Diamond Certified Blog

by Jennifer Chan
August 11, 2016

how to choose a fire extinguisher

  • Pick a fire extinguisher classified as A:B:C to fight three kinds of fire (combustible, flammable liquids and electrical).
  • Select the largest fire extinguisher that you and your family members can comfortably operate.
  • Stock at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of your home.

For more details on selecting and using a fire extinguisher, check out this article from This Old House.

For fire extinguisher ratings, read about fire extinguishers at Consumer Reports. Read more

by Jennifer Chan
August 11, 2016

It’s that time of year again: students in San Francisco go back to school in less than a week, and the rest of the Bay Area follows quickly behind. Whether you’ll miss the lazy, crazy days of summer or can’t wait for the structure of a school day, it’s time to (re)develop your “school’s in” routine. Last year at this time, we discussed four great ways to get your home ready for the school year. New year, same helpful tips. Here are four things you can do to jump back to school with panache.

Create a family launch pad.
A launch pad can help soften the pain of school-morning madness…at least according to Cynthia Ewer, Read more

by Jennifer Chan
August 09, 2016
by James Florence
August 09, 2016

With the beautiful weather in the Bay Area, it’s no wonder that one of the biggest local home improvement trends is to extend one’s living space to the outside with add-ons like decks and covered patios. However, even though these exterior additions are great, you can take your alfresco experience to a whole new level by building an outdoor kitchen, which will allow you to prepare meals and dine under the sun or stars. To learn about the process of outdoor kitchen construction, we’re joined by North Bay Area landscaping contractor Alain Joske.

Plan way in advance. An outdoor kitchen isn’t built overnight—it’s a lengthy process, and the actual construction is often the shortest part. Read more

by Chris Bjorklund
August 04, 2016

Do you have a teenager who is about to start driving? Watch this video for some helpful tips. Read more

by Jennifer Chan
August 02, 2016

This summer, we’re scouting out answers to some of your frequently asked questions about children’s health. Earlier, we published Children’s Dental Care: Frequently Asked Questions. This week: children’s vision FAQs.

How can I tell if my preschooler has vision problems?
The American Optometric Association (AOA) provides the following list of signs that may indicate vision problems among young children: Read more

by James Florence
July 28, 2016

Realtor_logoThe National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is the United States’ largest trade association, consisting of more than one million members that include residential and commercial brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors, and other real estate professionals. All members are identified as REALTORS, a registered designation that signifies their commitment to the association’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. NAR’s key priorities include promoting the success and professional development of its members; conducting research and exchanging information; and advocating on the behalf of its industry, its members, and American property owners.

Professional Development
NAR and its affiliated institutes, societies, and councils offer an extensive array of programs and services to help its members enhance their professional skills and knowledge. Read more

by James Florence
July 26, 2016

With David Lorber, owner of Superior Builders & Remodelers

Living in the Bay Area, we have a lot to be thankful for, from the mild, sunny weather to the lush, scenic landscape. Additionally, we’re spared from many of the severe weather phenomena that exist in other areas, such as hurricanes, blizzards and tornados. However, there’s one destructive natural force the Bay Area isn’t exempt from: earthquakes. While an earthquake may lack the portentous visual dread of a Midwestern twister, perhaps no other natural disaster is able to inflict such a devastating toll in such a brief span of time—often mere seconds. What’s worse, we’re due: Geologists predict that a large magnitude earthquake will occur in Northern California within the next 30 years, Read more

by Chris Bjorklund
July 21, 2016

My brothers and I are fortunate to still have our 95-year-old mother in our lives, but we do have a lot of responsibility for her physical and financial well-being. We’ve helped her with estate planning, medical directives and investments, and we manage her bills, doctors’ appointments, medications, and caregivers. My older brother, a certified public accountant, has power of attorney. Like most families, we have a lot going on and it can be overwhelming at times.

Despite our collective efforts to keep things organized and do advance planning, we’ve had some glitches. Read more

by Guest Blogger
July 19, 2016

Guest Post By Ron Smith, owner of J. Hettinger Interiors

Ready for a makeover? Whether your old sofa needs a facelift or you’re redecorating your entire home, selecting fabrics will be a key part of the design process. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

First, when it’s time to select a fabric for your furniture, cost should be just one of the many factors you consider. A design professional can help you choose fabrics that wear well, clean easily and keep their color over time. Read more