First built in the US around the 1920s like the western plains homes use by ranchers in the late 19th to early 20th century. The Ranch Home was also known as the “Tract House” because this was the style of choice for developers creating large sub divisions. Thousands of these homes were built in subdivisions across the nation. If you’ve ever watched the movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life” starring Jimmy Stewart at Christmas time, about 45 minutes into the movie, you’ll see a whole bunch of these ranch styles in the back ground.
Simpler because of its single story design, the Ranch House can be made into a large rectangle with a long central hallway. But the house can also be built in a “T” or “C” shaped configuration, a “J”, and even an “E” or even a double “E” layout which gives the design an ability to adapt to the needs of the family and adapt to the terrain, usually no matter how the land lays.
Roofs for this style also can vary in shape. The most common roof for the main rectangle of the home is the simple gable, hip, half hip, or even a flat roof. But when other appendages are added, you can have multiple roofs in whatever direction the homes appendages happen to go. I’ve seen some built with angled sections at 30 to 45 degrees.
But the design even lends itself to more class by adding a steep roof pitch that another half story can be added to the house making it a one and a half story. On that steep roof, dormers can be placed to add even more beauty to the home. One of the prettiest Ranchers I’ve ever seen had this steep roof configuration with a large center dormer and smaller dormers on each side of the large one. It was also decorated out with many of the classic brick work, columns, and trims of the colonial homes. It was a sight to behold and the owner was very proud.
The foundations or basements are also a simple matter for these type homes because they have that simple rectangular design. With a rectangular layout, there’s always an easy way to support the floor system by evenly spacing all the piers or post.
I’d like to design a home for you if you’re planning to build. My name is Tim Davis and you’re at my Home Design Website.