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A New Roof for Our 1980s Contemporary Home Exterior

A New Roof for Our 1980s Contemporary Home Exterior

Transforming a house into a home can be quite the journey, one that often involves numerous phases. We completed the first phase of our 1980s contemporary home exterior makeover last year, with new siding, a fresh coat of paint, and modern light fixtures. It was quite the dramatic transformation, but there was still one essential piece of the puzzle missing – the roof. When we first moved in, our home sported a taupe painted cedar exterior with a brown roof. We knew that we would put off replacing the roof as long as we possibly could. However, fate intervened last August when an expected hailstorm damaged most of the roofs in our neighborhood. We were lucky enough to receive some insurance coverage that we put towards replacing our roof sooner than later.

1980s contemporary style house cedar siding west des moines
Our House When We Moved In

This was how our house looked after wrapping up the first renovation phase with the new LP Smart Side, painted exterior in Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore, and new contemporary light fixtures.

80s contemporary home sherwin-williams iron ore black magic door fall mums
The First Phase of the Exterior Renovation

For the new roof shingles, we had limited options due to insurance being involved. I chose a soft black textured style. In the photos below, which I took during the Fall, you can see the impact of the new roof on the overall look.

Dark Exterior with New Black Roof
Front Door with This Year’s Mums

I think the black shingle roof feels much more cohesive with the Iron Ore siding than the brown shingles did. The house feels much more cohesive and harmonious because the black doesn’t fight with the dark charcoal the way that the brown did. The brown roof called attention to itself whereas the black roof blends in.

One final consideration that influenced my choosing a black roof was the potential for future solar panels. That dramatic pitch over our garage faces south and would be the perfect place to add solar panels. But I definitely would not love the look of solar panels on a light colored roof, and they will blend in more seamlessly with the darker shingles.

After a whole year with our dark painted exterior, we still love it. My favorite part about the color has been seeing how the color of the foliage pops against it at various times of the year. In the back of the house, we have gorgeous hydrangeas and hosta along the side facing our covered patio. The green is so much more intense against the Iron Ore than it ever was when the house was taupe colored.

Choosing this monochromatic dark palette for our 1980s contemporary home was a bit of a risk, but I think it paid off. I would highly recommend this approach to anyone who has a home with similar architecture. With this contemporary style of home that was so popular in the late 70s and early 80s, the low contrast palette simply makes sense since many of them were originally natural cedar. With the new roof addition, we wrapped up all of the major renovations on the exterior of our house. Next up, a major interior renovation including our dated 80s kitchen, back entry, and laundry room!

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Desirae Loya-Hemmis

Saturday 23rd of March 2024

It looks great! Can you share specifics for the roof type/color/maker? Thank you!


Sunday 21st of April 2024

@Desirae Loya-Hemmis, yes, please. can you share specifics for the roof type/color/maker? Thank you!

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