It seems a number of regular participants have dropped out of this site - - in the past, questions would get more than one reply, and some would have a long string . . . it seem questions go unanswered more frequently now.
I am new to this forum. I must say that it has been very helpful. Reading through the old posts and getting answers to my post via e-mail. I hope it continues to live and grow.
. . . and getting answers to my post via e-mail. . .
Which is the crux of the issue.
Unless a supplier/vendor is totally generic (e.g. Home Despot) or is an advertiser on this site they cannot be mentioned in a post. Since many (most?) of the things a owner of an Eichler needs are good recommendations about parts and service a lot of responses have to be by direct email. That inhibits responses and certainly cuts down the informative back and forth posts that show the forum is alive and well.
While I will probably get this post pulled for saying it, I think this site's policy in this matter is counter productive.
I really believe that the last post really highlights one of the key "pain points" for many users of this site. While there is a lot of good general information on this board (which I am extremely grateful for), there is a lot of specific details that are either getting lost or pulled by the Moderator/SYSOP because the vendor or product mentioned within the posting doesn't advertise on the Eichler Network. This problem is further compounded by the fact that many users of this board hide their e-mail address which makes it impossible to respond directly to someone looking for help.
While I can undertand both sides of the argument, I wish the Eichler Network would view these types of product or vendor specific posts as valuable to both users and to the Eichler Network vs. viewing them as a threat to paying advertisers. When non-advertisers are mentioned frequently, the Eichler Network should view them as an incremental revenue opportunity since anyone getting good press on this site would obviously be more receptive to the idea of spending their advertising dollars to further build their business and reputation with Eichler owners.
I'm hopeful that this policy changes which I think would be welcomed by all. The only folks that might object are likely to be advertisers who "pay" but may not necessarily deliver. Remember that "Hanging a shingle" doesn't necessarily make someone an expert regardless of how much an advertiser is paying to get their name out there.
Agree with the last two and add that there are many members with a purism that only Eichler OEM or nothing.
So they lamblast anyone/anything out of their acceptable norm for any Eichler.
Bottom line is balance.
This site is for profit, so has to cater to their sponsors, but I think the exclusivity part a bit too far over into that side of things.
Competition is a good thing, IMHO.
I am finished with all my remodeling on our Palo Alto Eichler and I found this forum helpful. To fill in the gaps, I ended up asking lots of neighbors and friends for local contractor and supply recommendations that I couldn't get from this site. If someone would like this, I would encourage starting a yahoogroups type forum i.e. "EichlerSFPeninsula" or whatever region you are in. There is already an Eichler forum on Yahoogroups with a few members.
Lynn in Palo Alto
While I will probably get this post pulled for saying it, I think this site's policy in this matter is counter productive.
Amen. I saw a recent posting critical of a sponsor get pulled. When I see that happen, I ask myself "why am I reading this board?" I've had my postings pulled. One of them mentioned a mom and pop glass shop in an Eichler-less city. Precisely which vendor was that going to put out of business?
In protest, I generally avoid posting whenever I see that my thoughts would benefit a sponsor, or assist the site in drawing more eyeballs. If traffic is down, its because its not much fun to be part of a homeowner community that is moderated so heavily.
No one believes that all sponsors are perfect. So excising criticism and barring comparison to other vendors just makes readers more wary of site sponsors. The site would draw generate more discussion (and provide more benefit to the sponsors) if the forum was moderated just for obscene content, spam postings, etc.
Here are my two cents...
I think that this site can be extremely helpful. Yet, It does seem that people tend to be a tad bit lazy by asking questions which have been answered many times before in this forum. As for not being able to mention non advertisers on this site, it's the site's prerogative.
I have met two seperate advertisers on this site to see if I would like to hire them to do some work. Horrible experience on both counts.
I know most of you are northern Californians, but the socal based lotta living website has a great residential forum where contractors and service people can be spoken of freely. I understand why this network does not allow this, so perhaps you might find use in both forums. I do and value them equally...
