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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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A Welcome Home: My Quest for the Right Indoor Insulation

Posted on October 08, 2019 by Joy Lanzaro

I’ll admit, I like being greeted at the front door. For me, the home environment is the hug that wraps me in a warm embrace on a rainy day or the kiss of cold that greets me at the door when it’s over 100 degrees outside. That’s my kind of “welcome home.”

Unfortunately, my home is insulated to 1970 building code standards, so I’d be surprised if it even had insulation in the attic (I’m afraid of the attic, so I’m not going to check). My home’s exterior walls aren’t insulated and the windows are single-pane, aluminum-framed, and leaking air in all the wrong directions. There’s a fireplace but it doesn’t warm the air in front of it. Read more

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Posted in: Energy Efficiency, Home Improvement, Personal Stories
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What Does a Valid Contractor’s License Mean?

Posted on October 03, 2019 by Joy Lanzaro

In California, anyone offering home improvement services must be licensed if the project will entail at least $500 worth of work from start to finish. The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) issues contractor licenses, enforces contracting laws and resolves disputes related to contractors working in California. Here are some quick facts: Read more

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Posted in: Home Improvement
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Industry Organization Spotlight: Tree Care Industry Association

Posted on May 21, 2019 by Jennifer Chan

Arborworks, Inc, a Diamond Certified company, is a member of the Tree Care Industry Association. Photo: Arborworks, Inc, ©2019

“As members of the Tree Care Industry Association, we strive to…improve the quality of life through increasing our knowledge and skills in the management of trees, shrubs, and other landscape plants entrusted to our care.” – From the Tree Care Industry Association’s Arborist Pledge

If you’re planning to care for your trees this summer, it’s a good idea to get to know the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). Most people recognize the ways trees make our lives better. Not only are they beautiful, they also improve our air, offer a home to wildlife and stabilize the soil. But the urban and suburban trees growing in our yards need proper care to thrive, Read more

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Posted in: Home Improvement, Industry Organization Spotlight, Landscaping Tips
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Diamond Certified Experts: Addressing the Attic

Posted on April 09, 2019 by James Florence

It’s no surprise that the attic is one of the most neglected areas of the home. Being out of sight, it’s understandably out of most homeowners’ minds. What may come as a surprise, however, is the extent to which conditions in the attic can impact a home’s comfort, energy efficiency and air quality. To gain further insight, we’ve asked five Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to talk about three important aspects of the attic: insulation, cleaning and ventilation. Read more

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Posted in: Roofing, Energy Efficiency, Pest Control, Diamond Certified Experts, Home Improvement
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Avoid Space Wasters in Your New Kitchen (And Replace Them With Space Savers)

Posted on January 10, 2019 by Jennifer Chan

Back in 2011, Chris Bjorklund, the Savvy Consumer, wrote the original version of this article. Kitchens have changed since then, but the sentiment is timeless: for those of us who live in the Bay Area, there simply isn’t room for space wasters in the kitchen. With that, read on to learn how to replace those space wasters with space savers.

Out: Kitchen desks

In her original post, Chris mentioned that the only family member to ever use her kitchen desk was the dog. Even in 2011, laptops and cellular devices were making traditional desks obsolete. Read more

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Posted in: Home Remodeling, Home Organization, Home Improvement, Savvy Tips
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How to Prepare Your California Home for Winter: Interior Maintenance

Posted on November 15, 2018 by James Florence

California winters may be mild, but it’s still important to perform home winterization tasks in the fall. In our previous article, we covered exterior home winterization. In this segment, we’ll go over some interior maintenance steps to help you prepare your California home for winter. Read more

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Posted in: Home Maintenance, Seasonal, Home Tips, Home Improvement
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