We have done some visits and homework about the homes and would like to make some educated and community accepted remodel decisions when the time comes, which may be occurring quickly. Looking to buy soon and have some basic questions specific to your area - would GREATLY appreciate any input, please:
How is the duct-work in the slab holding out / is the temperature control effective and has anyone opted for the ducts on the roof? Would the roof duct-work be considered too much of an "eye-sore", even if the ducts were kept at a lower profile?
Has anyone opted for the foam insulated roof to improve sun reflection and temperature insulation?
Has anyone opted for solar-panels and could they too, be considered an "eye-sore"?
Thank you very much for your time and consideration - we are hoping to soon be some very good neighbors that will make our Eichler proud!
Mark & Sharon
Hi Mark and Sharon... Since no one has yet responded to your questions, I'll give you my 2 cents. My husband and I bought in Balboa Highlands about 4 years ago and we love it.
Re: your specific questions... our ductwork is holding up fairly well, probably due in part to good drainage around our home's perimeter. We often get small amounts of water in one corner of the house during heavy rains, but not enough to cause great amounts of condensation, or (hopefully) affect the duct structure itself. It's a personal choice, but I think that ductwork on the roof is an eyesore, probably since our house looks down on a house across the street which has roof ductwork, and it really is not appealing.
We installed a foam roof before we moved in so we don't really have a before / after comparison on energy savings, but our DWP bill averages $300 bi-monthly. We only really have to turn on the A/C if the outside temperature reaches 90 or 95 degrees, which is fairly often in the summer. We also applied UV film over our east and west facing windows, which has helped a lot in cutting back the heat.
I only wish that we had investigated solar panels prior to the foam roof. At this point, I'm not sure if installing panels at this stage would undermine the foam roof. Since the panels are generally low profile I would not consider them an eyesore, of course that might also depend on which way the house faces, and at what angle you might need to adjust the panels. I'm not that familiar with solar panels, so I'm not sure about install specifics.
Lastly, since Balboa Highlands in now a "protected" HPOZ, any adjustments you make to the front exterior of the house may need special approval. My understanding is that needing approval mainly depends on whether the house you purchase is considered a "conforming" or "non-conforming" house.
I hope I've answered some of your questions. There are probably others out there who have more educated / technical opinions. Good luck in your purchase! We look forward to more neighbors who are interested in restoring / retaining original Eichler design aesthetics.