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The end of World War 2 created a baby boom, which in turn created a need for more homes – fast.
Louis suburbs were known as “ranch homes,” a uniquely American architectural style of rectangular, one-story houses with low-pitched roofs, attached garages and large windows for an indoor-outdoor connection.
These new homes perfectly matched the new informal lifestyle, with central air conditioning, a floorplan centered around the family room and kitchen, and were adaptable for growing families because basements could be converted into more living space as needed.
Many of these ranch homes are now over – or rapidly approaching – 50 years of age, which qualifies some individual homes or entire subdivisions for historic designation, and there is a grassroots movement underway to educate people on the merits of maintaining these homes that still serve families so well to this day.
Any home over 50-years of age is usually ready for some remodeling (and has probably seen a good deal of it over its lifetime), and the ranch house remains a highly adaptable structure for 21 century living.
Ranch homes marked the beginning of modern construction materials and methods, most of which are still recognized or used by today’s remodelers.
This makes it relatively easy to update these homes to today’s levels of energy efficiency, and implement new floorplans that better match the way we live today.
And re-using these homes just makes sense for our pocketbooks and our communities, because the greenest home is the one already standing.
Accessible Design The one-level floor plan of the typical ranch is perfect for accessible living.
Going up and down the stairs can become problematic over time, so having all daily needs on one level becomes a necessity for living comfortably and productively in your home.
There is a growing trend of older adults seeking one-level living for their retirement years, and this often finds them returning to the ranch style homes in which they originally raised their families.
Quite often, they are still in the very same home and simply need the place remodeled for increased functionality and comfort.