The ranch-style home is a uniquely American architectural achievement. Embedded in most folks’ memories as the Brady Bunch home, its utilitarian, down-to-earth appearance has appealed to thousands of homeowners nationwide for over eighty years.
Let’s take a look at what makes ranch homes unique, so you can decide if one is the right fit for you and your family.
History of the Ranch Style Home
Cliff May is widely considered the father of the modern California-style ranch home. As a young man living in southern California, he had ample opportunity to observe and absorb the design features of the Spanish colonial homes built on ranches, which were popular in his part of the country. May, who was not formally trained as an architect, designed and built two homes in San Diego in the early 1930s and quickly found himself in demand by local homebuyers.
May’s design continued to gain steam, and proved especially popular in the decades following World War II, as military veterans returned home to grow families and relocate to the suburbs, where land was readily available. For many, the ranch embodied an easy, relaxed lifestyle. It was generally only a single story in height and tended to be more spread out than its more traditional counterparts, requiring more land and larger plots.
The ranch home’s glory days began to wane by the 1980s. Trends began to shift, and many homeowners preferred mansion-style multi-level homes. Recently, however, the rancher has experienced a renaissance, as homeowners are now favoring more compact designs, which require less expensive upkeep.
Unique Design Features
Ranch homes are generally one story high, but they can be extended to two stories. Extended-height examples are referred to as “split-level” or “raised” ranches. They often feature gently sloping roofs and L- or U-shaped layouts and attached garages.
One particularly distinguishing feature of a ranch home is its use of windows. Picture windows and glass sliding doors are especially popular ranch home fixtures. They provide homeowners with a wide-ranging view of their property.
The interiors of ranch homes are not often elaborately adorned. The goal of many builders is to create a home that is simple, affordable and family-centric.
Is a Ranch Style Home Right for You?
If you’re interested in acquiring a ranch home, but are unsure about investing in an older property that might need extensive renovation, consider a modular ranch home. Ranch-style modulars retain all of the simple charm of their traditionally built forbearers. They offer modern features, such as energy efficient windows and insulation, a wide range of exterior finishes, and a fast turnaround time during their construction phase.
Whether you’re looking for a well-adorned luxury ranch modular or a more rustic ranch modular, ranch modulars make great homes that can be passed from generation to generation, offering families a safe and affordable housing option. Contact us today to learn more about how Westchester Modular can help you design the ranch home of your dreams.