How to Update the Exterior of a Ranch-Style Home

Ranch-style homes exploded in popularity in the 1940s and stayed popular through the 1970s in the United States. In fact, during the 1970s, over 60 percent of new homes built in the United States were ranch-style homes. 

Eventually, the popularity of ranch-style homes was overtaken by the larger custom homes of the 1980s, but many people still appreciate the clean lines and simplicity of ranch-style homes.

Given that many existing ranch-style homes are at least 50 years old, a lot of homeowners are looking for ways to update their ranch-style homes to be more modern while holding on to the elements that made them fall in love with a ranch-style home.

So, how can you update the exterior of a ranch-style home while staying true to the traditional architecture of a ranch-style home?

 How to Update the Exterior of a Ranch-Style Home

What are the elements of a ranch-style home?

It’sessentialt to understand the elements of a ranch-style home. Ranch-style homes generally share several characteristics, including:

  • Low-profile, single-story structure
  • Sliding glass doors
  • Low-pitched roof
  • Picture windows
  • Attached garage or carport
  • Deck or patio
  • Asymmetrical design
  • Open floor plan
  • Quality construction

Though a home doesn’t have to have all of these features to be considered a ranch-style home, you’re likely to find some combination of these elements in most ranch-style homes. 

What are the most common exterior updates for ranch-style homes?

The number of updates that can be made to the exterior of any home is practically limitless. From landscaping and swimming pools to home additions, new siding, or changing paint colors and other updates, it’s possible to transform a home. 

However, you want to make sure that the updates you make fit your home’s architectural style so your home’s appearance doesn’t become chaotic or unbalanced.

Here are some of the most common exterior updates you can make to enhance the appearance of your ranch-style home.

common exterior updates for ranch-style homes


Entry doors are generally easy to update and a great feature to make a statement with your home’s design. Most ranch-style homes have a traditional front door and a backdoor that may or may not be a sliding glass door that leads to a patio.

Replacing your exterior doors is a great way to improve the aesthetics of your home’s exterior and give it a custom feel while still maintaining the integrity of your home’s original architecture. You can choose to upgrade with an off-the-shelf door option since most ranch-style homes have standard size exterior doors, or you can go the custom route and truly make your home’s doors a one-of-a-kind feature in your home.

What are the elements of a ranch-style home

Custom doors can be designed to fit any architectural style and design preferences, making them a versatile choice to create the design of your dreams.

As a bonus, regardless of whether you choose a custom door or an off-the-shelf option, you’ll enjoy much better energy efficiency since newer doors can take advantage of advances in technology to keep your home better protected against the elements.

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What are the most common exterior updates for ranch-style homes


The landscaping of a ranch-style home can be one of the most vital aspects of making your home’s exterior visually appealing. Great landscaping offers curb appeal and creates an excellent first impression for anyone approaching your home. The key to great landscaping is to make sure it enhances the architecture and design of your home rather than obscuring it. 

Trees, bushes, plants, and flowers should be strategically placed to highlight and accent the exciting features of your home and draw attention to the design aspects.

For example, you most likely wouldn’t want to plant a giant tree directly in front of a large picture window. Instead, you might consider adding a beautiful flowering bush near the window to highlight the feature.

 landscaping of a ranch-style home


Windows are another crucial exterior feature to consider updating in your home. Like with new doors, new windows can provide significant energy efficiency benefits in addition to improving the aesthetics of your home from both the inside and the outside. 

Since air leaks from windows and doors can account for 30 percent of your home’s energy bill, aesthetics aren’t the only thing that will be improved by upgrading your windows to newer, more energy-efficient options.

The size of the windows in your home often depends on the year your home was built. Some ranch homes have smaller, horizontally-oriented windows. Others have large picture windows as a prominent feature.

 benefit from new windows

Or, you might have more traditional single-hung windows. Whatever windows are in your home, your home design can benefit from new windows throughout, especially if your current windows are original to the house.

If your windows are in standard sizes, you’ll have a choice between off-the-shelf options and custom windows. However, if your windows are custom, you’ll likely need to get custom windows. Although custom windows cost more upfront, they also offer a lot more bang for your buck in terms of design aesthetics and features. Plus, they’re likely to be even more energy-efficient than standard windows.

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