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Sears Houses: This article series provides detailed photographic and historic clues to assist in
the identification of Sears Catalog or Kit homes and including references to other expert books and resources on
We describe and provide photographs of Sears Catalog homes, using examples of these homes located in the Hudson Valley of New York.
provides examples of clues useful in identifying Sears Catalog Kit Homes. We also edit Sears Kit House identification checklists and comment and books on Sears Homes by Rosemary Thornton.
We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.
How to Identify Sears Kit Houses
Daniel Friedman, Rosemary Thornton. Presented at the Hudson Valley American Society of Home Inspectors HVASHI Annual Historic Homes Inspection-Seminar, Kingston, NY -
8 September 2005.
Daniel Friedman has inspected and identified Sears catalog homes in the Hudson Valley of New York, and has included additional identification
tips and photos with this article. Rosemary Thornton, whose work is referenced in this document, is a leading expert on Sears catalog homes.
Thornton is also
the author of books on identifying Sears houses, cited at REFERENCES below, and
she offers a Sears house identification service.
Sears Catalog Homes: Sears Roebuck is estimated to have sold 100,000 catalog homes in the U.S. between 1908 and 1940, with probably the heaviest individual sales years before 1929. Sears Roebuck's business model differed from some or all of the other kit home marketers by offering an accompanying home mortgage to their customers beginning in 1916.
Thornton says there were 370 different home models; Hunter says there were 450 different house models.
Sears sold building products before 1900, and sold kit homes from 1908 to 1940.
From 1940 to 1950 or 1951 Sears sold Homart pre-fabricated home kits in a more limited distribution.
Sears Honor-Bilt Homes: were distributed by Sears Catalog and represented a higher-quality construction.
Framing spacing intervals were 14 3/8" instead of the standard 16" (or even 24" in some older non-kit homes), and interiors used a better grade of lumber to fabricate flooring and trim.
Sears Standard-Bilt Kit Homes: were a more economical line of kit houses (see Honor-Bilt above) and were less insulated.
"Simplex Sectional" homes were a still simpler home design sold by Sears.
The Fullerton Sears Kit House - Photos and examples
[Click to enlarge any image] .
Above is the original catalog
description of this home at 15 N. Remsen, Wappingers Falls, NY
Three neighbors - three Sears catalog homes were built in a row by Wappingers grocer Adolph Von Vorstel on N. Remsen Ave. in Wappingers Falls.
This house, #15 N. Remsen, in Wappingers Falls, NY, arrived by train.
Using the Sears numbering system, the contents of the railroad boxcars (typically
two boxcars were needed to ship all of the parts to build a complete home) were brought by wagon to this site in the village of Wappingers Falls, NY.
Wagon loads of house materials were brought wagon-by-wagon in the proper order for construction while the boxcar sat on a siding.
The total cost for this house was $1500. As shown here in September, 2005 this charming house was listed for sale by its owners for $299,000.
Exterior details of Sears Catalog Homes and How They May Have Been Modified or Covered-up
Inspecting a Fullerton Sears Catalog House for Details
How leaks and other wear and tear may have affected a Sears Catalog Home
Like many houses with a history of incomplete insulation and dormers with flashing failures at the dormer wall-to-roof juncture, there are often visible in the attic of both Sears Catalog and non-Sears homes of this design.
We did not examine the mechanicals closely in this house, as they were not provided by Sears and Roebuck and were obtained locally. We did not photograph the kitchen and bath as they had been remodeled leaving no obvious original materials.
However the combination of catalog
match, interior hardware, and stencil marks make the identification of this home as a Sears catalog house quite clear.
We also had help - the home
was so identified and its history written in a Poughkeepsie Journal article in 1990.
However the owners and listing realtor had been unable to identify the Sears catalog model. The Journal article (1/7/1990 F1-2), also identified other Sears
catalog homes in Dutchess County, NY. These are listed here.
Examples of Other Sears Catalog Homes in New York
Manchester Road in Poughkeepsie, NY (Dietz, late 1920s) which includes markings 'Order Chgo Milwk Sup', and 'hall closet' on a hall closet door frame
217 Dutchess Turnpike, in Poughkeepsie, NY, a (1917) 7-room cape which used a basement cistern for its water supply and a fieldstone fireplace.
