You can find ranch homes all over the US, with the majority on the West Coast. This house design reflects a more relaxed and welcoming western style. Traditionally, ranch-style homes are single-story houses with large windows and an open-floor layout. Additionally, they have low-pitched roofs that give them a close-to-the-ground profile.
Classic ranch-style homes feature U- or L-Shaped structures. The main purposes of these houses are to link the indoors and outdoors seamlessly. So, sliding glass doors are standard design features that ensure as much natural light can get in as possible. Besides that, these doors provide better exterior views and directly connect the living space to the patio.
Images: RUE DAILY
What Makes a House Ranch?
Every ranch-style home has a different layout, but several shared characteristics define them, regardless of the size. For instance, all ranch homes have outdoor spaces, and this could be a lawn, deck, or patio. Besides that, they all have low-profile looks, and their roofs are usually pitched close to the ground with deep eaves which normally extend past the exterior walls.
- Simple architectural and adornment details
- Open floorplan concept
- A single-story living space
- The living space is the basement
- A rectangular, U- or L-Shaped structure with asymmetrical design
- A low-pitched roofline
- Deep eaves extending past the exterior walls
- Sliding doors that connect to the patio
- Different exterior materials, including siding and bricks
- Large windows
- Separated bedrooms
- An attached garage and or basement
Types of Ranch Houses
There are different types of ranch homes, but they share the same main characteristics. Besides that, a few features make them slightly different from each other. Some of the most common house ranches include:
- The suburban ranch: has a “U” or “L” shaped design with an open-floor concept. This ranch has a more compact, asymmetrical structure with an attached backyard and garage.
- California ranch: it’s also known as the rambling ranch, and it has a U- or L-shaped structure. The California ranch is usually built low, close to the ground. This way, the sprawling and single-story structure easily blends with nature. It also features a front lawn and patio.
- The Storybook ranch: it’s also known as the fairytale ranch. What makes it different are its unique ornamental details with diamond-shaped window panes. Additionally, it has a gabled roof and a decorative chimney made of stone or brick.
- Raised ranch: it’s also known as the split-entry ranch. It almost always has 2 floors. A raised ranch’s entryway has a staircase that connects 2 different levels. Generally, the living area, kitchen, bedroom, and bathrooms are upstairs, with the finished basement and garage on the lower floor.
- Split-level ranch: it’s almost like a raised ranch since it has multiple floors linked to its entryway staircase. However, the split-level ranch is different because it has 3-floor levels. Besides that, it has an asymmetrical exterior, just like the suburban ranch.
Why are they popular?
Ranch style homes became popular after World War II, and they are still appealing as ever. So, what makes them popular?
The idea of ranch houses was to keep all rooms on the same floor. This means that you can conveniently access the kitchen, dining area, bathrooms, and bedrooms on the same floor. This makes it beneficial for people who have mobility issues or don’t want to climb stairs.
Even though the history of ranch homes dates to the 1920s, they are currently popular. There’s no doubt that the inviting open floorplan concept was ahead of time then since most modern homes feature this style. This floor design makes it easier to entertain guests in any area of the house, be it the living room, kitchen, or dining area.
Ranch-style houses usually have large oversized windows to allow optimal natural light inside. Besides that, the large windows have been critical in adding to their visual appeal, something that most homeowners want.
Young families with small kids need safer homes where kids can play and move without the risk of injuries. Stairs pose major safety risks to small children. Ranch-style houses help eliminate the risk of injuries since kids are on the same floor with their parents. It’s easier to keep an eye on them in such a setup since you can always monitor their movements.
This house design allows you to age gracefully in the same property since a ranch house will never go out of style. So, if you are shopping for a forever home that you can use at different stages of life, i.e., with a young family, as a senior, etc., then this is the best option for you.
Increased Energy Efficiency
Generally, single-story houses need less energy for cooling or heating purposes. So, if you are keen on energy conservation and reducing your utility bills, then this type of home may be ideal for you.
Easier Exterior Maintenance
The combination of a low roofline and one floor make it easier to maintain and repair the exterior components. For instance, you can clean the windows and gutters without using a ladder. It’s worth noting that the horizontal layout makes ranch houses easier to add on to. You simply need to extend it out!
Difference Between Rambler and a Ranch
A rambler and ranch-style home are synonymous. However, ranches are traditionally larger than ramblers, and they are more sprawling. In addition to that, ranch style homes don’t have basements.
Image: Kara Rosenlund
House design, just like other items, can go in and out of trend. The concept of ranch homes started in the 1920s and only became popular after World War II. Even though they went out of style decades later, they are now very popular thanks to the open-floor concept.
More people are now turning to low-profile homes with large windows that perfectly complement modern esthetics. Additionally, there are different types of ranch homes, and each can be customized to suit different architectural and stylistic design elements. Ranches are generally beautiful and classic homes that are easier to repair and maintain.