Terra Firma Colors for Your Shake or Slate Roof

Earlier this week I was flying over a new construction site. As I looked down on the terracotta roofs and reddish orange clay it reminded me to share with you another element that can be an excellent clue to your perfect roofing color -- your soil.

Yes, that's right. The color of the dirt around your property. This may sound crazy but it is a really great way for you to find a color that will help you to naturally blend your home into its surroundings.  When the horizontal plane of color that tops off your home is the same as the color surrounding your home's foundation it instantly anchors your home to the landscape.

Soil colors to match your simulated shake or rubber shake roof
Above is one page from the Munsell Soil Color Chart and six examples of DaVinci Roofscape
imitation shake roofing colors that are a good match for the soil colors shown.


This is an especially effective place to begin thinking about your color scheme when building or renovating a home in a wooded or natural setting where it is more important that the structure works well within nature rather than a neighborhood.  The soil color can point you in the right direction not only for your roofing but for all of the permanent elements of your home's exterior.

Thinking about the soil color as you choose the foundation color is a good idea for another reason you might not have considered.  As you water your plants or as the rain splashes off the ground, the mud-tinted water drops will disappear into the foundation if it's a color similar to that of the soil.  If not, the bottom edge around your home may always have a slightly "soiled" look. Even if once construction is completed you don't see any exposed soil, the color works because the color of the Terra firma (a Latin phrase meaning "solid earth" from terra "earth" and firma "solid") is part of all of everything that emerges from it including rocks, trees and plants.

I always develop the overall color plan for a home's exterior from the top down but when I look for color clues looking down is often the place I begin. Looking to the soil or terra firma can give you a firm foundation for your color scheme.

So if terra firma means solid earth do you think that the Latin translation for DaVinci Roofscapes is roof firma?

PS. You can test your skill at matching soil color and learn more about soil color by state at the Smithsonian Institute site called "Dig It! The Secrets of Soil"


Kate Smith
Color Expert Kate Smith lends her expertise to DaVinci Roofscapes; a company that has manufactured award-winning synthetic slate and shake roofing since 1999. The polymer roofing tiles are virtually maintenance free and far more cost effective than the natural product. DaVinci leads the industry in tile thickness, the tile width variety and the greatest selection of subtle earth-toned colors. Company products have a 50-year warranty and are 100 percent recyclable.


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