Two Chicks and a Hammer Discuss roof shingle colors and style

Conversation took a colorful turn at the International Roofing Expo (IRE) March 1 to 3, in Las Vegas, when mother-daughter home remodelers and TV personalities (Two Chicks and a Hammer) Karen Laine and Mina Starsiak joined Owens Corning® Roofing. On their TV show, Karen and Mina use color to transform the exteriors of homes in Indianapolis’ historic Bates Hendricks neighborhood. During IRE, Karen and Mina addressed some of the most common questions asked by remodelers, roofing contractors and homeowners. Following is an excerpt of conversations from the show:

Why is exterior color such an important part of your home remodels?

(Mina): We want the houses we remodel to fit in with the neighborhood’s personality and so we use color in a way that is neither overbearing nor boring. We like Owens Corning TruDefinition® Duration® Designer shingles because the color is more saturated, yet not overly intense and brings an interesting texture to the roof.

(Karen): Color is the key to helping a house “tell its story.” Every house has a story and expresses the homeowner’s personality through the texture and color of its roof, the details of its front porch and the style and hue of its front door. Color says, “This is who I am.” At the end of the day, color is personal.

Can you provide some examples of how color serves as a statement?

(Karen): We all use color to inform the world about who we are and what we’re about. For example, yellow says, “I’m sunny.” Gray reflects a dignified personality; blue indicates a calm, serene approach to life; and a chocolate color says, “I’m delicious – people eat me up!” We just remodeled a house using a brown shade to create a cozy vibe. Although just 1,100 square feet, the house looks as inviting as a latte – it’s like a little puff of chocolate mousse in the neighborhood.

Speaking of neighborhoods, how does the color of other homes in an area factor into color decisions?

(Mina): The neighborhood we work in does not have home owner association restrictions that dictate color, so we can take bigger risks. But it’s really important that a home “fit into” its neighborhood. Colors should not compete with one another – they need to complement. It’s a balance between avoiding the ‘matchy matchy’ effect and having the colors of the home’s exterior argue against one another. As mom says, “if the colors aren’t married together, they’re fighting,” and one of the things we liked about the Owens Corning® TruDefinition® Duration® Designer shingles is how shingles within the line marry well with a wide variety of shades.

(Karen): In developing its color palette, Owens Corning gave us a brand new way to think about the roof – making it part of the overall effect that ties a house –and the neighborhood we remodel in – together. For one remodel we’re working on now, the TruDefinition® Duration® shingle in Driftwood really speaks to me. The palettes provide a way for us to add more texture to the color palette and they’re versatile enough that they’ll look great even if the house is repainted a dozen times.

Why is the roof a good place to experiment with color?

(Karen): I think of the roof as a “permission piece”. Because the colors in the Owens Corning® TruDefinition® Duration® series palettes are subtle and so well integrated, they tie the entire home together. Topping off a home with beautifully blended shingles gives the homeowner permission to invite their favorite colors into their home and tie the whole look together at the roof.

Are there any guidelines you offer for using color effectively on a home’s exterior?

(Karen): Starting with the color wheel is a good place to begin. Remember, it’s not just about picking one color. At a minimum, a home’s exterior should include three colors – siding/paint, trim and an accent color, and they need to work together. The roof is the perfect place to tie all of these colors together. People shouldn’t be limited to just three colors. When done in the right manner, many other colors can be integrated. I counted 17 colors on one of San Francisco’s “painted ladies” homes!

What does a well-coordinated exterior offer beyond personal expression?

(Mina): As a real estate agent, I’ve seen how a home with the right exterior colors can attract people to come inside and check out the interior. When something is off on the outside of a house, it makes you wonder what might be wrong inside the house. A home with a coordinated exterior will get looked at before another home that is not so well put together in terms of color pairings.

(Karen): The elements in a home should invite people to come inside and create a sense of acceptance. Just one “off” element can create a visual “stop” and prompt someone to start looking for other problems with the house. A roof can be a wonderful opportunity to tie the whole home together from the front step to the top of the house.

What are the most common mistakes people make when it comes to exterior color?

(Mina): Playing it too safe. No matter what a person’s favorite color is, there’s a shade within the color family that could work. For example, I wouldn’t do a ‘full-on’ orange, but there is a shade within the orange family that might be just perfect. We encourage people to think about how different shades in a color family - and in different color families - can work together as trim, as accents, and on the roof.

(Karen): Color is evocative and can bring about strong feelings. The nice thing about integrating color into shingles is it’s a low-risk way to bring color into a home’s design on a small scale.

How are you using Owens Corning® TruDefinition® Duration Shingles?

(Mina): I used to think that the roof was what you added at the end of the process. We’d select a standard gray color because it paired well with a lot of different sidings and exteriors. When we added the Owens Corning® TruDefinition® Duration® Designer shingle in Sand Dune to our home office, it opened our eyes to how the roof can bring a house together and now the roof is a key part of our color decisions. You can see how Sand Dune looks on our home office when Season 2 of our program begins airing in May.

About Two Chicks and a Hammer

Karen E. Laine (Mom) and Mina Starsiak (daughter) are Two Chicks and a Hammer, Inc.

”We began rehabbing houses in our neighborhood near downtown Indianapolis in 2007. In the process, we discovered a skill set and passion for neighborhood rehabilitation, one house at a time. We found that we could do well by doing good! In 2014 our company was found by High Noon Entertainment, who filmed a pilot for HGTV. The pilot aired in May 2015 under the name “Two Chicks and a Hammer”.

In July 2015 we began filming the first season of the show now known as “Good Bones”. We began filming a second season in 2016, which is airing in May 2017.

Follow Two Chicks and a Hammer on Facebook and Instagram as TwoChicksandaHammer, on Twitter and Snapchat as Twochicksindy, and on Pinterest as Two Chicks and a Hammer/Good Bones.