Home Remodel by Licensed Contractor
Whether you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen, renovating your bathroom or performing a complete home makeover, the best time to begin your project is the beginning of the New Year. Have questions before you get started? We have the answers:
 

            

Photo: J. Hettinger Interiors, 2017

 

THE FIRST STEP IN A HOUSE REMODELING PROJECT
Castles on the Ground: How to Build Your Dream Home

Modern home opening out on to a lagoon -- the ultimate in indoor/outdoor living.
A dream house doesn't have to be entirely out of reach. Photo: Tori Atwell - Alain Pinel Realtors, 2017

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
―Henry David Thoreau

Last month, you cooked up your dream home in a heady mix of holiday punch, gingerbread and champagne. Now, both metaphorically and literally, it’s time to build those foundations.  So, how do you actually start? The best answer is, “Start with a lot more questions.” Whether you’re planning a custom-built mountaintop home or you just want to renovate your bathroom, start your house remodeling project by fully understanding your hopes, goals and action steps. Here are some of the many questions you should ask yourself:
  • Why am I planning to remodel my house this year?

Maybe you're hoping to....Read More

STAY SAFE
Keeping Your Home Safe During a Remodel

 

AN ECO-FRIENDLY HOME
Sustainable & Recycled Flooring Options

Bedroom with hardwood floors, black casement windows and a fireplace
The floors in this bedroom add to the inviting decor. Photo: Construction Services, 2017

Flooring is a major part of any home—not only does it provide a surface to walk on, it’s also a focal point of interior design. While homeowners were once limited in their flooring options, today there are countless choices available, including a diverse array of both natural and synthetic materials. However, since every home needs floors, it’s easy to see how the materials needed to manufacture them can have an impact on the environment. That’s why many Bay Area homeowners are interested in eco-friendly options that allow them to walk on their floors without leaving an oversized carbon footprint.

HOME REMODEL TIPS
Need More Help?
Remodel your Victorian Era home
Upgrade the roof, windows and energy systems of your San Francisco home to bring it into the 21st century. Photo: James Schermerhorn, 2015
Preparing for Design
by Joy Lanzaro
Serious customers prepare for satisfaction. Here’s a simple formula: if you get what you want, you’ll be satisfied. Over the years, design professionals have learned that it’s in everyone’s best interest to work with serious customers. Here are some qualities...Read More
 
GuySpace: How to Create Your Own Man Cave
by James Florence
Most men need a little space to reconnect with the things that excite and inspire them. While this space we’re referring to may be figurative, a great way to be proactive about inhabiting it is by creating a literal space, also known as a “man cave.”...Read More
 
A Room of One’s Own: How to Create Your Own She Shed
By Suzanne Carroll
Why does it seem that every time you sit down, you get interrupted? The phone rings, the kids start fighting, your spouse can’t find the remote…. What if there was a place where everything was different: a room of your own, made just the way you like it? Imagine a place where…Read More
 
The Benefits of Adding Insulation to Interior Walls
by James Florence
While insulating exterior walls is standard procedure in residential construction, this isn’t always the case with a home’s interior walls. Actually, many homebuilders neglect…Read More
 
The Era of Efficiency: How to Upgrade Any Type of Bay Area Home
by Jennifer Chan
Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, conversations invariably come around to houses: the houses we want but can’t afford, the houses we’ve bought and want to renovate, the houses we’re hoping to sell, and so on. It’s not surprising—not only do we have...Read More
 
Ballpark Pricing
by John Gorman, a Diamond Certified Expert and owner of Save Energy Company
I recently got off the phone with a potential client who at one point during our conversation had asked me, “So how much are replacement windows going to cost? Just a ballpark figure.” I know that he was anxious...Read More
 
Custom Cabinetry: Is it Right for You?
by Matt Solis
In a typical kitchen remodeling budget, almost half the cost is allocated to the cabinets alone—especially if they’re custom made. Custom cabinetry can…Read More

For more remodeling guidance and expert advice, follow the Diamond Certified Blog or check out Diamond Certified Experts.
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How to Hire a Licensed Contractor Infographic

REMODELING CONTRACTORS
Eight Steps to Hiring a Reputable Contractor

Hire a reputable contractor
Klaus Kubler Construction's crew members pose in front of a recent project.

Here are eight steps you can take to hire a reputable remodeling contractor:

1. Obtain multiple bids (if possible). Getting multiple bids is a great way to ensure you’re making an informed choice. If you sign a contract, you have exactly three days to rescind in writing. Upon rescission, ... Read More

EARTHQUAKE TIP
Reinforcing Your Home with Seismic Retrofitting

Home remodels include important maintenance like seismic retrofitting.
Seismic retrofitting, or in this case, a complete seismic overhaul, is essential in this earthquake-prone region. Photo: Paradigm Concrete & Construction, Inc., 2017

Due to the latent risk that comes with living in a seismically active area, it’s crucial that Bay Area residents be as prepared as possible for the next “big one.” One of the most critical preparatory measures is “seismic retrofitting,” which is the application of structural reinforcements to homes and buildings. By helping structures withstand earthquake vibrations…Read More 

REMODEL ON A BUDGET
7 Ways to Save Money on Your House Remodeling Project
contemporary kitchen remodel by Altera Design and Build
For those working with a limited remodeling budget, there are several ways to cut costs without compromising quality. Photo: Altera Design & Remodeling, Inc. (2015)
Even if you’re working with a limited budget, there are numerous ways you can cut costs without compromising quality. Here are seven money-saving strategies to consider:
 
1. Design your project to accommodate existing systems. If your plumbing and electrical systems are in good condition, you can avoid the cost of rerouting pipes or wiring by designing your remodeling project to accommodate them. In addition to saving a substantial amount of money...Read More
GETTING A BID
Gauging the Accuracy of a Construction Bid

KITCHEN REMODELING TIP
How to Take Measurements for a Kitchen Remodel
save money on a kitchen remodel by completing measurements yourself
Taking your own measurements is one way to save money during a kitchen remodel. Photo: Traditional Trades, 2016
In addition to supplying a full range of material and product options, many kitchen and bath showrooms offer the service of coming to your home and taking measurements. However, if you want to save some money on your project, consider taking these measurements yourself.
 
Here’s how to do it: Starting at one corner of the room…Read more