Diamond Certified Blog

Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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Posted in Consumers, Home improvement, Home Tips, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

New Year, New Routines: How to Get Your Home Ready for School

It’s that time of year again: students in San Francisco go back to school in less than a week, and the rest of the Bay Area follows quickly behind. Whether you’ll miss the lazy, crazy days of summer or can’t wait for the structure of a school day, it’s time to (re)develop your “school’s in” routine. Last year at this time, we discussed four great ways to get your home ready for the school year. New year, same helpful tips. Here are four things you can do to jump back to school with panache.

Boy with backpack going back to school

A newly minted first-grader takes a final look back at summer. Photo: American Ratings Corporation, 2016

Create a family launch pad.
A launch pad can help soften the pain of school-morning madness…at least according to Cynthia Ewer, editor of Organizedhome.com. Using bookshelves, hooks and cubbies, you can create an area for all of the things your family needs to get out the door in the morning. A launch pad can be as simple as a cleared space on a bookshelf, but if you need a big solution for a big problem, consider hiring organizational help to create a functional, highly efficient system. Continue reading “New Year, New Routines: How to Get Your Home Ready for School” »

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Posted in Consumers, Home improvement, Home Tips, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

Children’s Vision Care: Frequently Asked Questions

This summer, we’re scouting out answers to some of your frequently asked questions about children’s health. Earlier, we published Children’s Dental Care: Frequently Asked Questions. This week: children’s vision FAQs.

Children's vision care

Nutritional health and exercise will help keep a child’s eyes healthy throughout their life. Photo: American Ratings Corporation, 2016

How can I tell if my preschooler has vision problems?
The American Optometric Association (AOA) provides the following list of signs that may indicate vision problems among young children: Continue reading “Children’s Vision Care: Frequently Asked Questions” »

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