Diamond Certified Blog

Reinforcing Your Home with Seismic Retrofitting

With geologists predicting a large earthquake in the coming years, now is the time to get your home properly reinforced. Photo: Paradigm Concrete & Construction, Inc. (2016)

With geologists predicting a large earthquake in the coming years, now is the time to get your home properly reinforced. Photo: Paradigm Concrete & Construction, Inc. (2016)

With David Lorber, owner of Superior Builders & Remodelers

Living in the Bay Area, we have a lot to be thankful for, from the mild, sunny weather to the lush, scenic landscape. Additionally, we’re spared from many of the severe weather phenomena that exist in other areas, such as hurricanes, blizzards and tornados. However, there’s one destructive natural force the Bay Area isn’t exempt from: earthquakes. While an earthquake may lack the portentous visual dread of a Midwestern twister, perhaps no other natural disaster is able to inflict such a devastating toll in such a brief span of time—often mere seconds. What’s worse, we’re due: Geologists predict that a large magnitude earthquake will occur in Northern California within the next 30 years, likely along the Hayward Fault. Continue reading “Reinforcing Your Home with Seismic Retrofitting” »

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Money Matters: Managing a Loved One’s Financial Affairs

If you have an aging loved one in your life, make sure you’re prepared to help them maintain their physical and financial well-being. Photo: Chris Bjorklund (2016)

If you have an aging loved one in your life, make sure you’re prepared to help them maintain their physical and financial well-being. Photo: Chris Bjorklund (2016)

My brothers and I are fortunate to still have our 95-year-old mother in our lives, but we do have a lot of responsibility for her physical and financial well-being. We’ve helped her with estate planning, medical directives and investments, and we manage her bills, doctors’ appointments, medications, and caregivers. My older brother, a certified public accountant, has power of attorney. Like most families, we have a lot going on and it can be overwhelming at times.

Despite our collective efforts to keep things organized and do advance planning, we’ve had some glitches. Continue reading “Money Matters: Managing a Loved One’s Financial Affairs” »

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Choose a Fabric that Performs (So You Don’t Have To)

Guest Post By Ron Smith, owner of J. Hettinger Interiors

choosing upholstery fabrics

Keep in mind that better fabrics will be priced higher. Photo: J. Hettinger Interiors, 2016

Ready for a makeover? Whether your old sofa needs a facelift or you’re redecorating your entire home, selecting fabrics will be a key part of the design process. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

First, when it’s time to select a fabric for your furniture, cost should be just one of the many factors you consider. A design professional can help you choose fabrics that wear well, clean easily and keep their color over time. Continue reading “Choose a Fabric that Performs (So You Don’t Have To)” »

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Video: Creating a Color Scheme

Earlier this week, we posted an article featuring expert tips on selecting colors for an interior painting project. One tip suggested utilizing tools like the monochromatic color scheme, as well as a color wheel for locating complementary hues. To learn about these in greater detail, watch this informative video by Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Yefim Skomorovsky of Classic Shades Painting Co.

Continue reading “Video: Creating a Color Scheme” »

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Diamond Certified Experts: Choosing Paint Colors

A crucial aspect of painting your home is choosing a color scheme you’ll enjoy looking at for years. Photo: Classic Shades Painting Co. (2016)

A crucial aspect of painting your home is choosing a color scheme you’ll enjoy looking at for years. Photo: Classic Shades Painting Co. (2016)

One of the most challenging aspects of any interior painting project is selecting colors. If you don’t believe it, just take a look at any color swatch gallery and try not to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume and variety of options. The intimidation factor is further compounded by the fact that you have to live with the colors you choose for the next several years. If the prospect of choosing paint colors has you in a panic, take a deep breath and read the following advice from three Diamond Certified Expert Contributors: Continue reading “Diamond Certified Experts: Choosing Paint Colors” »

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Tip Sheet: 3 Types of Termites and How to Deal With Them

Many people assume there’s only one kind of termite, but as Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Dave Roe explains, it’s not that simple. In reality, there are three different types of termites found in the Bay Area, which is why it’s good to know how to identify and deal with each.

