9 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing House Siding Colors

Freshen your home's exterior and boost curb appeal with a brilliant new palette of siding colors by asking these important questions.

Changing the color of your siding can have an impact not only on how you feel about your home but on its value, too. A fresh paint job (or a new type of siding altogether) can help bring out your home's best features and make your exterior stand out. The best siding color will depend on the existing combination of hues in your trim, front door, roof, and other exterior elements, as well as the home's overall style and surroundings. If you're stuck on which siding color to choose, start by asking yourself these 9 questions to help point you in the right direction.

lavender gray siding on cottage exterior
Dana Gallagher

1. 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. Pay particular attention to homes in your area, especially those styled similar to yours. Although you want to incorporate your own style into your siding color scheme, you also want your selection to look good in your home's location. If your neighborhood is more eclectic, for example, you might consider more colorful options when it comes to siding colors.

2. 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. Love farmhouse-style exteriors? 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 generally suit farmhouse profiles, while contemporary smooth lap siding looks crisp in gray or navy blue.

blue Colonial home exterior
Cameron Sadeghpour

3. What's the architecture of your home?

Your home's style can provide visual cues that help guide your choice of siding colors. For example, Colonial homes are often painted a single, classic color such as white; unusual accents can offer a subtle, yet modern twist to that traditional scheme. Other home styles, including cottage or country, may offer more freedom when it comes to choosing siding colors for your home.

4. How big is your house?

Viewed on their own, siding color swatches can be misleading. A dark color might look rich and distinctive at first, 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 can sometimes prevent a smaller home from standing out in its landscape. Keep this in mind: Lighter colors can neutralize features that you wish to de-emphasize, while darker colors draw attention to places you want to highlight.

5. 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 top factor that you consider when choosing siding colors. If your roofing material is dark, it might motivate you to consider a lighter siding color scheme. A more muted, neutral roof hue, on the other hand, can allow more choices when it comes to exterior schemes.

white house front yard garden
Werner Straube

6. What landscaping style do you have?

The landscape around your home plays an important part in determining siding colors. For example, a stark contemporary landscape combined with a candy-color exterior color scheme might not be the perfect match, especially in a conservative neighborhood. Conversely, a brightly colored, cottage-style garden might warrant a more subdued siding color scheme for balance.

7. What's your climate?

The way a particular siding color looks on bright sunny days isn't always how a home feels on a cloudy winter afternoon. A general rule of thumb: The intense sunlight during summertime makes colors feel brighter. Before deciding on a siding color, consider your area's climate and how the typical weather conditions will affect how the hue looks.

8. How do your favorite paint colors look at different times of the day?

Testing is key to figuring out how a siding color will look in various light conditions throughout 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. It's a good idea to paint these swatches close to items on your home whose color won't change, such as brick foundations, for example.

9. Have you considered complementary colors?

One siding color does not make a color scheme: The 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.

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