Updating your ranch style home

Fortunately, visual interest is just a series of DIY improvements away.Here are five ways to improve the ranch style’s exterior, transforming it from blah to beautiful.Some typical architectural characteristics of the style include: • Low-pitched gable roof and deep-set eaves. • Large sliding glass doors leading out to a patio. • Openness, few interior walls and efficient use of space.• Traditional single story (raised ranch and split level have several floors). • Natural materials: oak flooring, wood or brick exterior. Let’s look at some remodeling ideas to add charm, character and curb appeal to the exterior of your ranch-style home: • Create a focal point over your entryway with a prominent gable.Q My husband and I have been living in our ranch home since the 1970s, and we are finally ready to do some upgrading to make it a little more current. The earth-hugging prairie-style houses pioneered by Frank Lloyd Wright and the popular California bungalow styles paved the way for the ranch. The informal ranch style evolved from several 20th century styles.• Add color with a fresh coat of paint and accent trim.• Replace outdated siding with fiber cement board, stucco, stone veneer, brick or a combination of two or three.

Y., that needed a touch of redesign magic to make it a home for a growing family.

Now, after 40-some years out of trend, the open, one-story style is gaining favor once more.

Younger and first-time home buyers are revisiting ranch design, drawn by the appeal of an informal and laid-back layout and the typical affordability of these mid-century homes.

Architect Cliff May is credited with building the first ranch-style home in San Diego in 1932, followed by California real estate developer Joseph Eichler’s mass-produced version that become so popular in the 1950s.

After World War II, simple and economical ranch-style homes were mass-produced to meet the housing needs of returning soldiers and their families.