The ranch style house is returning to the forefront as more home owners seek designs that connect indoor and outdoor spaces. Its uncomplicated structure offers a high degree of personalization, and the casual style evokes a relaxing atmosphere. These ground hugging, single story homes provide accessibility and ease of maintenance.
It’s time to take a closer look at exactly what goes into a ranch home. Chances are good that by the end of this post, you’ll fall in love with ranch homes all over again.
SINGLE FLOOR LIVING
The ranch home’s low profile comes from its roots in the Western United States, where working ranch homes were one-level, practical and unadorned. Modernist influences also kept ranch homes simple and single-story for the most part.
One of the most recognizable characteristics of the ranch style home is its asymmetrical design. The homes are constructed in a “U” or “L” shape with a long, horizontal facade that faces the street.
HIPPED OR GABLED ROOF
The classic ranch style home has either a hipped or gabled roof, typically with wide eaves. Gabled roofs are simplistic in design and add to the affordability of the homes. Hipped roofs provide additional support and stability for areas prone to high winds.
MODERN EXTERIOR DECORATION
The exterior of ranch style homes is modestly decorated. The original homes were modeled from those of ranch families in the West and relied on natural materials such as brick, wood and stucco to impart the earthy tones and textures common to their predecessors.
LARGE PICTURE WINDOW
Ranch style homes are notable for their large picture windows. While the sliding glass doors open to the back, the picture windows typically offer a generous view of the front yard. Together with the open layout, they present an intermingling of indoor and outdoor spaces.
The popularity of ranch style homes occurred around the same time as many Americans moved to the suburbs. As a result, newly constructed homes would require space to accommodate a vehicle. You’ll find that attached garages are common among ranch style homes.
SLIDING GLASS DOORS
One major purpose of the ranch style is to link the outdoors and the indoors. Sliding glass doors became a standard way to let in as much light and view as possible while connecting the living space directly to a patio.
Earlier American homes focused on the front porch, but ranch homes were designed for a private life out back.
OPEN FLOOR PLAN
The open floor plan of the ranch style home is one of its most desirable features. Interiors are light and airy, combining functional spaces such as the living and dining room.
Ranch homes are synonymous with laid-back living. They emphasize the family-friendly backyard, usually connected to the kitchen or dining area via a sliding glass door and flat patio.
Characteristically, ranch-style houses can be low-profile and earth-hugging or more modern with wrapped corner windows. While they can often be viewed as simple, ranch-style homes represent 20th century architecture and can be eclectic and incorporate various stylistic and architectural elements.