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Happy New Homeowner!

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Joined: Jul 14 2007

Hello Everyone-

My husband and I just became the proud owners of an Eicher/Eichler inspired home located on the Stanford University campus and we couldn't be happier! This website proved to be an invaluble resource while we were house-hunting: the moment we stepped into our first Eichler - we were hooked! The first few we looked at weren't right for us, and for a while there we thought our dream of owning a modern home might never come true. Then this home came along and completely swept me off my feet. It was built in 1964 and is in original condition; the original owner recently passed away so we are only the second family to live in this marvelous home. It needs some serious TLC, but we're excited with the possibilities. It needs all new electrical (it has only 60 amp service), new windows, new plumbing, a new roof, new kitchen & bathrooms, and all new landscaping, including new retaining walls. We'd also like to restore the radiant heating system - at some point the owners abondoned the radiant heat, and installed a forced air system on the roof. It will be a huge project and we are more than a bit nervous, we'd like to avoid costly mistakes. We will definately be consulting this site for help and would like to thank those who have so generously posted notes from their recent rehab projects - the information is truly priceless! Our goal is to remain true to the Eichler style - don't worry, no Corinthian columns here! One problem we face is that sadly, we are unable to live in the house prior to making changes. We realize this is a major no-no, but have no choice in the matter due to circumstances beyond our control. Luckily for us, we love the floorplan of the house and have no intention of making any major changes to it. The house has three good-sized bedrooms, two full baths, a huge living room, a dining room, a galley kitchen, an indoor laundry area, and an enclosed two car garage. Two bedrooms each have private outdoor patios, the living and dining rooms open out to the backyard, and the living room also opens out to a large private entry courtyard. Although we originally had our hearts set on a four bedroom house (the 1224 Eichler Plan), we quickly made the decision to compromise when we saw the magnificent views of the foothills from the front of this house. As I said previously - it was love at first sight. So now the task of finding a general contractor and architect begins. We'd like to get all of the work finished by the new year so we can move in and begin enjoying our dream house. We're also in the process of building our family thru adoption, so we'd really like to get as much work completed before our newest family member joins us. The next few months will definately be busy! Before I sign off, I like to ask if anyone has any information about the homes Eicher built on the Stanford campus. We know that they were custom homes, but have no other information. Lastly, at the closing we learned that our house was listed as being by a John Brooks Boyd - would anyone out there have any information about this person? Thanks again and we're thrilled to be an Eichler/Eichler inspired home owner!

Carolyn Piotroski

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Joined: Apr 21 2006

Hello there. I live in a MCM home in the Nashville TN area. Even though I'm sure you'll get a bunch great advice, tips and guidance from the CA based Eichler owners on this forum, I just thought I'd comment as it sounds like you're in a similar situation I was in about 2 years ago. I bought a 1961 home from the daughter of the original owners/builders (ie: the home was unaltered over the years), and did a pretty extensive restoration/renovation myself. Your plans sound extensive as well. Since your going to attempt to do it all within a year (which I also did), I highly recommend doing as much research on the mid-century modern style as possible before work begins. The web is great, of course. Just Google away. But in addition, here's a few great books to check out...

Eichler: Modernism Rebuilds the American Dream by Paul Adamson
A Quincy Jones by Cory Buckner
Case Study Houses: by Esther McCoy
Modernism Reborn: Mid-Century American Houses by Michael Webb
Atomic Ranch by Michelle Gringeri-Brow

Atomic Ranch is more about recently renovated homes, the others focus more on MCM homes as they were when new in the 50s and 60s (lots of vintage photos). I find those type books more helpful.

This website has a ton of info in all the archived articles. Definitely look into those. And if you don't already, I recommend subscribing to their printed magazine CA Modern.

Another great website is LottaLivin.Com. They have a very active forum at...

http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/

I received tons of great advice there...leads on hard to find items, etc, etc...

Beyond hard core researching of the style, the only other suggestion I'd make is to consider retaining as much of the original home as possible. When you said new kitchen, new baths, etc...it sounds like you might be planning to replace a lot of things. You might consider making your renovation more about "restoring" the home to it's original state, rather than "replacing" with new. Example: We kept all the original kitchen cabinetry, added additional, then had doors and drawer fronts made to unify the look. We based the doors/drawers and handle design on vintage photos of 1960s modernist kitchens.

Anywho...I guess my point is to just really really really absorb as much as you can before you actually start demoing anything. Best of luck with your new place. When you get a chance, please post some photos of it. You'll be glad you took "before" photos after all your hard work is done... :)

--Robb

http://www.nashvillemodern.com
A little website I created to showcase my home and other MCMs in and around the Nashville TN area.

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Joined: Oct 31 2005

cpiotroski,

Congrats on the new house. Sounds fabulous. If you would like any of our contractor information (we did a major remodel of our interior 2 years ago, and our landscape 1 year ago), please email me (contact info in my profile).

Good luck on the house and the adoption!

Pam Costa
Sunnyvale

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