Likewise, Sears designers estimated the total building cost of their $1248 model No. Stevenson, Katherine Cole, and H. Ward Jandl. Architect Magazine: Architectural Design | Architecture Online:  The premier site for architecture industry news & building resources for architects and architecture industry professionals. [3][7] The price of land or a city lot on which to build would be another expense. published Jan 18, 2017. Throughout 1934 and 1935 customers paid-off their home mortgages with Sears and Montgomery. Liberty Ready-Cut Homes, Lewis Manufacturing Co., Bay City, Mich., c. 1940The Lewis Manufacturing Co. was one of three kit house manufacturers in Bay City, Mich., and was the first producer of Aladdin Homes. Mammoth bones were used as supports. Prehistoric Houses. "Historical Notes on Kit and Precut Homes,", accessed 5 July 2011. [3][4] This description by researcher Dale Wolicki of kit house manufacture by the Gordon-Van Tine Company was typical of other kit house companies' efforts as well:[4]. We are a locally owned business with a family feel. Porches, sun rooms, flower boxes, trellises, balconies, built-in cabinets, and a variety of door and sash patterns were available at an additional charge. The Aladdin Company archives were made accessible through an NEH grant. We wanted to explore the history of the craftsman style home and were surprised to find this design can be traced back a few hundred years. In the United States, several companies including Sears Catalog Homes began offering mail-order kit homes between 1902 and 1910. [12], A number of companies offered kit houses, and sometimes also offered rudimentary "industrial" and summer cottages lacking bathrooms,[13] as well as garages, duplexes, apartment buildings, barns and other farm buildings, and even outhouses. Albee Pre-cut Homes, Albee Homes, Middleburgh Heights, Ohio, 1960This catalog features various “architect designed” ranch-style kit houses, with one option inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. ), by hand by carpenters. In many Washington, DC, neighborhoods and in the city’s older suburbs, we can find an abundance of those historic kit houses. The National Heritage List for England (NHLE) records a brief overview of the date of construction and significant features of every listed building in England. Book of Homes, Gordon-Van Tine Co., Davenport, Iowa, 1941The Gordon-Van Tine Co. offered many designs using “top grade lumber” for customers of its kit houses, but also had a special residential planning department for customizable options. Floor joists and bridging, sub-flooring, finished flooring, studs, rafters, sheathing, clapboards, shingles, stucco, plaster or drywall, columns, railings, doors and windows, hardware, nails, and paint for two exterior coats were included in the order. However, they weren’t as popular as the kits sold by Sears and Roebuck. This post is part of a monthly series that explores the historical applications of building materials and systems through resources from the Building Technology Heritage Library (BTHL), an online collection of AEC catalogs, brochures, trade publications, and more. Known as the "floodlights kit," this did service in several home games against European opposition under the new Fir Park floodlights. Stick-built, balloon-framed kit houses were built as permanent, not temporary structures, as the manager of the Sears, Roebuck lumber department explained to a United States Senate committee in 1919:[2]. For example,[9]. Jun 12, 2018 - Sears, Harris Brothers Co. Gordon Van Tine. [9], Over 100,000 kit homes were built in the United States between 1908 and 1940. The kits … Ice age humans lived in caves some of the time but they also made tents from mammoth skins. They wore boots, trousers, and anoraks made from animal skins. Prefabricated houses have a long history in the United States. The American Dream of home ownership was fostered by reformers, developers, and building material companies in the early 20th century. Zip Kit Homes was the perfect solution for our 2nd home in Torrey UT. A BRIEF HISTORY OF HOUSES. This page was last edited on 17 December 2020, at 13:56. 159, priced at $652: "By allowing a fair price for labor, cement, brick, and plaster, which we do not furnish, this house can be built for about $1171.00, including all material and labor." The date when it was built … [3] "How Log Cabin Kits Work,", 10 March 2009. [45] However, although initially "hailed as the new Sears & Roebuck house,"[46] the program faced strong opposition from local governments in the Gulf Coast region who feared the cottages would lower property values, and by mid-2011, Lowe's had discontinued its product line. Cove.Tool Performance Analysis Platform... 