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Window Styles & Materials for Ranch Style Homes

4/9/2015 7:45:01 AM

Springing into popularity following World War II, ranch homes were originally built for soldiers returning from the war. Veterans wanted affordable, unpretentious homes to start their families in. The ranch style spread across the country, resulting in a few distinct variations. 

Still, the primary features of any ranch home include:

  • Single-story layout
  • Open floor plan
  • Long, narrow architecture
  • Low-lying roofline
  • Traditional window shapes
  • Lots of windows to let in natural light
  • Man-made materials
  • Attached garage

Best Window Shapes for Ranch Homes

Rectangular: The conservative nature of typical ranch homes means they have predictable rectangular shaped windows. You’ll almost never find any other shape, even circles, triangles, bay or bow windows.

Best Window Styles for Ranch Homes

Casement: This type of window swings outward on hinges located on the right or left side of the frame. Casement windows are often found in ranch homes because when closed, they have minimal lines, a desirable feature of the mid 1900s.

Awnings: Like a casement window on its side, an awning swings out with a hinge located on the top of the window. Again, a minimalist look results when you close it.

Double-hung: Similar in shape to casement windows, double-hung windows open by sliding horizontally.

Picture: This window style has the cleanest lines of any window because it’s not operable. This made it a mid-century modern favorite and a must-have in any period-authentic ranch style home.

Flanked picture windows: Ranch homes often feature a large picture window flanked by two casement or double-hung windows. This lets in more light without going beyond the realm of traditional window shapes.

Horizontal grilles: Not all ranch home windows have grilles, but for those that do, the grilles are usually horizontal. This emphasizes the home’s low-to-the-ground architecture.


Best Window Materials for Ranch Homes

  • Composite, fiberglass and vinyl: World War II changed many people’s idea of which building materials were best. Man-made materials became all the rage when ranch houses starting popping up, meaning a traditional ranch house is far more likely to have composite, fiberglass or vinyl windows than wood ones.
  • Aluminum clad: Metal window frames also became popular mid-century, but if you’re going for period authenticity, aluminum clad windows may be a better choice over solid aluminum frames. Clad windows have the look of solid aluminum but they have a wood core for improved insulation.

Best Window Finishes and Colors for Ranch Homes

Earth tones: Conservative ranch style homes usually have a neutral color palette, including sandstone, forest green, cream, brick red, gray and brown. These colors are appropriate for exterior window trims.

Standard Colors
Bright, cheery tones: Updated contemporary ranch homes are often painted in livelier colors, such as sunshine yellow, bright red, olive green or even pure white. These colors translate to the window trim as well.

Ranch Style Windows from Weather Shield

With an idea of the types of windows that go best with ranch style homes, you’re ready to browse your options. Check out Weather Shield’s wide variety of window offerings and you’re sure to find the shape, style and material you’re looking for. Contact us for more information about choosing new windows for your ranch style home.

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