The raised ranch house is a split-level spinoff of the classic one-story ranch style that was created in California during the 1930s. Both went national in the '50s and '60s and became popular in the rapidly growing suburbs of the time. They feature open plans and horizontal massing. Other trademarks include low-pitched gable roofs, deep overhangs, picture windows, and a rectangular or ell-shaped footprint. Ranch-style houses were among the first modern houses, though they often retained some colonial overtones.

The raised ranch, in particular, was developed as an affordable upgrade from the conventional single-story ranch. Thanks to a partially submerged first level, it included a second level for little more than the expense of a one-story dwelling. A built-in garage and family room generally occupied the first level, with additional living spaces and...

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