Colorful Vineyard Multi-Width Slate Roof Accents Maine Home

When Holly Fanjoy comes up with a "honey do project list" for her husband, she's confident the tasks will get completed. Why? Because Rob Fanjoy used to be a contractor, and he loves to tackle projects at their Maine home.

synthetic slateAfter moving into their house several years ago, a project both Holly and Rob agreed should be added to "the list" was a new roof. The old asphalt shingle roof overhead was failing badly and most likely wouldn't make it through another Maine winter.

Based on his industry knowledge, Rob chose a composite slate roof from DaVinci Roofscapes and decided to install it himself.

“I’m a big supporter of man-made products that replicate Mother Nature but offer more long-term benefits than natural products,” says Fanjoy. “When researching our roofing options, we determined that the DaVinci synthetic tiles resist insects, fungus, algae, mold, cracking, fading and curling. And, they’re backed by a long term warranty that we can really depend on.”

Looking for a strong visual interest to accent the home, he and his wife selected the multi-width slate Vineyard blend, a combination of eight roofing colors that include dark and medium tan, light and medium gray, dark stone, light and dark violet, and dark amber.

synthetic slateAccording to Fanjoy, his first installation of synthetic slate tiles went extremely well. “I very much prefer working with these polymer tiles since they’re cleaner to handle and easier on your hands than asphalt shingles," says Fanjoy. "No dirty grit to scrape your knuckles or tar melting and sticking to everything. Cutting and nailing these synthetic tiles was also simple. A sharp utility knife and standard nail gun was all that was needed for this project.

 “Overall, I think from start-to-finish that this job went smoothly. We made the right decision and investment with this polymer roof, plus it gave me the opportunity to expand my installation experience. I’ve already recommended the DaVinci product to my neighbors and others who are considering new roofs.”

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Color Inspiration From The Top Down

Replacing a roof is often the first step in updating your home's exterior. If so, then the roof will set the direction for many other design decisions. It is worth taking the time to select a style and color that both you and your home will love for a long time.

Know What You Like And What You Don't Like

Look around at other homes to see what builders and homeowners have selected for houses similar to your own. Make note of the style, colors, and materials. Does the overall look of the home appeal to you? Do you love the shake roof with cream trim against dark siding? Perhaps a gray state above a traditional black and white exterior speaks to your sense classic design and timeless design.

The more you can see looks you like on homes that are similar to your own, the easier it becomes to imagine a new look for your own home. It is easy to snap pictures of the color schemes and materials you like and maybe even some you don't to remind you to make sure you don't make the same mistakes.

Start With Your Roof For A Fabulous Exterior Top To Bottom

Innovative roofing materials allow you to add the beauty and dimension of traditional slate or shake and the easy care, long-life and resilience of a beautifully engineered product. You can also find exactly the right color and know that it will stay that color for the life of the roof.

Gray continues to be a favorite for slate and why not. It goes with every scheme. With a variety of shades of gray available you are sure to find the perfect gray for your home. Check out our Best 50 Shades Of Gray Infographic.

For shake, Tahoe, Mountain and Autumn are all favorites. When you have a shake roof tones of warm brown are a natural choice.

Today's architects, designers and even homeowners are posting images of their completed home exteriors online so in addition to scoping out houses in your local area you can find home from just about anywhere. Check out Houzz or This Old House or even our own gallery.

Please keep in mind, however, that some home colors work better in particular regions than the same color does in other areas. For example, bright colors that are a hit in southern Florida might not fare as well in a Philadelphia suburb. 

Last, always keep in mind that while you want your home to have your personal stamp on it you also want it to fit into your neighborhood. I know I've created a great exterior design when the homeowners love the home and it stands out for its great design while still fitting in with the surroundings. 

One sure fire way to create a home exterior that fits in anywhere is to find colors that blend with your natural surroundings. One of nature's neutrals mixed with natural materials like stone and DaVinci Slate or Shake and you begin to forget where your home ends and the natural surroundings begin. Is it any wonder that nature-based colors are by far the most popular for home exteriors?

For help with choosing your exterior colors visit our color studio and try the color tool or download our FRESH Home Exterior Colors Guides.

 

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Custom Roof Color Answers Church's Prayers

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kronborg, Neb. has been through some terrifying weather in its 118-year history. After straight-line winds and large hail struck the church, parsonage and fellowship hall in 2014, the congregation went in search of new siding, windows and roofing.

lightweight roofing tiles"Danish churches like ours are known for our red and white roofs, which tie back to the colors of the Danish flag and the heritage of our church," says Gene Hansen, a member of the St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church. "Those colors identify us. We knew we needed to replace the roof with a product that could help protect the church more in the future but still had those special colors."

Congregation members voted to install Bellaforté Shake roofing from DaVinci Roofscapes in a custom red color on both the church and the Fellowship Hall in 2016.

"The durability and beauty of this roof really spoke to the church members," says Nick Paschke, president of Paschke Brothers Construction. "The composite roofing answers so many challenges for this project. We were removing old wood shingles, metal and other roofing products. As we tackled the steepness of the steeple, the lightweight nature of the polymer roofing really helped us."

This Nebraska church isn't alone in relying on synthetic roofing tiles from DaVinci. See more church stories at Churches Thankful for Roofs Overhead and Impact-Resistant DaVinci Roof Tops Kansas Church.

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Colorful Home Transformation

After spending long winter months indoors, many people feel "pale" when they finally feel the sun's warm summer rays. The Wisconsin home of David and Kirsten Gaskin had a similar feeling.

The home was "pale" in many ways. It had a faded greyish brown cedar shake roof and a pale yellow exterior paint color.

