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If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)

 
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:33 AM   #41
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


We probably still have 15 or so Lustrons here in Des Moines.
I worked on another prefab home a couple of years ago. they were built by General Houses out of Chicago and were introduced at the 1933 World's Fair. http://oak.conncoll.edu/~steelhouse/ghinc.html

The ones I have seen were all International style Architecture. They were steel panels like the Lustron but no enamel coating




the garage and room above were added on in the 70's. The lower double window was the garage



this is the rear before we added an addition, designed by the same architectural firm that designed the 70's addition
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:40 AM   #42
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


Here's a rear picture of the 70's addition:



Here's a close up of how the ceiling furring was attached to the steel joists

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Old 04-03-2011, 04:45 PM   #43
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


I found these awesome Sears Homes in Raleigh.

This first one is just incredible. Who'd a-thunk THIS was a Sears kit home?
















And if you see these distinctive columns, scream and shout! These columns were found on 24 of Sears most popular designs.



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Old 04-03-2011, 07:43 PM   #44
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


rose I know i just met ya on friday night chat and i felt stupid asking what theese homes were. Today i was riding thru a old section of town and wham its thoose homes. i need to scan the picture of the house I grew up in its a sears home
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:15 PM   #45
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


Love there photo's , please keep them coming.
Are there any certain tell tale signs to look for to spot these types of homes?
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:02 AM   #46
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


The #1 reason I've started posting here is in the hopes that you guys that are WORKING on these houses will learn how to identify these homes and thus help the homeowners to learn a little something more about the historical significance of their home!

There are about 250,000 kit homes in America, and in my experience, more than 90% of the people living IN these homes don't realize what they have.

I was in Raleigh this last weekend and I talked to a couple homeowners who jumped around and did the happy dance when they learned they had a kit home.

Finding these kit homes really is akin to finding hidden treasure, and rediscovering something precious that was lost for decades.

So here's some quick tips:

Look for this:


Framing members were marked with a three-digit number and letter to facilitate construction. (Each house came with a 75-page instruction book!) 2x4s were "B", 2x6s were C and 2x8s were D. When you open a wall and see a mark like this on the lumber, you've just discovered a kit home.

Then you need to drop all your tools, run home, get your camera, run back to the house and snap a photo and send it to me, and I can identify which model it is.

Seriously, the homeowner will LOVE knowing that they have a kit home and they'll be dazzled if you can tell them which model it is.

Another mark:


This is from an ALADDIN kit home. Aladdin was actually a bigger company than Sears, but they're not as well known. In the southeast, I find five times more Aladdin kit homes than Sears. So if you find a name written on a beam, that's ALADDIN.

If you find a series of numbers separated by a hyphen, that's a MONTGOMERY WARD kit home, or a Gordon Van Tine (they were built by the same company).

Last, you'll also be looking for this:


This is a label often found on the back of millwork and mouldings. This is a sign that you *probably* have a kit home. This is not an absolute, because Sears started selling building materials in 1895, so you could buy millwork for a house that you were building out on the farm, without it being a "Sears House."

It's ONLY a Sears house if both building materials and blueprints came from Sears.

Also look for this:


This is a model number (2089) scribbled on the joists of a Sears House in North Carolina. It's written in blue grease pencil, so it can be hard to see. Many decades ago, when the kit house were bundled up at the mill and prepared for shipping, someone at the mill would write the family's name and the model number on a large joist (which usually ends up in the basement), and if you have a bright flash light, you can find this mark (usually).

Sears model numbers were 3-5 digits, and the family name usually appeared close by.

Last, look for this, too:


The 12,000 pieces of house were shipped in wooden crates, and thrifty people in the 1910s and 20s would save the wooden crates to build coal bins and root cellars and shelving. I've found remnants of these crates time and time again in countless basements.

The photo above is a shipping crate remnant from a 1926-built Osborn in Sydney, Illinois.

So, there you have it. Find some Sears Homes!

To learn more about identifying kit homes, read this. http://www.searshomes.org/index.php/...y-sears-homes/

Seriously, you contractor-types are going to find these houses faster than anyone else. And people really do act like they've won the lottery when they learn they have a kit home.

It's pretty darn exciting!

Rose

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Old 04-04-2011, 07:07 AM   #47
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


Great thread!! Very interseting
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:57 AM   #48
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


Quote:
Originally Posted by joasis View Post
And here is the house I was told is a Sears home. I can remember when people lived in n this house when I was a kid....but it looks bad now....bet it won't be there in a few years.
Not to be indelicate, but that looks more like a barn than a house! No, I would say that it is NOT a Sears Home.

Sears started selling building materials in 1895, so often people will say they have a "Sears House" when what they mean is, "In 1896, my great-grandfather sat down and ordered every piece and part of his house from a Sears building materials catalog, and the building materials were shipped by rail to our town and we unloaded this boxcar full of lumber and roofing shingles and windows..."

It is not a Sears Home unless the building materials *and* the blueprints are from Sears! And Sears only sold these homes from 1908-1940, so if it's outside of that time frame, it can not be a Sears Home.

