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What Is a Ranch-Style House?

Architecture Styles: The Ranch House

Extraordinarily popular in the 1950s, the ranch style of home architecture emerged in the 1920s and '30s but really flourished after World War II. Though the ranch silhouette varies wildly depending on the era and place, ranch houses are typically characterized as single story with low, gabled roofs; large, overhanging eaves; and big windows.

Within the ranch style, you'll find many variations, including midcentury modern versions with wrapped or slot windows and Colonial-influenced designs.

They're typically shaped like long, wide rectangles with garages attached or L- or U-shaped. As a result, the floor plans tend to be somewhat open, with simple lines and few adornments. The gable roofs give way to vaulted ceilings, often with beams, and sliding doors are also a common fixture. The most common materials include brick, wood, and stucco.

Have you ever lived in a ranch house?

Source: Flickr User Jason Tinder

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kurniakasih kurniakasih 7 years
I lived for a few months in one (when my parents purchased their 'now' house--I had to move back in w/ parents at that time). I LOVEd IT (although I don't love living with my parents LOL), I think it's just cozy. Our house is a split-level...I really prefer one-level house. But we did get our place for a really good price and it's in a nice neighborhood...
psterling psterling 7 years
I've only EVER lived in a ranch house. Not necessarily by choice but that's pretty much all we've got around here. I dream of living in a cute cottage or colonial style house some day though *sigh*
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I haven't, but I'm not opposed to living in one. My only concern is that it has to have a pitched roof -- no flat roofs for me. I find that flat roofs are problematic as far as drainage and leakage.
lawchick lawchick 7 years
I live in a 1958 wooden ranch house.
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