Ranch style houses rose to popularity in the 1950s and 1960s and were an answer to the question of where the 16 million young men and women returning from WWII would set up house. Sprawling ranch homes represented a departure from the intricate and ornate Victorians and imposing Colonials. These midcentury homes were typically one story with open living, dining, and kitchen areas and featured many natural elements like board and batten siding and cedar shake roofs.
Ranch Homes: Then
In the mid-1900s, ranch homes sprung up en masse in suburban areas, typically in the western half of the U.S.. Ranch houses represented a simpler way of living and supported the family life that WWII veterans craved upon their return home. Western movies at the time also featured ranch-style homes that helped to boost their popularity.
To support the need for housing in the post-WWII era, ranch homes could be constructed relatively quickly and were budget-friendly since they followed much the same floor plan. They could also be customized and the size could range from 900 square feet on the smaller side to upwards of 3,000 square feet on the larger side. The use of simple materials like board and batten siding, brick foundations, and cedar shakes for both the roof and as siding, also helped to keep the cost down.
Ranch homes built for young families of the 50s and 60s, especially those in the Western U.S., were often built at ground level and emphasized the blending of indoor/outdoor spaces with a sliding glass patio door, ample patio space, and a large backyard.
Ranch Homes: Now
While ranch homes have stood the test of time in many suburban areas, people have also begun to opt for larger, more expansive homes — the average size of a U.S. home in 2021 was 2,273 square feet compared to 1,660 square feet in 1973. In the 1950s, the average home size was around 1,000 square feet.
Though today’s homeowners often favor larger homes, there are many ranch homes still being built, and the ranch homes built in the 1950s and 60s are still desirable to today’s homeowners. In some cases, some ranch homes built in the mid-20th century are eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.
Today’s ranch homes are often popular with older, retired homeowners who are looking to downsize from a larger home or young families that want to reap the benefits of homes designed with young families in mind. As a new generation takes ownership of mid-century ranch homes, some are updating them to reflect modern design styles while others are working to restore them to their mid-century glory.
Ranch Homes And Cedar Shakes
Ranch homes often feature the use of natural materials that help to cement their vibe as casual and relaxed. In early ranch homes, cedar shakes were used as a roofing material because they were favored for their availability and durability over time. As ranch homes have been redone, the cedar shingles may have stayed, or they may have been replaced in favor of asphalt shingles or other roofing materials that have been developed since the inception of ranch homes.
Traditional cedar shakes provided superior rot resistance, especially if the cedar shakes were sourced from old growth cedar. Cedar shakes are durable and can last for 50 years or more, but they require lots of maintenance to maintain their appearance.
Maintenance includes regular cleaning, sealing, and staining. If left to weather naturally, their appearance will change over time, which makes it difficult to repair the roof with matching cedar shakes. Often, modern building codes prohibit the use of cedar shakes because of their lack of fire resistance, so re-roofing with the traditional material isn’t possible.
As mid-century modern styles are experiencing a resurgence and the rustic appeal of natural materials regains its footing in the design world, ranch houses are also once again increasing in popularity.
Ranch houses with cedar shakes achieve a rustic feel that is true to ranch home origins. Traditional cedar shakes come with downsides, so choosing an alternate cedar shake material can help you achieve the right design without the hassles of the traditional material.
Brava Offers A Better Cedar Shake
Brava’s synthetic Cedar Shakes can create a traditional ranch style look, but without the downsides of traditional cedar shakes. Synthetic cedar shakes offer many benefits that traditional cedar shakes don’t.
Durable With No Maintenance Required
Brava cedar shakes don’t require any maintenance over the course of their life. They won’t fade, crack, or split and come with a Class 4 impact rating and a Class A or Class C fire rating.
Choose The Look
Traditional cedar shakes will weather over time, and even if they are stained and sealed, the final finish isn’t a guarantee. With Brava, cedar shake roofs can achieve the perfect finish that will stand the test of time. Our composite cedar shakes are available in lots of colors that range from New Cedar to Aged to Weathered, allowing you to achieve the perfect look instantly.
Meet The Building Code
Unlike traditional cedar shakes that may not meet building code requirements, Brava cedar shakes don’t present any issues. This allows you to restore a ranch house with a cedar shake roof to its former glory and replicate the look of a natural material.
Find the Best Modern Composite Cedar Shakes for Your Ranch House with Brava
Contact the experts at Brava today to see how ranch houses with cedar shake roofs embody the design of an earlier era with the convenience that comes with modern materials!