Written by: Bruce Arant
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. We’ve all heard that saying, and even though it might be sort of a pathetic mindset (never being satisfied with what we’ve already got), I admit I sometimes think that way too. It’s not that I’m generally an envious person, or that I think I’ve been short-changed by life. It’s just that there are a few things that I would like to have…but don’t. For example, if I were to make a list, my top three greener grasses would probably be: 1) hair 2) six pack abs 3) a ranch house.
OK….some things might be easier to come by than others. So, with that said, let’s take a look at #3 on my list…a ranch house. At this point, some of you might be asking yourselves…What does he mean? Is he wanting a house on a cattle ranch? Or, does he just mean a one-story house? Truth be told….I mean both. I’d love to live on a cattle ranch, but since that probably won’t happen anytime soon (like the six-pack abs or hair), I’d settle for a one-story house….also known as a ranch…or rambler…or main-level master home.
Now, there’s nothing at all wrong with having a home with more than one level. In fact, here at Advanced House Plans, we offer many beautiful 1-1/2 and 2-story house plans in a wide array of styles. Even with two levels, our 1-1/2-story house plans feature the master bedroom on the main floor, with the secondary bedrooms upstairs. But some of us absolutely love the thought of living entirely on one level.
Ranch plans have always been popular, but it seems that they have steadily grown in popularity over recent years. It all comes down to matters of practicality and knee joints. Yes, the absence of stairs in a ranch plan means less wear and tear on its occupants – and as the Baby Boomer generation ages, more and more one-story homes are sought. But even younger families are seeking the benefits and practicality of single-level living. In a single-level home, it’s simply easier to keep track of your little ones or to keep tabs on your not-so-little ones.
Also, thoughtful one-level floor plans allow plenty of separation between the master and secondary bedrooms, if desired. Great rooms or family rooms commonly serve as centralized living spaces, with bedrooms on opposite sides. Kitchen areas, of course, are often open to these main living areas and act as a primary gathering hub for family and friends. All of this…without lifting a single foot, up a single stair. A pretty nice way to live, I’d say.
Furthermore, for years, it was assumed that a good ranch house plan could only be accommodated by a sprawling lot. Of course, some ranch plans are really wide or deep, but with today’s smart design techniques, it is easy to find well-designed one-story house plans that live large. High ceilings, an abundance of natural light, and long, open views throughout the living spaces can make even smaller one-story homes feel more open and airy than the traditional, expansive ranch homes of yesteryear.
Having extolled the benefits of stair-less living, I would be remiss to not point out the fact that a lower level (yes…accessed via stairs) can significantly expand a ranch house plan’s living area. Family rooms, fitness areas, home theaters, and hobby spaces are just some of the options that a finished lower level floor plan can offer. What’s more, with high ceilings, generously bright egress windows and walk-out options, a lower level no longer has to feel like a “basement.”
Essentially, a finished lower level will transform your single-level ranch house plan, into an inverted two-level home. If (and when) you fall in love with one of our ranch house plans, and it doesn’t include a lower-level floor plan, be assured we can create one, tailor-made to your needs and desires.
Additionally, as with all of our house plans, the exterior appearance of our ranch house plans can also be customized to your liking. In most cases, our talented design team can give any of our house plans – large or small – an architectural-style makeover, to transform its “look.” Traditional to Tuscan? Cottage to Craftsman? Farmhouse to French Country? No problem.
Writing about the practical benefits of living in a ranch house plan has made the “grass” even greener in my mind. The prospect of climbing stairs for much longer now seems more daunting than ever. Maybe it’s time to get serious about the top three things on my list…a ranch house…complete with a fitness area to develop my new set of six-pack abs…and…well, the hair thing might be a lost cause. I guess two out of three ain’t bad.