Residential Selling: Consider Color, Contractors!

Mina Starsiak (left) and Karen E. Laine started their own company, Two Chicks and a Hammer, to tackle home restoration projects. The duo currently stars in the HGTV series “Good Bones.” Photo: Two Chicks and a Hammer.

Mina Starsiak (left) and Karen E. Laine started their own company, Two Chicks and a Hammer, to tackle home restoration projects. The duo currently stars in the HGTV series “Good Bones.” Photo: Two Chicks and a Hammer.

“You can be a more profitable, more well-liked contractor if you talk to your clients about color.”

Those are the words of Karen E. Laine, the mother half of the mother-daughter team who started second careers rehabbing houses in their neighborhood near downtown Indianapolis. Laine and her daughter, Mina Starsiak, discovered they had a passion for home restoration and started their own company named Two Chicks and a Hammer. Laine and Starsiak also currently star in the HGTV series “Good Bones,” which chronicles their projects repairing and rehabbing houses. They shared their insights on exterior design and the importance of roof color with Roofing.

Laine and Starsiak note that people have strong emotional connections to color. They often use color to express their personality in both the interior and the exterior of the house. Since the roof is such a prominent exterior component, figuring out how it plays into the home’s color palette is crucial.

Residential roofing contractors can set themselves apart from the competition if they can help homeowners find the right color combination for their home, notes Laine. “If a contactor can say, ‘I see you have a yellow house and a bright red door. I have some roof choices that will go well with that, and allow you to make changes over time,’ your clients are going to think you are a genius.”

Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak believe since the roof is such a prominent exterior component, figuring out how it plays into the home’s color palette is crucial. Their home in the Indianapolis area is shown here. Photo: Owens Corning.

Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak believe figuring out how the roof plays into the home’s color palette is crucial. Their home in the Indianapolis area is shown here. Photo: Owens Corning.

Laine urges contractors to make the most of expanded color choices in shingles available today. “If you are contractor, carry samples with you, walk outside the house and show them how the shingle is going to enhance the exterior appearance and the color of the house,” she says. “Because it’s not just one-dimensional color; shingles are multi-dimensional. Some of them have red, and brown, and yellow. Some have blue and brown and yellow. Looked at from a distance, you might not see those distinct colors, but they inform the color spectrum of the roof and how it looks with the house.”

She also recommends using a paint fan to help determine colors for other elements of the home. “There are usually six colors on each blade of a paint fan,” says Laine. “The top one is the lightest and the bottom one is the darkest. If you’re not secure in your color choices, you can just pick the medium color in the paint fan for your siding, the darkest color in the paint fan for your door, and the lightest color for your trim. Then you are guaranteed that they are all going to coordinate, and you’re not going to have something in the end that clashes.”

Others might want to consider contrasting colors. “If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, then pick out a different color for the door,” says Laine. “For each homeowner, it’s a very individual opportunity to be creative and see how color feels to you. And the great thing about the colored roofs out there is because of the way they are made, they complement a wide variety of color combinations on a house.”

Taking the time to explore different roof colors gives the contractor the opportunity to connect with the customer and build trust. Starsiak recommends that contractors take advantage of online tools that can be customized to demonstrate the ways different colored shingles will look on the house. “You can scan in a picture of your house and see how different paint colors and roof colors would look in just a few minutes,” Starsiak says. “If you were thinking of painting your house a different color, you can see which roof would go with it. There are online tools for everything now.”

The right color combination can also make a home easier to sell when the time comes. “From a real estate perspective, there are a lot of things that go into the first impression of the outside of the house, including the siding and the landscaping or lack thereof,” notes Starsiak. “A huge part of that initial impression is the roof, so you don’t want to miss that opportunity.”

Laine agrees. “A prettier house is going to be easier to sell, and the dimension that a colored roof adds to a house makes it prettier,” Laine says. “Aesthetics are important. You have to consider color, all you contractors out there. Look at all that alliteration—consider color, contractors! That’s your title, right there. I’ll give you that for free—it’s not trademarked.”

