I recently met a new Eichler owner, who loves his new house and can appreciate its great bones, but is new to the nuances of Eichler homes, original materials, and history. I can talk for hours (in general!) but was inspired to put together this Top 10 Eichler FAQs based off the hours and hours I have done researching our home, meeting other Eichler enthusiasts and visiting original homes:
1. What was the original Eichler flooring?
A: Original Eichler floors were linoleum or cork floors, with radiant heat below. Many Eichlers today no longer have linoleum intact, and if it is there and damaged, care must be taken to test for and/or remove asbestos.
2. What is original Eichler siding?
A: Original Eichler siding is made of wood, with thin pinstripe grooves. Original siding was stained color, not painted. More on Eichler Siding from vendors such as Eichler Siding who manufacturer siding specific for Eichler Homes.
3. What were the original exterior Eichler paint colors (stain, not paint)
A: There were color palettes approved for main house color and accents.
4. What were original Eichler kitchens like?
A: Traditionally paneled sliding doors, made from a multicolored lacquer paint, called Zolatone. A multi-use table usually adjoined the stove island area, that could rotate. Source 45 Wall Design
5. What is an Atrium?
A: Some Eichler models featured a courtyard in the center of the home. Our house is 1226 model that features the Atrium + 1-Car Port, while other models open up to other styles of atriums and layouts.
6. What are the original sliding doors?
A: Our last set of original doors are made by Arcadia, from aluminum.
7. What are Eichler roofs made from?
A: Original roofs were tar, paper and gravel. Yup. Tar, paper and gravel. Which for those of you in hot summer climates like us in the East Bay (90s to 100s in the summer), an upgrade to insulated (often foam) roofs are a necessity.
8. What is a swamp cooler?
A: Original Eichlers had a swamp cooler that circulated air from the top of the house back into the house. I've stood under a friend's before; it's cool and breezy on a hot day. But doesn't recirculate too well to the rest of the house. Owners often have air condition units installed, which can be mounted to the top of the house (unsightly unfortunately) or individual units discreetly installed into each room.
9. What was original Eichler lighting?
A: Eichlers are known for the original globe pendants, which hang from a metal pendant (firm, not wire). Iconic lighting such as the George Nelson Bubble Lamps were often seen in the Eichler marketing brochures and in many original Eichler homes.
10. Why is there a door in the bathroom?
A: Some models of Eichlers do have a door from the bathroom, to the exterior of the house. This door was usually in the second bathroom, for kids to have easy access to get cleaned up before coming back into the house.