an advantage on their heating bills during the cold winter months, they might be attracted to a dark roof. But do black shingles make your house hotter? Not as much as you might think. While the sun will heat up darker surfaces and help to melt snow faster than a light-colored roof, there won’t be much of an impact in the interior of the home.

What color of roof is most energy efficient?

The common perception is that a light-colored roof will keep a home cooler in the summer and a dark-colored roof will make the home warmer in the winter, which means either way you go, you’ll have one season that is more energy efficient than the other.

However, the impact of the roof’s color on the interior temperature of your home is not substantial. For example, the temperature in an attic under a dark roof will only be 8-10 degrees warmer than an attic under a light roof. A well-insulated home will be the biggest decider in how comfortable or energy efficient a home is.

What color of shingles last the longest?

The color of the shingle has no bearing on how long it will last. You might have heard that light-colored shingles last longer because they reflect sunlight and are therefore not damaged by UV rays like dark colored shingles are. That might have been true many years ago, but shingle manufacturers use formulas that protect against UV rays, regardless of the color of the shingle. What color shingles last the longest is therefore a moot point as longevity has more to do with who makes the shingles and who installs them.

You want your new roof to last for a long time, hopefully for the remainder of your time in the home, so be sure to have your roofing contractor come back for annual inspections to ensure small problems don’t turn into major ones later. If you experience rougher than usual weather, such as a summer full of hail storms or ice storms and heavy snow in the winter, be sure to call on your contractor to take a look at your roof and make repairs as needed.

Does a dark roof make a house look smaller?

If you’ve got a large house with a large roof and you want to “downsize” that appearance, you can achieve that by having a dark roof installed. Should you install light-colored shingles, you’ll achieve the opposite effect, making your house seem even larger. Conversely, if your home is small and you want to achieve a larger effect, choose light-colored shingles.

Does roof color affect your home’s resale value?

A new roof will have a positive impact on the resale value of a home, as new homeowners will see value in the fact that they will not have to undertake a major roofing project any time in the near or distant future. However, does the color of a roof impact its resale value? As long as the roof color fits with the architecture of the home and pairs well with the siding, it will in no way have a negative impact on the value of the home.

In fact, it’s this color coordination that is the most important element in terms of value. Ninety-plus percent of realtors and buyers say that where roof color is concerned, they only care that it is matched well with the siding, trim and other elements on the facade of the home.

Val Slajus
Owner / Author
Val Slajus

My journey began with a passion for home improvement, and I established VIS Exterior because I firmly believe that everyone deserves to live in a beautiful home. With years of experience in the roofing and siding craft, I'm dedicated to helping you enhance the protection and aesthetics of your home. Through this blog, I'm excited to share my knowledge and insights, empowering you to make informed decisions when planning your next exterior renovation project.