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Ideas for updating rancher

It also helped that our kids were younger then--the mess didn't bother them so much." "Updating the Ranch-Style Home" is from the October 2003 issue of Southern Living.

"We like the idea of taking a ranch-style house and actually transforming it," says Warren, standing amid stud walls and carpenter's dust in the evolving foyer of their all-American ranch-turned-Colonial home."The minuses," says Jaime, "were being rained on when our tarp blew off, getting gypsum drywall dust in our faces, cooking on portable appliances, and feeling cramped down there.The good thing was being here every day to check things out and follow the progress.People are pulling some of their money out of the stock market and looking for another direction to go with it.Right now, there's no better choice than home improvements." Renovating proves particularly wise for Atlantans who want more living space but not a longer commute, Amy says."The new twist that wasn't there a year or two ago is the investment value of remodeling," says Warren.

"If you take 15% of the cost of your house and put it into renovation, whether it's just redoing your basement or improving the shell of the house, you're looking at 60% to 75% return on your dollars.

However, one look at the popcorn ceilings and 70s-era paneling will tell you that there's also plenty to improve.

Whether you're hoping to stay true to this iconic American architectural style or you want a complete overhaul, there are many great ways to update your ranch house for the 21st century.

"I had seen some of my friends' projects where the architect and the contractor sometimes pointed fingers at each other, saying, 'You designed it wrong,' and 'No, you just can't build what I designed,' " says Jaime.

"I thought, 'Well, these two are married, so they're going to have to work it out!

I think that's what clients find valuable--achieving the look they want but controlling costs." Investing in Each Other Clients come calling after seeing Amy and Warren's work, loving it, and hearing positive feedback about the couple.