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Ranch-Style Homes vs. Bungalows: What’s the Difference?

November 02, 2022

A common home you can find in America is the ranch-style home. Many are drawn to this style because of its spacious design that is both cozy and elegant. However, some confuse this style with the bungalow-style home. The bungalow has many similar elements but has a unique design philosophy. We’ll explore the differences between ranch-style homes and bungalows below!

Overall Size

While the ranch-style home and the bungalow houses emphasize coziness, they are typically quite different in size. Ranch houses are traditionally very spacious, taking advantage of all the land it offers. While ranch homes are wide, they are still cozy, as each room is carefully designed to complement each other and not draw from the home’s aesthetic.

On the other hand, bungalows achieve this same coziness but are more authentic. You’ll find ranch-style homes are cozy, but bungalows are out of necessity. They’re a step up from craftsman-style homes and are much smaller than ranch-style homes. Bungalows were traditionally easy to build and affordable, and the lack of square footage directly stemmed from this.

Your Location

Another difference between ranch-style homes and bungalow houses is the location. Yes, both could exist in the same location, but you will likely find them in different areas. Both styles emerged out of necessity, which is why you typically find them in their respective locations. For example, people build ranch-style homes when they move west, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, to enjoy the natural space on a large plot of land.

Alternatively, architects constructed bungalows in central cities, and these space and land limitations led to them making a lot with a little. There’s a lot to love about each respective location, but you must consider some other factors. In cities where you would build bungalows, you will see more expensive lots and higher property taxes. Ranch-style homes are farther away from the metro area, and the land and property taxes are usually cheaper than bungalows.

The Appearance

The appearance of ranch-style homes is fairly straightforward. They usually have large windows, a spacious patio, and separate bedrooms in an open-concept plan. Ranch-style homes are also adorned with low-pitched roofs and high ceilings. Bungalow-style homes strive to make do with little, so you’ll often find some unique customizations. Many homeowners convert their attic space into a second-story bedroom, and you can typically find compact closets with built-in shelving. Bungalows typically have small verandas or overhanging eaves for extra personality.

Ranch-style homes and bungalows have some notable differences, but that doesn’t mean one is better than the other. Part of what makes a ranch-style home special is it can obtain the same coziness of a bungalow while utilizing the extra space. Still, some people would rather have the efficiency of a bungalow. If you’re looking for ranch house plans, work with us at Sater Design Collection. We offer plenty of unique designs and blueprints for all kinds of ranch-style homes you can imagine!

2 Responses

Tim Ward
Tim Ward

October 19, 2023

Where I live in Arizona, nobody every uses the term “bungalow” (probably because there aren’t any). All single-story homes where the front is longer than the sides are either called “ranches” (regardless of how small) or merely “single-story.”

Ash Redmond
Ash Redmond

July 07, 2023

Since I live in Texas I can tell you that ranch house is quite different from what is described here. You will never, ever find a ranch house in a city, or town, or inside any city limit sign. A ranch house is on a ranch. There has to be, after all this time, a new name for single story nice homes with anything but low squatty roofs. Please think about it. Are all two story homes Colonial? Are they all Tudor? I love the arrogance of all who can think of so many types of two story homes but a one story is a ranch.

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