Choosing House Style For New Build

  • November 1, 2017
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Ever wonder exactly what exactly “Spanish/Mediterranean” and other home descriptions mean? What does a builder mean when he talks about “Tudor detailing?” What do the homes look like in the neighborhood in which you plan to build? Are they Country or French? Your search through a sea of home plans to find the right one for you and your family will be easier if you have a clear understanding of what kinds of house styles are available, what kind you prefer and how the outside look of the house influences the inside layout.

If you’re like me you’ve probably turned on HGTV and heard people saying real estate buzz words and have no idea what they are talking about. May be you’re in the market for a home so you generally have an idea of real estate catch phrases, but we would like to break it down once and for all on a few housing terms. Here are details on house styles with specific examples that refer to actual home plans offered from London Elite Trades, a building service offering the full spectrum of options and building caveats.

European style romance

“European or Euro styling” covers many different types of house styles developed over the centuries in varied countries of Europe. Many of today’s “European” styled homes do not completely replicate the original designs, but instead are loose interpretations highlighting selected elements. The advantage is that you can have an attractive home that reflects the flavor of a period or country, without it looking so extreme or different from other homes in your neighborhood that it looks out of place. Here are details on how to spot three of the most popular European styles

French House

French: If you like formal, but graceful decorative details, a French style home may be the one for you. Exteriors of these home often incorporate: wedge-shaped keystone details above the windows; quoins– a detail that looks like interlocking blocks-in the left and right side corners of the facade; arched and multi-paned windows; copper-topped window bays; and shutters. The exterior surface of the French style home is usually made with brick or stucco. Inside, the layout of the rooms is usually formal, with distinct living and dining rooms.

Spanish House

Spanish/Mediterranean: If you like open, sprawling interiors, look into building a Spanish/Mediterranean style home. The exteriors are usually surfaced in stucco, with lots of arches and columns. The most distinctive feature is a low-pitched, reddish tiled roof. Modern interpretations of the Spanish/Mediterranean style are flowing inside and out, with simple lines and airy spaces. This style is most popular in the Southern states and California.

Tudor House

Tudor: If you are an Anglophile and everything British is your cup of tea, think Tudor! The styling is based loosely on English homes of the late Medieval period. The distinctive exterior is made with half timbers-angled planks painted brown or other darkish colors. These mock beams–for they are only decorative and not true structural beams– complement these other elements commonly used on the exterior: stucco, stone and wood. Many Tudors also have massive chimneys or steep gables. Inside, the interiors can be formal with distinct divisions between rooms, arched entryways, and tall, narrow windows.

So there you have it folks tell your friends, partner, or real estate agent confidently about French, Spanish/Mediterranean, and Tudor architecture. May be it will even help you in your next home purchase or re-model.

My Top 5 Podcasts Of 2017

  • January 21, 2017
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Here are my top 5 podcasts for 2017. I listen to these weekly.

1) Tim Ferris Podcast

2) Lewis Howes The School of Greatness Podcast

3) Joe Rogan

4) The #ASKGARYVEE Show Podcast

5) Bulletproof Radio by Dave Asprey Podcast

Let me know if you think anything else should be on the list! I think in life you’re limited by time, can’t listen to everything. I’ve learned a ton from listening to the above Podcasts weekly.

Happy Thanksgiving 2014!

  • November 26, 2014
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Happy Thanksgiving 2014 Everyone

To all my readers I want to wish everyone a Happy Thangsgiving. I hope whatever you do on Thanksgiving gives you minimal stress and maximum enjoyment. I think this time of year it’s important to reflect on what the true nature of the holidays are. It’s not about the presents, the decorations, or the perfect party it’s about re-connecting with family and friends.

Once again Happy Thanksgiving 2014 Everyone!


Nostalgic Look At Olympic Ski Ballet

  • February 16, 2014
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Nostalgic Look At Olympic Ski Ballet

Did you know at one time there was an Olympic event called Ski Ballet? Take a look at these epic videos showing just how amazing the ski ballet actually was.

These videos are the best of the best:

1985 Breckenridge Ski Ballet

Hermann Reitberger – Men’s ballet final, Calgary Olympic Games 1988

Ski ballet – Rune Kristiansen – Ballet event from the 1993 World Cup

MENS BALLET SKI – Alberville Olympic Winter Game 1992

Bring Ski Ballet back!

