When I was first married in 1978, my then-husband and I started looking at kit homes from Aladdin, Lowes and Jim Walters. It was so fun to sit down and really study the 75-page catalogs that had arrived in our mailbox. We’d dream and scheme and talk about building a home of our own. Alas, it never happened for us, and we ended up buying a 650-square foot cinder block house. It’d actually been a two-car garage and had been converted into a tiny little two-bedroom house.
Through the years, we continued to dream about building a kit home of our own but it never happened. And then in 1999, I wrote my first article on Sears kit homes, and that article led to me writing, The Houses That Sears Built.
Today, one of the questions I’m most frequently asked is, “Does anyone offer kit homes today?”
In 1981, Aladdin closed their kit home company. A few years later, Lowes stopped offering kit homes. And then in 2009, Jim Walters Homes closed their business. The last companies offering kit homes (that I know of) are selling log homes. Not quite the same thing as a little bungalow from Sears or Wards.
You mentioned wanting to see some pictures of existing Jim Walter Homes. Where I live in AL, they are everywhere, and not to far from me is an entire neighborhood of all types of JW Homes.
We have built several of them ourselves and currently live in The Foxburough. We built an “American” and have a “Madison” that we rent out. We have always loved Jim Walter’s Homes.
We also have one of the latest catalogs still in pretty good shape, that has a picture and the floor plan.
I hope you continue to have good luck in writing and researching “kit” homes.