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Black House | The Pros & Cons Of Black Siding

There’s an assumption out there that black houses are gloomy and depressing. Some people even say that black siding can make a small and claustrophobic. But nothing could be further from the truth. When black siding is executed properly it has a dramatic effect that’s exciting and full of life. Because black homes have such a stark look they have a much bigger presence than the standard home with neutral siding. Black is a color not often seen on a home’s exterior but when done right it’s a thing of real beauty.

Dark colors add drama and depth, and black siding sends a message that you’re not afraid to be noticed. But it’s a high risk color and very, very bold. Definitely not something we recommend to our average client and it wouldn’t be done to maximize resale values. But if your daring enough to try it then the end product has the potential to be something very special.

black siding on a beautiful small lake house

Black House Design

Because there’s no denying the drama or impact of seeing a black house. It’ll have an effect on you. The color makes a strong visual statement all by itself without the need for a lot of colorful accessories like other house colors do. No white trim, columns or railings needed. No colorful front door or landscaping required. Painting, siding or staining your house black says it all without the need any additional input from other elements.

WE always recommend adding a bit of contrast to any home and black houses are no different. Simple green landscaping and porch plants are what we like best. And the white planters are absolutely perfect. Notice how beautiful these two small, simple green plants look next this this little black lake house. If you put these two plants on any other front porch you may not even notice them sitting there. But on a black house they make a huge statement.

black house facade black siding real wood soffits concrete

Black House Facade

The facade of a black house doesn’t always need to be all black. Just like any other colored home you can mix and match colors, materials and textures throughout the facade as needed. The primary siding  color should always be black but using accent colors is a great way to break up the design.

Black homes look great with other natural materials. Black goes with just about any other color so it’s safe to say almost anything you add will work provided it’s real. Stick to real wood, real metal and real masonry products like stone, brick or concrete. Even other siding materials look great along side black if they’re a real material like metal or fiber cement.

We’d stay away from using vinyl.

modern black houses style real wood black house siding

Modern Black Houses

Modern house designs look great with black.

There’s no denying the drama and effect a black house creates and that same statement is also true of contemporary home design. Put those two design concepts together to create one fabulous looking home. The color makes a strong visual statement and so do the modern, clean lines. It’s definitely a conversation starter, hard to miss and even harder to forget. You either love it or hate it, very few clients land somewhere in between.

Black goes great with green which is why you’ll see so many of the black homes shown throughout this page accented by simple green plants and the surrounding nature. Against natural surroundings, the black facade recedes and focuses attention instead on green foliage. This allows the eye to draw better distinctions among the different shades found throughout nature. Yellow green leaves and blue green leaves appear more varied against black siding, making plantings appear more lush. This makes black homes in a rural environment that much more appealing.

Black Brick Houses

Black naturally looks great with other natural materials like wood, brick, stone, metal or concrete. And it goes really well with green. In a garden or against natural surroundings, the facade a of black brick house will recede and focus attention instead on all that green. This allows all the different shades to really pop. Everything just seams to appear more lush than it ordinarily would.

A house with black brick is even more appealing because the bricks add a lot of texture to the house. Especially when you get up closer to the home where you can see all the small details throughout the bricks.

Multiple shades of black works really well here and it’s what we’d recommend. Notice the lighter shade of black used on the bricks and siding while a really dark shade of black is reserved for the doors and windows. Even if you have an all black house you can still add some contrast here and there to create some depth.

modern house with black siding and real wood

Modern Black House

Black siding lends itself well to a modern home. Here we see black siding with black metal fascia, window and door trim. As we keep saying throughout the article black siding looks great when paired with a mix of textures and other natural materials.

Wood paneling with outdoor tile and raw concrete. Black metal railings. Being set against the backdrop of all that green really helps the home stand out while at the same time accentuating the colors in nature. This is something special an all black modern home can do that few other home styles or colors can match.

