Rambler House in California Updated for Resale

Michael O. discovered brick&batten’s Instagram while brainstorming ways to improve his rambler house’s design before putting it on the market. He’d never loved the home’s curb appeal, especially the color, so our team of designers came up with a fresh mix of gray paints and stone accents that modernized the home’s look. Combined with interior renovations Michael made, the exterior design improvements helped raise his home’s valuation by 56% compared to three years prior. We love hearing stories like this! Read on to learn how it all came together.

Looking to reimagine your rambler house, Cape Cod, or any other type of house? Brick&batten is here to help. We created the idea of virtual exterior design and have increased the curb appeal (and value) of thousands of homes across the country. Worked with us in the past and have a great ‘actual after’ photo to share? Send your photos and tell us your story here. Unsure what virtual exterior design is all about? Learn how our service works.

What is a rambler house exactly?

Also known as a ranch-style house, this simple L- or U-shaped house was born in the 1930s, inspired by Mexican adobe haciendas. It typically features low-pitched roofs, extended eaves, and large windows. The style rose to popularity after WWII, when growing families desired spacious yet simple and cost-effective homes in the suburbs. Rising land costs caused it to fade from popularity in the 70s, but it has since made a comeback, with more Americans thinking of rambler houses as a classic or vintage home style.

A yellow stucco rambler house

The Before

When Michael found our Instagram, he loved our “modern options” and thought using our service was worth a try. He submitted his home, specifying both items he wouldn’t change and outlining his must-haves. One thing he knew needed to change was his house’s all-over yellow color.

That’s one great thing about our service — it’s entirely customizable! We work with our clients to come up with an exterior design that fits their vision and is informed by our expertise.

In the before image, the rambler house has yellowish siding and beige trim. The home as a number of trees in front. In the after image, the home feels fresher with medium gray siding and creamish gray trim. There are also stones in the front, opening up the space despite the trees.

The Design

Our designers went in a different direction from the rambler house’s original bright yellow color, suggesting Amherst Gray, a medium gray charcoal shade with warm, slightly green undertones. They also suggested updating the current beige trim with a “greige” — Olympic Mountains — and freshening up the statement front porch overhang with wood paneling on the ceiling and new double wood column supports.

At first, Michael hesitated on the gray and went back for a few revisions. He said:

I was scared to do the dark color, but ultimately I did what was originally recommended.

A version of Michael's rambler house that featured a lighter paint color.

Above is a revision of Michael’s original design that featured stucco painted in Thunder by Benjamin Moore, as opposed to the original Amherst Gray.

Another major change our designers recommended was adding texture through a variety of stone accents, including gorgeous stone siding on the home’s lower level and surrounding the updated front door.

Finally, black and wood-toned accents brought it all together.

The Process

Michael couldn’t wait to begin his rambler house redo.

“I literally started renovations as soon as I received the design,” he said.

Michael had a DIY mindset and acted as the general contractor for the project, but hired professionals to handle the electric, carpentry, painting, masonry, and window jobs.

Along the way,  some things had to change…

I made some minor changes … such as going with a different stone that looked very similar or slightly different lighting and doors. Most of my changes were due to supply constraints or trying to reduce my total out-of-pocket expense.

Even though he couldn’t do everything outlined in brick&batten’s virtual exterior design deliverable, having it around was incredibly helpful in the process. Michael explained:

It included links to materials, so I was able to substitute similar materials as needed
to stay on budget and get the job done as quick as possible.

From start to finish, the renovations took two months — and it only took that long because of a window delay.

Michael's renovated rambler house features a stone path, stone siding and gray and greige paints.

The Actual After

The new exterior looks like it belongs under the California sky! The stone accents match the beautiful willows, and the green undertones in the paint pull everything together.

Michael’s perspective:

I absolutely love the way the house turned out. We have had so many compliments on how much different it looks. It really is amazing how minor, non-structural changes modernized the look of the house.

Rambler House Update new front entry

On top of it all, Michael was able to list the home for 56% higher than when he purchased it. Although some of this was related to the market and his interior changes, he believes “much of it is related to updating.”

He received an offer on it site unseen on its first day on the market. Congrats, Michael!

Michael's renovated home features a stone path, stone siding and gray and greige paints.

Ready to increase your home’s beauty — and value?

Whether you’re looking to resell or simply want to update your home, you’ll find what you need with brick&batten’s virtual design services. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a few exterior tweaks that can make all the difference.

This was the case for Michael’s rambler house!

I would 100% do it again, as the entire look of the house changed from a house that was ‘blah’ to one that has some wow factor.

Dreaming of your own modern-meets-vintage rambler house redo? Needing inspo for your brick house update? However your home looks now, brick&batten can show you what would happen if your dreams met reality. Get started on your virtual exterior design today.