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Specialty Spotlight: Computer Services

Posted on October 10, 2019 by Suzanne Carroll

Modern society relies on computers more than ever, which means when something goes wrong, everything in your life can come to a halt. However, if you run into computer trouble, you don’t have to rely on a big-box electronics store for service—there are many independent companies that provide a full range of repair options for computers, tablets and cellphones. In this article, we’ll go over what these companies offer and learn some of their tips for keeping your electronics running at their best. Read more

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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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How to Use the 2019 Diamond Certified Directory

Posted on April 16, 2019 by Jennifer Chan

Each profile in the 2019 Diamond Certified Directory lists everything you need to make a smart choice. Photo: American Ratings Corporation ©2019

Since the beginning of April, the 2019 Diamond Certified Directory has been arriving at the homes and businesses of consumers throughout the Greater Bay Area. We mailed more than 800,000 directories and we’ve been thrilled with the response! (If you didn’t get your FREE copy, click here.)

We wanted to take a moment to remind you of all the great features the Diamond Certified Directory contains.

Every company listed in each county-specific directory has earned the prestigious Diamond Certified award, which means they’ve been independently rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise®. Our ratings team works year-round vetting local companies. They phone past customers, verify licenses, and ensure that things like certifications and insurance are up-to-date. Read more

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Posted in: Uncategorized, Consumer News, Consumers, Diamond Certified News
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Happy Holidays 2018!

Posted on December 20, 2018 by Jennifer Chan

(L to R): Maria Onrubia, Mari K. Patrick, Suzanne Carroll (as Santa), James Florence, Char Leary, and everyone else at American Ratings Corporation wishes you and yours the happiest of holidays! See you next year!

 

 

 

 

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Specialty Spotlight: Reupholstering Your Furniture

Posted on October 18, 2018 by Jennifer Chan

Reupholstering old furniture can give your living room a fresh look. Photo: Master's Touch Upholstery ©2018

Whether you want to bring new life to a treasured heirloom or just freshen up your living room, reupholstering your furniture might be the answer.

 

It happens to all of us. The kitten sharpens his claws on your couch. A guest spills wine on your chair. Your once-lovely living room has turned dingy seemingly overnight. Whatever the cause, restoration is in order and it might be time to consider reupholstery. Here’s what you need to know.

When does it make sense to reupholster?

Reupholstering a piece of furniture isn’t about trying to get the cheapest deal; it’s about bringing new life to your favorite pieces. “If a piece of furniture is well-made and isn’t too damaged, Read more

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How To Choose a Contractor

Posted on October 09, 2018 by Joy Lanzaro

How to Choose a Contractor for Your Home Improvement Project, in 8 Easy steps.

Today we’re republishing one of our most popular (and useful) posts from Joy Lanzaro, Director of Mediation & Compliance.

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.
  3. 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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How to Care for Your Computer

Posted on October 04, 2018 by James Florence

computer care comic laptopComputers and laptops may seem low-maintenance, but in reality, they have needs and vulnerabilities that require proactive care. To maintain optimal computer performance and avoid common pitfalls like viruses and data loss, consider the following computer care tips: Read more

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