North Avenue, in Pleasant Valley, NY, a "gothic cottage" Crescent model built in 1932 for $1761.
35 Point St., New Hamburg, NY, a 936 sq.ft. bungalow ordered in 1926 for $1000. (order #51300) by George and Gorgianna Hasbrook in honor of their golden wedding anniversary.
The house was shipped by Gordon Van Tine Co. of Davenport IA, and delivered by railroad box car to the New Hamburg freight yard. The house has been expanded and modified.
Definitive List of Sears House Identification Points
How can you spot a Sears Catalog Home? While I have expanded, edited, and illustrated this list based on our own field experience, and we have added photographs and other details, this material has its origin in Thornton's books
cited at "References" below. We recommend those books for any owner or serious investigator of Sears Catalog homes.
Year built: Thornton points out that while Sears sold Building materials as early as in the 1895 Sears and
Roebuck Company catalog, pre-cut "kit" residential homes were sold between 1908 - 1940.
Note that other companies may have purchased Sears-inch designs and continued to sell some models after 1940, and also note that Sears kit home "look-alikes" will be found.
In fact since Sears architects who designed their catalog homes
copied currently popular house designs, some of which were themselves built from stock plans, there may be Sears catalog home look-alikes that were built before and during the years during which Sears, Wards, or other catalog home
companies sold and distributed their house kits.
But there are specific details, particularly in hardware, stenciling, and labeling that can be conclusive in identifying a Sears or other company's catalog or "kit" home.
Dates of manufacture of other brands of kit homes are discussed below
Note that even before 1900 Sears was sellling construction materials, but not in complete pre-cut home kits.
Here are the details that will help in identifying Sears Kit Homes:
Stamped letter-number marks on framing and trim, such as observed in the Fullerton model in Wappingers Falls, NY ON LUMBER (eg.1)
or trim are good evidence of a "Sears kit." While we are informed that Montgomery Wards also sold pre-cut homes into the 1950-inchs, we don't think you'll find the same rubber-stamped number system. Note that some houses were built
with almost no markings - see the Remsen Avenue house in Wappingers Falls, NY, and about 1/3 have no marks at all (before 1920). (Strong evidence.)
Framing members: letter + number, at the butt end (unlikely to be visible) and on the face occasionally
visible near (2 - 10") the end of the member, on the wide dimension of the lumber. (E.g. the 6" dimension of a 2x6 rafter.)
Lumber for a Sears kit house was pre-cut (you didn't need a saw to build a Sears
Lumber was end-stenciled with identifying marks to aid in construction. End stencils will be hard to see on framing lumber in most homes but
be sure to check the ends of any visible joists in the basement where they may cross over a center girder.
The stenciled codes on Sears Kit House lumber are about one inch high and will [almost always] include a letter followed by 1 to 3 digits such as A123 or C9.
In the basement check the butt ends of floor joists overlapping the main girder - this is about the only place in a finished home where you may be able to see the end of a framing member, unless you are doing structural repairs or renovations.
Framing number stamp size and color: Thornton says that the Ink may be blue, black, or red, just under 1" high, and the letter, followed by numbers.
We observe that these stamps will often be irregular in alignment and spacing - it appears as if each letter or number was stamped individually when identifying framing members.
On the other hand, words like FINISH [image] which I presume referred to trim boards, appear aligned as if made by a single physical stamp. This example was on a left-over piece of finish lumber used in the attic as eaves blocking between rafters.
Thornton also suggests that inspectors check for identifying marks at plumbing access panels where you may find marks on wall studs in the bath wall cavity.
Framing is square-cut douglas-fir(Doug Fir) or southern yellow pine (SYP) (usually) free of knots and splits. In some inspections you will find a few rafters or beams which show
Sears Catalog House Foundations - usually masonry block, were not normally shipped with these homes. Sears offered a concrete block kit and
suggested a do-it-yourself block making project for your kit home.