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Explore the history of the home through the ages - looking in-depth at the living room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Identifying a kit house can sometimes be challenging. • Aladdin Homes company archives at Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University includes complete sales catalogs from 1908 to 1954 Home > Plans Aladdin Kit Homes Manufactured by the Aladdin Company. "[8], Furthermore, some companies would provide reversed versions of their homes or make other modifications upon request. Kit house owners often bond over a shared history of their homes. Depending on the size and style of the plan, the materials needed to construct a typical house, including perhaps 10,000–30,000 pieces of lumber and other building material,[3] would fill one or two railroad boxcars,[5][6] which would be loaded at the company's mill and sent to the customer's home town, where they would be parked on a siding or in a freight yard for unloading. Walls, windows, and doors could be moved, added or eliminated. KIT Custom Homebuilders has been in the business of building superior quality homes since 1945. Gordon-Van Tine offered discounts for customers who chose lesser-quality siding, roofing, doors, windows, and trim. He led the architectural division of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency for more than 30 years and now champions the development of the Association for Preservation Technology's Building Technology Heritage Library, an online archive of pre-1964 AEC documents. Aladdin, Sears, Pacific, Bennett, Harris, Sterling, Liberty, Fenner, Gordon Van-tine, Wardway. The Aladdin Company started selling the earliest house kits from its … While vacation cottages were its primary product, the comapny also offered small agricultural buildings such as chicken coops. Historic house plans, Floor plans, vintage Radford, Aladdin, Lewis (Liberty), Sterling kit houses - Sears, Wardway, Gordon-Van Tine are included. This is the complete catalog from 1925. Antique Home offers information on old house architectural style. Although the lumber and hardware were standardized, the designs were not and buyers were encouraged to personalize their order. "Katrina Cottages Rolled out by Lowes Nationwide," Treehugger, 6 June 2008, accessed 6 July 2011, "Select a Plan," Cusato Cottages, accessed 6 July 2011, Jarvie, Jennie. Zip Kit Homes was exactly that. FC Barcelona Kit History. The resulting houses were indistinguishable in quality and appearance from those built by traditional methods, if not better, yet were often significantly cheaper to build because of the savings on carpenters' and contractors' wages; and the cost of high-quality lumber bought from a large kit house company often was lower than at the local lumber yard. The Forest Products Laboratory , a division of the U.S. Forest Service , put extensive research into prefabricated homes in the 1930s, including building one for the 1935 Madison Home Show. So are the Cello House, the Viola House and the Second Fiddle House at the Music Mountain in Falls Village, Canaan. Online communities offer a forum for exchange of stories, pictures and even specific structural items. The concept of the kit house likely originated in the U.K., but after these mail-order residences were introduced to the U.S. market in the late 19th century, they became synonymous with the American dream. See more ideas about vintage house plans, vintage house, craftsman house. A ready-cut house is a permanent house and the method of its construction is not different from any other frame house where the lumber is framed (or cut to its proper length, notched, etc. Contrary to popular belief Montgomery-Ward and Sears Roebuck did not discontinue their pre-cut housing departments because of customers who defaulted on their mortgages. Kappa 1992-1998. One of the longest lived and most successful kit home companies was the Aladdin Company, based in Bay City, Michigan. Skillings and D.B. Accessed 30 November 2017. Though early versions were primarily simple wooden structures, by the early 20th century, Sears, Roebuck & Co. and other manufacturers also provided all heating, electrical, and plumbing components. "Lindal Cedar Homes founder dies,", 16 September 2011. The factories had skilled employees and special machines to cut difficult pieces such as rafters and staircases. The history of the original kit homes. Boulton & Paul, Norwich, England, 1888 This extensive catalog offers wood and iron “portable buildings” to serve as houses, conservatories, greenhouses, and farm buildings. Many people have lived in kit houses for years without realizing the historical and architectural significance of their humble abodes. [Click to enlarge any image] 1. The BTHL is a project of the Association for Preservation Technology, an international building preservation organization. It survived until 1982 