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How To Choose a Contractor

Posted on January 18, 2017 by Joy Lanzaro

Here are eight steps you can take to hire a reputable remodeling contractor:

1. Obtain multiple bids (if possible). Getting multiple bids is a great way to ensure you’re making an informed choice. If you sign a contract, you have exactly three days to rescind in writing. Upon rescission, the contractor must return your deposit. If your area has been declared a disaster area, the three-day Right of Rescission extends to seven days.

2. Check license information. By law, anyone who undertakes to improve your home or property must have a contractor’s license if the cost from start to completion will exceed $500. You can check contractors’ licenses at cslb.ca.gov. Read more

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Posted in: Uncategorized, Consumer News, Consumer Events, Consumers, Customer Service, Diamond Certified News, Home Improvement
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Dealing with Foundation Problems

Posted on January 12, 2017 by Joy Lanzaro

Recently, I spoke to a homeowner who hired a contractor to demolish and re-build a chimney, as well as repair cracks to stucco and drywall. That contractor abandoned the job. The homeowner then hired a Diamond Certified company to patch cracks in the stucco and reinstall the mantel, which the homeowner had removed from around the fireplace.

What went wrong?
When the incoming contractor remounted the fireplace mantel, it looked crooked. The contractor explained that the problem wasn’t the mantel—the house was uneven. This explanation was not received well. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Home Tips, Home Improvement
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Castles on the Ground: How to Build Your Dream House

Posted on January 10, 2017 by Jennifer Chan

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” ―Henry David Thoreau

Welcome to January. Last month, you cooked up your dream home in a heady mix of holiday punch, gingerbread and champagne. Now, both metaphorically and literally, it’s time to build those foundations. We’ve written often on this blog about how to get started on a house remodeling project (for examples, see “How to Choose a Contractor” and “Choosing Appliances for a Kitchen Remodel”). Carefully choosing a licensed contractor, budgeting attentively and understanding local building laws are all important preliminary steps, Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Home Tips, Home Improvement
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Diamond Certified Tips of the Day: Best of 2016

Posted on December 22, 2016 by Jennifer Chan

Followers of our Facebook page know that we post daily tips for Bay Area consumers. Whether these tips concern home improvement, auto care, health or something else completely, we strive to make them relevant, practical and helpful. Here’s a sample of 10 noteworthy tips from 2016. For more, be sure to “like” our page at www.facebook.com/diamondcertified.

Tip of the Day: While materials and workmanship are crucial factors in a fence’s longevity, another important aspect is preventative maintenance. To protect your fence from rot and premature wear, make sure fence posts are kept out of contact with the soil, and adjust sprinklers so their streams don’t hit the fence. Read more

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Posted in: Auto Tips, Consumers, Health Tips, Home Tips, Home Improvement, Real Estate Tips, Savvy Tips
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Tip Sheet: 5 Steps to Prepare for Remodeling

Posted on December 13, 2016 by James Florence

Like many Bay Area homeowners, you may be planning for a remodeling project in the upcoming new year. Since preparedness is the name of the game in remodeling, it’s best to start addressing the preliminary details well in advance. Use the following tip sheet to make sure all your bases are covered:

1. Get multiple bids. Getting estimates from at least three contractors will enable you to compare bids and make a more educated choice. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Home Improvement
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Video: Energy-Efficient Attic Improvements

Posted on November 10, 2016 by James Florence

Earlier this week, we posted an article featuring expert tips on maximizing home insulation. One of the aspects mentioned was eliminating heat loss by improving attic air sealing and insulation. To learn more about what this entails, watch this informative video by Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Greg Sutliff of Alcal Specialty Contracting, Inc.

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Posted in: Diamond Certified Experts, Home Improvement
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Diamond Certified Experts: Keeping in the Heat

Posted on November 08, 2016 by James Florence

One of the biggest concerns during winter is maintaining a comfortable climate inside the home. However, if your home lacks sufficient insulation, this can get expensive. Heat is an expert escape artist, which means the more escape routes your home contains, the more money you’re going to spend replenishing what you lose. To address this, we’ve asked seven Diamond Certified Experts to give their advice on keeping in the heat during the winter months. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Diamond Certified Experts, Home Tips, Home Improvement
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