Rambler House vs Ranch House – Differences, Advantages and Disadvantages

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typical ranch style home built in the 1960's in small American town

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Rambler homes are typical one-story structures that were popular in the 1950s and ’60s. But recently, they have garnered interest in the real estate scene.

If you visit old neighborhoods or suburbs, you may still spot such homes, typically featuring a ‘U’ or ‘L’ shape. Also known as ranch-style houses, these establishments usually have low roofs and protruding overhangs.

You can find rambler houses across the USA, with the majority of them on the West Coast. However, of late, this Mexican haciendas inspired architectural style is very much in vogue throughout North America.

Without further ado, let’s learn more about these homes.

Rambler House vs Ranch House

Advantages Of A Rambler House

  1. Single-Storied Establishment

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Right from the beginning, ranch-style houses had one level while two-storied layouts came along much later. The idea was to keep all the rooms, including kitchen and dining space, easily accessible, on the same floor.

This is a significant benefit for people who struggle to climb stairs or suffer from ailments that hinder mobility. Also, it’s pretty convenient in terms of maintenance, as all repairs and restoration will be carried out on one level.

  1. High Vaulted Ceilings Enhance Interiors

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When we talk about single-story houses, people tend to assume it’s gonna be small and cramped, like a bungalow. However, ramblers have a typical sprawled out design with substantial square footage.

Nevertheless, one of the most striking features of these establishments is the vaulted ceiling, which instantly enhances structural elegance and creates an illusion of more space. Furthermore, high and vaulted ceilings ensure better air circulation inside the house.

  1. A House With Large Windows

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Ranch-style houses typically feature oversized windows, allowing maximum natural light inside. Usually, windows include shutters, but it’s not a definitive criterion. The large windows also add to the visual appeal, which is amiss in many modern city homes.

  1. Connects The Interior And Exterior

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Ramblers have a unique characteristic of seamlessly connecting the interior and exterior of the structure. It integrates the outdoor elements with the indoors, and the transition is almost indiscernible.

  1. Facilitates Hassle-free Renovation

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While the architecture style was introduced decades ago, it stood the test of time for its modern infrastructure. This is a significant advantage considering that homeowners can carry out any remodeling or repair projects with ease.

So, whether you need to install or replace cooling/heating systems, plumbing, wiring, or parts of the building, all of it can be executed without damage.

  1. Located In Established Areas

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While this is not a construction feature, these houses typically belong in old, established neighborhoods that lend a sense of security and privacy. This further adds to the resale value as, more often than not, buyers have such priorities.

Disadvantages Of A Rambler House

  1. Limited Floor Plan Options

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Initially, in the 1950s, ranch-style houses had open living spaces, but later on, the floor plans were akin to builder homes than personalized ones. Long story short, homeowners had fewer layouts to pick from, and the ones available were hardly flexible.

This is especially a drawback if you’re looking to customize or want an open concept space, as new-age ramblers are pretty much compartmentalized. However, the good news is that you can get rid of the partitions without causing any structural damage.

  1. Smaller Yard

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Given the large footprint of the house itself, it’s no surprise that the yard is much smaller. However, this is not a disadvantage for all homeowners, as many still prefer more interior space. If you’d rather have a bigger yard, consider getting a two-story rambler.

  1. Less Privacy For Family Members

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Remember, you will all be on the same level. So, if you have guests staying over, you can’t just move to another floor. This could also be bothersome if you’re running a business or office at home and need seclusion to work peacefully.

  1. Expensive Upgrades

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Upgrades are cost-intensive affairs and more likely essential in these old houses. Sometimes, you may have to undertake extensive changes to modernize the interiors and increase overall efficiency. So, if you plan on living in one of these, weigh in on the cost and time it will take to make it up to scratch.

  1. Recurring Cold Spots

This is a common issue with most rambler homes. Since it’s a single-story structure, it tends to develop cold spots in multiple places inside the house. This is mainly because, unlike multi-story buildings, these houses handle heat loss poorly.

Besides, they have a longish construction, so if you have one fireplace in the common area, it may not reach parts further away from it. Furthermore, since most of these structures are built on concrete slabs, much of the heat escapes through the foundation.

Decorating The Rambler

  1. Incorporate Wood

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Use plenty of wood in your interiors as it not only provides much-needed insulation but also adds more depth to your decor. Make the most out of your large windows by using wood as a complementary element. This will ensure higher efficiency while reducing utility bills.

  1. Mid-century Decor Is So In

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Mid-century decor is en vogue, which is great, considering that your rambler house also belongs to the same era. So play with pastels and keep your indoors bright and cozy. Use utilitarian furniture, so every syncs perfectly without any piece awkwardly sticking out. Mid-century style is all about minimalist decor, so experiment in any you deem fit.

  1. Keep It Casual

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A rambler house typically exudes a relaxed and casual vibe, so make sure your interiors are planned that way. You’d want to keep it all very welcoming and laidback while adding a bit of your personality to the house.

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Final Words

That’s all from us!

But before we sign off, here’s a little more trivia. Rambler homes went out of style in the 1970s, mainly because it was too expensive, at that time, due to higher land costs. That, coupled with the energy crisis, eventually made these structures passé.

However, with their return to the market, several homeowners want to invest in these spacious homes and, as such, want to preserve the mid-century style while adding modern features. So, if you fancy living in a rambler, chances are that it may turn into an elaborate fixer-upper project.

While large windows, vaulted ceilings, and garage space may sound like a sweet deal, make sure to calculate the renovation costs.

Till next time!

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