With PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs affecting millions in Northern California this year, many residents are now searching for alternative methods for powering their homes. Some have turned to portable generators. Although they’re relatively inexpensive, generators consume gasoline, produce noise and fumes, and require regular maintenance to run reliably. For a more permanent and environmentally-friendly solution, some homeowners are investigating solar power. But not all solar systems will provide electricity in the event of a power outage, so it’s important to do your homework before making a decision. Read more
Earlier this week, we posted an article featuring expert tips for improving safety in the home. One of these tips dealt with testing door lock components like deadbolts and latches to ensure security. To learn more about this topic, watch this video by Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Gary Lekan of First Lock & Security Technologies.
Above all else, a home should be a safe place. However, there are many basic safety measures most homeowners haven’t even considered. To help you improve safety in your home, we asked six Diamond Certified Expert contributors to share their tips. Read more
With the holidays approaching quickly, most people are scrambling to get their shopping done. Unfortunately, buying gifts isn’t as simple as it sounds—after all, you have to figure out what to buy, which can be a challenge depending on who you’re buying for. If you’re feeling stumped on what to get your spouse, relative or close friend, here are 10 unique ideas to consider: Read more
The holidays are an interesting time of year for commerce. While industries like retail and travel typically see a spike in sales, others experience a considerable slowdown. For savvy consumers, the latter of these two extremes presents a unique opportunity to save money and get a jump on the coming year. Here are five ways you can take advantage of the holiday slowdown: Read more
Every Thanksgiving, we take time to reflect on the things (and, more importantly, people) we’re grateful for. While it’s a worthwhile tradition, there’s just one problem: it only happens once a year. In reality, Thanksgiving shouldn’t be the only time of year we give thanks. According to Robert A. Emmons, a psychologist and professor at UC Davis, we would do well to make this a part of daily life. He calls this the “practice of gratitude” and has spent decades researching and documenting its effects on those who practice it. But what does this look like? And what kinds of effects does it produce? Let’s explore this in more detail. Read more
Are you planning to install a home theater and/or high-end audio/video system? To make the most of your investment, consider these tips for designing, installing and using your system. Read more
At the end of a recent road trip, my husband and I turned in our rental car without taking a close look at the final bill. Yes, we were distracted because we were running late and didn’t want to miss our flight. The attendant handed me a printed receipt and I stuffed it into my handbag.
A couple of days later, I cleaned out my purse and read the receipt more carefully. I found an unexpected $50 charge on top of the expected $50 drop-off fee. I had extended my rental by a few days and remembered being quoted a different total. Fortunately, the rental car agency responded quickly, reviewed the records and agreed they had made a mistake. Read more
Whether you need your sink drain cleared, your water heater repaired or your sewer line replaced, chances are you’ll be calling the same type of service provider: a plumbing contractor. To ensure a quality job, it’s wise to ask a plumber plenty of questions before hiring. Besides verifying proper licensing and insurance, here are a few things you should consider asking. Read more
With wet weather around the corner, now is the time for homeowners to do a thorough inspection of their homes and yards. After months of dry weather, sudden rains can lead to unexpected damage. Use this checklist to address the areas of your property that tend to be vulnerable during rain events. Read more