Changing the color of your siding can have an impact not only on how you feel about your home, but on its value, too. Choosing a combination of hues that's beautiful and pleasing to the eye is an entirely different task altogether. If you've been stymied about what siding colors to choose, use these 8 questions to give yourself a sure-footed start.
What's your neighborhood like?
Driving around and taking in the color schemes of homes you love is a good first step when deciding on siding color. But don't ignore your own area and, in particular, homes styled similar to yours. Although you want to put your stamp on your siding color scheme, you also want your selection to look good in your home's location. Of course, if your neighborhood is more eclectic, you have more latitude when it comes to siding colors.
Are you building new or updating your home exterior?
If you're replacing your home's existing siding, choose a new siding profile similar to your home's existing features. However, if your home is a new construction build, you can mix and match siding profiles for stand-out character and a color scheme with major curb appeal. Consider a product line like James Hardie, which features HardiePlank® and HardieShingle® siding in a variety of profiles, widths, and textures so you can easily create the exterior of your dreams. Love farmhouse? Try vertical siding with a smooth finish. If cottage or coastal style suits you, consider beaded lap siding or shingle siding for the beautiful look of wood without any rotting or warping. Once you've decided on a siding profile, use it to influence your color palette. Creamy whites and soft beige suit farmhouse profiles, while contemporary smooth lap siding looks crisp in gray or navy blue.
What's the architecture of your home?
Your home's style may provide visual cues that you should listen to, but not be completely bound by, when it comes to selecting siding colors. For example, Colonial homes are often painted a single color such as white; unusual accents can offer a subtle, yet modern twist to that traditional scheme. Some home styles—cottage, country—may offer more freedom when it comes to choosing siding colors for your home.
How big is your house?
Viewed on their own, siding color swatches can be misleading. A dark color may look rich and distinctive, but when painted on the facade of a mid- to large-scale house, it can feel gloomy and overpowering. At the same time, colors that are too light may prevent a smaller home from standing out in its landscape. Keep this in mind: Lighter colors neutralize features that you may wish to de-emphasize, while darker colors draw attention to places you may want to highlight.
What color is your roof?
Siding colors have a variable lifespan, but a roof will probably last from 20 to 30 years. As a result, roof color should be a factor that you consider when choosing siding colors. If your roofing material is dark, it may motivate you to consider a lighter siding color scheme; a more neutral roof hue may allow more choices when it comes to exterior schemes.
What landscaping style do you have or are you planning?
A stark contemporary landscape combined with a candy-color exterior color scheme may not be the perfect match, especially in a conservative neighborhood. It's just one example of how the landscape plays an important part in determining siding colors.
What's your climate?
The way a particular siding color looks on bright sunny days may not be how a home feels on a snow-packed winter afternoon. A general rule of thumb: The intense sunlight during summertime makes colors feels brighter.
How do your favorite paint colors look at different times of the day?
If you can, apply swatches of your possible siding colors on different sides of your home and take a good look at them in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Also, paint the swatches close to items on your home whose color won't change—brick foundations, for example.
Have you considered complementary colors?
One siding color does not make a color scheme: A main hue needs accents that are lighter or darker. Choose either two or three shades to update window trim, doors, and railings. If you're unsure about what to pick, land on one complementary color that offers a bright focal point, and one hue that's a shade or two lighter or darker than your main siding color.