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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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Diamond Certified Experts: How to Hire a Remodeling Contractor

Posted on April 05, 2016 by James Florence

Considering the stakes involved, it’s no surprise that a large-scale remodeling project can be a bit unnerving. After all, you’re entrusting thousands of dollars to a contractor’s promise to deliver a product that currently only exists on paper. That’s why, prior to hiring a contracting firm, it’s critical to confirm it’s worthy of your trust. To gain further insight, we’ve asked five Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to weigh in on what to look for when hiring a remodeling contractor.

A Current License: Diana Connolly, Montclair Construction & Structural, Inc.
All building and remodeling contractors in California are required to carry proper licensing. Unfortunately, not every working contractor conforms to this legal obligation, Read more

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Posted in: Diamond Certified Experts
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San Francisco Prepares for Mandatory Seismic Retrofit Program

Posted on May 21, 2013 by Chris Bjorklund

As of June 18, 2013, if you own a residential building of a certain size in San Francisco, you’ll be required to seismically retrofit it. The law specifically applies to wood frame buildings with “soft stories,” which means buildings with three or more stories, or two stories above a basement or underfloor area that has any portion extending above grade. The buildings must contain five or more units to comply with the new rules.

Ivan Diviney, owner of Diviney Construction Inc., a Diamond Certified company, explains why soft story buildings are so dangerous: “During an earthquake, large openings on the ground floor (like garage doors or commercial spaces with large window and door openings) are especially vulnerable. Read more

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Posted in: Savvy Tips

How to Remodel on a Budget

Posted on September 20, 2012 by Matt Solis

Most homeowners have heard the advice to budget for 20 percent over what they expect to spend or avoid making additions once the work is underway, but many experts recommend more specific ways to save money on a remodeling project. Consider the following tips:

Time your job right. Contractors often charge more during peak construction times (summer and fall) because labor and material costs are usually higher due to increased demand. Schedule your job during winter or downtime in your contractor’s schedule to knock hundreds of dollars off your remodeling bill. Ask your contractor about off-season discounts or other money-saving scheduling arrangements.

Combine jobs. If you’ve been considering getting new windows, Read more

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Posted in: Home Tips
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Frisbee and the Game of Life

Posted on April 23, 2010 by Chris Bjorklund

Because I am in the middle of planning a kitchen remodel and getting some foundation work done, I found these to be wise words from a Diamond Certified Guest Blogger, Michael McCutcheon, owner McCutcheon Construction, Inc.

I was thinking this morning about the language we use when we discuss negotiating with people. “I’ve got to play hard-ball” with this guy….

“Hard-ball” is a pretty good analogy for taking a tough negotiating stance. Hard-ball is very much a game of intimidation, particularly when the pitcher tries to “brush back” the hitter with one that’s “high and tight.” A pitcher will deliberately throw at a batter’s head in order to get them to “back off” the plate. Read more

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Posted in: Home Tips
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