This past year the Gaskins decided to bring some color to their family home. They started by replacing their roof with a Tahoe-VariBlend roof (featuring four tones of brown) in the Bellaforté Shake product line. Then they worked from the "top down" to change out the light yellow siding with a custom blue-gray stain for their cedar panels. The Gaskins chose a rich cocoa color for their front door, porch and steps, with the risers of the steps painted white. (See From Nondescript Neutral To Bold And Beautiful Color)

 

Polymer Shake

 

"We're so happy with the transformation of our home and love driving up to the house every day," says David Gaskin. "We've received many positive (and envious!) comments and inquiries from our neighbors about the roof and our color selections.

"Many people are surprised to find out the roof is not real cedar, since cedar is a requirement of our area. We were able to petition for a waiver in our community, which was approved after our neighbors reviewed samples of the DaVinci product. They agreed with us that it has a natural look. For us, the best part is the maintenance-free aspect of this composite roofing.

"This polymer roof selection was a real winner for us. It looks so authentic, yet it's more durable and has a longer lifespan than real cedar. It perfectly complements the rest of our exterior. Now we have a show home that's the talk of the neighborhood!"

 

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Think About Luxury Homes with DaVinci Roofs

Dream a bit. Think about the "McMansions" you've seen over the years, or the retreat compounds that make you envious. Now, think about the roofs over those luxury homes ... and think DaVinci Roofscapes.

Our company has been fortunate to provide polymer slate and shake roofing for town homes to cabins to villas to getaways. Our versatile imitation slate and composite shake roofing products complement all styles of homes, including these luxurious properties:

- French Manor Estate in Camden County, New Jersey ... featuring 16,500-square-feet, the Alton Manor boasts six bedrooms, an in-law suite and a three-story pool house connected through a tunnel to a dedicated Man Cave. The 5,000-square foot entertainment area includes a 42-stool bar, dance floor, professional DJ equipment, gaming area and a 12-seat movie theater. Topping it all is a Bellaforté Slate roof!

- Red Ledges private home in Park City, Utah ... with relaxing waterfalls, fire pits and spacious spaces. Designed with minimal maintenance demands and topped with a DaVinci simulated shake roof. (See Designer Shakes Up Utah Roofs)

- Luxury home in Traverse City, Michigan ... expansive and homey, yet luxurious with lake views and lots of room for family and friends. This home was re-roofed with DaVinci polymer slate tiles and within a few months withstood a freak storm with hail up to four inches in size and 100 mph winds. The roof survived without any problems.

- Historic home in Roanoke, Virginia ... this mountaintop home sits just below the famous illuminated Mill Mountain Star, and has sweeping views of downtown Roanoke. Built in 1929 the homeowners decided to replace a dark, black slate roof with DaVinci Multi-Width Slate in the Vineyard blend of eight different colors to complement the home, the cobblestone driveway and sidewalk. (See Colorful Slate Roof the "Second Star" on Mill Mountain)

For more details on simulated shake roofing or synthetic slate roof tile on luxury homes, see Pass the Popcorn ... and the Roofing Tile Possibilities.

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Custom Assistance for a Custom Color Roof

Homeowner David Edelman did his research back in 2012 and decided to replace his old asphalt shingle roof with synthetic slate tiles from DaVinci Roofscapes.

polymer roofingBeing in the construction industry and having visited the DaVinci booth during the International Builders' Show, Edelman knew the company was capable of creating custom color blends. And that's exactly what he wanted for his English-style home in Texas.

"The team at DaVinci was great in helping me achieve just the look I wanted," says Edelman. "Katie Theole and I were on the phone at least a dozen times. She would send me different color samples to determine the perfect blend. With her help we got it right."

What was the custom Multi-Width Slate blend that appealed to Edelman? A unique blend of Slate Gray, Dark Tan, Green Stone and Dark Stone.

"This is such a pretty blend that I believe DaVinci should package it!" says Edelman. "Friends and family really like it and I'm happy to recommend the product to others. I'm so pleased with this roof that I'm going to add it to a new covered pavilion I'm building along with a swimming pool."

Being in the construction industry gives Edelman a unique view on his experience with DaVinci. "Sometimes you finish a construction project and go, 'Wow, we spent a bunch of dollars and did not get the results we had hoped for.' That's not the case with my DaVinci roof.

"I drive up every day and think 'Wow, I am so glad we went the extra mile and invested in DaVinci!' Even four years later, I love the way this roof looks and gladly recommend it to others!"

For more colorful details on DaVinci plastic roofing materials, see Colorful Custom Roof Projects - Part I and Colorful DaVinci Roofs Help Businesses Stand Out.

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From the Architect's Corner - a Helpful Tip

A product's sample in the hand is about the best thing you can provide your clients when choosing colors for the exterior of their home. It is important to remember to take your samples outside and put them in the natural light. Be sure to leave them there for a day or two and view them in all different lights and shadows. This will allow you to have a better idea of what the color will look like once the products are installed.

Click here to read more FRESH tips for choosing exterior color from our Color Expert, Kate Smith.

 

Fake Cedar Shake

 

Happy Friday, Architects!

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Say "No" to Cookie Cutter Homes

We're right in the middle of "Cookie Cutter Week." Although we're sure the person who developed this celebration was probably thinking of cutters made to create tasty treats, we think about it in a different way.

Polymer Roofing ProductsYou often hear about houses in a community or development being referred to as a "cookie cutter home" with all the same siding, trim, roof and other external elements. BORING! This trend started during the post-war housing boom in the 1940s when it was fast and easy for builders to create house-after-house the exact same way.

At DaVinci Roofscapes, we know it's important to put your personality into your home --- on both the inside and outside. That's why we say "no" to cookie cutter homes!

