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Posts Tagged ‘jim walter kit homes’

$15 per pound: Sears Simplex Sectional Cottages

January 15th, 2011 No comments

Simplex Sectional Cottages were very simple houses – to say the least. They were – without a doubt – the bottom rung of the construction ladder. These were prefab vacation cottages that could be disassembled and packed away when it was time to go home and very quite primitive by today’s standards.

The 1922 Modern Homes catalog described Simplex Sectional Cottages as, “ideal seashore, lake, winter resort houses and substantial garages.” The 1919 catalog stated that they were ideal for summer or winter resorts because, “they can be quickly put up at the beginning of the season and then taken down and moved to a new location.”

Walls and gables came in whole sections, with windows and doors pre-hung in their frames. The small homes could be put together with basic tools and their assembly required no sawing or nailing. The houses were held together by strap irons, screws, metal clips and bolts.    Two men could assemble the house in eight hours, according to the 1923 catalog.

And this blog’s title? Came from the fifth image below, where a 13,800 pound house is offered for $887. That’s $15 per pound! It’s also $1.54 per square foot (24 x 24).

The images below came from the 1921 Sears Modern Homes catalog:

House two

This graphic from the 1921 Sears Modern Homes catalog shows the process of erecting a Simplex Sectional Cottage. Note the clock in the foreground.

House 3

As the clock demonstrated, this modest little house can be erected and ready for occupancy in a mere eight hours.

This says it all.

This says it all.

Wow.

If you want walls in your house, that'll raise the price of this house by 24%.

Wow

The price seems like a swinging deal. Let's see - that works out to about $15 per pound.

hosue 4

An overview of the prices in the 1921 catalog.

To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

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To learn how to identify Sears Homes, click here.

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Sears Homes of Lewisburg, West Virginia

August 16th, 2010 7 comments

In 2006, a woman in Beckley, West Virginia sent me an email. “Ersela” thought she’d found about 40 kit homes in Beckley, and wanted to ask if I was available to come to her town and give a lecture. For the next several months, we talked back and forth and in 2008, I went to Beckley and gave a talk on Sears Kit Homes. Over the course of a couple years, I also visited Charleston and Lewisburg, and the surrounding areas.

I’m still amazed and impressed by how many kit homes I’ve found in these communities. How did so many kit homes end up in West Virginia? I’ve no idea. This is a picture-heavy post so I’ll keep the words to a minimum. Enjoy the photos, and please leave a comment. And if you know why West Virginia has so many kit homes, please comment on that, too! And – if I have misidentified a city, please let me know.

To see pictures of Sears Homes in Charleston, West Virginia click here.

To read more about how to identify Sears kit homes, click here.

To read about my favorite Sears Home in Rainelle, click here.

Sears Vallonia, from the 1923 Sears Modern Homes catalog. This was a very popular house.

Sears Vallonia, from the 1923 Sears Modern Homes catalog. This was a very popular house.

A beautiful Sears Vallonia in Lewisburg, WV

A beautiful Sears Vallonia in Lewisburg, WV

Sears Altona from the Sears Modern Homes catalog

Sears Altona from the Sears Modern Home's catalog

Sears Altona in the tiny town of Ronceverte.

Sears Altona in the tiny town of Ronceverte.

Sears Lynnhaven, as seen in the 1929 catalog

Sears Lynnhaven, as seen in the 1929 catalog

Sears Lynnhaven in Rainelle, WV

Sears Lynnhaven in Rainelle, WV

Sears Marina, Model #2024

Sears Marina, Model #2024

Although significantly remodeled, this is clearly a Sears Marina, #2024

Although significantly remodeled, this is clearly a Sears Marina, #2024. This house is in Lewisburg. Note how the shed dormer still retains its three little windows.

Aladdin was another prominent kit home company, with a large lumberyard and mill in Greensboro, NC. There were many Aladdin Kit Homes in WV, too.

Aladdin was another prominent kit home company, with a large lumberyard and mill in Greensboro, NC. There were many Aladdin Kit Homes in WV, too. Here, you can see the Aladdin Genie going back into his bottle (presumably on the back porch) after building a house for his master in a day (I'm guessing here).

The Aladdin Pasadena was one of Aladdins most popular homes.

The Aladdin Pasadena was one of Aladdin's most popular homes.

As a point of comparison, this is a PERFECT Pasadena in Lynchburg, Virginia. Note, the side porch is still in original condition.

As a point of comparison, this is a PERFECT Pasadena in Lynchburg, Virginia. Note, the side porch is still in original condition.

An Aladdin Pasadena in a small town just outside of Rainelle, WV. Sometimes, its hard to identify these kit homes because of surrounding landscaping. This house called my name from the highway, and once you hear the sound of an Aladdin Pasadena, you never forget it.  :)

Here's a nice Aladdin Pasadena in a small town just outside of Rainelle, WV. To the uninformed, this may look like a grove of trees, but there is an Aladdin House there. Sometimes, it's hard to identify these kit homes because of surrounding landscaping. This house called my name from the highway, and once you hear the sound of an Aladdin Pasadena, you never forget it. 🙂

Aladdin Virginia from the 1919 Aladdin catalog

Aladdin Virginia from the 1919 Aladdin catalog

An Aladdin Virginian in White Sulphur Springs, not too far from the famous hotel, The Greenbriar.

An Aladdin Virginian in White Sulphur Springs, not too far from the famous hotel, The Greenbriar.

Gordon Van Tine was yet another popular kit home company of the early 1900s. Heres the GVT Durant, a fairly popular little bungalow.

Gordon Van Tine was yet another popular kit home company of the early 1900s. Here's the GVT "Durant," a fairly popular little bungalow.

The Durant, in Lewisburg, WV.

The Durant, in Lewisburg, WV.