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.
Modern home plans come in all shapes, sizes and styles. It will be up to you to find the one that best suits your needs. If that's a contemporary plan that includes an open layout, you can find plenty of great plans available to choose from. Of course, you also have the option of creating your own home plans based on your requirements, be they extra bathrooms for the teens, home office or workout space. Perhaps you want an open kitchen and lounge area, but a private dining room. Maybe you prefer the entire lower level to be open but want the sleeping areas divided accordingly. It really doesn't matter because you can get whatever you want.
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.
There was a time, quite recently in fact, when the most important attributes of buildings were their aesthetic qualities, fitness for the intended purpose, and structural integrity. However sustainability objectives - paying closer attention to the soundness of the architecture from the perspective of the environment - are quickly becoming the overriding factors in contemporary home plans.
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