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How to Choose the Best Siding Color Scheme

Jul 27 2011 - Posted by
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How to Choose the Best Siding Color Scheme

The color of your siding makes a great deal of difference to the overall appearance of your home. Whether for new builds and replacement projects, choosing a siding color scheme can be a complicated process that involves a variety of decisions. It's best to approach this task with plenty of time to view the samples and make a decision. Depending on the type and brand of siding that you choose, there may also be a wait time for delivery.

Choose the Type of Siding First

The first decision you will need to make involves the various types of siding. Choose between affordable vinyl siding, traditional aluminum siding, natural wood siding, a contemporary stucco finish or modern fiber cement siding. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type, but this choice will also limit your siding color selection.

 
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If you opt for wood siding stain or paint can be used to capture almost any hue and shade. All of the other siding styles must be factory finished and come in a limited selection.

Vinyl will have the largest variety, ranging from pale neutral tones to brighter pastels and dark accent colors like navy blue and chocolate brown. Aluminum siding tends to be offered in a similar range, although it is less popular than vinyl and will have fewer selections overall. Fiber cement siding generally comes in natural shades meant to echo the wood-like appearance and stucco must be created with light neutrals such as white and grey.

By choosing the type of siding that you prefer you will inevitably limit your color selection and thereby make this decision easier.

Taking Your Architecture Into Account

The siding color scheme that you choose should compliment the architecture of your home. Certain house styles will naturally lend themselves to certain color schemes. Southwestern ranch bungalows, for instance, look best in earthy tones, while Colonial homes are attractive finished in light colored pastels and bright whites. Arty or modern homes can be sided with darker tones and mission style houses suit reds and browns.

Remember that both dark and bright colors tend to hide architectural details, such as gables and arches. If your home has been designed with these elements it is important that the siding color showcase those features instead of hiding them or drawing attention away. On the other hand, plain fronts or expansive walls can be stunning when sided in bold hues. Your tastes and the style of your home will be the deciding factors.

Have a Look at the Neighbors

It is very important to take in account the other homes in your neighborhood, notably the houses directly next door. The siding color scheme that you choose will need to complement those homes without necessarily blending in. It is a fine balance that takes careful consideration.

If your neighbor's home is finished in an unattractive color, don't despair. Your home does not need to echo their choices - it simply needs to mesh well. Consider remaining in the same family of colors or sticking with similar tones. Use their foundational siding color as an accent in your own color scheme. Perhaps, if their colors suit your tastes, you could choose something a few shades lighter or darker.

Take a look at your selection based on the overall view from the street. Whether this includes the neighbor's houses or your own out buildings be sure to create attractive curb appeal from any angle.

Get Samples From Various Manufacturers

The best way to choose your main or foundational siding color is to bring home a few samples. Be aware that the samples will look different in a variety of lights, including twilight, morning, afternoon and in the night. It is important that you consider any samples in all of these time slots to be sure that you make the ideal selection.

Just as the type of siding will make a difference to your color selection, the manufacturer that you choose will also have a unique (and limited) range of colors. Visit your local building supply store or ask the siding contractor which manufacturers they recommend. Then have a look at the color selection offered by that particular brand.

Paint can be mixed into almost any color, but factory finished product lines are limited. You may find that the particular brown siding that you like is only available in certain brands — although many have browns, that shade may be unique to one or two manufacturers.

Consider the Trim and Accents

Just as it applies to your interior decorating, the exterior siding color scheme will include accents in contrasting or complimentary colors. Trim can be done in the same color, perhaps a few shades lighter or darker. Accents such as shutters, gingerbread, fascia and soffits can also come in a contrasting color that helps these details to pop out, framing the shape of your home and outlining finer points of interest.

This choice depends entirely on the foundational color. If you opt for a dark base color you are limited to the same hue for the trim, often two or three shades lighter will work well. If a more neutral foundational color is chosen, then bold or dark trim can be installed for a dramatic and detailed look. This works very well with arts and crafts-style homes or on large facades that include various architectural features.

The manufacturer often limits trim colors as well and samples should be viewed over the same time span that siding samples are considered. Accents play a major role in the overall appearance of your house. Choose wisely and with the completed picture in mind.

Choosing a siding color scheme will take time. Depending on which type of siding you choose, as well as which brand is available, your color selection may be limited. Be sure to opt for something that suits the architecture of your home and the neighbor's homes. The ideal siding color scheme will create instant curb appeal and affect the overall value of your home for the better.

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