Dec 1, 2012

Sears Kit Homes

Sears, formerly known as Sears, Roebuck and Company,  used to sell kit homes from 1908 through 1940.  One kit sold for $191, but most were sold in the $500 through $2,000 range.  You may live in or near a Sears kit home.  They sold more than 70,000 of them.  The house I grew up in in Connecticut had two Sears kit homes very nearby.  One was diagonally across the street, and the model in the picture below was less than a block away.  Many more were in the area.  

I grew up just down the street from this exact Sears kit home model.  It's called The Lewiston and it is just a hair less than 1,400 conditioned square feet. It has four bedrooms, kitchen, living room, dining room, and one 1st level bathroom.  This and all other images in this post courtesy of

Few if any of the Sears homes were big by today's standards, but some were pretty large for their time.  The $191 one I mentioned above had only three rooms total, and none of them were bathrooms.  It was a vacation home that would have had an outhouse.  Most of the kit homes actually did have modern conveniences like bathrooms, separate sleeping quarters, kitchens, and central heat.  The materials for the house, framing, siding, drywall, windows, doors, right down to the nails were delivered to the home buyer's area by train car. 

Page from the Sears, Roebuck and Company's Modern Homes Catalog showing a rendering and three different floor plans for their one story, two or three bedroom, Crafton model.  The Plan on the far left is 660 square feet. The middle plan is 759 sq. ft., and the plan on the right is 912 sq. ft.

Over the years, Sears developed 447 different house designs according to their archive site, which can be viewed by clicking on the following link...
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  1. Hi! I have some of these houses shown in real life on my website.

    Sears Cape Cod:

    Sears Lewiston:

    Sears Maplewood:

  2. there's a whole neighborhood in Baltimore that's nothing but Maplewoods. kinda neat, now that i know the name of the design.