Forum HomeCA-Modern ForumsHome Maintenance Hotline › What's under the Shingles?

What's under the Shingles?

27 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: May 11 2006

Does anyone know what material is underneath the wood shingles on the front of my house? I would like to remove them and replace with the grooved Eichler plywood like the rest of the house. Is there any chance that I might find the grooved plywood underneath these shingles or were they just mounted on regular plywood?

Thanks for any info

Offline
Joined: Apr 2 2003

Not to second-guess your decision--just curious.

The shingles might be original to your Eichelr, is there a reason you don't want to keep them?

Jake

P.S. For the first couple of years I owned an Eichler, I mistakenly thought Eichler never used shingles--until I learned better ;-)

eichfan at rawbw dot com

ajm
Offline
Joined: Mar 24 2003

Even if they are original, don't you think they look awful? Nothing kills the clean Eichler lines more than the wavy, uneven look of shingles.

I'd get rid of 'em and get real Eichler siding.

Offline
Joined: Apr 2 2003

Well, I don't know that it "kills the Eichler aethetic". Remember Eichelr (influenced by Wright) was into the indoors/outdoors thing. Not much say outdoors than bark shingles.

We have several homes with original shingles in our tract and, once I got used to the different look, I have to say I think they still reflect the Eichler aesthetic. I think sometimes people confuse MCM sleek clean lines with only geometry, steel, and glass. Besides Wright's influence on Eichler, there were also the Japanese (shingles included) influence on some of the architects.

I'd think long and hard about removing an original design element like the shingles. I take it that it isn't interfering with the functionality/livability of the home. I'd live with it a while longer (another year) and see if you feel the same. Simplistic designs are easy to grasp, it's the more complex/less obvious elements that make a masterpiece.

Disclaimer: I'm definitely not a designer or architect. So just my 2 cents.

Cheers.
Jake

eichfan at rawbw dot com

Offline
Joined: Aug 30 2003

It is highly likely that under your shingles is well worn siding. Yes Eichler did use shingles in the late 60's, but in many cases homeowners have shingled over deteriorating siding because it was cheaper and the siding wasn't available. When I bought my 59 Jones & Emmons atrium model the atrium walls were shingled. I thought it looked terrible and took them all off, filled about a thousand nail holes with spackle, repainted, and the original siding looked okay. I have since had new siding installed.

When was your house built, and where are you located?

It's easy to pop a couple of shingles off and take a look.

1959 A. Quincy Jones atrium model in The Highlands, San Mateo http://www.totheweb.com/eichler

Offline
Joined: May 11 2006

Thanks for the responses. My home is in Terra Linda and was built in 1963. I have thought of just popping off a few shingles, but have never done so, sometimes a posting a question seems easier that getting out a hammer. Any further info appreciated...

Offline
Joined: Mar 25 2003

The shingles were an original element in my 1958-59 neighborhood on at least one house design since all of the examples of this style have them. This style is similar to the E111 and was probably considered pretty boring from the street. The shingles add a nice textural contrast. They look especially nice when they're a natural wood color rather than painted to match the house's body color.

Offline
Joined: Aug 30 2003

Tom, with respect, I'm skeptical that Eichler used shingles for siding in the 58 - 59 time period. There are quite a few Eichlers of that era in my neighborhood that are shingled, but I do not believe the shingles are original. I've never seen an Ernie Braun photo of that era, or an Eichler sales brochure, showing a brand new Eichler with shingles.

However, neither of us can be 100% certain without removing a few shingles and checking for original Eichler-style siding underneath. If the siding is there, I believe that makes it highly likely that the shingles were added later.

If there is no siding under the shingles, that doesn't prove the shingles are original: the person who applied the shingles could have removed the siding (because it was deteriorating) and added new backing material, then the shingles.

Show me a vintage late 50's photo of a new Eichler with shingles and I'll believe it. Otherwise, it's just guessing.

Barry

1959 A. Quincy Jones atrium model in The Highlands, San Mateo http://www.totheweb.com/eichler

Offline
Joined: Apr 2 2003

Well...

I know Claude Oakland used shingles on his SM-3 model (circa '65) as I have the blueprints. And I believe the homes Tom referenced here in Willow Glen are also Oakland (since both Jones & Emmons, and Oakland built in this neighborhood).

As Tom mentioned, if other similar models in the person's neighborhood are also similarly shingled rather than panelled, it lends weight to the conjecture the shingles might be original..

Does the person enquiring know his/her model number or architect? (This info can sometimes be found on an building inspection card stapled in the garage.)

Makes a good mystery ;-)

Cheers.
Jake

eichfan at rawbw dot com

Offline
Joined: Aug 30 2003

Hi Jake,

I agree that Eichler certainly used shingles in the mid 60's. My statement was "I'm skeptical that Eichler used shingles for siding in the 58 - 59 time period." I don't think he used any shingles in the 50's. I'll need to see more convincing evidence to believe that.