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Old 04-04-2011, 02:35 PM   #49
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


I guessed as much, but the view with the roof line over the inside corner is nothing like most of the turn of the century homes one sees around here. I know of another home that may be a kit home...I'll get a picture when I get down that way.


Keep up the fascinating posts!
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:17 PM   #50
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


Hey, I like this game.

Do you know if these were popular in the Northeast?

I work in Jersey but occasionally find myself in PA and NY. Do these kit homes exist around here? I like treasure hunting.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:32 PM   #51
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


I second Gibson...How about Pennsylvania , any certain areas where they might be more prevelant ?
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:43 PM   #52
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy Gibson View Post
Hey, I like this game.

Do you know if these were popular in the Northeast?

I work in Jersey but occasionally find myself in PA and NY. Do these kit homes exist around here? I like treasure hunting.
The Northeast is *lousy* with kit homes. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a Sears Home in the Northeast, really and truly.

In the late 1920s, Sears opened up retail stores from which to sell their kit homes. You could walk into these storefronts and touch the bookcase colonnades or stroke the window sashes and personally examine the Hiawatha Plumbing Outfit that would come with your Sears House.

They only opened these Modern Homes sales offices in communities where sales were very strong, and once there was a Modern Homes sales office in place, sales increased significantly in that area.

Most of these Sears Modern Homes sales centers were located in the Northeast.

And - from 1925 - 1940, Sears had a large mill in Newark, NJ, so not surprisingly there are large numbers of Sears Homes in and around that area. I've found large collections of Sears Homes in Pennsylvania. I've found large collections in Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, DC, New York, New Jersey, Missouri, North Carolina, and just about every state that's east of the Mississippi.

So start snapping some photos and post them here!

Here's a picture of a Sears Modern Homes sales center *somewhere* in America. The photo was dated 1927, but I have no idea where it was taken.




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Old 04-06-2011, 05:56 AM   #53
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


BTW, if you live near *any* of these cities (as in, within two hours), chances are you're going to have SEVERAL Sears Homes in your city. Maybe even DOZENS. Sears kit homes are typically found in abundance in any area that had a Sears Modern Homes sales center.



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Old 04-06-2011, 02:50 PM   #54
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


I was looking for these things all day today.


I need to print out a couple of these pictures to compare. I think I could make a hobby out of this. haha
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Old 04-08-2011, 04:45 PM   #55
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


Here are a couple pics.
Any chance one of these is a sears,
I noticed the five piece roof brackets on the one, the others resemble the virginian....I think.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:11 PM   #56
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


One reason I personally think these are cool is because I would never have imagined that these relativly large homes are from a kit !
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:35 PM   #57
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


Tom! You've been paying attention!!!!

I'm so excited!!

You found a Sears Roanoke, and not only is it a Sears Roanoke, but it's PERFECT. Most of these Roanokes lost that wooden awning years and years ago.

And not only that, but you GOT the angle!!! You photographed this house from the same angle as the original catalog image!!

Wow, wow, wow.

Post some more!!!!








I'd be grateful if you could send me a better photo - maybe roll down the window this time? GIve me the city name and I'll post it at my website.

Rose

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Old 04-08-2011, 08:23 PM   #58
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


Quote:
Originally Posted by rosethornva View Post
Tom! You've been paying attention!!!!

I'm so excited!!

You found a Sears Roanoke, and not only is it a Sears Roanoke, but it's PERFECT. Most of these Roanokes lost that wooden awning years and years ago.

And not only that, but you GOT the angle!!! You photographed this house from the same angle as the original catalog image!!

Wow, wow, wow.

Post some more!!!!


I'd be grateful if you could send me a better photo - maybe roll down the window this time? GIve me the city name and I'll post it at my website.

Rose
Golly, thanks Rose.

It was raining, I shot it through the windshield. It was the best I could get with that box truck in the way.

I'll be sure to get a few better pics for you, on a sunny day.
That is located in Washington, DC.

Since you started these "Old Homes" posts, I spend my drive time looking at houses and trying not to wreck the truck.

The quickest thing to notice is the roof brackets, I read on your site that the Sears have 5 pcs brackets. when I drove past this one I thought hhhmmmmm, could be...

I'm sure I'll be finding other homes for you to evaluate.

This is FUN!!
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:27 PM   #59
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


Quote:
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Golly, thanks Rose.

It was raining, I shot it through the windshield. It was the best I could get with that box truck in the way.

I'll be sure to get a few better pics for you, on a sunny day.
That is located in Washington, DC.

Since you started these "Old Homes" posts, I spend my drive time looking at houses and trying not to wreck the truck.

The quickest thing to notice is the roof brackets, I read on you site that the Sears have 5 pcs brackets. when I drove past this one I thought hhhmmmmm, could be...

I'm sure I'll be finding other homes for you to evaluate.

This is FUN!!
Just don't try to post and drive when you find one Tom.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:18 AM   #60
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Re: If You Like Old Sears Homes...(many Pics)


These columns are another very distinctive feature on Sears Homes, and can be found on 24 of Sears best selling models. Keep an eye out for these.






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