A couple of comments:
The past 3 years I have remodeled 2 bathrooms, 1 kitchen and 1 garage in addition to major landscaping. The majority of advertisers I call from this site (about 6) have not returned calls or emails.
I have often wondered whether a certain few consistant posters are compensated - they seem to go out of their way to recommend people who just happen to be adverstisers on this site. Real "homers" as the baseball fans call them.
We've updated 2 bathrooms, installed all new flooring, installed a sauna, installed a new fence/patio, re-tiled our atrium, upgraded all of our pool equipment, did an electrical/panel upgrade, etc. all within the past 10 months. (with more work to go!)
Like you, we found some great general information here however our experience trying to engage and work with 'paid' advertisers (either from the website or newsletter print advertisers) has not been very positive. Folks have either not been very responsive, professional or even knowledgable compared to individuals we either found on our own or through the 'underground' e-mail/neighborhood referral network.
As I previously mentioned, hanging a shingle on this site doesn't make someone an Eichler expert. Imagine if you were looking for information on the web and the only thing a Google search provided you with was information provided by paid sponsors. Not very credible!
Hopefully the policy on postings which reference non-advertised service or product information will open up since doing so would benefit the readers, Eichler Network and advertisers that actually "deliver".
I was taken aback by the suggestion that frequent posters might be less than genuine. There's no conspiracy here, just fellow owners who have benefitted from others' advice and want to give back in kind.
While I don't know everyone who posts, I do personally know alot of the old-time frequent posters (many of them are your neighbors, like me) and they are all generous, above-board folks. As, by the way, is the chap who owns and runs the site--Marty Arbrunich. One might not like his decisions or policies, but there should be no doubt about his genuineness.
For the record, I only make recommendations based on personal opinion and experience. I have never received any special consideration (money or otherwise), based on recommending/promoting anything or anyone.
While I understand people new to the community might wonder such a thing, I hate to think we've come to a point where it's considered acceptable to question people's integrity in an open forum such as this. Where are our manners ;-)
Not offended, just surprised. Hope my response has not offended either.
I enjoy reading posts by persons that formulate conclusions without having all the information relating to the subject matter. It allows me the opportunity to be of service (when I have the time) and resolve conflicts.
As far as the frustration to the fact that this site won't allow non-advertisers to be referred from this chatroom, there is a legal obligation that the staff have to the advertisers, and if this resource was to be used as a source of direct referral, the Eichler Network would be falling short of its commitment to the advertisers. I am a general contractor, with established business relationships with many sub contractors that don't advertise here, and I follow this rule.
Second, I know of no other resource for Eichler homes that maintains a screening process that relates to design familiarity, quality control (BBB, dept of consumer affairs), and testimonials. Further, they mediate conflicts with persons who advertise here and with consumers who use the services advertised here. There have been a number of instances where certain companies were not offered renewal contracts based on feedback from consumers.
Third, they offer a resource of information not equalled anywhere relating to home improvement, history, politcal issues, design and other subject matter relating to Eichler homes, free of charge to the consumer.
I know of no contractor referral service that touches on all of these issues, without charging the consumer for this type of information.
I would suggest that rather than spending so much time criticizing the rules that differ from beliefs that you may have, why not direct that effort into being constructive, such as developing a chat room, site or message board with an open forum that allows any good information about referrals. I would certainly visit and participate, and perhaps you can post the link here to generate more interest.
As far as having a few bad experiences with contractors being too busy to respond, I suggest to be patient. These companies are not busy because they are bad at what they do. I maintain a small construction company (5-7 employees) so that I can give the projects that we are working the attention that they need. Behind that is adminisrative time, then looking at new work, then advising homeowners/providing referrals for home improvement issues, so my time is limited for new projects (so that I can ensure delivering a quality product for good prices.)
In spite of the imperfections, I believe that this resource is the fairest privately owned resource for Eichler homeowners available.
wow, drama on the Eichler board!
I love this site!!!
Since I am a new Eichler owner, I visit this site a lot to get tips from everyone!
I've asked for advice on this site and I am grateful for the valuable advice given to me by my fellow Eichler owners!