Dampwood termite. Photo: Leading Edge Pest Management, Inc. (2016)

Unlike drywood and subterranean termites, dampwood termites don’t actually pose a threat to your home. Photo: Leading Edge Pest Management, Inc. (2016)

1. Dampwood termites
If you find dampwood termites in your home, there’s good news and bad news. The good news: since they only eat damp, rotten wood, they’re actually doing you a favor. The bad news: damp, rotten wood means there’s some kind of leak in your home. Once you’ve fixed the leak and removed the rot, the termites will go away. Continue reading “Tip Sheet: 3 Types of Termites and How to Deal With Them” »

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The Water’s Fine: A Guide to Pool Sanitation Alternatives

While chlorine has long been the standard in swimming pool sanitation, recent industry innovations have led to the development of alternative options. Photo: Classic Pools (2016)

While chlorine has long been the standard in swimming pool sanitation, recent industry innovations have led to the development of alternative options. Photo: Classic Pools (2016)

Due to its superior disinfecting properties, chlorine has long been the standard in swimming pool sanitization. However, even though it’s effective at killing harmful germs and bacteria, it has one significant downside: it’s toxic to swimmers. Although it’s diluted to a safe level for pool use, a toxic chemical that’s watered down is still a toxic chemical, which is why many Bay Area pool owners have become interested in safer, alternative methods of sanitation. There are a number of options available, and each has specific pros and cons, so it’s important to do some research before making a decision. Here are a few common pool sanitation alternatives and some basic information about them:

Continue reading “The Water’s Fine: A Guide to Pool Sanitation Alternatives” »

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Children’s Dental Care: Frequently Asked Questions

Over the past few months, we’ve published a number of blogs concerning children’s health care—or, to be more specific, children’s dental and vision care. These posts have proven popular enough to warrant follow-up. So, just in time for summer, we’re scouting out answers to some of your frequently asked questions about children’s dental and vision care. This week: children’s dental FAQs.

Children's Dental Health

It’s never too early to start teaching your child about proper dental care. Image: American Ratings Corporation, 2016

When should I bring my child to his or her first dental exam?
The American Dental Association recommends bringing your child for its first exam by age 1 at the latest. Continue reading “Children’s Dental Care: Frequently Asked Questions” »

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A Local Perspective: Rediscovering the Value of Communal Commerce

From community investment to human connection, the effects of shopping locally go far beyond the mere financial transaction. Photo: De Martini Orchard (2016)

From community investment to human connection, the effects of shopping locally go far beyond the mere financial transaction. Photo: De Martini Orchard (2016)

When it comes to shopping, most of us take a pragmatic approach, seeking the shortest route possible to procure what we need—an understandable hallmark of our fast-paced yet time-constrained mode of modern life. Hence the predominance of “big-box” megastores, where you can find virtually anything you need under a single roof, often at a cheaper price. Moreover, with the advent of online shopping, a growing number of consumers are eliminating the need to visit stores in the first place. After all, why leave the house when you can have your groceries and other goods delivered right to your door? Continue reading “A Local Perspective: Rediscovering the Value of Communal Commerce” »

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Hook, Line and Swindle

jay-unplugged-6-17-16My book club just finished reading and discussing a book called I Do Not Come to You by Chance, which is set in Nigeria and written by Nigerian author Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani. What’s fascinating about the story is that it takes the reader inside the world of Nigerian 419 scammers (419 refers to the Nigerian Criminal Code section that deals with fraud, charges and penalties for offenders). Such advance fee scams are simply a confidence trick: the victim is promised a share of a large sum of money in return for a small upfront payment, which the fraudulent operator says is needed to obtain the large sum. More fees may be requested after the first payment, or the fraudster will just disappear. Continue reading “Hook, Line and Swindle” »

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