Creative Ideas to Remodel the Exterior of a Ranch House

Every ranch house can look more contemporary with exterior upgrades. Changing siding materials, the front facade and landscaping updates the curb appeal. New, contemporary paint colors are important as well. By reviewing new homes being built, it's easier to make appropriate choices for materials and colors. Drive around neighborhoods in your city to see what's current. Notice how brick, stucco and siding are combined in various patterns. Look at special features you find appealing to see if you can incorporate them in your new design.

Review Materials and Designs

Cedar shakes and a bay window make a plain ranch house fancier.

Figure out the basic materials and color schemes you desire. Look through home design books and magazines to get ideas. You might plan to add cream-color exterior siding and light gray stucco, for example. Sketch various ways to add cedar siding, stacked stone or brick veneer. Combine two or three materials for a unique look that will make the home appear newly built.

Change the Shape of the Roof and Front Porch

Plan changes in exterior facades and roof lines. Add different windows, such as round or bay, French doors or larger overhangs. Consider a new porch design. Add cedar shakes to the existing porch roof and new railings. Build on a larger porch to give better curbside appeal, if the old porch looks too small or is dating the house.

Select Roof and Fireplace Materials

Add new roofing and a stone chimney. Install a high-quality textured asphalt roof or a metal roof. Build a stone chimney for a real wood-burning fireplace or a fireplace chimney for gas logs. Use cut stones installed by a professional stone mason to add significant market value to the house. Avoid any use of faux stones, because this can actually subtract value.

Special Touches and Landscaping

Make exterior amenities and landscaping more impressive. Install wider shutters, a wider walkway and detailed landscaping. Cover the walkway with high-quality paving stones or bricks. Add a couple of lantern-type post lights at the front walkway. Install a wrought-iron reproduction fence across the front of the property for an elegant look or low vinyl fencing for a more modern appearance.

Driveway and Carport

Build a new driveway and carport area. Construct a concrete driveway with a carport to match the house design. Use carport posts covered with stone veneer or stacked stone, for example. Build a double-car carport with a roof pitch and overhangs that are identical with the house overhangs.

About the Author

Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.