Diamond Certified The Diamond Certified® Consumer Report
Vol. 4, Issue 5 - May 2011

Only local companies rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Each Diamond Certified company is backed with a Performance Guarantee.
In This Issue

To Be Forewarned is to Be Forearmed

Growing Your Own Herbs

Consumer Feedback:
Mr. Fixit, Inc.

New Diamond Certified Companies

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Consumer Advice
Advice that will help you become a better prepared and savvy consumer...
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Savvy Consumer Tips
Slow Computer Driving You Nuts?
Is your computer getting slower and slower? I regularly delete photos, video clips and old e-mails, but apparently that’s not enough. Most of us don’t realize that… Click to continue »

Unplugging an Extra Refrigerator May Cost You in the Long Run
Looking for ways to cut her PG&E bill, a friend told me she's turned off and unplugged her extra refrigerator. This could be a recipe for disaster, according to Steve Silver,… Click to continue »

A Simple Solution for Your Ant Problem
Spraying the base boards and outside perimeter of your house with pesticide is usually not enough to take care of your ant problem because you're not addressing the... Click to continue »

Read more Savvy Consumer Tips

Chris BjorklundDear Friend:

I recently had a question from a consumer who’s planning a home remodeling project. As she began collecting estimates and information from several contractors, they asked for varying amounts as a down payment. That’s when she contacted me to ask what the law says about this practice and how much she should expect to pay upfront, before the work begins.

California law is clear. Contractors are allowed to charge either 10 percent of the total project cost or $1,000 (whichever is less) for a deposit. Here’s a reference in case you’re interested. It’s also suggested that you make payments in installments as work is completed. Don’t let your payments get ahead of the work. The last payment should be large enough to be an incentive for the contractor to finish the job, but don’t pay it until everything is completed to your satisfaction.home sweet home

The woman who wrote me made another good point in her email. Quoting a proverb, she said she wants to know her rights at the outset of her project because “being forewarned is being forearmed.” I agree. Do your homework when you’re hiring service providers. Besides knowing relevant laws and best practices, find out more about the provider by using valuable tools for savvy consumers such as Diamond Certified ratings, licensing boards and consumer protection agencies. Taking these steps will save you lots of headaches, time and money in the long run.


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Chris Bjorklund
The Savvy Consumer
Join me on Twitter & Facebook


Save Money and Time
by Growing Your Own Herbs


If you’ve been hesitant to join the grow-your-own-food movement because you don’t have the space or time for a mini-farm, grow a potted herb garden instead. Having your own live herbs at hand will encourage you to spice up your cooking. Plus, you won’t have to run to the grocery store and pay two to three dollars every time a recipe calls for just a pinch of something. Basil, mint, thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, cilantro, parsley, dill and chives are all easy to grow.

You can pick up everything you need to start your garden, including pots, soil and organic plant starts, at Kingdom of Herbs in the San Francisco Ferry Building, or at your local nursery. Sunset magazine offers quick facts and care essentials for 12 common herbs, instructions for growing five herbs in a single pot, and, of course, recipes to help you make use of your bumper crop of fresh herbs.

Kudos Kudos from Diamond Certified Consumers

Re: Mr Fixit, Inc.

“Mr. Fixit is amazing. I am new to the area and was told about your book, so I requested one. Mr. Fixit was the first person I used and I was very impressed with him. I have him doing three or four more jobs here. His team is top notch!”



Companies Recently Earning
Diamond Certified

Alameda County
Cole's Carpet & Upholstery Company, Hayward
Elite Auto Glass, Inc., Livermore
Precision Cleaning Services, Dublin
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Contra Costa County
AAAA Quality Garage Door, Oakley

Marin County
Air Flow Pros, San Rafael
Kitchens by Ken Ryan, Novato

San Francisco
O'Grady Plumbing, San Francisco

Santa Clara County
Vanish Integrative Pest Control, Inc., San Jose

San Mateo County
AMS Bekins, Burlingame

Solano County
Water Heaters Masters, Inc., Pittsburg

Sonoma County
Century 21 NorthBay Alliance, Santa Rosa

Read this newsletter and prior issues at Diamond Certified Newsletters

Copyright 2011 American Ratings Corporation