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Flipping Out – Home Design As a Life Lesson (An Opinionated Review)

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There is something totally appealing about Flipping Out, a Bravo TV reality show based on LA real estate speculator Jeff (I Can Still Move My Eyebrows) Lewis. Watching it is akin to taking a bath in the narcissistic, self-absorbed world that only a place like Southern California could produce. It is a visual and sensual homage to LaLa land and neo-narcissism; me to the power of a billion.

Home design as fodder for great comedy or should that be Greek tragedy? For there is something innately tragic about this program; maybe it’s the real human sentiment that’s running just beneath the surface of all that buying and flipping, not to mention all that firing and hiring.

It is also a testament to how far human evolution has progressed – where’s that meteorite when you need it? If Jeff Lewis is a symbol of how far we have come as a species — Darwin would not be amused; but then again, maybe he would be tickled pink — maybe this is just what we (mankind) rightly deserve.

Point is, Flipping Out is as entertaining as it gets. The characters are much more enjoyable than anything you will find on today’s hodge-podge of TV shows… only House comes anywhere close to capturing the quirkiness that is human nature at its finest.

Actually, it’s extremely hard to believe this reality show is not scripted. The characters are so odd-ball only a well marinated screenwriter could produce them in such abundance, or maybe real life in Southern California is such a magnet for eccentricity, anything is possible. Even then, to assemble them all in one reality show is a masterstroke, from Zoila the sassy Nicaraguan housekeeper to Chris the bumbling trash guy to the well-grounded partner Ryan; they all come across as solidly sketched and etched in our minds.

The only TV comparison that comes close to Flipping Out is Seinfeld. Perhaps this comparison is inevitable since Jeff’s sidekick and personal assistant Jenni bares an unnerving resemblance to Elaine. She calms Jeff down through one crisis after another… whether it be a foul-mouthed client, to removing human feces left behind by renovation workers, to buying the next multi-million dollar property.

While Jeff has an obvious talent for finding run-down real estate properties and totally re-designing them into highly profitable ones — he is, without a doubt, one of the most selfish and self-absorbed people you will ever have the pleasure of viewing. Everything in this neatly controlled world centers around Jeff and Jeff’s needs. Ordering take-out (which is the show’s favorite past-time) takes on a whole new meaning in this reality show. Hundred and Forty Degree Coffee, Anyone?

Watching Flipping Out is highly addictive; like any good reality-based show we are drawn into the characters’ lives without any holdbacks. We see all of Jeff’s flaws magnified: his obsessive compulsive disorder, his childish behavior, his self-absorbed personality, his obsession with balance and detail… he makes Holmes on Homes look like an amateur DIY builder. Well, not really but they do share the same passion for true build-quality that’s totally reassuring in today’s mortgage closure wasteland, aka mainstreet USA.

Jeff gets no respect, at least not from his employees whom he treats more like personal slaves than anything resembling equal human beings. From Jeff’s own admission, he consider himself the biggest babysitter in all of California rather than an employer. That’s probably for the best because the way he treats his employees it’s amazing how anyone could work for him and keep their self-respect intact. Just make sure you quit before he fires you so that you can hold on to that last hanging chad of human dignity.

Why Jeff comes across as ultimately a very likable guy is a total mystery. Maybe deep down we see more of Jeff in ourselves and our own actions than any of us would like to believe or even admit to — through empathy comes compassion. Who doesn’t want to be a total selfish jerk every now and then? Hedonism does have its takers, and narcissism does have more than a bit of fascination for the inner child in all of us. OCD aside, Peter Pan and Jeff Lewis got it right; nobody ever really grows up.

Who would have imagined it, home design as a life-lesson for all of us. Only in a reality TV show could such profane silliness be captured and enjoyed. Don’t be bothered that you should be bothered that bothers you… just welcome yourself to Flipping Out.

Home Renovation and Real Estate Shows Becoming More Popular

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TV Shows on HGTV are getting more popular recently, as more people look to self renovating their home. It isn’t just HGTV that is capitalizing on this trend however, there are several other networks that are now featuring TV shows that relate to real estate, real estate investing, or home and garden design.

