Hometown Takeover: Episode 3 – Acts of Service

When I think about Episode 3 of Hometown Takeover Wetumpka, I think about “Acts of Service”. Ella Roberts and the Norton’s are both programmed to simply serve others. All of their careers are services that we take for granted every day but would painfully miss if they were gone. They were chosen because they not only serve in these types of roles but they do it with all of their heart, soul and mind. They were made for it, and we wanted their spaces to be made for them.

The Roberts renovation was flat out fun. The backyard was a complete jungle – at least 5 bug bites per day. This was exacerbated by a bad drainage problem. We were able to help fix the drainage situation by installing a French drain to move water off the property. At the reveal, we were outside for about 4 hours before someone yelled “I haven’t even been bit by a bug yet!!” It’s the small victories that make you feel good.

Let’s talk about this tree cutting scene – the producers make fun of me to this DAY for how nervous I was in this scene. I was hiding behind the cameras with my head in my hands just pacing. I am sure there is some behind-the-scenes footage of this on someone’s phone as everyone was thoroughly enjoying it. I had full faith in our people and in Jon Tjon-Joe-Pin, but that did not mean something crazy couldn’t happen and the tree go right through Ella’s house. How disastrous would that have been!

Ella’s renovation was all about adding functionality to the home. We didn’t add square footage but MAN her home feels so much bigger when you walk into it now. Often you don’t need square footage, you just need it to be practical and function in a way that fits your lifestyle best. By flipping the kitchen and dining areas, the space was completely opened up. Ben’s rolling cart in the kitchen may not have been his biggest build, but it is one of my favorites. It is beautiful and practical. Fun fact: we had some calla lilies on the rolling cart that Erin leaned down to smell right before reveal and some of the pollen stained her shirt. We frantically ran to Tapp 18 to grab a new one – which you will see her wearing in this episode. We have so many good exterior space renovations in this series I could go on and on about them, but the grilling area for Ella was simply stunning, and something that you could replicate in your own home. We built the grilling station out of concrete block, leaving ventilation areas. We then wrapped the block in brick to give it a pretty shell. Robert Henry of Robert F. Henry Tile Company actually poured a concrete countertop on this space to give it a gorgeous natural look. The countertop is not rough like concrete – it is smoothed over and sealed to give it a finished, polished look.  Don’t knock it before you try it. I think it is going to be a VERY popular option in the coming years. Knowing that Ella is enjoying the new space this summer and it is giving her not only the opportunity to host all of her friends and family but also a safe haven to relax and recharge herself so she is able to give back to the community, even more, is what gives me the warm and fuzzies about this renovation. We are so blessed to have Ella Roberts in our community.

Coaches Corner was by far the most stressful renovation of the series. Building-wise, it seems as if it is the most simple renovation. You remove what’s there, paint, insulate, add HVAC, close it in with windows, and Voila! However, those were no small windows, and shipping during COVID-19 was as bad in this time as it ever has been. Our glass vendors did an absolutely amazing job in assisting us with getting them here and for the install. Let me paint a picture for you… The glass install should take a total of about 3 days. Essentially everything else in the renovation has to be completed before the glass is installed, except for the spectacular bar piece (aka one of the most important parts). Say we are supposed to reveal on the 10th of a month. The glass was set to be here on the 6th of that month. This left 1 day to get e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g done. Construction, cleaned, staged, and revealed. I have anxiety typing about it even now and it’s over! So, we made an executive decision to drive 16 hours, pick up the glass, and bring it back to Sweet Home Alabama. This gave us about 56 hours until reveal time instead of 24. We’ll take it! Now back to the anxiety part… These windows were measured based upon the existing structure and the fencing that was there in the beginning. There was no time for these windows to not fit or even worse, break. It had to be perfect the first time. When we started installing the windows, it wasn’t easy. It took what seemed like forever. In the end, they all fit and we had the best group high five of the season. It was stressful and anxiety filled but do you want to know the worst part of this renovation? Smelling that delicious food alllllll day long. It would be 9 AM and we were starving just from smelling the leftover grease and seasonings from the night before. The fried pickles are to die for and the Eddie Burger really is ah-mazing. You’ve got to try it with a cold beverage on the new bar ledge, and I prefer to sit at the joints as they are tied together with little wooden states of Alabama and Mississippi – symbolizing Ben & Erin coming to town. We now all have a place to sit and enjoy the views of the Coosa River. You’ll find yourself wanting to come back in every season as the views change. As often as the seasons change, Wetumpka will be changing too and growing for the better. We are excited to be along for the ride.

Until next time,



Flooring:  Kardean French Oak – Gardner Flooring & Design

Appliances: Cohens  Need Specifics? Reach out!

Lighting:  Inline Lighting

Countertops and Tile – Robert F. Henry Tile Co.

Olympia Quartz countertops and poured concrete countertops

Jeffery Court Marble Backsplash Tile – favorite of the season!

Staging – Staging items provided by Design Team, Set to Sell | @settosell and Beth Bryan Designs | @bethbryandesigns

Pergola – Brown Construction, Charlie Brown

Paint Colors –


Trim: Valspar Quail Egg

Front Door: Valspar Nostalgia


                             Walls: Valspar Du Jour

Trim, Ceiling and Doors: Valspar Quail Egg

Cabinets: SW Compatible Cream


                             Valspar Exterior Stain, Cedar



Muralist: We are sad to say that our beloved muralist, Wilson, has recently passed away. For future projects, Coating Systems can be contacted for estimates.

Lighting:  Inline Lighting

Design Carpentry – Long Leaf Woodshop

Staging –  Staging items provided by Design Team, Set to Sell | @settosell and Beth Bryan Designs | @bethbryandesigns

Signage – Publications Press 

Paint Colors –

Exterior Front:

Body: Valspar Decadent Red

Accent: Valspar Alpine Top

Trim: Valspar Boisterous Blue


Logo Signage: Valspar Terra Cotta Red, Ambitious, and Boisterous Blue