How to choose the color of your facade ? Are we free to do what we want ?

Do you want to repaint the facade of your house? If you are hesitant about the choice of color, be aware that certain rules apply to you. The color of your facade must respect local obligations in terms of town planning. Once these constraints are known, the choice of color will respect aesthetic and practical criteria.

The choice of harmony and identity

If rules are imposed on you in the choice of colors, it is first of all a concern of harmony. The facade being the most visible part of a house, its appearance must respect an aesthetic coherence with the neighborhood. The harmony of a district, a village or an area depends on a certain unity of style. The color of the facade being a strong element of this unit, its regulation is essential when you own a property.

If the public authorities impose this harmony of style in a territory, it is also to respect its identify cultural. When you travel to France, the architectural style marks the passage of the regions. Ocher facades in the south, white houses in the center, red brick walls in the north, pastel colors of Alsatian houses, etc. Each region has its own identity and style. This appears in France as a sufficiently valuable cultural element to be protected by legal obligations.

First of all locales, these rules vary greatly from one municipality to another. This is why your first step should be to consult the regulations of the municipality where the house is located. Whether you want to repaint your facade or remove the coating that covers it, do not change anything before knowing the legal obligations. These rules are strict. They would require you to redo everything if you had not chosen the right color…

Before repainting your facade: 3 mandatory steps

Consult the Local Urbanism Plan

The PLU of your municipality is a mine of information. By consulting it, you will discover the rules in force concerning your facade. In particular, it mentions the mandatory colors in your neighborhood or village. This document allows you to know if your house is classified, or if it is located in a protected area… These are cases where the obligations in terms of facade are much more restrictive. The PLU will offer you to choose the color of your facade from an imposed color chart. Attention, obligations also concern the frames present in the facade. If you live in a subdivision, consult the specifications of the subdivision to find out the imposed style.

Find out more from the CAUE in your region.

The Council of Architecture, Town Planning and the Environment gives you all the details on the rules of harmony to be respected in your municipality. It informs you about the traditional colors of your territory. It also specifies the possible color associations between the different elements of the facade (shutters, balustrade, door and gate). The consultation of the CAUE website, totally free, gives you all the keys to choose the color of your facade while respecting its environment. The same applies to removing a facade plaster to leave the stones exposed, or modifying the type of plaster… Because anything that changes the appearance of your facade must comply with town planning rules.

File a preliminary declaration of work

Once you have chosen the color of your facade in full knowledge of the rules, you must inform the town hall of your municipality. Get closer to the town planning services. The declaration of works is compulsory for the painting of a facade. After submitting your request for work at the town hall, respect a deadline of one month before launching the site, the time that the town hall validates your project. The absence of a response after this deadline is deemed to be acceptance.

Is your house classified or located in a classified area? Things get a little complicated. The declaration of works must be accompanied by an application for a building permit. In addition, the agreement of the architect of the Buildings of France will be required. This is the case if your house is classified as a historic monument or listed in the additional inventory of MOs, or if it is located near a listed building.

For style: 4 ways to choose the right color

Now that you know the regulations in force, your choice of color can respect other aesthetic and practical criteria. Moreover, even if your municipality does not impose any particular rules on you, it is better to preserve the harmony of your district. Choose a color that will allow you to integrate your house into its environment, for the pleasure of the eyes…

What is the architectural style of your home?

The color palette differs depending on the style or age of your home. A contemporary house requires neutral colours, often light, such as white, beige, grey… On the contrary, old houses, of the traditional type, allow themselves more intense and often more varied colours. You must also take into account the type of coating of your facade. The materials that dress the facade are not all colored in the same way.

How is your house oriented?

If your facade is exposed to the south, in a very sunny region, avoid bright or dark colors. They will quickly fade, giving your facade a dull and faded appearance. In this kind of situation, it is better to opt for light colors. Not to mention that a clear paint, which reflects solar radiation instead of absorbing it, will have a significant thermal effect. But don’t go all-out white; it is messy and too dazzling in the summer.

Pay attention to the other elements of the facade

Your facade and its visual environment has certain elements, some of which cannot be painted. Remember to harmonize the color of the facade with these elements. The frames, shutters or doors can be painted in a contrasting way. Other elements must be taken into consideration: roof, brick or stone window frames, terrace, etc. It is better to take into account the general aesthetic mood when choosing the color of the facade. The golden rule is to limit the number of colors on a façade to three.

Integrate the facade into its natural environment

A house located in the shade of many trees can be painted in light tones. Its facade appears brighter in contrast to the shaded environment. By the sea, a facade can be dressed in blue or green. In a lush garden, you can choose orange, ochre, red colors, which will give the facade a warm and welcoming dimension. You can also prefer neutral colors, beige or gray, to blend your house discreetly into the landscape. It is also a question of taste and desired atmosphere.

And if you would have liked to give more color to your facade, but the rules prevent you from doing so, don’t worry. You can add colorful notes to your facade by playing on small decorative elements, such as curtains or flower pots. Guaranteed vitamin effect.

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