In A Hot Housing Market, Maximizing Curb Appeal Starts Right at the Top

Choosing the right roof to highlight a home’s architectural style is an investment that pays off

PORTLAND, Ore.—It plays a major role in a home’s curb appeal, yet surprisingly, it’s often the area most overlooked by homeowners.

There’s no doubt that a solid roof is key for resell value and home protection. But experts say roofs are under appreciated for their ability to greatly enhance a home’s architectural style and appearance.

“In terms of sheer square footage alone, roofs play a massive role in the exterior appearance of a home, “ said Renee Ramey, executive director of the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA). “They are the icing on the cake for achieving great curb appeal and style. Yet some homeowners put more thought into their paint color than into the roofing design options available for their home.”

Another trap that can trip-up homeowners is falling for a certain roof style that may not perform well in their particular region. For example, the look of wood shakes is popular in the west, yet roofs made with wood are the least practical choice when it comes to standing up to heavy rainfall and snow, and in hot seasons, protecting against dangers such as wildfire.

“We see it all the time: A tile roof may look great when first installed but the beauty of it wears off quickly when homeowners in wet, damp climates realize they have to spend time, energy and money cleaning the moss off the roof every year,” said Ramey. “A beautiful roof can highlight and enhance great architectural style, but homeowners should never make sacrifices in performance in order to achieve a certain look.”

These factors are a big reason why metal roofs have become increasingly popular. Metal roofs are available in a wide range of colors and design options that can mimic slate, clay tile and even wood shakes and asphalt but can also deliver maximum long-term, low maintenance performance and protection.

No matter what the architectural style, the best way to boost curb appeal is to try on different roof styles and designs before investing. Thanks to the latest technology and resources such as the Metal Roofing Alliance’s online visualizer, homeowners can upload a photo of their home and try on the many different types of metal roofing available before they decide.

“A new roof is a major commitment that should last for many decades,” said Ramey. “It pays to perform your due diligence by not only analyzing performance, maintenance and reliability features, but by making sure the style and look you choose maximizes the power of your home’s curb appeal potential.”

To choose the right roof for today’s most popular architectural styles, experts say it’s important to keep these distinctive characteristics of each home style in mind:

Classic Craftsman: According to a Trulia survey, Craftsman is the most popular architectural style among U.S. homeowners. Emphasizing natural materials, Craftsman homes often feature pitched roofs that protect front porches and dominate the home’s exterior. Unfortunately, asphalt roofs do nothing to enhance the potential of true Craftsman design. Better to choose organic materials and tones, such as a gorgeous copper, or a stamped shake or slate metal roof designed to bring out the natural characteristics of this charming style.

Modern Marvels: Contemporary, modern and mid-century ranch-style homes benefit from thoughtful roof design that enhance clean lines and a low-slung, minimalist style. Standing seam metal roofs in subtle earth tone hues work well to complement the non-fussy, chic nature of these homes, while enhancing the indoor/outdoor living spaces so appreciated with this style.

Colonial Charm: Dutch Colonial often features steep, gambrel roofs and curved eaves. Other types include French and Spanish Colonial and even the popular Cape Cod cottage style is often categorized as Colonial architecture. In nearly all cases, rooflines are prominent, and homeowners can achieve an authentic look by selecting a metal roof in patterns that mimic shake, yet offer maximum protection and durability. Or, create a stand-out look that enhances the traditional style of a Colonial home by selecting a bold color made possible via the wide variety of color options available with painted metal roofing.

Tudor Traditional: Tudor homes are beloved for their old-world charm. With a myriad of decorative details, elaborate forms and solid masonry appearance, their English country mannerly attitude fits well with the traditional appearance of a stone-coated metal roof designed to add style to their stately demeanor. These homes were traditionally common in colder climates with lots of rain and snow, so a strong stone-coated metal roof is also the perfect choice for maximum protection.

Mediterranean Moxy: Mission, Spanish style, Greek revival and Italian villa looks are popular especially in sunny climates in areas like California, Arizona, Florida and New Mexico. These home call for the classic clay tile style roof to maintain their architectural integrity. That same look can be achieved by metal roofs that deliver all the style with greater durability (no cracking or chipping), lighter weight, increased strength and lower maintenance.

Victorian Vivacious: Perhaps there is no more ornate style of roof than on a Victorian home, with romantic details such as pitched roofs, octangular and cone-shaped tower designs, turret and dormers.  With elaborate paint schemes and complex roof designs meant to draw the eye, these homes deserve extra care when it comes to selecting a roof that is just as attention-getting. Stone coated metal roofs, copper that may patina with age, and painted metal roofs in unique colors such sage green and turquoise blue can enhance the fanciful qualities of this beautiful architectural style.

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Contact: Darcie Meihoff, Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA), [email protected] or 971-998-3782