Kit Houses


Cheek, Richard. Selling the Dwelling: The Books That Built America’s Houses, 1775 – 2000. New York: The Grolier Club, 2022.

Gowans, Alan. The Comfortable House: North American Suburban Architecture, 1890-1930. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1986.

Hubka, Thomas C. How the Working Class Became Modern, 1900-1940. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2020.

Hunter, Rebecca L. Mail-Order Homes: Sears Homes and Other Kit Houses. Oxford, United Kingdom: Shire Publications, Ltd., 2012.

Reiff, Daniel D. Houses from Books: Treatises, Pattern Books, and Catalogs in American Architecture, 1738-1950: A History and Guide. University Park, Penn.: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000.

Schweitzer, Robert, and Michael W.R. Davis. America’s Favorite Homes: Mail-Order Catalogues as a Guide to Popular Early 20″-Century Houses. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1990.

Stevenson, Katherine Cole, and H. Ward Jandl. Houses by Mail: A Guide to Houses from Sears, Roebuck and Company. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1986.

Thornton, Rosemary, and Dale Patrick Wolicki. Montgomery Ward’s Mail-Order Homes: A History and Field Guide to Wardway Homes. Norfolk, Va.: Gentle Beam Publications, 2010.

Thornton, Rosemary. The Houses that Sears Built: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sears Catalog Homes.  Alton, Ill.: Gentle Beam Publications, 2004.

Thornton, Rosemary. Finding the Houses That Sears Built: A Guide to the 60 Most Popular Designs.  Alton, Ill.: Gentle Beam Publications, 2004.

Dover Publications offers a wealth of kit house catalog reproductions.

Online Resources

Aladdin Homes Archives: Central Michigan University, Clarke Historical Library

Historic New England Library and Archives:

Rebecca Hunter:

Kit House Hunters: and

Internet Archive:

Architects’ Small House Service Bureau Archives, Minnesota Historical Society:

National Park Service. Historic Residential Suburbs. National Register Bulletin, 2002:

Rosemary Thornton:

Sears Archives:

Sears House Seeker:

University of Maryland:

University of Toledo: