This answer surprises many people. A Ranch costs more for sure. Why? Let’s say we need 2,000 sq. ft. of home. If we put it into a 2-story home with 1000 sq. ft. on each floor, it will require a 1,000 sq. ft. foundation, a 1,000 sq. ft. roof, and 18 feet of pipe to get the upstairs bathroom to the basement. The Ranch on the other hand with its 2000 sq. ft. on one floor, will require a 2,000 sq. ft. foundation (twice the cost), a 2,000 sq. ft. roof (twice the cost), and possibly a 40 foot run of pipe to get the bathroom to the other end of the basement (twice the cost), and so on and so on. The 2-story home is more cost effective to build because 2,000 sq. ft. is compacted into a smaller footprint.