Skip to main content

See also:

Good bones is key to your home remodeling

Example of Eichler Home in great condition
Example of Eichler Home in great condition

I went house hunting last weekend. Beforehand, I had scoured the list of open houses and found what appeared to be one insanely great deal. It was being shown between 1 pm and 3 pm. The photos made it look to be in fair shape. I excitedly pulled up to a classic 1956 Eichler home, constructed by a well-respected builder in Kansas City, back in the day. This would have been THE home in Hollywood when it first rolled out in the early 50's, however, I was sadly disappointed in its condition.

Major cracks ran through the foundation of every room. Two- inch drops within six feet of flooring cannot be ignored and was reflected in the cracked tiles and cracked cement. I smelled mold in all the rooms. The kitchen cabinetry was made of thin particle board painted white. Yes, the layout was ultra modern and unique, but by today's standards, anything short of solid wood makes me wince. The trim on the doorways and closets were all a veneer that was flaking apart and curling up on the edges. Landscaping was desperately needed, but that I could accept. I envisioned a trio of white birch trees by the walkway. The other fundamental issues destroyed all hope. The framing and windows could be salvaged, but the house needed to be raised and new slab foundation needed to be laid along with new air duct runs, new plumbing and a new electrical system. This home would have to go to someone with extremely deep pockets who loves renovations for the fun of it.

Unfortunately, all the cool furniture (mid century modern) and home accessories (starburst clock and blue pine cone dish patterns)that I would have lined up, could not make up for the heart wrenching defects. Start with "good bones" and you're home free.