A Ranch (or any 1 level) house plan is often considered the perfect dream home layout. Why? Well, building your dream home is like getting married—the idea is to do it once. If you build a 3 story house now and plan to stay in it for the rest of your life—that’s totally fine—but make sure you consider how you’re going to navigate the upper levels of the house 20, 30, 40 or 50 years down the road. One option would be to make sure the master suite is on the main level; another would be to install an elevator; and a 3rd option would be to select a 1 story Ranch plan from the collection below!
The first western-inspired Ranch homes were built in California in the 1930s. Fueled by the post-war building boom and the expansion of the suburbs, where large lots made their sprawling footprints possible, Ranch house plans (sometimes called Rambler house plans) soon became the dominant American home style from California to New Jersey through the 1950s and 1960s. Ranch style house plans emphasize openness, with few interior walls and an efficient use of space. The one-story plan usually features a low-pitched side-gable or hipped roof, sometimes with a front-facing cross gable. Colonial, Craftsman, Tudor, or Spanish influences may shade the exterior, though decorative details are minimal. Large picture windows are common, as are sliding glass doors leading to back patios. The rise of the automobile necessitated an attached garage. Ideal for those who prefer single-level living, have access to a wide (or, at least, a wide-ish) lot, or simply love mid-century style, the Ranch home has regained its popularity today.