Karen E. Laine (left) and Mina Starsiak were on hand at the 2017 International Roofing Expo to offer design advice to show attendees. Photo: Chris King.

Karen E. Laine (left) and Mina Starsiak were on hand at the Owens Corning booth during the 2017 International Roofing Expo to offer design advice to show attendees. Photo: Chris King.

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.”

Help Homeowners Understand the Quality Proposition of a Tile Roof

Buying a home is the largest purchase most people ever make. Buyers work intensely to identify their needs and wants, assess the individual benefits of various choices and evaluate the long-term financial return to ensure they make a quality decision. Once living in that new home, kitchen remodels and reroofing can be the largest expenses faced by homeowners.

 In addition to increasing curb appeal, modern tile roofing systems and accessories offer an opportunity to improve the energy efficiency of a home.

In addition to increasing curb appeal, modern tile roofing systems and accessories offer an opportunity to improve the energy efficiency of
a home.

We all have firsthand, daily experience with our kitchen. We know what we like and what we don’t. Advertisements showing features and benefits of new appliances, more spacious cabinets and better lighting are appealing. Learning and planning for a new kitchen is fun and exciting. We know we will use it every day and we can show it off to our friends. We choose to do a kitchen remodel.

Reroofing is different. The process usually starts with a surprise—a roof leak a repairman fails to resolve. Then a second attempt, maybe a third, followed by an explanation that the system has reached the end of its useful and serviceable life. Reroofing becomes necessary to preserve the integrity of the home. It’s not fun and it’s not by choice. Compared to new stainless-steel appliances, soft-close drawers and a built-in wine cooler, it’s not exciting.

With little understanding of modern roofing, the first (and often only) question asked is, “How much is it going to cost?” If lowest initial cost was the only criteria for a roof, we would all have blue tarps overhead.

The true cost of roofing is defined by the life-cycle cost, which includes consideration of the initial cost, life expectancy, potential energy savings and potential insurance discounts.

A quality tile roof installation will set a home apart from neighboring homes now and will be a great investment to help the home garner the best sale price later. This is where a knowledgeable contractor can help a homeowner identify his or her needs and wants, assess the benefits of various choices and calculate the value of the given system.

1. IDENTIFY THE HOMEOWNER’S NEEDS AND WANTS

Residential roofing is a functional part of the building envelope. Its primary purpose is to protect the home and its contents from the elements. Residential roofing is also a largely visible part of a home’s curb appeal. A tile roof will increase the curb appeal of a house when compared to similar homes with less substantial roofing materials.

Concrete and clay roof tiles’ resistance to weathering, hail, high winds and UV means that look of quality will be consistent from the day the roof is installed until the day it helps the homeowner get the best return on his/her original investment by enhancing the home’s curb appeal when the house is sold. Without the excitement of center islands and granite counter- tops, the homeowner needs help to be informed about options and benefits a tile roof can provide.

2. ASSESS THE BENEFITS OF VARIOUS CHOICES

In addition to increasing curb appeal, modern tile roofing systems and accessories offer an opportunity to improve the energy efficiency of a home. The inherent insulation properties created by tile’s high thermal mass can be enhanced with above-sheathing ventilation, or ASV. These raised batten systems can “… offer a significant 50 percent reduction in the heat penetrating the conditioned space compared to direct nailed roof systems that are in direct contact with the roof deck,” says Dr. William Miller, Ph.D., P.E., Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn.

The energy savings of ASV is recognized by the California Energy Commission, Sacramento, and included in the Title 24 Energy Code revisions for reroofing and alterations. (Learn more about ASV in “Details”, March/April 2015 issue, page 79.)

PHOTOS: Boral Roofing Products

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DaVinci Roofscapes Celebrates National Curb Appeal Month with Tips for an Impressive Roof

Can a roof affect the resale value and curb appeal of a home? Absolutely. That’s why DaVinci Roofscapes is celebrating National Curb Appeal Month in August by sharing information and tips on creating an impactful and impressive roof.

