How to Update the Exterior on a Raised Ranch

Belle Palladino

The Raised Ranch is a domestic vernacular that was popular in American suburbia in the 1970s. With its entrance on the ground floor and the main living area a full flight of stairs up, this reconfiguration of the Ranch was used when subterranean construction was impossible or impractical, according to SplitLevel.net. Because of the ground level foundation and era in architecture when they were built, Raised Ranch exteriors often lack a connection with their surroundings and a modern appearance. Update a Raised Ranch's exterior by following these basic guidelines and implementing some simple techniques.

Simple changes can update a Raised Ranch's exterior.
  1. Look through websites, books and magazines and learn more about Raised Ranch exterior design. Expanding your knowledge base will give you a wider range of sources to pull from and help you figure out what looks you like.

  2. Analyze the existing exterior and visualize what the new exterior will look like. Are the original architectural details still in place? Have any of the exterior elements fallen into disrepair? Are there distinct architectural features you want to preserve or feature?

  3. Remove dated architectural elements. Wrought iron railings, aluminum storm doors and aluminum awnings scream 1970s suburbia. To achieve an updated exterior, replace outdated architectural features with new and modern alternatives. For example, remove an old steel front door and replace it with a wood one.

  4. Add a fresh coat of paint or new siding to the exterior. Paint is the cheapest, fastest and most dramatic way to refresh a home's exterior.

  5. Replace the windows. By converting the old windows to a traditional colonial style, the Raised Ranch can take on the appearance of a Colonial home. In addition to modernizing the facade of the Raised Ranch, the new windows will also contribute to the efficiency of the home.

  6. Add attractive extras, such as shutters or window boxes. Features such as these can dramatically improve the modern curb appeal of a Raised Ranch home.

  7. Update the landscaping to tie the home to its environment. Because a Raised Ranch home's foundation is at grade, this style of home is a difficult vernacular to tie to its environment. Create a smooth transition between the outdoors and indoors by selecting a cohesive landscape design. Consider adding a tree between the street and home to break up the monolithic facade and provide privacy.

  8. Revitalize hardscapes. Decks, walkways and steps set the tone of a home and they can also be small renovation projects that make big impacts. Increase the modern curb appeal of the Raised Ranch by staining the concrete, adding slate or modernizing railings.