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Ranches: Design Ideas For Renovating, Remodeling, And Building New (Updating Classic America)

"Ranches "is a unique combination of outstanding designs and proven ideas for renovating, remodeling, and building a ranch-style home. Featuring over 20 examples of updated homes and new ranches, the book is illustrated with inspiring original color photography and before and after floor plans.

Series: Updating Classic America

Hardcover: 208 pages

Publisher: Taunton Press; 1st edition (September 9, 2003)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1561584371

ISBN-13: 978-1561584376

Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 0.8 x 11.2 inches

Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds

Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #343,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #132 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > House Plans #369 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Home Repair #512 in Books > Arts & Photography > Architecture > Buildings > Residential

After having lived for years in a boring, utilitarian ranch home, I had no idea that a ranch house could be as elegant as the homes in this book. Even though the authors present some very high-end renovations, with some imagination many of the basic ideas can be translated into more economical ways of updating your home.The first thing you notice when flipping through the book is the sheer number and beauty of the color photographs. There is a color photo on just about every page. When there's not, then there is a diagram, such as "Fireplace Options," which shows you several ways to design an updated fireplace. Other diagrams show "before and after" floor plans, and a plan showing the early roots of the original ranch homes. Thus, it's not just pretty pictures presented here--there's a lot of nuts and bolts information.The authors start off with a history of the ranch style, since it helps when updating to keep within the original concepts that the style evolved with. I learned that the current ranch design was originally popularized by designer Cliff May in California. But May drew inspiration from the traditional ranchos of the southwest. These ranchos in turn had evolved over the millenia from the atrium houses of the Romans. These ancient houses were "closed off" from the streets, whilst providing a private outdoor space for family living, the same as many ranches today.The authors discuss how in ranch houses form follows function. For instance, typical ranch houses have been built with large windows to allow for passive solar heating--thus these were the some of the first energy efficient houses. Also, there were often more large windows and glass doors in the back of the house than the front.

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