1. My house is one of these. It was built in 1922. You can see the markings on some of the pieces of wood that indicate where to attach them and nail them.

  2. My wife and I just moved out of one last year. The whole street was duplexes that families had gone in on together, don’t know the years though, we rented.

  3. Mine too! Not Sears, but another catalog. 1950’s. Train stop is just down the road from my house. Several additions have been made over the years, but my next door neighbors house is fairly original and was the same catalog, very similar home. A crew of builders who used to live nearby built a lot of the catalog homes for people. I also have the original bill of sale done with typewriter, we’re taking like $4000!

  4. My grandpa did this in the 60s when he was 22 years old with no house building experience. The house is still standing strong.

  5. Thats mind boggling to me. I cant imagine building a house from scratch like that would be as easy as reading an ikea instructions book. Id love to try it lol, bit deff dont trust myself to do it fully "right"

  6. You'll purchase the brand name, but get a knock-off version with lead paint, but looks identical to the original. Once you use it long enough it'll break in half, and they'll reject the warranty when you try to get it fixed.

  7. It was actually even more complicated then that. A regional lumber yard would cut all the wood needed for the house based on Sears specifications. Sears would provide all the plumbing, wiring, windows, etc, etc. A lot of people would hire contractors for assembly but it could be done on your own with help.

  8. Most folks like the idea of single-handedly building their own home. The same folks will probably never single-handedly build their own home.

  9. I'd imagine most of these were done with professional help. The engineering of the land and the footing work require expertise, among other aspects

  10. I didn't know about these until I saw a few of them in a town near me. I was friend with a girl who lived in one and her family told me about it and the couple others nearby. These houses lasted longer than some surrounding homes that were either destroyed in severe weather or just fell apart with age. They are some of the oldest houses in that town! They are kind of cute little houses too! I wouldn't mind owning one!

  11. Some of them are huge. Look up Sears honorbuilt homes. They had a few mansion models. One in Irwin, Pa. is fully restored.

  12. Can we just be real here? Ikea instructions are idiot proof. Everything should be done in ikea instructions and we could thin the herd a little bit.

  13. You could drop that house all over the United States and in some neighborhoods you couldn’t give it away and in others it would be $1million

  14. The woman they interview, Rosemary Thorton is a gem. My favorite moment is the bit about following the instructions: @5:30 "Do not accept anyone's advice on how this should be built. Follow these instructions and do not deviate. So if the old wisened carpenter comes by and says: I wouldn't build it that way! Sears is warning you up front: Do not listen to that man."

  15. My previous house was built in the mid 1950s and its construction and materials were vastly better than the one I had built in 2008.

  16. My house is an exact copy of a Sears House. It’s all post-and-beam construction, dimensional lumber of red oak and cedar. The century-old wood is too hard to drive nails into, you have to use screws.

  17. Sometimes, you can still find the part numbers on various rafters, etc. "Attach part #432 to tab A on part #327

  18. Problem is you can't build them or even pay a contractor to build them in and around most medium to large cities. Minum sizes and other regulations make these 800-1200 sq foot homes illegal to build in most places with decent jobs and good economies.

  19. Frank Lloyd wright got his start in architecture designing and selling these kits. Once he got rich and famous he said fuck that and became the first ever starchitect.

  20. you can still buy them , they just say Gemcraft or Lennar homes now they are what these new developments are made from and they cost between $300,000 and $500,000 now, this is now the standard for new homes only they are not near the quality the Sears homes were, the new ones will be falling apart in 10 years sothey can tear them and build more

  21. Well, you can still buy the Sears ones, but they're already built, and 100+ years old. A friend of mine lives in one, and it's cute af.

  22. Sears went bankrupt because they were so mismanaged they didn't go in on internet commerce when it was new. They already had a catalog and mail order system, but didn't think ecommerce was important so they didn't go in early. They could have been Amazon.

  23. Sears was already a zombie company by the time the Wall Street Boys started playing games with them. They were killed by companies who out innovated them, Amazon and Walmart to name two biggies.

  24. My parents home built in 1918 i want to say? Is from the sears catalog. Extensive renovations but we were able to match the front of the house to the original al catalog from a book we bought that had all of the. 100% tongue and groove fir. Amazing house

  25. I lived in a sears home for the first 13 years of my life. It was a solid house. It had room, it was not drafty and it was all around a decent home. I miss it.

  26. Its still around but self building a home is outside the skillset of most people. The ones who can do it often run into zoning and building challenges.

  27. What pisses me off is that most of these houses... even the sears top o the line honor bilt houses... were under 3k... which is less than 50k in todays money with inflation ... 50k for a house.... 50k barely even covers a mortgage... god i'm so salty. I cant even afford a house this nice.

  28. Simpler times, nowadays our capitalism and consumerism complicates the process to idiotically mark up the margin

  29. We’ve got lots of those here in iowa, if you lived within 25 miles of a train station, and wanted your own home, buying one of these was a nobrainer.

