Planning Your Home Exterior Design – Including Your Roof

Designer Chad Esslinger answers home exterior design and roof color questions from homeowners.

How and Where to Start (Re)Designing the Exterior of Your House

Homeowner Question: I’m trying to put together a plan for designing/redesigning my home exterior. I can’t do all my exterior changes at the same time, and I can’t figure out how or where to get started.  What advice do you have for me?

Chad’s Answer: Like so many things in life, when it comes to home design, sometimes you just have to pick the low-hanging fruit.

If you wait for everything to be “perfect” or to align all at once, you’ll be waiting forever.

Chad Esslinger, Designer

If budget is an issue choose one or two quick elements that you can change with little investment and go from there. If you feel like your curb appeal is lacking, maybe there isn’t enough contrast or pops of color.

Here are a few simple, low-investment ways to start refreshing your home exterior:  

porch and picket fence along quiet side street in key west florida

If your ideal exterior design for your home is a bigger overhaul of items like updating your siding, brick color, or installing a new roof, then the execution of the full exterior design could take a few years. 

Doing a complete overhaul of your home exterior allows you to start with a blank slate and assemble a look with all the products, colors and textures that you want. 

Chad Esslinger, Designer

In terms of picking your new roof, choose a roof shingle product and color for your final exterior design rather than to coordinate with the existing elements (which you will be changing out). It might look a little funky until the final design is complete, but it will be well worth it when you are finished.

Most people put together an exterior design plan for their house that includes some of the existing elements— usually items that they can’t change. This can make developing a home exterior design plan a little more complicated, but it shouldn’t stop you from getting what you want. 

First decide which “look” you are going for, examples are:

Cobalt blue sofa and other antique furniture on a wooden floor in a spacious living room interior of a classic mansion.
Traditional
Rustic
Farmhouse entryway. Wooden bench near white shiplap wall. Interior mockup. 3d render.
Farmhouse

I suggest creating a mood board, especially if you aren’t sure. Collect pictures or pieces of items you like and pin them on a big board (or you could use any number of social media platforms like Pinterest).  As you assemble the items and pictures that speak to you, a theme will emerge helping you to determine your “look”.   

After you’ve determined your mood board style, all of your subsequent choices for your new exterior design elements should be based on that mood board to help achieve your exterior design goal.

If the plan calls for you to paint your home exterior, then I might suggest that you start by selecting and installing the roof first. It’s easier to custom tint the paint to match the roof than the other way around. 

If the plan calls for new siding, then you’ll want to choose the color of your siding in conjunction with choosing your new roof color – the order of installation is up to you. Of course, if your roof is leaking, then you better take care of the roof first to avoid additional interior damage to your home. Sometimes a necessity like replacing a leaky roof is what triggers the idea for a whole new exterior design plan.  

Even if you feel “stuck” with that yellow siding that you can’t change, you can still develop a plan where all the exterior design elements work together to make your home look and feel like your dream home. 

Yellow house with TruDefintion® Duration® Designer Shingles in the color Summer Harvest

A well-planned and executed home exterior redesign project can potentially make a huge impact on curb appeal and could increase the overall value of your home. 



More from Chad Esslinger

Chad answers homeowners’ questions about their roofs and home exterior design.

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Chad shares his thoughts and style board for our 2021 Shingle Color of the Year, Aged Copper

Design Inspiration from Owens Corning

Looking for design inspiration? Explore the many tools and content Owens Corning has to offer:

2021 Shingle Color of the Year - Aged Copper
Learn more about our 2021 Shingle Color of the Year, Aged Copper
Not sure what color shingle will work with your roof? Explore our Style Boards
Upload a picture of your home and “try on” shingles with Design EyeQ®
Explore the many shingle color options from Owens Corning with Pick Your Shingles

About Chad Esslinger Design

Chad Esslinger
Chad Esslinger Design logo

Chad Esslinger Design is a full-service design company focusing on residential interior design, decorating and remodeling. Chad loves partnering with homeowners to create beautiful and functional living spaces.

Chad Esslinger Design is committed to beautiful and creative design as well as unparalleled service. Chad believes that great design is contemporary but timeless, simple but elegant. The goal of any project is to create breathtaking beauty, innovative functionality, and a truly enjoyable design process. Learn more about Chad.