My Little Bungalow Home: Exterior

I live in a modest bungalow in a community of similar homes ( some larger, some smaller ) in Pennsylvania.  According to real estate records, my home was originally built in 1917. A few blocks down from here, there is what is known to be a Sears Kit Home. I do not believe my home to be a Sears home though it is very close to one of their models.

Here are some recent shots of my home front and sides exterior.


Bungalow the other side


bungalow closer view 2nd side


Bungalow one side


When  I became interested in the history of my home and small community I began to learn a bit about kit and catalog homes :

From Wikipedia

Kit house From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“Kit houses, also known as pre-cut houses, ready-cut houses, mail order homes, or catalog homes, were a type of prefabricated housing that was popular in the United States in the first half of the 20th century. [1] Kit house manufacturers sold houses in many different plans and styles, from simple bungalows to imposing Colonials, and supplied at a fixed price all materials needed for construction of a particular house, but typically excluding brick, concrete, or masonry (such as would be needed for laying a foundation, which the customer would have to arrange to have done locally).

Unlike modular homes, which are built in sections at a factory, in a kit house every separate piece of lumber was shipped already numbered and cut to fit its particular place in the house, thus eliminating the need for measuring and cutting, and likewise the waste of time (especially in the days before power tools) and of materials. Thus, kit home manufacturers claimed to save the customer as much as 30 to 40 percent over traditional building methods”

The closest kit or catalog home visual that I found to mine is this Dayton model.



I realized that many of the homes in my area, whether small bungalows such as mine, or large stately four and five bedroom homes, were probably also kit homes.

And what exactly is a bungalow ? 

From Antique Home Style

“Bungalow Characteristics

  • Usually 1 – 1 1/2 stories
  • Low-pitched roof, often with broad eaves
  • Entry typically opens directly into living room
  • Often has a large front porch that creates an outdoor room
  • Easy access to outdoor spaces like verandas, porches, and patios
  • Open floor plan maximized for efficiency and flow from room to room with minimal space wasted on hallways
  • Often small with reliance on built-ins for organization
  • Siding varies. Stucco is the siding of choice for many California-style Craftsman bungalows. Western-style are typically more rustic with shingle or lapped siding, and Chicago-style bungalows are frequently brick. “


My little bungalow has all of the above characteristics. It is small and modest yet has a lot of character.  It also has its challenges in regards to utilizing space and resources.  Similar bungalows and kit / catalog homes were built all across America years ago, and those of this size were most likely built by families that needed to practice a frugal lifestyle on a daily basis.

For more information on SEARS KIT HOMES visit HERE.

For a full Home & Garden Tour visit HERE


34 Responses to My Little Bungalow Home: Exterior

  1. Carol Cook says:

    I live in a small cottage built in 1928. Now that I am retired, I want to research who built it and why.

  2. Clara Strom says:

    Your little home is perfectly lovely. And you have a porch! I have a too large rancher that was too small when my 5 children were small. I am slowing trying to fix things up. I LOVE that you use what you have and make do. It’s the way I was raised.

  3. Linda says:

    well my home is not a bungalow and not a sears home. My home was built 51 yrs. ago and was called starter homes. I love bungalows and porches. Wish I had a porch.

  4. Pam says:

    I love your description of your little bungalow home. It is very similar to the home my father grew up in in Crafton, PA, built in the late 1920’s. It was also a kit home, but not a Sears kit. It came from the local lumber company and my Grandfather had it built. I have attached a story I wrote about my Dad’s home here below. There is a picture of the house in the story. Where in PA is your home? My dad’s home was sold many years ago when his parents retired and moved to Florida, and now all of my parents/grandparents have gone on to their “mansion in the sky”. I wish I could go back to that little bungalow home and relive the memories. Thank you for sharing yours with us.

    • debralynnpugh says:

      Pam I loved that Christmas mini series…My family too did the elaborate under-the-tree scenes! :) This home that I am in now is in Houston PA, Washington County. This neighboorhood has many similar homes…it’s got newer ones as well but the majority are older like mine :)

  5. Vickie says:

    Our current home is not a kit home, but has the exact same footprint as the 1924 Wardway homes. Our first home was very similar to yours on the exterior, but didn’t have the wonderful built-ins. It had lovely leaded glass windows and french doors that I wish I could have taken with me when we moved. Your home is charming and looks just like the kit home!

  6. Sweet. I love your flower filled beds too. Very nice.

  7. I LOVE the outside view of your home…kinda like my old one….that I wish I still had. Older homes are in my blood!!!…….gotta go check out your interior post!!!!!

  8. Beth says:

    Love it. It reminds me a bit of a cape cod I owned in MD. My first home I ever bought. It’s gorgeous.

  9. Vee says:

    Completely charming home! I’ve had such a fun time snooping about today.

  10. Kim says:

    Super charming! I live in a beach bungalow that was built in the 1920’s. It holds the distinction of being the first year round home built in our summer community, but I frankly don’t see any difference between it and any of the other houses in the hood!

  11. Lovely photos and oh so green. We have summer here in Australia now and it’s very dry. Thanks for some refreshment for the eyes….Alexa

  12. Cottage Quilter says:

    My 1000sf bungalow was built in the mid 20s here in the Heights neighborhood of Houston, TX. The Heights was an early “Master planned” community outside downtown developed at the turn of the last century. I believe mine was an Alladin home; the entire area was built of mail order homes brought in by rail. I bought mine from a woman whose parents built it. The Heights is now inner city chic and the properties are being turned into large town homes on half lots.

  13. Lara says:

    Lovely photos! I agree it’s not from Sears. I bet that little dormer on the side was not original. I checked Montgomery Ward houses and it does not appear to be one of those either.

