Wednesday, September 14, 2016

IS MY HOME A SEARS KIT HOME?


I could sit and browse the house plans in the old Sears Modern Homes catalogues for ages. I even hoped to discover that an old home we'd lived in in Fort Worth was a kit home, but alas, if it was, it wasn't a Sears home.

If you visit this website,
http://www.arts-crafts.com/archive/kithome/rt-searskits.shtml
you'll find the following list of what to look for when determining if your home is a Sears Kit Home. All photos in this blog post were downloaded from Google images.

"*Look for stamped lumber on the exposed beams/joists/rafters in the basement, crawl space or attic.
*Inspect the back of millwork (moldings and trim) for shipping labels.
*Check the home's floor plan, footprint (exterior dimensions) and room size, using a field guide to Sears homes such as "Finding The Houses That Sears Built" (2004 Gentle Beam Publications).
*Visit the courthouse and inspect old building permits and grantor records.
*Inspect plumbing fixtures for marks, such as "R" or "SR".
*Look for markings on the back of sheetrock.
*Unique column arrangement on front porch and five-piece eave brackets.
*Square block on moldings at staircase landings, where moldings meet at odd angles.
*Verify your home's construction date. If your home was not built between 1908 and 1940, it can not be a Sears Home."


Examples of stamped
lumber.









Goodwall stamp on back of sheetrock. And to the right, SR on plumbing fixture.  The kitchen sink and pedestal sinks had initials underneath near the front, bath tubs in the lower corner furthest from the tub spout.




This front porch column arrangement is unique to Sears homes—"five-piece eave brackets (the diagonal support brace between the roof line and the exterior wall) might also be a sign that you have a Sears Home."



Square blocks at the staircase landings and other angle joints. It was said to make building easier if the modeling was different thicknesses. I like how it looks. I learned from this research about the plinth block shown in the photo to the right. Doesn't it improve the appearance of the connecting molding?


Though there are numerous other ways to evaluate your home, which you can learn online, a sure sign is a shipping label attached to a piece of lumber somewhere out of obvious sight, like in the attic.

Sears Homes are fascinating and you can find many styles with their floor plans included on Google.

If you have an information on Sears Kit Homes, please share with us in the comments below. As always, thanks for stopping by and Happy Reading and Writing!


6 comments:

  1. I have looked at the plans and drawings of Sears kit homes online. I'm fascinated withe them. I've printed out several for various books so I can be consistent when I describe a home.

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    1. Great idea, Caroline and I like the fact that they were available in 1908 and it'd be easy to have a hero/heroine living in one.

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  2. Great post, Linda. Thanks for sharing all those details.

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  3. I had no idea one could order homes to put together from Sears. How interesting. Thanks for posting this Linda. :)

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    1. I didn't either, Paisley, until a few years ago. Don't remember how I learned of their existence.

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