A few years back, one of our "Shake it Up" Exterior Color Contest entrants had the winning entry of "Trapped in Cookie Cutter Land." Brigitte Meehan begged for our help in breaking out of the "me too" aspect of living in her Illinois neighborhood where everyone had the same exterior. While she loved her floor plan, she wanted her home stand out.

We obliged Brigitte by recommending a new Multi-Width Slate roof from DaVinci in Brownstone --- a combination of medium and light brown, medium and dark tan and dark stone. That suggestion helped set the stage for other exterior changes! (See Illinois Homeowner Wins $5,000 in National DaVinci Roofscapes “Shake it Up” Exterior Color Contest)

If you find yourself trapped in your own cookie cutter land, take the leap and make some changes. We always suggest starting at the "top and going down" so that your colors and textures work together and flow. Need some help? Click HERE for a fast link to our free e-books and to ask one-on-one free advice of our color expert, Kate Smith!

 

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Dreaming of a Famous Re-Roofing Project

The Taj Mahal. Buckingham Palace. The Empire State Building. Hearst Castle. These famous landmarks all have one thing in common: a roof overhead.

Just for fun, we asked some of our DaVinci Roofscapes team members to "dream a little" and tell us which famous building they would re-roof with our synthetic slate or shake roofing products if they had the chance. Here are some of their responses that may help to transform famous structures in the future! And, by the way ... which famous building would YOU re-roof with our polymer tiles?

"It must be the roof that the Mona Lisa is looking at ... that's why she has that smile!"

Ray Rosewall
President and CEO, DaVinci Roofscapes

 

"The AT&T Stadium in Dallas. And I'd do a custom design with the Dallas Star out of contrasting roof tiles because it would look stunning."

Aaron Adams
Central Regional Manager, DaVinci Roofscapes

 

"Too many to choose just one building, but I'd definitely pick a historic hotel, like the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec or the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park."

Mike Ward
Northeast Regional Manager, DaVinci Roofscapes

 

"Absolutely The White House. By upgrading to a DaVinci slate roof this famous building would benefit from the technical advances that make it a long-lasting, eco-friendly roof."

Kate Smith
Chief Color Maven, Sensational Color

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Rich Reds Give Home Exteriors a Fall-Friendly Feeling

By Jennifer Ott, Houzz

This week’s featured exterior color is inspired by the rich palette of fall, specifically the crimsons and burgundies found in leaves as they turn. These deep ruby-red hues also call to mind full-bodied red wines that we can dig out and enjoy once again now that the weather is finally turning cooler.

Related: How to Choose the Right Color for Your House

While not as loud as the previously featured bold orange colors, these reds still provide a healthy dose of drama on the exterior of a home, and they’re appropriate for a variety of architectural styles and geographical regions. Read on to see six stunning examples of rich red-hued homes, along with a sampling of paint color palettes to help coordinate siding and accent colors.

 


Lands End Development - Designers & Builders, original photo on Houzz

 

I wouldn’t care how frightful the weather outside was if I had this beautiful lake home to take shelter in. From the dark gray roof to the rich red and warm wood siding, the palette is elegant but with a nice rustic vibe. And despite the variety of materials used on the exterior, it doesn’t feel too busy, because the colors are all within the same warm, dark color family.

 


Houseplans LLC, original photo on Houzz

 

A gorgeous modern home deserves an equally fetching color scheme. As with the previous example, if you’re using two different siding materials, try using color to further differentiate them. It makes for a more interesting facade. Plus it allows you to use a smaller amount of a deep or dark hue that you might be hesitant to use top-to-bottom on the house.

 


Craftsman Exterior, original photo on Houzz

 

Our featured hue works well on just about any style of home. Whereas the previous example featured a modern house, you can see this more traditional home also looks great. The light gold trim is an excellent choice; a pure white trim would have been too jarring with the other colors in this palette.

Related: These Porch Photos Will Motivate You to Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal

 


Atelier 292 Architect Inc., original photo on Houzz

 

Having grown up in a rural Midwestern town, I fondly tend to associate red exteriors with the ubiquitous barns of my youth. And while the assertions vary widely as to why barns were traditionally painted red — from it being an economical paint color to wanting to mimic more expensive red brick to the dubious claim that red helps guide the cows home — we can likely all agree that red is a great choice for a modern take on a barn- or farmhouse-style home.

 

 
Bau-Fritz GmbH & Co. KG, original photo on Houzz

 

Red is not a wallflower kind of color, especially when used against a backdrop of greens. This is because red and green are opposite each other on the color wheel and therefore provide the most contrast to each other. If your house has an interesting form that you want to play up, paint it the complementary color of the surrounding landscape.

 

 
Moger Mehrhof Architects, original photo on Houzz

 

If you’re loving these rich red hues but are concerned about using them in large amounts on the exterior of your home, think about breaking them up. This is a look best pulled off on contemporary or rustic homes, but even a traditional home could add a red-hued gable or, at the very least, a ruby-red front door.

Related: Try Red in Small Doses With a Crimson Porch Swing

 


Jennifer Ott Design, original photo on Houzz

 

Try These Palettes

If you go with a deep, rich color for your siding, I’d recommend keeping the trim and accent colors very neutral, so as not to compete with the red.

Siding color: Borscht
Trim color: Natural Tan
Front door-accent color: Raisin
All from Sherwin-Williams

 


Jennifer Ott Design, original photo on Houzz

Siding color: Antique Ruby
Trim color: Black Bean
Front door color: Witch Hazel
All from Behr

 

 


Jennifer Ott Design, original photo on Houzz

 

Siding color: Raisin Torte
Trim color: Graystone
Front door color: Midnight Oil
All from Benjamin Moore
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Color Trends: Three Tips For Using This Year's Hottest Hues

Trend forecasters discover trends before they are apparent to most people. These are the people who set the trends into motion when they make their best guess as to which color and design elements the market will want to buy in the future. 

