"When you saw purple, it was not a bright Barney purple," she says.
Bright metal roofs — most often red or green — are better suited for farmhouse-style homes, or used over small structures like porticos or bay windows. Steel blue is more European.
Colored roofs are also starting to crop up on "new American-style" homes, which Smith describes as combining popular styles and materials — perhaps, say, a stone and brick exterior with a copper roof.
The demand for colored roofs led DaVinci Roofscapes of Kansas City, Kan., to create faux slate and shake (wooden shingle) roofing in 49 colors "so homeowners can mix and match those if they want to get really creative," says the company's Wendy Bruch.
DaVinci's palette is based on the naturally occurring colors seen on historically accurate roofs, she says. But custom colors are increasingly popular, too.
"There can be some crazy things going on because we can create new colors," Bruch says.
DaVinci has worked with customers to create colors ranging from a chateau blue for a French provincial-style house to a green that matched the color on a metal roof with weather-related damage.
Many customers appreciate help picking the right shades, Bruch says. "It can make it confusing for the homeowner when you have too many options," she says.
For Knoff, the risk of installing a colored roof was well worth taking.
"We absolutely love it," she says. "When you see our house, it really stands out. But Victorians are supposed to be homes that stand out."