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Should You Paint Your House Black?

It’s no secret that black exteriors are trending bigtime. If you’ve fallen in love with this design choice, you might be wondering “should I paint my house black?”. The short answer: yes, if you want! The long answer: there are a few factors you might want to consider before you call up your painter. If you’re someone who likes to know all the details before you make a choice, we’re here to answer all your burning questions about this hot new home trend.

1) Will it make my electric bill skyrocket?

This is by far the most common question we see regarding choosing a dark color for a home’s exterior. The rule of thumb is that having a darker exterior can make the home more expensive to cool, and less expensive to heat. It also can cause the house to heat more quickly during the day, but cool more quickly at night. Black homes have been historically popular in cooler climates for their ability to retain heat during the winter months.

If you live in a warmer region, like the southernmost areas of the U.S, don’t despair. Despite the general rule that dark exteriors = hot in the summer, we see tons of our Southern clients going with black paint for their new builds. If you’re dead set on participating in this trend and you live in a warm region, it’s still worth discussing with your builder & contractor how you can make your home as efficient as possible to keep cooling costs down. Our clients built this stunning version of Modern Farmhouse Plan #51814HZ in South Carolina and provided some insight into how they prioritized efficiency when choosing a black exterior:

For everyone wondering about the color of the home and the utility bill- We have a hybrid insulation system. Starts with the encapsulated crawl space, blown in blanket (bibs) in the first floor exterior walls, and spray foam on the entire 2nd floor and roof deck. The utility bill is actually cheaper than our previous home, which was twice as small.

– @building51814insc

2) Won’t it fade super fast?

Black paint can fade more quickly than lighter colors, so if you’re thinking of choosing a dark color, be prepared you may need to repaint your home more frequently. This being said, there are things you can do to prevent your black exterior from fading super quickly. Anti-Fade UV resistant paint is a great option, and the technology has improved in recent years. Popular options include Sherwin Williams SuperPaint and Behr Marquee. You can also consider the placement of trees when trying to combat fading. Using landscaping to block the sun’s rays, or making sure one part of your home isn’t in direct sunlight while the rest is shaded can help to prevent uneven fading.

3) Is it too trendy? Will it make my home hard to sell?

While considering resale value is definitely important, it’s also important to build your home for YOU. Having a black house may not be right for everyone, but if it makes you happy, paint it black! This said, there are also definitley aesthetic pros to having a black exterior. The dark color will pop against greenery, and can make your home stand out in the neighborhood. Mixed with the right combination of materials, having a black exterior can really elevate the curb appeal of your property. And don’t forget – if you decide in 5 years that black doesn’t suit your style anymore, you can always repaint.

Getting Started

A great way to kickstart your black exterior is by comparing some paint swatches. Make sure you sample different colors on multiple areas of your house – the undertone of the paint can come across differently depending on the level of sunlight or shade each section of the home is exposed to throughout the day. To make your paint search easier, we compiled 5 of the most popular shades of black from our client’s builds.

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