Labels may be present on the back of millwork (baseboard, window, door trim, staircase) as Sears used a common supplier
"Sears, Roebuck and Company," or "925 Homan Ave. Chicago" may be present on shipping labels
Stamps on millwork or labels from "Norwood Sash and Door" (maybe) indicate Sears suppliers.
Thornton also cites an "R" either in the cast-iron base of some sinks (kitchen?) and in the enamel of bath tubs in a corner near floor level.
Compare the Sears Kit House architecture and general appearance with a guide book - see the reference book list below. We recommend these books.
Watch for Sears Kit Home Paperwork - cached in attic or basement which may identify the home.
Sears kit houses came with a seventy-five instruction manual
which explained the details of construction.
Since these homes were designed to be built by their owner, the instructions were quite detailed, including
even details of how many nails were to be used and where they were to be placed when assembling the building framing.
Court or county records may also identify the Sears or other kit home and model, or may identify the home as carrying a Sears mortgage.
In addition to common "Sears" design, some are stamped with the "Sears" name.
We believe that the door hinge examples shown here appeared in a smaller size on kitchen cabinets in some homes as well.
In addition to framing lumber, windows, doors, roof shingles, Sears Catalog Homes came complete, with all of the necessary hardware, nails, hinges,
paint, and even a doorbell.
SearsGoodwall Sheet Plaster. You may see telltale sheet lines, roughly 4-inch x 4-inch, stamped "Goodwall" on the wall-cavity side (suggestive, not sufficient). Goodwall sheet plaster (basically plasterboard, an antecedent of modern "drywall") was sold by Sears beginning with the 1916 Sears Modern Kit Homes Catalog.
Earlier Sears kit home interior walls and ceilings may have used traditional plaster and lath or in some buildings you may find Beaverboard or other insulating board sheathing on walls and / or ceilings. Often these older surfaces have been covered-over by drywall. If the building interior window and door trim no longer protrudes about 3/4" beyond the wall surfaces we suspect that the original wall coverings have been plastered or re-covered with drywall.
Goodwall sheet plaster may not contain asbestos, but we have no hard evidence of the presence or absence of asbestos in that product. It's notable that Goodwall sheet plaster was described in Sears promotional material as follows:
Goodwall Sheet Plaster is a fire resisting gypsum rock compositionplaster of even thickness between two sheets of heavy cardboard.
These cardboards are so saturated with the fire resisting gypsum composition that they make Goodwall Sheet Plaster far more fire resistant than regular lath and plaster.
It comes in sheets 32 x 36 inches and other convenient sizes and takes the place of regular lath and plater at less cost and with less labor. Border to the right shows the actual thickness of the 32 x 36 inch size, 5/16 inch. - Sears advertising literature, 1921 Sears -Modern Homes Catalog.
This plaster board could be installed alone and papered-over but it was intended to be top-coated with a 3/8-inch layer of hard plaster and another 1/8 inch layer of top coat hard plaster finish.
Sears Goodwall sheet plaster was sold in the following dimensions and thus might provide telltale lines on any of these intervals:
Sears Goodwall Sheet Plaster Dimensions
Dimension in Inches
Thickness in Inches
32 x 36
32 x 48
32 x 72
32 x 84
32 x 96
32 x 108
32 x 120
48 x 72
48 x 84
48 x 96
48 x 108
48 x 120
Notes to the table above:
Notes: this product was sold by Sears beginning in 1916. The thickness dimensions do not include field-applied top coat layers of finished plaster.
Specially prepared plaster was also sold in bags of the hard plaster and top coat hard plaster to be applied over this Sears plasterboard
If a property owner finds Goodwall sheet plaster in their home and wants a free test we'll foot the bill (contact us first) as we'd like to knowfor sure too, but considering that most asbestos-containing products intending to trade on fire resistance advertised asbestos as a feature, it's quite possible that the Sears Goodwall sheet plaster does not contain asbestos.
