Research Underscores the Importance of Roof Color on a Home’s Perceived Value

Since the roof is such a prominent exterior component, figuring out how it plays into the home’s color palette is crucial. Photo: Owens Corning.

Since the roof is such a prominent exterior component, figuring out how it plays into the home’s color palette is crucial. Photo: Owens Corning.

Could anything be more ubiquitous in our daily lives than color? From “feeling blue” to “going green,” color is often used to describe feelings, explain behaviors and describe surroundings. As a form of self-expression, color has long been a staple of home design and decor, and the roof is no different. Third-party research and focus groups conducted by Owens Corning makes it clear that consumers are seeking inspiration inside and outside their homes. Color can be a critical tool in making a style statement on the home’s exterior.

But there is often a gap between homeowners’ use of color inside and outside their home—particularly when it comes to the roof. Too often, homeowners and contractors opt for the “safe choice”—choosing black, brown, or gray shingles. What are homeowners looking for when it comes to the exteriors of their homes? Who do they trust to guide them in choosing exterior roofing colors? How does a color-coordinated home impact perceived value?

To glean insights regarding these questions, Owens Corning conducted qualitative and quantitative research with homeowners and real estate professionals. In conversations with homeowners, it quickly became clear that consumers are looking for ways to differentiate their homes’ exteriors and express their personal style. Homeowners told us they want to feel proud of their home and the statement it makes about them when they turn into their driveway. They want the exterior of their home to reflect their personality and distinguish their home from others on the block. In fact, some homeowners joked about their homes, saying things like theirs was “the fifth brown house on the left.”

Return on Investment

Of course, homeowners are also concerned about the return on investment a home improvement—including a new roof—delivers. In the fourth quarter of 2016, Owens Corning retained an independent research firm to better understand how a home’s roof affects perceived value in the minds of consumers and real estate professionals. The conclusion? Color contributes value! Ninety-four percent of consumers and 91 percent of real estate professionals agreed that a color-coordinated exterior increases the value of a home. Additionally, 91 percent of consumers and 87 percent of real estate professionals agreed that a roof with a color coordinating with the rest of the exterior increases a home’s value. Clearly, homeowners are seeking both inspiration and a return on their home improvement investment—and color delivers both.

Owens Corning has created easy-to-use tools to assist contractors and homeowners in selecting a shingle color. The Design EyeQ Visualization Tool makes it easy for homeowners to upload a photo of their home and virtually “try on” different shingle colors.

Owens Corning has created easy-to-use tools to assist contractors and homeowners in selecting a shingle color. The Design EyeQ Visualization Tool makes it easy for homeowners to upload a photo of their home and virtually “try on” different shingle colors.

Despite the power of color to inspire and add value, why are so many roofs black, brown, or gray? Color is personal, and while homeowners confidently make decisions regarding countertop granite or bedroom paint colors, they often defer to the contractor when it comes to their home’s roof. Contractors have historically not been trained to serve as design experts, so it’s easy for a contractor to recommend a “safe” shingle color. But going for a neutral shade can mean a missed opportunity to boost the home’s curb appeal. Representing 40 percent or even more of a home’s exterior, the roof can be a powerful design element.

While roofing contractors are comfortable talking about the functionality of a roof—how the various parts of the system work to seal the home, defend the home and help a home breathe—they have traditionally been reluctant to take on the role of design expert. How can they move the roof conversation beyond functionality to also include curb appeal?

Reaching Homeowners

Owens Corning has created complimentary, easy-to-use tools and resources to assist contractors and homeowners in the shingle color selection process. These free color and design tools help homeowners integrate their personal color preferences into their home’s roof. Style boards on the Owens Corning website can help inspire homeowners to visualize how trending colors might be applied to their homes’ exterior, including the roof. Homeowners can also order sample shingle swatches directly from the Owens Corning website, allowing them to place the various swatches against their current trim, paint, and exterior finishes.

Homeowners can take the online Roofing Color Compass Color Personality Quiz, which features 10 fun questions that help lead a homeowner to their “color personality.” It also offers up the Owens Corning shingle colors that complement their personality.

Homeowners can take the online Roofing Color Compass Color Personality Quiz, which features 10 fun questions that help lead a homeowner to their “color personality.” It also offers up the Owens Corning shingle colors that complement their personality.

A fun place to start for homeowners is the online Roofing Color Compass Color Personality Quiz, which features 10 fun questions that help lead a homeowner to their “color personality.” It also offers up the Owens Corning shingle colors that complement their personality. From there, the Owens Corning Design EyeQ Visualization Tool makes it easy for homeowners to upload a photo of their home and virtually “try on” different shingle colors. Both resources are available here.

Style-conscious homeowners often await the announcement of spring and fall fashion shades announced by the PANTONE Color Institute. Owens Corning worked with Leatrice Eiseman, global color guru and executive director of the PANTONE Color Institute, to pair popular trending colors with Owens Corning Duration Series shingles to show homeowners how easy it is to coordinate their home’s exterior with popular “fashion” colors used on doors or other exterior accessories, such as shutters.

During the 2017 International Builders Show in Orlando, Owens Corning announced Sedona Canyon as the 2017 Shingle Color of the Year. Sedona Canyon is a good example of a shingle color designed to work with both traditional and fashion-forward exterior colors. A 2018 Shingle Color of the Year will be announced later this year along with inspiring new color pairings.

Owens Corning announced Sedona Canyon as its 2017 Shingle Color of the Year. A 2018 Shingle Color of the Year will be announced later this year along with inspiring new color pairings.

Owens Corning announced Sedona Canyon as its 2017 Shingle Color of the Year. A 2018 Shingle Color of the Year will be announced later this year along with inspiring new color pairings.

While the use of color on homes’ rooftops is still expanding, color has long been recognized as an important design element. Consider the following quote from celebrated Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, whose style defined many late 19th and early 20th century buildings: “Color in certain places has the great value of making the outlines and structural planes seem more energetic.”

Connecting color to a home’s roof can boost curb appeal and potentially increase the home’s perceived value in the eyes of consumers and real estate professionals.

For More on This Topic

For more advice on the use of color with exterior design, click here for a related article featuring suggestions from the star’s of HGTV’s “Good Bones.”

About Sue Burkett

Sue Burkett is a marketing leader with Owens Corning based in Toledo, Ohio. She has worked with the company promoting products and other initiatives for more than 35 years.

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