The led soffit lighting is a nice finishing touch as is the top strip of real wood. It’s the perfect way to cap the top of these all black walls and ties in nicely with the exposed beams.

modern black metal siding beach house with big glass windows

Contemporary Black Beach House | Black Siding Options

If your looking for some black siding options the consider what we see used on this beautiful all black contemporary beach house. Black metal is a fantastic way to side a house that’s not always considered as a siding option. Most black homes use it as an accent but you rarely see it as the primary siding. But as you can see above it looks great and comes in a variety of shades and finishes.

If you use black metal as your siding option of choice make sure to do what these designers did and vary the finish and shade a bit. If you don’t add some variety the home can appear flat. Here we see a darker shade of black around the windows, doors and around the deck. The siding panels are a few shades lighter and have a slight sheen to them. The darker black trim is very flat.

Even more contrast is added with the aluminum fencing and glass railings.

cabin in the woods with black wood siding

All Black Cabin In The Woods

Choosing to have an all black facade is a bold and brave choice. And this all black cabin in the woods uses that choice with a fantastic outcome. Set lakeside in this peaceful forest setting, the house blends with the surroundings in a seamless way. Most people think black look terrible in a rural setting but exactly the opposite is true. Black isn’t really found anywhere in nature so there’s no clash and tons of natural contrast. The black exterior puts it in harmony with all the elements around it. The colors of the forest are made that much more vibrant when seen around the black cabin.

This real wood siding has been stained black which gives it a lighter, natural tone. The darker black shutters, doors and trim work are all painted so the finish is more opaque with a slight sheen.

The designers used real stone and well manicured landscaping to finish off the house. This is another great choice. Most cabins let the outside grow wild and don’t bother to care for a lawn and landscaping. When you do it’s creates an entirely different look.

black real wood siding closeup pic

Black House With Wood Trim

This real wood siding has been stained black with real wood trim. A mix of shades and finishes has been used to great effect. It’s a good idea to play with a variety of slight color variations and finishes. Even though the siding and trim are all black there’s still a lot you can do.

A much lighter wood soffit with recessed lighting is used here. The light colored soffits really pop against all that black.

I love the orange glow the lights give off at night. You don’t really notice it on a traditional home but against the black the color really stands out. In fast that’s exactly what happens with any colors you use on the house. With a black house any little thing you decorate with really pops.

A black house with wood trim is a smart choice. Black looks great with natural materials which is what wood is. We’d recommend staining rather than painting the trim. Stain can be less opaque which allows for some color variation and textures to bleed through. You don’t see the effect from far away but when up close it really looks nice as you can see here in this closeup photo. From far away the siding and wood trim all looks really black but up close you can see lots of beautiful details in the wood.

Black siding option on a modern home closeup photo

Black Siding Options

Home designers have been steering siding colors away from muted, neutral colors into white with black blamed windows and doors or rich, dark tones. Which includes black. Bold black siding options will most likely never be a mainstream choice you’ll see on every block however when they’re used it has a dramatic effect. But it’s not a simple thing to design and there are some things to be aware of if you’re considering very dark (or black) siding. It’s not as simple as just putting black everywhere and getting a great result.  All black takes some careful thought and planning. And there’s a bunch of different black siding options to consider. 

Here is a list of the most common black siding options.

Black Metal Siding

Black metal is a beautiful siding option generally reserved for trim and accent pieces or on modern homes. Usually only very modern homes use black metal as a primary siding choice. It comes in large panels which are secured to the outside walls over a rain screen. Panels come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The exact color of black can be pretty much whatever you like since the panels are painted. You can also choose from a variety of finishes. Generally speaking flat or a very slight egg shell finish are most common. I’ve never seen anyone use a gloss finish on siding.

Black Wood Siding

Wood siding can either be painted or stained black. If you paint the wood it’s much more opaque and gives a darker, richer black. You get a stronger color but what you lose is the natural grain and textures from the wood coming through.

Stain can be very dark and opaque too. However most stains are on the lighter side which allows the wood grain to show. The black isn’t as deep but up close you can see all those beautiful wood textures bleeding through.

