Town Square

Post a New Topic

Electrically eclectic Eichlers

Original post made on Feb 23, 2014

Often described as "having character" or "being interesting," old homes can just as often be described as "challenging" -- both to maintain and to renovate.

This story contains 808 words.

If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.

If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.

Comments (5)

Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 23, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Interesting info about the difficulty of rewiring an Eichler. I wish the article had given some idea of the costs involved in rewiring--it sounds as if the whole house was re-wired.

Like this comment
Posted by What?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2014 at 4:10 pm

This isn't an informative article, it's one huge advertisement.

Like this comment
Posted by eichler owner
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Feb 23, 2014 at 4:53 pm

I've lived in an Eichler for years and it is no easy task to upgrade either electrical or plumbing or heating. Always a funky work-around and hard to get anything more modern in them.

And try adding a second story to an Eichler. Can you say UGLY.

Like this comment
Posted by Eichler Survivor
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 23, 2014 at 5:10 pm

My advice...strip off the tar and gravel on the roof. Run new electrical, fresh water and gas over the roof and penetrate at all appropriate spots. Open up walls (remove the brittle, fire-trap plywood from the inside) and make all of your planned terminations. With the paneling off, insulate all of your exterior walls. Replace windows if you have the budget. Sheet rock interior walls, paint.

If radiant heat is worthless, run new forced air ducts over roof as well. Consider air conditioning while you're it.

Add new horizontal framing on top of old roof to support a new, higher roof top. Fill in all of the voids with foam insulation. Lay down sheeting over new framing. New (taller) facia boards around the perimeter of your new/taller roof. Tar and gravel new roof.

My two cents.

Don't ask me on costs as one man's remodel (or the extent of the remodel) differs from another's. There is never an apples to apples comparison.

Like this comment
Posted by Yuckola
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 23, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Lived in an Eichler as a child--don't ever want to own one myself.

The walls shook in the wind, they were single wall construction, and impossible to insulate. Hot in the summer, freezing in the winter, the floor heating stopped working six years after the house was built. My parents had to install wall heaters, because repairing the floor hearing meant jackhammering the concrete foundation.

It was hard to sleep at night, the thin walls offered no protection from noise of traffic, neighbors, or trains.

And, for the first ten years, they had a plastic/chemical smell that was really slow to dissipate and gave my mom headaches.

My parents sold it for little more than they paid for it after twelve years of suffering to pay off the mortgage. Eichlers were never built to last, apparently they were built to be temporary cheap housing.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Sam's Chowder House Palo Alto to become burger chain
By Elena Kadvany | 23 comments | 10,713 views

New York College Tours
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 1,928 views

Family Planning: Both Agree Before Getting Pregnant
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,207 views

Sing and celebrate
By Sally Torbey | 5 comments | 470 views


Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 23 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away more than $4 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. When you make a donation, every dollar is automatically doubled, and 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.