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Kimberly Blackford   by Kimberly Blackford

Traditional style ranch house plan

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Over recent years, ranch style homes have become increasingly popular in the United States. Being relatively affordable, the ranch style often makes the perfect starter home for new homeowners. They also are ideal for the older crowd since a ranch home does not depend on stairs to access the main living areas. Studies have found that those 55 years and older strongly prefer a single story home like most ranch homes. Many families composed of all ages can appreciate the ease of cleanliness thanks to the open and airy atmosphere.

Bungalow style ranch home plan

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There are many features that distinguish a ranch home. They often contain three bedrooms and average from 1,000 to 1,500 square feet, excluding the basement area. Some luxurious ranch homes can reach up to a sprawling 3,000 square feet. It has characteristics including a long, low roofline and ground-hugging profile with a horizontal appearance. The exterior is usually simple with brick, wood or stucco finishes. Ranch style homes are mostly built with a slab or basement foundation. Those with slabs are commonly found in the Southwestern area of United States, whereas basement foundations are seen in the Midwest region. They usually have attached garages and large windows to brighten the open interior. The major living areas generally flow into each other with an occasional, undivided wall or half wall separating the space. Ample patio and porch space is very common, usually accessed by sliding doors. Screened and covered porches adorn the front and rear of these homes, offering the prefect entertaining spaces.

Craftsman style ranch home plan

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Originating in the United States, this domestic architectural style fuses modernist ideas with notions of the western working ranches to create a casual and informal way of living. Ranch-style homes made their first appearance in America around the 1920s.

The ranch house style has its beginnings based on North American Spanish Colonial architecture of the 17th to 19th century. These homes were built in a simple, single-story style to meet the needs of the homeowners. Composed of native materials, the walls were usually comprised of adobe brick and plaster, or simple board and batten wood siding. The roofs had wide eaves to shade from the Southwestern heat and remained relatively simple and low to the ground. Spacious front porches were very common and many homes had interior courtyards for outdoor living space. This Spanish Colonial architecture fused with modern touches to produce the southwestern ranch-style home.

Stylish ranch home plan

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This new, convenient design boomed from the 1940s to the 1970s and spread rapidly across the Midwest. The design is often associated with western-style tract housing built during this period with the corresponding demand for housing. It sparked the growth of the American suburbs for the middle class, thanks to its flexible floor plans and simplistic design. The ranch home, also called the “rambler house,” accounted for nine out every ten houses by the 1950s. Its functional ability to accommodate the need of the homeowner combined with the modern twists of the updated building developments of the time. As they spread across America, the ranch home began to adjust with regional preferences. They developed features of the American Colonial style as their popularity approached the East Coast. By the 1960s, the ranch style became even more simplistic and rustic in style, mostly to cheapen the cost of construction of the home.

luxury ranch home plan

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The neo-eclectic styles of the 1970s began to overcome the design of the ranch home. They started featuring characteristics including grand entryways, elevated rooflines and more traditional detailing. They still remained open on the interior, however, the
exteriors incorporated features of the housing styles of Europe and Italy in the 18th and 19th centuries. As the ranch style developed into a more formal style, two-story homes picked up in popularity due to increasing prices in land ownership.

The popularity of the ranch style diminished in the late 20th century as a return to using historical and traditional decoration with the Neo-Eclectic house styles increased. In the late 1990s, the ranch style had a small revival of interest in the United States, mostly due to the affordability of pre-existing ranch homes. First time home buyers discovered that ranch homes are the perfect, inexpensive entry level homes. The single-story layout was also desirable for older buyers, thanks to its easily accessible design. The neighborhoods that feature ranch-style houses are now well established, boasting large trees and often with improved owner modifications that give the ranch home individual character. Ranch style houses are still built today, but usually as individual customized homes in the Western regions.

open floor plan of a ranch home

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Originating as a simple, rectangular one-level house with a low-pitched roof, the ranch style has evolved greatly throughout the 20th century. The open floor plan was popularly designed to make the maximum use of limited space. The large windows inviting plenty of natural light and sliding doors to the outdoors are some of the many desirable features of the ranch style. Although the ranch style home may have declined in popularity for new homes being built, it remains a classic design that is perfect for family living. Everyone can enjoy the comforting living spaces of the ranch style home.

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