Opaque dark blacks are a bit more modern while lighter black stains have a more rural feel. Both however can be used on a modern style home.

Black Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement is a fantastic siding product that comes in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles. You can buy fiber cement that looks like cedar shake, board and batten or regular horizontal lap. Or you can buy large scale panels that have a more modern appeal. Either way, fiber cement is a painted product so what you get is an opaque, solid black finish. The sheen is generally flat or egg shell.

Since fiber cement is painted you can choose any shade of black you want. Black siding tends to attract more heat which isn’t a problem with fiber cement as it deals with heat extremely well. Some of the other siding products expand and contract which can be a bad thing if it’s excessive but fiber cement doesn’t. No matter how hot or cold it gets, it’s size will remain more or less exactly the same.

Black Vinyl Siding

Black vinyl siding would be a horrible idea. In fact I’m not aware of any manufacturer that currently makes it. You could get it specially made but I don’t know why you would. Black attracts too much heat which would warp and buckle the vinyl badly. If you want an all black house then don’t even consider vinyl as an option.

custom home with black siding and wood siffits

Black Siding Gets Hot

Dark colors gather more heat than lighter colors. This is common knowledge. Where a black shirt in the summer and you’ll get hotter than if you wore white. The reason is black stores heat and light colors reflect some of it. So on products that are prone to changes due to temperature, like expanding, contracting, buckling and warping, or that have low melting points, color choices shouldn’t be super dark. 

Another issue is fading. Most exterior siding products fade. It doesn’t matter if it’s painted, stained, a factory finish or a vinyl product. They all fade in the sun eventually. In other words, when the colors are darker they fade more. And not only do they fade more but the fading is also more noticeable which makes it that much worse. If you’ve got a pale gray siding for example, fading will still make it pale gray. You may not even notice it. But if you’ve got a super dark gray than any fading at all will completely change the sidings look.

If you want a true black, vinyl is a horrible siding option. There are some vinyl options that are fairly dark, but you won’t find a true black. You can get black vinyl siding custom made or paint it but both options will have a bad result. You’d need a special paint for use on vinyl and it’ll probably end up peeling anyway since vinyl isn’t meant to be painted. The color is a part of the actual material itself and in some cases goes all the way through. Not to mention vinyl does terribly with extreme heat which is what happens with black siding.

If you want an all black house stick with metal, wood or fiber cement.

rural forest home with black siding

Black House With Wood Trim

A black house with wood trim is a striking choice for any home style. It’s bold and leaves a lasting impression. It’s impossible not to make a statement with a black exterior and if you’ve ever seen one in person then you’ll know what I mean when I say they’re memorable. Love em or hate em an all black house is hard to ignore. It amplifies modern styling, making hard lines and angles appear even sharper. And it breathes new life into aged or dated home styles that are often considered boring or me too houses.

We generally think that using multiple colors works best at highlighting a homes details. However, an all black house can use a variety of shades of black with different finishes to the same effect. An all black house plays with values rather than using a bunch of colors. Think of seeing a traditional home in black and white. If it’s designed well the different parts will all stand out like they should because the values will be different. They’ll appear to be a variety of gray shades. That’s exactly what your doing when designing an all black house.

Play with different shades and finishes of black to accentuate the trim, fascia, doors, windows etc.

all black and grey house with modern style black garage doors

Modern Black And Grey House With Concrete

A major concern of using a really dark siding color like black is the fear of excessive fading and the maintenance that comes with it. Black doesn’t look great when faded so you’ll have to keep painting or staining to maintain the look. It can be a pain. However, concrete and other masonry materials like brick and stone don’t fade. In fact, most natural materials don’t fade if you leave them in their natural state. Even real wood like Ipe will fade to a greyish color and then stay that way forever. If you like the look of natural materials you never have to worry about color fading because the color they are isn’t manufactured or altered in any way.

