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How Do I Choose the Best Home Exterior Paint Colors?

Before painting a house, consider what the selected paint scheme will look like with the surrounding neighborhood.
Siding and trim offer an opportunity for creativity when painting a house's exterior.
Article Details
  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 12 December 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Choosing the best home exterior paint colors can be a fun project, as there are limitless options to paint the siding and trim of your home. The first thing to consider is, if you live in a development, community, or national park area, there may be restrictions on the colors you may use, so be sure to check your property guidelines. You might also look around your neighborhood to see the home exterior paint colors that your neighbors have used, if you want your house to blend well into its surroundings. The region of the world in which you live might also influence your choices; some areas are much more prone to painting houses bright colors, whereas others are more muted.

These are just a few of the considerations when choosing home exterior paint colors. Keep in mind that lighter colors may reflect light better from your home, whereas darker colors may attract light. This may not seem like a big deal, but it might make a difference in the way your home is heated or cooled, and may affect utility bills. Lighter colors will tend to make a home cooler, while darker colors tend to make it warmer inside. In addition, consider how your home will look if and when the colors fade, and how frequently you want to repaint. Neutral, muted colors will not need to be tended as frequently as brighter or darker colors.

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Certain developments or national areas preserved for scenic value place limitations on the home exterior paint colors that homeowners can use. This is to ensure that the view is preserved, or that the community blends in with its surroundings. Usually, these colors include earth tones, such as beiges, dark greens, and browns. Other neighborhoods may have extremely strict homeowner's associations that attempt to regulate home exterior paint colors as well; both of these can affect and limit your available choices.

Some homeowners simply prefer to match their homes to the surrounding ones, even if there aren't any regulations requiring this, and will take cues from the paint colors used on nearby homes for selecting colors and trim. Others do not care about this and want their home to stand out. In that case, home improvement stores or magazines can be excellent sources of inspiration for paint colors. They often present ideas for color combinations or painting ideas that you may not have considered on your own. Paint stores also offer a number of samples and color ideas that may inspire you to try something new.

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