Sears Kit Homes

Sears Kit Homes Spotlight Tuesday – The Westly

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 doing a deep dive on The Westly model. Please note, these are not homes currently for sale.

In 1926 homeowners could purchase the The Westly Sears Kit Home for $2,614, already cut and fitted.  The kit for the seven rooms with a bath bungalow included everything the builder needed:  lumber, lath, shingles, siding, millwork, doors, trim, kitchen and bathroom cupboards, ironing board built-in, windows, gutters, hardware, exterior paint and interior varnish.

 

The Westly was one of  Sears most popular designs. You have to admit that it oozes curb appeal with its Juliette balcony, large eave brackets and porch columns on brick piers. The design almost looks like a Swiss chalet. It featured a broad front porch, large 17′ x 13′ living room with fireplace, nine-foot ceilings on the first floor, dining room with built-in buffet, a swinging door into the kitchen, and pantry. One bedroom was offered on the first floor with three bedrooms and a bath on the second level.

 

 

Several options were available, including oak doors and trim for $130, and oriental asphalt roof shingles $36 extra.

 

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Sadly, over the decades many of The Westlys were “customized” with the trends of the day. Oftentimes, the Juliette balcony has been removed and/or the porch enclosed, making the design look like any other bland bungalow in the neighborhood. The Westlys shown below have had alterations, but they still have much of the character that Sears intended.

3917 Johnson, Western Springs, IL

 

11960 S. Keeler, Alsip, IL

 

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