Case Study Ranch House

Farmhouse Modern

In the beginning was the lot. has decided to design and build a house on a rural half-acre site in Sonoma County about 25 minutes from our offices. This is how the lot looked today. The idea is to use our experience to demystify the building process and create a searchable construction journal that will be useful for anyone building a house.

A small existing cement block cabin was removed and architect Nicholas Lee —’s very own Director of Design — developed a new plan called the Long House (508-1 ), which is now part of our Signature Plan Collection. Here it is.

Our criteria were that the plan had to be simple, functional, and affordable;  take advantage of its site; and have a sense of place — all within a three bedroom two bath weekend or vacation home for a family with two children. The somewhat narrow site runs north-south and the best view is west across a field to tree-covered hills, so Nick  ran a porch the length of western facade to frame the view and provide shelter from the strong afternoon sun.

Inspiration for the Long House came from  regional works like William Wurster’s Gregory farmhouse of 1928, shown below.  A brick-paved gallery runs along the entrance side.

(don’t worry, the bed frame gets a mattress in summer…). Recent ranch houses by the firm of Turnbull, Griffin, Haesloop were another important influence, especially their designs sporting porches that double as outdoor rooms, like this one.

The floor of the porch above is wood, while ours will be even simpler — concrete — as an extension of concrete floors throughout the house.

So…we have begun.

Stay tuned — I’ll talk about siting in a future post.

5 responses to “Case Study Ranch House

  1. You failed to say if the house was “Green”, and some of the materials, like the roof, could also be “Terne or Terne Coated Stainless Steel” since it is a simple extrusion , or something similar. Fireproof?


  2. Nice, I like the design.

  3. The plan for building a ranch is a great idea shared. Aside from many can relate to it, many will have a better overview about planning to put up a ranch house. Glad to have stumbled upon it. Great! What a job well done.

  4. I like this idea. I am thinking of building in the near future. i hope that you will include as much info as possible about budgeting and what parts of the projects take up what % of the budget. Thank you for all the info.

  5. i’ve always liked ’em long and skinny.
    i’d move in.
    can i?

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