What do you call this house style?

peanutmomApril 25, 2009

About 5 years ago I bought a very CHEAP house. It was a cute little cottage style house. I was told later by my grandmother that it was a kit home. She said Sears/Roebuck. She was friends with the older couple that lived here when she was first married. I haven't seen anything like this in my area and definitely not on any links/ pages/ forums that ID kit homes.

Anyway I just want to know what to call the style. The house is set out like a common foursquare. The roof is a pyramid style roof that comes to a point. Here is the kicker. The house has four perfectly even dormers that make up the four upstairs bedrooms. The peaks of the dormers come off of the sides of the pyramid. It really doesn't have an attic, just a little space under the top peak.

The house was built about 1917-1927. I know this is the right era for kit homes after WWII, but I can't find anything that says for sure. All old stories aside, I just want to know what the style is.

Thanks for any ideas. This has been driving me crazy.

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calliope

That sounds like a hipped roof, bungalow with dormers.

Look at the link below and see if this looks a lot like yours, only there isn't a dormer window in each roof plane.

Here is a link that might be useful: hipped roof bungalow Sears

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 4:41PM
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peanutmom

Thank you, calliope, for your idea. Mine may be a take on that idea, but my roof is much steeper and my dormers are larger. I will try to post a picture shortly to see if it helps. Just don't mind our ongoing construction. Always at it! LOL.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 4:56PM
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peanutmom

I seem to be having a bad time getting my pictures to upload. I will have to try again later. Maybe I can find a similar picture to post. Sorry.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 5:31PM
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mightyanvil

A short description is not enough to determine an architectural style. Take some photos.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 10:03PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

The Pyramid House is a well-known vernacular form. In this case, it is apparently supplemented with crossed dormers.
Casey

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 10:44PM
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kterlep

My home, built in 1889, is a cross-gable with a hipped roof, you may want to google "cross-gable"

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 11:59PM
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mightyanvil

It's difficult to imagine a typical 2-story four-square house that would be described as a "cute little cottage". Perhaps you are confusing a four-square with a story and a half house with dormers that allow upper level rooms. Sears designed so many of these in different styles it would be impossible to say much about your house without seeing a photo of it, assuming it hasn't been modified much.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 10:16AM
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calliope

Exactly, that's what threw me off and why I called it a bungelow. I was laughing when it hit me there were bedrooms upstairs. I missed it entirely.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 2:42PM
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calliope

I am assuming it was a typo when you said post WWII. In that era, it would have been post WWI.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 2:43PM
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peanutmom

Thank you, casey. I think you have the right idea. My home is actually a story and a half. It is set out like a four-square in that it is very symetrical and has a centered staircase, and front and back doors that nearly mirror each other. It also has four rooms downstairs that are almost identical in size. After googling cross-gabled (thank you, kterlep), I would say it has a pyramid roof with crossed dormers that make up the four rooms upstairs.

If anyone can tell me how to post a picture, I would be happy to show everyone what I mean. PLEASE! I tried five or six times. I just can't get it to work. Sometimes I think that I will never catch up to technology.

PS calliope, you were right when you said it was a typo. I should never type with my 2yr old on my lap. LOL. She can be very distracting.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 3:06PM
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calliope

I have the same issues with my cat. Maybe I can help you with posting a pic. There are several ways to do it. I don't think this particular forum lets you upload it directly from your computer. Some do. Those that do.... If you have a copy of the jpeg on your puter, you can upload it if it is less than 60K. If it's greater than 60K you can dumb down the resolution using a photo editor (instead of making it smaller). At the bottom of the forums will be a box to walk you through uploading.

Some posters use a service like photobucket to embed their pictures directly into their threads. You have to sign up for them, and they're usually free, and the directions are right at the site, and it usually involves just copying the html code under your picture. Then you paste it in the body of the message you are typing in the message box. You'll just see code until you hit the preview message button, and if you've done it right, the picture should pop up in your message. If/when you do that, should you have problems......just ask and somebody will be able to walk you through that.

The easiest way, is those two dialog boxes you see under where you respond to a thread. (((( Optional Link URL)) and ((name of link)). If you have your picture offloaded to any website, you just copy the address in the address bar, paste it where it asks for optional Link URL and give it a name in the next box. When you hit preview message button, the link should pop up so people can click it and see your picure.

I really get tired of copying and pasting addresses to links when the poster can just as easily do that for the viewer in these boxes.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 4:02PM
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peanutmom

I'm praying this works. I have been trying to figure this out all afternoon. No wonder I have to buy hairdye. LOL. Give this is a look-see and tell me what you think and if anyone has seen any like this before.

Don't mind our mess. We are a work in progress. More work than progress.

