A Guide to Ranch Style Homes

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For many decades, ranch-style houses were the single most popular style throughout the United States, including North Carolina, South Carolina, and the rest of the Southeast. Although this home-style fell out of vogue for a while in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, it is once again enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Whether you currently live in a ranch-style residence in the Carolinas or you’re thinking about buying one, this guide is for you.

As you read on, you’ll discover answers to some common questions that have to do with ranch homes. When you reach the end, you should have a better understanding of where this architectural style came from and how it has evolved to fit the needs of today’s 21st-century families. 

Where did ranch houses come from?

The basis of today’s ranch style house came from residences that were constructed in California starting in the 1930s. These took inspiration from Spanish Colonial homes, which featured low rooflines, wide eaves, and plenty of cross-ventilation from large windows. Ranch houses were informal and comfortable, fitting the stereotypical California lifestyle. 

Post World War II, ranch homes started becoming popular around the nation as returning soldiers and their young families relocated to suburbia. Ranch style residences were quick and easy to build as suburbs popped-up everywhere. By the year 1950, 9 out of every 10 new homes in America was a ranch. 

Are there different types of ranch houses?

The short answer to this question is “Yes!” Below, you’ll discover descriptions of several different sorts of ranch style homes. Some residences even blend a few of these styles, making them completely unique ranches.

California ranch – This term refers to the original American ranch houses, which were usually L- or U-shaped and featured central courtyards. They frequently have exposed beams on their ceilings and heavily focus on cross-ventilation. 

High ranch or raised ranch – The distinguishing characteristic of a high ranch home is its two short staircases. One, at the front of the home, leads to the living space and bedrooms. The second, on the interior, leads down the garage area. This type of ranch is often built on hills. 

Rambler ranch – As per the name, rambler ranches have a lot of square footage spread out over a big area. Since ranches are single-story houses, ramblers often require a lot of land. Due to this, they are most popular in rural regions where the property can be purchased relatively cheaply. 

Storybook ranch – Sometimes known as a “Cinderella ranch,” storybook ranch houses have more decoration than most ranch residences, making them particularly popular in the South, where ornate homes abound. Any ranch home can be renovated into a storybook style, with the addition of features like diamond-shaped window panes and extra trim. 

Now that you understand more about the history of ranch homes in the United States, you can give your North Carolina or South Carolina property a look through a new lens. If you decide to renovate your home, whether to modernize it or to give it a Spanish Colonial flair, the Hatch Homes crew can assist you. Contact us to learn more about the services we offer. 

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