Exterior design components and common or recurring Sears details and Sears house architectural themes:
(Thornton's text uses examples from the Sears Vallonia and the Sears Sunbeam) - look at:
Porch column details: you'll see a common theme of
Rectangular wood columns e.g. on this FULLERTON KIT HOME also shown in our photo above and SHOWN IN MORE DETAIL - here,
tapered wood rectangular columns such as
These may be
covered with vinyl or aluminum now but may still appear in place as a covered triangular support. Thornton describes these as "5-piece eaves brackets" and indeed brackets
were common on a number of Sears catalog or kit home designs.
Windows: Thornton cites double 2nd floor gable end windows but we do not yet see why this is unique to Sears Catalog homes.
Chimney: Thornton also suggests comparing the current chimney location to original design as chimneys are rarely moved - a good suggestion.
Original Building permits may be saved with the home - rare in our experience
Foundations: decorative-faced concrete block is suggestive [see our photos of Sears Catalog Homes shown here], where stone or concrete are less likely.
Location of Sears Kit Houses: because the Sears Catalog Houses were shipped by railroad boxcar (typically two boxcars per home) to a rail station near the purchaser, most often
Sears houses will be located close to a railway line or station, perhaps within one or two miles.
The buyer would move the 30,000 or more pieces of house material to the building
site by horse and wagon or by truck, often storing components in the rail car on a siding until they were needed. Sears packed the materials so that they
could be unloaded from the rail car in the order of construction.
Some sources of confusion in Sears House Identification
When was the house built? Sears began selling Building products in 1895 so some Sears materials may be in non-catalog homes.
Look alike homes that are not Sears Kits: There are "look-alike" catalog home models that were not sold by Sears but were sold and on occasion built by others
Architectural Designs of Sears Homes are Not Unique:
Sears architectural designs themselves came from existing sources such as magazines. Thornton points out the Del Rey model in 'American Carpenter and Builder' 1922. Sears often made modifications to copied designs.
Stated more elaborately: Sears Roebuck did not necessarily create the designs of their homes from scratch. Rather, the company copied existing popular home designs,
adapting them to kit form.
However even when Sears copied an existing house plan, the Sears Kit version can usually be identified by one or more features which were unique to the Sears version of these plans, such as a small upper gable end window or unique hardware such as door hinges that were sold only by Sears Roebuck & Co. for their kit houses.
Counterfeit Sears Kit Houses: Some builders, at customer request, copied an existing Sears design without ordering an actual catalog home.
Lack of Key Details on Small Sears Kit Houses: The smallest, simplest models of Sears Catalog Homes may lack obvious unique details (Winona, Grant, Clyde) but may have been built frequently.
When and Where were Sears Catalog Houses Built? A Brief History of Sears Kits
Sears Roebuck company began selling buildings or components of buildings in 1895. Some early experiments by Sears included selling a kit to build
a complete school or office building.
The first complete Sears Kit homes, that is, residences, were marketed
by Sears & Roebuck in 1908, and eventually Sears offered 370 different models of residential homes, ranging from small bungalows
at $500. (kit cost) to larger homes costing $5000. Buyers of a Sears Kit home saved about one third of the typical construction costs of their era.
Beginning in 1929, and not by coincidence, the volume of Sears Catalog houses sold dropped dramatically. So it's probably true that most of these
homes were sold and built before that year, but it is certainly the case that the sale of some models continued to 1940.
In 1940 the last "official" Sears kit house was sold and shipped to its owner. By 1940 home designs, specifications (and building codes)
had become more complex, detailed, and demanding, including stricter requirements for electrical wiring and plumbing, and Sears abandoned
the dwindling "do it yourself" home market.
After 1940: However some homes could have been purchased around 1939 or 1940 but not completed until several years later, depending
on what time and labor the buyer had available to build their house. Thornton cites a Sears house which was completed around 1944.
However other companies may have both purchased remaining Sears kit house stock or copied Sears designs and continued to sell kit homes
We have encountered such a home in northern Dutchess County in New York State, one which looks just like a Sears model but
which lacks the Sears identifying stencils on framing and other key details. Our client traced the sale and construction of the home to
a company which sold it as a kit house in the early 1940's.
A List of Manufacturers of Kit Homes and their Identification Markings
We've had less success finding details about other kit home companies selling in the United States and Canada, though Rebecca Hunter has compiled a list of a variety of kit house companies.
