Contemporary ranch home plans combine a classic look with modern amenities. The original ranch homes of the 1960s were considered luxurious for their wide, sliding glass doors that opened to sprawling patio and backyard areas. Today, a new generation of ranch homes offers more “extras” from which to choose than your parents could have imagined! Think ranch house plans with open floor plans, master bedroom suites with spa-style bathrooms and walk-in closets, “mother-in-law suites” with plenty of privacy and separation, spacious kitchens complete with a countertop island, in-home office spaces, and of course, the ample patio space (perfect for summer grilling!) that helped popularize this style home from the start.
The beauty of a ranch house plan is its flexibility. This classic home floor plan can be adapted to any family configuration or stage of life. To add square footage to ranch homes, The Plan Collection provides the option of a basement. The advantages of building on a basement rather than a slab foundation are increased livable and storage space, as well as less exterior area to finish. For these reasons, the selection of a basement foundation is the most common variation of the traditional one-story ranch-style home.
Ranch House Plans: Beginnings, Variations, and Updates
Simple in their design, ranch plans first captured the imaginations of the post-WWII American middle class in the 1950s and 1960s. During this era of rapid suburbanization, lots of homes were affordable and generously sized, and the ranch house-plan layout had mammoth appeal. The popular California Ranch (as they were originally called) featured a long rectangular shape with a shallow-pitched hip roof that extended across a single- or double-car garage. Key to the popularity of the “golden age” ranch home plans was their comfortable size—usually three bedrooms and two baths—contained neatly and accessible on one floor.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the ranch style house lost ground to more multi-story “McMansion” style housing trends, with homebuyers and homebuilders racing to add more square footage per plot of land, often compromising on quality with cheaper building materials.
Fast forward to the present. Today, ranch homes are enjoying a renaissance. Designers are looking back to original ranch homes as inspiration for versatile, high-value single-story and in many cases, luxurious homes. Ranches offer cost-effective square footage, open and harmonious common areas that are well suited to entertaining, and everyday living made accessible without the need for stairs. The Plan Collection’s ranch house plans combine old and new styles to give homeowners a one-of-a-kind look to call their own.
Looking for something stylish and different from the Wonder Years style ranch home? You can now find a ranch-style house to suit any set of updated tastes and preferences. Far beyond the standard brick of the 1950s and 1960s, homebuilders can choose from a huge palette of exterior finishes.
See how these houses have evolved and why they have prevailed as a home-design classic by browsing The Plan Collection’s portfolio of more than 3,000 unique ranch home plans.