Sears Craftsman House
A local Idaho history buff shared the story of this Sears bungalow in a Facebook group. It was built using the plans for a 1919 Sears Modern Homes model called the Argyle. These kit houses were marketed from 1908 until 1940.
Customers browsed a catalog, picked out a house design, and ordered all the building parts, including lumber and prebuilt building parts. The kits were shipped by rail to the home site and assembled by family members, friends, or hired builders.
Craftsman House Kits
In the days before Amazon became a household name, Sears and Roebuck mailed out whole houses to families across America. They sold dozens of models in their Modern Homes catalog, which ran from 1908 to 1940. The kits included all the lumber and parts needed to construct the house. Some homeowners built the homes themselves, but many hired local carpenters to do the work.
Local Sears House Hunters like Judith Chabot have helped identify a number of these homes in Charlotte. She says that signs of a Sears home include Goodwall sheet plaster (basically an early version of drywall) and telltale sheet lines, which can be seen on the wall-cavity side of the boards. Other clues to look for include a unique column arrangement on the front porch and five-piece eave brackets.
Sears Remodeling Home Improvements
In an era before commercial air travel and long-haul trucking, Sears, Roebuck & Co. made it possible for middle class Americans to realize their dreams of homeownership. Their Modern Homes program shipped building materials to buyers across the country in railroad cars and fully erected their houses within 90 days.
These homes were not revolutionary, but they were a smart marketing strategy that worked well in a time when American culture was changing to favor convenience over quality. Sears offered 447 different models of homes that spanned from Craftsman to Cape Cod styles.
If you think your house is a Sears home, look for the label on millwork like baseboard molding or window and door trim. Also check for a circled “SR” cast into the bottom corner of the bathtub and Goodwall sheet plaster on walls.
This Old House
The company sold a variety of models, from Craftsman bungalows to California mission styles. Buyers chose their dream homes from a catalog, sent Sears a check, and weeks later all the lumber, lath, nails, cedar shake shingles, pipes, windows, and paint arrived by train.
Today, these homes capture the imagination of history buffs and home buyers. Some are even worth millions. A dedicated community of catalog-home enthusiasts has created books, maps, and tours, and has even identified the specific stamps and lumber marks that can confirm a house as a Sears model.
Wende Dau and her husband live in a three-bedroom Sheridan model, built in 1926. They have renovated some, but maintain the house in its original condition. That means fixing cracks in plaster walls, and repairing the window frames.
Craftsman Bungalow Restoration
In an era before commercial aviation and long-haul trucking, Sears sold around 75,000 “kit” homes by mail order. Customers would peruse the catalog, pick their dream house, send a check and wait for a boxcar full of building materials to arrive by rail.
When a Dutchess County home was identified as a Sears catalog house in 1990, the owner contacted the Poughkeepsie Journal. John Hutchcroft, a local historian, was on the job. He had a good idea where to look: numbered nails in the window panes.
He was able to identify the Sears Crescent model based on the blueprints and other information. But he was still missing something. A few years later he met Kathleen Ford, an interior designer who had a vision for this Craftsman bungalow.
Transform Home Improvements
Sears is looking to sell its home improvement business as a part of an effort to save money, sources familiar with the matter said. The company’s owner, Transformco, could raise at least $1 billion by selling this area of the business.
These homes often have special features like built-ins and artisan windows. They also retain their value and may be worth more than a newer house. However, they need to be maintained properly to stay in good condition.
Some of the most popular remodeling projects include kitchens, bathrooms, and flooring. These home improvements can be done in a variety of ways and can save you money on energy bills. They can also improve your home’s curb appeal and add value to the property.
To discuss your home renovation project, simply call or click to start a coversation with the friendly people at Baum Construction & Development.
Best, Michael Baum
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you increase your home’s value?
It is important to make your home look beautiful.
If you aren’t planning to sell your home soon, there is no need for expensive renovations.
You should carefully consider what type of renovations will best help you sell your home quickly.
A great way to boost the value of your home is by making small improvements such as painting walls and ceilings, replacing carpeting, polishing floors, installing new lighting, and fitting new kitchen appliances.
While these projects may seem expensive, they add value and beauty to your home.
These little improvements can not only give your home a facelift but also increase its resale potential.
You might consider purchasing a smaller home if your goal is to move into a bigger house.
Renting less will save you money long term.
It will also enable you to spend more money on your dream home’s renovations.
Renovations aren’t always necessary: there are plenty of ways to spruce up your home without spending a fortune.
For example, you can paint your home’s exterior or replace old carpets.
However, if you want to improve the appearance of your house, you should get going.
What is the best way to add value to your home?
What would you choose if you could have more space? An extension or a conservatory. Are you looking for a garage?
What about a basement conversion or loft conversion? It could be a kitchen extension, or a bathroom suite.
But, regardless of which option you choose to go with, ensure it fits in the existing footprint of your property.
You need to make sure that your space complements the surrounding environment, not add another one.
Additionally, you’ll need to calculate how much additional living space is required.
Do you plan to convert your spare room into a study/home-office? Is there enough storage for your growing family’s needs?
Are you looking to transform your attic in to a craft/playroom?
No matter your vision, it’s important that you don’t break the bank.
It may seem obvious, but even when you’ve created a fabulous design, you must ensure that it meets practical requirements, such as having access to power sockets, lighting, and plumbing.
These are the questions to ask when designing a new space. Do you have to fit furniture and appliances? Do you require a separate entrance?