and was relaunched as GreenTerraHomes in 2018. Read more about the archive here. The arts and crafts home, also referred to as the Craftsman home, is one of the most adored design styles of modern times. In 1908 after the Sears Roebuck Company was founded, they began selling kit homes. To fully appreciate the impact of the Sears kit homes, it’s important to understand the reach of the company’s famous catalog. Details are at ALADDIN KIT HOUSES. For example, in 1928 Walt Disney and his brother Roy built two kit houses made by Pacific Ready Cut Homes on lots they owned in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. According to the Sears Archives, "Sears actually encouraged builders of Modern Homes to save money by ordering their lumber from local lumber mills. Started by brothers William and Otto Sovereign in 1906, the company remained solvent and family-owned until it shut its doors for the last time in 1981. Vintage Kit Home Catalogs A place to research the interior, exterior, and history of your kit house. There were actually six large companies that made kit houses, but none had the marketing clout of Sears and its famous catalog. An early version of a prefab home was sent from England in the 1600s, but real prefabrication did not take off until the arrival of "house kits." Built from a Kit: A Brief History of Sears Catalog Homes. Designs/Flickr Creative Commons/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. [43][44] Initially offered through Lowe's stores in Mississippi and Louisiana, in 2008 Lowe's began offering the cottages at all of its stores nationwide. Buyers, however, did not get their homes already made. More than 100 years of stories, product and brand histories, photographs, catalog images and … The very first kit home ever built was manufactured by a carpenter in England in 1830 and erected in Australia by his emigrating son. Without the profitable mortgage program Montgomery-Ward decided to discontinue its offerings of pre-cut houses and building materials entirely. [42] And beginning in 2006, for a few years Lowe's supplied plans and materials (not pre-cut) for small stick-built homes called Katrina Cottages, with walls designed to withstand 140 mile-per-hour winds, intended to provide temporary housing for Gulf Coast residents who had lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina. Plumbing, electrical, and heating systems were available for an additional charge. We want to say thanks by offering content just for you. When the ice age ended a new way of life began. We've had modest success finding details about other kit home companies selling in the United States and Canada and have made a few additions (found below) to a list complied by Rebecca Hunter. All designs were standardized to maximize efficiency and reduce waste in materials and labor. We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. Dozens of companies, large and small, jumped on the bandwagon. "Post-Katrina cottages get a lukewarm welcome,", "The Katrina Cottage Plans are no longer available at Lowe's,", accessed 6 July 2011,, Aladdin Homes company archives at Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University, House Plans from Books and Kits - 1900 to 1960, "Steadily Enlarging Demand for Ready-Cut Houses,", Historic Catalogs online for many kit house companies, Historic Catalogs online for Sears Modern Homes, Historic Catalogs online for Harris Brothers Company, Historic Catalogs online for Lewis/Liberty Manufacturing Company, Historic Catalogs online for Montgomery Ward's, Historic Catalogs online for Sterling Homes, Historic Catalog of Fenner Factory-Cut Homes,, Articles needing additional references from October 2013, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Other smaller providers of mail-order kits included The. Vintage House Plans 70 historic years of American 20th century residential architecture . The portable buildings were marketed for export and promoted as “suitable for all climates—the Colonies, South Africa, and India.”. Duse, Eleanor. In the mid-19th century, Richard Sears began selling his products to the public through his very first catalog. Sears didn’t make all pre-cut houses. There remain some gaps in the record and no information has so far come to light covering the first 40-odd years of the club's existence. Sears was not the first company to offer mail-ordered "kit homes," but by the time the catalog was discontinued in 1940, Sears is estimated to have sold between 70,000 and 75,000 houses. Today, the BTHL houses a comprehensive catalog of architectural house plan publications dating back to the 1800s. ~New Acquisitions~ The Daily Bungalow has had more than 3 million page views thanks to our friends. Flint marketed its buildings' ease and speed of construction. [4] For most homeowners, the complete cost of building