20 Best Ranch Style Homes with an Ultimate Guide to Know

Want to have a mid-century style home? Then ranch-style homes are going to be your best choice! 

The modern Ranch-style home or Rambler house will provide you with massive curb appeal, trending color palettes, and a contemporary vibe. With its affordable prices and easy upkeep, the ranch-style home is trendy these days. 

If you want a minimalist lifestyle, then you might find ranch homes interesting. There are several options available for you out there, but few are worth learning about. So read along to know everything about Ranch-Style homes.

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What are Ranch-Style Homes?

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Ranch-style homes are inspired by a domestic architectural style. Ranch homes are also known as ramblers, ranchers, American ranches, or California ranch-style homes. The ranch style is fused with modernist ideas and the American Western style, which has wide open spaces for an informal and casual lifestyle. 

A traditional ranch home has an informal and basic design with a single story, large windows, and a low-pitched roof. They are built with an open-concept layout and a dedicated patio. The ranch-style home developed in the US offers dramatic features like cathedral ceilings, extensive landscape, sunken living, and varying roof lines.  

How Ranch-Style Homes Originated?

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Originating in the 1920s, the ranch-style home has its roots in North American Spanish colonial architecture. They were single-story houses built with local materials, just to satisfy the needs of the inhabitants. 

Adobe bricks were used to build the walls, with plaster, boards, or battened wood sidings covering them. Houses were protected from southwestern heat by low roofs with wide eaves. Plans were generally U-shaped with a courtyard and large porch.  

Ranch-style homes became famous during World War II in the suburbs. These days, ranch homes are a popular choice and can be found easily across the country. 

What Does a Ranch-Style Home Look Like?

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Each ranch home has its own style, but they all share a few common features, like – 

Exterior Features – 

  1. Large windows.
  2. Brick and siding as an exterior material.
  3. Low-pitched roof with wide eaves.
  4. The back patio approached with sliding doors.
  5. There might be a basement and garage present.

Interior Features – 

  1. Single-story plan.
  2. Separate and private bedrooms.
  3. Open floor plan.
  4. Simple design elements.
  5. Living space in the basement.

Top 5 Benefits of Ranch-Style Homes

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The following benefits allow you to have an easy stay in your ranch-style home –

1. Designs are Simple

Ranch-style homes are generally one-story, so their efficiency is increased. When two stories are built, they are often connected with a staircase or a ladder.

2. Large and Open Living Space

In the case of a two-story ranch home, they are made compact and assessed with a staircase, making sure that the space around them is not wasted.

3. Easy Maintenace

Maintaining and cleaning ranch-style homes are very easy. This house will not require the use of heavy equipment.

4. Navigate Safely

Because ranch-style homes are single-story and lack a staircase, they are easy to navigate. They are safe for elders and toddlers.

5. Easy Evacuation

The ranch-style homes are safe and easy to evacuate in emergencies. It’s easy to open the windows and assess the hanging ladders.

4 Disadvantages of Ranch-Style Homes

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1. More Property is Required

If you want to build a ranch-style home, then you will need more plot areas to design your home. So, going upper floor solves the issue in some way.

2. Yards are Smaller

You will get less outdoor space as your single-story ranch home will take more space to build. So, it might be a problem if you have to fit your ranch-style home into a smaller plot.

3. Lesser Privacy

Two-story homes provide more privacy than single-story ranch-style homes. Having your bedroom on the upper floor is more private than having it on the lower floor. 

4. Expensive to Build with Add Ons

To build a single-story ranch home, you’ll need more area and extensive formwork like a foundation, roofing, windows, other materials, etc. A two-story ranch home will need less ductwork, plumbing, and HVAC piping.