Many of the most popular home shows focus on either home renovations, home sale, or home purchase. Many of the shows, particularly on HGTV also revolve around a combination. As an example the show Love It or List It features renovating your current home, and shopping for a new one. The renovation of the current home makes the decision as to whether or not to ultimately list it more difficult, but it can also fetch a higher price for the home than they would have gotten prior to the renovation. There is also a show called Flip or Flop that features a young couple who are real estate agents who buy foreclosures, fix them up, and try to sell them to the average home buyer in California for a profit. Another popular show is called Income Property. This show features Scott McGillivray, and shows people how they can purchase homes that have income suites in the basement, duplexes and triplexes,and live for a or free mortgage payment, and occasionally even live at a profit.

The real estate shows all give you ideas for open concept home designs, what trends are in the current real estate market, and what type of things to look for when buying , selling, or renovating a home. These programs can actually be quite educational, although I must advise that they probably make real estate investing seem easier than it is. Particularly the flipping shows, have led to a lot of people to believe it is easy money and end up way over their head in an investment.

Flipping shows are probably the most popular show as well, as it seems like every TV network out there has their own version of a house flipping show. Remember to take these results featured in the show with a grain of salt, as the results may be exaggerated or the truth may be stretched, or they may only be showing the profitable homes. Keep in mind the flipper is being paid to be on the TV show as well, so they have much more leeway with costs then the average person doing this would assuming they’re not also filming a television show.

As you can see there is a lot going on in the television world in regards to real estate. For some reasons these shows have become extremely popular lately, including in both the US and Canada. These shows can also be educational, which makes watching them an added bonus. You can checkout your local television listings, search on google and more to check out what real estate shows you have available to you in your area.

Advantages of DIY Home Projects

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DIY home improvement has gained ground in the past few years due to two distinct reasons: rising prices of goods and rising prices of home improvement through contracted work. Many people are now opting to solve their little home improvement problems themselves, with the aid of knowledge, and with a lot of diligence.

Carpentry and plumbing are not simple activities. But nonetheless, the streamlining of systems and design in the past few decades has made do it yourself home improvement doable. All one needs is time, some tools and a clear aim. Even if the results are not that great, as long as it is strong and durable, it will do for the long run. Beautification can be pursued afterward.

How does one capture the “itch” for do it yourself projects? Solving home improvement problems would come naturally for anyone- especially for the ones who already have at least the minimum tools at home. If you don’t have basic carpentry tools, then perhaps it’s time that you visit your nearest hardware store to buy some.

The tools of the trade

What kind of tools would you need for basic home improvement? The following are some of the basic tools that would be of great use to you whether you wish to make a new cabinet or repair broken chairs:

* Hammers- never underestimate the humble hammer. Try to acquire a hammer that is not too light or too heavy. Aim for hammers that have solid steel construction, from the neck to the head. The neck and head must be completely solid and should have been fused naturally. Handles may be made of wood or sheathed with a rubber grip. If you’re not used to carpentry, it might be a good idea to first check if the hammer you would be buying would be comfortable to use. If not, don’t force it- look elsewhere.

* Power tools- power tools make do it yourself home improvement less of a pain. Though the general level of difficulty of home improvement projects depend largely on the kind of work involved, investing in drills and wrenches would contribute a lot in making your DIY projects more pleasant. Aside from this you would also finish projects much faster, and you would be expending less energy.

* Wood and boards- though it might be a good idea to have a general stash of wooden boards, plywood and small planks available in your garage, always limit your purchases to what you would probably need in the near future. The reason for this is that the wood might be damaged before you get to use it- something you won’t want to happen especially if you’re engaging in DIY projects to save money.

* Nails, screws, bolts, nuts- whether you should buy different kinds of nails or screws depends largely also on your projected activities in the coming months. If you think you’re going to be repairing furniture, then it might be a good idea if you buy the proper nail sizes. However, if you want supplies for general home repairs, try to get half inch to one inch nails.

New San Francisco Buildings Require Solar Panels

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San Francisco is a city whose international reputation has been built on how innovative and open-minded it is. Long-time corporate residents like micro-blogging service Twitter have branded San Francisco as a city whose penchant for innovation makes it stand apart from its counterparts across the nation. The annual celebration of Gay Pride makes headlines headlines year after year. If City Supervisor Scott Wiener has his way, soon San Francisco will stand out for its action on climate change as well. This year the city could be known for making a legislative advancement that has positive implications for the local environment and beyond.

