DIY Mold Tests

Posted on March 25, 2021 by Chris Bjorklund

During the shelter-in-place orders, so many of us are spending more time at home than ever before. This has brought on a home improvement and decorating boom, along with another rather mixed blessing: the opportunity to uncover hidden problems. In my case, it was a slow water leak from a skylight.

For months, I’ve been ignoring some cracks and small bubbles in my bathroom ceiling near the skylight. After one of the recent rainstorms, the problem became more noticeable. I decided to poke a broom handle around the area and it was spongy. As my husband and I tore out the ceiling, we discovered mold in an area that extended several feet in all directions. Read more

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Posted in: DIY Home Repair, Home Maintenance, Indoor Air Quality, Consumers, Home Tips, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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Five Reasons to Get Three Bids

Posted on March 09, 2021 by Joy Lanzaro

Collecting multiple bids for a home improvement project isn’t just about price shopping; it’s about ensuring every step of your project is handled as efficiently as possible. Here are the top reasons for getting at least three bids on your project:

1. You’ll learn a lot by talking to professionals ahead of time. This extra information will allow you to test what you know and don’t know about your planning, your budget and what’s included with the bid.

2. Before making a hiring decision, you want to be absolutely confident in your choice. Ultimately, the contractor you hire will leave a distinct mark on your life by creating a system that meets a purpose and lends value that can’t simply be returned or rejected if you don’t like it. Read more

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Posted in: Home 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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In-Law Suites: A Solution for Multigenerational Households

Posted on May 09, 2019 by Suzanne Carroll

This Mother’s Day, many Americans won’t have to travel far to hug their mothers. That’s because an increasing number of households have several generations living under one roof. For some, grandparents offer much-needed child care for busy, working parents; for other families, it’s reassuring, safer and more cost-effective to have an ailing parent living at home. Read more

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Posted in: Senior Living
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Avoid Space Wasters in Your New Kitchen (And Replace Them With Space Savers)

Posted on January 10, 2019 by Jennifer Chan

Back in 2011, Chris Bjorklund, the Savvy Consumer, wrote the original version of this article. Kitchens have changed since then, but the sentiment is timeless: for those of us who live in the Bay Area, there simply isn’t room for space wasters in the kitchen. With that, read on to learn how to replace those space wasters with space savers.

Out: Kitchen desks

In her original post, Chris mentioned that the only family member to ever use her kitchen desk was the dog. Even in 2011, laptops and cellular devices were making traditional desks obsolete. Read more

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Posted in: Home Remodeling, Home Organization, Home Improvement, Savvy Tips
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How to Be Their Favorite Customer

Posted on July 10, 2018 by Jennifer Chan

Today, we’re revisiting a subject important to anyone embarking on a home improvement project: how you can help streamline the process by being a good customer. Below, Greg Louie, CEO of American Ratings Corporation, discusses what you can do to help foster the success of any project.

How to Be Their Favorite Customer
When you work with a local company, it’s ultimately their responsibility to perform a thorough and complete job, but you play a big part in the success of your project, too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be their favorite customer:

  • Be clear and upfront with the company representative.
  • Outline the problem,
  • Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Home Improvement
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The 2018 Diamond Certified Home Service Calendar

Posted on January 31, 2018 by Jennifer Chan

The 2018 Diamond Certified Home Service Calendar is our way of saying "thanks." Photo: American Ratings Corporation, 2018

Help us celebrate our new website by taking our 1-minute video tour at diamondcertified.org. To show our appreciation, we’ll mail your family a FREE 2018 Diamond Certified Home Service Calendar and donate in your name to your local fire district. But don’t delay—we have a limited supply of calendars and they’re going fast.

Here’s some of what you’ll find inside the 2018 Diamond Certified Home Service Calendar:

  • Monthly home, health and auto checklists that feature important tasks you need to take care of throughout the year
  • Helpful tips and insider knowledge from Diamond Certified Expert Contributors
  • Important days for Bay Area consumers to remember,
  • Read more

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Posted in: Uncategorized, Consumers, Diamond Certified Extras, Diamond Certified News
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