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It may be found in the bargeboard or the balusters, but older homes just seem to have more character.Suburban tract houses built after World War II are often said to lack curb appeal because they are mass produced with cookie-cutter sameness.A lovely stream bubbles nearby, where youngsters gather to catch frogs in the summer. But even before they completed the purchase, owners Abby and Michael Patrick knew that the house was missing something. They examined each side of the house individually, starting with the front facade."It's everything I wanted to live in." Abby says. NEXT: House Problems The trouble began when their structural engineer inspected the house. Michael, a building contractor, purchased an easy home design software program.Q My husband and I have been living in our ranch home since the 1970s, and we are finally ready to do some upgrading to make it a little more current. The earth-hugging prairie-style houses pioneered by Frank Lloyd Wright and the popular California bungalow styles paved the way for the ranch. The informal ranch style evolved from several 20th century styles.The presence of windows on the lower story often suggests a line of low, single-variety shrubbery as an efficient, if uninteresting, landscaping strategy.To update your home's look while respecting its style, keep changes simple but definite.

This is often accompanied by a straight path from the curb or driveway, leading to a concrete-slab porch and sometimes a few stairs.Actually, while you see many ranch style homes here in the New York area, they originated on the West Coast in the 1920s.But once their influence reached the East Coast, the foundation had risen half a story and the one-level ranch was “raised” to create two levels.• Add color with a fresh coat of paint and accent trim.• Replace outdated siding with fiber cement board, stucco, stone veneer, brick or a combination of two or three.

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