By: Paul Rubio on March 19th, 2020
Metal Roof Colors: 5 Tools To Pick The Best Color For A Metal Roof
You cannot change the color of your metal roof, so choosing a color that will match the style of your house is critical. Although this can seem overwhelming it’s actually a simple process nowadays with the color selection tools that are available.
At Western States Metal Roofing we’ve been selling metal roofing for twenty plus years. We talk to thousands of customers and are regularly asked “What color do you recommend for my roof?” So, in order to make it easy for you to pick the right color for your metal roof we have created a detailed list of color selection tools that can be used to pick the perfect metal roofing color.
It is recommended that you look at each of these color selection tools in the order that they are listed below. In this article we will discuss:
One important thing to note: Prior to choosing your metal roof color, you must first decide on:
There are different colors that are available in PVDF paint versus SMP paint. Secondly, lighter gauge panels are rarely available in PVDF finishes. If you don’t determine the gauge and paint system first then you will be looking at colors that are not available. If you would like a more detailed explanation we suggest that you read: Metal Roofing Colors: 5 Tips To Pick The Best Metal Roofing Color
Color Cards For Corrugated Metal Roofing
PVDF Color Card - Standard Colors
The beginning step for choosing a metal roofing color should be to download color charts. Metal roofing color charts can be viewed online, but we recommend that you download them. You will be looking at a lot of different websites and each metal roofing supplier will have different shades of similar colors. For example, we offer five unique gray colors.
Now imagine you tried and remember the subtle differences between the colors from multiple companies and color charts. Having a folder with all of the different color options in one place will make it faster and easier to determine which color is best. In addition, it’s recommended to request hard copies of the color cards.
Types Of Color Cards
A color card or color chart is the quickest way to see all of the colors in one place. Typically, the colors will be arranged by the type of paint finish. Here are examples of our five primary color cards.
- SMP paint finish
- PVDF - Standard colors
- PVDF- Special order colors
- Matte finishes
- Designer or specialty paint prints
Problems With Metal Roofing Color Cards
- Online metal roofing color charts
Viewing a color chart online is not the same thing as looking at it in person. Monitor settings always vary. Colors can look different on your desktop versus your laptop. The color on your computer screen should only be considered as a fairly close color representation. It’s only a starting point to give consideration to the color.
- Roofing colors are too small
Color cards are normally printed on a typical 8”X11” paper size and have thirty to forty colors. This means that each color is typically less than one inch in size. You will get a tiny representation of what the color will look like on a large metal roof. Color cards should only be used as a starting point in the color selection process.
Designer or Specialty Paint Prints
Metal Roofing Photo Galleries
Metal roofing is available in hundreds of colors and finishes. The best way to see which colors you like best are to view photo galleries of past projects. Most companies will have an extensive photo gallery online. Quite often it will be organized by the specific panel and color. Viewing a color on an actual roof is much more helpful than looking at a color chart.
It’s difficult for metal suppliers to get high quality pictures of their jobs. Therefore, it’s nearly impossible to find pictures of every color and panel profile on the suppliers website. If you cannot find the color that you are looking for we suggest the following:
- Google the color you are looking for and the term metal roofing. You can even try and be specific and list the type of metal roofing panel within the search. Look in the images section of google.
- Check out Houzz.com
- Send an email to the company you are working with as sometimes they have pictures that are not displayed online.
Color And Product Visualizers
Roofing visualizers enable you to choose a style of home or upload a photograph of your building. You can change many features of the house so that you can see how everything will look together. Create a digital mock-up and can even save multiple versions of your design. Most websites have a free visualizer that will have these options to choose from:
- Type and color of metal panel
- Stucco or brick colors
- Trim colors
- Wall type and colors
This can be useful because you can compare different colors and change the surrounding design elements. You can see what the latest metal roofing trends would look like on your project. Take your time and play around with different design features and colors until you have one that looks stunning.
Metal Color Chips
Color cards and product visualizers will give you a general idea of what the color looks like. However, they will only get you close. Requesting an actual metal color sample is the best way to see exactly what the color looks like.
The metal color sample will be provided from the material that’s used to fabricate the metal roofing. It’s an identical match to your chosen color. There is no substitute for seeing, touching, and feeling an actual metal color sample. All of the previous tools will give you a fairly close idea of what the color will look like. The only way to get an actual representation of the color is to get a metal sample.