Yes, you read that right. They guess. Trend forecasters are always guessing. They look at mega, macro and micro trends and then couple their findings with their in-depth knowledge of an industry or market.

A successful trend forecaster has the ability to weigh current information against what they have learned from years of experience and not only predict future directions for color and design but also give solid justifications for why these are the trend directions. In other words, the best trend forecasters are those who are pretty darn good at guessing correctly.

But you don't need to be a professional forecaster to discover upcoming trends. Rather than forecasting the trends you can find trends ahead of the curve by spotting them as they just begin to hit the market. This is known as trendspotting and is actually what the vast majority of people that talk about trends are doing.

For many years trend forecasting was a big part of my job. Today, I don't spend nearly as much time focused on trends as I once did. These days, I am more of a trend spotter, and with 2017 quickly approaching I am sharing three of my favorite tips so that you can try your hand at trendspotting, too.

Tip #1 Know the difference between a fad and a trend

You Find a FAD
People often refer to fads and trends as if they are one and the same. This is not the case. There is a difference between a fad and a trend.

A fad is a here-today-gone-tomorrow color, design or style. Fads rise fast. They seem to explode onto the scene out of nowhere. They are often mainly popular at first with a particular age group or type of person and then grow from there. Remember Day-Glo colors, anyone?

Fads are fun and create followers. They are relatively short lived and fade from the mainstream within two years or less. Still they are often long remembered after they are gone because so many people shared the experience of the fad even if they didn’t participate in it. 

You track a TREND
A trend comes about as a result of myriad cultural, political, social and economic factors that interact to influence our preferences. Trends respond to human needs and emotions. Trends become trends because they address an unspoken need or desire that many people share at a particular time.

Currently looking to our lineage gives us feelings of strength and stability. Out of this comes the trend of reinventing classic and historical designs rather seeking something completely new. This also signals that the trend of placing importance on neutrals for for both home interiors and exteriors will continue.

People notice trends slowly and are usually unaware of a trend at first. As it becomes more prevalent, it crosses into different groups of people, expands into more geographical areas and types of products, which is how it gains strength, power, and longevity.

Tip #2 Don't jump on or off a trend too quickly

In the past, a typical trend would last centuries or at least decades. Today, a trend generally last for four to seven years.

Many people think that a color trend lasts about a year and that by the following year that color is no longer on trend. That might be what many retailers and manufactures would like you to think because it can boost sales but it isn't exactly true.

Certainly talking about color trends and naming trend colors annually has become an effective marketing tool but trends evolve rather than change completely from year to year. Anything that comes into favor and disappears just as quickly is a fad.

A typical trend curve looks like this. Keep in mind the timeline is usually from four to seven years:

A trend life cycle and the designs it inspires can differ in lengths. For example, you might remember how popular "Tuscan colors" were for home interiors at one time. At about the same time grapes and anything wine related were popular design motifs seen in these colors. Both arose from the influence of our fascination with Italy and specifically, Tuscany. The life cycle of the colors was seven or more years while the motif of grapes or wine peaked after two years and only was around for about four.

As trends change, colors shift warmer or cooler and become more or less intense. For example, recently the grays we favor have become warmer and beige (sometimes called greige.)  Also, darker brownish grays emerged followed by a return of truer brown to the color trends palette.

It doesn't mean that gray has fallen out of trend. What is means is that as things in the world have changed so have our emotions and thus the colors we want to surround ourselves with but it usually isn't a big change. It is a subtle change from year-to-year. In four or more years you will be able to look back and see a more drastic shift in what is now popular versus what once was on trend.

With all of the variety of colors available your style can evolve from one year to the next just as trends do. The great news is that if you are looking at home exterior trends they last far longer than most trends and the DaVinci Roofscapes Slate and Shake colors are timeless.

A key tip is to follow your instincts. Always select an exterior roof, siding or trim colors that you love and look best for your home. That's a true way to always be in style. If however, you just love one of those colors that is very hot right now my last tip will tell you how to keep it from looking passé.

Tip #3 Keep your colors from looking dated by avoid these combinations

Is there a color that you once loved, but today would seem outdated in your home? Some of the answers I get for that question are avocado and gold, gray and mauve as well as chocolate brown and aqua. At one time, these color combinations were all very trendy.

Do you notice anything about those popular responses?

Something they all have in common?

All of the examples are pairs of colors. Rarely does someone reply with a single color.

That is because it usually isn't a particular color that puts a time stamp on your design. It is a combination of colors that were so popular that you began seeing them everywhere. You might have even chosen them for your own scheme.

At one time, a combination of chocolate brown and aqua was so wildly popular that I started calling it "Choc-qua." Today when you see a room in these colors you can pretty accurately guess when it was decorated. 

Brown with a color other than aqua ... or even aqua with another color such as gold or navy blue or green, would be harder to know just by the colors alone. Keeping that in mind, the best way to use a trend color is to come up with your own color scheme rather than using it in the same combinations as everyone else. This is the best way to keep your color from feeling either trendy or outdated.

Using a trend color you love more creatively than other people makes your scheme a true reflection of your taste and style ... and that is always on trend!

Many paint companies have their trend forecast for 2017 online and you might enjoy seeing what is in store:

 

Then follow my three tips and you will be well on your way to using this year's hottest hues in a scheme that sizzles with style all your own.

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From Nondescript Neutral To Bold And Beautiful Color

 

 

It takes both courage make a bold color change on your exterior but as these brave homeowners prove it can be worth making the change.

