House Roots

Friday, April 16, 2010

Every since we brought our 1956 rancher in Northern California, I've wanted to learn more about its history and who built our little home. I wanted to find a the actual floor plan our house and the floor plan advertisement used to sell our home. I really want to get a copy of them because I would love to frame them and put them in our living room, a nod to our homes roots. To see the original architectural advertisement of our house's floor plan would be so amazing, I love the 1950's builders ads.

So for the past week I've been all over the Internet hoping I could find who built our home. Since home was built in a 1950's & 1960's subdivision and our home is on a few different blocks I thought it might make my search easier. 

I came across this amazing website Antique Home that's full of floor plans & ads of vintage homes from the 1900's to the Mid Century! They have floor plans from the Sears & Roebuck kit homes to 1920's bungalows. I encourage all of you with older homes {1900's though the 1970's } to stop by there website you just might come across your house plans. Here's what the site says about Modern 1956 Ranch Homes

'As a result of practical one story planning, the typical ranch house the ultimate in efficacy and livability. It features long and low rambling lines, a generous use of grass for an abundance of sunlight, plus eye appeal that is perfect for town our country'

1956 House Ad

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I wasn't able to locate our floor plan, but found some cute ones that remind me of a few house styles I've seen in my neighborhood. Most of the houses in my neighborhood have a mixture of brick, shingles and wood siding. I love the charm of the houses below, and would love to find a similar ad of our house. Can't you see why!

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Next a narrowed my search to CA Ranch home builders in the 1950's, I came across Cliff May Homes. I learned that Cliff May was the pioneer of the California Ranch home.By the late 1950's 8 out of every 10 tract homes built in the US were Cliff May Homes.

I'm still not sure the built our home. I contacted the County Planning office and have left messages with the Record Department and sent a few emails. I'm not sure If I'll get a quick response with the all the budget cuts. So this weekend after I paint our front door, I plan on stopping at the library and see what information I can find out about our home.

Are you curious like me to find out who built your older home? Any suggestions on how I can find out who built our home or a website for older home floor plans? Hopefully I'll have a part two soon, wish me luck.



  1. I'm in the same boat as you and very interested in finding out the history of our 1920 built home in Toronto. I've done some history on our area of the city and it's quite interesting. I wish I could offer up some advice for you.

    I know here I need to wrangle up whatever info I can (I was lucky to find out our street name has NEVER changed), and take that info to the City Archives to do more digging...

    Good luck with your research!

  2. We recently found out that my boyfriend's great uncle built all the homes on our street back in the 40's... talk about RANDOM!

  3. Kerry - oh very cool, It did cross my mind that street names change! Good luck to both of us on our search :)

    Hillary, that so Random, I love 1940's homes they have so much charactor.

  4. That is so interesting! Our current house was built in the 90's so no interesting history. But our previous house was built in the 30s and someone mentioned that the original tile in the bathroom looked similar to the tile Sears sold in their houses. But I never did the research. But after reading your post I so wish I had!

  5. I have been wanting the floor plan to my home forever! I would love to know a bit about the builder, but thought it would be cool to have the floor plan framed along with an exterior rendering from pve.


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts! Best, Katrina

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