Diamond Certified Experts: Home Troubleshooting Tips

Posted on September 15, 2020 by James Florence

jumpstart furnace diy

When your furnace, dryer or garbage disposal stops working, your first instinct may be to call a professional. In some cases, however, all it takes is a little troubleshooting to avoid an expensive service call. We asked five Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to share their home troubleshooting tips. Read more

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Posted in: Diamond Certified Experts, Home Tips

5 Tips for Efficient Lawn Irrigation

Posted on September 01, 2020 by James Florence

lawn

Known for their excessive water consumption, grass lawns tend to get a bad rap these days. However, this judgment isn’t entirely fair. The truth is most turf grasses only need about one inch of water per week to maintain their color and active growth. So, why the bad reputation? Perhaps it’s time to shift the blame from the lawns themselves to those responsible for watering them. After all, a lot of home and property owners waste water by not following efficient irrigation practices. To ensure you’re doing all you can to conserve water with your lawn, read these helpful guidelines: Read more

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Posted in: Water Conservation, Home Tips, Landscaping Tips

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