Tag Archives: build

The Ranch House Revisited


Given the current downsizing and one level living trends the Ranch House finds itself looking a bit more appealing these days. Originally, created for its efficient scale, floorplans and ease of living it may have a brighter future stoked by this gloomy time. In the past decades we have seen homes grow in size to where a master bedroom has become the size of what once would be sufficient for a living room. Do we ever ask ourselves why we need all this size?  Is bigger always better?

You will find that we are fans of the Ranch Home.  I am not sure if it is due to the fact that we grew up in Ranch Homes in the 60’s and 70’s or that today I have learned to downsize and have a simple home that allows more freedom for the rest of my life.  Either way we urge you to take another look at that understated  house you drive by everyday and consider what it might do for you.

Renovating A Ranch Style House

Thinking about how to renovate ranch style houses leads to all kinds of possibilities if you have the foresight to see the potential. Ranch style houses are not always seen as a historic style home worthy of restoration, yet they are integral to mid-century American style. Often these homes are remodeled; stories added, and the unique look of the structure is muddled beyond recognition. While they did have some negative design characteristics, overall the homes illustrated the love of sleek modernism that was the byword of the 1950s and 1960s. The best renovations will honor the style of the original home.

History of the Ranch Style

Ranch style architecture was not born in the tract homes of the late 1950s. It began far earlier than that, in San Diego, California. The first ranch style home was built in 1932 by a California architect named Cliff May. Born in 1909, May was fascinated by the homes that were built by the early Mexican settlers in California. These homes were horizontal in nature and seemed to pull the landscape into the home to create and integrated living area.

Characteristics of a Ranch Style Home

The homes wer meant to be sleek, easy to clean, and leave time for the owners to pursue their interests. Materials were natural. Stone and brick were often brought into the home as design elements. Home interiors were open and included glass doors to patios which allowed the patio to be used as another room.
Other design elements are:

  • – Horizontal lines
  • – Living areas at the front of the house
  • – Smooth surfaces
  • – Paneling
  • – Picture windows
  • – Kitchen peninsulas
  • – Flat or low pitched roofs
  • – Smooth, hollow core doors
  • – Narrow layout
  • – Simple floor plans
  • – Attached garage

Good Bones

Before you begin to renovate, ranch style houses should be inspected carefully by a professional housing inspector.  It is very important that the foundation and the structure of the home be solid.  Other areas that should be brought up to date are:

  • – Plumbing
  • – Wiring
  • – Insulation
  • – Heating/Cooling System
  • – Drainage
  • – Roof

If all of these are in good condition, then you can move on to the renovation of your home.  Before you do, you might want to consider the neighborhood.  Is it one you want to live in or continue to live in?  This is something to decide before you invest a lot of money to renovate a ranch style house.

Steps to Renovate Ranch Style Houses

  • Make a list of the characteristics of your home that you love.  These are things you will want to keep.
  • Make a list of your current needs.  More space?  Bigger Kitchen?
  • Figure out how much you can afford to spend on a renovation.
  • Decide how much you can realistically do yourself.
  • If you will be making major changes in structure then talk to an architect about your plans.
  • Find a general contractor to handle the things you will not be doing yourself.
  • Check with your city about permist and licenses.

Tips for Ranch Style Renovation

  1. Try to use building materials similar in looks to those used to construct the existing home when any additions that are made.  This helps create continuity.  For example, Victorian style trim would look silly on a sleek ranch style home, while chunky Craftsman details would weigh it down.
  2. Think carefully before you decide to add a second story.  You will lose the look of the ranch and you will also lose some of the convenience of one floor living.
  3. Using natural finish wood on the floors is a wise investment and seems to be attractive to buyers.  Wood floors go well with this style of home.
  4. Don’t underestimate the ability of landscaping to improve the curb appeal of your home.  This is especially tru of Ranch style homes.
  5. Changes should fit into the style of the home.  Many architects believe that changing the exterior look of the home should be avoided if at all possible.
  6. If the home has a basement this can be the perfect place to pick up extra space.  Finishing it off and turning it into an office, den , or bedrrom will get the addition you need with out the expense of changing the exterior.
  7. A garage is oftern another area that can be finished and turned into a room.
  8. Renovating kitchends and bathrooms is always a good investment, and while your’re at it, replace appliances with Energy Star rated aplliances to save money and gree your home. Take a look at some of our other blog post on remodeling ranch homes in our area.

Much of this article provided by “About.com’s Home Improvement”.

Modern Monday

How about this bit of inspiration from the west to start off your week? 

Teton Valley Residence | American studio Ro Rockett Design has completed a family retreat in the wilderness of Idaho, which sits on a stone base to avoid flooding and provide the best views of the surrounding landscape. See the rest here and have a great week. Cheers!

2018 Matsumoto Prize | Time to Vote!

Good Morning Folks! Voting is open for the 2018 George Matsumoto Prize with North Carolina Modernist Houses. A few of our local architects and designers have entries this year including; Russ Nicholson, Retro+Fit Design and Siegman Associates. Check out all the entries here and vote for your favorite. Cheers!

Just For Fun?

For the past couple of weeks as we drive through downtown and see the alterations to the former BB&T building — somehow this movie scene flashes through our minds. Anyone else? What are your thoughts? Cheers!

