Struggling to choose a house or imaging how to update your current 1980s ranch? As my husband and I search the internet for our future home, it is easy to pass over homes that lack curb appeal. I know, I know! We are completely missing out on everything inside the home, which is what really matters. Sure, there are great ways to update the front of your home, but that costs money – hard to come by for most first time home-buyers. We passed up a great home with a great price due to lack of curb appeal.
Not wanting to miss out on another opportunity, I took the home into Photoshop to see if we could have enhanced the curb appeal with a little paint and updated siding. This will give us a better idea of what is possible and how much work is required.
This house is what I consider an 80s contemporary ranch with odd, angled roof and all. For this style of home I think a more updated, contemporary look gives it the best chance to look good. Therefore, I chose to keep the mixed materials on the front of the house in order to take advantage of a more contemporary trend, as seen below. Most houses in this trend use white paint (stucco or brick), black/gray paint (brick and trim), and wood siding or accents (trim). This is really appealing in comparison to beige.
I brought the photograph of the home into Photoshop. Then, one step at a time, adjust each section of the home until you are seeing your idea come to life. I separated the brick, trim, siding, and shrubbery into different layers. Then, I began changing the color of the brick with a white overlay layer. Next, I worked on the siding and trim, respectively. See the below photo for an example.
I knew I wanted the brick to be white, but after playing with different shades, I decided there were several colors that would make this house beautiful. White, “greige” (gray/beige), gray, and many shades in between. I think that a color like sage green or navy blue might also look great. I had to stop myself somewhere!
When you complete the home exterior, it is time to finish it off with some landscaping. This is actually a fun process. If you don’t know where to start, find a home with landscaping that you like, then add those plants and flowerbeds to the front of your updated home. I tested this home with a pop of color (crape myrtles), but ultimately decided to go with more greenery with pops of colors in the flower bed. See below versions.
While I like the crisp white, the white-gray and medium gray versions were my favorites.
Summary of Steps
To achieve this look, these are the steps that I would take (in order):
- Rip out the existing landscaping (I would also take this opportunity to remove weeds and reseed the lawn).
- Power wash (rent or hire someone) the exterior of the home.
- Choose and purchase your new siding if you are unable to stain or repaint the current siding.
- Prime the brick facade when dry. Make sure no rain is in the forecast. You will likely need to rent scaffolding or a ladder to prime and paint if you do not hire someone.
- Paint the brick facade when primer has dried. Do this in sections if needed. Use a good quality outdoor paint – you might use more than one coat so this could be a multi-day process.
- If you are able to paint or stain the siding, great! It is now a good time. Otherwise, you will need to have the new siding installed (you can do this yourself if you are a handyman, but I suggest using a professional if not). You will need to remove the trim around the siding.
- Paint the trim and replace any trim you removed while installing the siding.
- Choose new plants for the landscaping. Stick with taller plants in the back that get smaller toward the front.
Note: For this home in this location, I chose to use native Oklahoman prairie grass, a variety of succulents/desert plants, a few perennial flowers, a few large rocks, two evergreen conifer shrubs or two dwarf hinoki cypress, and maybe a few dwarf yaupon holly plants. Use a good soil and organic fertilizer. The plants you choose will depend on your zone, sun exposure and other needs. This would be a good time to install a water system as your new plants will need to be watered, especially while they are newly planted. Though I did not do so in the photo, I would also line the walkway with small perennials and succulents (the same as you used for the flower bed).
- When it’s time to replace the roof, opt for a darker color like dark gray or black to really make this home gorgeous.
Final Thoughts on the 1980s Ranch
I believe that this update is completely achievable by a first-time home buyer. While this is not something I would tackle immediately after purchasing, it gives any potential homeowner comfort in knowing that a house can completely transform with a little paint and updated siding. The largest expense would be the siding update, but I think it is worth it!
What do you think? Is this project achievable? Do you like the outcome? What color would you have chosen?
Like this post? Please share! 🙂
View similar posts here.