Below is my blog so you can view the progress on my house!!!
thanks for the blog link. That's one thing I think this site needs, more sharing of each others homes. All too often, folks come by, ask questions, then leave. Not much interaction.
It doesn't need to be an entire blog, just photos to share your home improvement projects. It personalizes communication. bboards can be so impersonal some times.
Following renman's suggestion, I have started a message board with an open forum for Eichler owners. While postings to date have been similar to the ones on this forum, there are no restrictions on providing referral information.
I started EichlerWeb with the intention of complementing other Eichler resources available on the web, such as this forum. If you are interested in joining, please send me an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you an invitation with a link to the website.
You've made quality contributions to this board for a long time, but I think you're letting your fellow contractors off the hook too easily on the issue of not being responsive. In my experience, and in talking to other homeowners, the problem is not limited to a "few bad experiences"-- it is endemic. I'd say over the 13 years I've been callling contractors about jobs on my Eichler that over half the interactions involved some frustrating bit of non-responsiveness on the part of the contractor. I can't tell you how many times I've had to take off from work to get home to meet some one for an estimate only to find they've blown me off. Sometimes there's a phone call with an explanation after the fact, most often there's not. It's clear from this behavior that the contractors in question are so busy that they don't care about treating potential new business like dirt. It may be understandable, but let's just call it what it is and not try to gloss over what really goes on.
It's not that I'm not patient-- the best Eichler contractor I ever worked with told me I'd have to wait two years for my bathroom remodel and wait I did. (And it was worth it) But my patience doesn't include breaking firm appointments repeatedly, not returning phone calls, promising estimates and not delivering, etc. That's the reality from the this homeowners experience.
I used to think that the idea of paying for estimates was horrendous- now I'd welcome the opportunity to pay for an estimate if it meant that it obligated the contractor to show up and follow through.
We have also been subjected to unprofessional behavior.
Fortunately, there are many great contractors who show up when they say they will and do quality work. We have had both good and bad experiences with different advertisers on this site. This site works as it is intended for its advertisers.
Eichler's are not like other homes and the people who appreciate them are a rare breed. We have had contractors (who after looking at our landscaping plans showing a replacment of our original fence) try to talk us into installing a grape arbor in the front of the house that would be right for a Victorian but out of place for an MCM home.
Hey Leslie. Internet posting boards can be really strange. I think we totally misunderstood each other on the LL board regarding when a house should be torn down. I hope you'll come by again and share you Eichler experiences with us.
When I hire a contractor from the Eichler Network, I let them know that I have read good things about them on the EN forum (which is why I have hired them). This also implies that if they don't do a good job, I wouldn't hesitate to post an unfavorable review if someone asked (and maybe even post a new topic if someone doesn't ask). I've seen advertisers join in on such a discussion and defend what they have done. I think this is healthy discussion and keeps them (and us) on their toes. I think this has helped me get better and more reliable service from the contractors.
After reviewing the course of this thread, the Eichler Network staff wanted to add the following information to offer a better understanding of a couple items. As Renman pointed out in his earlier post, the Eichler Network is very careful about the participating companies we bring aboard. The last thing we want is to create conditions that will adversely impact the Eichler and Streng homeowners, and in the process tarnish our own reputation and that of the companies in good standing already positively positioned in the Network. We have always preferred looking at the big picture, and to build our business over the long haul on a solid foundation. To protect this position, we have refused to sign on and/or renew advertising with any companies that we feel do not support this ethic.
However, the vigilance and cooperation of the homeowners is invaluable in this process. With that in mind, we encourage homeowners to report directly to us any complaints (and praise, for that matter) tied to any of our participating service companies. In addition to our surveys and direct calls to homeowners, this process is virtually the only barometer we have to appraise the performance of the service companies, and make proper adjustments, as necessary.
In addition, for the past decade we have offered a gratis service to our homeowner base for us to intervene and facilitate legitimate complaints, if and when they crop up, between them and participating service companies. Over the past three years, we have been called on only twice, and both complaints were quickly settled to the satisfaction of the homeowners. If there are other complaints out there that should be heard, we would prefer that homeowners share them directly with us (via direct e-mail or phone), thereby (with the big picture in mind) gaining resolution and positively impacting and even improving the quality of service for everyone involved. We continue to keep our door open and a helping hand extended.