Barry

1959 A. Quincy Jones atrium model in The Highlands, San Mateo http://www.totheweb.com/eichler

Offline
Joined: Mar 20 2003

Barry,

I live in the same neighborhood as Tom and Jake and I do know for sure that one of the homes here with shingles is original to the home. The present owner grew up in that house and her parents were the original owners. She did tell me the shingles on her Eichler are original. There are several other homes in our neighborhood that also have shingles on the front of the home so I'm assuming they were also built that way. As Tom mentioned our homes where built here anywhere from '58 to '60.

Dana

Offline
Joined: Mar 25 2003

Every house of this style in this subdivision (and there are more than a dozen) has shingles in the exact same place. That seems to be too much of a coincidence for the shingles not to be original.

Joined: Jan 17 2006

I can prove that my 1960 San Mateo Highlands Eichler has shingles that are original. My husband grew up in this house, his father bought it new in 1960, shingles included. I have photos.
Ellen Chong

Thanks,
Gary & Ellen

Offline
Joined: Apr 2 2003

I just want to say that I understand Barry's scepticism completely. As I mentioned in my first post, for the first few years I assumed shingles weren't original too. They didn't fit what I had grown to view as the Eichler aesthetic.

But then, I also never expected Eichler to use black as a house color, considering the California heat, until I discovered my house's original color (and several of my neighbors) was black. My home is now back to its original black and my sense of Eichler aesthetic has grown to encompass that too.

You live, you learn. I guess that's half the appeal of these houses, uncovering the distant (and sometimes unexpected) past.

Cheers.
Jake

eichfan at rawbw dot com

Offline
Joined: Aug 30 2003

Hi Ellen,

Thanks for posting. I would love to see the photos of your family's house when it was new, with the shingles. We're both in The Highlands, so perhaps I could come see them and meet you? You can email me at form3@totheweb.com or call 627-8100. Thanks!

Barry

1959 A. Quincy Jones atrium model in The Highlands, San Mateo http://www.totheweb.com/eichler

Offline
Joined: Dec 14 2003

We live in a 1964 subdivision and not only is every single shingled house the same style, but I think that most if not all of the shingles are the same style.

I've had the same experience with color too. Although I've read about original colors, I went digging on ours with a putty knife and a paint scraper (I always enjoy digging through layers of paint and trying to imagine a house over the years) and it definitely started life with a color scheme that was not very "Eichlerish". My husband wants to paint it the original color, but yuck.

Offline
Joined: Apr 2 2003

Ok, so enquiring minds want to know ;-)

What was the color scheme you uncovered??

Jake

eichfan at rawbw dot com

Offline
Joined: Aug 25 2005

I just wanted to chime in but not start a debate.
A number of Eichlers here in Castro Valley have shingles in the front and they were original. Eichler started building on this hill in 1960. When I painted my house, I found the original brown exterior paint, brown interior posts and turquoise beams. I don't know if the turquoise was original. I also stripped my doors and found red under the door knob escutcheon. I have pics in my link below. It was fun finding out the colors previous owners painted the house. It wasn't fun taking all those layers of paint off the door though.
Nick

http://www.kodakgallery.com/Slideshow.jsp?Uc=2oluvbtz.469oqmqv&Uy=e9t6fa...

Nick
Castro Valley

Joined: Jan 17 2006

Hey nixmtb:

I enjoyed looking at your photos. We could be living in the same house! I am in the highlands, our house was built in 1960, has the same shingles (ours have the original finish) it appears to be the same floorplan, and we also have a spectacular view!

One question though: In your photo taken from the atrium looking into the living room, it looks like you have a small wall to the left of the entryway, but it is open on both sides - your family room/kitchen flows into the living/dining area (left of the atrium and entrance). We have a wall that separates these two areas (there is a door on the kitchen end that joins the two areas), and the small wall viewable in your photo is attached to it (makes an "L").

Did your house originally have this wall? Just curious.

Thanks, Ellen

Thanks,
Gary & Ellen

Offline
Joined: Aug 25 2005

Hi Ellen,
Thanks.. Who knows, maybe with a telescope, we could be looking at each other. That small wall is original and the wall, including door, between the dining room and familyroom was taken out by the previous owner during a 1998 remodel. We no longer have a kitchen and familyroom but now have a 17'x21' kitchen. The kitchen is big but I'm in the process of redesigning it for a future remodel.

Nick

Nick
Castro Valley

Offline
Joined: Dec 14 2003

Jake: Our 1964 house was originally a dark blue gray with red orange fascia boards, black door, and off white ("Navajo white", I'm sure) beams and Cabot Dune Gray ceiling. At this point I have restored the stain to the ceiling on the interior and plan on painting the exterior overhangs to match (BM Ticonderoga Taupe). I just can't get excited about the blue and orange exterior scheme though, plus I've already painted the interior beams dark brown.

My husband wants the house repainted in the original colors, but he is profoundly color blind and I routinely ignore his color suggestions and lie to him about colors. (He did finally discover that the tie he wore at our wedding was not beige and that it did, in fact, nicely match my pink dress.)

