Rambler Houses: A Comprehensive Guide

By PropertyClub Team
Sep 28th 2023
In the world of architecture and home design, there exists a timeless and beloved style known as the rambler. Characterized by their single-story layout and simple yet charming aesthetic, rambler houses have captured the hearts of homeowners for decades. This comprehensive guide will explore all the ins and outs of rambler homes.

hash-markWhat Is a Rambler House?

A rambler house, also known as a ranch-style house, is a single-story home­ characterized by its long, low, and rectangular shape. These houses are renowned for their simple and open design, featuring a low-pitche­d roof adorned with wide eave­s. Additionally, they boast large windows and a horizontal orientation.

hash-markEvolution of Rambler Houses

Rambler houses gained popularity in the mid-20th century and remain in vogue to this day. Their single­-story layout, spaciousness, and timeless de­sign elements attract home­owners of all ages, from young families to re­tirees. These homes are cherishe­d for their comfort, accessibility, and low maintenance­ requirements.

hash-markBenefits of Living in a Rambler House

  1. Accessibility
  2. Safety 
  3. Energy Efficiency
  4. Natural Light
  5. Indoor-Outdoor Flow
  6. Low Maintenance
  7. Adaptability
  8. Timeless Design
  9. Resale Value
  10. Ease of Movement


Rambler houses are typically designed with all living spaces on a single level. This layout eliminates the need to navigate stairs, making them an excellent choice for individuals with mobility challenges or those who want to age in place comfortably.


With no stairs to worry about, rambler houses are generally safer for young children and older adults. They reduce the risk of accidental falls, which can be a concern in multi-story homes.

Energy Efficiency

Rambler houses are often more energy-efficient than multi-story homes. The single-story design allows for efficient heating and cooling, as there is no need to account for temperature variations between different levels. This can result in lower utility bills.

Natural Light

Rambler house­s are renowned for their expansive windows, which flood the inte­riors with abundant natural light. This copious sunlight not only generates a ple­asant and welcoming ambiance but also diminishes the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours, resulting in significant e­nergy savings.

Indoor-Outdoor Flow

Many rambler homes are designed with sliding glass doors that lead to outdoor spaces like patios or gardens. This seamless connection between indoor and outdoor living areas enhances the overall living experience and allows for easy entertaining.

Low Maintenance

The single-story design often means less exterior maintenance, as there are no upper levels or complex rooflines to contend with. This can reduce the time and cost associated with exterior upkeep.


Rambler homes can be adapted to various architectural styles and preferences, from classic ranch-style to more contemporary designs. This adaptability allows homeowners to personalize their spaces to suit their tastes.

Timeless Design 

Rambler house­s boast a design that is both classic and timeless, e­nduring for decades. Their simplicity and cle­an lines lend an aesthe­tically pleasing and versatile quality, e­mpowering homeowners to de­corate and update them in various ways.

Resale Value

Rambler houses tend to have broad appeal, which can make them attractive to a wide range of buyers. This can be advantageous when it comes to resale value.

Ease of Movement

The open floor plans commonly found in rambler houses create spacious and flowing interiors. This design makes it easy to move around and allows for flexibility in furniture arrangement, making the house suitable for people of all ages.

hash-markDrawbacks of Living in a Rambler House

  1. Less Privacy
  2. Higher Cost to Build
  3. Limited Floor Plan Options
  4. Less Yard Space

Less Privacy

In a rambler house, the lack of multiple leve­ls for bedrooms and bathrooms can result in reduced privacy compared to a two-story house. This situation can pose particular difficulties for families with teenagers or guests.

Higher Cost to Build

Rambler houses can be more expensive to build than two-story houses, primarily because they require more land.

Limited Floor Plan Options 

Limited floor plan options are often inherent in ramble­r houses, especially those­ of older vintage. This is primarily due to their characteristic single-leve­l construction, which poses challenges in creating distinct spaces for different activities.

Less Yard Space

Ramblers often feature smaller yards compared to two-story houses because they occupy more ground space. This can pose a challenge for families with pe­ts or children who love outdoor activities.

hash-markPopular Rambler House Styles

While the classic ranch-style rambler house remains iconic, there are several popular rambler house styles that cater to different architectural tastes and preferences. Here are some of the most popular rambler house styles:

Classic Ranch-style Rambler

Characteristics: The classic ranch-style rambler house is known for its single-story design, low-pitched roof, and simple, horizontal orientation. It typically features a symmetrical facade, large windows, and an open floor plan.

Key Features: Low profile, wide eaves, open floor plan, attached garage, and use of natural materials like wood and stone.

Mid-Century Modern Rambler

Characteristics: Inspired by mid-20th-century design, the mid-century modern rambler house emphasizes clean lines, flat planes, and integration with nature. It often incorporates large windows, open spaces, and unique geometric shapes.

Key Features: Flat roofs, exposed structural elements, large picture windows, minimalist design, and an emphasis on indoor-outdoor living.

Contemporary Rambler

Characteristics: Contemporary rambler houses embrace a fusion of modern design elements with the classic ranch style. They often feature sleek lines, innovative materials, and a focus on energy efficiency.

Key Features: Sustainable materials, energy-efficient design, minimalist aesthetics, asymmetrical facades, and creative use of space.

Custom Rambler Designs

Characteristics: Custom rambler houses are tailored to the specific preferences and needs of the homeowner. They may incorporate elements from various architectural styles to create a unique and personalized design.

Key Features: Varied architectural elements, unique layouts, custom finishes, and personalized landscaping.

Southwest Adobe Rambler

Characteristics: Inspired by the Southwest, adobe rambler houses feature stucco exteriors, flat roofs with parapets, and an earthy color palette. They often have courtyards and patios for outdoor living.

Key Features: Stucco exteriors, exposed wooden beams, clay tile roofs, courtyard entrances, and arched doorways.

Colonial Revival Rambler

Characteristics: The colonial revival rambler house blends ranch-style simplicity with traditional colonial features. It may include columns, gable roofs, and a more formal appearance.

Key Features: Gable roofs, columned front porches, formal symmetry, and classic Colonial details.

Craftsman Rambler

Characteristics: The craftsman rambler combines the simplicity of ranch design with craftsman-style detailing. This style emphasizes handcrafted elements, exposed rafters, and natural materials.

Key Features: Low-pitched roofs with overhanging eaves, exposed rafters, decorative brackets, and extensive use of wood and stone.

Mediterranean-Inspired Rambler

Characteristics: Mediterranean rambler houses draw inspiration from southern European and Mediterranean architecture. They often feature stucco exteriors, red-tiled roofs, and ornate detailing.

Key Features: Stucco exteriors, arched doorways, wrought iron accents, terracotta roof tiles, and Mediterranean landscaping.

hash-markBuying a Rambler House

If you are considering buying a rambler house, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Rambler house­s are available in various sizes and style­s. For couples or singles, there are small rambler houses that work pe­rfectly. On the other hand, large rambler houses suit families. Furthermore, you can discover rambler house­s designed in diverse architectural styles, ranging from traditional to contemporary.
  2. Rambler house­s are known for their affordability. They offer a cost-effective option for home­owners. Additionally, rambler houses require less maintenance­ compared to other types of home­s. However, it is important to note that ramble­r houses may be less e­nergy-efficient than alte­rnative housing options. 
  3. Rambler houses are often located in suburban areas. However, it is possible to find rambler houses in urban and rural areas as well.

Rambler Houses Bottom Line

Rambler houses are a charming and versatile type of house that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. If you are considering buying a rambler house, be sure to weigh the pros and cons carefully.