-- Marty Arbunich and Scott Furman -- Eichler Network
I am of the opinion that the site is losing interest.
I first noticed a drop in participation when the site format changed and registration was required to post.
I think that the Eichler homeowners are not unlike the Eichler homes we live in. We would like to maintain some anonymity. We would like to maintain our privacy and keep a blank face to the public, while at the same time being open to our own private “world”.
Though there are over 11,000 Eichler homes, the postings to this site represent a very small percentage of those homeowners. I am not sure why more Eichler owners are not interested in participating.
It could be because there is a very vocal minority on this board that see an Eichler as a work of art, an architectural sculpture that should not be altered. While they, of course, have every right to that opinion and have every right to manage their home in such a manner, there are those that feel that all Eichler owners should abide by such a practice and should keep their Eichler completely original.
It could be because there are those Eichler owners that see fit to completely remodel their Eichler so that it is nearly unrecognizable as an Eichler. They would like to add Roman columns, maybe a second story. Of course, they too, have a right to do with their house as they see fit, as long as their revisions meet all applicable codes/statutes/regulations. All sides of this issue are quite vocal also.
I believe that the above groups are a minority. I think that the majority of us would like to remodel/maintain our homes in a manner that reflects a respect for the architecture of the house and provides the space and technology that meets our needs today. I think that the majority of us would like to live among neighbors who have a similar respect for the architecture and surrounding property. I think these people are reluctant to voice their opinions for fear of being berated by the “all original” crowd, or being confused with the “do as I see fit” crowd.
Even though it appears that mid-century modern architecture is the “big thing” currently, with mid-century modern appearing as the backdrop for a number of television shows, TV commercials, etc., it is still difficult and expensive to find materials that are appropriate for the architecture. HGTV and similar programming still predominately feature “old world”, or Tuscan, or French country design elements with the ubiquitous flagstone, ornate moldings, and “faux” painting techniques.
It would be nice if this site and its participants could offer us greater help in finding elements appropriate for our homes. Perhaps the new CA Modern Magazine format will be able to offer us more assistance.
We all want new and broader participation on this site, but none (few) of us like to respond to a query that was extensively exhausted two weeks ago. I have talked to many who enjoy the Chatterbox Lounge, but never participate. I make it a point to ask, since my company invests a lot of thought, effort and money in the many phases of the Eichler Network. I think many may find the thought of participation intimidating. If possible, maybe the site administrator could flag new participants the first times they post. This way one of our resident 'hot shots' or 'Rabid Eichleratti' - which may include all of us - could refrain from blasting the poor 'New Guy' completely out of the water the first time they dare hit the SUBMIT key. We would see that it was a new person and make an effort to be sensitive and helpful.
I'm happy that another chatroom has been started with an open forum; to me taking a bunch of criticism and going into a constructive direction is a mature, positive response to conflict.
As far as the site losing interest, I personally have been beset with an extraordinary amount of personal hardships the last 6 months (2 family deaths, moving, and other major personal problems, and frankly, I do not have much time enjoying leisurely evenings sharing any information I may have that may be helpful to eichler homeowners.
I think that there are fewer of the "regulars" that have been visiting this chatroom, but I also know that most of the new questions that are asked have been addressed in previous threads in the chatterbox archives. Just type in a topic and search, most of the answers are already here.
AJM- as far as non-responsive contractors, problems with estimating, etc, I deal with sub contractors every day of my life, I have to say that is extremely common. I am in no way defending unprofessional conduct, but let me share my perspective for a moment.