a kit house was about double the catalog price, allowing for the construction of a foundation and labor costs. Save Pin It See More Images (Image credit: Wikimedia Commons) Once, I bought a bag of dirt on the internet. The company survived the Great Depression and continued operation through World War II (WWII) with military contracts, producing more than 70,000 houses before closing production in 1975. No matter how far back the […] In addition, with some companies, homebuyers could choose the quality of materials. ‘Presto Up’ Patented Bolt-Together Cottages, Harris Brothers Co., Chicago, 1923After an early start as the demolition contractor for the 1893 Chicago World Fair, Harris Brothers Co. became a major building material supplier with a line of kit residences in the early 20th century. Many decades later, those same markings can help identify a home as a Sears kit home. We decided to go with Zip Kit Homes because winter was coiming fast and we needed something that was high quality, built fast and a great design. A ready-cut house should not be confused with a sectional-portable house, which can be taken down and moved by being unbolted. Sears Roebuck continued to sell pre-cut houses but scaled back their operations significantly. According to researcher Wolicki:[40]. Sears has opened the doors to its vast archival collection and invited the public to peek inside. [21], Although none of the traditional kit house companies are still in business, pre-cut log home kits are offered by a number of manufacturers. An Aladdin Company home as featured in an annual catalog. Preserving the History of American Kit Homes. The company apparently did reasonably well for about ten … Prospectors were flocking in from around the globe en route to the goldfields. Unlike modular homes, which are built in sections at a factory, in a kit house every separate piece of lumber was shipped already numbered and cut to fit its particular place in the house, thus eliminating the need for measuring and cutting, and likewise the waste of time (especially in the days before power tools) and of materials. Between 1908 and 1940, the company sold over 100,000 home kits. “The construction of these building is so simple that two or three men without mechanical knowledge, or experience in building, can set up one of them IN LESS THAN THREE HOURS,” the catalog proclaims. Kit houses have a history of early on being sold in catalogues for DIY homeowners. [1] Kit house manufacturers sold houses in many different plans and styles, from simple bungalows to imposing Colonials, and supplied at a fixed price all materials needed for construction of a particular house, but typically excluding brick, concrete, or masonry (such as would be needed for laying a foundation, which the customer would have to arrange to have done locally). Fenner Factory Cut Homes, Ready Built House Company, Liberty Homes, Lewis Manufacturing, Bay City, Michigan – 1925 to 1973, Sterling Homes, International Mill and Timber Company, Bay City, Michigan – 1915 to 1971. Aladdin Readi-Cut Homes: Beating Sears to the kit home mark… One of the longest lived and most successful kit home companies was the Aladdin Company, based in Bay City, Michigan. An early version of a prefab home was sent from England in the 1600s, but real prefabrication did not take off until the arrival of "house kits." Kit homes with finished exteriors start at about $109 to $142 per square foot; the 16-foot-by-24-foot small house starts around $45,000. House kits contained all of the house's parts, so the owners built the homes themselves or hired people to construct them. By 8,000 BC people in the Middle East had begun to farm. This bungalow kit home from Heb Homes can be constructed using either SIPs or CLT to a weather tight stage for the homeowner to finish or as a complete turnkey package. She lists a variety of kit house companies. Nike since 1998. Save Comments. Accessed 5 July 2011. Some kit house companies continued after World War II, but most homebuyers flocked to the new, inexpensive tract house subdivisions springing up across the country. See a curated timeline of these structures below. Many models had two or three floor plans, while the exterior could be clapboards, shingles, stucco, or framed for brick. We want to say thanks by offering content just for you. The house may not be a true kit house, in the true sense of the word, because some companies like Sears and Wards sold their plans that then could be built using local materials. Lumber and hardware were purchased in bulk. A home in a box: We take a look at the Pros and Cons and Prices of Home Kits that are available on the market today Image courtesy of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University. The two-tone chest band has been revived several times, most notably in the 2019-20. In the 