Nine years ago, Chelsea was single, bought her first house and we worked together to renovate it. Now, she has a family of five that has outgrown that house, and they’re moving into a mid-century ranch-style house.
Moving into a Ranch-Style House
Chelsea and her husband, Brandon, purchased this ranch-style house that was built in 1956. It’s only had one owner, and that’s perfect for Chelsea, who wants to add her sense of style to a blank slate.
The couple have some ideas to make the home their own. but they don’t plan to make all the changes at once. Instead, they plan to live there, see how they use the space, and make updates as they see fit — and as the budget allows.
But there are some projects the couple would like to tackle immediately.
In one bathroom, some baby blue tiles look dated, but Chelsea plans to decorate around them so those retro colors look intentional.
That bathroom also has floral wallpaper that Chelsea wants to tear up and paint off-white. So, we’re using our go-to recipe to remove the dated wallpaper.
Just mix some wallpaper remover concentrate, white vinegar, baking soda, hot water and fabric softener — which prevents the solution from evaporating too quickly — in a pump sprayer and apply evenly. It makes this job much easier!
And it makes this ranch-style house closer to matching Chelsea’s style.
Install Attic Stairs
The attic is big and empty, so there’s plenty of storage — that’s good. But there’s no easy way to access it, other than dragging out a step ladder. Installing some permanent stairs will be a huge help.
Once we measure the attic stair unit, we mark those dimensions on the hall ceiling.
There’s just one joist running through the space, so after I cut through the plaster, I begin cutting that joist at either end of the opening.
After we remove the joist that was in the way, we add 2-by-4’s to create a box for attaching the stairs.
Here’s a trick: Use some temporary 2-by-4’s on either end of the hole in the hall ceiling. That way, you don’t have to continuously hold the heavy attic stairs while securing them from the attic side.
We then drill lag screws through steel plates all the way into the framing. That way, this ranch-style house’s stairs will hold a lot of weight.