Yahoo Acquires Ptch In Surprising Move

  • December 7, 2013
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Yahoo Acquires Ptch: What You Need To Know

Yahoo made a surprising move recently that it has acquired the mobile photo & video editing mobile app Ptch. The mobile app Ptch was backed by DreamWorks Animation spinoff DWA Investments and unveiled a year ago.

Here’s what you need to know:

– Yahoo paid 6.5 million of Ptch

– The Ptch app will shut down on Jan. 2nd 2013

– 3 employees at Ptch ended up joining Yahoo according to Business Insider. At peak development Ptch had 32 employees.

– According to Business Insider no founder or employee got a piece of the $6.5 million, only job offers. All of the cash went to Dream Works.

Yahoo’s been a very interesting company to watch lately with the large number of acquisitions they have made.

Ptch, logo

Recent Trip to Bali, Indonesia – Thoughts

  • September 13, 2013
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Recent Trip to Bali, Indonesia – Thoughts

I recently top a trip to Bali, Indonesia. I went to see friends from the states that are staying in Bali for a year. The trip was only for 3 weeks, but I feel I had experiences that will forever change my perspective on life.

There are few times in life where you really put yourself out there. I feel once you do there are rewards to be had you rarely will find anytime else. Getting to Bali required sitting for 20 hours on the air plane and/or inside an airport. I think that right there would stop a lot of people from taking the journey to Indonesia.

Bali Trip

This type of breathtaking view is common in Bali, Indonesia

Upon arriving my friends were no where in site. I was met at the airport with heat, humidity, and a barrage of people asking me if there could carry my bags or give me a ride in their taxi. I went to an Internet Cafe and luckily they sent me an e-mail assuring me the were stuck in traffic and on there way. They arrived about 45 minutes later.

The Bali adventure began… I will blog about Bali more in the future, but here are some brief thoughts I take away from the trip.

– There is a lot we take for granite in the United States

– Architecture is way more interesting in Bali. Makes most of our construction design look boring and cheap. I think this has to do with the availability of inexpensive labor in Bali.

– People frequently act entitled in the US (Including myself from time-to-time)

– We have great medical facilities in the US

– I prefer driving a car to a motor bike

– Countries are kind of like closed, homogeneous systems. Laws & customs make countries the same. For example almost every suburb in the US looks like almost every suburb in the US. McDonald’s in Texas looks like a McDonald’s in California. In order to have a drastically different experience customs, laws, cultures, building codes, have to be different.

– Had to get used to crossing the street and driving on the left side of the road

– Language barrier was very easy to overcome

– People follow traffic laws in the US

– Food is cheap in Bali

– Gas in cheap in Bali. $2 (US) per liter to fill up motorbike

– Rent a motor bike cheap. Cost was $35 (US) for about 10 days

– Things that we consider “Luxuries” in the US are very common and cheap in Bali. For example massages, maids, drivers, personal trainers, personal shoppers, contractors, property, mechanics, etc. are all dirt cheap when comparing them to US.

– There are no fat people in Bali. May be 1 out of 100 people are fat. This was shocking coming from the US where by comparison most people are overweight.

– Frequent stories of robberies in Bali among my friends. I however always felt safe and did not experience anything.

– Many people have giant walls that project their homes. Some even put broken glass on the top of the wall to prevent people from climbing over.

– Tons of dogs. Stray dogs hang out in the neighborhood, on the beach, inside restaurants. They are all over Bali, some stray some have owners.

– The Balinese people are very friendly and welcoming

– People in general seem very open, even tourists. At least in my area of the US breaking into social groups and getting to know people is much more difficult.

– There aren’t many Americans who vacation in Bali. You are somewhat of a rarity compared to the large number of Australians.

I could go on and on with this list. For now I will leave it there.

I used to wonder what the appeal was of travelling. Don’t get me wrong I’ve travelled in the past, just not as far away or different as Bali. I think I finally figured it out on this trip. It’s not so much the destination, but the people you meet along the way. I met a lot of great people on my trip to Indonesia that I will remember for the rest of my life and hopefully have the pleasure of meeting again. People that opened my eyes on what being an international citizen really means. The closest thing my trip to Bali reminds me of is going off to college. You have no idea what to expect,  but when you open yourself up to the experience you form friendships that will last a lifetime. Unfortunately the trip was only 3 weeks, in that time I was beginning to make good friends. That’s the downside of travelling, the leaving, starting a life then uprooting from the new life. May be making friends in other parts of the world changes your perspective that the true nature of reality is that you are a citizen of this world, of this planet, and we are all in this together.

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