July 11, 2022
A home is where you go for rest, relaxation, and safety—but it’s also a place that reflects who you are. Your home says a lot about what you value, and as people want to spend more time relaxing with their families and hobbies, they are choosing ranch-style homes. These homes are great for the elderly and empty nesters because of their single-story floor plans. Here’s what you need to know about ranch-style homes if you are considering one for you and your family.
The first ranch-style homes started popping up around Southern California and other suburban areas in the 1930s. They really took hold for returning GIs and their young families after WWII. Alternatively, ranch-style homes were very accessible and open. There was a lot of space, and it was pretty informal compared to other home styles of the period. Instead of the standard formally divided rooms, ranch-style homes had open floor plans and had greater importance placed on the home's indoor-outdoor flow.
These homes would only grow in popularity as people returned from WWII and started families. They were inclined to move toward the suburbs, as these homes were more affordable for the middle-class, and they placed a great value on their communities. These homes could also be planned and built relatively quickly instead of within more urban areas. Soon these homes started to appear across the country as people looked for more space and land.
The most notable element of the ranch-style home is that it is single-story. Many other homes in this period were multi-level, as horizontal space was a luxury not afforded to them. Architects often built these multi-level homes in cities and other urban areas, and their only choice was to build upwards. In contrast, ranch-style homes were single-story and often built on concrete slabs. Building up was still a possibility, but many architects were instead opting to use the massive amount of horizontal space available to them.
There was great importance placed on open floor plans when designing these homes. The goal was for families to be able to reach each other in the home very quickly instead of having to go around winding staircases and through lots of doors. In addition, while these homes were much larger than the traditional homes of the period, the single-story frame made them feel much cozier than some other homes.
The sprawling layout may seem counterintuitive to this idea, but it's easy to understand when you realize most of the home connects to the living room and kitchen. Other houses of the period had a central living and dining room, but then the rooms in the home were separated by walls. Single-level ranch-style homes can avoid this feeling by having everything center around these open communal living spaces.
This single-story home plan is attractive for new families who want to grow and those in the later years of their life. Rooms are incredibly accessible as there is no need to climb up and down the stairs. Stairs are great for expanding the home, but they can be problematic when young children and seniors live with you. Stairs greatly limit access for the elderly and danger for infants, so having everything within reach on just one floor is a great way to keep everyone safe.
One of the unique elements of ranch-style homes is that it is relatively easy to customize them and add elements to the house because of their size on large plots of land. This era of the country saw a greater emphasis placed on the individual and expression. As a result, many homes started to diverge from everyone looking just like the other. You were able to customize your garage attachments, add sunrooms, offices, in-law suites, and more.
This customization was a great attraction to many leaving their urban homes in the 20th century, and it still makes them highly desirable in today's age. People have many different expectations for their home to have it fit their specific needs. These customization opportunities are part of what makes ranch-style homes so appealing.
Another reason why ranch-style homes have become so popular is that they greatly emphasize indoor-outdoor living. In the agrarian period, people spent most of their time outside the house, whether they were working out in the fields or other buildings. Before suburbanization, people living in urban developments were far less connected to nature. Instead, they lived in concrete jungles, traveling between work and their homes and seeing far less of the outside world. Ranch-style homes solve this issue and make the outdoors a priority.
Many ranch-style homes have sliding glass doors, and the yard is right off the main rooms. These homes also typically come equipped with large windows, so you can still look outside and appreciate nature even when you are not outdoors. The standard for a ranch home was not to have a porch at the front of the house, but a back porch where you could sit and enjoy the sun. Many newer styles of homes recognize how much potential outdoor space, as it’s an important element in their designs.
Not all ranch-style homes are made equally. When breaking down the different styles of ranch homes, the most standard is the California ranch. The suburban ranch style also evolved this style a little more, and is the one you will most likely see used in the suburbs today. There is also the split-level ranch home that has stairs leading to a downstairs level and an upstairs level. Lastly, there is the storybook ranch, where everything is taken to the extreme, with details carefully put together and an overall softer feel.
These are a few things you should know about ranch-style homes historically, and it's pretty clear to see their numerous positives. These homes are fantastic to look at and live in, and that's a big reason why many are choosing ranch-style homes to live in as opposed to other styles. At Sater Design Collection, we can help you find the proper modern-day ranch house blueprints that work with your envisioned home. Our fresh re-invention of the ranch-style home plan utilizes and implements the best of today and yesterday. Our goal is to help you find your forever home, and that may just be a ranch-style home.
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