Ranch Style Home Plans: We Weigh the Pro's and Con's


Ranch style homes, those wide, one-story homes of the 1950's and 60's, are the quintessential American structure. Just a half century ago, home buyers everywhere were building and buying these practical homes for their families. Modern home buyers sometimes overlook the benefits of ranch style properties. If you're thinking about constructing a custom home, ranch style may be the right kind of property for you.

GTG Custom Home Builders creates custom homes for New Jersey home buyers. With 65 years of experience, we've built many ranch homes in the past. This article will explore their advantages and disadvantages, and who is most likely to enjoy life in a one story ranch home.

Ranch Style Benefits

Whether your focus is the practical or the beautiful, ranch style homes are made to be forever homes. They're functional, easy to maintain and easy for most homeowners to personalize. With a low profile and accessible spaces, ranch homes have it all.

Aging Gracefully

No matter where you are in life the truth is we are all getting older, so why not do it gracefully. Ranch style homes allow us to age in place even if we develop limited mobility due to lack of stairs. All your needs are on one floor, bedroom, laundry, office. Additional mobility measures can be put in place like wider doors, to allow for wheelchairs, and no threshold/curb showers to allow for easy access.

Young Family Friendly

As young parents know, there is never an end to the laundry to be done. Having bedrooms and the laundry on one floor can be a huge time saver. Stairs are a major safety concern for all small children once they are mobile and a gate is not only annoying but only as good as the last person to close it. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to cook dinner and check on the kids playing in their rooms without going upstairs.

Bring the Outdoors In

As we develop our beautiful hardscape like patios and verandas we often want to access them from more than just the kitchen. Wouldn’t you love to be able to walk out of your master bedroom onto your beautiful covered patio for that first coffee of the morning? How about your office? With a ranch home first floor offices can have their own access.

Less "Clogging"

When the kids play upstairs does it sound like the ceiling might come down?  Second stories create sound concerns from running kids, flushing toilets and waste water pipes.


As our lives changes do does the way we use our house. Ranch style homes with bedrooms all on one floor offer us the greatest flexibility for life style changes. Today it may be a bedroom but as empty nesters it may become an office. Wouldn’t it be nice to have that sewing/craft room on the first floor? How about a formal game room or parlor once junior moves out?

Future Value

The growth in the desire to own a ranch makes it a great investment. A single -tory design with all the modern amenities will be a rare find making your home more valuable.

Ranch Style Disadvantages

Of course, every style of residential construction has its disadvantages. Ranch style homes, though very practical in many ways, aren't for everyone. Once you know about the disadvantages, you can decide if ranch style is really for you.


Young parents may find one-story living to cause it to be harder to find some private time. Kids are always outside your bedroom door when there aren’t stairs to separate public areas and private areas. That peaceful bath might not be so peaceful.

Crowds and Entertaining

If you entertain frequently you will want to ensure your Ranch home design includes features that prevent guests from wandering into private areas. If your private space in accessible to all you may want to keep in mind a door on the laundry room prevents visitors from seeing cloths piled up on the floor.

Cost to Build

Ranch style homes require more roof and foundation which are expensive features of a home. Ranch style homes can easily be 10% more expensive to build.

Efficiency and Monthly Costs

Sprawling one story homes are harder to heat and cool efficiently. Two story living allows builders to zone living spaces easily. Also, many times Master Bedrooms in Ranch style homes are separated from the kids rooms to enhance privacy. This can cause a delay in hot water arriving at shower heads and faucets since hot water supply cant be close to both. Air loss into attics is also an increased since every ceiling is shared with the attic area. These negative aspects can be dealt with but there is a cost with air sealing, insulating and all
around best practices.

How to Make Your Decision

Before you can decide what type of home is right for you, contact a home builder in your area to go over designs and discuss your needs. Make a list of priorities as you choose the right type of home.

Ranch homes are the perfect architectural style for older couples hoping to age in place, and younger couples seeking a house that is easy to maintain. Two-story homes are the preferred type home of people who need peace and quiet at bedtime, or who simply want room to spread out away from the common areas.

Building a Ranch Style Home? Work With a Reputable Custom Home Builder

GTG Builders LLC constructs quality homes in central New Jersey. Ask us about our ranch style home designs, or contact us for a free consultation.


Contact GTG Builders LLC

GTG Builders LLC builds custom homes in central New Jersey. If you would like to have a custom home built in New Jersey, make an appointment for a consultation to discuss your upcoming project.

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