Eichler Expertise Abounds

New 'Home Maintenance Directory' offers service pros who know and love Eichlers
  Fridays on the Homefront
The Eichler Network's new 2021 'Home Maintenance Directory' went into the mail recently heading to the mailboxes of all Bay Area Eichler homes. It features nearly 100 seasoned service companies who know Eichlers inside and out.

When it comes to ensuring satisfying homeownership, it's all about the SMEs.

The what?!

If you're unfamiliar with this wonky acronym, worry not. The answer is arriving to the mailboxes of Eichler owners around the Bay this week.

For owners of mid-century modern homes like Eichlers, the best place by far to find 'Subject Matter Experts'—that's the SME thing—is the Home Maintenance Directory print publication published annually by San Francisco-based Eichler Network.

"It's our Eichler experience that allows us to provide that high level of quality," says general contractor Michael Spehar, who owns the South Bay-based Building Company, one of the nearly 90 experts included in the just-released 2021 edition of the directory.

One of seven general contractors profiled in the directory's pages, Spehar adds, "We've learned so much over the years about Eichlers…[primarily] that it's an art to bring modern conveniences to these homes without compromising the original look and feel, and maintaining the integrity of the Eichler design."

That kind of dedication to modern homes abounds among the directory's array of different service professionals needed to buy, own, and protect one of these special homes. Whether you're looking for a realtor or a roofer, an electrician or an interior decorator, there are 30 different types of qualified professionals in the publication's 32 pages.

Fridays on the Homefront

Some of these SMEs have been at it long enough to see the home-buying public's attitudes change about Eichlers over the years. That includes Dave Stellman, owner of Palo Alto Glass.

"In the '70s and '80s, Eichlers were the less expensive alternative to more traditional housing in the Bay Area," Stellman recalls. "Today, Eichler homes are in demand as homeowners have grown to appreciate the open architecture and 'flow-through' glass design."

Knowledge about what it takes to maintain these homes has likewise evolved with the passing decades, and what makes these people experts is their ability to track that evolution.

"A thorough understanding of the ins and outs of Eichler homes is critical when working with homeowners on pricing and selling strategy," says veteran Eichler realtor Kevin Swartz of the South Bay's Erdal Swartz Team, "and also when answering questions from new buyers and their agents about Eichler maintenance, repairs, remodeling options, and costs."

"When purchasing an Eichler, you are not just buying a home—you are acquiring a lifestyle that only a select group appreciates and understands," notes another realtor in the directory, Eric Boyenga. As co-owner of the Boyenga Team, he adds with admiration, "It is a true testament to Joe Eichler's forward thinking that these homes are so highly sought after today, and that their demand continues to outstrip their supply."

Of course, with a finite supply of Eichlers in the world, sometimes the house you find is only a precursor to your dream home. That is another circumstance where the Home Maintenance Directory plays an essential role in your home-owning experience.