When their home was built 24 years ago adding color in the eaves added color to an otherwise neutral home. It also was a different look than had been widely seen at that time and buyers were attracted to the look. Today, homes are being constructed with a whole mix of materials and the two-color look isn't quite as interesting as it once was.

In this case, the Gaskins decided to give their home an updated look by going for a few strong elements that would stand out.

Exterior Makeover Before and After 2

 

Starting At The Top
The pitch of the roof allows a large part of the roof to show. The porch roof and interesting turret draw the eye making it important that the roof looks great.

The cedar shake roof had faded to a greyish brown, was worn and starting to splinter and crack. They wanted a maintenance-free, alternative cedar-like roofing materials. They chose DaVinci Roofscapes Shake in Tahoe because they loved how it looked like natural cedar yet was far more durable and long lasting.

As you can see in the photo above, the Gaskins home is already begin looking better just by replacing their old split and curled shakes with the a DaVinci roof in the right color and style.

Fewer But Stronger Design Elements

These smart homeowners also decided to enlarge the dormer over the garage before replacing their roof. The original dormer was there but didn't stand out as a strong element on the front facade of their home. The dormer was small and competed with the green dormers cause the eye to jump around rather than land on one strong element. 

Now the two dormers work together, balance the design and make a strong statement.

Commit To Color

In the before photo you can see how the contrasting color around the base of the home was distracting. It drew the eye away from where you want to focus it. The idea may have been to "ground" the house by using this darker color but it took away rather than added to the overall look of the exterior.

The  front door had been green. The same color had been used in the dormers and to paint the floor of the porch and steps. The door, porch and tops of the steps are now all a rich cocoa brown.  

The white trim was repainted but look at how much more it stands out now which leads us to the biggest change - the main color!

 

From nondescript neutral to a bold and beautiful blue/gray.

What a spectacular change!

After sampling many colors and Mr. and Mrs. Gaskin chose an acrylic solid stain from Hallman Lindsay, a Wisconsin-based company for changing the color of their home, which is primarily cedar panels.

The color is a custom blue/grey blend that the selected after sampling about a dozen slight variations of the color they had in mind. I love that they did this because I always advise homeowners to take this step but not all of them follow that advice even though often they later wish they had.

Sampling the color is the fastest way to know you're going to love your color before your home is painted. It gives you a chance to see the color on the actual surface material and in the right light. It is almost impossible to know just by looking at a small swatch what exactly the color is going to look like once your home is painted. Sampling the paint can give you a much better idea.

The back of the back of the Gaskin's garage was a colorful canvas during the sampling process but the effort to get the color exactly right paid off. They couldn't be happier with the finished project and love driving up to their house every day.

Upgraded Exterior

Mr. Gaskins says, "We have received a lot of very positive (and envious) comments and inquiries from our neighbors about the roof and the paint. Most of the house colors in our area are a very conservative/neutral tan or white."

Indeed the neighbors are envious.

By focusing on three key elements -- roof, dormer, and color -- the Gaskin upgraded the look of their home and added thousands of dollars worth of curb appeal. Best of all they the way their home looks.

This has been one of our favorite remodeling projects and we think the results are sensational.

Do you need some help with your exterior makeover? We're here to help you get your own 5-star results.

 

 

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6 Ways to Use White on Your Home’s Exterior

By Kelly Porter, Houzz

As summer comes to an end, keep in mind that fall can be a great time to paint the outside of your home. The weather is cooling down and you’ve got a few short months before the holiday season. This is when you’ll want to make sure your cool-weather curb appeal is in tip-top shape for visits from family and friends. While white is a very versatile interior color, it’s also a great choice for the exterior of your home. White is crisp and clean, and it will give your home a classic, timeless look. Here are some ideas for using white to make your house a standout.

 


Hendel Homes, original photo on Houzz

 

For a house with great architectural features, consider using a dark hue for the main color and white on the features you’d like to showcase. The contrast will add a whole new dimension to the entire exterior. In addition, unique elements such as unusually shaped shutters and arched doors will really stand out.

Color to try: Popped Corn from Behr

 


Vanguard Studio Inc., original photo on Houzz

 

Farmhouses and barn houses are often steeped in tradition and history. Therefore, it makes sense to use a traditional barn red and white color palette for these types of homes. But stay away from the brightest whites. The best shade of white will be one that’s slightly gray and has cool undertones. This will help soften the look and reduce the harshness of the strong red and white combination.

Color to try: Cool Gray from Valspar

 


Farmhouse Exterior, original photo on Houzz

 

If you prefer a more modern look for your farmhouse, use white as the main color. Create a clean look by forgoing shutters, and choose black shingles for the roof. I love the stained wood entryway on the house shown here. It provides a traditional element with a contemporary twist.

Color to try: Moonlit Snow by Olympic

 


Helios Design Group, original photo on Houzz

 

Scores of traditional, Colonial-style homes can be found in the Northeast region of the U.S. Many of them are painted with a classic black and white paint combination, which has stood the test the time. I think any house in any region would look gorgeous painted with such a tried-and-true duo. And don’t forget the white picket fence. This is an elegant color scheme that takes away all of the guesswork.

Color to try: Ultra Pure White from Behr

 


Alan Mascord Design Associates Inc, original photo on Houzz

 

Hunter green and white is another classic combination you’ll see on traditional and cottage-style homes. Hunter green has a masculine feel to it, so if that’s not your style, pairing it with off-white is one way to lighten up its appearance, especially on a large home.

