The majority of the living area in a split-level ranch is on one floor. It does, however, include a little piece on the second floor and a small section on the lower level, which may be a basement. Typically, bedrooms are located upstairs, or at least a master bedroom and a completed basement room are located upstairs. A laundry room might also be included on the first floor. Other common features of a split-level ranch include an open kitchen design with eating areas including a dining room or den, a family room, and possibly a third bedroom or office. A two-car garage will usually be located underneath the main portion of the house.
The number of floors in a building is easy to determine. You just count the number of decks or levels you find inside the house. Most houses built before 1978 had three such floors. Modern houses may have as many as five or six.
A split level roof is like a flat roof but with two slopes instead of one. The front half is sloped at about 6 inches for every foot of height, while the back half is sloped at about 12 inches for every foot of height. This allows water to run off the front part of the roof into gutters, while preventing it from running down the back side and into the foundation. Split level ranches are popular with people who want a home that provides plenty of space for families and their belongings, but not so much that it feels like a huge undertaking to maintain.
This house design is often known as a "raised ranch." The lowest level is usually partially subterranean and contains windows. This floor has bedrooms and occasionally a laundry room or bathroom, whilst the top level contains a living, dining, and kitchen space on one side and more bedrooms and bathrooms on the other. The middle ground is taken up by a central core of support columns that divide the house into three equal sections. A basement, garage, or other outbuilding will usually have its own door and entrance separate from that of the main house.
A split level house was originally built with only one level, but due to cost constraints, some builders would cut down large trees and use their wood to build the second story. This allowed for more houses to be built from the same number of board feet of timber, which in turn lowered the price of construction.
Nowadays, most split level houses are built with two levels. The first story consists of a combination of rooms arranged around a central hallway. The second story contains more rooms including a master bedroom with its own private balcony or patio. Some homeowners choose to have just one floor area that serves both purposes. There are also multi-story split level houses that contain rooms on each level that get smaller toward the top. These make great apartments if you want to rent out parts of the house.
One-story ranch houses with attached garages, pitched roofs, and overhanging eaves gained two levels: a few steps up to the bedrooms, a few steps down to the family and utility rooms, and a garage. Split ranches provide family members additional privacy in a compact floor plan on a smaller property. These houses are ideal for families who want more space but don't need an entire yard just for themselves.
A split ranch is a one-story house with an attic area above a family room or other main living area. The roof is usually flat, although some have gables or other decorative features. The sides of the house often have windows that stretch from the ground floor to nearly the ceiling, providing easy access to insects and other pests.
The walls between the sections of the house are usually hollow, allowing for easy expansion if necessary. The exterior of the house is generally painted a single color, such as white or black, to make it blend in with its environment. The driveway leads up to the side door of the house, which is the only entrance. A garage is located on the opposite side of the house from the front door.
Split ranches are common in Texas because they're affordable and easy to maintain. Most require little or no maintenance and can be sold easily when needed for cash flow problems.