Here we see a modern black house with a lot of concrete. The black is used more as an accent color. Going with a home styled this way will require a lot less maintenance. If you like the look of a black house but don’t want to maintain it consider something like this. You’ll still have to paint but not nearly as much.

modern black house with concrete and black siding

Modern Black House With Ipe Siding

It’s important to pick the right finishes with a modern black house. Matte black and high gloss black will give you two very different looks and with a modern home you could use either. Modern style opens up the option of using glossier finishes. With an all black cabin made of wood you really would even consider using anything shiny. Flat, matte black looks great on older homes, cabins, and detailed architecture. But higher gloss finishes suit modern styles very well. Still, use them with care, an all black house with high gloss would look really weird. We like to use higher gloss finishes as an accent. 

Here you can see it used around the windows and doors, fascia and railings. It’s not high gloss but there’s just the right amount of sheen to make it stand out a little from the backdrop. This is exactly what you want. You can use different finishes to create a little more depth.

modern beach house with black siding and ipe

Modern Black House Facade With Wood Trim

Although it’s commonly thought that bright colors make the boldest statement, black, gray and natural color tones can be just as successful at turning heads. Particularly when they’re used together on a home’s facade.

Here we see a beautiful mix of black fiber cement siding panels with white trim. Raw concrete retaining walls with stucco and ipe siding. Ipe garage door and soffit. Black metal panels complete the look be lining the super thick top fascia.

A fantastic mix of black color tones has been used throughout the homes facade with a mix of finishes. Black fiber cement siding is a painted product with a flat finish while the black metal fascia has a slight sheen. Wood has been kept natural with a natural stain and sealant while the concrete is totally raw.

Combining black siding with natural elements provides such a stunning mix of colors and textures it’s hard to forget a home like this once you’ve seen it in person. Pictures don’t really do them justice as you only get one angle and one lighting condition.

These ultra modern style homes look great day and night under a range of lighting conditions and angles.

modern black home with wood siding and trim

Modern Black Home With Wood Siding And Trim

Wood siding can become a beautiful grey tone when allowed to weather which is what we see here. This modern beach house has wood siding and trim which has been left untreated, stained or sealed. That’s what gives it this wonderful coloring and texture. I love how the boards all weather a little but differently which actually gives it a mix of colors. Subtle variations from board to board create an effect you can’t achieve with man made products like paint or siding.

Black trim window and doors finish the modern look.

Similar to a cedar shake home a house like this requires zero maintenance. Just let the wood age naturally and enjoy.

I love the way black homes look at night. The orange glow from the inside lights just looks so stunning against the dark facade and black frames.

stunning black home in the forest on a lake

Black Home Siding With Stone

There a lot of style variations when it comes to black siding. This vertical board and batten is used along side natural stone and real wood trim work. Vertical siding helps a home appear taller which works really well on a ranch since they’re so low to the ground. The vertical siding also plays nicely along the tall thin trees surrounding the home.

A black home just looks so damn good when surrounded by nature. That’s really where black looks it’s absolute best. All the surrounding colors get more vibrant when seen around a home this dark. It’s a stark contrast separating the home from nature.

Stunning all black hillside custom home

All Black Hillside Home With Stone

Most clients tend to play it safe with their exterior colors. But if there’s one color that’s definitely unsafe, it’s black. This hasn’t kept a few daring homeowners from going with black siding like we see above with this stunning black and gray custom hillside home. There’s no denying the drama and power of black houses. The color makes a strong visual statement that needs minimal accessories to look incredible.

Until recently, an all black house exterior was considered fairly edgy. And I guess to a certain extent it still is but the color’s getting more and more accepted every day. Black gives you the opportunity to turn what was once an average me too house into something people stop and stare at. It’s like an attraction grabber on the block. Don’t paint your house black if your not prepared for all the attention it’ll bring. Word of mouth along will turn your house into a hot spot around the neighborhood. People will definitely come check it out.