Are there enough outlets for electricity? Can you run cables from one part of the house to another without compromising aesthetics and comfort?
Is there a need for water? And if so, where will this be located about the rest of the building?
What about heating and air conditioning? If you are installing central heating and air conditioning, you should know the location of all pipes.
Also, don’t forget the cost of moving any belongings you might keep.
Consider the cost of remodeling or expanding your current home.
To extend a property, you will need extra floor space. This requires a lot of excavation.
This usually involves removing the flooring from the ground and laying new ones.
Depending on the job size, this process can take several days or weeks.
The added height of walls and roofs makes the structure more heavy, increasing the likelihood of structural damage.
A conservatory on the other side is a small, enclosed box with doors and windows.
You don’t have to dig up the foundations or lay down new joists.
The conservatory can also be constructed on the side by using prefabricated frames with glazing.
This means that you need only to excavate the perimeter of the building.
This does not mean you will lose privacy and your view of your backyard isn’t possible.
If you’re considering extending or renovating your home, you should start by drawing up plans.
It’s important to be clear about your goals and objectives before you begin any project.
How much does a bathroom redesign increase my home’s worth?
A bathroom remodel can add 5% to your house’s value. The average price of a bathroom remodel is $5,700. A bathroom renovation can improve the marketability and appeal of a house.
A beautiful bathroom is important if you plan to sell your home. A well-organized and clean bathroom is a plus for buyers. They expect a bathroom to have modern fixtures and appliances that give off a sense of luxury.
The design of your bathroom must be harmonious with the rest. You don’t want the bathroom to be altered just for changing the flooring or walls.
If you are looking to sell your property, it is essential that you choose the correct color scheme. Buyers will notice the bathroom only if they walk through the front door. You might find it odd if the bathroom is different in color to the other rooms.
You can enhance the beauty of your bathroom by painting the walls a bright shade of red or yellow. These colors are extremely popular with buyers. Make sure there are no holes or cracks in the ceiling tiles. An unkept bathroom could create negative impressions about the house.
You should also remember to put in modern lighting fixtures when remodeling a bathroom. Modern lighting fixtures are becoming more important in bathrooms as people spend more time there than any other room in their home. The lighting fixtures should be bright enough that they are easy to use.
You need to have enough space in your bathroom to allow for everything that you might need during a bath. Ample storage space is necessary for towels, toiletries and cosmetics.
Finally, ensure your bathroom is clean.
Do Solar Panels Increase home value?
A solar panel system can increase your home’s resale potential by up to $25,000
Thanks to technological advances, solar energy systems for homeowners are becoming increasingly affordable. These systems are attractive for homeowners who want to sell their home in the next few decades.
An University of California Berkeley study found that solar panels made of wood had higher selling prices than homes without them. Because buyers were attracted by these properties, this was why they had higher sales prices. Because they thought they would have lower utility expenses.
Although the initial cost of a solar system is higher than the monthly payment, it can be offset by the savings over the long-term.
Solar panels are not only good for reducing electricity costs, but they can also save you money on taxes. Solar panels can help you qualify for federal tax credits, which will reduce your annual income tax liability up to 30%.
If you plan to sell your home soon, you should seriously consider adding solar panels to your property. They’ll not only improve the aesthetic appeal of your home but will also make it much easier to find a buyer.
- About 85 percent of a house is reusable,” says B.J. Perkins, Habitat’s ReUse program manager in Austin, Texas. (thisoldhouse.com)
- Adding a sunroom varies from $15,000 to $22,000 with a 50% return on investment. (extraspace.com)
- Even if you intend to sell your home shortly, you’ll likely recoup around 60 percent of your renovation costs, according to Remodeling’s 2020 (thespruce.com)
- Kitchen remodels projects can cost between $60-$46,000 and recoup almost 93% of the cost at resale. (extraspace.com)
- Look into eco-friendly paints, and purchase floor mats from 100% recycled plastics. (bhg.com)
- Learn how much it costs to Build an Addition.
- Find out more about the cost of projects within the Attics category.
The Best Type of Home Addition
Many factors influence the type of home addition that you choose. These include your budget, available space and what features you are looking for. The quality of your new home will be affected by the type of addition you choose.
There are six types.
- A Kitchen Remodel
- An Enclosed Porch
- Bathroom Remodel
- A Garage Conversion
- A Basement/Loft Conversion
- Room Addition
If you’re looking to add value to your home, consider one of these options below!
- An island can be added to your kitchen to give it a more open feel.
- The custom backsplash will enhance the beauty and functionality of your kitchen.
- A large walk-in pantry can be added to your storage.
- An enclosed porch can be added to your home so you can enjoy the fresh air inside when it rains outside.
- Outdoor showers can improve the curb appeal of your patio.
- You can make your bathroom look brand new by replacing an old bathroom sink with a modern faucet.
- Remodeling your bathroom flooring can make it look better.
- You can increase your property’s value by converting your garage into a bedroom.
- You can store everything easier by adding a loft to your garage.
- A second story can be added to an existing home, particularly if you have limited attic space.
- Your basement can be transformed into a living space. This will give you a peaceful place to relax. This requires planning and permits. Before you start this project, check with your local building department.
Additions to Rooms
- A popular idea is to create a wine cellar in your basement.
- Another great way to get in shape at home is to build a home gym.
- A laundry room is another option.
Given the many options available, selecting the right type for your home improvement project is a difficult task.