Ranch style architecture originated in the United States in the 1920's, and it became very popular after World War II as cities expanded into suburbs and inexpensive tract homes were needed by a growing populace. Ranch style houses are most popular where land is inexpensive and the weather is mild, since these homes particularly lend themselves to outdoor living. The low, earth hugging look with clean, modern lines of the ranch style is derived from Frank Lloyd Wright's prairie style architecture.
Look for reputable designers. There are hundreds of different builders out there and every single one has a different history and reputation within the community. If you take the time to check out all of the available designers, you should have no trouble finding the best in the industry.
If you are looking at building a family home for example, then storage space for recreational gear such as bikes, boats and tents should be considered, as should backyard space for outdoor activities.
Modern home plans don't have to be expensive, but you definitely have to think about your budget so that you can compare it to the designs that are available and the ideas that you already have about the house that you want.
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