Diamond Certified Tips of the Day: Best of 2014

by Matt Solis

There were a lot of great Diamond Certified Tips in 2014, but the following six are particularly noteworthy for the practical information they provide for Bay Area consumers. Visit www.facebook.com/diamondcertified for many more helpful tips in 2015!

1. Window maintenance
If your property has hard water, be sure to aim lawn sprinklers away from your home’s windows. Over time, the constant barrage of hard water can cause windows to become permanently stained, requiring special chemicals for removal. As a proactive measure, routinely treat your windows with a silicone sealant—it’ll repel rain and other sources of water.

2. House painting
When choosing exterior house paint, avoid excessive use of dark colors—they’re more susceptible to fading, particularly in areas with lots of sunlight exposure. In contrast, by going with light or medium tones, your house’s paint is more likely to look fresh and vibrant for a longer period of time.

3. Water-wise landscaping
Bogged down by the expense of watering a thirsty lawn? Consider reinventing your yard with drought-tolerant landscaping. This approach utilizes creative design techniques to incorporate water-wise plants, accentual ground covers and hardscape features like flagstone walkways, all of which maximize the aesthetics and functionality of a property while minimizing its water consumption.

4. Home energy efficiency
One of the most basic steps in improving home energy efficiency is to identify and seal air leaks. Air leakage through cracks, joints, and other apertures requires your heating and air conditioning systems to work harder during their respective seasons of use, which can result in higher energy bills. To identify air leaks in your home, hire an HVAC technician to perform a blower door test.

5. Getting the right glasses
While every face is unique, opticians have determined seven common facial shapes in order to help consumers find frames that complement their particular features. For instance, a frame with slightly square or rectangular lenses is an ideal choice for someone with an oval face, as the geometric contours add contrast to the roundness while highlighting its natural balance.

6. Fence installation
Contrary to what you may think, winter is actually the best time to install a fence. Not only is the ground softer (which makes it easier to dig for posts), the wood curing process moves much more slowly in cooler weather, which significantly reduces the chance for shrinking, cracking and splitting.