Chapter 87: Pretty Purple House

June 3, 2017 • Written by Christina Berry

So, yeah, after all that boring prep work it was the moment of truth.  Time for color. We have a bad track record with paint color selection, often painting a room two or three times before we finally find the right color. Didn’t want to have do that with the whole house, so this time we did some test strips. We knew we wanted something funky, and I’ve always had a soft spot for purple houses, so we aimed for the perfect shade of lavender. We auditioned a few colors, then would stand and stare at little color squares at different times of days to find the winner.

Finally, we dove in feet first with a five gallon bucket, or a couple.

And… Moment of truth.

Ohmygod! I love the color so much. Look, it’s the color of the wisteria flowers. It’s an easter egg bungalow. It’s so pretty!

Once the wall color was on and dry, we had to cover all of the stuff we wanted to remain purple with plastic so we could paint the trim a bright white.

And BOOM! Look at that gorgeous, gorgeous house! I’m so in love.

Once the porch ceiling was painted a gleaming white, it was time for our porch fans to go up. They’re Haiku, a brand of Big Ass Fans, and super swanky.

Sweet! The porch is really coming together, but now there was a major part missing. In order to paint, we removed the temporary front steps, so it was time to put the new permanent steps up. Errek had to set the supports at the right level.

And he created a concrete pad for the steps to sit on. We, of course, left our mark on it. That’s an infinity sign on the right, by the way. It’s harder than I thought to write in drying concrete with your finger.

Hold please, it’s time to eat a tiny pecan pie from Joe’s Bakery. Yumz!

With the pie eaten and concrete base in, it was time to put in the bottom posts and the step supports.

And finally, the pretty part. Errek started laying out the actual stair treads.

With the sun going down, we ran out of time to finish up the project by putting in the stair railing. But, we had a major deadline coming up. Actually, two major deadlines.

You see, this was April of 2016 and our wedding was April 23, 2016. We had guests coming from all over for the wedding so we needed to wrap up the house work and focus on the wedding work.

However, we also had an inspection due on April 19, 2016. Great timing, right? In order to pass our final inspection, we needed that stair railing, but Errek was busy at work every day. So guess who built us a temporary railing so we’d pass our final inspection?

If you guessed “Errek’s Best Man Jay” then you’d be right!

If you’ve read the older entries of this blog, then you know what a help Jay has been through the years. But nothing quite tops this. Jay flew in a week before the wedding so he and Errek and the boys could go to strip clubs and gun ranges for Errek’s Stag Night. But then Errek had to put in a couple of days more of work while Jay built our damn railing.

Best Best Man Ever!

And so, with this temp railing installed, we passed our final inspection on the house just days before the wedding. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!

After the wedding and the honeymoon, we pulled out the temp railing in order to build the permanent railing. Errek sanded the posts smooth, made slots for the steel and welded them to the posts.

Then, he primed and painted the posts and the slats.

Finally, he cut the posts down to size and added the Ipe end caps to finish them off.

The house was really starting to look marvelous. Nala, the neighbor’s cat, seemed to like it at least. Hi, Nala!

Nala’s taste in porches is not so discerning though, not like ours, and after months of using the porch as a wood shop, it needed some TLC.

So we power washed it clean.

We still need to sand, putty, and paint the rest of the porch railing and posts, but that’s not a rush for now. We also need to add trim to the corners of the house and the windows. Oh…wait, check it out. The corners are down, and some of the windows too.

Then he caulked them into place.

And he got a few windows done too.

But there wasn’t enough time to trim all of the windows, because we got very busy with some other exciting stuff…

As 2017 started, we started hiring some other crews to help us with the house. One of those crews completed one of the big jobs that was keeping us from ultimate curb appeal…


Skirting is that stuff that goes around the crawlspace of a house so you can’t see under it and cats can’t get down there to have loud sex, for example.

To prep, Errek cleaned out from under the house with the blower.

Then our terrific crew got to work. First, they put in rebar for support.

Then Errek welded then to the foundation so it would all move with the house rather than with the soil. *crossing fingers*

Then they put in the lath for the stucco backing.

Poured some concrete.

Then started building the stucco skirting.

It took several layers, then on the last one they smoothed it out to a lovely finish.

And finally…


Oh my god, it’s looking so good. There’s still a bit to be done: paint the top peak purple; trim out the rest of the windows; putty, sand, and paint the porch slats and posts; hang a porch swing; landscape fabulously… But really, that’s not much. For the most part, we’re done and the house looks as gorgeous as I’d hoped it would.

But first, we have another project to turn our attention to. That’s right, after about ten years of telling everyone who will listen, “so we’re going to build this big back building with a wood shop on the bottom an office/studio on the second floor, and a third floor deck up top,” and after about ten years of people smiling and nodding at us like we’re crazy, we’re putting our money where our mouth is. Ew…germs, money is gross and you shouldn’t put it in your mouth, but that’s besides the point. The point is, progress is awesome, and honey pies, we got a whole lotta progress coming up. Stay tuned for the next update with a whole lotta progress.