Diamond Certified Blog

Posts by James Florence

Diamond Certified Experts: Helpful Hints for Home Security

To protect your home against theft, take measures to reinforce security. Photo: B & B Locksmith and Security, Inc. (2017)

If you’re a homeowner, you know there’s no greater priority than security—after all, it’s not only your valuables that are at stake, it’s the safety of yourself and your family. However, like many Bay Area homes, yours may contain unknown deficiencies that pose an increased vulnerability to break-ins. To help ensure your home is as secure as it should be, we’ve asked four Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to provide their professional insights.

Door Hardening
Home security starts at the front (and back) door, so make sure all your doors are adequately reinforced. Blaine Lucas of Foothill Locksmiths, Inc. recommends starting with hardware. Continue reading “Diamond Certified Experts: Helpful Hints for Home Security” »

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Fire-Safe 2017: Defending Your Home Against Wildfires

With fire season in full swing, California residents need to be vigilant about maintaining fire-safe conditions on their properties. Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2017)

This year’s ample rain brought relief from the longstanding drought, but its deferred aftereffects have many California residents feeling an opposite sentiment. Following a profusion of spring growth, the onset of summer heat has transformed the landscape’s verdant splendor into a dry tinder, setting the stage for what fire authorities predict to be a harsh wildfire season. So far, this forecast appears to be accurate: According to a recent CNBC report, as of June 24, the amount of California acreage burned by wildfires is up threefold compared to this time in 2016.

While most of the fires thus far have taken place in Southern California, the state’s northern regions have an equally incendiary potential, with wildfires having ravaged Lake and Mendocino Counties in recent years. That’s why Northern California residents—particularly those situated in the wildland-urban interface—need to be vigilant about maintaining fire-safe conditions on their properties. Continue reading “Fire-Safe 2017: Defending Your Home Against Wildfires” »

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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

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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

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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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Industry Overview: Pet Boarding 101

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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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Video: Proper Tree Pruning

Earlier this week, we posted an article featuring expert tips on tree care, including irrigation, disease prevention and maintenance. One of the aspects mentioned was pruning, a crucial maintenance measure that, unfortunately, is often performed improperly. To gain some insight into correct pruning procedure, watch this informative video by Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Laural Roaldson, owner of Laural Landscapes, Inc.

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Diamond Certified Experts: Tree Care 101

From pruning and irrigation to addressing risk factors, tree care involves several crucial aspects. Photo: World Tree Service, Inc. (2017)

Despite being the largest of all plants, trees are surprisingly easy to overlook. Maybe it’s because their serene, stationary disposition causes them to blend in with their surroundings; maybe we just don’t look up often enough. Either way, like any plant, trees require water, nutrition and ongoing maintenance, so it’s important to take care of the ones on your property. To learn about some tree care basics, we’re joined by six Diamond Certified Expert Contributors in the tree service and landscaping fields.

Tree irrigation and nutrition
The first step in caring for a tree is simple: water it. However, as Chris Chapman of Horticultural Services, LTD explains, tree irrigation is something property owners often get wrong. Continue reading “Diamond Certified Experts: Tree Care 101” »

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How to Clean a Window in 3 Steps

To maintain your windows between professional cleanings, you’ll need to know the proper technique. Photo: Smart Window Cleaning (2017)

When it comes to window cleaning, nothing compares to a professional’s touch, but if you ever have to do it yourself, it’s helpful to know the proper technique. First, however, you’ll need the right tools, including a strip washer (sort of like a mop that’s used on windows) and a squeegee. You’ll also need a cleaning solution that repels (rather than attracts) dirt, whether a store-bought product or a homemade mixture of vinegar or ammonia and water.

Once you’ve assembled your tools, follow this simple window cleaning technique as explained by Eric Kennedy, co-owner of Smart Window Cleaning: Continue reading “How to Clean a Window in 3 Steps” »

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Let the Sun Shine In: The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Window Washer

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Window washing may be a common household task, but a professional’s touch can bring a clear advantage. Photo: Crystal Clear Window Cleaning, LLC (2017)

It’s May, which means the rainy season is finally over and Bay Area residents can look forward to clear, sunny skies for the foreseeable future. However, if your home’s windows are still caked with residue from the winter deluge, you won’t get the full effect of that soul-recharging solar radiance. Before you grab the Windex, consider a better option: hiring a professional window washing company. Here are a few reasons to leave your panes to the pros.

Superior tools and techniques
Window cleaning seems like something anyone can do, but few people actually know how to do it correctly. First, most homeowners lack the right tools, opting for paper towels, rags or newspapers to do the job. In contrast, professional window washers use pole-mounted strip washers and squeegees to clean windows more efficiently and effectively, with no smudges or towel fibers left behind. Plus, the cleaner your windows are, the longer they can go between washings, which means less time spent on maintenance. Continue reading “Let the Sun Shine In: The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Window Washer” »

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