Ranch Style Home – Meaning, Types, Characteristics, Benefits, & Drawbacks


The ranch-style home is one of the most popular home architectural styles in America. There is a very good chance that you’ve seen them scattered around different neighborhoods, as it is a very common choice among first-time home builders or first-home buyers.

Ranch-style homes date back centuries, and most of these single-story homes are still standing today. With a variety of characteristics that have made the ranch style a long-standing option, many ask what a ranch-style home is and the benefits of having one.

Throughout the course of this article, I will discuss ranch-style homes, the types, characteristics, benefits, and drawbacks of having a ranch-style home. So, here is all you need to know about this popular home architectural style.

What is a ranch-style home?

A ranch-style home is a single-story structure that features an open concept or an open floor plan and ample outdoor space. Some of the most common features of the ranch architectural home style include long and low-pitch rooflines, wide eves, and large windows. In many cases, a finished basement, which is designed to give the home more living space area is added to this home style to create more space.

The shape of ranch-style homes varies; you will typically find U, C, and L-shape ranch-style homes to be more common. Attached garages or carports are also other added features of the ranch-style home architecture.

Types of ranch-style homes

Although they are all grouped together under the umbrella of “ranch-style homes”, there are many types. Here are a few that are common;

1. California ranch

The California ranch, also termed the rambling ranch, is a sprawling single-story design that is meant to create a blend between home and landscape. You can characterize this ranch style by its L and U shape. A front patio and front lawn are also key features of this ranch style.

2. Suburban ranch

The suburban ranch home style became popular after World War II because it had a simple design that was very easy to replicate. Suburban ranch homes tend to be the smallest among other ranch home types, with simple exteriors, concrete foundations, and open-concept interiors.

3. Split-level ranch

The split-level ranch appears to look like a ranch home from the outside, but the interior has three levels of living space (three stories). On most occasions, the living, dining, and kitchen area is the first place you will come across on entering the house. Additionally, you will find two and a half flights of stairs leading to bedrooms and additional living space.

4. Storybook ranch

The storybook ranch is also referred to as the fairytale ranch. If you’ve come across a ranch home that is full of charm and details, chances are you’ve seen the storybook ranch. Other key features of the storybook ranch home include diamond-shaped windows, detailed trims, rafters (exposed), and a steeper gable roof.

5. Raised ranch

People often confuse the raised ranch style (also referred to as the split-entry ranch) to be the same as the split-level ranch, but they are very different. It consists of two floors, one at slab level (lower ground-level floor) and one above (upper floor). Once you enter through the front door, you find a staircase leading both upstairs and downstairs.

Benefits and drawbacks of living in a ranch-style home

Now, after understanding the basics, I bet you want to know the ups and downs of ranch-style homes. Some notable benefits and drawbacks include the following;


1. Affordability

Ranch-style homes are very affordable, to buy or to build since they are smaller in size with very simple design and build features. Additionally, since the square footage of the home is smaller than others, you will have lower heating and cooling bills, adding to the affordability of the ranch-style home.

2. Low maintenance and repair needs

With just a single story and a low-pitched roofline, maintenance and repairs are not as difficult or rampant as multi-level homes. For instance, cleaning gutters and windows won’t require you or a handyman to climb a ladder up onto the roof.

3. Easy movement through the home

Ranch-style homes are built to be easily accessible. You can get to various points in the home without having to move too much because these rooms are built closely or together. This is a huge advantage, especially for homeowners or elderly with mobility issues. It also means evacuation will be easy in case of an emergency, like a fire outbreak.


1. Less privacy

For some homeowners, ranch homes may not give them the privacy that they wish to have in their homes. Most homeowners will prefer having their living area completely separate from the dining area or kitchen. But this isn’t the case in ranch-style homes since they do not really take up much space. They are built closely or together.

2. Less yard space

Ranch-style home design tends to spread the home to the lot; this means that there will be less yard space on the property. To some homeowners, this is a turn-off as they prefer a spacious yard so the kids or pets can have more green space to play around in.


Where are ranch-style homes most popular?

Ranch-style homes are very popular in the United States. You will find ranch homes in the North, West, Northwest, Midwest, and Southwest. But you will come across ranch homes more often in regions with warmer climates, such as California, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas. 

Do ranch homes appraise higher?

Yes, they do, although other factors will play a role in the value of the home as time goes on.

What are the characteristics of ranch-style homes?

Some main characteristics of ranch-style homes include an open floor concept, large windows, sliding glass doors, a finished basement, an attached garage, a patio, and deck space.

What materials are used in ranch-style houses?

You can use a variety of materials in building a ranch-style home, but the most common materials include wood, stone, brick, and stucco.

Conclusion – Is a ranch-style home worth it?

The ranch style is mostly associated with ample space, easy living, and excellent mobility. Three features that you may not find in most multi-level homes. This is why ranch-style homes are popular and highly sought after in the United States. If you seek a charming yet affordable and easy-to-maintain home type, then yes, the ranch-style home is definitely worth it.

At Samkins Construction Lnc, we strive for excellence. See our Portfolio page and see some of our completed ranch-style homes. Afterward, get in touch let’s get started on your dream home build process right away.

Thanks for reading.

About Samkins

Samkins Construction Inc specializes in custom home building, general contracting, design-build, architectural design, construction management, and real estate services.


Sign up to receive the latest news and updates from our company.

More questions? Get in touch