A ranch style house traditionally is a single-story home built with an open-concept layout. Ranch homes are built either with a basement or on a slab foundation. Typically a ranch house design will feature a long, lowpitch roofline, picture window, and other large windows along the front (often with non-functioning decorative shutters), attached garage, and sliding doors opening out to a back patio space. The footprint of a ranch house may vary, but typically it is a long rectangular shape. The ranch design, as the name implies, was inspired by the mythic American Western culture, but infused with modernist styling. Ranch house interiors typically were made up of mixed materials of brick, wood, or stone. The combination created a simple casual and informal style living space.
The first ranch style houses were built in the 1920s, but it was the post-World War II baby boom from the 1940s to 1960s when the ranch home design was most popular. Ranch style homes were popular as starter homes for young, newly married middle class, couples starting a family. The popularity of the ranch style home began to wane during the 1970s when the neo-eclectic style house became more popular and there was a return to more traditional home designs.
In recent years, there had been a returned interest in the ranch style house. Ironically, the generation becoming interested in the ranch style house is dominantly a younger generation who did not grow up in this kind of house. Surviving ranch houses from the 50s and 60s are being restored and flipped because of this renewed popularity. Another group becoming interested in the ranch style house is the older, retired age group. In both cases, those having a renewed interest in the ranch style house recognize the benefits that a ranch home offers.
What is so great about a ranch style house?
- A ranch style house has many redeeming features that homeowners like. Here are some of the features that make a ranch style house so great.
- The house has a single-story floorplan. This is an advantage especially for people aging and those with mobility needs. The single-story house is easier to get around in.
- The house has an open, simple floor plan. This is great for accommodating a family’s varying needs.
- The living area is separate from the bedroom area. Many people like this arrangement for the privacy it provides.
- The windows have a large glass surface area. This allows for plenty of sunlight for natural lighting and warmth in the wintertime.
- The house has sliding glass doors that open out onto a patio. This provides easy access to the back yard.
- The house has an attached garage. This provides the convenience of parking the car in the garage and coming directly into the house.
- The house has a long, low-pitch roofline with deep overhanging eaves. This design offers the advantage of creating shade over the windows during the summertime and it helps to direct rain away from the house, keeping moisture out of the basement.
An added plus of a ranch style house is that its design offers a wide range of ways that it can accommodate the needs of the homeowners. Remodeled ranch houses from an earlier era modernized with contemporary appliances, energy-saving features, and home security features can make a classy home for any age group. A remodeled ranch style house offers both a nod to an earlier time and a comfortable look to the future.
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