July 20, 2011

The Red Mountain Report

by: Taz Loomans


What’s happening at Red Mountain?


One of the existing airconditioners did work, although not very well as it was old. The other airconditioner didn’t work at all. So we replaced both with brand new Goodman 14-SEER units.

The big AC-drop at Red Mountain. They have to use a crane to get those heavy units up on the roof!

Normally you can get a $400 rebate from APS for installing a 14-SEER unit. However, we got a deal from a contractor that we trusted but was not APS-certified that significantly surpassed the benefits of the rebates so we decided to forgo the rebates. But you may want to take advantage of these rebates yourself and here’s how you apply.


We are removing the existing insulation on one of the units as it is water-damaged and we suspect mold up in the attic. Removing the insulation will clear the matter up and let us see what’s going on up there as it is causing a musty smell in the house.

We are adding about 11.5 inches of cellulose blow-in insulation to each unit giving us an R-38 insulation value. We are receiving a $250 rebate for each unit from APS for adding this insulation. (We are using an APS-qualified insulation contractor). But to qualify for these rebates, we paid $99 for an APS Home Performance audit for each unit. Still works out great. Sweet! Here’s how to apply for these Home Performance rebates.


We had the original galvanized iron plumbing in one unit and (thankfully) copper plumbing in the other. Galvanized iron plumbing is famous for getting corroded and delivering water red with rust. Not good.

Some of the galvanized iron piping that was removed. You can see how corroded it gets.

We replaced the galvanized iron plumbing with Pex plumbing, which is a cost-effective, flexible and popular alternative to copper.

See that flexible plastic-looking piping? That’s Pex.

We also removed all the old sinks (except for the kitchen sinks which are fine) and old inefficient toilets and gave them to our plumber who said he could use them.

The old toilets sitting in the living room, waiting to go to their new home.

We are replacing them with low-flow, WaterSense toilets and faucets.

Did you know you can now get these great WaterSense, enlongated bowl toilets for only $99 each?



One of the units had these cheap-o cabinets, recently replaced, with no character and just plain unattractive. We gave these cabinets to our plumber who is going to use them in his garage.

The existing, blah cabinets in one of the units.

And we will put these up instead! They are beautiful Youngstown cabinets we scored from a Haver house that is being remodeled. We found them on a tip from mid-century modern artifact guru Allen Enochs-White. Nice! The plan is to refinish them down to the raw metal and seal them. I’ll keep you posted!

The Youngstown cabinets stacked up in the Haver house before we took them to Red Mountain.

Double Oven:

Check out this gorgeous double-oven from the early 60s that we got from Eve’s Treasures in Sun City on another tip by Allen. Unbelievable condition and great price! We will probably modify the opening in our existing wall oven cabinet to fit this in…


We got this vintage 60s stove at Goodwill about 6 months ago, way before Red Mountain was even a twinkle in our eye. But we knew it would come in handy one day when we did purchase and renovate our next property. The price of this mint-condition stove is – get ready – only $10! And it is in brand new condition!

That’s it for today! I’ll keep you posted on our renovation progress on the next Red Mountain Report.

Photo credit: All photos by the author.

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3 Responses

  1. Will Novak says:

    Any plans to spring for a solar hot water heater up on the roof? There are numerous rebates for them as well, and they work pretty well from my experience. It makes a lot of sense in AZ to funnel the water through a roof panel and let it heat the H20.

    • Taz Loomans says:

      Hi Will, I think solar water heaters are excellent, they actually make financial sense. But it turns out the existing water heaters at Red Mountain are not too old and we’re not going to replace them right now. But solar will definitely be a consideration when we have to replace it.

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