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Ask Maria: Should my Roof go Black on my Tudor Home?

By 02/18/2014February 21st, 201724 Comments

Before we launch into today’s post, I just had to say, considering how many hours we spend in our beds, it’s no surprise that so many of you had such great reviews and opinion on mattresses the other day!! Thanks so much for all your comments!

Okay, onto the dilemma of the week. . .


“I wish I’d come across your blog earlier as I appreciate your eye for color.  Please let me know how much you’d charge to help us determine a roof color for a lovely older home that we bought.  The roofers are sure the roof should be black, but I think the warmth exuded by the exterior of the house is dependent on the softer roof color.  Price-wise, we’ve only looked at asphalt shingles to replace the old shakes.  Please advise as soon as possible.”

tudor style house

I agree that your roof should be black if the roof is to be asphalt singles.

In fact the entire colour scheme needs to go back to the traditional scheme of cream and black with the orange brick. The current yellow/green stucco colour only draws attention to the stucco instead of your pretty, tudor style home.

I think black, cream and orange look classic as well as match the traditional look of a tudor style home.

Traditional Tudor Scheme {click on image for source}

The only time I think a non-traditional colour scheme works is when a house is trying to be tudor but really it’s an addition that should never have happened.

The traditional white and black colour scheme above looks great with the brown brick. It’s the stone all around the foundation that you notice last, and makes you wonder if it was added after the fact.

Gray Tudor Colour Scheme

 {click on image for source}

Even this, more contemporary grey colour scheme (above) looks slightly faded with the orange brick and the greyish, blotchy roof as well as adds to the washed out look of this particular colour scheme (because the values are the same) although because the colours are so current, I predict a lot of people will disagree with me.

Hope this helps!

If you need help with the colour of your roof, you can purchase a consultation via email here.

Related posts:

5 Best Ways to Choose your Roof Colour

The Best Exterior Trim Colours with Brick: NOT Cloud White

Can you Mix Brick and Stone on your Exterior? Before & After

Download my eBook, How to Choose Paint Colours – It’s All in the Undertones to get my complete step-by-step system on how to get colour to do what you want and to make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn how to choose colour with confidence, become a True Colour Expert. 

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  • Shelley Gardiner says:

    I totally agree with black asphalt shingles or (charcoal). And look out! That beautiful brick will really stand out, as it should..
    Thanks for letting me comment..

  • Most tudors or tudor-lites in the south I have worked with have a brown roof. That seems more classic to me, but I also like dark gray ones with cream bodies.

  • tara dillard says:

    Do you have no choices with percentages of gray with the black?

    Pure black in Atlanta. OMG !! Not.

    After studying landscapes across Europe for 2+ decades it is clear longitude/latitude affect how we see color. Along with types of soil. The particulates of Southern red clay hazing the air is why exact colors I love in England or France won’t work in Atlanta.

    Adjustments have to be made.

    Adore misty days, I’m able to see the pure colors of my garden & house without the awful red clay particulates playing with the color.

    Wow, love the pics you chose.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  • I just recommended a black roof for a neighbors English Tudor (half brick & white siding) but in this case I actually really like the blotchy brownish roof of the faded Tudor the best.. I think climate of course should play a big park in the decision..

  • How about a shingle that has dimension and has several shades one picking up the color of the brick, that way it won’t look flat and will more resemble the slate and tie in the brick.

  • Very pretty house!
    I also agree dark gray/charcoal works best with the body and trim because that brick is bossy and needs an assertive color to keep it in check BUT, ONLY if it’s not in the deep south! Lordhavemercy!
    If it is a southern home, the brick would need to be tamed with a (brown or gray) “wash” to even out the fakeness of the reclaimed brick affect. Aaannnnnd, as long as we’re at it – nix the red door and take the green cast out of the body color….

  • Liz says:

    I’m confused because the second house pictured and labeled as having a black roof doesn’t look black to me at all. Perhaps specific brands and color names would be a good idea for the client just as is done for paint, because after having looked for roofs in the past there are some really dark black roofs out there to choose from!

    • Cindy says:

      I agree. It looks mottled to me, but I like it!

      • Maria Killam says:

        Hi Liz & Cindy, actually what I was showing on the second house was the contrasting trim, not the roof which is clearly not black.
        I think brown would work too but I find most asphalt brown roofs to be blotchy and they start to compete with the brick.

  • Erin says:

    I agree with Liz. The second house doesn’t look ‘black’ to me. It looks more brown. Are we talking about ‘shades’ of black. Maria, can you help???

  • Lee Cardwell says:

    When I think of a black roof, I think flat uniform black. Like this which I do not like. All I see is roof.
    I do like picture #2. I have a tudor with a cedar shake. I hope I can afford another one when we need it, because I would hate to try to figure out what roof color to pic.

    • Maria Killam says:

      I agree that if the roof is visually half the house or more a solid black roof is too dark and heavy.
      It would be great if asphalt roof companies could offer non-blotchy options in other colours.

  • Cindy Huntress says:

    I recently needed to choose between a flat black roof and a multidimensional roof. I chose a lightly multdimensional roof color. It gives interest but doesn’t detract. I don’t like highly multidimensional roofs unless one wants the roof to draw attention. But for this tudor the roof should draw attention to the body of the home. In which case I would not do a flat black but I would do a very lightly multi dimensional black/brown or black/charcoal. I think black/charcoal looks more stately then just flat black. And watch those undertones as you match that brick and greenish field!

  • Karen Hanretty says:

    Agree. I love the look of black or dark gray shingle roofs.

  • Joanne says:

    I like the second house pictured. That colour scheme is perfect. I agree the black is too harsh for the brick. Someone out there must offer brown shingles that are a single color. No?

  • Carol Anne says:

    I totally agree with black asphalt shingles

  • Kathy Connelly says:

    I agree that the third house looks washed out. Just because Gray is current, doesn’t mean that it is the best look for your house. Wish I could show you a house in our neighborhood that just went gray, from a sweet yellow. The house lost all it’s character ! They totally washed out all the details.
    Anyway, I agree that darker roof would pop the house, but it needs texture. Too flat and too dark would be to overwhelming…it’s got a lot of roof!

  • I agree with you but I think a charcoal will be less bold than black.

  • Adrienne says:

    Wherever possible I recommend either charcoal or black roofs. Most people tend to not want to do black in the southern interior of BC because of the hot summers, but usually I can persuade them toward charcoal??. I really dislike the “heathered” look of all of the other colors it just is to busy.
    Maria I agree with you. The light gray in the last picture doesn’t do it for me either, especially the shutters directly on the brick. Just because its on trend it doesn’t make it right!

  • IMO, climate issues trump color choice! Energy will only become more expensive in the future.

  • Mary says:

    So would the colour suggestion (black roof, cream exterior with orange brick) also be applicable to a 1970 regtanglur shaped home? We have the orange brick but are struggling with roof and exterior body colours. Would the deck and stair rails also need to be painted black to tie in with the roof? Is here a soft black or charcoal colour, and cream colour you can recommend?

  • Carol J says:

    I’d like the look of a charcoal colored roof, but lighter roofs reflect back sunlight which is something to consider. I grew up in a beautiful old tudor style house and I’d reeeeaaally rather see the timbers black or near black and the area between the timbers white.

  • Fabienne says:

    Hello Maria,
    Could you please let me know the equivalent to chocolate SD020 in the States?
    Thank you so much!

  • franki says:

    Our 1932 Tudor had a slate roof…much ice storm damage and we chose Eco Star shingles (faux slate dark gray) same as the historic requirements of The Navy Yard, and historic districts in our area. LUV IT! franki

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