12 Features of Ranch-Style Homes

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Some of the distinguishing features of ranch-style homes are – 

  1. Long and low-pitched roof.
  2. Wide eaves.
  3. The roof can be either side-gabled or cross-gabled, or hip roof.
  4. Single-story plan.
  5. The building form is either an asymmetrical rectangle or U-shaped or L-shaped.
  6. Their floor plans are simple and open.
  7. An attached garage might be present.
  8. The bedroom and living area are separate.
  9. Sliding glass doors open up on the patio.
  10. Windows have large glass panels and even non-functional shutters.
  11. For the exteriors, stucco, brick, stone, or wood is used as material.
  12. Exposed beams and vaulted ceilings are combined with tongue and groove roof decking.

20 Ideas to Create Your Own Ranch-Style Homes

There are several options for ranch-style homes that might confuse you. So, here are the top 20 ideas you can use to create your own ranch-style home.

1. California Ranch-Style Homes

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The exteriors of California ranch-style homes are intricately detailed and inspired by Spanish architecture. Ranch homes, particularly those built in California during the 1920s and 1930s, have their origins in Spanish architecture.  

These ranch-style homes are built with vernacular materials and have low roofs with deep eaves. They have a flat facade with few street windows. Glass is extensively used in horizontal windows. There is only one deep room that is usually L- or U-shaped and is surrounded by a patio with landscape features.

2. Storybook Ranch-Style Homes

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The storybook ranch-style home became famous during the 1920s and 1930s in California. It replaced the Spanish-inspired architecture that was ornamental and had baroque features. 

The storybook ranch-style homes are primarily made as single-family residences, but they can also be used in multi-family homes. They have low-pitched gabled roofs covered with thatched shingles. 

These homes have asymmetrical, wide facades that are parallel to the streets. Decorative chimneys with tall and narrow windows add to this feature. Wrought iron decorative hardware for door knockers, latches, and outdoor lighting is also used.

3. Suburban Ranch-Style Homes

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Suburban ranch-style homes arose as a result of the post-World War II housing shortage. They provide a simple, clean design that is easy to duplicate. It is the smallest ranch-style house, with a simple exterior and an open interior.

They are built on concrete slab foundations that require the least amount of preparation to begin the construction. Attached garages and tract materials are used in these ranch-style homes. They are similar to California ranch-style homes in that they need low-to-the-ground framing. There are courtyards and red clay tile roofs with stucco siding. 

4. Raised Ranch-Style Homes

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Raised ranch-style homes are also called split-entry ranches. They have two floors, usually. The staircase is at the entrance, connecting the two levels with the living, kitchen, bedroom, and bathrooms. Basement and garage space are provided on the lower level. 

They are set on the foundation that offers living space under the main floor. A small landing is present at the front door, where there is half a flight of stairs leading up and half a flight of stairs leading down.

5. Split-Level Ranch-Style Homes

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As the name suggests, the split-level ranch-style homes have half flights of exterior staircases leading to the entrance door from the driveway. The entrance is on a landing or a small foyer. 

They are also called split-foyer or bi-level ranch-style homes. A three-level staircase connects the various floors. They follow the principle of “form follows function” with simple and asymmetrical facades. 

Their foundation is sunken and deep, reaching 4-6’ into the ground. The driveway is excavated out to the same depth as the foundation. Due to this reason, the lower floors have smaller windows.

6. A-Frame Porch Ranch-Style Homes

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A-frame porch ranch-style homes are architectural house styles that resemble the letter “A.” This ranch-style home has steeply angled walls beginning from the foundation, thus forming a triangle. And this slanting design minimizes the living space.

This home offers high interior ceilings, large windows, open floor plans, wood siding, loft space, and other features. Its porch gives the feeling of an extension to the yard and walkway. A teal door and lighting fixtures add visual effects to the A-frame porch.

7. Bungalow Ranch-Style Homes

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The bungalow Ranch-Style home is similar to a small bungalow. They feature large windows that are wont of ranch-style homes. The exterior is painted in Tricorn Black. 

The wooden columns and stone walkways in this ranch-style home help it camouflage with the natural environment. They are usually one-story houses, cabins, or cottage-style homes

8. U-Shaped Flat Roof Ranch-Style Homes

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The contemporary U-shaped ranch-style homes with flat roofs have tall, rectangular windows. This ranch home has an industrial feel. 