Benefiting from Hunter's work as well as our own search we list a number of kit or catalog home manufacturers here.
Aladdin Kit Homes: Details are at ALADDIN KIT HOUSES. Aladdin Readi-Cut Homes: Beating Sears to the kit home market, Aladdin, in Bay City Michigan, 1906-1981 began selling kits in 1906. The company sold "pre-cut" home kits to build cottages and later arts-and-crafts homes. Also see Sterling Kit Homes and Lewis Liberty Kit Homes below.
These companies eventually merged. 35 models available in 1949. 75,000 homes sold. By the 1960's delivery of these kit homes shifted from rail to truck delivery, which may mean that there will be more homes of this vintage and later built further from rail stations.
Bennett Kit Homes: Better-built Kit Homes & Ready-Cut Kit Homes were sold by the Bennet Home and Lumber Company, in North Tonawanda NY 1902- ca 1935.
Online discussions include a 1926 Bennett Homes Kit house, in Clarence NY,a book upcoming by Dale Wolicki, and some catalog photos at http://www.antiquehome.org/House-Plans/1920-Bennett/ which cites that "Bennett Homes are concentrated in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, as well as into the upper Midwest."
Gordon Van Tine Catalog Homes: Ready-Cut Kit Homes Davenport Iowa 1907 (perhaps 1912) to 1946. For identifying marks on Gordon Van Tine Catalog Homes see notes at Montgomery Wards Kit Homes just below.
Harris Homes: a Chicago company in business from 1913 to 1960, perhaps selling kit homes between 1912 and 1925. Ms. Hunter [see references below] indicates that Harris Kit Homes may be identified by markings on framing:
"numbers are stenciled in ink, often in the middle of a board, and may be numerals alone, or numerals and letters, or Roman numerals. E.g. 76, HR 50, RI 32 or AII. Home model number and/or order number may be written in grease pencil."
Lewis Liberty Catalog Homes: Bay City Michigan. See "Lewis/Liberty Homes - 59 Years in the Ready-Cut Homes Business," Robert Schweitzer and Sally Linvill Bund, Michigan History, Volume 79, Number 2, March 1995. Also see Rebecca Hunter reference information below.
Lustron Steel Homes: The Lustron company, started in Columbus Ohio in 1947 with a government loan after WW II by Carl Strandlund, provided [mostly] ranch-style
steel home kits - the entire home was built of steel products: framing, walls, trusses, roof covering, even interior ceiling tiles.
Strandlund was interested in a porcelain coated steel process that was to be corrosion resistant. See www.lustron.net and also http://www.lustronconnection.org/steelhomestoday.html (a website put up by Kodiak Steel Homes, a modern producer) which gives some history of the company and cites
"The Lustron homes were designed to be maintenance free, cost approximately $7,000, and were produced in 1949 and 1950. These homes were considered to be three times stronger that a traditional stick built home and were advertised as being rodent proof, fire proof , lightening proof, and rustproof.".
After selling 2,498 homes (a much smaller number than the number of orders received) in 1950 Lustron declared bankruptcy. 1800 Lustron
homes are collected at the U.S. Marine Corps training center in Quantico Virigina, but beginning in January 2006 the Corps announced that these homes would be given away. (If you didn't apply by April 2006 you're probably too late.)
Montgomery Wards Catalog Kit Homes: Montgomery Wards, a Chicago company, sold catalog homes or "kit houses" under the name Wardway Homes from 1910 to 1931, with sales of pre-cut home kits beginning in 1921 and ending in 1931.
Rebecca Hunter says that Wards Kit Homes might be identified by lumber markings
"numbers are handwritten in grease pencil, usually in the middle of a board. They consist of numerals, hyphenated in groups, e.g. 17-21-19, or 3-5 digit numerals. Part names are stamped in capital letters about 1" high (e.g. "ceiling joist" "top rail"). Delivery address may be stamped or stenciled in ink."
Lewis Kit Homes: for possible identifying marks on Lewis Kit homes see notes above at Aladdin.
Pacific Kit Homes: a California catalog home company in the construction business from 1908 to at least 1940. (The company made surfboards 1929-1940), possibly selling kit homes for at least some years between 1919 and 1925.
