Throughout most of the year, Bay Area residents enjoy exceptionally pleasant weather, exemplified by mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine. The problem is, in this characteristically comfy climate, it’s easy to forget about preparing for when the weather isn’t so nice. Take winter road safety, which many Northern California drivers neglect to prepare for due to the relatively brief rainy season. However, with the slick roads and diminished visibility winter weather often brings, it’s necessary to address this crucial concern. To help you do this, we’ve created the following checklist of areas to assess on your vehicle. Read more
Soil erosion occurs when loose portions of topsoil are displaced, usually by wind or rain. For the most part, erosion is a natural process, but it can become a problem when weather conditions accelerate the rate of topsoil loss, such as on a cliff or hillside following heavy rains. With so many neighborhoods in the Bay Area built on steep terrain, many homeowners worry about soil erosion and the accompanying landslide risk during the rainy season. Making major investments in retaining walls or foundation reinforcement is one option, but there are less costly measures homeowners can take to help protect their properties as well. Read more
Before hiring a company to install your new furnace or air conditioner, there are several things you’ll need to inquire about, from licensing and insurance to scheduling and payment. However, there are a few questions many homeowners don’t think to ask, but should. Here are five things to ask an HVAC installer:
When reading an HVAC installer’s estimate, make sure it addresses the big picture. In other words, it should take into account all aspects related to your home HVAC system, not just the unit itself. Since the heating or cooling unit is merely part of the larger whole, failure to address other important system aspects (such as ductwork) can result in subpar performance following installation. Read more
In December 2017, Congress passed a comprehensive tax overhaul. With several hundred pages of new tax regulations on the books and tax season just around the corner, Bay Area residents and business owners are eager to learn what the revised code will mean for them. We spoke with Russell Barnett, EA, CTC to help make sense of these new rules.
“The biggest changes to the tax code affect how business income is taxed,” says Mr. Barnett. Read more
Long before he was promoting the Diamond Certified Resource, Greg Louie knew the value of differentiating quality for consumers. “Before I got into the business ratings industry, I was in the sports equipment business—specifically, manufacturing custom-built golf clubs,” he explains. “In competing against major manufacturers, I was always looking for ways to differentiate my company from others. Later, when I got an opportunity to join a business ratings company, I knew it would be a good fit for me, because I had a firsthand perspective of how differentiating quality could benefit consumers and businesses alike.” Read more
It’s been a little over three months since we launched our new-and-improved website, and we’re thrilled with the response. The new site is both easy to navigate and filled with the information consumers need to make informed decisions. If you haven’t checked it out yet, here’s your chance. Below is a guide to some of the main pages on the new site. Take a look and let us know what you think!
The Diamond Certified Company Report
Help us celebrate our new website by taking our 1-minute video tour at diamondcertified.org. To show our appreciation, we’ll mail your family a FREE 2018 Diamond Certified Home Service Calendar and donate in your name to your local fire district. But don’t delay—we have a limited supply of calendars and they’re going fast.
Here’s some of what you’ll find inside the 2018 Diamond Certified Home Service Calendar:
In January, swimming is likely the last thing on your mind, but if you have plans to install a pool this year, it ought to be the first. Why? Because a swimming pool project takes a long time—longer than most homeowners realize. “Every spring, we get calls from homeowners who want to have a new pool built by summer, and they’re upset when we tell them that isn’t likely to happen,” says Tim Lindelli, project manager at Herb’s Pool Service, Inc. in San Rafael. “Due to the lengthy process involved, if you want to be swimming in your new pool by June, Read more
When my husband and I had children in the last half of the 20th century, baby-proofing our home consisted of getting a gate to block the stairway, covering all the electrical outlets, and adding safety clips to kitchen and bathroom cupboards so curious toddlers couldn’t open them. Now that our son and daughter-in-law have an almost one-year-old, I’m learning about how much more can be done to prevent accidents and make a home safer. What once took an hour or two is now a major project for young couples. Read more
Before hiring a contractor for a remodeling project, there are several things you’ll need to inquire about. Most importantly, you’ll need to verify current licensing and insurance, check references, and compare the contractor’s bid against other competing bids. It’s also important to ask about the project timeline, payment schedule and whether the contractor offers any warranties or guarantees. However, there are a few questions many homeowners don’t think to ask contractors, but should. Here are five such questions: Read more