Here is a link that might be useful: peanutmom's house

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 5:06PM
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mightyanvil

To post a photo you don't need to join a photo site. Go to tinypic.com, click BROWSE to find the photo, click the DOWNLOAD button, then copy the text in the "HTML FOR WEBSITES" box and then paste it into the text of your message. If it is too large when you preview it, you should make it smaller before downloading to tinypic.com

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 5:40PM
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mightyanvil

Your house is a pyramidal folk style. The one story version was more common in the south and the two story version was more common in the north and mid-west. It could be a kit house but probably not from Sears. It is also possible just the lumber was bought from Sears.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 6:49PM
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calliope

Congrats on getting the pic link up and working. It's hard to describe how to do it, but you figured it out. That is really a unique house. No wonder you wanted to know it's proper style. Really different and cute.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 8:38PM
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peanutmom

Thanks for everyone's help. It is a rare style here where I live in PA. I'd still love to see a picture of another one if any one has one. Not as run down as mine was, I hope.

I originally thought I got in way over my head when I bought the place. You would never believe it! Holes in the plaster. Some simply covered with sheets of luan and left over scraps of paneling. (I don't know where it came from, but it wasn't this house.) Although it now has four functioning bedrooms, three with closets upstairs, when I moved in it only had one. We also have a bath and a half now, but are working on making it two fulls. The downstairs bath didn't work when we moved in.

The downstairs bedroom was originally a sitting room and we are carving a closet out of the storage/ washroom/ bathroom that is attached. We actually tore out a large ugly pantry that was built into the corner of the kitchen and built one into what was the doorway to the washroom. We had to put doorway into the store/wash/bathroom from the bedroom. Luckily there was one there that had been covered up. That might explain the odd door in the upstairs closet we found. Believe it or not, that thought just occurred to me. HaHa.

It has a small eat in kitchen that originally had no cabinets, just a one basin sink with a rust rotted metal base. We have made a lot of progress considering we have tried to use as much recycled material as possible. It would seem easy to find, but not here! We did get lucky with a set of old farn house cabinets that were abandoned in an old school. The people stored them and then left the state. The cabinets had to go somewhere. Better my kitchen than the landfill.
We had to replumb the whole house, have a new well drilled, install a water softener, and rewire everything as we go.

It was a total disaster! No wonder I got it so cheap. LOL. Sometimes I think the joke was on me. But after putting so much work into this little home, it's kind of growing on me. It is changing the way I look at home ownership. I have learned that a house can teach you, too. I have a few photos, but they are on film and I don't have a scanner, but as soon as I finish the kichen drywall(hopefully sometime this weekend, I will start a new post with some pics.

This has been a real job. I haven't hired anyone to do any of the work. Thank goodness for a step-dad that is a contractor and can take care of making sure we pass code, and a mom that's an engineer. They have saved me from more mistakes than you could imagine. We have a simple rule. Fix first what needs it worst.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 9:18AM
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concretenprimroses

What a cute house! And you are doing so much work. I've never seen one quite like it, but I'll look for it now, lol. Those enormous dormers must make the upstairs bedrooms quite pleasant. Did you reduce the window size in the dormers? I can understand if you did from an energy saving viewpoint, I guess its a toss up with saving natural light. I just wonder if some kind of trim around them (on the outside) would make the size more in proportion to the dormers. I agree with your simple rule. My dh's was level floors and a roof that doesn't leak, lol. Now after many years we are finally getting to more of the cosmetic things.
Enjoy your home.
kathy

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 10:57AM
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peanutmom

You're right Kathy, the upstairs bedrooms are really a nice size. They each have a nice size closet. Although, the bedroom in the front may not be considered a bedroom by some, that is how we use it. It has a very narrow hallway that keeps us from making a wall and matching door into the bedroom. Right now it has a privacy curtain for my DD. I have been trying to figure out how to make a removable panel with attached door. Maybe a picture of the set up could get me some help with ideas.

As for the window in the dormer in the picture, we actually did reduce the size of that window. It wasn't the size window we could have wanted originally. The windows in the front were surrounded by leaks that you could stick your hand in. It originally had double 28x62 windows. I had to fix the leaks, ASAP. Well, being broke, my options were limited and my aunt had the window you see, in storage. (You would think being broke would give me pause when I looked at the house b I before I bought it, but not me. I have this really strong issue with mobile homes, which was my only other option, and having a need to fix everything. Lands me in trouble all of the time.) I plan on replacing the window later or perhaps framing it out with something unique. As for the lack of sunlight, that is no problem. It is an eastern facing window and lights up the whole room in the morning, and until I solve the privacy issue, also lights up the whole upstairs.

Anyway, the funny thing is that the windows in the two side dormers are still original with the 28x62 windows repaired but not restored. The intention is to replace them with something more period, but in my foolishness, I didn't keep the original windows. I may be able to use the other odd windows we are removing for that purpose. Now that's an idea. My only other choice would be to use woodenframed replacements. There is very little here to save as far as the historical value. But I would like to restore what I can.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 9:51AM
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concretenprimroses

I noticed when I visited a friend yesterday whose home has two huge dormers that hers have double windows and I wondered if yours originally did too. Sure enough. I wish you the best of luck with your home. We finally have enough money to pay other people to do some of the work on our house, after 20 plus years. But I know what you are saying there is nothing like a nice old house. Can't imagine living in a mobile home either.
kathy

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 8:08PM
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newdawn1895

My younger sister bought a house up in Michigan and the owner said, it was ordered from Sears back in 1911. And she called it a Craftsmen like the tools.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 9:55PM
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