Many ranch style homes were built in Metrowest in the 50’s and 60’s for the young families of the servicemen returning from WWII.
They were inexpensive to build, could be built on conventional foundations with basements or slabs of solid concrete without basements, and could be mass-produced quickly.
Although there are no “Levittown’s” in New England, there are concentrations of ranches in tract housing developments that still are vibrant, wonderful family neighborhoods today. One of the most famous builders – Campanelli built hundreds of slab ranches, especially in and around Framingham, and they endure in everything from their original form to incredibly updated and expanded forms. There were three models available, with the El Dorado model being the biggest and most sought after.
The styling on ranches is very simple and rectangular in shape and they often have shallow pitched hipped roofs that extend across a single or double car garage or a carport. There is usually a center chimney with fireplace in the living room and picture windows or sliders to a rear patio or screened-in porch. Because all the living space is on one floor, ranch houses are very wide, and often cover the width of their lot. With slabs the heating system is usually in the center of the house and thus can be noisy until you get used to it. When upgrading the kitchen, most owners move the heating plant to the back of the garage area to give more space to the kitchen and to eliminate the nose issue.
In Metrowest, ranch houses are most popular with three bedrooms and two baths and can provide a great value for first time home buyers. They are also very popular with the “downsizing” set because of their inexpensive carrying costs and one-floor living style, ideal for aging owners or their extended families with no stairs to negotiate..
For some great examples of Ranch Style Homes click on the above Pinterest link