Aesthetic Options Expand
Aesthetics aren’t being lost in the discussion of functional attributes. But there haven’t been many changes in homeowners’ mindsets. “Colors are fairly consistent, especially for laminated and strip-shingle lines,” GAF’s Avitabile says. “The biggest trend in shingle aesthetics appears to be toward more variegated looks. Homeowners want more color, shades and variations in the appearance to help complement modern architecture and trim packages.”
Homeowners are looking for more variety to personalize their look, Owens Corning’s Burkett says. “The trend of more colorful, higher-contrast shingles is still in play. Homeowners want more pop, or something more interesting, on their roof. They want a range of choices, so they can choose without feeling like they’re getting the same look everyone else has.”
Color choices are impacted by exterior aesthetics overall, CertainTeed’s McDonagh-Forde says. “Every year, we introduce a new color guide to coordinate all of our colors with other key products. Consumers are not just focused on the color of their roof but also on the entire exterior of their home and fitting them all together.”
That’s also true with metal roofing, EDCO’s Newell says. “Customers are definitely moving away from monotone, solid colors to variegated options.” Adds ABC’s Tighe, “One of the benefits we’re seeing from the expansion of the market is a wider diversity of products. There are lots to choose from in shapes, colors, styles and qualities.”
Regardless of color or style, homeowners today are looking for more depth. “Everyone wants more dimension,” GAF’s Avitabile says. “They want to add more depth and shadows to their shingles, without raising the prices out of their budget ranges. Depth and shadow are the big factors when it comes to aesthetics.”
Slate products are growing in popularity, both as a replacement for real slate and to create a different appearance.
Polymer slate roofs offer benefits such as a Class A fire rating and Class 4 impact ratings while providing colors that more closely match the original. “Our colors are consistently varied,” says Dennis Paliaga, national sales manager for Inspire roofing product at The Tapco Group.
Customers want “authentic replication,” he says. The company also offers cool-roof colors with solar reflectivity to reduce heat-transfer. Color choices generally vary by region, coordinating with local materials and architectural styles.
Aesthetics also are impacting accessory products. “Aesthetics are more of a concern for homeowners on their roof today,” Benjamin Obdyke’s Murray says. “The traditional rolled ridge-vent style has to be hidden under the shingles, to make it invisible.”