Construction Photography

Tucson Home Renovation: Lessons Learned

This post summarizes five lessons learned during the renovation of my 1956-vintage home in Tucson, Arizona. The renovation project began in spring 2017 and ended in fall 2019. Lesson #1: Add “Project Manager” To Your Resume Doesn’t matter what your day job is. If you’re having your house fixed up, the project manager will be…

Photo Essay: Fence Top Screen Installation

INTRODUCTION: Welcome to post #13 in my Tucson Home Renovation series! This post features the return of one of my favorite contractors, this time for the installation of a fence top screen. In May 2017, I hired Affordable Fence & Gates for the first time. Their mission: To replace my falling down (and termite-infested) wooden…

Photo Essay: Exterior Painting

INTRODUCTION: Welcome to post #12 in my Tucson Home Renovation series! This one moves us into the final phase of the exterior work, and it’s all about careful preparation. When it comes to home improvement jobs, painting is one of those things that a lot of people think they can do. You’ve probably seen the…

Photo Essay: Front Walk Replacement

INTRODUCTION: Welcome to post #11 in my Tucson Home Renovation series! This one addresses a major safety issue at my place. Before I got too far into my home renovation adventures, I asked a home inspector to take a good, hard look around my property. He flagged a lot of things, and I’m glad he…

Photo Essay: Exterior Door Repair and Replacement

INTRODUCTION: The Tucson Home Renovation series hits double digits! Enjoy post #10 … When it came to facilitating a grand entrance, my exterior doors left a lot to be desired. The previous owners had painted them a horrid shade of red, and the security doors were secure in name only. Matter of fact, one of…

Photo Essay: Plumbing Adventures

INTRODUCTION: It’s time for post #9 in the Tucson Home Renovation series! Let’s take a look at what’s happening beneath my house. Plumbing is one of those things that we don’t pay attention to until it calls attention to itself. Ever heard those stories about people who left their house for an hour or so,…

Photo Essay: Greywater Harvesting Installation

INTRODUCTION: Happy fall and welcome to post #8 in the Tucson Home Renovation series! This one’s about saving water while cooling my back yard microclimate. So far, this home renovation journey has been all about the professionals. Licensed contractors, subcontractors, and all the fun that comes with overseeing their work. Then comes the quest to…

Photo Essay: Carport Gate and Fence Installation

INTRODUCTION: It’s post #7 in the Tucson Home Renovation series! This one features a company that I’ve worked with before — Affordable Fence & Gates. This was one of those projects that made me feel like I was in charge of a construction site. The Crest Contracting crew that had done my roof and carport…

Photo Essay: Roof and Carport Replacement

INTRODUCTION: Up to post #6 in the Tucson Home Renovation series! And things are looking up — toward the roof and carport. This Middle-Aged House is 61 years old and still has the original roof. Although I’ve lived here for 13 years and have never experienced a leak, that doesn’t mean that my roof will…

Photo Essay: Ductwork Problem Solving

INTRODUCTION: Here we are, at post #5 in my Tucson Home Renovation series! And let me tell you, the renovation of This Middle-Aged House has been full of surprises. This post tells the story of one of them. After my electrical and HVAC upgrades were finished, it was time for a ventilation duct cleaning. So,…

Photo Essay: Bathtub Refinishing

INTRODUCTION: My poor old iron bathtub has seen better days. Some of its troubles were inflicted by a previous owner of This Middle-Aged House. Said owner attempted to give the tub a new look by repainting it. Epic fail. Time to call Alfonso and Alex, the Tub Tamers. In just two hours, they refinished my…

Photo Essay: Fence Replacement

INTRODUCTION: Daytime temperatures are now in the hundreds, but hot weather isn’t slowing my Tucson home renovation project. Here’s the third in a series of photo essays, featuring the fence that surrounds This Middle-Aged House! My old board fence was in dire need of replacement. As in, sooner rather than later. Time to do some…

Photo Essay: Electrical Service and Heating and Cooling Upgrades

INTRODUCTION: My Tucson home renovation adventure continues. Here’s the second in a series of photo essays, starring This Middle-Aged House! I’d like to start this post with some advice: Before you get too far into your home renovation adventures, hire a home inspector. A pre-renovation inspection will give you a big picture view of your property….

Photo Essay: Furnace Room Door Replacement

INTRODUCTION: Springtime can only mean one thing at This Middle-Aged House: It’s time to fix the place up! Here’s the first in a series of Tucson home renovation photo essays. After decades of service, my furnace room door was done. Falling apart. Kaput. Time to call Tucson’s Green Handyman, Jesse Micander. His mission: Replace the…

Photo Essay: On-Again, Off-Again Winter

Winter in southeastern Pennsylvania is one of those trips through months of waist-deep snow and sub-zero temperatures. In some years, you get the full arctic treatment. (Years 1985 and 1986, I’m looking right at you.) Other years? Let’s say that winter is on one day, then off the next. Here’s a nostalgia trip through my…

Bicycle Photography: Free the Bike Racks!

There’s a big streetcar construction project underway in central Tucson. The construction is wreaking havoc on the smooth flow of vehicular traffic, the survival hopes of small, locally owned businesses in an already tough economy, and the ability of bicyclists to ride safely and find places to park. The hip and happening section of 4th…

Photo Essay: Front Yard Tuneup

Well, my plans for a quiet 4th of July afternoon at the computer were rather rudely interrupted. Our teaser of a monsoon season decided to let loose on drought-parched Tucson, Arizona. Loud thunder. Lots of lightning. Photo op… The sight of a flood near my front porch did not fill me with joy. But the…

Construction Photography: Free Gas Meter Replacement

So, I’m sitting here in the studio, minding my own business, and what should I hear but a-knocking at my door. It’s Pat from Heath Consultants, and guess what. It’s time to replace my gas meter. For free. Mind you, Heath Consultants (under contract with Southwest Gas) isn’t making this offer out of the goodness…

Event Photography: Weatherization Workshop

If you’re like most Tucsonans, you live in a house that does a lousy job of keeping the winter’s cold outside. Which means that you’re left with the uncomfortable choice between living in an icebox or dealing with heating bills that rival your mortgage payment. Almost all houses inside the Tucson city limits were built…

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