  30. Sears was a major retailer into the 1980s or 90s but it couldn't keep up with Walmart and Target due to poor leadership and vision and then a man named Eddie Lampert bought it, extracted whatever value he could out of it (mostly from its real estate holdings), and drove it into the ground. There are fewer than 20 stores still open, if that. He did the same with KMart, which was Walmart before Walmart.

  31. I have one of these homes! Still standing strong to this day, we are getting ready to sell it because we need extra room, it didn't even hit the market and sold to the first person who looked at it!

  32. The "build your own house" boom sort of ended after WWII so Sears kinda quit doing it. Other companies kept at it and you can actually still do this today.

  33. I currently live in one of these! Built over ninety years ago, it’s needed some electrical and plumbing work, but otherwise is still standing strong.

  34. My dad used to ride a sears motorcycle that was setup opposite of what you’re used to so none of his friends could borrow it.

  35. In my town I think if you tried to do this today the city inspectors are legally required to kidnap you and beat the crap out of you.

  36. There's a legal battle in my town going on over one of these houses now. A big developer bought it know they weren't allowed to tare it down. They payed over the asking price for the property as well. They're now arguing that it will take them to long to make a profit off of renting out the house, so they need to replace it.

  37. My great Aunts didn't their house from a catalog but they bought their home for $3,500 in 1920. and we still had it till 2015 when my Mom and Dad sold it for 575,000.

  38. Can confirm... I live in a 50s catalogue ranch. It has a truss roof that could be set at different pitches depending on what the buyer preferred. 2x3s for a few walls that aren't structural. Simple and effective, my whole neighborhood is full of them.

  39. My grandfather built one of these when he came back from WWII, lived in it until the day he died, and it’s still standing over a decade later. Some nice folks in the neighborhood just bought it from my dad and they’re restoring it.

  40. Oh shit yeah. My Great Grandmother worked at Sears and got a discount. They had a home that was purchased from them, and damn near everything else on that property came from Sears too. They really were a great place to shop up until the 90's. Staff was knowledgable, they really helped out, went above and beyond. Everyone who worked in their respective departments was practically an expert.

  41. Omfg are kids really this stupid these days, I'm 33 I thought this was common knowledge by like age 8, this was taught in social studies

  42. These homes are all over the Midwest. They are often quite easy to find if you go into the "Old" parts of town. In my town there are probably hundreds of catalog homes still standing. I really love them.

  43. I wonder how much the price of a sears house would be compared to an already built one back then. Probably a lot more manageable financially compared to today.

  44. Back when you could buy houses for a fistful of grapes and a postage stamp. I don't know any 20 yr old today who could afford a house (diy or not) and put it together. Not to take away from the post, cause that is awesome, just thoughtful about how times have really changed.

  45. My father and I were talking about this on the car rufe home today. Our very rural small town located in midwestern US just had its 150th anniversary and many of the homes were built from the material ordered from the Sears catalog. My family's house is one of the several historical homes in our community that stands strong a hundred years later.

  46. My great-grandparent's home on our family's farm is one of these kit houses. My great-grandfather was an engineer and woodworker, so he modified and expanded on it quite a bit. It was built in the 30s but still standing.

  47. What I’m hearing here is that Humans used to build their own homes in the early 1900s that still stand to this day. Now I’m 2022 we can’t afford the poorly built homes going for over half a million dollars. 🤦🏽‍♂️ seems like we have improved so much 🤷🏽‍♂️

  48. "I'll give you a luxurious, entirely unique pre-cut palace. And if you order today, I guarantee your home in a matter of weeks... maybe sooner" Albert-RDR2

  49. That house is pretty similar to the one that my grandma grew up in in Saskatchewan. Her dad built it after coming in through Ellis Island and helping his brother build his homestead in Minnesota.

  50. I remember seeing a black and white film where a newly wed couple were building a house and chaos ensued.

  51. "that man makes be hate this new world we're living in" - John Marsten complaining about the l pre built homes and barns. Red Dead redemption 2. Ten minutes ago

  52. I’m studying architecture and learned all about these, the sad part is that these homes were for the middle class and were relatively affordable and created opportunity for families to start a new life in growing suburban communities. Now these houses are old and need many repairs but the average home owner can’t even afford to pay to have these homes refurbished properly let alone buy and construct a new home… the housing market is fucked :/

  53. My dad grew up in a Sears house. When my grandmother sold it in the 90s, she got a lot of offers, way more than the home itself was worth. But some people are really into the Sears houses and jump when they come up on the market.

  54. Me and a buddy found an old shack in the woods that had newspapers from the 1940s as wallpaper. WWII headlines and there was a Sears catalog that listed houses for something like $400.

  55. For years I thought these were Craftsman houses, because —you know, Craftsman is the brand Sears sells?? Totally makes sense, right? Nah, I’m an idiot.

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