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Design / Home Exterior Design Tips / Seven Secrets

ColorPlus Technology

How to Pick Exterior Siding Colors
How to Pick Exterior Siding Colors

Choosing a color

Why should I change the color of my home?
We can't agree on the right color. How can we resolve this disagreement?
When I need a second opinion, whom should I ask?
Are there computer programs that will help me visualize James Hardie® ColorPlus® colors on my home?


Color combinations

How do I know what's the right roof color for my home?
How many colors should I use on my home?
Should my trim be a lighter or darker color than the body of my home?
Will a dark body color make my home look smaller?
Should my garage door be the same color as my front door or trim?
Having trouble making the perfect decision? Need a second opinion?



Why should I change the color of my home?

Changing the exterior color of your home is a great way to update its style. Look for inspiration in you neighborhood or the surrounding community, online in our Gallery of Homes, or view local James Hardie Model Homes to see all the great possibilities. If you're afraid of making a color mistake, use a variation of your original color. The James Hardie ColorPlus color palette provides a wide range of options to enhance the look of any home.

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We can't agree on the right color. How can we resolve this disagreement?

First, you should know this is one of the most common issues people have when selecting new colors, whether inside or outside their home. Try having each of you select your top four color choices. Then, visit the James Hardie Design Center and view each color or color combination on a home similar to yours. Start by agreeing on colors that don't work and continue this process of elimination until you both agree on the final color or combination.

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When I need a second opinion, whom should I ask?

Most people asking for a second opinion are really looking for confirmation and agreement. If you truly want someone to give you an objective opinion, look for a professional designer/architect or an individual experienced in working with exterior colors. Be open to their suggestions and don't just look for them to tell you what you want to hear. If you don't know a professional to call, there are many online resources to explore.

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Are there computer programs that will help me visualize James Hardie ColorPlus colors on my home?

Yes. The James Hardie Design Center allows you to view different types of siding products, sizes, textures and colors on a variety of architectural home styles.

With all online visualizers, keep in mind the colors on the screen aren't always a true representation of the actual color. The computer is very good at helping you explore options, understand how colors work together and what happens when using contrasting colors. Once you think you have an idea, order a sample, view a model home or talk to your contractor before committing to the final color. Never make a final decision from a computer image.

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How do I know what's the right roof color for my home?

The perfect roof color can best be determined by the other colors you're working with for the siding, trim and any other accents. The roof color, in many cases, should be a natural, neutral shade that allows for flexibility with the other materials and colors on your home. However, today there are many more roof color options blues, sage greens, deep reds that are much more interesting and still neutral enough to be used with an assortment of colors.

Collect samples of the siding colors you plan to work with and look at the roofing options you think will work well with them. If you're starting from scratch and like a particular roof shade, tie everything to that color and work backwards. Or, to mix and match siding and roof colors, use the James Hardie Design Center to see how each combination looks on an actual home.

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How many colors should I use on my home?

The number of colors used in an exterior color scheme is dependent on the home and how many details there are to highlight. Traditionally, homes had very little architectural interest and therefore, it was common to have a maximum of three colors body, trim and accent.

Today, new architectural styles are far more interesting and detail-oriented and you should consider a minimum of three colors. Maybe add a second body or trim color. This is where you can really add interest and make your home visually more appealing. The additional body or trim colors don't have to be drastically different from each other and in reality should be close to each other, with a slight change in value. If your home has no natural way to divide colors, don't force it and go for a less complex color combination.

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Should my trim be a lighter or darker color than the body of my home?

In many cases lighter trim colors are the best choice since the eye is attracted to the lightest color in a combination first and in many architectural styles these are the features you want to emphasize. Keep in mind that not all trim has to be the same color.

If you have horizontal or vertical banding, you may not want it to be the same as your windows. You may also want your soffits and eaves to be a different color than your window trim. Think about how you want the eye to experience your home, working from lightest to darkest. The objective when using this technique is to have one color look like a shadow of the other. This trend is often seen on Victorian architectural styles. View our James Hardie ColorPlus color palette.

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Will a dark body color make my home look smaller?

A house looks smaller as a result of strong contrast in colors or using light and dark colors together. This is not always a bad thing and can actually enhance design. If it bothers you and you like deeper colors, then don't use white trim, but a mid-tone color to make the pop-color brighter. Also consider your environment. In a rural area, a large white house really sticks out. To combat this, use a deeper, more natural landscape color to anchor the house to its surroundings.

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Should my garage door be the same color as my front door or trim?

In most cases, no! It only draws attention to this part of your home, which is not usually a design objective. Also, an accent color can throw off the balance of your home, making the garage look larger than it really is. To help it blend in, select colors that are either the same as the body color or a slightly lighter or darker version to provide a little contrast.

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Having trouble making the perfect decision?

Use these tools for help:

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