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I bought my 1969 ranch house 8 years ago, and have been slowly improving it. The first thing that went were the awful metal windows with their useless storm coverings. I replaced them with double-paned vinyl windows, which did a lot to lower my heating and cooling bills! I've also replaced the patio roof, and redid the siding and soffits, which freshened the appearance without ruining its aesthetic. I also just redid the kitchen, knocking out a small wall between the tiny laundry room and an outside accessible storage room, extending the pantry. I replaced the drop-in range with a regular slide-in (requiring some minor cabinet modifications), and upgraded the countertop, sink, and flooring. The dining room had those dark fake paneled walls, and I repainted one. The bathrooms are next on my renovation list- and I plan to pretty them up without losing their character.

I'm not a fan of open plan homes, because I have a lot of books and art that need storage and display. My home is small by modern standards (1250SF), but perfect for one person. Mine is one of the few homes in my neighborhood that hasn't been added on to, but that might be a future endeavor. I like the sturdiness and accessibility of these older homes, and I also like the size of my yard and convenience to my city.

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Now (top) and from the move in day (below). We took it from 1960's to the 2000's. We painted the yellowish brick a nice soft hue and added all brand new windows and changed the siding to stone. Now we love it! We also made it more aging in place capable.

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I had a remodeled ranch of 1968 vintage for 25 years. We actually had them rip the dreadful paneling out of the den and sheetrock and paint it. This was very inexpensive to do and I was so sorry we had not done it immediately. We added 2 windows so that it had 3 exposures. We did add a bedroom bathroom addition upstairs with a south facing stairwell which let in a lot of wonderful light. One problem with these 60's vintage builder specials is that they paid no attention to siting and light exposures. Often they are spacious but dark. This can often be fixed with a little judicious review. Skylights or solar tubes can also help a lot. Since they are mostly one story the sola tubes ( actual name) are a good option and in hot climates do not add the heat that skylights tend to do. It was a great family house with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, a huge kitchen and 2 living areas, 2 fireplaces, and on a pretty lot. There is a lot to recommend them. In my old age I live in a smaller 1930's Tudor which is also very functional.


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