Diamond Certified Blog

Posts by Jennifer Chan

What To Do When the Contractor’s Bid Hasn’t Arrived

Sometimes there are good reasons why a contractor’s bid hasn’t yet arrived. Photo: Anderson Window & Door Installation, 2017.

One of the most common complaints we hear from consumers who are starting remodeling projects is that contractors don’t submit estimates in a timely fashion. To address this, we’re republishing one of our most popular posts, which features advice from Joy Lanzaro, Director of Mediation and Compliance, on what to do when a contractor’s bid hasn’t arrived. Hope you find it helpful!

The complaint often looks like this:

“How long should I wait for my contractor to provide an estimate? The estimator seemed really nice and keeps promising a bid, but it’s been weeks! I try to only hire locally but I’m tired of waiting and wasting my time. If they didn’t want my business, why not just tell me and stop stringing me along? I would never try to do business with them again and will tell my friends not to do business with them. Just thought you should know…”

Continue reading “What To Do When the Contractor’s Bid Hasn’t Arrived” »

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Nine Tips for Working with Contractors | Infographic

Starting a remodeling project? Keep these nine tips at hand!

infographic contractor remodeling tips

Image: American Ratings Corporation, 2017

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Happy Customer Highlights

While we love receiving all kinds of feedback from consumers about Diamond Certified companies, we particularly love hearing the kudos! Here’s what some happy customers have to say about their recent experiences with Diamond Certified companies.

Consumers are saying great things about Atlas Landscapes. Photo: Atlas Landscapes (2017)

Linda emailed to tell us she’s been using the Diamond Certified Directory for years. She hired Atlas Landscapes last fall and says “…they were exceptional in every way and truly surpassed my expectations. The customer service and quality of work were what I thought I’d get and more.” Continue reading “Happy Customer Highlights” »

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How to Use the Diamond Certified Directory

The Diamond Certified Directory Report Page

The Diamond Certified Directory features report pages for top rated companies throughout the Greater Bay Area. Photo: American Ratings Corporation, 2017

Last month, we mailed the brand-new 2017 Diamond Certified Directory to more than 810,000 households throughout the San Francisco Bay Area (if you didn’t get your FREE copy, click here). Whether you already rely on the Diamond Certified Directory to find top rated local companies or you’ve never heard of it before, we figured it’s a good time to get (re)acquainted.

Every April, American Ratings Corporation publishes 10 versions of the Diamond Certified Directory, covering all of the Greater Bay Area (including Monterey). Continue reading “How to Use the Diamond Certified Directory” »

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

Response to the 2017 Diamond Certified Directory

The Diamond Certified Directory features only top rated Bay Area companies. Photo: American Ratings Corporation, 2017

Throughout April, the 2017 Diamond Certified Directory has been arriving in mailboxes all around the Bay Area (if you haven’t received your FREE copy yet, click here), and we’re thrilled with the responses we’ve been getting. Our ratings team spends 100 percent of their time conducting stringent customer satisfaction research to identify companies that qualify for the Diamond Certified award. The Diamond Certified Directory is our opportunity to present these top rated companies to consumers, so we love hearing from people who are using the directory to find new companies to meet their needs. Here are some samples of what we’ve been hearing:

“I engaged Westward Builders this year because I got a reference from you,” says Catherine C. “Great job!” Dean D. called to tell us that “Keech Painting Contractors were very good. They did a great job, they were reasonably priced and we were very happy with them.” Continue reading “Response to the 2017 Diamond Certified Directory” »

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Midcentury Modern Design: A Conversation with J. Hettinger Interiors

midcentury design doesn't have to feel old.

For a midcentury “tone,” mix midcentury furnishings such as the chair on the left with more contemporary elements. Photo: MSK Design Build and Nathanael Bennett, 2014

Last fall, the New York Times called midcentury modern design “the decorating style that just won’t die.” Co.Design went a step further, calling it the pumpkin spice latte of interior design: a “tabula rasa that is easy to produce, easy to ship and difficult to object to.” It’s not surprising that the design media has grown weary writing about midcentury modern; after all, the style has been trending for at least a decade. However, these publications might not recognize that for those who live in small, urban spaces and value light, air, and the natural world in their homes, midcentury modern design may be more than just a fad. For some, it’s the real deal—an enduring design aesthetic they plan to live with for years to come.

To learn more about midcentury modern design and how you can incorporate it into a contemporary home, we sat down with Ron Smith, Roselle Bernardino and Laura Ficenec of J. Hettinger Interiors, a Diamond Certified interior design firm. Continue reading “Midcentury Modern Design: A Conversation with J. Hettinger Interiors” »

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Point of Entry: Getting Rid of an Uninvited Rodent

I named it Lucifer because it couldn’t help being evil. I’m talking about the rat I could hear scrabbling around beneath the heater vent in my kitchen every morning. It didn’t mean any harm, but the rustles and occasional squeaks were too much for me—it had to go.

As it turned out, my first move didn’t involve a pest control company. Before I could set traps, I had to deal with the brand-new front door dug directly beneath my front door.

Rats dig under stairs

Rats dug two new “front doors” underneath my front stairs. Photo: American Ratings Corporation, 2017

Before the rains came, these holes were caked with tufts of fur, eliminating any doubt that they were at least one major point of entry. Continue reading “Point of Entry: Getting Rid of an Uninvited Rodent” »

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

Castles on the Ground: How to Build Your Dream House

Remodel Your House in 2017

A dream house doesn’t have to be entirely out of reach. Photo: Tori Atwell – Alain Pinel Realtors, 2017

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” ―Henry David Thoreau

Welcome to January. Last month, you cooked up your dream home in a heady mix of holiday punch, gingerbread and champagne. Now, both metaphorically and literally, it’s time to build those foundations. We’ve written often on this blog about how to get started on a house remodeling project (for examples, see “How to Choose a Contractor” and “Choosing Appliances for a Kitchen Remodel”). Carefully choosing a licensed contractor, budgeting attentively and understanding local building laws are all important preliminary steps, but they aren’t the first things you should do. So, how do you actually start? How do you translate the airy structures of December into your very own castle on the ground? Continue reading “Castles on the Ground: How to Build Your Dream House” »

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Diamond Certified Tips of the Day: Best of 2016

Followers of our Facebook page know that we post daily tips for Bay Area consumers. Whether these tips concern home improvement, auto care, health or something else completely, we strive to make them relevant, practical and helpful. Here’s a sample of 10 noteworthy tips from 2016. For more, be sure to “like” our page at www.facebook.com/diamondcertified.

Tip of the Day: While materials and workmanship are crucial factors in a fence’s longevity, another important aspect is preventative maintenance. To protect your fence from rot and premature wear, make sure fence posts are kept out of contact with the soil, and adjust sprinklers so their streams don’t hit the fence. To further promote fence longevity, apply a stain every two to three years. Photo: Arbor Fence, Inc., 2016 Continue reading “Diamond Certified Tips of the Day: Best of 2016” »

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Posted in Auto Tips, Consumers, Health Tips, Home improvement, Home Tips, Real Estate Tips, Savvy Tips, Window Tips | Tags: , ,

Giving Thanks

Practice gratitude, any time of the year. Photo: Clough Construction, 2016

Practice gratitude, any time of the year. Photo: Clough Construction, 2016

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude. So, we put the question to some of our Diamond Certified Experts: What are you thankful for? Here’s what they said:

sergiu-deac

Sergiu Deac, president of Best Construction: “I’m thankful for this country adopting me. I’m thankful for every day that I’m an American citizen. I can do what I like and I’m thankful for being healthy. I thank God for my family.” Continue reading “Giving Thanks” »

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