    Sears Homes of Chicagoland

  14. sally says:

    Oh, I love your home. It reminds me of one my classmate lived in; actually she was born there and just recently sold. :)

  15. Theresa says:

    Small homes are charming and cozy. Large homes just lack the warmth and welcome feel that smaller homes have. Your home is very pretty.

  16. Bev says:

    Adorable bungalow! I love your gardens too :) -Bev

  17. Debbie H says:

    I love your little bungalow. By Central Florida standards in the 50’s and 60’s, probably earlier as well, it is nice sized. I grew up in a 900 sq. ft. home with 5 others. That home included what was called a Florida room added on. All the craftsmen and bungalows in this area are in bad neighborhoods or turned into offices. I always said this area couldn’t give a hoot about its history. I envy you your bungalow but I won’t give up the beach and Florida weather for one so I am stuck in a 1986 1100 sq. ft. single story condo which I try to make look like a beach bungalow inside. So happy I found your blog. I too live frugally in my small home and sew on a Singer. Look forward to many of your post. Love the flowers.

  18. Ruth says:

    Thanks for your comment this morning! Did you know that your comments come in as “no reply” emails? I love the way you have your blog set up with the information about your house. Our new home is about the same sq. footage as your bungalow and we are busy trying to fit everything into it. The new book case helps and we have gotten other pieces of furniture for my sewing room to help with the storage. I’ll be showing them as soon as my sewing room is all fixed up. :-) When I was growing up in the suburbs of Chicago (Villa Park), we lived in the house that my Grandpa and Dad built in 1948. My sister lives in the house now and has been fixing it up for when she will need to sell it. I think it might be a Cape Cod type house. There are a lot of the Sears kit homes in Villa Park.

  19. Mary Ann Plance says:

    Just reading through the readers comments and saw you lived in Houston. How many times I have passed through Houston. My Mom and husbands grandparents are all buried at Mount Prospect in Hickory. Family from Cherry Valley and McDonald, etc. Won’t those names send people for their maps!!! Loved reading this though. Did slow stitching today on the sewing machine. Will do it tomorrow too.

  20. Susan says:

    I’ve read about these in the past year. It came up somehow, as things do. I love neighborhoods where houses have front porches like that. My grandmother had one and some of my earliest and best memories are sitting there, at the top of her stairs up from the street, chatting with people in the neighborhood.

  21. Amy says:

    Hey there. Found your blog today and wanted to write to tell you I love your little house. I grew up on Speers Hill, Charleroi, PA in a little house like yours. My husband and I live in Irwin now in a little house that we think was built around or before 1898 based on a map we found at the local library. There is just something about these quirky old houses with porches and steps and built ins in the dining room. We in our 40s and most of our friends have built really big, new homes and we just keep staying in our tiny little old house. Just something about it. I like your blog and am glad I found it.

  22. Merrie says:

    I live near Bay City, MI which had a business—Aladdin Readi-Cut Houses from 1906-1981…there are many of them in the area…they were all sizes and styles..i always found them to be interesting… every once in awhile the Bay City Times will have an article about them and show where there are many in the Bay City area..I had always thought they would all be basically the same but there are many styles..

    your home is lovely…

  23. Maryann says:

    You live in Southwestern Pa. I live in Southeastern Pa. Your house is lovely. It reminds me of the houses I see when I drive through New Holland, Pa

    Your flowers are beautiful. I have started taking my potted plants inside. It is starting to get chilly at night here. I have quite a few butterfly bushes that I did not plant. Compliments of the birds. I never saw baby bird being fed by the parent bird until I moved to this house. I enjoy looking at your quilts. Something I haven’t done so far. I am just about finished making rag rugs for my kitchen. I bought sheets etc. at a thrift store ripped them into strips, sewed the strips together end to end and then crochet them with a Q hook. I have a couple of hook rugs started. I plan on getting back to them soon. Originally I was making them for my kitchen floor but when I saw how pretty they were there was no way I was going to walk on them. So I switched over to the crocheted rugs project.
    Your mother’s land is beautiful. Does she also live in Pa. Very cute grandson too I might add!
    I am also a dog lover. My dog Katie doesn’t know she is a dog! We planted heirloom tomato plants for the first time this year and they are the ones that produced the most. I guess I rambled on enough for now. Take care.

    • debralynnpugh says:

      Maryann I quite enjoyed your informative ‘rambling” ! :) My mom lives in PA, yes, in the house I grew up in….south of Pittsburgh in Nottingham Township. She’s about a 20 minute drive from where I live now. It’s good that I got my flower photos for the week because we’ve had heavy rain now all day and the tall ones are bowing down.
      So interesting about your rugs! I made one two years ago on a loom..there are several posts on the blog about it showing the loom, etc. I too bought sheets at the thrift store and I cut up nurse’s smocks and whatever else I could find there and then I never wanted to walk on it either, ha ha ! I have it upstairs on my landing with a doll crib and the grandkids stuffed toys etc. on top of it. I meant to make another one but haven’t gotten around to it yet.
      I did heirlooms ( Mortgage Lifter ) the last two summers from seed and they did very well too…they were great to make sauce from. This year I didn’t buy the seeds but I need to remember to do so next year! :) It was nice hearing from you!

  24. Okay and then I came here, and oh my! I just learned this past year about kit houses, thanks to my husband, researcher-extraordinaire, because last March 31, we moved from a brand new brick duplex into a tiny (750 sq ft) house with a loft, where I now sew. It was built in 1947 though so much newer than yours. :-) Last summer I had one beefsteak tomato plant right by the side door (just like yours!). Loved stepping outside and picking those sun-warmed ruby giants! Our roof goes the opposite way to yours and we don’t have a lovely verandah like yours, just a small porch. We have some plans to add dormers though!

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