Questions on a kit home from the 1920’s

Dear PLIB,

We front picare trying to sell our home in Poughkeepsie, NY.  When My husband and I bought it, we were told that it was a Sears Kit Home; however, we have not been able to authenticate it.  Some people have even said that it is not a Sears model and may very well not be a kit home.

The attached photos are of wood beams and boards from the unfinished basement.  Is it possible that the home is a Pacific Ready Cut Kit Home, or is there another reason why a house on the East Coast would have been built in the 1920’s using wood inspected on the West Coast?

Could you please help us find out exactly how this house was built, if it’s a Pacific Ready Cut or other kit home, or if is a kit home at all?

Thanks very much. – T.E.

PLIB Response:

wood stamp 1

Unfortunately, we cannot tell you whether your house is a Sears kit house or not. However, we can confirm that the pictures of the stamps are PLIB grade stamps and we did indeed have certified graders at mills in the 1920’s. The “WCH” is an abbreviation used during that time period and stands for the for the species of wood, in this case West Coast Hemlock. The numbers on the stamps indicate the Mill ID number (the mill that produced the lumber). The word “Stand” or “Const” indicate the grade of the wood – Standard or Construction.  WCLB RULES indicates that it was graded using the grading rules published by West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau at that time.

As to your question about why would a house on the East coast be built using wood inspected on the West coast, the answer is lumber from the West coast has been shipped across the country, and in fact all over the world, for well over 100 years so it is not unusual to find lumber used in construction on the East coast with our stamp on it.

Thanks for your question and good luck with your sale!