There are no rules, but it makes sense to start by observing the roof you need to match, the reference roof. Clearly your budget must be a key deciding factor, but take a close look at your reference roof and keep it in mind throughout the process. Note the color, type of shingles, and the texture. Roofing materials come in asphalt, wood, slate, metal, and other materials. Among asphalt shingles, there are plain shingles and those which are layered to simulate shake shingles. Knowing the nature of the material in addition to its color will help you narrow your choices more quickly. You might even want to snap a quick digital picture or two to take with you to the building supply center.
When it Has to Match
Another reason to check your neighbor’s roof is to see if theirs needs to be replaced too. If you both work together you can try to negotiate an even better price with a roofer to do both roofs at the same time. Then you can use the same brand, style and color of shingles on both roofs. Talk about making your homes look more uniform and cohesive. But if you will be installing a new roof but your neighbor is not, you can still choose shingles that are similar in color and appearance to his. You can even ask your neighbor if he has records of the brand and color he used. Be sure to notice the condition of the reference roof. If the reference roof is old, the shingles are probably worn and the color faded from the sun and rain. In that case, it is best to chose shade slightly darker than the reference roof. That way when your neighbor later decides to replace his roof, the colors will be a be a better match to yours.
When to Consider a Contrasting Roof
Maybe you have always hated the color of your neighbor’s roof and now that you are replacing your own, there is no way that you want to coordinate. In times like these, it is important to remember that even though your home is a twin, it is a unique house that can be decorated in any manner you choose. Perhaps those multi-brown shingles that you love will clash horribly with your neighbor’s Spanish red shingles. If you are okay with how the house will look after your shingles are installed, then feel free to proceed. Just remember that your next door neighbor has to live with the look of the house, as well.
By following this simple guide, professional roofers will almost certainly be impressed with your knowledge of roofing materials and your ability to properly judge their recommendation. More importantly, by doing your research in advance, you will be prepared to make an informed decision and can be happier with your new roof for years to come.