Each type and installation situation requires a slightly different approach.

Removing these ceilings isn't difficult, but it is messy.

Here's how you do it: With their low, long shape, ranch houses are designed to fit in with the wide open spaces of the prairie.

This is especially important if you'll be enlarging your windows or adding windows where there currently aren't any.

The sections of your wall where you want to add light may be important structural supports, so always consult a professional before cutting into them.

The right plantings can make your house appear taller.

Plant fast-growing bushes near the corners of the house to soften the sharp angles.

With their single-story construction and efficient use of space, there's a lot to love about ranch houses.

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

The big challenge, points out O'Leary, is the house's shoebox-like shape.