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Did you know that SEARS sold Do-it-yourself home kits?

When one man recently learned that his family had a 100-year-old farm house in North Dakota, he was naturally intrigued. After all, if nothing else, it would be a really cool part of his family history.

But as he dug into the story of the home, he realized he was getting a lot more than he bargained for.


Not only was his family’s 100-year-old farmhouse in North Dakota still standing, but the story of how it got there in the first place was very intriguing.

Turns out, the house was one of the many DIY home building kits available for purchase in an unlikely place: the Sears Catalog.


Between 1908 and 1940, Sears sold DIY home kits in a variety of sizes, models, and styles, ranging from simple cottages to larger, more complex structures. Sears would deliver the materials, blueprints, and instructions, and customers assembled the homes all on their own.

The North Dakota home was purchased for around $1,200, which amounts to roughly $27,000 today. The materials were shipped into town by train, then delivered to the family’s 120-acre farm in horse-drawn covered wagons. Once everything arrived, the new homeowners got to work.

When a descendant of the family heard this unique story, he knew he had to honor the history of the house. So, he underwent renovations that included a new roof, weatherproofing, and an extension (replacing an old outhouse), and soon the house was beautifully restored to its original condition.


Thanks to the work lovingly put into this particular house, it’s now a unique piece of history that will hopefully stand for 100 years more.


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