Diamond Certified Blog

Consumer Response to the 2016 Diamond Certified Directory

2016 directory coverWe’re thrilled about the publication of our 2016 Diamond Certified Directory. (If you haven’t received your FREE copy in the mail yet, click here.) The 10 county-specific versions have been arriving in Bay Area mailboxes throughout April and we’re already seeing significant usage. We spend a lot of time getting the Diamond Certified Directory just right, so we love hearing from consumers who use it.

Barbara S. writes, “My husband and I keep the directory in a handy place because it’s our ‘go to’ resource when we need to find a service provider for our home and/or health.” Continue reading “Consumer Response to the 2016 Diamond Certified Directory” »

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Posted in Consumer Events, Consumer News, Consumers, Diamond Certified News, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

Summer Fungus: Preventing Mold in the Off-Season

Despite the warm, dry conditions of summer, mold problems can persist in moisture-prone areas. Photo: Environmental Remedies, Inc. (2016)

Despite the warm, dry conditions of summer, mold problems can persist in moisture-prone areas. Photo: Environmental Remedies, Inc. (2016)

Mold is a common household problem during the winter, when the moist, rainy weather creates ideal conditions for fungi to flourish. While the arrival of summer tends to reverse these conditions, in some residences, mold is nonetheless a year-round problem. For example, if your home is poorly ventilated or situated in a humid or heavily shaded location (i.e. coastal or dense forest), the warm summer climate may do little to mitigate mold, which means you’ll need to take proactive measures to combat it. Continue reading “Summer Fungus: Preventing Mold in the Off-Season” »

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Frequently Asked Questions about Real Estate Agents

Ready to dive into the deep waters of Bay Area real estate? Your first (and possibly most important) step is finding a guide, helpmate, champion and problem-solver: your real estate agent. Not sure where to start? Read on…

What does a real estate agent do?
What is the difference between a real estate agent, a Realtor® and a real estate broker?
Do I need a real estate agent?
How do I find a real estate agent?
How does a real estate agent get paid?
What are some of the qualities I should look for in a real estate agent? Continue reading “Frequently Asked Questions about Real Estate Agents” »

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Posted in Home improvement, Home Tips, Real Estate Tips, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Art of the Tweak: Small Change but Big Home Improvement

Chris enlisted her 10-year-old neighbor, Alice Doyle Taylor, to help her make new bathroom curtains. Photo: Chris Bjorklund, 2016

Chris enlisted her 10-year-old neighbor, Alice Doyle Taylor, to help her make new bathroom curtains. Photo: Chris Bjorklund, 2016

As I mentioned in last month’s newsletter, I’ve been busy having three bedrooms and a bathroom painted, which forced me to clean out my closets. The project was time-consuming, but I’m happy to say I didn’t spend a lot of money. It made our home more aesthetically pleasing and I’m looking forward to having houseguests again.

That got me thinking about other little things my husband and I could do to spruce things up that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. Continue reading “The Art of the Tweak: Small Change but Big Home Improvement” »

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Posted in Consumer News, Home improvement, Home Tips, Savvy Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Is a Sunshade Right for Your Needs?

Guest post by Jennifer Filzen, Marketing Representative at Acme Sunshades Enterprise Inc, a Diamond Certified company.

Let’s say you own a restaurant and want to create an outdoor dining space for your customers. You can have any type of pergola, sunshade or awning built for you, but there are several things to consider before making a final decision.

sunshades and awnings

Acme Sunshades installed this motorized retractable conservatory awning on a rooftop in San Francisco. Photo: Acme Sunshades Enterprise Inc., 2016

Is your outdoor area surrounded by lots of trees? Too many trees could blow a heavy pile of leaves on top of your sunshade and cause it to collapse. If you want an outdoor area with a sunshade, you should consider a retractable shade that you can move out of the way in the event of rain or wind. Continue reading “Is a Sunshade Right for Your Needs?” »

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Posted in Home improvement, Home Tips, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Swim ‘n’ Save: How to Splash the Cost of Running Your Pool

save-energy-swimming-pool

Swimming pools may be notorious energy guzzlers, but there are plenty of ways for pool owners to decrease their summertime power bills. Photo: Royal Pools of Santa Clara, Inc. (2016)

While children anxiously await the coming of summer, there are others who are less enthusiastic about it—and no, we’re not just talking about their parents. Motorists, for example, know all too well the “pain at the pump” that sets in as gas prices make their seasonal ascent. Likewise, if you’re a swimming pool owner, you experience a similar summertime phenomenon—only, instead of the fuel pump, your pool pump is the source of pain. Let’s face it: swimming pools are enjoyable, but they aren’t cheap to maintain. In fact, it’s been estimated that homes with swimming pools use almost 50 percent more electricity than those without. Continue reading “Swim ‘n’ Save: How to Splash the Cost of Running Your Pool” »

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The 2016 Diamond Certified Directory is Here!

The massive distribution of the 2016 Diamond Certified Directory has begun, with more than 800,000 copies reaching homes and businesses throughout the Greater Bay Area. Your FREE copy should be arriving very soon (if it hasn’t already), so keep your eyes on your mailbox!

If you’re new to the Diamond Certified Directory and would like to receive a free copy for your local area, simply visit www.diamondcertified.org/directory and fill out the required information. Continue reading “The 2016 Diamond Certified Directory is Here!” »

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Posted in Consumers, Diamond Certified Experts, Diamond Certified News, Savvy Tips | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Diamond Certified Experts: How to Hire a Remodeling Contractor

When choosing a remodeling contractor, there’s a lot more to consider than the bottom line. Photo: Ryan & Ryan Construction, Inc. (2016)

When choosing a remodeling contractor, there’s a lot more to consider than the bottom line. Photo: Ryan & Ryan Construction, Inc. (2016)

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, so you’ll need to make sure yours does. To verify a contractor’s license is current, look up the license number on the California State Licensing Board’s website (www.cslb.ca.gov), which keeps a record of all registered contractors in the state. Continue reading “Diamond Certified Experts: How to Hire a Remodeling Contractor” »

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Savvy Consumer Tip: Check Your Tread Wear

Do you know how to tell if your car’s tires have adequate tread wear? Watch this video for some helpful information.

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Caring for Your Child’s Dental Health

Charlie Brusher

Set your child up for healthy habits in the future by fostering an early awareness of proper dental hygiene. Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2016)

You’re likely aware of the importance of dental health, but you probably didn’t start out that way. After all, knowledge of proper oral hygiene isn’t innate; rather, it’s something that’s instilled in us over time, beginning from a young age. So, in order to set the stage for long-term dental health, parents of young children need to be proactive about teaching healthy habits early. Here’s a brief overview of how to care for your child’s dental health throughout the seminal phases of childhood:

Infancy
Dental care begins at birth. Even before teeth begin to come in, dentists recommend cleaning an infant’s gums with a wet washcloth or gauze pad following each feeding. Continue reading “Caring for Your Child’s Dental Health” »

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