I get a phone call from an owner requesting a walk through. I attempt to obtain as much information regarding the scope of work in a phone conversation to determine if:
1. That my staff or I can build
2. It is something that I have to refer to a sub contractor
3. If the timing (start dates vs. my current workload) is feasable
4. That I may have good chemistry with the owners (very important on larger projects, as we will spend much time together)
5. If the owner wants to spend many hours of my time, essentially to have me design/consult with them at no cost, and after picking my brain for hours then hire a handyman,freind, or D.I.Y. to save money. I spend quite a bit of time advising people without charge about home improvement as a rule, when I know all along that we won't do a transaction; however often people tend to feign interest using our services, just to get free advice, instead of being upfront about their agenda. After a while, these manipulations become obvious, and I really am not interested in doing business with deceptive people. Many other contractors are on the lookout for owners that attempt this manipuation, and I would rather spend my time helping people that are honest, even if involves spending a few hours a week giving advice.
I have corrected countless projects with horrible workmanship, and I was electrocuted at age 4 in my parents Eichler (due to a faulty circuit breaker, and grew up to be an electrical contractor), so I have a strong belief to get the right information about correcting the problems associated with the construction/updating of these homes.
I have also been stood up dozens of times by contractors, had to practically procure estimates at the threat of bodily harm from very good sub contractors, even when (or perhaps because) they knew they would be awarded the contract, and had them back out of projects that we had them scheduled 4 months in advance; and I suspect it will happen again.
I can complain about these things, but until I have an agreement in writing, I really do not have a valid greivance because someone was not interested in working for me on that specific project. I have however developed strategies to minimize these issues, which I incorperate as basic project management proceedures which I am happy to share:
1. Never inqure about costs or estimates before the actual meeting. This sends a signal that you are going to be a tough sell, and negotiating will probably be difficult, or that you are talking to several contractors.
It can also indicate that you will be more concerned with cost, rather than quality workmanship. After you have a specific scope of work defined, towards the end of the meeting, then indicate you would like a rough idea what the cost will be, if possible, but don't be too pushy, because some estmating requires a fair amount of research.
2. Always call 1-2 hours before the meeting to confirm.
This will ensure that you are not surprised by a last minute cancellation.
I have leaned to accept the fact that there will always be things that happen are beyond the control of the contractor, such as weather, industrial accidents, last minute changes, traffic, (or my favorite, buiding departments that do not know when inpections will occur until 8 am the day of the inspection).
3. Ask if they do evening appointments. I make it a point to try to do walk throughs in the early evening. I do this because I have to be available to support my projects during they day when my staff are working. I also try to be available so that homeowners do not have to miss work during the day. Not all companies will do this, but it does not hurt to ask.
4. Avoid repeated revisions to the scope of work during the estimating phase based on cost.
This sends the message that you are trying to cut corners, and don't care about the quality of the project. A good way to avoid this is to develop contingent projects, one that you know is more extensive and costly, and one that serves as a compomise based on budget. A good contractor should be able to give a rough idea what each plan will cost, and be able to make some suggestions to keep costs down in either case. I know that if I spend hours estimating, revising, re-estimating, revising again(without compensation), it send a red flag that there will be many problems through the course of the project, because the person has no respect for my time, and unlike retail stores, it takes a considerable time to generate an estimate for a remodeling project.
I can not promise that you won't have problems with last minute cancellations, but this formula will go a long way to reduce to the problems you have had in the past.
Just want to clarify - I assume this string references licensed contractors. Unlicensed contractors come with a host of problems too numerous to discuss.
As a follow-up to Renman's comments, if you like a licensed remodel/landscape contractor and want to go with him/her, be willing to wait for your project to start. A really good contractor will stay on a job until it is complete and the client is satisfied. Then on to the next client in line. Keep in mind that the best contractors are always busy so flexibility on your start date can be a good thing.
Communication is key. I am always amazed when homeowners tell me "thanks for returning my call." I do not understand how some contractors stay in business when they do not return calls but not all contractors blow off appointments or skip return calls.
Also, it helps if you know what you want. When we go back and forth on the estimate, after the 5th or 6th iteration it starts to send a red flag that the homeowner does not know what he/she wants, they are basing everything only on price or they are wasting our time so they can get someone else to bid on the 6th iteration and undercut pricing. Of course, that's the homeowner's perogative but we find that when the chemistry is right, clients will wait for their project to start so they can work with our company. It's definitely a two way street and positive, honest communication is the key to a successful remodel/landscaping project.