Color to try: Alabaster from Sherwin-Williams

 

 


Highland Homes, Inc., original photo on Houzz

 

For a house that offers guests a more subtle welcome, pair a warm white with a light, understated accent color. If you have a grassy front yard and trees, a pale, light green accent is a wonderful way to tie in the natural scenery. A soft green and white combination is very organic and serene, and it will look great for years to come.

The main color used here is Pure White from Sherwin-Williams

For more cool weather curb appeal ideas, read:

Ask a Local Painter for Advice
Are Plantation Shutters the Right Choice for Your Windows
Add White Rocking Chairs to Your Front Porch 

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Nature vs. Science—DaVinci Takes on the Age-Old Debate

Polymer Shake Roofing Bridges the Gap

 

The battle of nature vs. science is one that has been argued for centuries. It’s been debated by artists in the eras of Romanticism and Enlightenment, scholars whose focus is in the realm of academia, and even politicians in modern-day elections.

Consequently, the two are often presented in opposition. There are those who appreciate the authentic beauty and eco-friendly benefits of natural elements, and those that say science can perfect what nature got wrong.

Fake Cedar ShakeThe debate has become similar for people choosing products for their home, thanks to an ever-growing selection of synthetic or alternate building products like decking, columns, and of course, roofing. When choosing a new roof, for example, people have grown accustomed to asking themselves which is more important to them: natural beauty or scientifically proven performance?

Though it should be a careful balancing act between the two, homeowners, architects, and installers are often forced to tip the scales toward one or the other based on affordability, aesthetics, or their ability to install it easily and quickly. But the question should always have been, “how can I get both?”

In today’s day and age, it’s not enough simply to invest in a new roof that will reduce heating and cooling costs and last for years to come—it’s equally critical for that roof to have true aesthetic appeal, resembling the materials of nature that add character and authenticity to a home. Striking that balancing act is not easy, but DaVinci has learned it can be done; science and nature, as it turns out, do not always have to be in opposition.

DaVinci Shake was developed with an emphasis on science, but an appreciation for nature. In conceiving of the product, we knew that whatever performance benefits our science-driven approach to shake roofing would produce would ultimately mean nothing if it didn’t have the appearance of natural materials that homeowners love. We developed our Polymer Shake material to look like an authentic shake roof, but without the hassle. The natural variance of the material creates the perception of nature, but the long-lasting, weather resistant performance is all science—and best of all, it’s affordable to purchase, requires minimal maintenance, and comes with a lifetime limited warranty.

In short, someone making the decision about a new roof no longer has to look for ways to tip the scales between nature and science—they can have it both ways. DaVinci Shake has perfected the balancing act.

So while artists, scholars, and politicians are still debating the merits of nature vs. science, DaVinci Roofscapes has had another focus: making life easier for homeowners, installers, and architects by bridging the gap between the two.

Now, you too can have another focus:

“Which color do I pick?”

To learn more about DaVinci Shake roofing, download the product guide.

For a more in-depth comparison of natural vs. man-made roofing products, read our Shake Comparison Guide.

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How The New President Can Upgrade The White House Exterior

New Roof For The White House

 

Recently I read an Elle Decor article that asked the question, Trump vs. Clinton: Who Will Decorate The White House Better?. It reminded me of how much interest there is about how the new president and their spouse will redecorate the White House. But why all the interest on the interior when far more people see the exterior?

I'd like to see our future president take my top down approach and make at least one major improvement to the exterior. After all, the White House is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world and represents America to the rest of the world. It's exterior must communicate the spirit of the county and its exterior must have international "curb appeal".

Built in 1793 the president's mansion was designed by James Hoban. It has been home to every president of the United States since John Adams was in office. I would like to see the next president take the building back to its original roof, which was slate.

Slate provided a solid roof overhead protecting the first family for more than 100 years. In the 1880s during the building expansion (when what would eventually become the West Wing was added) a metal roof replaced the original slate. The metal roof has since been repaired and/or replaced many times including during the major refurbishments of the White House during the 1920s and late 1940s.

Metal may have been thought to be a better choice than slate during earlier times but that is no longer true. Besides no one ever "oohs and aahs" over a metal roof.

By upgrading to a DaVinci Roofscapes slate roof the White House will benefit from the technical advancements that make it a long-lasting, eco-friendly and overall great choice. Plus the residents, staff and public will benefit from a roof that is beautiful as well as one that is rooted in the building's history.

As for color, originally the roof was a dark gray that was almost black. For today, I'd go in a similar direction with Smokey Gray. This would upgrade the look of the building while being true to James Hoban's original vision.

And in case you're now wondering about what I'd do with the exterior color - I'd keep it white! The color white is symbolic and deeply connected with our identity as Americans.

Here is a fact about the white that I think you'll find interesting. Many think that the White House was first painted white color during the restoration after the British burned the building in 1814. While it was coated with white at that time it was not the first time.

The original color of the White House was white. According to the White House Historical Association, when the walls were finished in 1798, they were whitewashed to keep the porous Aquia Creek sandstone from freezing in winter. It has been repainted white ever since.

Image: Freshstock

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How Does Your Dream Home Stack Up To The Best-Selling House Plan In America?

 

Everyone has an idea of their dream home. I bet when you imagine your dream home it is filled with personal style and amenities to make your life easier and more enjoyable. My dream is to have a perfect little "jewel box" of a home that is smaller than what most people imagine but my dream home is more luxury than extra space.

What is your dream home like? I bet it is far different than the dream home of your parents or grandparents. You may have similar dreams for your family and our future but today our vision of what makes an ideal home are different than they were in post-War America when developers considered rows of similar homes to be the perfectly planned suburban neighborhoods.

Today home builders have shaken the 1950's idea of a "one size/style fits most" approach. They know that the perfect homogeneity that developers once imposed is no longer a match for the range of today's families and their needs.

