Diamond Certified Blog

Diamond Certified Experts: Crucial Aspects of Landscape Maintenance

Indoor home maintenance is crucial, but it’s also important to maintain your exterior property. Photo: Dana Lund Landscaping (2015)

Indoor home maintenance is crucial, but it’s also important to maintain your exterior property. Photo: Dana Lund Landscaping (2015)

While it’s smart to be proactive about indoor home maintenance, keeping up with your exterior property is equally important. We asked four Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to weigh in on aspects of landscaping where maintenance matters most.

Seasonal garden preparation: Michael Moore of Masterpiece Gardens & Design, Inc.

To keep your garden looking its best all year long, swap out the previous season’s plants for current varietals. Photo: Masterpiece Gardens & Design, Inc. (2015)

To keep your garden looking its best all year long, swap out the previous season’s plants for current varietals. Photo: Masterpiece Gardens & Design, Inc. (2015)

A crucial part of garden maintenance is swapping out annual plant varieties in conjunction with the changing seasons, which can be done in a few simple steps. First, remove the outgoing annuals and prepare the bed for incoming plants by adding fertilizer and new soil to provide fresh nutrients. Next, install your plants. Remember to arrange them with the tallest in back and shortest in front to optimize sunlight exposure. When planting fall annuals, it’s also a good time to pre-plant spring bulbs like tulips, daffodils and crocus, as they take several months to germinate. Once all the plants are situated, give the entire bed a light soaking. Continue reading “Diamond Certified Experts: Crucial Aspects of Landscape Maintenance” »

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Spotlight: Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer Membership

Maybe you’ve heard about the Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer Membership but still aren’t quite sure what it’s all about. Maybe you just haven’t had a chance to learn more, or maybe your consumer “spider sense” has kicked in and you’re detecting some kind of sales gimmick.DCPC card

The fact is, not only is becoming a Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer incredibly easy, there’s positively nothing to lose because it’s always 100 percent free. Here are a few of the benefits that come with being a card carrying member of our Preferred Consumer program:

Member hotline
Whether to ask a question, lodge a complaint or compliment a Diamond Certified company on their great work, Preferred Consumers can get responsive assistance during business hours by way of our exclusive Member Hotline. Continue reading “Spotlight: Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer Membership” »

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Hungry Eyes: Six Nutrients That Support Healthy Vision and Where to Find Them

When it comes to maintaining eye health, an often overlooked consideration is dietary nutrition. Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2015)

When it comes to maintaining eye health, an often overlooked consideration is dietary nutrition. Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2015)

If you’re a health-conscious person, it’s likely that you take proactive measures to safeguard the health of your eyes in addition to your general bodily health. However, while wearing sunglasses and going in for annual eye exams are cornerstones of ocular wellness, a commonly overlooked aspect of visual health is dietary consideration. According to Dr. Michael Ottati of Diablo Valley Optometric Group in Antioch, there’s a direct link between nutrition and eye health. “Getting proper nutrition is one of the most important steps you can take to keep your eyes healthy,” he says. “Maintaining a well-balanced diet not only supports good vision, it can also help reduce retinal problems, cataracts and disease.”

Even if you already suffer from vision problems, being conscientious about optical nutrition can still reap positive effects. Continue reading “Hungry Eyes: Six Nutrients That Support Healthy Vision and Where to Find Them” »

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How a Bedtime Story Inspired Me to Get Organized in 2015

One of the best ways to increase comfort and functionality in the home is to implement organizational measures. Photo: PremierGarage (2014)

One of the best ways to increase comfort and functionality in the home is to implement organizational measures. Photo: PremierGarage (2014)

Have you ever been partway through a book or movie and suddenly found yourself staring at a reflection of your own life? Maybe you identified with a particular character’s loss, struggle or triumph, or chuckled at a comical situation similar to one you’ve personally experienced. After all, isn’t relatability one of the primary features that cause stories to resonate with us? Continue reading “How a Bedtime Story Inspired Me to Get Organized in 2015” »

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Posted in Home Tips, Personal Stories, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mind Games: The Psychology of Scamming

The best way to avoid a scam is to be hypercritical when making significant financial decisions.

The best way to avoid a scam is to be hypercritical when making significant financial decisions.

Several weeks ago, I received a phone call from a representative who told me we had failed to pay for our newspaper subscription since September. He said I could pay the past due amount by credit card along with another three months in advance: a total of $400. I was so embarrassed about being late on the bill that I almost fell for the scam. Just a few days later, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a full-page ad warning subscribers that this particular company wasn’t authorized to offer renewals (almost double the usual amount) and to ignore the calls and notices sent by mail. Continue reading “Mind Games: The Psychology of Scamming” »

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Locking in Your Utility Rate with Solar

Modern consumers are relying on electrical power more than ever—a fact made apparent by the growing prominence of electric vehicles. The problem is that power rates aren’t static; they increase exponentially in proportion to increases in usage. So, if your power bills are out of control, it’s time to seriously consider installing a solar power system on your property.

While solar power offers financial benefits like utility rebates and tax incentives, the single greatest savings to be had is on your monthly power bill. Photo: Sierra Roofing & Solar (2014)

While solar power offers financial benefits like utility rebates and tax incentives, the single greatest savings to be had is on your monthly power bill. Photo: Sierra Roofing & Solar (2014)

The exponential correlation between usage and utility rate is something electric vehicle owners are finding out the hard way. Continue reading “Locking in Your Utility Rate with Solar” »

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The 2015 Winter Diamond Certified Directory Update is Here!

2015 Winter Diamond Certified Directory UpdateHave you received your free copy of the Winter Diamond Certified Directory Update in the mail? It provides instant access to hundreds of local, top rated Diamond Certified companies across a wide range of service industries, from auto repair and landscaping to optometry and dentistry.

Every Diamond Certified company must continue to deliver on its promises to you, the consumer. That’s why we conduct ongoing customer satisfaction research, perform credential-based ratings, monitor each company’s performance, and back you up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee.

If you haven’t received your copy of the 2015 Winter Diamond Certified Directory Update, simply click this link and we’ll send one as soon as possible. Get a jump start on calling Diamond Certified companies before their schedules fill up for the spring!

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Savvy Consumer Tip: Avoiding Weight Loss Scams

Do you know how to spot a weight loss scam? Watch this video for some helpful tips.

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Diamond Certified Tips of the Day: Best of 2014

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. Continue reading “Diamond Certified Tips of the Day: Best of 2014” »

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It’s That Time Again. What’s Your New Year’s Resolution for 2015?

We are very curious.

Maybe your New Year’s resolution relates to services that Diamond Certified companies provide: you want to remodel your bathroom or get your teeth cleaned more often. Or, instead, maybe you just want to finish that novel or lose 10 pounds. Either way, we want to hear about it. Write it on a piece of paper (like we did below) and send us a selfie. You can also write your resolution in the comment section below.

Thanks for sharing and good luck!

While we wait to hear from you, here are some of the things we came up with:

New Years Resolution Post v2

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Posted in Consumers, Diamond Certified Extras, Diamond Certified News, Personal Stories | Tags: , , , ,

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