Ranch House Plans: A History
Believed to have originated from the style of southwestern and Spanish colonial homes, ranch house plans date back to the 1920s when one story house plans first gained popularity. In the 1940s through the 1970s the post-war generations turned ranch house plans into a suburban phenomenon, popping up in masse from east to west. During the 1950s, it's actually estimated that nine out of every 10 new houses built was a ranch home. Though the popularity of ranch home plans began to wane a bit in the late 20th century, preservationist movements and aging demographics have sparked a renewed interest in these practical and efficient one story house plans. Ranch homes remain a staple of the American real estate market today, attracting both first time home buyers and folks looking to move into a home that requires minimal stairclimbing.
Today's one story house plans go beyond the original commitment to simplicity and openness that served as the trademark feature of the ranch. Today's ranch is likely to have fewer dividing walls between rooms, and often makes liberal use of exposed post-and-beam ceilings, clerestory room dividers and dramatic floor to ceiling glass - creating an even greater sense of openness and ease. Still common in the modern ranch design is the eat-in kitchen, attached garage and low, long roofline.