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Eichler siding

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

We had some older exterior siding panels replaced, and the contractors used siding from Eichler Siding. To our dismay, we found when we came back from a trip, that the new panels were a) about 1/4" thinner, and b) not from plywood, but masonite. This made the new siding pieces stick out and generally look dull and cheap in comparison.

According to Eichler Sidings website this is how the panels (narrow grooves) now are manufactured.

We are now planning to tear down the newly installed panels and are in search for alternatives that more look like the existing (plywood) panels we have (likely the original -60).
Can anyone recommend a source of good Eichler siding? Please e-mail me directly at zingozezarAThotmailDOTcom

/Gloria

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Joined: Mar 17 2004

Gloria,

First of all, as the owner of Eichler Siding, I'm saddened to hear of your experience and I would like to learn more about your problem.

We have used the material called "MDO" for the Thinline pattern for many years now, and have had very few complaints. Indeed, it is very smooth, and needs to be primed with a high quality exterior primer and thick napped roller so the texture will blend in better with you original siding. We use MDO (which actually costs more than bare plyood) because it is an industry leader in weather protection. So there is a trade off of "texture" for "weather protection." Most folks are grateful for the added protection.

The thickness issue is very disconcerting to me and I'm not sure what is going on there. I wonder if somehow your original siding for some reason is much thicker than the normal Eichler siding, because you describe it as being a 1/4" too thin. That is a major difference, and certainly a problem that should have been discovered before installation.

In any event I would be more then happy to come to your home and take a look at what you have. Please let me know ASAP because I will be out of town next week.

Let's see if we can solve this.
thanks,
Jeff

Jeff Nichols
Eichler Siding

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

maybe there was some sort of sheathing installed below the original stuff? Couldn't you install a 1/4 inch sheet of sheathing to level things out?

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

Hi Jeff,

The issue is estethic and being true to the original, rather than durability. When replacing only parts of a wall with the new siding - the differences are all too obvious. (I would say that the thickness difference is closer to 1/8" than 1/4") . One would assume that I am not the only one with these issues and that here ought to be a market. I would gladly rip off and replace my new panels if I new of a source.

Can I special order "original wooden style" siding from Eichler Siding?

PS. I have seen bad examples of newer plywood siding where the surface was quite coarse, and the grooves at times penetrated the upper wood layer increasing the risk of water damage. This is of course not desirable either as the original is quite smooth, although with a wooden grain. DS.

Thanks,
G

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Joined: Mar 17 2004

Gloria,

Well you have hit the nail on the head (pun intended I guess)

What you have observed in the rougher texture is the problem Mr. Eichler left us. You see an actual wood surface in siding material is only produced by plywood mills in a "rough sawn" texture. You are correct, it is much too rough and most homeowners do not like it.

The MDO material which we use, stands for Medium Density Overlay. It is not Masonite. Many many painters and folks in the know, regard MDO as a very superior product. It will not weather check and split like regular plywood, rough or smooth will. Yes, it is smooth, but like I said, that can be dealt with by a good paint application which is crucial anyway to protect your investment from the elements.

Plus like I said, plywood siding that is milled with the ship ap edge for a correct joint is only available in rough sawn, or in MDO. If plain plywood is used, the ship lap joint can be added by an experienced installer or cabinet maker, however, the sheet will then be undersized and it will not fit correctly. I'm not trying to be overly technical, but these are the issues we are left with.

As far as the thickness issue, actually no, we have found folks (homeowners and professional installers) very happy. You may have a unique situation. I have gone to many Eichler homes after the job has been completed, and the siding looks great. In fact Thinline is our most popular product.

I would like to hear from other homeowers if you have had the same thickness problem.

I will be out of town however for a week from May 8-16.

warmly,
Jeff

Jeff Nichols
Eichler Siding

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Joined: Jan 16 2004

We are very Happy with what Thin-Line we have replaced and will be back for more this summer for a Gate Project as well as a few more panels for the side yard.

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Joined: Jan 4 2004

Hello Jeff, Gloria;

I have removed and installed hundreds of sheets of siding on Eichlers, and it has been my experience (in the Peninsula, anyway) that the original redwood siding is actually about 19/32" (or about 5/8") thick.
Certainly, I am not about to generalize that all "thinline" siding is this thickness, and as I have not worked on many (only 2) Ecihler homes in Marin, none in the east bay, and only 4 south of Palo Alto, I really can not, with any authority, attest to the fact that no original siding was made with 1/2" material. I, have however seen 1/2" replacement siding installed next to the original 5/8" (or 19/32") material, and the difference is noticeable. But fear not, the Renaissance Man has a simple solution to this problem:
On the studs where Jeff's siding is installed, simply attach a shim (or ripping from a table saw, also known as furring strips) 1/8" thick, cover with tar paper or tyvex, and the elevation change will be corrected.
Good luck, and I hope this info was helpful.

renman

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Joined: Jan 29 2004

Gloria,

I don't like the smooth stuff either. However, I have found and purchased siding from an alternate vendor that I prefer. I will send the info to you, but I'm in Austria right now. Here are the advantages of my alternate source:

- Much closer texture match to the original
- Cheaper per sheet
- Mid Peninsula (easier pickup / cheap delivery to South Bay)
- Uses very high quality plywood (called Breckenridge?) with few very knots.
- Can also produce redwood exterior corner joints.

I got this tip from an highly regarded Eichler contractor. I think you will be much more impressed with this product. I was. I will get you the info when I return later in the week.

Cheers,

Robert

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Joined: Mar 17 2004

Gloria and Robert,

I am familiar with the Breckenridge product that Robert has referred to, and yes it is 5/8" thick and it is a bit rougher. It is a Mahogany, single piece face which means it has no patches in it. I can mill thinline out of the Breckenridge product and yes it is a less expensive than the MDO, however it will not weather nearly as well as the MDO. In fact, we have had some complaints in the past with the stability of the Breckenridge product, being "wavy" and in some cases delamination.

In any case, renman's observation about the siding on the Peninsula being 5/8" is interesting. Since we only supply the material and don't install it, we would have no way of knowing if indeed different neighborhoods have variations in the thickness.

I would like to hear from others especially installers who have used our siding, and find out how serious the thickness issue is.

We want to produce a product that meets the needs of Eichler homeowners and have done so for over 15 years now. If the thickness issue is causing problems please let us know via email or this chat room.

Thanks for your input.

Jeff

Jeff Nichols
Eichler Siding

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Joined: Jun 3 2004

Hello Jeff,

I might have the same problem with matching siding thickness as Gloria. My contractor installed some new panels (and parts of) some weeks ago, alledgedly from Eichlersiding, and they are visibly thinner than the original.

If you'd like to come by to take a look, send me an email so we can set up a time;
bengtATaxisDOTcom
I am in the Fairbrae neighborhood of Sunnyvale.

/Ben

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Joined: May 6 2003

Jeff, I want to commend you for handling this problem as opportunity for innovation. A lessor person would react defensively, but you are willing to address the issue head-on and make changes if that's the right thing to do for Eichler homeowners.

We bought siding from you folks last summer (the re-sawn stuff) and found your company excellent to do business with. You and your wife were very patient with us, letting us leave our siding on your drive way for much too long while we figured out how to fit it into our mini-van (since we were too broke after buying our Eichler to spring for delivery!).

Keep up the good work!

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