According to CBS SF Bay Area, Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced an ordinance that would require new commercial and residential buildings in San Francisco to install solar panels. CBS SF Bay Area notes that if this legislation were to pass it would make San Francisco the very first major American city to have laws that mandate solar panel installation for newly constructed buildings. This piece of renewable energy legislation could turn San Francisco into a national case study and example of the possibilities that clean energy can hold for large American cities.

Wiener issued a statement where he noted the importance of using space efficiently in an environment as densely populated as San Francisco. The statement undergirds the notion of how important it is to prioritize energy efficiency and clean energy in urban areas. According to the Alberta Energy (click here), major urban areas require the most power – but the density of cities like San Francisco can end up being an attribute that can be used to fight climate change through “efficient infrastructure and planning.”

Solutions like the ordinance that is being introduced by Wiener can fight climate change while promoting clean energy use by using space more efficiently. The ordinance will do this by requiring that solar panels be installed in the percentage of roof space that California law already requires to be “solar ready.” According to CBS, developers will have several options available that will allow them to be in compliance with the ordinance should it become city law. They can install solar panels that use water to function or they can install solar photovoltaic panels which are slightly more cost-effective than the first option.

The ordinance that Wiener proposed is about much more than putting San Francisco’s name on the map for being environmentally friendly. The ordinance is about enabling San Francisco to meet goals that it has set for its use of clean energy. Wiener’s office told CBS that the ordinance is meant to move the city in the direction of achieving a benchmark it set regarding renewable energy. According to The New York Times, San Francisco set a goal to be a city that runs entirely on renewable energy by the year 2020. With just four years remaining to reach that 2020 deadline, the proposed ordinance could play an important role in making the city’s goal a reality.

CBS also reports that Weiner will be proposing another ordinance that will have a positive impact on the environment. Like the solar panel legislation this upcoming legislation involves buildings. Reportedly the legislation will make living roofs, rooftops that are totally covered in plants, an option that allows developers to meet the requirements of his initial renewable energy ordinance. The benefits of living roofs are manifold. They include giving roofs the ability “capture pollution” via the plants growing on them and the capacity to capture storm water. Living roofs can also act as a form of insulation and serve as habitats for wildlife.

If the solar power ordinance passes San Francisco will likely be part of what looks like the impending ubiquity of solar power in America. According to EcoWatch, 2016 is the first year that solar power beat out other energy sources in the United States with regard to capacity. Legislation like Wiener’s renewable energy ordinance could ensure that this upward trend continues.

Tips for Staying Green and Saving Money

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Staying green often goes hand in hand with saving money because much of what is good for the environment is also good for our pocketbooks as well. But, one of the biggest struggles that people have in trying to be more green though is letting go of disposable convenience items that make life easier. Luckily, there are some tricks that can be used that can replace the wastefulness by using resourcefulness.


Reusable Toilet Paper


The average household spends hundreds of dollars a year on toilet paper that just gets flushed away. An inexpensive alternative to it is using reusable toilet paper. It might sound a little different, but it is becoming very common. Just cut up strips of old clothing, and set them in a basket by the commode. Set a second basket next to it for the dirty strips to be put in to. When the basket gets full, it can be dumped straight in to the washing machine. Many people do the same thing for replacing paper towels.


Start Canning


Canned food is fresher and often healthier than the sugar ladened versions sold in stores. It is also very cost effective. Canning jars and rings are reusable, so it isn’t necessary to keep purchasing them.


Go Vegan


Vegetarians and vegans have plant based diets that cost much less than those with meat. They also tend to have lower cholesterol and blood pressure. By removing meat from your diet, or significantly reducing it, you can save money on your grocery bill and help the environment.


Make Your Own Personal Hygiene Products


With a handful of ingredients such as salt, baking soda, and essential oils, many personal hygiene products can be made. Containers can be refilled over and over, and harmful chemical based ingredients can be left out. Making your own personal hygiene products doesn’t take long, and they can all be put together ahead of time.


