Ideas For Your New Home

The Modern Ranch: Timeless, Convenient, Affordable

The Modern Ranch: Timeless, Convenient, Affordable

Pictured In The Banner: The Shenandoah, PATCO's most downloaded floor plan

Although all classic home styles are enjoying high popularity this year, 2017 could certainly be viewed as "The Year of The Ranch". Ranch-style homes first made their appearance in America in the early part of the 20th century. They feature a long, low, ground-hugging profile and are mostly single-story in character. Ranch homes offer attached garages, open and uncluttered floor plans and uncomplicated exteriors. Those last two design features allow homeowners to personalize their ranch homes to a great extent. A variation on the design is the split-level ranch, which has two different levels.


The ranch-style home's flexible floor plan made it a popular home in the post-World War II years. True ranch-style homes first made their appearance in the 1920s. Originally, they were based on Spanish colonial architecture used in the American Southwest. Efforts to combine that style with modern architectural touches created the California ranch-style home. That led to a boom in the building of these homes from the 1940s through the 1970s. Their livability, flexibility in floor plans and uncomplicated design were perfect for the post-World War II growth of American suburbs.

Interior Features

Ranch-style homes can be built over basements or on slab foundations. Ranch-style homes feature open floor plans throughout - the most popular type of floor plan, hands down, for the last several years. This means all of the major rooms flow one into the other. For example, a living room may be undivided by a wall separating it from a dining room or kitchen. Ranch homes with basements are the standard in Maine. Ranch homes on slabs, although mostly seen in California and in the southwestern part of the country, are an option for new homebuyers looking to save a little on the cost of the home. 

Exterior Features

Ranch homes have a number of distinguishing exterior features, including a long, low roofline. Brick, wood or stucco are the three most common exterior materials used in ranch-style homes. A garage attached to the home is the norm as well. A well-designed ranch-style home will usually have large windows. This is especially the case for the living room, which normally features a large picture window. Lastly, almost all feature sliding doors leading to a patio or deck area.


Surveys have found that people 55 years of age and older prefer ranch-style homes above other styles. Ranches are particularly well suited for "aging in place", part of the life plan for many retirees. A September 2009 survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders was very illuminating. It found that those 55 years of age and older strongly preferred a single-story ranch-style home. A single story means the only stairs in the home will lead down to the basement, if one exists. In addition, a ranch home is open and airy interior makes cleaning easier.

PATCO offers several great ranch style homes in it's portfolio. You can see them HERE and download the individual plans. We'd love to build one for you!