I was about to chime in on a post over at the Eichler Network, but it started to get a bit long and it seemed here might be a better place for links, etc.
In the past four years, we've met a lot of Eichler homeowners -- often while buying/selling/trading/rescuing house parts. One of the biggest questions is: "Will anyone want this?" (and) "Is it valuable?" Well, something is worth as much as what someone is willing to pay for it, but we've found that only a few things are actually "sell-able" (for a few good reasons, really) while others indeed have "handy-to-have" value.
Sell-able: Many things that are easily swap-able and aren't available as reproductions are definitely worth trying to sell to an enthusiastic renovator at a reasonable cost. However, don't think you're going to fund a new kitchen based on the excellent original quality of the kitchen you're trying to rip out. 90% of the stuff in your home is in "give-away/pay-it-forward" zone, but you can get creative in the ways to make it work for you /and/ help out the Eichler community.
- Light switches: The brown and white rocker-style switches have long been discontinued, so when a switch burns out or a homeowner is looking to add an extra light, these can be semi valuable // Around $5 each seems to be the going rate.
- Interior door handles: Many modern replacements exist, but as long as they're in good shape (i.e.: if you can get them off in one piece) the original Sargent handles can have some value // Generally about $10-20 each depending on condition and configuration. The non-locking closet knobs are often a bit harder to find simply because there's fewer of them around (2 per house, versus as many as 8 locking/privacy knobs).
- Exterior door handles: These might be one of the more useful and valuable as the exterior escutcheon plate is iconic and the reproductions don't look quite right. It's hard to get the door handle off in one piece and even harder to find a knob in good shape, but these can generally be re-keyed and reused // You never really see these pop up for sale, but should fetch $75-100 depending on their condition (note that the escutcheon is the most valuable part). However, know that knobs with a 40-year use tend not to work as smoothly as new ones out of the box, so set your expectations appropriately if you're re-using them.
- Light fixtures: These are some of the most sought-after parts as they were easily replaced in the 70s by brass/oak ceiling fans. However, note that some reproductions do exist. Nonetheless, before you toss these out, try to offer them up -- either as globes ($10-15 each) or whole units ($50-75 each). Globes are still available as new, but shipping costs are very high. Eichler fixtures are also similar to ones used on other MCM houses, so Etsy or eBay are also good places to try to buy or sell. We sold an exterior light from Terra Linda for $75 on eBay once (on an auction that started at $5) while interior fixtures from the same house went unclaimed in the free-section.
- Original appliances: These can have a bit of value as scrap or for parts, but not a lot. Many are simply donated to the cause, but folks have gotten a hundred dollars or so for a perfectly working, well-cared-for oven... however, remember, if someone is replacing said oven, it's likely because it's busted. We rescued a semi-working cook-top and oven and used the parts to bring Greg and Diane's semi-working oven and cooktop back to life (thanks JJ). If you are replacing working or non-working appliances, try offering them up for a low-cost providing someone hauls them away -- a clever way to save yourself dumping fees as well as giving someone who needs them some spare parts. (To be clear, a 40 year old oven is best used for spare parts... if you're completely renovating your kitchen, get a new oven).
Give-away: Most things you're tearing off your house might seem valuable, but likely aren't for one reason or another. We live in a "community" of homes and while renovations are indeed expensive, it seems more the case that part/pieces have a better history of being donated or sold for a low cost (or traded for beer) than viewed as a revenue stream. However, you might be able to work a deal with someone that won't necessarily "earn" you money, but "save" you a bit...
- Kitchens: On the "save a bit" note, it seems that original kitchens have little street-value because of their hard-life and custom configurations. However, if you can get an industrious person to rip out your old kitchen (and take it away for themselves), that will save you hundreds of dollars in demo and dump costs. Here in the East Bay, it'll cost between $300-500 to tear out and dump an entire kitchen (no appliances) when you figure in labor, transportation, clean-up and dump fees. We harvested JJ's kitchen and used the "hanging coffin" in Greg and Diane's very original house (oddly, their model didn't have one, but it fit perfectly)... and JJ got free demo and hauling.
- Interior doors: The thing about interior doors is that they are custom fit for that specific location and swing-orientation. Meaning that there's a greater chance that I'll win the lottery than to get a Palo-Alto door to fit in a Castro-valley home (or even in a house next door, but since the same contractor likely matched doors in adjacent home, there's a chance there). Plus, you can still get brand-new luan faced doors just like the original for $40 and have them matched to your existing doors for about the same price. Matching means you bring your old busted-up doors to a door shop (Ashby Lumber or Dolan's here in Concord) and they shape the new door to the same size: hinge locations, handle hole, the works... it's pretty trick. The new luan doors are easily finished with Watco Danish Oil and wax. Which brings me to hinges... Hager hinges were used in most of the Eichlers I've seen and I recently purchased brand new 3.5in 1/4in radius interior hinges for under $2/hinge at Ashby Lumber. Given the paint build-up on your old ones (and high cancer-risk of many paint strippers), do yourself a favor and just buy new ones and take the old ones to a recycling center or building re-use center.
- Screen doors: You'd think these would be worth something, but unless they're absolutely pristine and match your doors perfectly (i.e.: they came from the same model in the same tract), folks are likely better off getting new ones which are available through window shops. We got spankin' clean new ones for less than it would cost to refurbish old ones -- and they look exactly the same. However, if the doors were free, one might be willing to put in some elbow grease to shine up the frames and instal new screens. The frames, however, are made of aluminum and can definitely be recycled -- as can the frames of your old sliding doors (but please save the door hardware on each).
- Patio doors (sliding glass doors): It seems when folks break a door, they're more apt to either replace the glass or replace the whole door (frame and all), so used sliding glass doors have little value outside that of the aluminum (scrap-value). Last time I rescued doors, it took a lot of effort breaking out (and cleaning up) the glass for the $20 I got at the scrapyard, but your-mileage-may-vary. If you're planning on re-using old doors from another house in a renovation, make sure (1) that the old doors meet modern codes and your tolerance for safety and (2) that they're pristine. In the old Arcadia doors (or any door, really), 40 years of use can take a toll on interior parts which are otherwise hard to replace. If you do end up replacing your Arcadia sliders, please contact me (see below).
- Patio door parts: Now these are darn handy. Handles and lock switches have little street-value, but are easy to rescue with a phillips-head screwdriver. I've started warehousing them and passing them on to homeowners who need them, so if you're going to dump your patio doors, drop me a line. Again, these aren't necessarily money-makers, but a non-bent handle or a working lock mechanism is a nice thing to resuce and give a second life to a homeowner in need.
- Closet doors: Like the interior doors, these come in quite a few sizes and unless they're moving three houses down, it's hard to make them work without modification in some way. The lives they've lead have also been hard, so most have multiple coats of paint and wall-papered panels. If your set is pristine, you might get $50-100/set, but otherwise, alternatives exist and new ones can be made. However, like the screen doors if they were free, one might be willing to put in the work. We've rescued several from the Peninsula that have found second lives in East Bay homes, but not without a good bit of re-working (and sanding).
- Paneling: Like the above, because of a hard life, custom configuration, modern-replace-ability, etc. the original paneling (inside and out) has limited value. The best course of action might be like the kitchen-plan above and to save a bit by having the new owners remove it.
Again, this is based on our experiences and yours certainly might differ, however, you might use the above as a guide before you off up "free light switches" or that "$200 interior door"...