Yesterday I started talking a little bit about one of the hardest things to choose on a building – colors. This is one of those subjects where I feel totally out of my element, but because we get so many folks asking “what color should I choose for….?”, I feel I can share some of the basic “how to’s” I’ve learned over the years. It has always amazed me in the thousands of sales I’ve personally been involved with, how many folks really struggle over this one last “choice” on their pole building kit: colors. And it’s not just the women who hem and haw over which colors to put where, which trims to match the roof or siding, and will almond or white doors and windows match better?
Whether you choose wood, steel, or vinyl for siding, and shingles, steel or tile for roofing, the first consideration is that your building’s roofing material, siding and trim can all be different colors. By using a highly contrasting trim against the siding, definition is created at corners and openings. Most of the time, (and I do say “most”), trim around the roof matches the roof. But it doesn’t have to!
Accent panels can be used on the walls to bring out trim colors.
Want the corners to stand out? Have the first steel panel at each corner be the same color as the trim. Industrial or shop buildings often do this. It just helps to make them appear not so “plain”. A variation on this is to skip to the second panel of the walls to match the trim.
Afraid your building will look too tall? If you don’t plan on insulating the walls, polycarbonate eave lights on sidewalls make your building look shorter. Wainscot can do this too.
What is wainscot? This is where the lower three feet (approximately) of your building is a different color than the upper wall areas of the building, and often the wainscot matches either the roof or the corner trim color. Wainscot can also be done in brick or stone, for a richer look. It also guards heavily against any damages should a lawnmower pick up a stone or sharp object poking holes in the siding.
Trims do not have to all be the same color. We have had people use as many as three or four different color trims on one building. Every single time I see someone pick more than one color for trim, my eyes start to glaze over…only to be truly awed when I see the result. Obviously my place is not in color design!
Accent basic colors with brightly colored doors. Besides basic white, overhead and entry doors often come in other colors. Be sure to get doors which are not merely “primed” but factory painted. Most doors are only warrantied for 30 days after you install them (if only primed). So if you buy primed doors, the best thing to do is paint these doors before you install them – and then they can be painted a color of your own choosing. My solution for one of my own pole buildings was to take my 3 entry doors to a body shop specializing in painting cars. They did a great job and my bright red doors are a standout against the white siding.
Agricultural building? Sliding door steel can be a different color than the siding. Dutch doors for horse stalls are available in more than a dozen colors! Panels for crossbucks can come painted with many color choices as well.
Bottom line – your building’s appearance is your opportunity to express yourself and your individuality, so my advice is….go wild! I love my red doors on my shop!
Check out the Paint a Building feature on our website to play around with color combinations. You can click on the paint can on our website home page, or click here to play with building colors:
Or email us for a color chart.
Color me – Mike