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The Popular Split Level Ranch Home Design

Ranch house designs have been extremely popular in the United States since the 1950s and are as quintessentially American as jazz and cheeseburgers. The design of a ranch house is generally asymmetrical and low-rise, with a horizontal orientation and spread out in a rectangular, U-shaped, or L-shaped configuration. Roofs are gabled or hipped with wide eaves. Ranch homes typically have attached garages and feature minimal ornamentation, but contain modern design elements such as large bay glass windows, sliding glass doors, and Formica countertops.

Another common feature was the raised ranch, or two-story house, which emerged as a variant of the original ranch style in the late 20th century (although some early examples predate World War II and the Sears catalog of Honor-Bilt Homes lists several split houses). level designs in the 1930s). Unlike traditional ranch-style homes, these were innovative in their use of interior space. Instead of arranging the rooms on one floor, the style rearranged the space according to its use. For example, in a popular split-level variant, the entry, kitchen, dining, and living rooms occupied the main level; the upper bedrooms were reached by a half-staircase leading upwards; and the laundry area, guest bedroom and family games room were accessed by a half staircase going down. In some farmhouse designs, the garage was placed on the lower level, with easy access via half-stairs to the upper level. Another possibility was a split-entry home, characterized by a small entryway with a half-staircase leading to the living rooms and bedrooms above, and another half-staircase to the side leading to the garage, laundry room, and family room. There were many other settings as well.

The popularity of split levels stemmed in part from its modernity and its differentiation from traditional mid-20th century housing styles such as Minimalist, Cape Cod, Colonial Revival, and bungalows. This architecture can be made to blend into a hillside site in a natural way. These homes maximize their square footage and curb presence, and minimize costs without the need for larger lots or basements by taking advantage of the natural curvature of the land, thereby minimizing earthmoving costs. The split-level ranch style provided an ideal balance between the buyers’ goal of getting the most home for the money, with the builders’ goal of making a handsome profit.

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