Make Your Own Cleaning Products


Disposable cleaning wipes has become the newest and easiest way to wipe up spills, but the paper wipes get thrown away, which is wasteful. You can make your own version with reusable clothes and a few natural ingredients. Take a small resealable tub and fill it with scraps of material. Then, over the top of it, pour a solution of vinegar, water, and a little dishwashing liquid. This will sanitize just as effectively, but without the use of chemicals.

Renewable Energy Solar Panels, Caring For The Environment

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For all those passionate about clean energy and diverse ways available for renewable energy, many of the residents in the Bay area in California have been switching to solar panels and doing their part. For many home owners solar panels for a number of reasons, others may be somewhat skeptical and ask the question why solar panels for your home? The answer it is the ideal way for clean energy as well as a unique technique for renewable and produce energy indefinitely. A cost factor for some may be a concern, but many companies offer payment plans.


Before being sold on solar panels you may inquire if the solar panel systems are reliable? They are without a doubt. The solar panels come with a substantial warranty. And actually this technology is not that new. You may think if when installing the solar panels will they in any way damage your roof. Absolutely not, if they are installed properly, a solar brace is very similar to another type of for instance a drain pipe, which also has to be positioned and weather sealed to resist harsh weather conditions. And if you still have doubts, and if you have the room, solar panels can also be mounted on the ground.


Another incentive to sway potential solar panel customers is with the wide spread developing wind and solar functionality they will persist to be supported by the investment tax credit. This government program has just lately been prolonged until 2020. Since the use of solar panels has significantly grown, by an astronomical degree, a 30% credit has been extended. Along with the growth, the no existing cost for wind and solar is predicted to plunge. Because of this, solar and wind will become the most efficient and less expensive way to produce power.


So for all those ambitious, and qualified home owners who are a do it yourselfer, you can install your own solar panels. Actually undertaking this sort of project just may be less difficult that you think. With the correct comprehension and knowledge, as well as having a few rather simple tools, along with of course, that desire to do it yourself. Then you can look at the finished project with complete pride of your accomplishments. And gloat some about a successful appealing well done job. Applying these few things, nearly anyone can construct their own DIY solar panels. And like any other project you tackle you will save a lot of money. It can be achieved in a weekend. First purchase a brochure entitled Green DIY Energy with step by step instructions. As you follow along with the provided helpful videos included. This process will make your undertaking an easier one.


Some of the primary tools needed are woodworking tools. Woodworking tools such as a sharpen saw, drill and a screwdriver. You will also require silicone caulk and wood glue. When you begin work with the wiring portion, wire cutters, a soldering iron along with ample solder will be necessary. A solar panel is really nothing more than a cluster of solar cells in a holder. The first step is to build DIY solar panels to attain solar cells.

DIY Home Projects Gain Popularity

DIY home
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More and more people are turning to DIY home projects for many reasons. Either they want to improve their home for their own enjoyment, or they want to increase the value of their home before selling. Either way, there is no doubt that it is cheaper to do projects for your home yourself rather than paying someone to do them for you.

Of course, there are still costs associated with DIY home projects. You have to purchase plans for your project, especially if you are not familiar with how to complete the project on your own. These plans are readily available, with over 16000 woodworking plans available online for a multitude of home projects. You will also have to purchase the materials for the project. However, you will save a lot of money because you won’t be paying a markup for materials and you will not be paying for labor.

Finding DIY Home Project Plans

There are over 16000 woodworking plans available at any given website. Some websites have more plans than others. However, the best websites and books will provide you with all the plans you could possibly need for any project you want to tackle in your home. These books, software packages, and websites are very reasonably priced, so that you do not overpay for the plans.

Using Plans for Your Project

It is always best to use plans for your DIY home project. Plans will outline exactly what materials you need as well as how to put them together into a completed project. Regardless of how simple or complex the project is, these plans can be extremely helpful to you, and save you a lot of steps and headaches along the way. This includes saving you additional materials costs and extra trips to the lumber yard or hardware store for pieces you didn’t realize you needed.

Cashing In on the Fad

Because there are so many people out there looking to complete DIY home projects, there is a lot of money to be made in selling plans. Thankfully, you do not have to create or purchase plans to sell them and make money. In fact, it is very easy to sell over 16000 woodworking plans by becoming an affiliate marketer. Affiliate marketers create their own website promoting the plans, and then market that website online.

