Everything You Need To Know About Ranch Style Architecture

Those in the process of becoming new homeowners are bound to be asked about their preferred home style. While there's a wide variety of architecture types on the market today, from Cape Cod and French country to craftsman and colonial, one that remains perenially popular in the United States is the ranch-style home. HGTV describes the style as "an art form unique to America" because the design is modeled on real Western horse and cattle ranches. Ranch-style homes first popped up in the 1930s and quickly took off, and the design style remains a favorite to this day, especially when it comes to custom-built homes.

If you're intrigued by ranch-style architecture and want to know more about it, you've come to the right place. From the defining features and characteristics of this style to the type of lifestyle it's best suited for, here's everything you ever wanted to know about ranch-style homes.

Ranch-style homes are made for family living

Dubbed America's favorite suburban house by House Beautiful, ranch-style homes are "one of the most common house types" across the country because they offer casual, convenient, family-oriented living. The design style includes one-story floor plans (often U- or L-shaped), plenty of backyard space, and an attached garage to accommodate multiple cars. According to HGTV, ranch architecture originated in Southern California with architect Cliff May, who wanted to blend indoor and outdoor living to take advantage of SoCal's sunny and warm climate. 

Nowadays, you'll find ranch-style homes not just in California but all over the globe. While the style attracts those searching for family living, the open layout is appealing to many of today's home buyers. Plus, the style is ideal for someone who wants to upgrade their space down the road. While ranches may look "cookie-cutter on the outside," a homeowner can easily customize the space with an addition or a full-on renovation, per Better Homes and Gardens.

So if you're a first-time home buyer looking to purchase a property that will grow with you and your family, a ranch-style house may be the perfect fit.