And when it comes to finding a home with your dream design it’s easy to be envision lots of the details you want. It is just as important to choose a home that not only meets your individual needs but also considers where you'll be building, the typography of your lot, the look of the natural landscape and whether it will be marketable to future buyers.

Often the best way to do this is by simply looking at lots of home styles and floor plans. Companies like The House Designers offer what seems like unlimited options for your floor plan and home style. With so many different designs I was curious about which one was their most popular house plan.

House Plan 1895 - L'Attesa di Vita is an affordable, mid-size home featuring classic Craftsman details in a 2,091 square foot design.

Their most popular house plan is #1895 - L'Attesa di Vita. It is an affordable, mid-size home featuring classic Craftsman details in a 2,091 square foot design.

House Plan 7878 - Vita di Lusso is a luxury version of the classic L'Attesa di Vita featuring high-end Craftsman detailing, a 3-car garage and a finished walkout basement.

For those wanting more, the house plan #7878 - Vita di Lusso is a luxury version of the classic L'Attesa di Vita featuring high-end Craftsman detailing, a 3-car garage and a finished walkout basement.

Both of these dream homes are topped off with a designer roof from DaVinci Roofscapes that adds to the beauty of the exterior and gives both of these home Craftsman-Style Curb Appeal.

If you are ready to start working on making your dream home a reality you don't want to miss your chance to Vote for the New Look of America's Best-Selling House Plan! Win up to $1,000 in Prizes!!! But don't wait. Voting ends on October 10, 2016.

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How to Get Craftsman-Style Curb Appeal

By Laura Gaskill, Houzz

The Craftsman-style home is one of the most charming (and popular) home styles in America, and it’s no wonder — from the rich, earthy colors to the beautiful architectural details and warm, welcoming front porch, there’s a lot to love about Craftsman homes. Make your Craftsman-style home look its best with these tips for choosing paint colors, windows, doors, landscaping and more.

Roots of Style: See What Defines a Craftsman Home

 


FGY Architects, original photo on Houzz

 

Nature-inspired color palette. Craftsman style is deeply influenced by nature, so turn to rich, natural hues for the exterior color palette. Soft olive green, earthy browns and cream (rather than stark white) allow the home to settle into its surroundings. Shingles are the most common exterior finish by far among Craftsman homes, and these can always be left natural with a clear finish if you do not wish to paint them. With so many architectural details, it is common to use at least two or three different complementary shades on the exterior to highlight the craftsmanship.

Don’t forget to test! The warm, earthy hues of the Craftsman palette can look wonderful when they work, but some colors (especially greens) can be tricky to get right. Be sure to test any color you are considering using so you can actually see it in situ, not only on a tiny paint chip. If you are feeling unsure about picking colors, consider hiring a color consultant to help with the process.

 


Moore Architects PC, original photo on Houzz

 

Go more modern (with caution). If you’re not a huge fan of the earth tone look, you can go with a more modern gray or “greige.” Just keep it a little bit muddy to pay homage to your home’s Craftsman roots, and choose an off-white rather than pure white for trim. A comfortable porch. Play up a deep porch with a few carefully chosen pieces — a Craftsman-style bench or pair of rockers and a cluster of potted plants will do the trick. If your home’s original tapered or double columns have been covered over or removed by a past owner’s renovations, consider working with an architect to renew the porch to its former glory.

 


Moore Architects PC, original photo on Houzz

 

Multipane windows and doors. Typically, Craftsman homes have double-hung windows with either a four-over-one or six-over-one pattern, while doors nearly always have panes of glass in the upper portion of the door.

When to replace your door. If your home’s door is original, but in not-so-good shape, you may be able to revive it with a good sanding and a fresh stain, plus new Craftsman-style hardware. If, however, your home’s original door was long ago replaced with a modern version, a new solid-wood Craftsman-style front door can be a worthy investment, since this is really the centerpiece of your home’s facade.

Charm with lighting. Options abound for Craftsman-style exterior light fixtures — one of the most popular is a lantern-style with multiple panes. Lanterns echo the multi-paned windows and doors of the typical Craftsman home, making for a put-together, intentionally designed look.

Quality craftsmanship. If you are adding any details to the exterior or landscape of your Craftsman-style home, it pays to seek out the highest quality craftsmanship you can — after all, it’s not called Craftsman style for nothing! Beautiful details on a fence or garden gate will echo the architecture of your home and enhance the view from the street.

 

 
Todd Soli Architects, original photo on Houzz

 

The Craftsman garage. While some original American Craftsman homes were built before garages were common, if your home has a garage it will look its best if the overall style matches the rest of the house.

Naturalistic landscaping. Think of paths that curve and wind, natural stepping stones and native plantings. The best landscaping around a Craftsman home helps the house feel a part of the landscape and neighborhood around it, and it generally stays within a natural, earthy color palette as well.

 


ACM Design, original photo on Houzz

 

Natural elements connect indoors and out. Increase the connection between landscape and home by repeating natural elements from the architecture (such as stone and wood) in the landscape.

Add warmth with copper, bronze and handmade details. Craftsman homes look their best when surrounded by warm-toned metals (like copper and bronze), natural ceramics and wood. Keep this in mind when selecting exterior details, and everything will look as if it’s meant to be together, from the planters to the rain gutters.

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How To Handle Falling In Love With More Than One At A Time

Recently I worked with a couple who asked my advice on a topic I don't often discuss. They had fallen in love not just once but twice and needed my help.

They were remodeling their home exterior and had been doing their homework on which products and colors they wanted to use. By the time this couple contacted me they had already fallen in love with a DaVinci Slate roof in Smokey Gray. It is a great choice for their home.

