Getting Back to Normal?

Posted on August 25, 2020 by Chris Bjorklund

I’m happy to be writing for the Diamond Certified Consumer Report again after a short hiatus. Since March, so much has happened to all of us (I was in a scary car accident, my husband had foot surgery and I broke my leg to boot!) that I don’t really know what getting back to “normal” means right now. But let me share a few observations.

Most of us are beginning to resume some activities, albeit with many adaptations. I’ve continued having groceries delivered, but now I make brief forays into stores that have best practices. Read more

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Posted in: Safety, Consumers, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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2020 California Wildfire Recovery Resources

Posted on August 19, 2020 by Matt Solis

flame burst near california firefighters

With wildfires threatening residential areas in multiple parts of California, Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a State of Emergency. Once again, Northern California residents must grapple with fire, heat, and smoke affecting their homes and communities.

As previous wildfire events have taught us, recovery is a slow and often confusing process. Below, you’ll find resources to help you get started and make sense of your options.

You can visit our wildfire preparedness page for information on preventing future wildfires. Read more

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Posted in: Fire Prevention, Fire & Water Damage, Safety, Bay Area, Consumers, Savvy Tips
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How To Safely Remodel Your Home During COVID-19

Posted on July 10, 2020 by Guest Blogger

This article originally appeared on the blog of MSK Design Build, a Diamond Certified company.

You’ve been sheltering in place or working at home since March, and it slowly dawns on you that it may be time to remodel your kitchen (or bathroom or your whole home). Join the crowds! Our phones are ringing off the hooks as many East Bay residents are eager for a fresh look and feel in their bathroom, an updated fireplace and new flooring, or a beautiful and functional new kitchen. The first question that may come to mind is, “How can I remodel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic?”

As a design build firm that has been safely and busily back to work since May 4, Read more

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Posted in: Home Remodeling, Home Maintenance, Safety, Consumers, Home Tips, Home Improvement, Savvy Tips
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Kids and Choking Hazards

Posted on February 18, 2020 by Chris Bjorklund

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

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Posted in: Safety, Consumers, Health Tips, Home Tips, Savvy Tips
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A Glimpse Into the World of Con Artists, Swindlers and Fakers

Posted on February 18, 2020 by Chris Bjorklund

 

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

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Posted in: Consumers, Savvy Tips
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Three Things You Want on Your Home Improvement Contract

Posted on February 06, 2020 by Joy Lanzaro

The California State Licensing Board (CSLB) wants consumers to know that all home improvement contracts are required to contain certain language. If you aren’t aware of this prerequisite, the CSLB’s website has plenty of information that will get you acquainted with the elements of a proper contract. In addition, you can prevent stress and conflict during a construction project by tactfully requesting that your contract contain the following three elements:

A payment schedule with a task-by-task breakdown. The easier it is for you to read and understand your contract, the better. If the payment schedule is broken down by “percentage of job completed,” ask for a task-by-task breakdown instead so you can verify the work that has actually been done. Read more

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Posted in: Home Remodeling, Home Maintenance, Consumers, Home Tips, Home Improvement
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Welcome Our New Diamond Certified Companies

Posted on January 30, 2020 by Suzanne Carroll

Welcome Aboard!

We’re pleased to announce that the following companies have recently been awarded Diamond Certified. That means they’ve passed our rigorous 12-step rating process and scored Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise®. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers
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