When building your new home, how do you choose exterior colors so that all elements work together, the exterior looks cohesive and is pleasing to the eye?
While this article doesn’t pretend to give you ALL the answers to a very broad and complicated topic, we wanted to provide an introduction to the key elements to consider and include some links that give you more detail on specific topics.
One thing we know is that when it comes to colors, some people are very decisive, and others have no idea what they want – and that’s OK!
If you’re the decisive type, you probably have a strong vision for what you like and want in your new home, so let’s just get you busy with our Color Visualizer.
The Visualizer is our free online tool that allows you to view each of our home plans with the exterior materials and colors of your choice.
We’ve got various color schemes to get you started, but you can change just about everything, including trim, windows, roof, shutters, front door and stone/brick.
It’s the next best thing to looking at your completed new home and a must-explore option for ALL home buyers.
Our Visualizer lets you choose a plan to build on your own land or in one of our many communities. We also have move-in ready homes if you’re happy with the color and material selections that have already been made for you.
And if you’re on the other side of the fence (pun intended!) and don’t have a clear vision for your new home’s color choices, then let’s run you through some basics first and THEN send you over to the Home Visualizer to explore your options.
Step 1: Do You Already Have A Strong Home Exterior Color Preference?
Let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room and say that “Yes, choosing your new home’s exterior color scheme CAN be difficult and overwhelming.”
But if we focus on one individual element at a time, it can be a LOT easier than looking at a huge list of colors and materials and starting from a point of total confusion.
The very first place to start is to ask yourself if there is one specific color you want for a key component of your new home’s exterior?
For example, if you’ve decided on a gray roof or beige siding, then that automatically narrows your other color choices. Some colors just don’t match up with each other.
If you go with a gray roof, then brown siding typically isn’t ideal, and if you go with beige siding, then a gray roof isn’t optimal.
So, before you start getting into the nitty gritty, you need to step back and see the whole picture first.
Deciding on one preferred color and material for a key element of the home will definitely make your overall job easier, because reducing choices reduces overload!
On the other hand, if you don’t have a specific color preference, making that initial choice by considering the home’s style (Cape Cod, Ranch, etc.), location, or outside inspiration is a great place to begin.
For those of you who are starting from square one and have little to no ideas for your exterior yet, our team sat down with home staging and color expert Lisa Baker of Blue Stone Staging & Design. She gave us some great tips to get you started:
- Start by creating an inspiration board on Pinterest, Houzz, or similar site. Peruse pictures that stand out to you color-wise and save them. Are you noticing any themes?
- Hop in the car and drive around different neighborhoods and see what you are drawn to.
- Log on to the Fine Line Homes website [link] to sample preselected color palettes to see how they look on the exterior of your home plan.
Lisa also has this advice about color and selection:
Understanding the Psychology of Color
It’s safe to say that people are drawn to colors that make them feel good.
All of us have one or more colors we particularly love, so that’s a great place to start when choosing colors for your new home’s exterior.
Keep in mind that different colors evoke different emotions for both men and woman so understand that you may see things very differently from your partner (if you’re building as a couple) and you may need to compromise in some areas.
After all, you want your home to bring you joy and comfort, so finding colors that you’re both happy with is very important.
As for you singles, the GREAT news is that you get to make all of the choices to suit your own desires, so no compromise is required! 😊
Ask yourself what EMOTIONS do the exterior (materials & colors) evoke in you when you look at a beautiful new home?
Look at lots of examples of styles and colors and mentally note which ones you REALLY like and which ones you don’t like or even hate!
The answers you get from there will go a long way towards helping you get a new home that you love and are proud to live in.
The Importance of Color Harmony
Once you’ve compiled a short list of colors you really like, one of the next steps is choosing what other colors you’d like on the exterior of your home.
After all, nobody builds a single-color home from ground to roof top!
Additional colors come in with your trim, windows, shutters, front door as well as your roof and siding.
Color harmony means that the combination of colors looks appealing together. They complement each other and make you “feel good”.
If your color combinations aren’t harmonious, then you’re either going to end up with a chaotic or boring end result.
Of course, all this is open to individual taste and style, but putting 2 or more striking colors that clash next to each other can look like art that has gone awry!
So better to reduce complex and disharmonious colors.
Thanks for all of that insight, Lisa! Now, let’s jump back into what steps to take when choosing the colors for the exterior of your home.
Step 2: Making Your Exterior Color Selections
Once you’ve got an idea of an exterior color scheme to explore, you’ll need to start making some selections.
Typically, you’ll have two to three main colors on the exterior of your new home, in addition to your roof color.
You’ll need to keep your materials in mind when choosing these colors, as stone or wood accents might be limited in the color options available.
Some home styles lend themselves to more colors – like Victorian or Craftsman style homes, whereas more traditional exteriors, like Colonial or Farmhouse styles tend to use fewer colors.
Speaking of home styles influencing color choices, one of our suppliers (Plygem) has an EXCELLENT article discussing color palettes for different style homes. You can read that by clicking here.
