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Eichlers: Love Them Or Hate Them, These MCM Homes Are Here To Stay

It seems like when it comes to Eichlers, there is no middle ground.  People either love them or hate them.  Me?  Well, obviously I’m an Eichler lover.  I love the openness of them.  I love the floor to ceiling windows that blur the edges between outside and in.  I love the clean, simple lines.  And I love the radiant floor heating that greets my bare feet on chilly mornings.

Much as I love Eichlers, though, I can’t ignore the haters.  They claim that Eichlers are over-hyped.  They point out that most Eichlers were mass-produced.  They don’t like the windowless facades that face the street.  They say that Eichlers, in their original incarnation, are not energy efficient; that they’re poorly insulated, lack attic and crawl space, and that the electrical wiring is substandard. 

It’s a free country, and they are entitled to their opinions.  And you know what?  They're right about many things.  Flat roofs can leak.  Walls of glass create privacy issues.  The minimalist design of an Eichler means less storage.  I’m thinking, though, that falling in love with a home or style is a little bit like falling in love with your soul mate; it isn’t a one-size-fits-all world.  You adjust and accommodate. 

The reality is that any older home, whether it is an Eichler or other Mid-Century home, is going to need occasional updates, upgrades, and some TLC.  Back in the day, building codes were different – and gas and electricity were cheap.  Today energy is expensive and most, if not all, older homes (that includes Eichlers and non-Eichlers) need to be brought up-to-date. 

Two of the biggest complaints I hear is that Eichlers can be difficult to heat and cool and new technology places huge electrical demands that Eichlers weren’t designed to bear.  Don’t despair.  It can be managed.  Fortunately for us Eichler lovers, the Bay Area has a number of service providers who understand the sometimes special needs of Eichlers and can help bring our beloved homes up to speed.  From making the characteristic flat roofs of Eichler homes water-tight and energy efficient to upgrading mid-century electrical systems, or finding an architect or contractor for larger projects, you’ll find guidance and a complete vendor directory in the Remodel section of our Eichler For Sale website. 

We also have an extensive photo gallery full of ideas for remodeling projects, large and small, that will help you personalize your home while maintaining that quintessential California lifestyle that is so much a part of what we love about our Eichler homes.  So, go ahead and love your Eichler; enjoy its minimal modernistic style, its light filled spaces, and the open floor plans.  An Eichler home is more than the sum of its parts.  While living in an Eichler isn't for everyone, it works for me - and for hundreds of other Eichler lovers throughout California.

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