Diamond Certified Blog

Category Archives: Home Tips

Diamond Certified Experts: Bathroom Remodeling 101

When it comes to home remodeling, the bathroom is a perfect place to start. Photo: Bay Bathrooms and Kitchens (2017)

It’s a new year, which for many Bay Area homeowners means it’s time to start thinking about their next remodeling project. While there are several areas of the home to consider remodeling, an ideal place to start is the bathroom. Since the bathroom tends to be one of a home’s smallest spaces, it’s typically more affordable to renovate than larger areas like the kitchen. However, along with the kitchen, the bathroom is considered one the most lucrative areas of the home to remodel in terms of increasing resale value. Furthermore, since the bathroom is statistically considered the most dangerous room in the house (due to the increased chances for falls and other accidents), remodeling provides an opportunity to improve safety.

However, even though remodeling a bathroom offers many benefits, it can be a surprisingly complicated endeavor, which is why a successful result depends on a careful approach. To gain further insight into the process, we’ve asked six Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to weigh in on a few key areas. Continue reading “Diamond Certified Experts: Bathroom Remodeling 101” »

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Dealing with Foundation Problems

Abrew Repair and Construction recognized that this fireplace mantel was a warning sign that the home’s foundation was uneven.

Recently, I spoke to a homeowner who hired a contractor to demolish and re-build a chimney, as well as repair cracks to stucco and drywall. That contractor abandoned the job. The homeowner then hired a Diamond Certified company to patch cracks in the stucco and reinstall the mantel, which the homeowner had removed from around the fireplace.

What went wrong?
When the incoming contractor remounted the fireplace mantel, it looked crooked. The contractor explained that the problem wasn’t the mantel—the house was uneven. This explanation was not received well. Continue reading “Dealing with Foundation Problems” »

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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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Understanding Carpet Cleaning Methods

Due to the variety of carpet cleaning methods in use today, it’s important to know what you’re getting when you hire a professional. Photo: Precision Cleaning Services (2016)

It’s often assumed that all carpet cleaning companies use the same cleaning techniques, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is that today’s carpet cleaners employ a wide range of methodologies, each of which utilizes different concepts, sciences and machinery. That’s why, prior to calling a carpet cleaner, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the different cleaning methods out there so you can make an informed choice. Here are the four most common carpet cleaning techniques being used by professionals today:

Hot Water Extraction (Steam Cleaning)
The most prevalent method in professional use today, hot water extraction relies on heavy-duty machinery to provide a deep, powerful cleaning. Continue reading “Understanding Carpet Cleaning Methods” »

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Diamond Certified Experts: Keeping in the Heat

Adequate home heating is crucial during the winter, but an equally important concern is keeping in the heat. Photo: Bell Products, Inc. (2016)

Adequate home heating is crucial during the winter, but an equally important concern is keeping in the heat. Photo: Bell Products, Inc. (2016)

One of the biggest concerns during winter is maintaining a comfortable climate inside the home. However, if your home lacks sufficient insulation, this can get expensive. Heat is an expert escape artist, which means the more escape routes your home contains, the more money you’re going to spend replenishing what you lose. To address this, we’ve asked seven Diamond Certified Experts to give their advice on keeping in the heat during the winter months. Continue reading “Diamond Certified Experts: Keeping in the Heat” »

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Savvy Consumer Tip: Fall Maintenance Checklist

Watch this video to compare your Fall home maintenance “to do” list with Chris Bjorklund’s.

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GuySpace: How to Create Your Own Man Cave

Building a “man cave” may seem like a simple task, but if you want to do it right, you’ll need to consider a few important aspects. Photo: Micah Dean (2016)

Building a “man cave” may seem like a simple task, but if you want to do it right, you’ll need to consider a few important aspects. Photo: Micah Dean (2016)

If you’re like most men, you have a lot on your plate. In fact, between your family, your job and the minutiae of daily life, you may feel at times like there’s little room for anything else. However, in order to be your best at caring for these crucial responsibilities, you also need to take care of yourself. How? By feeding your inner child—you know, the part of you that has passionate interests, craves self-expression and just needs to hang loose once in a while.

Most men need a little space to reconnect with the things that excite and inspire them. While this space we’re referring to may be figurative, a great way to be proactive about inhabiting it is by creating a literal space, also known as a “man cave.” Despite the term’s pejorative tone, a man cave is nonetheless a great way for a guy to get the space he needs without the expense of going out or the quarrels that can arise from occupying a shared area. Continue reading “GuySpace: How to Create Your Own Man Cave” »

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A Room of One’s Own: How to Create Your Own She Shed

she shed with garden

A she shed is a personal, private retreat where you can relax or explore a hobby. Photo: Landmark Landscapes (2016)

Why does it seem that every time you sit down, you get interrupted? The phone rings, the kids start fighting, your spouse can’t find the remote…inside our own homes, we can feel like we’re constantly forced to multitask or put someone else’s needs before our own. But what if there was a place where everything was different: a room of your own, made just the way you like it? Imagine a place where you could enjoy a respite from the distractions of daily life or pursue a hobby that brings you joy. And wouldn’t it be perfect if this room was just a few steps from your back door? If this sounds like a tempting proposition, then perhaps what you need is a “she shed.” Continue reading “A Room of One’s Own: How to Create Your Own She Shed” »

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Tip Sheet: 5 Considerations for Redesigning a Room

Photo: Artistic Lighting (2016)

When redesigning a room in your home, you’ll want to take several practical aspects into account. Photo: Artistic Lighting & Electric (2016)

1. Consider the room’s functionality. How do you plan to use the room? Will it be a work space or will you be entertaining? Will it be a quiet, personal space or an area where you’ll spend time with family? Sometimes spaces have to function in multiple ways, so be sure to consider this when making design choices.

2. Make the most of lighting. Many people think that if they install overhead lighting, they can eliminate lamps and other forms of lighting. However, they don’t realize that these various light fixtures play an important role in both the functionality and aesthetics of a room. Remember, you want to have light at all levels. Continue reading “Tip Sheet: 5 Considerations for Redesigning a Room” »

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