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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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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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Put Your (Square) Feet to Work: How to Turn Your Space Into a Short-Term Rental

Posted on June 06, 2019 by Jennifer Chan

De-cluttering your home and giving it a fresh coat of paint will make your short-term rental more inviting. Photo: Stroke and Kote Painting ©2019

Ever since the introduction of Airbnb a decade ago, homeowners don’t have to be serial landlords or own second homes to earn rental income. If you have an in-law apartment or a spare bedroom, you can put those extra square feet to work. Preparing your home to rent will require effort on your part, but the extra income may well be worth it. If you’re considering turning your home or another property into a short-term rental, here are a few steps you can take to jumpstart the process:

Know the Rules

Around the Bay Area, cities such as San Francisco and Berkeley have passed regulations on short-term rentals, bringing them more in line with hotel taxation plans. Read more

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Posted in: Painting, House Cleaning, Home Security, Home Maintenance, Uncategorized, Home Tips
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Walking the Property Line: How to Avoid Neighbor Conflicts During Home Maintenance or Improvement Projects

Posted on May 23, 2019 by James Florence

Neighbors are kind of like family—whether or not you get along, you’re pretty much stuck with them. One thing that can impact your relationship with your neighbors is home maintenance or improvement projects, especially if a shared property line is involved. To avoid potential conflicts (and know what to do when conflict arises), we asked a few professionals for their advice on navigating this often-complex dynamic. Here’s what they recommend: Read more

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Posted in: Home Maintenance, Home Tips, Landscaping Tips

Preparing for (and Surviving) a Puppy

Posted on March 07, 2019 by Jennifer Chan

Unless you’ve done it before, it’s impossible to understand just how much a new puppy will change your life. This past January, my family fell in love with Olive, a nine-week-old lab mix rescued by Pets & Pals Animal Shelter in Lathrop, CA. Her mother is a purebred Labrador Retriever. All we know about her father is that he’s big and he jumped a high fence. Judging by her size at nine weeks old, the vet estimated that Olive might grow to 80 or even 100 pounds. We hadn’t planned on getting a big dog, but we couldn’t resist that brown-orange bundle with paws the size of pie plates. Read more

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Posted in: House Cleaning, Pet Care, Home Tips
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Specialty Spotlight: Attic Cleaning

Posted on February 28, 2019 by Jennifer Chan

A professional attic cleaning can improve the air quality throughout your home. Photo: Atticare ©2019

Attics can be easy to ignore, but if you neglect yours for long periods of time, it can lead to negative consequences for your home and family. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about keeping attics and crawl spaces clean.

What are the benefits of attic cleaning?

The dust that fills your attic harbors allergens that seep into the main parts of your house. Cleaning your attic and/or crawl space will improve the air quality throughout your home. Read more

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Posted in: Roofing, House Cleaning, Home Tips
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