Common Additions to Ranch Homes

With its single-level floor plan, a ranch home is relatively easily to enlarge by constructing an addition that goes either upward or outward.

Live Large

Beautiful ranch home on fieldBeautiful ranch home on field
You can choose from a variety of living spaces to build onto an existing ranch home. Narrow your options by determining what type of addition -- an new master bedroom, an outdoor living area, expanded kitchen space, a home theater -- will best accommodate your lifestyle.

Because the typical floor layout in a ranch-style kitchen may leave you feeling cramped and crowded, you may want to extend the usable space beyond the existing walls. Bump the exterior wall of your kitchen outward a few feet to create a more functional, enjoyable space. For example, add a large kitchen island outfitted with cabinets, drawers and bar stools to provide extra storage space for dishware and small appliances, as well as to offer a natural gathering spot for guests. Or, if you're missing a cozy spot for morning coffee, design a kitchen extension to contain a small breakfast nook with oversize windows.

Up, Up and Away

You can substantially increase the square footage of your ranch-style home by adding a pop-top, which entails removing the existing roof and constructing an entirely new second floor above the current single-level living space. A second level opens up a variety of living options to suit a growing family, such as additional bedrooms and bathrooms for teenagers, or a combined home theater and game room for family together time. Design a secluded master suite to include separate sleeping and sitting areas as well as a luxury bathroom to pamper yourself. Expect a hefty price tag for a pop-top addition, whereas a converted attic space can increase your useable living space upward at a lower cost.

Embrace the Outdoors

If you're satisfied with the current floor plan inside your ranch home, create additional outdoor living space with a simple add-on to the exterior. An outdoor space, such as a deck, patio or front porch, extends your usable living area outside. This is especially practical for warm climates. Construct an in-ground pool as a convenient spot to cool off in a hot climate, or build a comfortable sunroom, where you can relax inside but still enjoy a beautiful view of nature.

Wing It

When your ranch home is situated on a large lot, you can build a large new wing to the rear or side of the existing structure. An L- or U-shaped addition configures a natural outdoor space for a cozy courtyard or patio. Match the roof lines of your add-on with the existing roof lines to create horizontal design rhythm and better curb appeal. A separate wing provides a variety of living options, such as privacy for a guest room, a home office or a master bedroom. You can also construct a workshop, garage, guest wing or mudroom to accommodate your living needs.

About the Author

Mary Cockrill's education and certifications in interior design and home staging have allowed her to author numerous home-related articles. Cockrill has been a top design consultant for a renowned home store and is the owner of Starwood Home & Gifts, LLC, an interior design, decorating and home staging business. She holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education with a comprehensive major in office administration.