1. Ride around the neighborhood
It may seem ridiculously obvious, but riding around your neighborhood to get inspiration for your new roof is a good idea for a number of reasons. First of all, just noticing the aesthetic appeal of certain roof materials or colors can help you in forming preferences for whatever you want on your house. In addition, you can judge how certain materials might hold up to the weather conditions in your area. Perhaps a neighbor chose a cedar shingle for their roof and now it appears moldy and waterlogged from the excessively humid environment you live in. Seeing a roof in real life is the only way you will see a true 3-dimensional image and doing so gives you a great idea of the textures that various materials give to a roof. Heavy asphalt composite or fiberglass tiles made to resemble slate or shake can add a rich look to a home, but may not be right for some architectural styles. For example, a flat, smooth roof might appeal more to you if your home is a contemporary design. Finally, why not ask your neighbor how they like their roof and whether or not they’ve experienced problems maintaining it? For sure, one way of getting ideas for your new roof is to just get in the car or on your bike… and go!
2. Get on Pinterest
Pinterest is a gigantic collection of images of everything from everywhere. In fact, there are billions of pictures on Pinterest! As the name implies, people “pin” things that they’re “interest”-ed to their board(s). A board is just like a folder within your account.
Among Pinterest’s plethora of pictures are a treasure trove of roof images. When you create your Pinterest account, you can define different boards. You then search Pinterest using keywords, similar to how a Google search works. When you find roof samples you like within Pinterest, you can pin them to your Pinterest page, and to one of the specific boards you created. If you find a picture from anywhere outside of the Pinterest app, you can easily share it to Pinterest. For example, you found a cedar shake roofing material that you liked while searching Google. Tap the share icon. Then, as long as you have the Pinterest app already downloaded, select Pinterest from your displayed apps and you’re good to go – the Google Image will save to your Pinterest page! What’s even more fun it that other users can find your saved pictures and save them to their own boards. If you prefer, you can make your board private so no one can see what’s in it.
3. Use Houzz
Houzz is pronounced like “house” with a “z.” Unlike Pinterest with its images of everything from everywhere, Houzz only has images of things related to home and decor; interior and exterior. Plus, Houzz is great for use on both desktop computers and mobile devices. Most of the images are professional quality, but you can add your own images as well, similar to the way Pinterest works. Search “roof ideas” and you’ll get over 37,000+ results. Narrow your search to “shingle roofs” and you’ll get 110,000+. “Cedar shake roofs” will further narrow down to 70,000+ results. What’s unique about Houzz is that many of the images are tagged with little price tag icons. By clicking on a price tag icon, users can find out product details, specifications, manufacturer information, pricing, and they can add the item to a shopping cart! Project images may also contain contractor information, such as the architect or builder responsible for the work. Houzz lets you create “Idea Books” similar to “boards” in Pinterest.
With Houzz, you can also connect with architects, designers, and contractors. There are helpful articles and videos about home design and decor, as well
4. Check out Instagram
Instagram is the world’s second most popular social media platform next to Facebook. Unlike Houzz, Pinterest and Facebook, Instagram is totally image-driven. If you need ideas for your new roof. Search using hashtags followed by keywords, such as #roofing or #asphaltroofing. (Hint: Don’t use spaces in between words in your hashtag search.) As you peruse all the hashtag results from your search, click into any of those results to view the images which others around the world hashtagged “#roofing.” it’s that easy.
To give you an idea of Instagram’s popularity, there are over 800,000 images associated with the hashtag #roofing, but not all of those will be roof images, so you will want to make your hashtags more specific, i.e. # Now, if you what to save any of the roof images you see, you can create a “collection” and save multiple images within it. Your collection is equivalent to a “board” in Pinterest or and “Idea book” in Houzz. Your collections are private and no one else can see them. Alternatively, the images you post, such as pictures you take with your phone or images you find online and share to Instagram, end up on your profile where others can see them and request to follow you if they like your style! While Instagram is that is designed to drive engagement with images, much the same as Houzz and Pinterest do, Instagram doesn’t accommodate your text inputs, such as descriptions, notes or captioning that you might want to put on images.
5. Download iRoofing!
Property owners can use iRoofing for free. Contractors who actually subscribe to the software have many tools for managing a roofing project, but homeowners can use limited features free of charge which include viewing roofing material from every leading manufacturer. It’s the only comprehensive, digital catalog available. The app saves you time and frustration by guiding you to the materials that are available in your state. So, if you saw a roofing material you loved on Houzz, it’s going to behoove you to check its availability in your area by looking it up in iRoofing. Next, if the product is available in your state, make sure your contractor carries it. With the free version of the iRoofing app for homeowners (available on iPad, Android tablets and for Android phones) shop by every material type, as well as. Roofing categories include:
- Asphalt Shingle
- Metal Roofing
- Clay Tile
- Composite Tile
- Slate and Shake
- Roof Coatings
Once you choose a roofing category, you can shop each manufacturer’s product lines. When you see something that appeals to you, you can mark it as a favorite and share it with your contractor via text or email messaging. You’ll know you’re spending time shopping for materials that are actually available in your area. iRoofing can be used as a stand-alone solution for browsing and sharing roof materials, or as a great companion to one of the social media platforms mentioned in this blog.