1850s Melbourne's population was booming. In addition, some companies, including Sears, Montgomery Ward, Gordon-Van Tine, and Harris Brothers, offered cash discounts and generous mortgage terms. By Tim Lambert. Eventually, manufacturers began to market these kit houses as “vacation cottages” and “bungalows” to expand their use and applications. The original kit homes were the basis of the modular home idea. Sears catalog houses were known as kit houses because their 30,000 pre-cut parts arrived by boxcar and totaled about 25 tons of material. [4] Prospective customers could arrange to inspect kit houses in their vicinity or visit a company's factory to tour model homes. The concept of the kit house likely originated in the U.K., but after these mail-order residences were introduced to the U.S. market in the late 19th century, they became synonymous with the American dream. But the American row house, as opposed to the more universal type inherited from the old world, represents the unique demographic history of this country. This can be established through basic visual clues, by reading up about the local area, and by talking to your neighbours and other members of the local community. The journal of the American Institute of Architects, Robert Nichols: Let's Increase Opportunities for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Architects and Designers, Deryl McKissack: A Moment for Optimism and Realism for Diversity in Architecture, Corey Kingston: I Installed the Philip Johnson Sign at MoMA, Memorable Memorial and Monument Trends of the 20th Century, Get Organized: Looking Back at Office Storage of the Past, Nazi Architecture Bros: The Young Men in Albert Speer’s Office, Core Materials: Better Concrete, Better Steel. Co. in 1916 to fill four blocks near the factory in Bristol, Conn. Authoritative Expert Building Diagnostic and Repair Advice, IAQ Tests inspections, Building and Home Inspections, Building science based research and advice on Building inspection, home inspection. Standard size boxcars were 40 feet long and about ten feet wide until railroads began using longer ones in the 1960s. Is your house listed? "12,000 Easy Pieces,", "Aladdin Readi-Cut Houses," The Arts and Crafts Society, accessed 28 June 2011, "Aladdin Kit Homes," Antique Home Style, accessed 2 July 2011, Aladdin Company Archives, Clarke Historical Library, accessed 2 July 2011, "Bennett Homes," The Arts and Crafts Society, accessed 28 June 2011, "Bennett Homes: Better-Built & Ready-Cut," Antique Home Style, accessed 2 July 2011, Hunter, Rebecca. Houses of Celebrities Today. [41] Lindal Cedar Homes, a kit house company established in 1945 and headquartered in Seattle, Washington, continues to sell its pre-cut exterior materials home packages internationally through a network of independent distributors. None until 1899. "Internet Archive Search: creator:"Ray H. Bennett Lumber Co., Inc. "Ready Built Homes," The Arts and Crafts Society, accessed 28 June 2011, "Gordon-Van Tine," Antique Home Style, accessed 2 July 2011, "Harris Brothers Bungalows," The Arts and Crafts Society, accessed 28 June 2011, "Harris Brothers Co.," Antique Home Style, accessed 2 July 2011, "Hewitt-Lea-Funck Co.," Antique Home Style, accessed 30 June 2011, "Kit Homes by Lewis Manufacturing," Antique Home, accessed 28 June 2011, "Lewis Manufacturing," Antique Home Style, accessed 2 July 2011, "Pacific Ready Cut Homes: 1925," The Arts and Crafts Society, accessed 20 April 2016, "Pacific Ready Cut Homes," Antique Home Style, accessed 2 July 2011, "Sears Roebuck Houses," The Arts and Crafts Society, accessed 28 June 2011, "Sterling System Homes," The Arts and Crafts Society, accessed 28 June 2011, "Sterling System Homes," Antique Home Style, accessed 2 July 2011, "Wardway Homes," The Arts and Crafts Society, accessed 28 June 2011, "Montgomery Ward - Wardway Homes," Antique Home Style, accessed 2 July 2011. During its peak years in the 1920s, the manufacturer offered a variety of styles, including Craftsman, bungalow, American Foursquare, Colonial Revival, and eventually ranch houses. Mike Jackson, FAIA, is a Springfield, Ill.–based architect and a visiting professor of architecture at the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign. Get pricing info here. Forrest's Portable Houses, L. Forest & Co., Minneapolis, 1883 L. Forest & Co. claimed to offer the “cheapest, strongest, and warmest portable houses on the market.” Since some of the company’s customers were immigrant settlers of the upper Midwest, the structures needed to provide “sufficient warmth and strength to meet the severity of the climate.”