The only cost to you to become an affiliate marketer is the cost of building, hosting, and registering your website and domain. Once that is done, you can usually market the website completely free of charge in a number of ways. This includes simple methods that anyone can do, including article marketing and placing free advertisements, as well as posting in forums and on blogs.

In the end, it is obvious that in today’s DIY home fanaticism, woodworking plans are in high demand. The best ones are also few and far between for a good price. Whether you are looking for the plans yourself or you are looking for an easy avenue to additional income, looking into home plans is definitely worth your time and effort.

Home Decorating TV Shows

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There are many different TV shows that help you decorate your home. For instance Clean House. It helps you get rid of the many things that you don’t need anymore. And once you’d get rid of those things you will have much more room. Once they gather all of the items you have selected to get rid of, they put them in a yard sell. Then out of the money that you make from the yard sell, they will use to but new things that will enhance you home.

Another home decorating show is “trading spaces” it picks two families that would like a chance for their home to be redecorated. They switch houses and gets to decorate it anyway they want to. However they only have two days. Then the last day is reveling day, they see how each family did.

These shows are sometime very useful when you are low on cash and your house really needs some fixing up to do. You should really consider going on these shows it would be a lot of help. You could get your house remodeled for free! You wouldn’t have to worry about any kind of bill. Wouldn’t it be very cool to be able to get a chance to get almost a completely new house for no cost?

Again this could also be a very bad idea to go on a TV decorating show. Sometimes when other people decorate your house they don’t know what you would like. And they decorate it how they would like it or how they think you like it. And than when it comes to reveling day, you might not like your new house at all! And then if you don’t what could you do? You could either live with it the rest of you time living there, or you could spend thousands on fixing it just they way you want it. So when you want your house fixed up I would really give it time to think. Because you just might not like how they have redecorated your house.

You will want to make sure that you check out the pros and cons of going on a home decorating show because you may not like what you get in the end. You will want to check out the ratings of the show and also think about how many people are going to see the inside of your home. It is very important that you thoroughly think about what you going to go through with this type of show before you decide to agree to doing the show. Also, keep in mind that they can do whatever they want to your home and they don’t have to replace it if you are upset with their creativity and design.

Improve Your Home – Green Living

Our climate has changed and humans have contributed a lot to that fact. Instead of using energy that God gave us, freely and with conscience, we have found a way to trade with it. It doesn’t matter what source of energy we are using, the more we are producing, the more money we are making. And this era of ecological capitalism has taken a great impact on air we are breathing, water we are drinking and on our climate the most.
If every human on the planet used following tips, life on Earth would be healthier and greener.

This may seem as a silly tip, but we are producing an enormous quantities of garbage that we could recycle. Why wasting our energy on manufacture of paper, glass, metal and many other things and in a process polluting an air and creating a greenhouse effect. So, if you have an opportunity, recycle.
Bring nature to your backyard
When arranging your backyard, think about plants and trees that you could grow. A lot of them can improve your backyard’s look and at the same time, you will be creating your own oasis of peace full of natural elements. Just remember that trees are the ones that are producing an oxygen.
Limit your light
Why wasting energy and increasing your electricity bill when you can buy timers for your lights. Program them so that the lights can be on an off during specific times.

Grow a garden
You surely have some small part of a land in your yard that you can use for the garden. You can plant some seasonings and vegetables during summer months that you can use for your own consumption. You will know it’s clean, fresh and organic, opposite to what you buy in supermarkets.

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Refresh your home with eco – friendly decorations
If you are looking something to improve the look of your home, or something that will give a final touch to your bedroom or living room, eco – friendly home accessories are the right choice.


Repair instead of buying new
It is always easier to throw away old stuff such as chairs, broken table of ripped sofa instead of repairing them. But, if you choose more environmental approach, instead of wasting time, money and personal energy, you can turn something that was plain and boring into something awesome.
Leaving your car in a garage and choosing a bus instead, or bike is much more efficient solution. If your job is near your home, you can even go by foot. At the same time, you will be burning calories and keeping up with the healthy life.

Once you start don’t give up
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When you embrace this type of life don’t give up that easily.
You shouldn’t expect from your family and friend to support you in your decision and become green citizens overnight. Focus on few goals that are the easiest for you and after some time, they will follow you in living a better and healthier life.