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All About Outdoor Kitchens

Posted on August 09, 2016 by James Florence

With the beautiful weather in the Bay Area, it’s no wonder that one of the biggest local home improvement trends is to extend one’s living space to the outside with add-ons like decks and covered patios. However, even though these exterior additions are great, you can take your alfresco experience to a whole new level by building an outdoor kitchen, which will allow you to prepare meals and dine under the sun or stars. To learn about the process of outdoor kitchen construction, we’re joined by North Bay Area landscaping contractor Alain Joske.

Plan way in advance. An outdoor kitchen isn’t built overnight—it’s a lengthy process, and the actual construction is often the shortest part. Read more

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Posted in: Decks and Patios, Consumers, Home Tips, Home Improvement, Landscaping Tips
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Choosing Appliances for a Kitchen Remodel

Posted on January 19, 2016 by James Florence

When planning to remodel their kitchens, many homeowners focus on improving aspects such as visual aesthetics and functional utility. However, a kitchen remodel also provides a great opportunity to improve energy efficiency, primarily through updating appliances like refrigerators and ovens with new, environmentally-friendly models. By minimizing energy consumption, updating your kitchen appliances will reduce both your carbon footprint and monthly power bills, which is a true win-win situation. Here are some things to look for when selecting new appliances: Read more

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Posted in: Home Remodeling, Consumers
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Diamond Certified Experts: 5 Preliminary Steps for Remodeling

Posted on January 12, 2016 by James Florence

Everyone knows home remodeling projects can be costly and complicated, but they don’t have to be as stressful as they’re often made out to be. By taking preliminary steps and addressing things in advance, you can set yourself up for a smooth process and successful results. To gain some helpful insight, we’ve asked five Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to give their tips on preparing for a remodeling project.

Jim Kabel1. Define the scope: Jim Kabel of Case Design/Remodeling
Before you begin interviewing designers and contractors, have a clear idea of what you want. Read more

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Posted in: Home Remodeling, Diamond Certified Experts, Home Improvement
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7 Ways to Save Money on Your Home Remodeling Project

Posted on January 05, 2016 by James Florence

While many Bay Area residents are preparing to tackle their long-deferred project ideas, for some, the urge to remodel is constrained by the significant expenses involved. However, even if you’re working with a limited budget, there are numerous ways you can cut costs without compromising quality. Here are seven money-saving strategies to consider:

1. Design your project to accommodate existing systems. If your plumbing and electrical systems are in good condition, you can avoid the cost of rerouting pipes or wiring by designing your remodeling project to accommodate them. In addition to saving a substantial amount of money, this strategy aligns with a sustainable approach to remodeling. Read more

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Posted in: Home Remodeling, Consumers, Home Improvement
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Cool Tips for a More Efficient Refrigerator

Posted on August 25, 2015 by James Florence

Most people assume their refrigerators are working fine as long as they don’t notice any obvious problems, but few realize they’re paying far more than necessary to keep their food fresh. The reality is that an inefficient refrigerator can consume up to three times the amount of power used by a properly functioning unit, often without anyone noticing. That’s why it’s a good idea to periodically inspect your refrigerator and address any issues that may be causing energy loss. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Home Tips
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Industry Overview: Plumbing

Posted on July 28, 2015 by James Florence

Like many industries, plumbing is extremely complex and continues to become more so with ongoing technological innovations. This article contains some useful information to help you get more acquainted with the trade, including key terms, DIY tips and answers to frequently asked questions.

Key Terms

Aerator: A device added to the open end of a faucet that mixes air with water to create a more even flow. Inexpensive to install, faucet aerators can help conserve water without diminishing water pressure.

Fittings: Fittings usually refer to faucets, shower valves and tub fillers, although they may also refer to piping coupling such as elbow and tee fittings.

GPM: Gallons per minute (GPM) is the rate of water flow from faucets and shower heads. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Home Tips
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Spring Cleaning: Simple Ways to Brighten, Freshen and Rejuvenate Your Home

Posted on April 07, 2015 by James Florence

April is here, which means it’s once again time to engage in the longstanding domestic ritual known as spring cleaning. In addition to tackling annual maintenance tasks like cleaning your carpets and flushing your water heater, spring cleaning offers a chance to optimize your home for enjoying the temperate weather and extended daylight. Here are some simple things you can do to brighten, freshen and rejuvenate your home.

Brighten
During the sunny season, you’ll want to bring as much light as possible into your home. Start by washing your windows. Regardless of the tools or methodology you employ (most professionals recommend using a squeegee and a 100 percent cotton cloth), there are a couple of important rules to follow. Read more

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Posted in: House Cleaning, Consumers, Home Tips
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