Diamond Certified Blog

by Matt Solis
April 15, 2020

We are American Ratings Corporation (ARC), creators of the Diamond Certified® Resource. Our mission is to define excellence and identify for consumers the highest quality local companies. We pioneered rating local companies based on customer satisfaction in 1990, before the internet existed. Just like you, our home is the Greater Bay Area, and our entire team is dedicated to ensuring you have confidence in the companies you choose. We are committed to performing all ratings and ongoing certification work with the highest integrity and accuracy.

by James Florence
March 17, 2020

A shower enclosure is the centerpiece of any bathroom. Accordingly, when installing or remodeling a shower enclosure, it’s important to take a mindful approach to design. Additionally, after the enclosure is completed, ongoing maintenance is necessary to protect your investment. In the following article, seven Diamond Certified Expert Contributors share their tips for designing and maintaining a shower enclosure. Read more

by James Florence
March 13, 2020

While the recent coronavirus pandemic has yet to reach crisis levels in the United States, it nonetheless has had a dramatic impact on daily life for some areas of the country, including the San Francisco Bay Area. From low supplies of products like hand sanitizer and toilet paper to the closure of theme parks and cancellation of live events, all Bay Area residents are feeling the effects of COVID-19, even if few are experiencing its symptoms. Read more

by James Florence
March 12, 2020

When it comes to remodeling a kitchen, budget is naturally a concern. Most homeowners want to invest in quality, but they also want to save money wherever they can. Read more

by James Florence
March 10, 2020

Does your home’s plumbing system confuse you? Don’t worry—you’re in good company. When faced with a strangely behaving sink, toilet or garbage disposal, most homeowners instinctively respond by calling a plumber. While this may be a surefire way of resolving a plumbing problem, it isn’t always necessary. Many plumbing problems have simple solutions that can save you a lot of money and trouble if you know them. Consider the following examples. Read more

by James Florence
March 05, 2020

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can be released by HVAC units, portable chemical heaters, and gas appliances and heating systems. Most people assume they’re safe from harm if their heaters are running normally, but in reality, any heater that hasn’t been properly maintained can put the home and its occupants at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. For example, if the furnace’s heat exchanger cracks, it can leak fumes into the home, presenting a serious issue that may go completely unnoticed. Venting issues (such as a pipe that breaks or gets blocked) can also increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Read more

by James Florence
March 03, 2020

If you’re planning to sell your home, one of the first things you’ll need to determine is how much it’s worth. Unfortunately, when it comes to calculating a home’s value, there are a lot of misconceptions that can lead to poor decisions and lost profits. Here are three of the most common myths regarding real estate appraisal: Read more

by James Florence
February 27, 2020

Like most people, you’ve likely experienced the inconvenience of an appliance failure. Whether your washer stopped washing or your refrigerator stopped refrigerating, you may have been surprised at the impact it had on your daily routine. Read more

by Chris Bjorklund
February 18, 2020

kids playing with blocks

I’ve been babysitting a one-year-old and a three-year-old on a regular basis this year, so I’m constantly on the lookout for choking hazards. You’re probably familiar with the obvious ones like hot dogs, seeded grapes and marshmallows, but I was surprised when the children started coughing and choking on apple slices, french fries, and beans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can prevent choking by making sure your little ones sit up while eating and not giving them food while they’re in the car or stroller. Kids are still developing their swallowing skills up until they’re 24 months old, so keep this in mind when introducing solid foods. Read more

by Chris Bjorklund
February 18, 2020

 

My latest obsession is listening to podcasts about criminals who have defrauded, scammed and deceived others. Consumer investigative journalism is now more accessible than ever in this medium. All the shows I’m digging into are free through podcasting apps and streaming services like Spotify.

“Swindled” is my current favorite. It’s an independently produced true crime podcast about all sorts of money-making schemes, white collar crime and corporate greed. The anonymous host calls himself “A Concerned Citizen.” His goal is to shine a light on stories that you may have heard about in the news but didn’t really know all the sordid details. In an interview, Read more