Functionally, house siding is like a skin that protects your home from the elements. But as a design element, siding is so much more: It gives your house its distinctive color and can emphasize the best features on your home’s facade. So, siding is both practical and an aesthetic choice.
When you’re ready for new siding, perhaps the biggest choices you’ll make is the color. With so many options, how do you pick one? We have some ideas that might help.
A Brief History of Siding Materials and Colors
For ages, wood has been among the most common siding materials, because it’s widely available and relatively inexpensive. It can also be painted just about any color…and then painstakingly scraped, sanded, primed and repainted every 10 to 20 years.
It’s no wonder many painting-weary homeowners embraced low-maintenance aluminum siding when it hit the market in the mid-1900s, despite it coming in few colors and being prone to dings and dents.
Vinyl siding stole the spotlight from aluminum in the 1970s because of its superior durability and lower cost. The quality of vinyl siding has steadily improved, and the number of fade-resistant colors available has multiplied. It’s also easy to maintain — just wash it with a hard stream of water from a hose or a gentle stream from a pressure washer.
In this millennium, composites that mimic wood and keep their color for decades are increasingly popular. The first generation of composites was manufactured from wood fiber and cement. Next came polymer-and-wood composites. The newest generation is high-tech composite cladding like ASCEND® Composite Cladding by Alside. It’s made from glass-reinforced polymers for stability and heat resistance, and graphite-infused polymers for durability.
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Here are tips for finding the color you love that also looks good on your house.
1. Take a Hint from History
As you think about your home’s future color, take a look at the past. What colors were popular when your home’s style first came into vogue?
Here are a few popular home styles and the color trends associated with them.
Ranch homes — also called ramblers for their long horizontal layouts — are single-story dwellings with low-pitched roofs. The ranch style originated in California in the 1930s but really took off during the suburban housing boom after WWII.
Popular colors for mid-century ranches were bold: think amber, avocado green and ink blue. With the ranch’s ground-hugging facade, you can choose a bold color without it being overpowering. If bold isn’t your style, opt for a muted palette for an understated, contemporary look.
Colonial homes, such as the two-story Georgians and one-story Cape Cods, are known for their symmetry and simplicity. The colors of the original Colonial homes of the 1600s and 1700s were limited to pigments available at the time, such as brown, russet, ochre, blue and green.
Twentieth-century Colonial Revival homes had more color options. A classic white exterior was often paired with shutters in black, red or green. For homeowners who wanted a more colorful exterior, popular choices were gray, yellow, brown or blue siding, with shutters in a complementary color and white trim.
The Arts and Crafts movement that spawned Craftsman homes was all about shunning the social evils of Industrialism and returning to simpler home-centered life in harmony with nature. Understandably, homes featured natural colors that blended with their surroundings, such as forest green, earthy brown, and autumn russets and ambers.
Eight house styles from the late 1800s and early 1900s are collectively called Victorian, among them Queen Anne, Folk, Shingle and Eastlake. Traits of Victorian homes include steep, irregularly shaped roofs; asymmetrical facades with porches; and textured siding.
Because color schemes for Victorian houses covered the spectrum from muted earth tones to bright hues with sharply contrasting trim, there are few limits on your color options for siding upgrades.
The half-timbering and mullioned windows of this traditional English style may pose some creative challenges in siding options. Given the angularity of the cross-hatched stylings on the facade, choose replacement siding colors that complement the timbering yet have enough contrast for the timbering to be seen.
2. Brush Up on Color Theory Basics
When you pick siding colors, you’re choosing a combination that you’ll see on your home every day, for years. Knowing which colors work well together can help you make an educated decision. So here’s a quick refresher about color theory and how colors interact:
Red, yellow and blue are the primary colors. All colors can be created by mixing these three. On the color wheel, they’re equidistant.
The colors that are across from one another on the color wheel are called “complementary,” because they’re visually pleasing when side by side.
Warm and Cool Tones
Warm colors are yellows, reds and oranges. These stimulating colors make an object — in this case, your house — seem larger and closer. They can make a small house stand out.
Blues and greens are cool colors. These calming hues make an object seem to recede. They can make a large house seem less imposing.
Monochromatic Color Schemes
Multiple colors of a single hue are known as “monochromatic.” For example, you may choose siding colors in navy, cerulean and baby blue, which are monochromatic because they’re blue shades.
3. Look for Inspiration in Your Neighborhood
While color theory is a helpful tool, there’s no substitute for experience — in this case, the color experience throughout your neighborhood. There, you can see how colors look when life size, in the natural light of your region.
Check out nearby houses to see what color palettes appeal to you at a gut level. Look at your favorites at different times of day, and in different weather. You’ll get the best idea of how those colors would look on your house if your house is a similar size and style: While a dark gray with white trim can look stunning on a two-story, it could make a small bungalow seem to disappear into the background.
4. Consider the Colors of Your Roof and Landscaping
The colors of semi-permanent focal areas of your home’s exterior — such as your roof, chimney, and hardscaping — combine with your siding to create your home’s overall curb appeal.
5. Think about Resale Value
Vinyl siding and composite cladding last a long time. A potential downside of their durability is that choosing today’s on-trend color can affect your home’s resale value when you decide to sell. If your focus is on resale value, stick to timeless and classic colors with a wide appeal. Neutrals fare well no matter which way the trends go.
6. Test Swatches Before Committing
As with fabric or paint, you will want to test siding swatches of your favorite siding colors before committing. Take it outside and attach it to your house, then step back to look it it. Try it on different sides of the house so you see it in sun and shadow.
7. Visualize the Colors of Your Home
It’s helpful to have a good visual when evaluating siding colors. There are computer programs and apps that allow you to upload a real image of your home and superimpose siding colors to see how they would look.
Let Us Talk to You about Siding
Hiring Sears Home Services for your next siding replacement lets you to choose from many siding colors, in whites, pastels, neutrals, brights and rich, saturated hues. WE have choices for every style and budget.
No matter where you are in your choice of siding colors, Sears Home Services has the perfect solution to improve your home’s exterior. Siding installation by Sears Home Services can give you peace of mind knowing that your home is in the hands of industry professionals.
With new promotions on siding and other home improvements, Sears Home Services can help you save on your home improvement and renovation projects.. Contact us for a specialized quote on siding for your home.