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Updating Your California Ranch Home

Updated on September 24, 2011
Brentwood, Los Angeles - Ranch home on a large corner lot. Ideal as horse property.
Brentwood, Los Angeles - Ranch home on a large corner lot. Ideal as horse property. | Source

A Brief History:

The California Ranch House is a single story house often built by the masses as tract home developments in the 1940s and 50s, but remained popular until the late sixties. They were built as modest developments and by today's style are considered bland if innovative, Tender Loving Care (TLC) is not applied. The larger homes are often an ‘L’ or ‘U’ shape layout.


Choose two or three colors: one field color for the exterior if your house is stucco or wood paneling. Brick and stone elements look best in their natural state, but if you have a combination of slate, stone or brick and some stucco, a field color is still a good choice. The second color is something contrasting for the trims around windows or columns and other architectural elements. The third color is ideal for a focal point like a front door (See picture below).


Upgrading from inefficient single pane windows to new double pane windows will make a huge difference in curb appeal, not to mention interior appeal and energy efficiency. It is also a big tax deductible. If you have a newer home or newer windows but things still look a little blah or cookie cutter with along with your neighbors home, consider painting the trim a bold, dark or even white color to make a significant contrast and adding exterior shutters and a window box planter with ‘color spot’ flowers like inpatients, petunias.


Landscaping can transform the look of an outdated ranch house to a huge wow factor to any passerby. You have a big advantage if your single story 1200 square foot house is on a huge lot (See photo above). This Brentwood House is on horse property, but the landscaping makes the house look very upscale. Trees planted at the side will make the house look wider; lots of tall trees will take on a private secluded feel, colorful shrubs with and lushness. Not only will it upgrade your property value, you can completely control privacy, light and shade. This is great solution for keeping at least part of your house cool in hot summers.


Resurfacing, staining a concrete driveway or paving a walkway or building a raised plant bed although this is a more expensive route to go than plants and paint. Also large decorative plant pots and wooden planters create a good focal point. Building a nice fence around your property will upgrade the value of your property especially if you are on a corner lot.


· Major paint companies have on-line software before choosing a color scheme. Use this on-line software to help you make a choice

· Make sure you are within ordinance of your community especially if you are in a historic area, HOA or Planning department approval might be required.

Beautiful red door focal point. Before and after.
Beautiful red door focal point. Before and after. | Source


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