Updating raised ranch exterior

But there is more than meets the eye to the classic suburban ranch.

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.

• Add color with a fresh coat of paint and accent trim.

Others may choose to bump off the back of the house where the deck is situated to create another living area, which is more removed from the bedrooms.

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.

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.

Because so many ranch-style houses were built quickly and with a cookie-cutter formula, the ranch is dismissed by some as simple, ordinary and without style.

Actually some architectural historians say that the design was created by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright.

The history of the raised ranch and its place in the American housing scene, rising from a clever idea to ubiquitous popularity, then to disfavor as a style, is a very interesting, strictly American phenomenon.