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How to Update and Improve Raised Ranch Houses

Image: A classic raised ranch house Are you a homeowner, buyer, seller, or flipper looking to enhance and upgrade your property? Look no further! The Refreshed Home is here to provide you with expert advice...

Raised Ranch House Image: A classic raised ranch house

Are you a homeowner, buyer, seller, or flipper looking to enhance and upgrade your property? Look no further! The Refreshed Home is here to provide you with expert advice on how to best improve your home. In this series, we will explore different styles of properties and how to update them effectively. Today, let's focus on the timeless raised ranch house.

The Allure of Raised Ranch Houses

Raised ranch houses have a distinct charm. These single-story homes are built on a raised, partially above-ground foundation and feature a unique floor plan. You'll often find a half staircase leading up to the living space and another half staircase leading down to a finished basement.

Originating in Southern California in the 1930s, raised ranch houses gained popularity as an affordable upgrade from basic starter houses. In the post-war era of affluence, people could afford to travel further for larger plots of land, and these houses became the ideal choice.

Embracing the Linear and Practical

The raised ranch house is known for its boxy and practical design. While it offers great value, the original incarnation lacked excitement. However, these houses come with spacious rooms adorned with hardwood floors. Exteriors typically feature a combination of materials such as stucco, stone, brick, and shingles or siding for the living level.

Exterior Update Image: Updating the exterior can have a significant impact

Exterior Updates for Maximum Impact

If you're looking to sell or stay in your raised ranch house, updating the exterior will yield the highest return on investment. Consider the following improvements:

Changing the Fenestration

Consult with an architect to reimagine the exterior entry and replace any outdated or inefficient windows. This step can completely transform the look of your home.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

Using an organic color palette, refresh the exterior with a new coat of paint. Consider adding or changing the facing on the exposed foundation or chimney to create a cohesive and modern look.

Landscaping Makeover

Engage a landscape architect to enhance your hardscapes such as the driveway and walkway. They can also help create or update backyard entertaining spaces and breathe new life into your property with carefully selected plantings.

Kitchen and Bath Updates

While kitchen and bath renovations are impactful, they are also costly and time-consuming. If you plan to sell your house within the next six months, it may not be a wise investment. However, if you have a longer timeline, it's worth considering. Evaluate your competition and consult with your real estate agent to make an informed decision based on your short and long-term goals.

For simpler and more affordable upgrades, think WHITE! In smaller rooms, incorporating white surfaces closest to your face can brighten and expand the space:

  • Remove wallpaper, pastels, ruffles, fussy patterns, and complicated window treatments.
  • Paint kitchen cabinets, wood-stained trim, moldings, and doors white.
  • Visit a local stone yard to price out a new countertop and update the look of your kitchen.
  • Replace old vanities with new ones that come with tops. Add a fresh white shower curtain and a simple frameless medicine cabinet to complete the transformation.
  • If your bathrooms have colored tubs or toilets, consider reglazing the tub to white and replacing the toilet with a white, comfort height model. This can be done for around $1000.

Other Updates to Consider

If your raised ranch house still has walls separating the kitchen and dining room, consider removing or partially opening them up. This can create a more open and contemporary feel. Additionally:

  • Swap out the typical builders' wrought iron railing with a more current design. Consider adding a knee wall to separate the living room from the entry for added privacy.
  • Upgrade any old, hollow-core doors with more substantial counterparts to elevate the overall look and feel of your home.
  • Are your lighting fixtures from this century? If not, it's time to replace them with modern options that match the style of your home.

Modern Updates Image: Simple updates can bring your raised ranch house into the modern era

By following these tips and making thoughtful updates, you can transform your raised ranch house into a stunning and contemporary home. Don't be afraid to get creative and consult with professionals to ensure you achieve the best results. Happy renovating!