What are Kit Homes?

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  • Written By: Shannon Kietzman
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2019
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Kit homes are pre-fabricated houses. Although they were first introduced in 1906, they did not start to gain popularity until 1908. Sears, Roebuck and Company were the largest builders of kits in the early 1900s, and at the time, the company was well known for supplying pre-bundled building materials and house plans to homeowners and contractors.

At the time when Sears, Roebuck and Company was heavily involved in putting together kit homes, the packages were shipped to prospective buyers by rail car. The construction process was relatively simple for the homeowner or the contractor to follow. Today, the kits are often transported with semi trucks and trailers.

Kit homes have always been known for being both affordable and convenient. They are a less expensive option than traditionally built homes and are available in a variety of styles, ranging from modest to elegant. Prices vary depending on the size and style.

Despite the advantages of kit homes, the 1930s saw a steep decline in their demand. Eventually, Sears, Roebuck, and Company was forced to stop manufacturing them in the 1940s. The desperate demand for affordable homes, however, soon led to their re-introduction. Today, increasing numbers of companies are becoming involved in manufacturing kit homes because of the demand. They are generally designed in modular style, with each kit being shipped to the homeowner along with easy instructions for putting the home together.


Kit homes are designed to adapt to any disaster nature may send their way, and the kits are designed to be hurricane, earthquake, and salt-air resistant. In addition, they are created to be durable in any type of climate or terrain. As a matter of fact, most homes are ideal for those who favor coastal and mountain sites.

Most kit homes are used as the owner's primary home. There are, however, versions available as additions to current homes or as part of home improvement projects. In addition, they are also frequently used for vacation or retirement homes, as well as for coastal homes and beach houses.


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