“The roof plays a major role in creating curb appeal because it can be up to 30 percent of what you see as you approach a home,” says Kate Smith, president of Sensational Color. “Homeowners should make a conscious effort to blend the color of their roofing material with other elements of the home exterior to create an overall cohesive look.”

Smith, who has authored the free online FRESH Home Exterior Colors and FRESH Color Schemes for Your Home Exterior guides, spends a good deal of her time advising homeowners, remodelers and builders on selecting the perfect colors for the exterior of the home.

“For curb appeal it’s all about creating ‘top down’ color by working from the roof down through the different elements of the exterior such as siding, windows, trim and doors,” says Smith. “For example, a colonial style home with a warm Autumn Blend polymer shake roof could be ideally matched with a home exterior in a neutral stone color. Then, for adding ‘pops of color’ for curb appeal, chocolate brown frames could be added on the vinyl windows, shutters and trim around the home. A stand-out color like pine green or marine blue could be added to the entry door to add personality to the exterior.

“However, it’s important to remember that it all starts on the roof. When you’re working ‘top down’ with unlimited color options from a company like DaVinci Roofscapes, a homeowner has an open palette for designing the perfect home exterior.”

How important is curb appeal to homeowners? More than three-quarters of U.S. homeowners* (78 percent) report that their home’s curb appeal is either “extremely” or “very” important to them.

According to the 2011 DaVinci Roofscapes’ Homeowners Exterior Preferences Study conducted online by Harris Interactive©, 61 percent of homeowners say that when house hunting or designing their home, the most attention-grabbing exterior feature was the style of the home, followed by how the house looked on the property (43 percent).

And, when it comes to adding curb appeal to a home, color counts. Fifty-nine percent of homeowners place a lot of emphasis on the role that color plays when they think about replacing major exterior home features. Color availability is so important to homeowners that a majority of them (54 percent) are influenced to buy a specific brand of product based on the color options available from that brand.

“This study shows us clearly that color influences homeowners’ buying patterns and decision processes when it comes to exterior home features,” says Smith. “People want their home to be appealing from the street and they’re looking for colorful key products — such as the roof, door, trim, siding and windows — that will help them create the impression they wish to convey on their home.”

While color is important to homeowners, don’t expect pink, orange or purple houses to pop up in neighborhoods anytime soon. According to the study, homeowners prefer neutral colors for their home’s exteriors.

“The majority of homeowners (67 percent) report that they prefer earthy, calm colors such as beige, tan, white, gray or brown as the dominant color on their home’s exteriors,” says Smith. “You’ll find these colors are very popular for sidings and in different combinations for roofs, while homeowners like to have ‘bursts of color’ on the outside of the home in smaller portions (such as on doors and trim) to add to the structure’s curb appeal.”

National Curb Appeal Month has been launched by Fypon® starting in August of 2014. The comprehensive and colorful online guides created by Smith are available for free download.

GAF Gives Away $13,545 to a Lucky Builder During IBS

GAF has announced that Frank Thompson of Sweetwater Builders Inc. located in Cranberry, Pa., is the winner of its $13,545 giveaway held at the February 2014 International Builders Show in Las Vegas. All builders attending the show were eligible to be scanned at the GAF booth for entry into the contest.

Why $13,545? A recent survey of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, REALTOR appraisers estimated that GAF Timberline Lifetime Shingles can increase a home’s value by an average of 5 percent, compared to a roof using basic 3-tab shingles. With the average new home median price listed at $270,900 by the National Association of Home Builders as of November 2013, a 5 percent increase in home value from installing GAF Timberline Lifetime Shingles equates to $13,545

“With up to 40 percent or more of the curb appeal dominated by the roof, upgrading to a Timberline Lifetime shingle is a great way for a builder to differentiate their homes while increasing the value of the property,” states Emily Videtto, executive director of shingles and new product development at GAF.