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TimothyHH

Hofco kits question

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Hello everyone,

I have a question about the old Hofco kits. Did they come with windows, doors, stairs, trim, etc? 

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Yes, they came with doors, windows, staircases, and some trim to go on the outside. In addition, the houses also came with a certificate of ownership inside the kit. I may be wrong, but they may also have come with nails. I seem to get all of my kids pre-built or out of the box, so I really don't know.

Sometimes you can find the doors and windows for sale on eBay separately. For instance, I plan to replace my Hofco house windows with other ones I found and I haven't decided yet if I want to sell the ones that came with the kit. The French doors are lovely, as they can be used for outside doors. I never liked the Houseworks French doors for anything but indoor doors. The staircases that I've seen are really, really nice, but I also plan to replace the balusters with others I've found.

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1 hour ago, rodentraiser said:

I plan to replace my Hofco house windows with other ones I found...

You can use Houseworks components with Hofco houses though, right? The windows at least seem to be the same size so I'm hoping everything else will fit too. I just bought a Hofco kit and it didn't dawn on me to ask the seller if it came with components until after I paid and it shipped. 

Edited by TimothyHH

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Yes, you can. Aside from Duracraft and Greeenleaf dollhouses, most dollhouses made after the late 70s that come with 3/8" wood have standardized window and door openings that you can use with another company's door and windows. Houseworks is the most common one, but there are others, too. Standard window sizes are 2 1/2" x 5" for singles and 5" x 5" for double windows, and 3" x 7" for doors. Now there are exceptions. The Houseworks French door, for example, is 3" x 7 1/2", so if you have your heart set on putting a French door into a doorway that isn't that tall, you may have to cut an extra 1/2" out of the top.

Carlson's windows and doors are still around and one of their single windows run 3" wide instead of 2 1/2". And Houseworks also makes a slim door as well. Always check the dimensions on any windows or doors you buy on eBay or Craig's List. I've seen some listed as 1" scale and when the sellers give the actual measurements, it's obvious the windows or doors are only 1/2" scale.

What Hofco kit did you buy?

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On 5/2/2019, 6:03:50, rodentraiser said:

What Hofco kit did you buy?

Sorry for the delayed response. I bought KW 194 Victorian Farmhouse. I just can't say no to a kit that includes a room dedicated to being a bathroom (hate giving up bedrooms). Plus I much, much prefer working with higher quality, smooth plywood. I don't know when I'll begin construction since I keep re-doing things on my Brookshire renovation. I did open the box to look at the parts though. Didn't find the windows -- they must be underneath some of the larger pieces. I did find the stairs and, wow, they are very, very steep. Like crazy steep. If these stairs existed in real life they would be dangerous, especially going down. I may end up using other stairs instead -- I have a hankering to try a return staircase and the Hofco's living room looks like it will be large enough to fit one in.

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Really! I have the Americana and I always thought the staircase wasn't steep enough. LOL The Americana has a protruding front in the middle which is where the front door is and leads to the center hall. I always wanted to get rid of that jut and make a completely even front to the house, but I'm afraid the staircases won't fit into the hall if I take that extra 2" off.

Did you find a certificate with your dollhouse? They're also supposed to come with an owner's deed or something like that.

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Kelly,

Yes, it came with the "owner's deed." 

The Hofco instructions include a page of updated instructions to install the stairs facing the open back. The original instructions have them facing the front door. Change said to be due to multiple customer requests. I wonder if the original facing front design was to allow the stairs to take up less space by being steeper and hiding the steepness by making them less visible. 

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1 hour ago, TimothyHH said:

...I wonder if the original facing front design was to allow the stairs to take up less space by being steeper and hiding the steepness by making them less visible. 

That makes so much sense; I wonder why they didn't reduce the steepness when they changed direction?

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21 hours ago, havanaholly said:

That makes so much sense; I wonder why they didn't reduce the steepness when they changed direction?

Probably because they'd have had to retool their machines to make the stairwell opening further toward the front of the house if the staircase is facing the back.

Now me, I want my first floor staircase to be going front to back and then I want to move the second floor staircase over to the other side of the center hall and have it go back to front. It's easy to buy a jigsaw and change the openings to accommodate what you want in your stairs.

Tim, another option is to get a staircase from another company and use it in the center hall going to the second floor. One of the things I'm thinking of is using in the Americana is the Hofco staircase on the first floor, but then getting a smaller (and steeper) staircase that goes to the third floor, maybe even putting it behind a door. I think I have a Carlson's staircase (I'd have to look) and those were only 2 1/2" wide as opposed to most regular staircases of 3".

In most old houses, the first floor staircase was the one people saw when they came through the front door so it was built to make a statement, but the other staircases were meant to be private so they were smaller and plainer, like staircases going to servants' quarters or third floor bedrooms.

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Kelly,

Yes, I thinking about making the first-floor staircase a grand return staircase and leaving the steep stairs between the second and third floors. I'm still months away from starting that build so I might change my mind between now and then.

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Be sure to listen for the house's input, too.

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LOL Yes, definitely. I like to put mine together with duct tape or something that will hold the wood together (without gluing or nailing) and then just sit and stare at it or play with stairs and furniture. Some houses talk a lot when you do that and some just give you the cold shoulder. But it's still fun.

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Then there's the Magnolia that I saw put together un finished in a hobby shop that called my name and wouldn't shut up, so when the Building Team was asked to blog its build I volunteered to join in.

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