They had also fallen in love with the idea of painting the siding of their home brown. They had seen other homes in their New England town that were brown and liked the look. They had looked at many dark browns but it was Benjamin Moore Falcon Brown 1238 that they loved.

DaVinci Roofscapes Multi-width Slate in Smokey Gray alongside Benjamin Moore Falcon Brown 1238

What this couple saw once they painted a section of their home and placed the roofing tile samples next to the dark brown was that the two didn't work well together. The two were both dark and although different in color similar in value (darkness or lightness) and they started to have their doubts that the two colors they fell in love with were going to work well together on their home. That is when they contacted me to give them my thoughts.

Both colors they selected were lovely on their own but were not the best choices together. Their home was large and you could see a good amount of the roof. There home was also shaded by many trees. Even with contrasting trim and a welcoming color on the front door the overall look would still be too dark and could seem a bit ominous. At the same time I understood that they had a vision of their home in brown and gray that they weren't ready to give up on.

Following my "top down" method for selecting home exterior colors it didn't take long before these homeowners and I came up with an alternative we all were happy with.

From two loves to true loves --
DaVinci Roofscapes Multi-width Slate in Smokey Gray and 
Benjamin Moore Bear Creek 1470

We started with the Smokey Gray roof and then looked for a brown that was a little lighter and slightly more gray. After sampling a couple of colors it was Benjamin Moore Bear Creek 1470 that captured the hearts of my homeowners. It isn't a huge change but the color was just different enough to change the exterior dynamic and created exactly the look these homeowners first had in mind.

You might think the reason people make mistakes with choosing color is that they aren't good at picking colors but believe it or not that isn't always the reason. Often is is because they get an idea in their mind and don't know how to create the look unless they use the same exact colors they've seen. Or they might find more than one color that they just love and are blinded to the fact that they don't work well together.

Over the years, I help many homeowners who are purchasing a gorgeous polymer slate or shake roof from DaVinci Roofscapes to choose the right color for their roof as well as the other elements of their exterior. From the choice of 50 color and a whole range of blends it is easy for homeowners to fall in love with one that they really want to use.

The next step is to make sure that all of the elements that will be used on the exterior work together. Since a DaVinci roof last a very long time and plays a major role in creating curb appeal, I always say to start from the top down. 

The roof can be 30 percent or more of what you see as you approach a home. Blending the color of your roofing material with other elements of the home exterior will create an overall cohesive look. When the roof and the main are working together it allows you to have many choices for your trim and accent colors. This also makes it easier to change the color of your front door or shutters and give you home a new look in a few years down the road. 

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Tips for Adding Curb Appeal to the Home

Want to truly personalize your home exterior? Then National Curb Appeal Month is the time to let your creative spirit kick in!

Kate Smith, chief color maven at Sensational Color, has several tips to get homeowners focused on adding color to their home exteriors in an effort to enhance curb appeal.

  • Designer RoofTip #1 - Consider the fixed features of a home before deciding on what colors to add. These elements include the colors of foundation and chimney materials, like brick, stone and concrete, along with other fixed elements like porches, steps, walkways and retaining walls.

  • Tip #2 - Think about regional colors that might work well on your home. It's fine to have a home that stands out in the neighborhood, but it needs to link in with the overall geography where you live.

  • Tip #3 - Look at your environment. The natural setting and landscaping around your home can help you select colors that complement the existing setting.

  • Tip #4 - Let the style of your home help you determine how bold or subdued you should go with color. For example, bright colors are almost expected on a Victorian home, while more refined colors like off white, dark green and rich chocolate would complement a Ranch style home.

  • Tip #5 - Consider the historic element of the home and let that help lead you to colors that reflect the house's history. Also make sure to check with any homeowner associations you might belong to for possible restrictions on color usage.

 

Two free e-books to help choose the right colors for home exteriors authored by Smith are available on the DaVinci Roofscapes website by clicking HERE!

Looking for more ideas? Visit Exterior Home Textures Boost Curb Appeal and Stuck on Color? No Problem - We Can Help.

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More Tips For Exterior Color From The Top Down

In my last blog post I gave you the top 3 reasons that homeowners are opting to go with a neutral as the main color for their home more than ever before. I also shared tips on how to set a home apart when starting with a neutral as the main color of the exterior.

Today I'm giving you a few more tips for choosing colors from the top down for your home exterior. Again in these examples, each of the homes below are painted an identical neutrals color. Then starting with the roof I've given you a quick tip for choosing accent colors inspired by your roof color.

To keep the illustrations simple, I'm showing the main accent on the front door and the secondary accent on the trim however you can use these colors in whatever why best suits your home and gives it personality. For example, with a light trim color the secondary color could be used on the shutters. 

If your home has a DaVinci Slate in Smokey Gray or similar color you're in luck. Gray, easily the most popular roofing color, goes with just about every color on a home. Against a neutral base, use one dark version of a color you love and another medium to light version in the same color --- like the blue tones shown here.

DaVinci Slate in European blend is gray with a twist. Mixed in with the mostly gray roof is a bit of muted burgundy. Whenever your roof has a touch of color you can play up the color added to the gray roofing blend by using a deeper or darker shade for the front door. A medium gray accent on trim work brings the entire look together.

DaVinci Slate Aberdeen Blend is a good example of a multi-color roof. With a multi-color roof choose two of its colors as accents for the home exterior. This blend of complementary hues of olive green and brick red bring out the beauty of the roof.

These ideas plus many more tips for creating curb appeal with "Color From The Top Down" are captured in two infographics -- Color From The Top Down Infographic and Top Tips for Creating "Top Down" Curb Appeal. View and download both now with our compliments. And for even more great ideas visit the Color Studio.

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