BW_Great Debate - ranch vs. two story home updated
Feb 04, 2021 Floor Plans

The Great Debate: Ranch Vs. Two-Story Homes

This Great Debate is one that many homeowners are divided on. Which is better: A ranch or a two-story home?

There are unique benefits to each, and you may feel differently about which is better depending on what stage you are at in life.

At Wayne, we don’t take sides: we just give you the information so you can choose what’s best for you and your family! Let’s run down the benefits of each of these types of layouts, so you can decide what’s important to you and what isn’t.

Ranch home benefits

One Story HomesNo stairs.

Forget lugging laundry, furniture, toys, or anything else up and down the stairs; with a ranch-style home, everything is on one level, which simplifies things for busy families–especially with young kids–and also makes things easier for older individuals and empty-nesters.


You won’t have to contend with pounding feet from upstairs while hanging out in your living room in a ranch-style home!

More customization flexibility.

When you only have one story, you don’t have to worry about bearing walls and support walls. This makes it easier to customize and make alterations during the design phase, such as incorporating more open spaces and custom window changes.

Perfect for larger lots.

If you have a large piece of land to build on, a sprawling ranch is ideal and will use more of your available land than a more compact two-story would.

A home that ages with you.

If you are looking to build your one-and-only home, a single-level floor plan will suit both your current life and your life as you get older.

RELATED: See this Quick guide to ranch style homes

Two-story home benefits


Sometimes separation between the owner suite and the secondary bedrooms can be a good thing. A very good thing. Sleepovers and loud music don’t have to keep tired parents awake at night.

More space, small footprint.

For a smaller lot, you can fit more house in a two-story home without taking up any more precious lawn space.

Take in the view.

The higher you go, the better the view. Having a two-story home might allow you to build a deck or balcony that makes the most of a mountain or water view that’s hidden on the ground level. And all sunsets look better from up high.


Two-story homes are more cost-efficient to build because they offer more space without adding more foundation or roof costs, so the cost per square foot is often less expensive.

For example, look at the Stanton and Winchester–the Stanton was inspired by the Winchester II, just all on one floor. You can see how many of the features of the two-story Winchester were incorporated into this ranch-style home. So, while we may not have settled the debate on which is better, we have proven that both styles of home can offer the same features.

Here are some of our top ranch and two-story floor plans for you to review and get inspired for your next home.

For more ranch home inspiration, check out our Ranch Home Quick Reference Guide.

Have you decided which is your favorite? Tell us about it! We are looking forward to building your ideal home.

About Wayne Homes

Wayne Homes is a custom homebuilder in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia (see all Model Home Centers). We offer over 50 fully customizable floor plans and a team dedicated to providing the best experience in the home building industry. For more information, Ask Julie by Live Chat or call us at (866) 253-6807.

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