Those color selections will usually be in these 2-3 categories:
- Main Siding Color
- Accent Color
- Trim Color
Since the main siding is such a BIG visual part of your new home, it’s where you should focus on your preferred color.
Then, you can tweak the look with an accent color and trim color.
Some tips to help you refine your exterior color choices include:
- Colors always read lighter outside, so to achieve the look you want, go two shades darker.
- Test your colors next to any fixed elements – stone, shingles, wood, etc., as well as in both sunlight and shade.
- If you want color but also want to keep to a classic look, you can always add color to your exterior through landscaping, flowers, pottery and outdoor furnishings.
- Life happens, so you may want to consider how the colors you pick may impact potential buyers if you were to sell your home in the future.
- Consider the colors of your neighbors’ homes, as well as any guidelines within your local community.
Keep in mind that when you come in to meet with your New Home Advisor, he or she will help you find the optimal choices for your design!
We’re the experts, but we will nurture your imagination – sometimes we’re surprised that color schemes we didn’t envision turn out looking phenomenal!
We’ve been building custom homes for over 45 years and we will make sure your new home fits your needs and lifestyle.
Step 3: Explore Your Exterior Color Options with Our Home Visualizer
We’ve covered a lot and by now you should have a clearer idea of what exterior color schemes you like, so the next step is to click over to our FREE Home Visualizer tool and start experimenting with different colors and building materials.
We offer over 50 customizable home plans in a variety of styles built in developments in Pennsylvania, Southern New York and North Carolina, as well as on land that clients have purchased themselves.
Our home plans are just the beginning of your journey. Each plan can be customized to your specific needs.
Each plan offers the opportunity to explore what your exterior color choices will look like when applied to one of our beautiful new homes.
You can filter by home style (Two Story with 1st Floor bedroom, Cape Cod, Ranch, Split Level & Two Story) as well as bedrooms (2, 3, 4 and 5 bedrooms available).
Start here by looking at our range of home styles.
Then filter by style & bedroom.
Finally, once you’ve created a short list, click the Color Visualizer link for each plan to explore what your new home will look like with your choice of colors.
The Visualizer will give you a selection of color schemes down the left-hand side of the page. Once you click on one, it adjusts the home image to the right so you can visualize your new home.
Once you’ve selected a color scheme, you’ll then see a second column which lets you select different colors for each element (such as trim, door, window frames, garage, etc.).
As you click on each option to change your selection, the home image will update, and you can look at it and decide whether it appeals to your taste or not.
The Visualizer is easy to use and a quick way to explore the choices you’re interested in.
Here’s an example of the Abilene home in our Colonial Skies color scheme, which looks great:
And here’s a “modified” version of the Summerville, which doesn’t look quite so great! :-)
As you can immediately see, the latter version isn’t going to win any awards for fabulous color combinations!
It took merely 30-60 seconds to modify the default Summerville style and see whether the colors were in harmony or not.
That’s the beauty of the Visualizer…
Test color combinations fast and move on until you find something you really like!
If you find a color combination that you like, you can easily save it by clicking the Next button to the right of the home image:
This will create a big button titled “Create My Brochure” underneath the home image:
When you click that button, a new page will open with a picture of your home above, and a list of your exterior color choices below:
Then you can save the page as a PDF, email it to yourself, share it on Facebook or create a favorites collection.
This way, you won’t lose the color schemes you like, and you also have something to share with your New Home Advisor when you begin your discussion with them about your new home!
Some Closing Thoughts
You’ve been through a lot to get to this point, considering colors, materials, and even home styles.
You’ve likely come up with a selection of exterior color schemes you like, and now it’s time to find out where you can build, what your new home investment will be and how long it will take to complete the build.
Your next step is to book a consultation with one of our expert New Home Advisors, and start designing your new home for real!
This is the EXCITING part of the journey, because this is when your dream of building a new home starts to take shape.
To get started, click here to request a call back with a New Home Advisor. They’ll be happy to answer ANY questions you might have about the whole new home design, build and move-in process.
We hope this article gives you a starting point to work from when it comes to selecting the exterior colors for your new home.
All the best with your new home journey!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the most popular colors for siding right now?
A: Darker colors are very popular right now – colors such as dark blues, greens and browns (bronze). We also still see lots of interest in modern neutrals that embrace the farmhouse or minimalist design with whites, muted greens and greys.
Q: What is the best house color for resale?
A: The answer is going to vary from location to location, home style to home style. We asked our property staging expert Lisa Baker her opinion, and she said “White siding is the best house color for resale, as white compliments just about any style of home. Other great options are neutral colors and warm and earthy tones”
Cindy Stern (one of our New Home Advisors) said “Any shade of gray or earth tone”.
Q: What color siding looks best on a small house?
A: Small homes look great in a variety of shades – darker and mid-tone colors give a small house depth and substance, whereas lighter colors will help a home feel bigger and more inviting.