Building a Ranch Style Home

A Ranch Style Home is Ideal for Larger Building Lots and Older Homeowners

By Mark J. Donovan

The first home my parents had built was a ranch style home, or rambler home as it was also commonly referred to. I have many fond memories of that home and the property it sat on in southern Maryland. As the name implies ranch style homes were and still are popular on ranches or on large pieces of land. Building ranch style homes is also still very popular where land is relatively inexpensive and/or building lots are large.

They were also the home style of choice for track building developers from the end of World War 2 up through the 1970s. They are also much more commonly constructed in warmer climate areas where there is less of a snow load concern.

Building a ranch home has a number of unique advantages over other home styles. First and foremost, the entire home is built on one level, with the exception of those built on foundation walls that include a basement.

Consequently a ranch style house has its bedrooms, living room area and kitchen all on the same level.

Another major benefit of building a ranch style home is that the roof is much lower to the ground compared to a two story home, thus making the roof and home much more accessible for maintenance and repair. Also a ranch style home typically has a large and wide footprint. As a result, the roof pitch on ranch style homes is usually quite shallow, again making it more accessible for maintenance and repair.

Building a ranch style home is also an ideal choice for older people where maneuvering stairs could eventually become an issue.

Home Addition Bid Sheets

Ranch style homes vary in size from effectively starter homes to large sprawling estates. Typically the internal and external décor vary in themes from modern to western. With smaller size ranch homes there is usually a kitchen and living room area to one side of the home, followed by a center hallway with bedrooms and a bathroom off either side of it on the other side of the home. In larger ranch style homes there is often a great room with vaulted ceilings and a large window area overlooking the property.

Typically in larger ranch style homes the great room divides the bedrooms from the kitchen and other public areas of the home.

It’s important when building a ranch style home to consider the position of it on the property relative to the morning and afternoon sunshine. If you prefer a bright kitchen in the morning then the home should be positioned so that the kitchen faces in an easterly direction.

Roof eave width is another area to pay close attention to when building a ranch style home.

Building wider roof eaves helps to keep the home cooler in the summer months, which is a major concern with a ranch home where all the living is done on one level.

In addition the wider roof eaves also help to minimize the effect of sun glare during the winter months when the sun is lower on the horizon.


For more help on building a new custom home, see’s New Home Construction Bid Sheet. The New Home Construction Bid Sheet provides you with the knowledge on how to plan a custom home building project, and what to look for when hiring contractors for your new home construction. It also includes a detailed cost breakdown table and spreadsheet for estimating your own new home construction building costs.