All About Ranch Style Houses and Why They’re Awesome

All About Ranch Style Houses and Why They’re Awesome

Decoration and Design
Interior Design
By Mateos Glen Hayes May 22, 2022

There’s been a surge in interest in ranch-style houses. In fact, ranch-style homes are now the most searched-for homes in the United States. Given all this interest, you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, wonder no more because we're gonna explore this unique home style and discover what makes it such an appealing concept to so many people.

To uncover what has made this home style such a hot topic in current real estate development, we'll have to take a gander at the various qualities that make a ranch-style house, what the benefits of these types of homes are, and what options you have if you chose to build your very own version of this distinctive home style.

Ranch-style homes come from the southwest where they were originally designed in the 1920s to replicate the aesthetic of the old-style ranches that once dotted the Western landscape. It remains quite popular as a home style throughout the American West, but it has since spread to other parts of North America since then. Nowadays you can even find these types of homes sprouting up in more urbanized parts of the United States such as Washington D.C.

What Makes a Good Ranch Style House?

Ranch-type homes are often quite large.

Ranch-type homes are often quite large.

The traditional ranch-style home is a single-story structure with an open-concept floor layout. They usually also will have a large patio space or a front porch designed into the layout. The distinctive farmland look of the ranch-style house is achieved with a low pitch roofline and wide roof eaves made to replicate the roofing style of a country home.

This home style is also defined by large windows, allowing generous amounts of natural light to filter into the open interior. While these homes tend to have rectangular designs, they can also have some fluidity through a U-shaped design or an L-shaped design. Since they are increasingly a fixture of suburbia, it will come as no surprise that a carport is another standard feature for ranch-style homes.

While a second floor is generally uncommon with ranch-style house plans, it is more common to see such homes with a basement or even an attic if the roof can accommodate it. 

Benefits of Ranch Style Homes 

Ranch homes have expansive open concept interiors.

Ranch homes have expansive open concept interiors.

There are many benefits to this type of home that make it well worth considering if you’re on the market for a new home style. 

Open Interior 

A ranch-style house with an open floor plan means maximum flexibility for interior design layouts and planning. Despite the relative age of this home design type, the open concept layout means that the ranch-style home has stayed ahead of the curve when it comes to current design trends. Also, a common feature in modern ranch-style houses as well as modern rustic interiors, the open floor plan combined with large windows makes for a bright and airy interior with plenty of space for family, friends, and guests alike.

Plus, an open interior makes it far easier to implement a wide variety of different floor layouts with little difficulty. It also means that you can change your interior far more easily without running into too many hindrances. Open layouts are also easier to keep clean thanks to a lack of obstructions, and maintenance is made easier by the fact that any wear and tear will be much easier to detect and work on. 

Easy Maintenance 

Speaking of which, keeping the outside of a ranch-style home maintained is also quite a bit easier to do than with other home styles. The fact that a ranch-style house plan is just a single story and features a low-pitched roof means that keeping your gutters clear and clearing your windows is a walk in the park combined with other home styles. Often you won’t even need a ladder and you also won’t have to worry as much about falling hazards since ranch-style homes aren’t too tall, to begin with. 

No Stairs 

There is also something to be said about the accessibility of ranch-style homes. If you have any mobility issues or perhaps just don’t like walking up lots of steps the ranch-style home offers the perfect solution thanks to its lack of stairs. This also makes it easier to move heavy items such as furniture into and out of the home and means you have even more living space to work with since you don’t have to sacrifice any floor space to a staircase.   

Ranch Style House Types

There are plenty of ranch-type homes to choose from.

There are plenty of ranch-type homes to choose from.

While ranch-style houses do tend to look similar to one another, they are actually divided into several different styles based on their layout and exterior aesthetics. 

Raised Type

These are a more unusual type of ranch-style home since they have more of a split-entry effect going on. What this means is that you can choose to go up or down when you go through the front door. This means that the raised ranch-style home is effectively multi-story. This type of ranch-style home is generally rare since it generally disrupts the aesthetic that most people try to achieve. Raised-type ranch-style homes require a steeper roof which can make the house harder to maintain, but it is still not impossible to work with. 

Split-Level Type

This is as the name implies the split-level version of the ranch-style home. While it is designed to look like a regular home from the street it will have a split-level design on the inside, allowing for maximum use of space in a way that can’t really be achieved with a standard ranch-style house. What this means is that the split-level ranch-style home allows for multiple levels for each part of the home such as the main living room, kitchen, bedrooms, etc. As a result, this is one of the only ranch-style home designs on the market that features stairs, but they are usually quite small steps.

Standard ranch homes are generally smaller.

Standard ranch homes are generally smaller.

Storybook Type

This is also known as a Cinderella ranch house, and it is perhaps one of the most unique ranch-style designs out there. This is because it is full of a special country charm that the run-of-the-mill ranch-style home usually doesn’t have. As with most suburban homes, ranch-style homes are usually built to a cost and therefore only have the ranch aesthetic minus architectural features of a farmhouse design such as exposed oak rafters, ornamental trim, and customized window panes — and of course the classic yet trendy ranch-style house exterior paint colors.

The storybook-style ranch home breaks the mold by including all of these things, therefore making them much more faithful to the authentic country aesthetic. This does mean that Cinderella ranch houses tend to be pricier, but that cost is well worth it if you want the ranch look and the ranch feel for your homes. 

Suburban Type 

This is the ‘standard’ ranch home design — the classic front porch ranch-style house. Its popularity exploded in the post-World War II housing boom, where it was widely adopted thanks to its low construction cost and the fact that many homes could be built quickly using this design. They are often built on concrete slabs for even more affordable construction and tend to have a more basic aesthetic design.

Broaden your horizons with an airy interior.

Broaden your horizons with an airy interior.

However, they still retain plenty of the ranch-style home design hallmarks such as an open-concept floor plan and connections with the outdoors. These are the best option for anyone who wants a low-cost version of this classic design. Also, while these homes were built to a cost they are still quite durable which is why many of them still stand today in neighborhoods throughout California. 

California Type 

Ranch-style houses are super popular in California so it’s only fitting that they have their own local design style as well. The California ranch-style home is meant to better blend with the arid California landscape, and make use of motifs from Spanish colonial architecture and the arts and craft design style. These styles of ranch homes are usually made in the L or U-shaped layout, allowing for maximum floor space and an expansive open concept interior that is in keeping with the palatial Spanish colonial style.


Written by
Mateos Glen Hayes

Written by Mateos Glen Hayes