Raised Ranch Exterior Design Ideas

Written by mackenzie l. white
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Raised Ranch Exterior Design Ideas
Break out the yard tools: The right landscaping can do wonders for the appearance of a raised ranch. (landscaping tools image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com)

A raised ranch's curb appeal often isn't the best. The somewhat upside-down style of the home--with a first-floor front doorway but living and sleeping areas located on the second story--creates a confusing configuration from the exterior, the web site SplitLevel.net maintains.

Yet landscaping and hardscaping can go a long way toward improving its curb appeal, as can things such as fresh paint, new railing and shutters.

Landscaping Ideas

According to SplitLevel.net, a raised ranch home is one of the most difficult home styles to "tie to its environment." The main living floor, complete with the home's largest window (which you'd expect to be near the front door), is "positioned awkwardly" on the second story, the site says.

According to the site, the point of landscaping is to "create a smooth transition from the outdoors to the indoors."

To do so with a raised ranch, it suggests "position(ing) a substantial tree--at least the height of the main window--one-third the distance between the street and the house, and set slightly to the side" in order to create a triangular effect. The tree also serves the purpose of obscuring the large window upstairs so it doesn't look so out of place.

You also can use shrubs and other trees (also placed in triangular patterns with the house) to improve your curb appeal, the site says.


If your raised ranch has a straight walkway, or one with a sharp 90-degree angle, another way to make the outside of the home more pleasing is to turn the walkway into a more aesthetically pleasing curved path, SplitLevel.net suggests.

"If ever a vernacular begged for a little bit of curve, the raised ranch would top the list," it says; with a straight-lined walkway, things such as shrubs and light posts will "line up neatly"--but be very boring.

A curved path brings more possibilities and adds a touch of charm while also "lending itself immediately to creating shapes that are ... roughly triangular," it says.

Other Improvements

Paint and siding can go a long way toward making your raised ranch look less dated, and improve your own feelings toward your home while upping your resale value.

The "rate my space" page on cable channel HGTV's website shows a house that underwent some significant exterior changes. The owners traded in their drab grey paint for a brighter greyish-blue hue, and replaced a black "mini-rail" around the porch and down the stairs with wooden rails and posts painted white and the same shade as the house--a huge improvement in itself.

Also gone was a haphazard stone retaining wall, replaced with a more modern and orderly wall that created cleaner lines. The house also got a new roof, and shutters around the front windows greatly enhanced its curb appeal.

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