Readers of this column know that I am a big proponent of giving new oomph to ’50s- and ’60s-era ranch houses. To add some prominence to their often unremarkable horizontal façades, I suggest raising the roofline around the front door to create a more interesting composition.
If you possess what I call an ‘uphill ranch,’ you have another powerful option to add visual interest to your home. You can use the property’s grade change to add retaining walls, planters, entry steps and perhaps a circle driveway that will introduce interesting layers of architecture, which will make the overall composition appear taller and more important.
If the existing house is built of brick, the retaining walls could be of a matching brick for continuity. If the home has siding, such as clapboard or board and batten, stone and interlocking blocks are good options. These new walls should be designed to align with the various parts of the existing elevation to make them appear more architectural rather than just a pragmatic necessity.
Of course, this technique also could be used on other home styles, but it is especially useful on the uphill ranch if you want to create visual impact without adding square footage.
Homework is penned by Paul Doerner, founding partner of The Lawrence Group.
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