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Styles of Homes: Exterior of Ranch Styles Homes

With Ranch style of homes, exterior is the key. Whether it’s a single story suburban Ranch home with its weather protected entry or an imposing multi-storey house with grand stairs and a wrap-around veranda, these homes are a classic of American architecture.

Styles of homes
Ranch style home in Salinas, California

Classic Ranch Style Design House

Ranch homes began their history in 1920s America, but soared in popularity in the 1950s and 1960s as more people started building their own homes. Often called California Ranch Homes, Ramblers, or Ranchers, there are several key things that make a Ranch style homes exterior such a popular design.

  1. Dramatic entry – whether it’s stairs with a mighty balustrade leading to the front door, an arch, or a huge monitor over the doorway, entries to Ranch style homes are always dramatic.
  2. Usually single story.
  3. Natural materials are used, such as oak and brick. However, brick Ranchers are usually covered over and everything is painted.
  4. Long layout with low pitched roofs.
  5. Integrated garages.
  6. Covered porch/entry – can extend along the front and side of the house as a long veranda.
  7. Large windows – often bay windows, but always large to let in lots of light.
  8. Minimal exterior decorations – pristine paintwork and a well cared for garden are all a Ranch house needs.
  9. Rear of the house is likely to have sliding doors/French doors leading on to a patio.
  10. Often a big contrast between exterior house color and roof color – a cream color house with a red tiled roof, is a popular look.
  11. Wherever you find a Ranch style home it always has that taste of the American West.

Remodeling a Ranch Style Home

If you have a Ranch style home and want to add some “wow” factor to the exterior, to boost its curb appeal, then it’s not that difficult to do. Depending on your budget, you might want to consider some of the following renovations when remodeling a Ranch style home.

Ranch style home decor
Camarillo Ranch House

  1. Use stucco or plaster to cover exposed brick, or give it a good sandblast and an exterior paint job; cream, beige and lemon yellow colors work well, but make sure they have a warmth to them.
  2. Replace windows with larger bay ones if possible; even if you only use them in a couple of places, it makes a huge difference.
  3. If you have a larger budget, consider adding a second story, or add gabled dormers if you already have a multi-story Ranch house.
  4. Update the entry way by adding a covered foyer, an arch, or install some stairs with a new balustrade.
  5. Add stone accents to chimneys and/or bump outs, but remember to keep the look natural.
  6. Add stone patio or decking to the rear of your Ranch house.
  7. Landscaping can create a perfect frame for your Ranch home, no matter what your budget. Add to a featureless lawn with a rock garden, stone path, or some new trees and shrubs.

House color design
Roberson Ranch

Don’t think of a Ranch style home as boring, think of it as versatile because there’s just so much you can do with this classic house design. No wonder the Ranch style homes exterior is one of the most popular styles of home today.


Image Credits

  • Ranch style home in Salinas, CA – BrendelSignature: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ranch_style_home_in_Salinas,_California.JPG
  • Camarillo Ranch House – Los Angeles: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Camarillo_Ranch_House.jpg
  • Rear of Roberson Ranch – Wtrobers: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Roberson_Ranch.JPG

Classic American House Styles

Authentic colors and characteristics of popular American house designs including Ranch style, Craftsman, Victorian, and Colonial styles are examined in this series of Classics of American house architecture, along with plenty of pictures to help identify them.

  1. Exterior of Ranch Style Homes
  2. Guide to the Exterior of Craftsman Style Homes with Pictures
  3. Paint Your Colonial Style House in Historically Accurate Colors
  4. Authentic Colors for Victorian House Exteriors

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