Having a contemporary design with wood and stone accents helps this home connect to its surroundings and ground the space. The U-shape of this ranch home provides a unique profile with contrasting design elements but with a symmetrical feature. 

9. Modern Ranch-Style Homes with Windows

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Originating in the 1960s, modern ranch-style homes with windows were developed in California. These modern ranch homes have several unique architectural features, like angular roof lines, skylights, and cathedral ceilings. 

This modern ranch house is a good example of a brick home. It has a roof window and a contrasting black garage to create a dramatic but cohesive effect.

10. Contemporary White Ranch-Style Homes

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The contemporary white ranch-style homes have varied angular rooflines. This modern black and white ranch home has exposed rafters with a little touch of spunk. You can find wooden accents in this home.

The stone porch provides this ranch home with an earthy feel. There are vertical sidings and horizontal sidings as well. The bricks are painted to add more flair to this ranch-style home.

11. Sprawling L-Shaped Ranch-Style Homes

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The sprawling L-shaped modern ranch-style homes are famous for their sprawling layout. Their interior is based on large, open floor plans. This ranch house’s sleeping area is separate from the rest of the house. 

The L-shaped ranch-style homes are usually single-story, with a few being two-story. You can experience the coziest and most casual living in this L-shaped, single-story ranch home. It can also have an additional plinth below, thus creating a raised or split level in the ranch style.

The contrasting roofline, painted brick facade, and wooden door add more beauty to this ranch home. To add more contrast, you can have copper gutters, lighting, and black windows in this home.

12. Midcentury Ranch-Style Homes

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The mid-century modern ranch-style homes have large windows and simple, open layouts. A wooden column, doors, and porch roof create a spacious, cozy, and inviting home.

These ranch homes are asymmetrical in the plan, with an attached garage and picturesque windows. Their structure is low raised and wide. They have a low-pitched roof and wide eaves. There is also a porch at the entrance door.

13. Farmhouse Ranch-Style Homes

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The modern farmhouse ranch-style homes have a casual style with natural elements. They blend well the farmhouse style with the ranch-style homes. Its metal roof accent and vaulted wood beam create a contrast with the shoji white sidings.   

This ranch-style home is quite popular these days due to its cool contemporary touch on the traditional farmhouse style. They offer clean lines with large windows, open floor plans, and striking curbs. It can be either a one or two-story high. 

14. Rustic Ranch-Style Homes with Pool

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The modern rustic ranch-style home integrates indoor and outdoor living via double sliders to a firepit, seating area, and in-ground pool. Its large windows and covered patio add more life to your rustic ranch-style homes.

They are designed to accommodate large families comfortably. It gives off a warm and welcoming gesture with a rustic feel. The living area is opulent but protected with large overhangs that include seating areas. 

15. Tiny Monochrome Ranch-Style Homes

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Tiny monochrome homes are aesthetic as well as functional. When ranch homes are made tiny and monochrome, they look large and inviting. They have picturesque windows, beautiful lighting, and a minimal landscape. 

This modern black and white ranch home has an earthy feel. The sidings, when painted in a blue undertone, create a contrast with the long, pitched roofs. There is a porch and walkway as well in this ranch-style home. 

16. Spanish Rustic Ranch-Style Homes

modern black and white ranch house

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Spanish rustic and modern ranch-style homes have a grid-patterned window that adds visual character to your home. They have fresh-looking white stucco against the black accent. 

The ranch house is distinguished by a stained-wood garage door. They also have exposed beams with a warm color palette. This ranch house can be identified by its tiles and stone roof. They have heavy wooden doors with carving, metalwork, and wrought iron. 

17. Albany Ranch-Style Homes

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The Albany ranch-style homes are popular in western countries. They are among the smallest plans that Wayne Homes is offering. 

