Despite the fact it’s literally hanging over your head, it’s easy to have an out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach when it comes to your roof. However, the colour of your roof plays a much bigger role in the functionality of a home than many people may realise. The colour of your roof can greatly influence the thermal efficiency, energy efficiency and comfort level of your home. With new changes being introduced into the National Construction Code, certain roof colours will no longer be able on new houses in certain areas. So let’s take a look at colorbond roof colours, how the changes to NCC will affect roof choices, and how colour is more than a cosmetic choice of your roof.
Why your roof colour is such an important design consideration
We’ve all heard that dark colour tones absorb light while lighter colours reflect it. Your teacher wasn’t just making this up, and it’s why the colour of your roof is more than a simple stylistic choice. Let’s take a look at how your choice of roof colour can actually make a big difference to your living environment.
Solar Absorptance is designed to measure how much solar radiation a material will absorb. This is measured on a scale of 0 to 1. So, for example, a roof colour that absorbs 62% of solar radiation will have a solar absorptance rating of 0.62.
Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) is a more complicated equation than Solar Absrobtance as it calculates a value based on solar absorbance and emittance. In other words, SRI measures the efficiency of your roof in returning energy from the sun back into the atmosphere of your home. The measurement is on a scale of 0 to 100 will cooler roofs having a higher value.
What are the different colorbond roof options?
Colorbond steel roofing sheets are one of the most popular roof choices in Australia and it’s not hard to see why. Manufactured and tested for Australian conditions, Colorbond steel is a suitable and durable material for our country’s environmental conditions.
Bluescope offers a wide colour range with 22 colours currently in their roof sheeting range. With all the colours available, it may seem a little overwhelming. However, don’t be tempted to pick any old colour, as getting this choice right could pay off in the long run. But first, let’s take a look at some of the colour tones available in the Colorbond steel collection.
Colorbond roof colours are being phased out due to changes in energy efficiency regulations
Starting from 1 May 2023, the National Building Code will implement some major changes concerning energy efficiency in Australian homes. Inspired by this, one of the major changes will happen regarding roof colour. Specifically, in climate zones, 1-5 (which includes QLD) roofing restrictions to any colours with a solar absorption over 0.64. It’s estimated this will affect around 70% of colour ranges for tile roofs and 35% of metal roofs will be impacted. These aren’t small percentages, but Colorbond has updated its range to meet these requirements
Colours (solar absorptance in brackets) that won’t meet the requirements include:
- Monument (0.73)
- Night Sky (0.93)
- Jasper (0.67)
- Basalt (0.67)
- Manor Red (0.70)
- Woodland Grey (0.70)
Three colours are being phased out from the Colourbond range:
Colours that do pass under the new changes include:
- Dover White (0.28)
- Classic Cream (0.32)
- Surfmist (0.32)
- Paperbark (0.43)
- Evening Haze (0.43)
- Shale Grey (0.43)
- Southerly (0.40)
- Windspray (0.60)
Again, we should re-iterate that the above applies to Queensland. If you live in the northern states, the National Code changes will be different for you.
Roof colour impacts the temperature inside your home
By absorbing more sunlight, darker roof colours will draw more heat into your home. Whether this is a good or bad thing will depend on what the climate is like in your local area. In somewhere like Queensland, where it’s only really cold for a few months at most, you’ll want a lighter colour to help keep your home cooler. White or lighter colour roofs sometimes will naturally reflect sunrays away from your home, improving your home’s thermal efficiency.
Roof colour can impact energy efficiency
Light-colour roofs are known for their energy efficiency capabilities, especially in warmer areas (which is anywhere in the top half of Australia). The more comfortable your home’s natural temperature is, the less you’ll resort to using air-conditioning and ceiling fans, which will lower your energy bills in the long run.
The big impact of home resale value
Curb appeal is something you ignore at your own peril, especially if you’re planning to resell your home down the line. If your roof doesn’t match the architectural style or colour scheme of the rest of your home, it can have an offputting effect that will lower the value of your house. When it comes to selling your home, looks do matter to most people and these details can make a commercial difference.
Energy efficiency is a pressing concern for new homebuyers and is a feature that can add to the resale value of the home. Roofing products will play a major role in how sunlight affects the temperature of your house. The easier it is for your home to reach a comfortable living temperature regularly, the less you’ll be spending on air-conditioning and heating.
Dark roof colours vs light tonnes
Dark Roof (Warm Roof)
- Better for colder climates
- Rises temperature inside the house
- Reflects around 20% of sunlight
Light roof (Cool roof)
- Better for warmer climates
- Reduces the temperature inside your home.
- Reflects at least 85% of sunlight
Beyond stylistic preferences, the above shows that your choice of colour has a practical impact on your home. The best choice for your home will depend greatly on where you live.
Best Colorbond roof colours for warmer climates:
- Evening Haze
- Shale Grey
- Classic Cream
- Pale Eucalypt
Best Colorbond Steels roof colours for colder climates:
- Cottage Green
- Deep Ocean
- Manor Red
- Night Sky
- Woodland Grey
- Matt Basalt
- Matt Monument
How do I decide what’s best for me?
Your location will play a big role in what colour roof is best for you. For example, in Queensland, it is hot for a much larger proportion of the year than it is cold. Therefore, it’ll be in your best interest to favour lighter colours over darker colours. For new homes, it’ll also be a requirement under the new changes to the NCC.
There are other factors to consider when choosing with your roof colour. One of the most important is the colour of the rest of your house.
Our tips for choosing a roof colour that compliments your home
- In terms of aesthetic appeal, a classic approach is for the roof colour to contrast with the exterior colour tones.
- The roof makes up a large part of your home’s visual exterior. Like when you’re painting your home, remember just because the sample size looks great in the store, it might look completely different when covering the top of your house.
- Make sure your choice of roof materials fits with the architectural style of the rest of your home.
- Check an actual sample of your chosen colour in person rather than just choosing a colour online. Certain screens and photographs can affect colour tones and make them look different from the actual product colours.
- Your roof is your main defence for the outside, so ensure your roofing products can handle your conditions. In terms of colour choice, this means choosing a colour that will best keep your home comfortable.
Get free advice from an experienced building broker
Wondering which of the colorbond colours is right for your home? Choosing the right roof colour is just one of the many decisions you’ll need to make during your building journey. Anyone who has built a house will tell you that it involves a lot of smaller decisions and it can be overwhelming and stressful. The great news is you needn’t go alone. Buidli can help you through every step of your building journey from finding the right builder for your project, to ensuring all the stipulations in your contract are met.