. Started by brothers William and Otto Sovereign in 1906, the company remained solvent and family-owned until it shut its doors for the last time in 1981. Your General Panel Home, General Panel Corp. of California, Burbank, Calif., c. 1950This catalog features a single model designed with “step saving efficiency” that came “complete, ready for you to move.” In addition to the residential design, the publication offers detailed illustrations of the panel construction and installation methods. Sears wanted Modern Homes to be cost-effective for buyers, which often meant purchasing materials locally and not from the few and geographically distant Sears lumber mills. House kits contained all of the house's parts, so the owners built the homes themselves or … See, harv error: no target: CITEREFHenry2009 (, From 1929 to 1940 or later, the company also produced, Gordon-Van Tine Company Historic District, "Kit Home Information," The Arts and Crafts Society, accessed 28 June 2011, "Historical Notes on Kit and Precut Homes,", accessed 28 June 2011, Wolicki, Dale, "Magazine,", accessed 28 June 2011, "Questions and Answers on Sears Homes," Sears Archives, accessed 5 July 2011, "What Is a Sears Modern Home?" For example, in their 1912 catalog, Sears said of their model No. Sears kit homes were shipped via boxcar and came with a 75-page instruction book. [10], Kit houses were promoted through catalogs available at lumber yards and hardware stores, through the mail-order catalogs published by large retailers like Sears and Wards, and through advertisements in popular magazines and newspapers in those cities where kit home manufacturers had local sales offices. HA! 165 to be about $2640, and so on. What is a Sears home? Aladdin Houses, North American Construction Co., Bay City, Mich., 1915The Aladdin Co. was a pioneer in pre-cut kit homes of the 20th century. Wardway Homes The Mail Order House Montgomery Ward & Co. sold kit houses just like Sears did. Lumber was pre-cut to length, guaranteed to fit, ready to nail, and labeled for easy assembly. Prefabricated houses have a long history in the United States. From 1908 to 1940, the Sears Modern Homes Program offered complete mail-order houses to the would-be homeowner — what would come to be called “kit homes.” Customers could select from dozens of different models in Sears Modern Homes Catalog, order blueprints, send in a check, and a few weeks later everything they needed would arrive in a train car, its door secured with a small red … Once the materials arrived, a customer would arrange for a local carpenter or contractor to assemble the house on a piece of property owned by the customer; or a customer who was handy with tools might assemble all or part of the house himself in several weeks or a few months' time. Sears catalog houses were known as kit houses because their 30,000 pre-cut parts arrived by boxcar and totaled about 25 tons of material. In addition to the national players like Aladdin and Sears, there were many small companies with regional markets. Get pricing info here. Their "menu" approach to ordering allowed us to customize the home to fit our style. Kit homes with finished exteriors start at about $109 to $142 per square foot; the 16-foot-by-24-foot small house starts around $45,000. Another company, Aladdin, sold enough homes to the Bristol Brass. Kit homes became popular in American after World War 1, offering a way for the expanding middle classes to buy and build in affordable stages (mortgages not being readily available in those days). ~New Acquisitions~ The Daily Bungalow has had more than 15 million page views thanks to our friends. Advertised in manufacturing catalogs, the typical kit house offered buyers pre-cut materials to assemble into permanent residences and could be shipped around the country. [11], The popularity of kit houses was attested in a roundabout way in the 1920 silent comedy One Week starring Buster Keaton, which shows Keaton constructing a build-it-yourself house that turns out all wrong. Skillings and D.B. Individuals could even design their own homes and submit the blueprints to Sears, which would then ship off the appropriate precut and fitted materials, putting the home owner in full creative control. Many of the wrought iron options feature stylistic treatments typical of the Victorian era with extensive use of galvanized corrugated iron. ⋅ Chronology of homes ⋅ History of homes ⋅ Home listings by date: Images of Homes ⋅ 1908-1914 ⋅ 1927-1932 ⋅ 1915-1920 ⋅ 1933-1940 ⋅ 1921-1926 ⋅ Contact Sears Holdings Archives ⋅ Contact a fellow enthusiast ⋅ Register as an enthusiast ⋅ Homes Q&A ⋅ Sears Archives, accessed 5 July 2011, Sears, Roebuck and Company, Antique Home Style, accessed 2 July 2011, Pollard-Terry, Gayle. [5] Companies offering kit houses during all or part of their corporate existence included:[1], Kit house companies left the business for various economic reasons before, during, and after the Great Depression; some went bankrupt, while others returned to their original function as suppliers of building materials.