Hunter estimates that the company sold 37,000 homes in states west of the Rocky Mountains.
Rebecca Hunter suggests that Pacific kit homes may be identified by framing components that "... are marked in grease pencil with a 4 digit number, probably the order number, and the names of the parts."
Ready-Built Homes: often cited along with Sears and Wards, searches turn up too many builders using this term, including Alfred G. Oxley, Elizabeth New Jersey, president of Sterling Service Homes, who was reported have been jailed for fraud after he failed to provide the "ready built" homes sold to his clients for $36,000. each.
"OXLEY NOW IN THE TOMBS.; Head of "Ready-Built" Homes Scheme Is Held in $25,000 Bail." New York Times, 25 July 1922. We're still looking for details )
Robinson's Kit Homes: often cited along with Sears and Wards, we're still looking for details (Jan 2008)
Sears Catalog Homes: Details are at SEARS KIT HOUSES. Sears Roebuck is estimated to have sold 100,000 catalog homes in the U.S. between 1908 and 1940, with probably the heaviest individual sales years before 1929.
Sears Roebuck's business model differed from some or all of the other kit home marketers by offering an accompanying home mortgage to their customers beginning in 1916.
Thornton says there were 370 different home models; Hunter says there were 450 different house models. Sears sold building products before 1900, and sold kit homes from 1908 to 1940. From 1940 to 1950 or 1951 Sears sold Homart pre-fabricated home kits in a more limited distribution.
Sears Honor-Bilt Homes: were distributed by Sears Catalog and represented a higher-quality construction.
Framing spacing intervals were 14 3/8" instead of the standard 16" (or even 24" in some older non-kit homes), and interiors used a better grade of lumber to fabricate flooring and trim.
Sears Standard-Bilt Kit Homes: were a more economical line of kit houses (see Honor-Bilt above) and were less insulated. "Simplex Sectional" homes were a still simpler home design sold by Sears.
Sterling Kit Homes: Bay City Michigan. For possible identifying marks on Lewis Kit homes see notes above at Aladdin; also see Rebecca Hunter's information listed below
Watch Online Video about Sears Homes, Rosemary Thornton, KETC Living in St. Louis, Sears Homes
This link to a YouTube entry will display a nice five-minute video in which Rosemary Thornton discusses
the history and appearance of Sears Catalog Homes.
Thornton rattles off some statistics about Sears Catalog homes and
with the KETC reporter, walks past and identifies several Sears home models.
She explains that often a specific
detail which is still in place on a Sears house was unique to those homes and can help in their identification today, even though
homes have been much modified or expanded since their original construction.
Are these Sears catalog homes?
The Barrington Sears Kit Home ca 1929
[Click to enlarge any image]
Any ASHI, NAHI, or other serious home inspector who has been working in the Hudson Valley of New York or for that matter in many other U.S. cities and towns for a decade or more has probably inspected several Sears Catalog homes, even if s/he did not recognize it at the time.
A review of some of our inspection photos came up
with a few candidates with an expert like Thornton might see immediately as probable or improbable Sears Catalog Houses.
These along with some houses I photographed
which are definitely not Sears Catalog Houses are included in this list as a fun exercise for readers.
13 No. Remsen Ave., Wappingers Falls, NY REMSEN AVE. HOME is reported to be a Sears Catalog House Kit House as well, but we have n't yet found it in the catalog.
17 No. Remsen Ave., Wappingers Falls, NY REMSEN AVE. HOME#3. The front porch of this home was converted to an office for Dr. Hodder, a local dentist after his village office was taken over by the bank who was his landlord.
28 West St. Wappingers Falls, NY WAPPINGERS FALLS HOME #1 - 1885 "The Bleachery" (previously owned, extensively renovated by the author, DF, sold to present owner)
Other kit homes, not Sears, include Montgomery Ward Kit homes and Aladdin Kit homes.
Aladdin Kit Houses
This photo is of an Aladdin kit home constructed in Tivoli, New York. Since its original construction, especially viewed from the exterior, it would be tough to identify this as a kit home much less as an Aladdin kit home.