With respect to the web site's interest, I check it often but do not always post. I still find it interesting and am very impressed by the diversity of opinion on all things Eichler. Many of my neighbors know about the Eichler Network but they profess to not being very computer savvy. Maybe CA Modern magazine in its new format will do more highlighting of the Chatterbox Lounge to entice new visitors/posters?
I live in Jake's neighborhood and can confirm there's no conspiracy as we share info regularly.
To respond to the original post, I'd like to say that I suspect past serious posters have simply finished their rehabs and gone on to other things or have gotten tired of repeating themselves. How often can they be expected to try to talk someone out of tearing out their paneling or using vinyl replacement windows? Or answer yet another boiler question for the sixth winter in a row? One would expect some of the newer owners to kind of take over, but I've noticed many of them taking a super hard line that is less than collegial and often condescending. And others owners seem to take this site for granted, without much appreciation for how rare and unusual it is for any owner of an older house to have a support system like this in place. Just because you’ve bought a “brand name” house doesn’t mean you’re entitled to this level of customer support. This is supposed to be a community of folks helping one another appreciate and care for these great houses. It only works if everyone participates with the right type of information and attitude. Without respect and reciprocity, I suspect many posters have simply moved to emailing direct where some appreciation for their effort is a little easier to find.
NO I agree with the folks that the fact that this is not an open forum is the reason that its loosing interest. Yes we can send our bad experiences to the staff of Eichler Network, but we can't relay that information to our fellow eichler citizens. That smells of censorship. And yes you have a business and you have to keep your advertising and sponsorship in mind, however, how much are you going to get for advertising if you have no readership. It seems creating a strong active participating membership would create more value. If a particular vendor is getting lots of complaints, then maybe they should not be presented to us via the site or magazine.
I for one used a vendor from this site and had the worst expeirence ever with a vendor, it almost came to a lawsuit. In an open forum I would have read something on the vendor, no way he could conduct himself that way and not have a single complaint.
It was then that I concluded that the forums here are just additional advertising, with some useful information and tips here and there, but lacking uncensored information on the vendors being pushed by the EichlerNetwork.
You know, I was reserving any real commentary for a moment just like this.
Some of you people need to understand that you are getting a very valuable service, The Eichler Network, for FREE. Yes! Can you imagine that!? A few people who truly have a passion for these homes decided to provide a FREE service to ANYBODY who wants it, not just Eichler owners. I read through these forums frequently and I notice two things. One, there are a lot of very lazy people out there who refuse to use the SEARCH feature on this site to find the answers to their questions, which, have been posted here many times before. Two, there are a lot of people, myself included who are determined to make the house as original as possible, or modernize it in a way that makes sense with the Eichler asthetic. Look, as far as I'm concerned, Eichler, if he was still around, would use kitchen cabinets from IKEA, not something from Italy costing $50,000.
I'm getting quite frustrated with these posts lately. I don't know about you folks, but I have NEVER EVER paid a cent to these people for the Eichler newsletter that I receive in my mailbox throughout the year. Is that a mistake? If it were, I'd gladly pay to receive it.
A lot of you get all huffy when someone says LEAVE IT ORIGINAL!
Well, I think that can mean a number of things, but mostly I think these people are just saying, Don't add a second story to your Eichler, Don't put pink flamingos in your front yard, and don't leave the old busted up pickup truck in your front yard, because they don't want to see what I have just mentioned done.
If you want to live in a trailer park with garbage strewn all over the place, or live in a ten story house covered in Christmas lights, year round, go right ahead, in ANOTHER neighborhood. One made up of condos built in the '80's.
Like it or not, Eichler homes tend to be appreciated by people with a sence of style, and design.
Looking in my neighborhood, I'd say that a lot of the homes were passed down to the grandkids who don't see these homes for what they are. They see them as $$$$
Yet, they won't do a thing to maintain their homes.
So, please, If you want to park your busted up truck in the front yard, or duct tape your mailbox to the post, or make babies with your sister, go right ahead, in someone elses neighborhood.
