Additions to 60s Ranch Home

Beth Asaff
60s Raised Ranch

If you are considering additions to 60s ranch home layouts, consider some of these footprint saving ideas. Not only will your home gain space, you'll be preserving the layout that makes a ranch home so efficient and popular.

The Ranch Home

The ranch style home has come under criticism in recent years for its simplicity of style and layout. Recent changes to the ranch style in the layout of the split level and two-story raised ranches have left a bad taste in many ranch owners' mouths when they consider an addition to their own home.

The ranch was first conceived in the 1930's and modeled after Spanish colonial homes. Its clean, angular lines and efficient layout made it one of the most popular house designs throughout the 1950's to the 1970's.

The fact of the matter today, is that families change and the way that homes are viewed as a living space changed over time as well. This means that a 60s ranch home may seem cramped or small by today's standards.

Making Additions to a 60s Ranch Home

If you own a 60s ranch home, you probably enjoy its simplicity of layout with a central kitchen and bathroom. If your family needs more room or a second bathroom, you may wonder where to get the space to put it without disturbing this plan. In fact, the easiest and most effective way to make additions to 60s ranch homes is to build down, not up or out.

Raising the Ranch

While the term "raised ranch" today conjures up a two-story home with an odd jutting lip at the bottom of the second floor, that's not the original use of the term. In fact, the term "raised ranch" actually means just that; to raise up the ranch off the ground and build a second story beneath it.

Why Raise a Ranch

Many ranch homes built in the 60s and 70s were built with pitched roofs through which skylights were installed. Chimneys and fireplaces were also central to the plan, and adding a second story on top of a 60s ranch would spoil these details. Building out or onto the home with a traditional addition would mean the end of the efficient plan of the original ranch.

Raising the ranch provides an alternative. The house gains a second story without damage to the roofline, and doubles the square footage without sprawling out into the yard. Suddenly extra bedrooms, more living space and a second bathroom can all have space in your home, and for less money than it would cost to take the roof off and build upwards.

How the Ranch is Raised

Since most 60s ranches were built on slab foundations, the process of raising the ranch is simple. The house is loosened from its foundation and lifted by cranes. Pillars are built beneath it temporarily to support it while the walls of the lower level are constructed beneath it. Usually, there will be at least one cinderblock or cement wall near the back for added support. This space can be used to store water heaters and furnaces, freeing up additional space upstairs.

The house is then seamed together with a thick band of wood running between the two layers. This can be shingled over or left to show depending on taste. Stairs are constructed leading to the lower level, and a deck or porch is built on the outside to allow access through the front door.

Additions and Layouts

Occasionally, the home's layout may be left intact, but the house itself is rearranged. The kitchen may be brought down to the new first floor, and an entry way constructed at ground level. Or the lower level may become a family room with guest rooms and a second bathroom. Home offices, children's play areas, additional storage and even garage space can be constructed in this manner without touching the bones or layout of the original 60s ranch home.

The cost of raising a 60s ranch can cost significantly less than removing the roof, adding a second story and adding a new roof. Additions to 60s ranch home layouts done in this manner can also be completed without displacing a family, or encroaching on current living space. Consider building below your 60s ranch home and open up the space to new possibilities today.

Additions to 60s Ranch Home