An all black house is akin to a work of art. Something that pushes back against a long traditional view of houses should look. Design and decoration choices are so often distinguished from art but designing a home can be an artistic undertaking. Just look at falling water and tell me home design isn’t artistic. 

black and gray custom home

Black And Gray Facade Custom Home

Black is still much less common than other muted, neutral tones on the exterior of homes. But it’s definitely a growing trend among clients building a custom home for themselves. Seeing a black house online or especially in person gives people the confidence to try it themselves. While we still wouldn’t recommend siding a house all black if your building a spec home for resale and black and gray home like the one shown above could work.

There’s less potential for a bad investment with black these days. With so many options to choose from and gray being such an in style color at the moment you really can’t go wrong. A black and gray house will stand out in a crowded real estate market that’s filled with tans, blues, greens and other safe color choices. The standard neutral colored siding with white trim and a colorful front door is still definitely the norm, but it’s not for everyone.

Another benefit of a gray and black facade is pricing. These homes stand out more and are considered more modern. Special almost. Which is why they command a slightly higher price tag. With a home like this you can test the high end of the market rather than having to settle somewhere in the middle. It takes something special to get the higher price points and this is a simple way to do it without actually spending any more money to build the home.

black real wood siding on a modern home

Real Wood Black Siding

A black house wasn’t always considered such a bold choice. Centuries ago, houses were black for more practical reasons. Traditional methods of preserving and protecting wood resulted in a blackened look. This includes the Japanese practice of shou sugi ban among other centuries old methods.

Shou sugi ban, known as yakisugi in Japanese, involves charring wood to leave a blackened layer on one side of the lumber thus rendering the wood pest, fire, and weather resistant. This is at a time when natural means were used to preserve wood rather than using chemicals like we do today. Used primarily to protect against fire which is a great idea when you live in an all wood house without significant sources of water.

The technique dates back to the 18th century but is enjoying a resurgence today among designers which value the rich look shou sugi ban creates. Shou sugi ban has become so trendy there are even lumber suppliers who sell precharred lumber. However if you want to char it yourself you can do it on site with a specially prepared blow torch. The torch will blacked the wood without burning it or setting it on fire.

Modern Black And Grey House Facade

A black and grey facade makes a house feel exclusive. With a black house your a part of a pretty small club. Black is among the least common colors used for siding however it’s at the same time one of the nicest. Why are muted, neutral siding colors so prevalent in the housing industry? It’s because they’re safe choices. Picking exterior colors is a challenge that many homeowners struggle with. When it comes house colors, the options are seemingly endless and very few clients actually give black a consideration.

Did you know you can be muted, neutral and black all at the same time. Black is a neutral that goes with just about anything and the grays that go with it provide the muted part. Reference the photo above. A muted gray color palette with black siding and accents allows the architectural design of the house to really shine.

Black Siding With White Trim

Black siding with white trim just go so well together. White trim really stands out against the black siding like no other color can. They’re on complete apposite ends of the spectrum that when used together can’t help but make an impact.

Modern Black And Gray Custom Home

Another example of a beautiful black and gray custom home with modern styling. Great use of raw concrete and real stone with black siding.

Modern Black Home With Real Wood

Maybe my favorite use of a black facade is real wood. Just let it age and enjoy. I like using natural elements on a home as much as possible without the use of paints, stains and chemicals. Even treated wood used on decks looks so artificial to me. Using real wood and letting it age natural has a beauty man made products just can’t match.

You don’t have to do a thing to this house as far as maintenance is concerned. In fact any maintenance at all would just ruin the look.

The black framed windows and doors are perfect and add to the modern aesthetic.

Conclusion

If you’re thinking about siding your home black good luck and be careful. We love the look but it’s super bold and has to be done just right.

We hope a few of the pics we’ve shown above inspire you to create a spectacular looking home. Check back, we update these pages with new pics all the time as we get them. If you’ve got any pics you’d like us to showcase send them over.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail us any time. We’d love to hear from you.

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