Problems With Metal Color Chips
- Size of metal color chip
Metal color samples are much larger than what is displayed on a color chart, but they are still small. Metal color chips are somewhere between 1”X1” to 12”X 12”. This is large enough to narrow your decision down to the final couple of colors. It’s recommended to request a panel sample after you have narrowed your colors down to one or two colors.
- How the metal color sample is typically viewed
When viewing a tiny metal color sample you are looking at it from a close distance. Holding the metal color sample in your hand and then looking at it from a close distance is not representative of how that color will look in the real world. It’s too close.
When someone is viewing your metal roof, they will be on the ground and looking up at the roof. That is a minimum distance of ten to twenty feet. You should look at a sample from both up close and at a distance so that you get a realistic idea of how it will look after the roof is installed.
- Lighting conditions when viewing metal samples
Viewing a metal sample at your kitchen counter with indoor lighting is different than viewing the color outside in the natural light. It’s also important to look at the color at different times of the day. The color will look different in low light morning and evening hours versus mid day sun.
Requesting Free Metal Color Samples
- Metal color samples are readily available from most metal roofing manufacturers
- These samples are typically free of charge
- You can request multiple colors and finishes
- Include as much information as possible regarding the look that you are trying to accomplish. The company you are working with has a better knowledge of the available colors. They may have suggestions that you wouldn’t know about.
Metal Roofing Panel Samples
7/8" Corrugated in Streaked Copper
The final step in choosing a metal roofing color is to request a panel sample in your specific color. This can be a more difficult and expensive process than requesting a color chip. Metal roofing samples are expensive to manufacture and ship. Furthermore, they are rarely immediately available. There are just too many panel profiles and color combinations for a metal roofing supplier to have these ready for immediate shipment.
Requesting Metal Roofing Samples
- Get metal color chips first and the panel samples second.
- The best method is to request metal color samples in your favorite 1-5 colors. Once you see these colors in person then narrow it down to your favorite 1-2 colors and request a panel sample.
- Allow 1-2 weeks for delivery of corrugated metal roofing samples. If you need a panel sample in a specific color, understand that it will have to be made just for you. Allow your metal supplier enough time.
- Each supplier has a different set of rules for panel samples. Sometimes panel samples are free and other times you will be charged. Furthermore, not all companies will provide metal roofing samples in your specific colors.
- Let your supplier know that you have spent time researching their colors and products. It’s expensive to manufacture and ship panel samples so it’s important to let them know that you’re serious.
If the supplier thinks that your samples are likely to become a sale then the panel samples are more likely to get produced, deliver quicker, and possibly supplied at no charge.
We Invite You to Take The First Step: Download Free Color Cards
Let us make it easy for you to take the next step. Downloading a color chart is a quick way to get a general overview of the colors that are available. Our goal is to provide you with the ideal color. We have included a list of color cards to inspire you and get your creative juices flowing.
Metal Roofing Color Cards
- PVDF - Standard Colors
- PVDF - Special Order Colors
- PVDF - Matte Colors
- SMP Colors
- Specialty Paint Print Catalog
- Specialty Paint Prints/Designer Colors
- Real Rusted Roofing
- Vari-Cool Color Changing Paint System
- Metal That Looks Like Reclaimed Lumber
- Metal That Looks Like Dark Walnut Wood
But, how do I pick the best color for my home?
Before requesting a color card, you’ll need a good idea of what colors might be best suited for your home. There are many factors that will guide you to selecting the perfect roofing color such as:
- Using the surrounding features of the property
- The color of the fascia and gable trim
- Light color roofs versus dark colored roofs
- Geographical locations
- Style of architecture
- Energy efficiency
If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more about color selection than we recommend that you download the guide and read this article:
Metal Roofing Colors: 5 Tips To Pick The Best Metal Roofing Color
About Paul Rubio
Paul Rubio is the Vice President and one of the owners of Western States Metal Roofing. He has been in the metal roofing industry for 25 years. WSMR is a manufacturer of metal roofing, wall panels, and metal siding. We have colors and finishes that nobody else has with nearly 100 different colors in stock. Our selection of color options and finishes is likely the largest in the industry.