One of the most popular house designs in America today is the ranch. These practical, attractive homes are also referred to as an American ranch, California rambler or Western ranch. No matter what region you reside in, a house plan ranch simple design offers plenty of gracious living.
Typical ranch homes are a single story, though split-level ranches and raised ranches have several levels of living space. They have a low pitched gable roof, deep eaves and long, narrow layout that is low to the ground. A ranch can be rectangular, U-shaped or L-shaped. Some ranches offer amenities such as sliding glass doors to a patio, a picture window or an attached garage. Usually ranches are built from natural materials such as a brick exterior with wood floors.
A ranch house plan often has little detailing. Large windows with decorative shutters, natural wood tones and open spaces make ranches ideal for easy living. Predecessors of the ranch house include the low-lying prairie style houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and the bungalow homes that were stylish during the early 20th century. The first ranch home was built by architect Cliff May in 1932 in San Diego, California.
After World War II, affordable ranch houses were built across the country. Many ranches during this time were built in a cookie-cutter fashion which often made people think they were ordinary or dull. Because the ranch house was built for the masses, it was often looked down upon by the elite in its early days. Ranches were also blamed for suburban sprawl and wasting building materials during the 1970s. Some people also felt ranches were too utilitarian and not “homey” enough.
Despite these rumors, the popularity of ranch house floor plans continued to soar. Because most ranch homes are a single story, seniors feel more comfortable because they don’t have to climb stairways. Many older folk appreciate the privacy and independence of living in a single-story ranch.
Ranch homes also offer a casual, informal lifestyle with simple rooms and clean lines. Windows, decks, patios and sliding glass doors offer easy access to the outdoor world. L-shaped and U-shaped ranches may have a courtyard right in the center which is visible from all the living spaces of the home. Some ranches have an attached garage for the car to be accessible from the house.
One of the greatest benefits of owning is ranch home is its flexibility. The floor plan can be changed and rearranged to meet all different needs making ranch homes perfect for growing families. The living room, dining room and bedrooms are often interchangeable to suit a variety of purposes.