Offline
Joined: Apr 2 2003

Hi,

Thanks for sharing your secret --hopefully your husband is not reading this ;-)

The color scheme surprises me but then I'm mostly familiar with the 60's Northern California color schemes. They were typically either "brown" based or "grey based". That is, the exterior coordinated with a tan ceiling, *brown* cabinets, and tan or brown flooring. Or the colors coordinated with a grey ceiling and grey cabinets, etc.

Sounds like your's brown based. Since you say the facia is red-orange, I'm guessing you are in a flat roof, correct? Or at least a peaked roof with no cross bar. I'd question the black front door--how sure are you that that the door and that color are original?

I'm sure others with design expertise could suggest a paint scheme. But here's some thoughts:

- keep your dune grey ceilings/eaves (actually a tan, despite its name) and dark brown beams, they sound like a good start
- go for a medium taupe/sand exterior with same colored facia
- use turquoise as the accent color for your door.

I'll be interested to see what others suggest. BTW, have you seen any others in your neighborhood with the original color scheme you describe? You might try posting to eichlersocal.com for some authentic color schemes from Southern California.

Good luck and don't forget to post pictures.
Jake

eichfan at rawbw dot com

Offline
Joined: Aug 30 2003

Nixmtb and Ellen,

Okay, you two have convinced me: it seems that starting in 1960, Eichler began to use shingles on some exterior walls. Certainly not on all models, but on some of them. So far no evidence that any 50's Eichlers had shingles. Personally I prefer grooved siding on the outside, but too each his own.

And Nixmtb, I really like our restored red front door. I'm about to have a new front door installed, replacing the seriously beat up original door, and I'm going to paint it a burnt orange.

Barry

1959 A. Quincy Jones atrium model in The Highlands, San Mateo http://www.totheweb.com/eichler

Offline
Joined: Aug 30 2003

Yesterday Ellen was kind enough to share with me photos of her house when it was brand new in 1960, and there were shingles on the front wall to one side of the door. The photos are from her husband Gary's family album: he grew up in the house. Gary and Ellen are the second owners after his parents, so they know everything that has been done to the house. The shingles are not only original, they are ORIGINAL: they've never been replaced. The house next door is the same floor plan but reversed, and it also has shingles, and Gary remembers it as always being that way. They were not a "special order". That was the way the houses were built as standard.

One could speculate that Eichler found it easier to sell his "radical" houses by making them look a bit more conventional with a shingled wall. It's hard for me to imagine that he or his architects preferred that look, but who knows. In any case, there is no question that those two houses were shingled originally.

So now I am curious to know if anyone has documented evidence showing original shingles on a pre-1960 Eichler?

Barry

1959 A. Quincy Jones atrium model in The Highlands, San Mateo http://www.totheweb.com/eichler

Offline
Joined: May 11 2006

Wow, I wan't expecting so many responses, thanks. I finally got out my hammer and pulled off a small section of shingles and discovered that there is just regular plywood underneath, alas no original Eichler siding.

One of the reasons I would like to remove the shingles is that there is an area that has become stained white from the old sprinkler system and I can't seem to scrub it off. I have owned the house since '94 so changing to Eichler siding would not be a rash decision. i really like the way it looks and it would work better with what I want to do with my landscaping as well.

As for my house model, I am not sure exactly, possibly a variation on the E-111 (mine is a 4 BDRM/2Bath, flat roof, 10' high living room, atrium, 2 car garage, built 61-63?, in Terra Linda @ end of valley near Santa Marguerita park). If anyone know the model I'd like to know.

Offline
Joined: Aug 25 2005

When we moved in last October, I did find the original Eichler 'build tag' that listed the model and lot number. Mine was the E101, if you look at my previous post, there are pics of the house. I have the 10" ceilings in the living room and dining room, plus the two vertical lites on the left and right side of the bedrooms in front.

Nick

Nick
Castro Valley

Offline
Joined: Jan 8 2007

I posted a similar question about the shingles about two years ago (under a former userID) since I wasn't fond of the shingles on our Eichler. Ours is an SM-101 designed by Anshen+Allen and built in 1960. It's a 4br-2ba flat roof with atrium in TerraLinda (south) closer to Northgate Mall. There are many, many Eichlers in our neighborhood with the shingles, but it seems ours has more than anyone else, with shingles clad around the front door entry area between the bedrooms and garage and on the front and side fences (don't know if these are original).

When we re-paint the exterior later this year, we're debating whether to get rid of the shingles around the front door and have clean Eichler siding instead.

Offline
Joined: Aug 25 2005

We have the same model Eichler and most of them have grooved paneling everywhere except in front of the bedroom walls.
Since you already decided to put siding back up, I would suggest to peel away a shingle, preferrably at the top row(s) and see if you still have the original grooved paneling underneath. A neighbor has shingles around his house and grooved paneling underneath.

Nick
Castro Valley

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.