Diamond Certified Blog

The 2017 Summer Diamond Certified Directory Update is Here!

summer update 2016 coverHave you received your free copy of the 2017 Summer 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. Continue reading “The 2017 Summer Diamond Certified Directory Update is Here!” »

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Camp Grandma and Grandpa: Tips for Hosting Your Grandkids This Summer

This year, countless children will be spending at least part of their summer at one of their favorite destinations: their grandparents’ house. If you’re planning on welcoming your grandkids this summer, you’re likely thinking about how to fill those special days. Maybe you’re planning beach outings or trips to the museum; maybe you’re also dreading the mess or worried someone might get hurt. Find out how you can get your home and yard ready for those rambunctious kids (and how to get your home back to normal once they’re gone).

grandchildren enjoying the summer outdoors

If your grandchildren are visiting this summer, create an outdoor space that’s fun and safe for play. Photo: American Ratings Corporation, 2017

Start with safety

The safety precautions you take will depend on your grandchildren’s ages. For the youngest visitors, put any hazardous products (cleaning products, bug repellants) out of reach. Continue reading “Camp Grandma and Grandpa: Tips for Hosting Your Grandkids This Summer” »

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Video: Pre-Sale Inspections in Real Estate

Earlier this week, we posted an article featuring expert tips on preparing to sell a real estate property. One of the aspects mentioned was the advantage of performing pre-sale property inspections. To learn more about what makes this a worthwhile step, watch this informative video by Diamond Certified Expert Contributor David Kerr, partner at Kerr & Jones – Terra Firma Global Partners.

 

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Diamond Certified Experts: Selling a Real Estate Property

real-estate-property-sale

From presentation to marketing, there are several aspects involved in selling a real estate property. Photo: Kerr & Jones – Terra Firma Global Partners (2017)

Whether it’s an investment property or your family home, selling a real estate property is no simple undertaking. Besides the high stakes involved, there are various logistical steps to address, from sprucing up your property’s appearance to planning your marketing campaign. To help you make the most of your property sale, we’ve asked five Diamond Certified Expert Contributors in the real estate field to provide some tips.

Presenting your property

In order for your property to stand out in the competitive Bay Area real estate market, you’ll need to get it looking its best. This consists of several steps, most of which fall under the category of “staging,” an industry-specific approach to home presentation. According to Patricia Scott Winslow, a real estate agent with Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, staging goes beyond merely making the home appear clean and tidy—it also involves strategic use of light, color, foliage and furniture to achieve a desired aesthetic effect. Continue reading “Diamond Certified Experts: Selling a Real Estate Property” »

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Keeping Your Cool: 4 DIY Air Conditioning Maintenance Steps

diy-air-conditioning-maintenance

Annual maintenance will help maximize your air conditioner’s performance. Photo: Kelly Plumbing & Heating, Inc. (2017)

Your air conditioner is designed to keep your home cool during the summer, but like any system, it requires ongoing maintenance to sustain peak operating efficiency. While some maintenance steps are best left to an HVAC professional (such as handling refrigerant), there are others you can perform yourself. Here are four DIY air conditioning maintenance steps:

1. Change the air filter. Before turning on your air conditioner for the season, inspect the air filter and replace it as needed. A new air filter will provide cleaner, fresher indoor air in addition to optimizing airflow and general system performance. Continue reading “Keeping Your Cool: 4 DIY Air Conditioning Maintenance Steps” »

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Posted in Consumers, Home Tips | Tags: , , , , , , ,

All Systems Cold: A Checklist for Your Air Conditioning System

air conditioning system

Check your air conditioning system early, before the first heatwave hits. Photo: Kelly Plumbing & Heating, Inc. (2017)

“I thought you don’t need air conditioning in San Francisco,” we’ve all heard someone say (usually an out-of-towner). But anyone who lives beyond the city limits knows the truth: that cool and foggy peninsula is surrounded by areas that stay hot and dry well into October. The key to staying comfortable and sane during the summer is a properly functioning air conditioning system. Before you flip the thermostat from “heat” to “cool,” take some simple steps to make sure your system is ready to go. With the Bay Area’s changeable spring weather, be sure to check your system early—you don’t want to be one of dozens of desperate customers contacting HVAC technicians when the first heatwave of the season hits. Continue reading “All Systems Cold: A Checklist for Your Air Conditioning System” »

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Posted in Consumers, Home improvement | Tags: , , , ,

Savvy Consumer Tip: Choosing a Summer Camp

With summer right around the corner, now is a good time to start looking for the right camp for your kids.

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Happy Customer Highlights

Consumers who choose Diamond Certified companies are thrilled with the quality of service they receive, and they’re letting us know about it. Here are some recent highlights from our inbox.

ace plumbing and rooter van

Consumers are saying great things about Ace Plumbing and Rooter. Photo: Ace Plumbing and Rooter (2017)

Jan had a great experience with Sigura Construction, Inc.: After a plumbing disaster in our home caused a large amount of damage, we contacted Sigura Construction. Their skilled crew and management personnel worked with us, our HOA, the insurance adjuster, the fire department and the city construction permit bureaucracy to smooth out the entire process. Continue reading “Happy Customer Highlights” »

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Industry Overview: Pet Boarding 101

pet-boarding-facility

To ensure your pet is well cared for in your absence, it’s good to be selective when choosing a pet boarding facility. Photo: Dublin Creek Kennels, Inc. (2017)

Owning a pet is a big responsibility—after all, whether it’s a dog, cat or other kind of animal, a pet has the distinction of being a living entity (unlike your car or house). That’s why, when you’re out of town or otherwise unable to care for yours, a pet boarding facility can be an invaluable resource. To help you prepare for bringing your pet for its boarding stay, we’ve curated the following collection of information about pet boarding, including key terms, useful tips and answers to frequently asked questions.

Types of Pet Supervision Services

Since there are several types of pet supervision services available, it’s good to know the full extent of your options.

Boarding
A pet boarding facility (aka kennel) houses and cares for pets while their owners are away or can’t keep them at home for various reasons. Most kennels offer comfortable accommodations, feeding and medicine services, grooming, playtime, and socialization. Continue reading “Industry Overview: Pet Boarding 101” »

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How to Stay Up on Consumer News and Issues

Newsletters, blogs and podcasts are great ways to stay informed about consumer issues. Photo: American Ratings Corporation, 2017

Like most of you, I subscribe to a variety of news feeds, blogs, email newsletters and podcasts, both for entertainment and so I can learn about things I’m interested in. I’m a big fan of Flipboard, my news feed for politics, cooking and music. For local restaurant openings and news, I enjoy reading tablehopper.com, and my favorite podcast right now is “On Being” with Krista Tippett, which I learned about from a colleague at Diamond Certified. When it comes to consumer news and issues, here are a few of the resources I use to stay informed.

Consumerreports.org
This website from the publishers of Consumer Reports magazine requires a subscription for detailed product ratings. However, it also has a lot of free content with general buying advice. Continue reading “How to Stay Up on Consumer News and Issues” »

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