Picking a design or color scheme for a reroofing project is mostly a matter of preference. However, it wouldn’t hurt to take some inspiration from other homes. You can take a quick drive around the neighborhood to get some inspiration, or you could look at a few examples online.
To help you with your research, KLIM Roofing & Construction lists some of the most famous roofs in this world in this guide.
- Red-Tile Roofed Homes in Old Town, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Aside from its assortment of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque buildings, Dubrovnik—located on the south eastern point of Croatia—is known for its distinctive red-tiled houses. Their roofs are made from terra cotta tiles, which are well-suited to warm climates thanks to their thermal mass and durability. Unfortunately, it’s estimated that more than 70% of the terra cotta roofs were destroyed during the Croatian War of Independence. Even among terra cotta roofs, Dubrovnik’s red-tiled roofs were unique. That’s why authorities initially had a hard time finding tiles with a similar color. Fortunately, the terra cotta roofing tiles being made in Toulouse, France, had a similar color.
- Domed Roofs of Santorini Island, Greece
Like the coasts of Croatia, Santorini Island also has a Mediterranean climate. To keep houses from becoming too hot and protect them from strong winds, locals installed whitewashed dome-shaped limestone roofs. The roofs’ whitewashed colors help prevent the roofing system from absorbing too much heat—the closer a shade is to white, the more light it reflects, which is also something you should keep in mind while planning a reroofing project—while their dome shape allows storm surges to pass over homes without creating too much structural pressure.
- Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Another famous dome would be the one on top of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The nearly 35-meter dome is made of marble and has a lotus design on top in addition to the four smaller domes placed at each corner. The scale and the grandeur of the mausoleum is such that over a thousand elephants were employed to transport the construction materials.
- The Eight Domed Spires of St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia
The vividly colored domed spires were added to St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow in several phases in the period between the 1680s to the 1860s. But aside from that, there are still a lot of things historians don’t know about the construction of the domes.
- Art-Deco Roof of the Chrysler Building in New York City
The Chrysler Building’s Art-Deco roof—composed of seven terraced arches arranged in a sunburst pattern—is one of the first things you’ll see in the city’s skyline. Art Deco is a design movement that makes prominent use of smooth lines, geometric shapes, and streamlined forms. It reached peak popularity in the years leading up to World War II. However, its popularity has since waned, although there have been a few instances wherein interest was occasionally revived.
Here’s a tip: if you’re having a hard time choosing a design for a residential roofing replacement, contractors recommend finding out which color schemes and designs pair well with your home’s architectural style.
- The United States Capitol Dome in Washington D.C., United States
Another distinctive roof that can be found in the US is the 88-meter dome that sits on top of the Capitol. The cast-iron dome was built between 1855 and 1866 and was carefully painted to make sure it blended in seamlessly with the main building. (Remember: when it comes to exterior design, consistency is key.) And located on top of the dome is the Statue of Freedom.
- Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia
The shells that compose the Sydney Opera House’s unique roof precast concrete panels and over a million individual tiles that were imported from Sweden. It took 14 years and over 102 million Australian dollars—nearly 13.5 times the Opera House’s original budget—to finish construction. Most homeowners can’t afford that kind of budget blowout, which is why meticulous budgeting is a must when planning a residential roofing project. Keep in mind that while it’s important to stay within your budget, you can’t get too preoccupied with the costs. What you need to focus on instead is maximizing the returns on your investment.
- The Great Court of the British Museum, London, United Kingdom
The glazed canopy that encapsulates the entire museum is made of 3,000 panels of glass with a combined weight of 800 tonnes. The glass’ design maximizes natural lighting while reducing solar heat gain and filtering out ultraviolet damage.
Speaking of natural lighting, many homeowners often fail to take into account their geographic location’s effect on natural lighting and by extension their curb appeal. Sunlight in the north has a cool, bluish cast. As you move down south, sunlight takes on a more reddish hue. As such, colors that look great on homes in the south may look dull in the north.
- Multi-Colored Glazed-Tile Roofs in Beanue, Burgundy, France
Looking for eye-catching roof designs? You might want to look up Beanue’s multi-colored glazed-tile roofing in Burgundy, also known as France’s wine capital. They were originally found on the region’s great cathedrals in the 13th century and slowly became a symbol of status. The nobility started adopting them in the 14th Century. And a century later, these ornate roof patterns were adopted by the rich urban bourgeoisie.
- Multi-Colored Glazed Tile Roof of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Austria
Like the hospices in Beanue, Burgundy in France, St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Austria also has a multi-colored glazed roof with its own distinctive patterns. The 230,000 multicolored, glazed roofing tiles on St. Stephen’s Cathedral form several images, including coats of arms and a two-headed eagle.
Another interesting fact about St. Stephen’s Cathedral’s roof is that it requires practically zero maintenance. The cathedral’s roof is so steep that rainwater immediately slides off and washes off dirt and debris on the roof’s surface. However, a steep-sloped roof is impractical for residential homes.
Choosing a Roof With Minimal Maintenance Needs
Routine maintenance is a must for any roofing system, regardless of its durability. And it’s especially so for a flat roof, which is more leak-prone than a sloped residential roof thanks to its low slope. Remember: water tends to pond on flat surfaces. If you’re planning a roof replacement, it’s important to take into account a roofing material’s maintenance needs.
Here’s an overview of roofing materials with minimal maintenance needs:
- Slate roofing – Slate roofing is one of the most durable roofing materials on the market, but it’s also one of the most expensive and heaviest materials. Its significant weight load means your home’s structure will likely need to be reinforced before it can be installed.
- Tile roofing – Tile roofing’s maintenance needs are mostly restricted to the gutters, roof flashing, and venting.
- Metal roofing – Metal roofing panels are known for their durability and long lifespans.
- Asphalt shingles – There are several reasons why asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in North America. They’re easy-to-install, durable, and cost-effective.
Choosing a Color Scheme for Your New Roof
As for your roof’s new color scheme, when in doubt, it’s best to stick to classic color combinations. The color of your exterior will be the primary factor in deciding the color of your new roof. Classic combinations include:
- Red exterior – Dark brown, black, grey, and green
- Light grey exterior – Grey, black, green, blue, and white
- Beige exterior – Brown, black, grey, green, and blue
- Brown – Grey, brown, green, and blue
- White – The best thing about having a white exterior is that almost any color can be paired with it
- Weathered wood and log houses – Brown, green, black and grey
One more thing: to make sure your new residential or flat roof is installed properly, only qualified contractors should handle the installation.
Looking for roofers near you? Here’s a vetting tip: the number of years a contractor has been working in the industry should give you a good idea of their level of expertise.