Siding and Shingle Color Selections

Seeing Your Siding and Shingle Colors for the First Time

Over the years I’ve had several customers express surprise – and disappointment – when they first saw the siding and shingle colors installed on their home.

For example, one recent customer chose “Ivory” for her vinyl siding.  It wasn’t an easy decision, and she went back and forth between “White” and “Ivory” for over a month.  To her eye, the “Ivory” color was a creamy off-white.  Before she made her final decision she took our siding sample color board home for a few days.

An example of the siding and shingle color on a T-CapeWhen she saw the front of her home for the first time on set day, she said the factory must have installed the wrong color siding because what was on her home was definitely yellowish.  Since mistakes happen, we double checked the labels on the boxes that contained the uninstalled siding shipped with the home.  They all said “Ivory”.  We also brought the sample color board from our model home center to compare with the installed siding so we could see if the siding manufacturer had changed its “Ivory” color.  When we placed the sample color board against the front of the house, the colors matched.

Why Your Siding and Shingle Color Selection May Look Wrong

So why did the “Ivory” installed on her home look yellowish on set day?  Because it was a bright sunny day, and although she had taken the samples outside while she had them at home, she had done it on an overcast day.  At first she didn’t believe this was possible.  But she became convinced after she took a closer look at the siding installed on the back of her home, which was in shadow.  It looked like the “Ivory” color she expected.  At least she had a good sense of humor, since she told her husband he needed to plant some very big shade trees in their front yard.

An example of the siding and shingle color on a T-RanchIt’s not just siding colors that change depending on the lighting conditions.  In fact, we’ve had more customers think they received the wrong color shingles than the wrong color siding.  I personally find it hard to picture what a roof will look like when I view the typical sized sample color board of shingles.  It certainly helps to see the color samples in natural sunlight.  But because most shingles are made with a blend of colors, they often appear to be different when covering an entire roof than when seen up close on a small sample board.

Check Out Recently Built Homes with Your Siding and Shingle Color Selections

An example of the siding and shingle color on a two-story VictorianOne way to get a better idea what your preferred siding and shingle colors will look like when installed on your home is to ask your dealer if he has built any recent homes with those colors.  If only this was always possible.  For one thing, few dealers sell enough homes to cover all the available colors.  Plus, some colors are seldom selected.  Siding and shingle manufacturers also change shades of color enough so that even a one-year-old home can have a slightly different shade.  In addition, different combinations of siding and shingle colors will affect how each color looks on a home.  Finally, even if your dealer has a recent home with the same color siding and shingle combination you prefer, what you “see” will be affected by the time of the day, the cloud cover, the orientation of the home, and the season (because of the angle of the sun).

Some of my customers have tried computer programs that show various siding and shingle colors and combinations.  But I have yet to learn of a program that consistently works well.

So What Are You to Do? 

The good news is that you are very likely to be pleased by your color selections.   But if not, keep in mind that you might like them more as they change slightly in appearance from day to day and season to season.  And although it may take a few months, if you’re like most customers you’ll wonder why you ever doubted your selections.

For more information about selecting siding and shingle colors, see Modular Home Specifications and Features in my book The Modular Home.

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