Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Grosse Pointe’s Kit Homes – Part 3

Previously, we presented a brief overview into the history of kit homes in North America, whilst last week we told the story of several “probable” kit homes in Grosse Pointe and offered a brief introduction on how to go about identifying a kit home.

This week, in this final part of our kit home series, we delve a little further into two further “probable” kit homes in the Grosse Pointes. We use the word “probable” because these homes have yet to be authenticated. Given that none of the traditional kit house companies are still in business, and because many of the kit home records were either lost or destroyed it can be extremely difficult to authenticate these homes.

During the height of kit home popularity the price of a kit home varied dramatically. The costs were dependent on the manufacturer, the architectural style and size of the home, the choice of floor plan, plus any upgrades the purchaser wanted to include such as advanced technology – updated pluming and heating systems for instance. Prices, in 1920, were in the vicinity of $1,500 – $3,000 (around $21,000 – $41,000 today), however the land, brick, concrete, and/or masonry were not included in the price, neither was construction. It is believed, based on some excellent research by Andrew & Wendy Mutch, via their blog ‘Kit House Hunters’, the final cost of the home, when completed could escalate to between 2-3 times the list price in the catalogue. So a home listed for $1500 in a catalogue could actually cost $3000 – $4500 when complete.

It is believed ‘much of the profit in the kit home business came from the mortgage financing that accompanied the sale, and not the materials or the house itself’. Source antiquehomestyle.com. It should also be noted, that several kit home companies either went out of business or had to be drastically restructured as a result of the mortgage packages (they had offered to their customers) having a detrimental effect on the company.

Read more

Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Grosse Pointes Kit Homes – Part 2

Last week we told the story of the authenticated kit homes in Grosse Pointe. We already knew about the existence of a kit home in the community – 849 Notre Dame, and thanks to a superb blog ‘American Kit Homes’ we were alerted to an additional authenticated kit home – 1100 Bishop, along with several “probable” kit homes that exist in the Pointes.

We use the word “probable” because these homes have yet to be authenticated. Given that none of the traditional kit house companies are still in business, and because many of the kit home records were either lost or destroyed it can be extremely difficult to authenticate these homes.

It is these “probable” kit homes we now turn our attention to in parts 2 and 3 of the Kit Home series.

Identifying Kit Homes
The majority of the kit homes found in North America were constructed using large amounts of lumber. ‘Every separate piece of lumber was stamped (using numbers and letters), shipped, and cut to fit its particular place in the house.’ Source: Wikipedia. This eliminated the need for measuring and cutting the wood on site, thus reducing construction time.

The stamped lumber can be used as a potential source of authentication to identify many of the kit homes constructed prior to 1930. ‘It is most easily found in unfinished spaces like a basement or attic, framing members were stamped with a letter and a number. However, prior to 1916 many companies, such as Sears Modern Homes, did not stamp the lumber that was shipped Source: Wikipedia.

Another clue is matching the style of the houses to the product pages in the catalogues issued by the manufacturing companies. It is this method; based on research found on ‘American Kit Homes’, which also includes additional research by Ben Gravel, that allows us to share these potential Sears Modern Homes with you –

Sears Modern Homes
Sears Catalogue Homes (sold under the Sears Modern Homes name) were introduced in 1908 and sold through the company’s mail order catalogue until 1942. The Sears Catalogue, through which the homes could be purchased, offered 370 different models in various architectural styles.

Because Sear’s mail-order catalogs were sent to millions of homes, large numbers of potential homeowners were able to open a catalog, see numerous house designs, and visualize their very own ‘Modern Home’.

It is believed there are over 400 Sears Kit homes in Michigan, with the majority located in the Southeastern area of the state. Source: Kit House Hunters 

Image courtesy of: www.searshomes.org

Read more

Top Producers of 2016!

Higbie Maxon Agney congratulates the Top Producers of 2016!

Jaime Rae Turnbull, Libby Follis, Dennis Andrus, Michelle Agosta, Darlene D’Amico and Heather Adragna Ulku!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grosse Pointe Open Houses for this weekend – Sunday, June 26, 2016 from 2-4 p.m.

HMA has an open house this weekend—-Sunday, June 26, 2016 2-4 p.m.:

Melissa Dagher Singh will be holding open will be holding open 76 Vernier, Grosse Pointe Shores

Charming Farm house with warp around porch, attached garage with work room. Beautiful grounds surround the house and patio with gazebo roof. Close walking distance to Lake Shore and the lake front community park. This house shows very well, move in condition and very well maintained. House received Grosse Pointe Shores Centennial designation in 2015. This 1,722 sq. ft. home is listed for $285,000.

0

 

For more detail visit: http://ow.ly/fjjj301BQoQ

We look forward to seeing you!

 

For a full list of this weekend’s Open House’s visit: http://ow.ly/OfcZr