1920 Harris Homes

Like its competitors, Harris Homes by the Harris Brothers of Chicago, Illinois, were active in the kit home business during the first decades of the 20th century. The slide show is the entire 1920 Harris Bros. house plan catalog. The links to the left are some of our favorite houses with floorplans.


One of the most charming homes offered in the 1920 Harris catalog was the M-1000 model. Its prominent stone chimney, low sloped roof, and bands of small windows offered more than just a little curb appeal. This is a home that would appeal to home buyers of any decade.



A modest but functional tiny bungalow of just 700 sq. ft., the Model 1002 by Harris Homes in 1920 has a good sized front porch and a sturdy pergola that welcomes with its tasteful simplicity.

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In 468 sq. ft., M-1003 of the 1920 Harris Homes catalog offers a tiny footprint for living simply. This little cottage has shake siding and stonework, rafter tails, and knee braces to make it a Craftsman style bungalow suitable for one or two people.

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The homes included in the 1920 Harris book of plans included a number extremely attractive small bungalows. Model 1004 has just under 900 sq. feet, but manages in a tiny footprint to cover the essentials for a couple or young family.

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Model M-1006, shown in the Harris catalog of house plans for 1920, is a classically adorned, functional home for small family. Two floor plans allow two bedrooms, a bath, and kitchen, dining, and living area. A broad front porch adds a livable outdoor room for warmer seasons.

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This 921 sq. ft. bungalow offers relatively large rooms for such a small footprint. Two floor plans permit a kitchen with a pantry in both. The 25 foot line of sight from living room to the dining room makes the relatively small rooms seem much larger than if they were closed off. Other than the itsy-bitsy bath, it’s a livable house for a couple or small family.

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The Harris catalog of house plans offered in 1920 contained a variety of bungalow style homes. Most were on the small side and M-1022 was no exception. This home is intriguing for its small size of just 624 sq. ft. and absolutely no wasted space. Though it’s difficult to imagine a 21st century family living in such a tiny home, it seems like it could be just right for a single person or very compatible couple.

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M-1026 offers a wraparound porch, 31 feet line of sight from the living room to dining room, three bedrooms, and a kitchen with a breakfast room in a commodious 1400 square foot home. This plan would be workable just as it is for today’s families with nothing more than modifying the kitchen slightly.

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On the outside this home looks like a bungalow with its hipped dormers, knee braces, and exposed rafters, but on the inside it reveals its farmhouse sensibilities in the reception hall and upstairs bedrooms. The open floor plan on the main floor and clustered arrangement of bedrooms necessitated by the slope of the roof made this a comfortable home for its owners.

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A big front porch, three bedrooms, living room and dining room are features of this house plan, shown in the 1920s Harris catalog. The airplane second floor pops up from the main body of the home defining it in this way. This home is cute and interesting and shows the solid attention to design detail common in the bungalow style.

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This bungalow style home features all the design elements one expects of this style. Knee braces, exposed rafter tails, the broad front porch with its stone piers and clustered beam columns, as well as the open floor plan are all on display in this stucco exterior plan. Harris Homes presented this handsome home in its 1920 catalog. In not much more than 1100 sq. ft. this home offers wonderful rooms and a great floor plan.

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The footprint of this small cottage home has a foot print of 440 sq. ft. not counting the porch. In less than 800 sq. ft. there is ample room for two people to have room to live and work even by today’s steroidal standards. Colonial Revival farmhouse style most accurately describes this little home.

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Pleasing proportions, a shed dormer, and large front porch are the first impression gained in viewing this plan. At almost 1200 sq. ft., it would be considered a small house by 21st C. standards, but by 1920’s it was a pleasant, large home for raising a family. Very little space is wasted in this bungalow as rooms flow throughout the house.

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Competing for attention during the early part of the 20th century against the bungalow style, was the American Four Square. Basically a box with a pyramidal roof, this Harris plan is one of their takes on this ubiquitous style. This home offers a vestibule and tiny den that mark it as slightly different from other models.

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What could be more classic than a side gabled, two-story Colonial Revival? This home, shown in the 1920 Harris house plans catalog, was designed to be “just the right size”. A scant 1500 sq. ft. garners four bedrooms, a single bath, and a good size living room. Classic Revival symmetry and simplicity mark this traditional house plan.

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A variant of the Colonial Revival style, the Dutch Colonial offered in the Harris catalog for 1920 is a fine example of the style. At 2000 square feet, it’s one of the larger homes in the book. Designed for a homeowner of substance, this home features four bedrooms (including a guest room and maid’s room), a full butler’s pantry and main floor lavatory. A large reception hall and an abundance of upstairs hall space make this a home that was designed for a well-heeled professional.

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With its hipped roof and wide eaves, this duplex apartment building shares a front entry but an identical room layout on each floor. Each unit has close to 1000 square feet of living space including two bedrooms, a good size kitchen, and living rooms as well as porches front and back. Stylistically, it’s eclectic with a hint of the waning Prairie School.

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Symmetrical but for the front porch, this two-story 1920 era Harris home has four bedrooms and well-sized living rooms on the main floor. The living room in particular is large enough with its alcove, bump out and fireplace to please even today’s home owners. The wide eaves and horizontal bands of windows on the upper story provide a Prairie School flavor that is offset by the eight-over-one windows on the first floor. The front entry has a bungalow style.

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