This ranch-style home has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in an area of 1327 sq. ft. They have an “open floor plan” concept. There is also a large island in the kitchen with a plethora of counter space. They have spacious rooms as well, with walk-in closets.-

18. Franklin Ranch-Style Homes

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The Franklin ranch-style home is among the best family homes by Wayne Homes. This ranch-style home will provide you with flexibility in all ways. They have an ideal plan for growing families.

With an open floor plan, they offer 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in 1848 sq. ft. Your family can have meals together in the eat-in kitchen. There is a perfect outdoor room in the back. And a basement provides this ranch home with more space.   

19. Montgomery Ranch-Style Homes

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The Montgomery ranch-style home is also one of the popular designs by Wayne Homes. Their rooms are spacious and provide enough privacy. The kitchen and dining area are large enough to accommodate a large family.

They offer open floor plans in this ranch-style home. There are 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in an area of 2163 sq. ft. The owner has their own suite, separate from the other two rooms. A walk-in closet is also present in the bedrooms. 

20. Alexandria Ranch-Style Homes

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The Alexandria ranch-style homes are among the biggest ranch-style homes by Wayne Homes. They offer three models of ranch-style homes: Bowling Green, Ashland, and Delaware. This ranch-style house has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. 

The owner can have their private suite separated from other bedrooms. Its windows are large enough to offer a picturesque view. This ranch home offers an area of 2386 sq. ft. The kitchen of this ranch home has a large center island. There is a captivating foyer that leads to a luxurious great room. 

It’s Time to Choose Your Ranch-Style Home! 

The ranch-style home can bring natural as well as rustic appeal to your space. They are an American staple and can be found all across the country. These houses are affordable and easy to build. Their exteriors are generally bright, with contrasting colors and sidings. 

Its architectural features and modern look add more zing to this ranch house. So, after having read all 20 ways you can create your own ranch-style home, it’s time to take action! Understand your priorities and choose a ranch-style home for yourself. 

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modern ranch style homes

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modern ranch style homes

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modern ranch style homes

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modern ranch style homes

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modern ranch style homes

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modern ranch style homes

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Also Read: 30 Cool Tiny Homes for Sale That You Can Buy

FAQs About Ranch-Style Homes: 

1. Where Can You Commonly Find Ranch Style Houses?

The ranch-style homes emerged in North America and spread across different countries. They can be commonly found in the North, West, Northwest, Southwest, and Midwest. 

The Midwest and Northern USA feature basements in their ranch-style homes, while the California ranch-style home is built on slabs. They can also be seen in New Jersey, Florida, Columbia, and Maryland.

2. How Are Ranch-Style Homes Beneficial?

The ranch-style home is beneficial in several ways. 

  1. They are easier to evacuate and simple in design. 
  2. The ranch-style homes are safer to navigate and easier to clean as well. 
  3. They are large and have open floor plans. 
  4. Their maintenance is easier as well. 

3. Which Is Cheaper a Ranch Home or a Two-Story Home?

When you are considering buying a home, ranch-style homes are comparatively cheaper than two-story homes. But if you want to build your home, ranch-style homes are quite expensive. For building a ranch home, you might need to consider buying the land first, which will be larger in area than the two-story homes. 

4. Why Ranch Homes Are So-Called?

The ranch-style homes are so-called due to their wide-open spaces’ appeal. Their name developed from the ranches in the West. As the structures are single-story and horizontally long with low-pitched roofs, they are best for cattle ranches. Its features make it best suited for outdoor designs.

5. What Distinguishes the Ranch-Style Home from the Bungalow?

Both ranch-style homes and bungalows are single-story homes in general, so it is common to get them muddled. Bungalows are almost always square, as opposed to ranches, which are more commonly rectangular, and they often have steeper pitched rooflines and smaller windows.

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Saili Sawantt

Saili Sawantt

An Architect + Writer, Saili has worked as an Architectural writer & brand storyteller where she has collaborated with firms, studios, organisations, luxury brands, events & educational institutions to communicate in the real estate & travel industry. Her recent initiatives include curating an online workshop on communication and networking within the AEC industry. She is a commentator on the design industry’s upkeep through her social handles while also being an avid reader and traveller.