Toward the end of the 1940s, post-war prosperity increased due to veterans receiving GI Bills and easier home-financing terms. As the number of marriages and size of families increased, the small World War II-era-cottage type was becoming obsolete.
The core of small rooms based around a compact kitchen and living room began a transition to a new plan, a plan that actually originated during the 1930s in California: the ranch house. In response to the compact, tightly confined WWII-era cottages, the early ranch plan stretched the house slightly more across the lot and provided larger window openings to allow the outdoors in. The ranch’s exterior appearance resembled that of the WWII-era cottage, only larger.
With the transitional early ranch house, floor plans changed slightly from the WWII-era cottage. Bedrooms were pulled away from the kitchen/living room section of the house. The overall appearance is that of an elongated WWII-era cottage; slightly less boxy, but with similar details. As with the WWII-era cottage, the early ranch continued the convenience of a garage attached to the side of the house.
Early ranch houses may have some traditional stylistic influence; however, unlike most types, early ranch style is usually evocative of minimal traditionalism—with even less historical reference.