Diamond Certified Blog

by Chris Bjorklund
December 15, 2015

When I managed a consumer complaint line for KGO Radio and TV, we always had calls after Christmas about stores’ unreasonable return policies. Consumers were frustrated that they couldn’t get their money back, receive a store credit or exchange a gift. In some cases, receipts had been misplaced or thrown away, and some were simply unavailable because the item was a gift. In other cases, stores had failed to clearly post their refund policies as required by state law. People were unhappy about restocking fees, too. Read more

by Jennifer Chan
December 08, 2015

Learn more on our Storm Damage Resource Page for Bay Area Residents.

We’re grateful that El Niño conditions are finally beginning to arrive in the Bay Area. However, you should be aware that when rain meets drought-hardened earth, the likelihood of flash flooding increases exponentially. Being informed is the best way to stay safe this rainy season. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), most flash floods happen as a result of heavy localized rainfall. These floods can become raging torrents of fast-moving water that rip through river beds, city streets and valleys, sweeping everything with them. Read more

by James Florence
December 01, 2015

Build It Green is a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the way homes are built and renovated in California by emphasizing aspects like conservation, sustainability, and health. In partnering with builders, contractors, architects and realtors, the organization’s stated mission is “to help professionals adopt Green practices and grow the market for efficient, healthy homes.” Read more

by Jennifer Chan
November 25, 2015

What are you thankful for? We put this question to some Diamond Certified company owners and a handful of American Ratings Corporation (ARC) employees. Here’s what they said:

“I’m thankful that every day, my two children and I get to wake up to a beautiful sunrise and deer and rabbits playing in our yard. It’s a very sweet life we have.” —Leila Jacobsen, Owner, Awnco Retractables Read more

by James Florence
November 24, 2015

Much emphasis is put on maintaining the interior of the home, but an equally (if not more important) aspect to address is its exterior. That’s why Dennis Thompson of Thompson Construction says homeowners should take proactive steps to protect the outside of their homes from the elements. Here are Dennis’ top five tips for exterior maintenance: Read more

by James Florence
November 19, 2015

A vehicle can fail a smog inspection for a variety of reasons, so it’s important to be prepared prior to your appointment. Here are five common issues to address:

1. Warm up your vehicle. Since a smog inspection requires a vehicle’s catalytic converter to be hot, a cool engine can result in an unwarranted test failure. That’s why it’s a good idea to drive your vehicle for at least 20 minutes before bringing it to a smog check facility. If you know your wait time will be more than 30 minutes, keep your engine running to make sure it stays warm. Read more

by Chris Bjorklund
November 17, 2015

It’s easy to tune out news about automobile recalls—most aren’t serious, and they usually don’t apply to a vehicle you own. However, my ears perked up when my 2003 Toyota was among millions of cars being recalled. Vehicles of many different makes (Honda, BMW, Subaru, Mazda, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Mitsubishi, Nissan) have Japanese-made airbags that could explode upon impact and injure drivers and passengers with flying shrapnel. That’s pretty scary. I called my local Toyota dealership right away to schedule the “fix” specified in the recall. The free repair was completed with minimal hassle earlier this year. Read more

by James Florence
November 10, 2015

Between details like framing style and glass thickness, picking the right windows isn’t as clear-cut an enterprise as it may seem. So, if you’re thinking about installing new windows in your home, it’s a good idea to get acquainted with some industry basics. The following article offers helpful information about windows and window installation, including key terms, energy efficiency tips and frequently asked questions.

Key Terms

Insulated glass: A combination of two or more glass panes with a sealed space between them. Typically, this space is filled with an inert gas such as argon, which increases the window’s insulating properties. Read more

by Jennifer Chan
November 05, 2015

You spent countless Sundays at open houses. You signed 50+ legal documents. You wrote a check for a single, heart-stopping, six-digit figure. And now, drumroll please…you’re the lucky owner of your very first house! Congratulations! Now it’s time to get to work. Here’s a checklist of all the things you should do when moving into a new house. Read more

by James Florence
November 03, 2015

If you’re like most people, you think of your home as your sanctuary—a refuge from the uncertainties of the outside world. However, you may not realize just how many dangers can be present within its very walls. Hazardous substances like mold, lead and asbestos are present in many United States homes, often without the homeowners’ awareness. Since the only way to identify these threats is with professional inspection, you should consider having the following tests performed in your home:

1. Mold testing
When mold develops inside a home, it’s typically due to an excess of moisture, whether from a slow leak, poor ventilation or as a secondary effect of catastrophic water damage. Read more