But the observation of stencil marks on some framing visible in the interior of the home and research by the owners turned up the original plans for this Aladdin home.
Aladdin 'Built in a Day' House Catalog, 1917 Dover Publications, 1995. ISBN: 048628591X, also see http://clarke.cmich.edu/aladdin/catdir.htm for Aladdin kit home catalogs in the Clarke Library
Aladdin Company archives at the Clarke Library, University of Central Michigan
Aladdin House Catalog, in reprint form, is available from Amazon.com
Aladdin Houses are cataloged by the Arts & Crafts Society at http://18.104.22.168/archive/aladdin.shtml
More information including a description of the Aladdin model Georgia No.2 Aladdin home built in Claremont NY is in this archive http://clarke.cmich.edu/aladdin/Aladdin.htm
America's Favorite Homes : Mail-Order Catalogues As a Guide to Popular Early 20th-Century Houses, Schweitzer, Robert and Davis, Michael, 1990, Detroit, Wayne State University Press, ISBN: 0814320066
Elgin Illinois Ornamental Concrete Block in Residential Architecture from the Elgin Heritage Commission, Hunter, Rebecca, 2005. Available from Gail Borden Public Library Elgin IL.
117 House Designs of the Twenties, Gordon-Van Tine, Dover Publications, 1992. ISBN: 0486269590
Bennett's Small House Catalogue, 1920 Reprint Edition, February 1994. Dover Publications. ISBN: 0486278093.
Homes in a Box: Modern Homes from Sears Roebuck, Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. 1997. ISBN: 0764304321.
Homes and Interiors of the 1920's, Morgan Woodwork Organization. Ottawa, Ontario: Lee Valley Tools Ltd., 1987. Reprint of Building With Assurance 1921
Houses by Mail, Katherine Cole Stevenson & H. Ward Jandl, Preservation Press, 1986, ISBN 0-89133-120-4 (available in reprint from Amazon.com) Use the house type key on page 39 to speed look-up in this field guide to Sears Catalog pre-cut homes.
Houses from Books, Reiff, Daniel D. University Park PA: Philadelphia State University Press; 1990.
The Ideal Catalogue House: Mail-Order Architecture and Consumer Culture, 1914-1930., Joselow, Evie T., PhD. Dissertation, 1998, City University of New York
Sears Houses: There's no place like a catalog, Sturdy Sears homes arrived by mail: many survive nearby, newspaper article, Poughkeepsie Journal, Section F p. 1-2, 7 January 1990
Sears Houses: Beyond Sears: Mail Order Homes in Elgin Illinois from Aladdin, Lewis, Sterling, Harris Brothers, Gordon-Van Tine and Montgomery Ward, Hunter, Rebecca, Elgin Heritage Commission 2004. Available from the Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin IL.
Sears Houses: Elgin Illinois Ornamental Concrete Block in Residential Architecture, Hunter, Rebecca, Elgin Heritage Commission, 2005. Available from Gail Borden Public Library Elgin IL.
Sears Houses: Elgin Sears House Research Project, Hunter, Rebecca, Elgin Heritage Commission 1999. Available from the Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin IL.
Sears Houses: Putting Sears Homes on the Map: A compilation of testimonials published in Sears Modern Homes Catalogs from 1908-1940, Elgin IL, Hunter, Rebecca 2004, ISBN 0-9762096-0-8, 116 pp, $20 available from Rebecca Hunter Press, 847 697-4551, FAX 847-697-455
Sears Barns: Sears, Roebuck Book of Barns Reprint of the 1919 Catalog, preface by Rebecca Hunter and Dale P Wolicki, 2004, ISBN 0-9762096-1-6, 84 pp, $20, available from Rebecca Hunter Press, 847 697-4551, FAX 847-697-4550
Daniel Friedman Building inspection, diagnosis, testing by this website author, forensic laboratory services for building and environmental diagnosis
We recommend all three of these publications. Item #1 is a great reference catalog of home designs,
organized to help as a field guide. Rosemary Thornton's two books
contain additional specific details which you will find instrumental in identifying Sears Catalog Homes.
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