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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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Diamond Certified Experts: Home Maintenance How-Tos, Volume 2

While some maintenance tasks should only be handled by a professional, you might be surprised by what you can do yourself. Photo: A Reliable Handyman (2017)

Previously, we published a compilation of DIY home maintenance tips provided by Diamond Certified Expert Contributors. Here’s another batch of useful home maintenance how-tos from the pros:

How to Fix a Running Toilet: Gifford Teeple of A Reliable Handyman

An intermittently running toilet may seem like a mere annoyance, but it’s actually wasting water and costing you money. Typically, this issue can be resolved by replacing the “flapper” that covers the fill valve at the bottom of the tank—an easy, no-tools-needed task that just about anyone can do. Follow these steps:

 

  1. Turn off the water to the toilet at the shut-off valve, which is located on the wall near the toilet. Take the lid off the tank and flush the toilet to drain it; this will prevent water waste and allow you to work without getting wet.

Continue reading “Diamond Certified Experts: Home Maintenance How-Tos, Volume 2” »

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Happy Customer Highlights

Consumers who choose Diamond Certified companies are thrilled with the quality of service they receive, and they’re letting us know about it. Here are some recent highlights from our inbox.

ace plumbing and rooter van

Consumers are saying great things about Ace Plumbing and Rooter. Photo: Ace Plumbing and Rooter (2017)

Jan had a great experience with Sigura Construction, Inc.: After a plumbing disaster in our home caused a large amount of damage, we contacted Sigura Construction. Their skilled crew and management personnel worked with us, our HOA, the insurance adjuster, the fire department and the city construction permit bureaucracy to smooth out the entire process. 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: , , , , ,

Missing Money: How to Find and Claim It

Did you know the State of California is currently holding $8 billion in unclaimed funds in the names of more than 30 million individuals and organizations? I was one of them until a few weeks ago, when I went searching for missing money. The law requires companies to turn over funds after three years or more if there hasn’t been any activity or contact with the rightful owner.

What motivated me was my sister-in-law posting on Facebook about her successes tracking down unclaimed funds in a variety of states where she and her husband have lived over the past 30 years. Continue reading “Missing Money: How to Find and Claim It” »

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Posted in Consumers, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

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: , , , , , , ,

How To Choose a Contractor

Here are eight steps you can take to hire a reputable remodeling contractor:

1. Obtain multiple bids (if possible). Getting multiple bids is a great way to ensure you’re making an informed choice. If you sign a contract, you have exactly three days to rescind in writing. Upon rescission, the contractor must return your deposit. If your area has been declared a disaster area, the three-day Right of Rescission extends to seven days.

2. Check license information. By law, anyone who undertakes to improve your home or property must have a contractor’s license if the cost from start to completion will exceed $500. You can check contractors’ licenses at cslb.ca.gov. Continue reading “How To Choose a Contractor” »

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Posted in Consumer Events, Consumer News, Consumers, Customer Service, Diamond Certified News, Home improvement, Uncategorized | 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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Posted in Consumer News, Consumers, Customer Service, Diamond Certified Experts, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

How to Harden Your Door Against Break-ins

As a home’s first line of security against break-ins, it's critical for exterior doors to be sufficiently reinforced. Photo: Metro Locksmiths, Inc. (2016)

As a home’s first line of defense against break-ins, it’s critical for exterior doors to be sufficiently reinforced. Photo: Metro Locksmiths, Inc. (2016)

Your home may have a high-end alarm system, but if your doors are second-rate, you’re running an unnecessary security risk. Exteriors doors are a home’s first line of defense, which is why a weak one represents a major point of vulnerability. Use the following checklist to make sure your doors have what it takes.

Door
Door hardening starts with the door itself. While interior doors are typically 1 3/8-inch thick, exterior doors should be 1 3/4 inches of solid wood. Continue reading “How to Harden Your Door Against Break-ins” »

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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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