This is Permanent (As Far As We’re Concerned)

Homer: Don’t worry, honey, I found us a roofer last night, and you’ll never guess where!
Marge: Knockers on Route 98.
Homer: How did you know!?
Marge: I’m psychic.

Our friend Terry re-roofed his own house with long-lasting cedar shakes. Soon after, he came home and found his father-in-law spraying the roof (and adjacent windows and cars) with sealant. When Terry asked what (the hell) he was doing, he said, “This will make that roof last 50 years!” Terry responded, “What do I care? I don’t have 50 years!”


Cedar shake roof (via)

He never did get all the sealant off the windows.

2015 is the year we re-roof, and since even asphalt (or fiberglass or whatever-not-cedar) roofs are guaranteed for 30 years now, we need to pick something we can happily live with for the duration. I’m optimistic that we have more than 30 years to go, but in this house? Who knows.

Our roofer-elect uses GAF shingles, and will bring us samples to consider, but since the internet exists, it’s worth narrowing the choices in the meantime.

There are some givens for the equation. First, our house is white, and is likely to continue being white.


The conundrum, such as it is, is that the experts recommend gray or black roofs for white houses. The current roof is gray, but in the meantime, we’ve added a garden wall that is decidedly in the warm end of the spectrum.


Wow, look at the greenery — I am so ready for spring.

When you’re talking houses, should the collar match the cuffs? I don’t particularly like our current grey roof, but that’s partly because it’s all beat up. I’m interested in trying a warmer tone, but I would prefer to avoid that generic flat-brown color that was the default around town during the 1980s.


This seemed to be on all the houses when I was a kid (via).

With all that in mind, here are some of the GAF options that might work (all images are GAF’s):

GAF’s Timberline HD Weathered Wood

Close up photo of GAF's Timberline HD Weathered Wood shingle swatch

Sort of gray, sort of brown.


And on a house. It’s not a warm tone, despite being in the brown category.

GAF’s Timberline HD Barkwood

Close up photo of GAF's Timberline HD Barkwood shingle swatch

Sort of dark brown.

And on a house.

And on a house. That roof is actually made of chocolate. Too dark for us, I think.

GAF’s Timberline Natural Shadow Shakewood

GAF's Timberline Natural Shadow Shakewood

Sort of tan.

I don't think this is a real house, but that's the color.

I don’t think this is a real house.

Or! Or…there’s the mix of all colours that requires no single choice to actually be made.

GAF’s American Harvest in Golden Harvest

GAF Golden Harvest

What (neutral) color ISN’T it?

I suspect GAF might have developed this option especially for all the indecisive customers. Theoretically, a mix of colors should end up looking more organic. Maybe? Or might the overall effect just look either (a) completely twee or (b) like a 8-bit video game screen?

There are other color blends, but “Golden Harvest” is the one that most appeals to me. The color, anyway, if not the ridiculous name.

Here's what it looks like on a fictional house.

Here’s what it looks like on a house.

Some of the other American Harvest options. With Golden Harvest, these are the colors in this line for this area; in other parts of the continent, the choices will be different.

Some other GAF American Harvest options. With Golden Harvest, these are the colors for houses in the north; elsewhere, the choices will vary (for some reason).

Maybe I’ve gone off the wrong direction and should be sticking with gray? Maybe I should ask the Kev’s opinion. And yours — what do you think?

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6 Responses to This is Permanent (As Far As We’re Concerned)

  1. helen says:

    Brandywine dusk! Although I like Nantucket morning if we were talking names x

    • Stacey says:

      All the names are good — same people who name paint colours, most likely.

      I asked Kev what he thought you would say, and he said, “MAGNOLIA!” Magnolia Dusk, anyone??

  2. Paul says:

    I like the mix color for your house since you have green trim.

  3. Let me know how it goes–and what contractor you are using. Our roof NEEDS to be replaced but we are trying to put it off a little longer. We are looking at a stone-coated metal roof (it is supposed to look like shingles). We have a pretty large flat roof area as well which is just a load of problems. I have had about 10 roofers over to give estimates and I am pretty comfortable with the company we have picked out, but I am not sure I can stomach the price tag. We did look at the Timberline HD shingles as well, but with our interesting roof situation I would feel better with a metal roof.

    As far as your color options–I think the weathered wood or golden harvest are your best options. Either would be quite lovely. Thinking back to what may originally been on a house that age–perhaps cedar wood shingles like ours was–they would have been natural tones that faded to grays so I think it is smart to stay in that realm.

    • Stacey says:

      That metal roof sounds fancypants! Our quote is from whatever roofer it is who works with Clayton — I should really know specifically who that is (will figure it out before we start throwing money). Thanks for weighing in!

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