In the fifties and sixties, hundreds of thousands of houses were built post-war in what is referred to as the “ranch-style” home, sometimes also called mid-century modern homes. They were easy and cheap to build and served to quickly fill out suburban areas during the housing boom.

Today, however, these homes are woefully outdated so homeowners across St. Louis are investing in home improvements to bring help to modernize them. New awning windows are a great way to give your home a wonderful new look.

But what style windows should you choose? Awning windows? Double-hung windows? Casement windows? The choices seem endless.

Our awning windows guide will help you choose the right windows for your ranch style home.

Understanding Ranch-Style Homes

Choosing the right style of window replacement can be daunting, and many window companies may not understand enough about the history and architectural nuances of ranch homes to recommend the right window.

Ranch-style homes are also referred to as American ranch, California ranch, and rambler ranch homes. First seen in the Southwest, they were designed to combat the intense sun the region receives.

These homes have a long profile and sit low to the ground. They don’t have a second level, but often have basements. The interior is generally fairly open. Most have wide, overhanging eaves that keep sunlight out, although in more northern areas this design was altered somewhat to allow for split-levels and vaulted ceilings.

All ranchers share a few common design themes that dictate specific window needs, however. These are:

  • Long, horizontal lines. In order to keep with the existing profile of the home, you’ll want to choose windows that match these long lines and avoid windows that segment the home. While windows that have lattice and grilles are beautiful, they won’t match the true essence of a ranch-style home.
  • Natural light. Because of their open interiors and longer eaves that block out the sun, you’ll want to choose windows that are able to distribute lots of light into the inside. In fact, ranch homes were often built with large picture-style windows that take up large portions of living area walls.
  • Man-made materials. Wood wasn’t a popular choice on ranch homes, as these were seen as modern homes at the time they were built and relied on materials like steel and aluminum. To stay true to the original “modern” design aesthetic, choose windows that utilize the same man-made materials over natural elements. As a bonus, these materials are long-lasting.

Window Choices for Ranch Homes

Aspect Casement Windows Kitchen

When it comes to choosing windows for your home with these criteria in mind, you have several different options.

Awning Windows

Awning windows are a style of window that is hinged at the top, meaning when they open they project out like an awning. They come in a variety of sizes.

Casement Windows

Casements open crank-style at hinges mounted along one side. While they offer plenty of ventilation, they are often smaller and have more horizontal grillwork that breaks up the long line of the window.

Fixed Windows

As the name implies, these windows do not open at all and are sometimes referred to as picture windows. While they offer plenty of light, they don’t do much in terms of ventilation.

Why We Love Awning Windows For Ranch Homes

Awning replacement windows have the perfect blend of features that make them perfect for ranch homes and a superior choice compared to other styles.

  1. They allow for plenty of light. Ranch homes depend on plenty of natural light filtering in through windows. While there are other ways to boost natural light in your home besides windows, they are the number one way to increase the amount of it that comes in. You’ll get the most natural light through either fixed or awning windows, which give the appearance of a fixed window with large, open panes of glass.
  2. They provide ventilation. While fixed windows are large and open, they don’t provide any airflow. As awning windows are able to open, they allow homeowners to receive plenty of natural light while still allowing air movement through the house. Having good airflow in a home is a must for many reasons, including moisture and temperature control.

Awning windows also offer several other perks that make them a good choice for homes of all kinds.

Low Maintenance

Awning windows are straight-forward. They are hinged at the top, opening from the bottom and, as the name implies, creating an awning effect over the window. These windows generally perform well over time and don’t need tons of maintenance to stay in good working order.

Water Friendly

Unlike casement windows which open to the side, awning replacement windows can be opened even in the rain! Because they create an awning over the window, the water drips out and away from the window itself. This makes them perfect for areas that receive a lot of moisture.


Like their fixed counterparts, awning windows are large, open, and are able to bring the outside in. Not only will your home receive plenty of natural light with these windows, but they’ll also function as part of the overall design aesthetic of the house.

Choosing the Right Windows for Your Ranch Home

Aspect Picture Windows Living Room

Ranch homes have a certain design flair all their own. When it comes time to update them and redo outdated features such as windows, remember to choose ones that match the needs and style of the home.

Awning windows provide plenty of natural light, allow for ventilation, and match the style of ranch homes. They should be near the top of your list for new windows in your ranch-style home.

Looking for help choosing just the right windows for your home? Request a free in-home estimate and let our window professionals help you find the perfect solution for your home today!

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