Just to let you all know, these kind folks who provide a SERVICE for FREE, actually took the time to call me and find out what I had to say about a couple of their advertisers.
Where else can you get that?
Getting back to my original comment, folks are frustrated by the blatant censorship which limits the value of this board to participants AND advertisers that actually "deliver".
While we all appreciate this 'free' resource, keep in mind that this is a money-generating business (just like Google is a "free" information resource that manages to make money while providing a helpful service). I don't think any of us would argue that the Eichler Network is entitled to make money for providing this valuable resource....I just think folks are frustrated because the value and credibility of this resource declines signficantly whenever anyone so much as mentions a non-paid advertiser in their posting. As I previously mentioned, this would be the equivelent of your internet search engine ONLY returning results from paid advertisers. Not very credible, especially when many of the folks on this board rant about the poor service that they are receiving from some paid advertisers.
Hopefully the policy on postings which reference non-advertised service or product information will open up since doing so would benefit the readers, Eichler Network and advertisers that actually "deliver". The only folks that should be fearful of such a policy change are paid advertisers that don't deliver which the Eichler Network states that they don't wan't to be doing business with anyway. Talk about natural selection!
Hey I still like this site even with all the limitations. I think it would be a little more fun if people where open minded about different house modifications. Some can look better and more modern than the original. Some post are even on the childish side of ridiculing someone for making a change - when they don't know all the details. Smooth finish drywall looks way better than painted siding! And it is warmer, quieter and safer for fire. And I wish I would have used vinyl windows - they don't seem condense around the frame. Anyway we all make changes to our house, some for better, some for not so better but either way it is done. Back to lurking....
PS I did not see the search button until someone pointed it out in a post!
what an interesting thread!
i myself stopped posting here some time ago for personal reasons, but even still, i check in and read to keep up to date.
perhaps the board is slower because the forum is so single minded in it's subject matter. i view this as both a blessing and a curse. a curse, cause there's no room to grow and how many times can you talk about wood paneling and formica, but at the same time... a huge blessing because you know you will get undiluted advice and input for your eichler home.
i think the board will get lots of fresh energy when marty gets his new CA Modernism mag out to a whole new crop of modernists out there. so hang in there... it will get rather busy again with folks who need a specific focussed outlet like this.
Now i myself run the Lotta Living board which has been mentioned a few times already and i wanted to invite anyone curious to come over for a visit. (the link is below). i have a very hands off approach and rarely if ever censor members and generally everyone plays well together there. as far as the eichler theme goes, we're not quite the purists over there. but i think that's what makes the web great - there is room for everyone.
I have only used one vendor I found on this site (and the newsletter) that was ---- . He has been about the best contractor I have ever used and have used him for fencing, termite repair, decking, light remodel. All seperate jobs.
So I can vouch for at least one of the advertisers here.
Following renman's earlier suggestion, I have started a message board with an open forum for Eichler owners. We have 21 members to date and while postings to date have focused on home maintenance and remodeling, there are no restrictions on providing referral information.
I started EichlerWeb with the intention of complementing other Eichler resources available on the web, such as this forum. If you are interested in joining, please visit the site at http://groups.mac.com/eichlerweb
I've only posted here a couple times and on one of the two occasions my post was deleted by the moderator. The X-100 Eichler was advertised for rent last year on Craigslist, and I thought it might be of interest to some of you. That posting was deleted, but the moderator did send me an email letting me know that they didn't want the rental announcement to be on the Chattebox Lounge, sorry I can't recall the reason given. Craigslist must have a larger audience than this board so who knows?
I must agree that the LottaLiving BB is more active, with a (generally) more accepting view of home modifications, and an extremely broad and deep knowledge of Modern architects and architecture. Plus more members actually post pictures of their homes and projects.
From the amount of response and views on this subject I think the participation has not gone down. Some of the questions in posts can be a bit redundant over the years. Most people who come on the board are in the middle of renovation or have a question the regulars have answered a few times. This is why it is nice to be able to look up a posting history on specific topics and you may get your answer without even making a post!