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Nine Tips for Working with Contractors | Infographic

Posted on August 15, 2017 by Jennifer Chan

Starting a remodeling project? Keep these nine tips at hand! Read more

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Point of Entry: Getting Rid of an Uninvited Rodent

Posted on February 02, 2017 by Jennifer Chan

I named it Lucifer because it couldn’t help being evil. I’m talking about the rat I could hear scrabbling around beneath the heater vent in my kitchen every morning. It didn’t mean any harm, but the rustles and occasional squeaks were too much for me—it had to go.

As it turned out, my first move didn’t involve a pest control company. Before I could set traps, I had to deal with the brand-new front door dug directly beneath my front door.

Before the rains came, these holes were caked with tufts of fur, eliminating any doubt that they were at least one major point of entry. Read more

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Posted in: Uncategorized, Home Tips, Home Improvement, Personal Stories
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Diamond Certified Experts: Bathroom Remodeling 101

Posted on January 24, 2017 by James Florence

It’s a new year, which for many Bay Area homeowners means it’s time to start thinking about their next remodeling project. While there are several areas of the home to consider remodeling, an ideal place to start is the bathroom. Since the bathroom tends to be one of a home’s smallest spaces, it’s typically more affordable to renovate than larger areas like the kitchen. However, along with the kitchen, the bathroom is considered one the most lucrative areas of the home to remodel in terms of increasing resale value. Furthermore, since the bathroom is statistically considered the most dangerous room in the house (due to the increased chances for falls and other accidents), remodeling provides an opportunity to improve safety. Read more

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How To Choose a Contractor

Posted on January 18, 2017 by Joy Lanzaro

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. You can check contractors’ licenses at cslb.ca.gov. 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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Castles on the Ground: How to Build Your Dream House

Posted on January 10, 2017 by Jennifer Chan

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” ―Henry David Thoreau

Welcome to January. Last month, you cooked up your dream home in a heady mix of holiday punch, gingerbread and champagne. Now, both metaphorically and literally, it’s time to build those foundations. We’ve written often on this blog about how to get started on a house remodeling project (for examples, see “How to Choose a Contractor” and “Choosing Appliances for a Kitchen Remodel”). Carefully choosing a licensed contractor, budgeting attentively and understanding local building laws are all important preliminary steps, Read more

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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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Three Questions to Ask Your Future Contractor

Posted on May 28, 2012 by Joy Lanzaro

Good general contractors are good managers of not only their talent, but also their money and their clients’ priorities and expectations. The best don’t mind an opportunity to set upfront expectations with serious customers. Here are three questions you can ask that will give you some insight on your prospective contractor:

1. Can you give me an example of a conflict that came up on a recent job and describe how you resolved it? Murphy’s Law works on building projects just as well as anywhere else. You can tell a lot about a person by how fair-minded they are when they retell a conflict resolution story.

2. Will you work until my project is finished, Read more

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