It’s no secret that interest rates are climbing, and the cost of building a home usually goes right along with it. Last year, we saw lumber costs reach historic highs which affected the housing market in several ways. While we saw our clients asking for homes with an overall lower square footage and simpler roof lines, we had a noticeable increase in the number of ranch home plans we were selling – especially ranch plans with finished walkout or lower level spaces. And that trend seems to be continuing.
Why a ranch home? Ranch homes are typically less expensive to build, especially when you add a lower level floor plan that is finished. Basically, instead of building up, people are building down. How does this affect the cost of building the home? For starters, you’ll not only have lower lumber costs, but your labor costs for framing up as opposed to down are usually less as well.
We saw a similar trend happen in the early 2000s and again later after the market correction of 2008. Plus, our population is aging, and baby-boomers are now downsizing into ranch homes so they can keep all necessary rooms on one level. Not having to go up and down stairs to get to the bedroom or to do the laundry are attractive options for our aging parents. And with a finished basement, there is still plenty of room for the grandkids to play and sleep.
Originating in the 1920s, the ranch house planwas first described as The American Ranch, or the rambler or rancher. Many people associate the ranch home design with tract homes which grew in popularity during the 1940s and featured one roof line making them easier, cheaper and quicker to build. Early ranch house plan designs featured formal living rooms, and open kitchen dining areas with the bedrooms towards the back of the home along a rather lengthy hallway. Starting in the 1960s up through today, ranch homes began featuring several roof lines for curb appeal and updated floor plans that are more adaptable to today's homeowner.
Ranch home designs continue to be one of the most popular styles of homes because of their practicality, ability to age with the homeowner and cost.
Many of our best-selling house plans are ranch homes and you’ll find them in pretty much any size and style. The farmhouse style is wildly popular right now and we’ve added several ranch/farmhouses to our collection. We also get a lot of requests for craftsman style ranch plans – also a popular trend in the market. Today’s ranch house plan designs also feature open-concept floorplans where the kitchen, great room and dining area all flow together into one large living space that’s perfect for family events.