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. 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.

Live Large

Beautiful ranch home on field

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.