Today is Sears Kit Homes Tuesday. Sears Modern Homes catalog was first published in 1908. The 1913 volume featured 112 designs for homes for which homeowners could purchase a kit that was delivered with all the materials needed to construct the home. Later volumes offered up to 370 designs. Between 1908 and 1940, more than 70,000 of these Sears Kit Homes were built across America. Today we are featuring The Kilbourne.
In the 1926 Sears Catalog, a customer wrote, “Our house has been the object of much admiration, not only from our friends, but strangers, who in passing by will stop to look at the artistic front. Many have remarked about the ‘homey’ porch.” They were talking about The Kilbourne.
If a buyer had at least a 45-foot wide lot, they were good to go. In 1926, the pre-cut and fitted Kilbourne kit could be delivered to your door for $2,700. The list of materials included lumber, lath roofing, siding, hardwood flooring, high grade millwork, interior doors, trim, windows, kitchen cabinets, hardware, paint, stain, and so much more.
The Kilbourne bungalow featured a sloping roof, a dormer, overhanging eaves, a side chimney and a large front porch with massive pillars.
Entering through the front door, a new owner landed in the 21′ x13′ living room centered with a fireplace with flanking windows. All the rooms on the first floor had 9′ ceilings.
Dining Room and Kitchen
French doors led into 13′ x 13′ dining room, and from there one could enter the kitchen through a “Leave It to Beaver” type swinging door. A second door in the kitchen entered into the yard, a third into the basement and yet another door opened to the stairwayl eading to the second floor.
Two bedrooms were on the first floor separated by a three-piece bathroom with a built-in medicine cabinet. The front bedroom held a built-in wardrobe and the second bedroom a closet, unusual features in a house of that period. Optionally, a buyer could pay extra for another three bedrooms and two walk-in closets on the second level.
A Few Existing Kilbourne Homes
For almost 20 years, Sears, Roebuck and Company purveyed the materials for complete prefabricated houses, providing thousands of Americans with attractive and comfortable low-cost dwellings. Many of these homes are still a common feature in cities and towns across America.
The present volume, a meticulous reproduction of a rare Sears, Roebuck catalog of 1926, provides a thorough, accurate record of the company’s “Honor Bilt Modern Homes.” Over 300 photographs and illustrations, with full descriptions, offer views of 86 different houses and cottages of widely varying sizes and designs.