MA2MA Modern Home Tour Today

Yeah! It’s here. Modern Atlanta to Modern Asheville’s home tour with six unique homes with different perspectives on design. If you haven’t purchased tickets go here. Otherwise, we will see you out there from 10 to 4pm today only.

And thanks to all those homeowners, builders and architects for participating today. Cheers! Kelly, Troy, Elayne and Allison

#modernashevillerealestate #atlantadesignfestival #makeyourmodern #asheville #design #architecture #buildyourdream # wilsonarchitects #brickstackarchitects #earthtonedesignstudio #brentcampbellarchitecture #livingstonedesignbuild #johnpetriarchitect #redtreebuilders #mosscreekdesigns

MA2MA | Modern Home Tour and Mixer

Hi Folks! Just a reminder that tomorrow is our Modern Home Tour. Yeah! Tonight we will kick off events at Splurge Design with a MIXER to meet up with the folks from the Atlanta Design Festival for tour information and tickets. So, show up for the skinny and some happy hour snacks. We would love to see you. Cheers! Kelly, Troy, Elayne, Allison, Robert and Rebecca

FOR SALE | Town Mountain Mid-Century

4 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | 2,932 sqft | .52 acre mountain view lot

This is the quintessential mid-century modern masterpiece you’ve been waiting for. The J. Bertram King designed home {original architectural drawings included} was built in 1963 and sits gently perched in the mountains above Asheville. The home has dramatic views while remaining highly accessible. Experience the unique architectural entry sequence from exterior walkway in thru the cool interior entry vestibule with stone flooring, custom stair rail and original light fixtures. The vaulted and light filled main level flows easily from living room to the master suite. 3 Bedrooms and Family Room on Lower Level for family, guest rooms, offices or studios — the ultimate in versatility! On top of being everything you need it is inspired living by design. And the coolest!

Give the Modern Asheville Real Estate Team {Kelly, Troy or Amanda} a call for more information and a tour today. Until then enjoy the full photo tour here. Cheers!

Modern Atlanta 2 Modern Asheville

Modern Asheville hosts some of our best homes this year in our 4th annual tour in our mountain city. The tour, sponsored by the Atlanta Design Festival organization and Modern Asheville Real Estate, will feature six very unique homes.

Many people associate Asheville with the 19th-century Biltmore Estate. Today, living here is not about turrets, gargoyles or excess of any kind. Our city in the mountains is a playful escape where nature, culture and creativity prevail. The local terrain and climate make outdoor living appealing nine months out of the year.

Asheville residents are passionate about designed spaces, too. Modern Asheville Real Estate’s design partners balance cool, clean lines with the warmth of Mother Earth through site-specific design, view angles, natural light and materials, and sustainability. They are pioneers of innovative building and stewards fo the environment.

Please join us, along with our community architects, builders and homeowners for our satellite home tour on May 26th to find out what makes a modern lifestyle herd in Asheville so unique, so special and so very possible. Find information and tickets here. Cheers!

FOR SALE | Oakley Contemporary Farmhouse

3 Beds | 2.5 Baths | 1656 sqft | .13 acres | Handicap Features Available

We are excited to bring this Pre-Construction listing to the market. This home, not yet built, is located in the convenient Oakley neighborhood. The clean modern home reflects that iconic American farmhouse. The open living space on main level adjoins a master suite. The upstairs is ideal for family, guest or offices created with ample storage and refined function. The simplified details blend raw and clean material selections creating warm and contemporary spaces. Finishes include concrete and wood floors and black stainless appliances. There are optional handicap accessible upgrades on request. New privacy fence is in place.

Give us a call or email us for more information on this property. Cheers! Troy and Kelly

Women in Design

It is exciting for us to see more women take center stage in all aspects of life. Here is a great overview of some of the groundbreaking women in Architecture from our Architizer news feed. Please enjoy and have a great Thursday!

Broker Open House | City Mountain Home


3 Bedroom | 2.5 Bath | 2523 SQFT | .31 Acre Lot | Mountain View

Check out one of our newer listings. This quality crafted and beautifully finished new, Green Built home to the market. Located in convenient Kenilworth the home is just around the bend to either our cosmopolitan downtown or Tunnel Road shopping. The main level open floor plan flows seamlessly to the outdoors whether you’re in the mood for a dramatic mountain view or to be privately nestled in the hills. Hand selected design features include a welcoming post and beam front porch, oak flooring, stone fireplace, master on main level, sparkling new appliances, granite countertops, kitchen island and crafted accents with locally harvested wood. The spacious and versatile lower level is finished just enough to make it your very own. This one will be ready for you by early March. 

Want to see more? Enjoy the full photo tour here. Or stop by our Broker Open House this Tuesday the 3rd from 11:30am to 1:30pm. As always, our modern asheville community is welcome to show up. If you can’t make that give us a call for a personal tour. Cheers! Kelly and Troy

George Matsumoto Prize for Modern Home Design

CALL FOR ENTRIES | Yeah! It is that time of year again. Submissions are open for the 2018 George Matsumoto Prize by NC Modernist Houses organization. Every year we have some great award-winning homes in the Asheville area. Here are two from last year and here are past articles on the event if you aren’t familiar.

The Prize is open to anyone with primary design responsibility for a completely built, from-the-ground-up, single-family Modernist house of at least 800 heated sf with a CO on or after January 1, 2013. The house must be in North Carolina; the designer/architect can be from anywhere. Want to enter? Go HERE.