The raised ranch house style was an evolution of the simple, one-floor ranch house popular during the 1950s and 1960s. Raised ranches were affordable and offered additional living space for families. Raised ranch homes have other names and are often called "split-level homes." Some variation of the raised ranch house plan is found in every community in the United States.
History of Raised Ranch House Style
As suburban families grew, they needed more floorspace and more separation between children's and adult's activities at home. The raised ranch provided these features on a small lot and was cost-effective for both buyers and builders. Housing developments full of raised ranch style homes peppered the United States during the 1970s.
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Raised Ranch House Plan Features
Raised ranch house plans feature two stories, with the basement partially or fully above ground. The upstairs floor is devoted to kitchen, living room and bedrooms. The lower level contains a family room and often additional bedrooms. The entryway is often located on a level between the two floors. Large, well placed windows help to make the basement area livable space, according to the New-House-Plans website. Garages are attached to the home and integrated into the front view of the home. Raised ranches generally have a low-pitched gabled roof, sliding glass doors leading to a patio or outdoor areas and often have asymmetrical designs.
Advantages of Raised Ranch Houses
Raised ranch homes offer a great deal of living space on a relatively small lot, making it an attractive deal financially for homeowners. Raised ranch house plans also provide separation of activities between bedroom areas and play areas for homes with children of varying ages. The separate floors allow babies to sleep undisturbed while older children entertain friends in the lower level. This design also allows young adults still living at home, or older family members living with families, to have separate bedrooms built in the lower level away from busy family activities. This ability to accommodate the changing needs of families made this architectural style a popular choice.
Disadvantages of Raised Ranch Houses
Though the raised ranch house plan offers many advantages, it does not accommodate all family situations. Families with toddlers may have concerns about stairways connecting levels. Negotiating stairways may also be troublesome for older family members. The divided levels can make housekeeping more difficult. Heating and cooling is more expensive because of open areas between levels that cannot be closed off to conserve energy. Facing the uncomfortable decision of whether to go upstairs or downstairs at the entrance makes this an undesirable style for many buyers, according to the Hunter the House Hunter website.