Diamond Certified Blog

Tag Archives: home improvement

Start Fresh: A New Year’s Checklist

It’s no wonder the custom of adopting annual resolutions coincides with the year’s beginning rather than its middle or end. A new year means a fresh start—a milestone that signals an opportunity for positive change. Like a blank canvas to a painter, the New Year invites us to entertain new possibilities, inspires us to innovate upon the past and fills us with “momentum of purpose.”

While this sense of positive propulsion is often directed toward personal development, it can also be useful for accomplishing tangible goals, which is why the New Year is an ideal time to review and renew your to-do list. Whether you need to catch up on overdue maintenance, have a project you’ve been putting off or simply want to start off on the right foot, it’s best to get moving while the coals of inspiration are still hot. Here are some areas to address: Continue reading “Start Fresh: A New Year’s Checklist” »

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

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: , , , , ,

The Art of the Tweak: Small Change but Big Home Improvement

Chris enlisted her 10-year-old neighbor, Alice Doyle Taylor, to help her make new bathroom curtains. Photo: Chris Bjorklund, 2016

Chris enlisted her 10-year-old neighbor, Alice Doyle Taylor, to help her make new bathroom curtains. Photo: Chris Bjorklund, 2016

As I mentioned in last month’s newsletter, I’ve been busy having three bedrooms and a bathroom painted, which forced me to clean out my closets. The project was time-consuming, but I’m happy to say I didn’t spend a lot of money. It made our home more aesthetically pleasing and I’m looking forward to having houseguests again.

That got me thinking about other little things my husband and I could do to spruce things up that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. Continue reading “The Art of the Tweak: Small Change but Big Home Improvement” »

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The Hidden Workhorses: 5 Green Products You Should be Using in Your Home Remodel

Install LED lighting to take advantage of energy savings and recent improvements in quality and warmth. Photo: BR Electric, 1016

Install LED lighting to take advantage of energy savings and recent improvements in appearance. Photo: BR Electric, 2016

Ready to remodel and interested in sustainability? Of course, you should implement well-known Green building solutions such as using sustainable countertop materials and energy-efficient appliances. But according to Don Knapp, a spokesperson for Build it Green, there are many lesser-known Green materials you can utilize to make your remodeling project more environmentally-friendly. Continue reading “The Hidden Workhorses: 5 Green Products You Should be Using in Your Home Remodel” »

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Posted in Consumers, Green Building, Home Tips, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Green Building: Eight Ways to Make Your Home Improvement Project Environmentally-Friendly

Last fall, we published a long piece about how to make different types of Bay Area homes more energy efficient (download the free e-book here). This month, we’ve distilled the wisdom offered in that post and added a few more Green tips in honor of March, the greenest of months. Enjoy!

Green building

Go green! This month, take steps to make your home remodeling project eco-friendly. Photo: Reilly Designs, 2016

1. Implement a whole-house solution
Richard Hiteshew of A-1 Guaranteed Heating & Air, Inc. says people who want to “Green up” their homes should “reduce before they produce.” Continue reading “Green Building: Eight Ways to Make Your Home Improvement Project Environmentally-Friendly” »

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

Visit us at the Sonoma County Fall Home Show!

Where
Sonoma County Fairgrounds

When
Friday, Sept. 18: 12pm – 7pm
Saturday, Sept. 19: 10am – 7pm
Sunday, Sept 20: 10am – 5pm

For more details, visit fall.sonomacountyhomeshow.com.

Brandi Brush, American Ratings Corporation

Visit our new event manager, Brandi Brush, at the Sonoma County Fall Home Show this weekend. Photo: American Ratings Corporation, 2015

This weekend, our new event manager, Brandi Brush, will join a few old hands at the Diamond Certified booth at the Sonoma County Fall Home Show. Please stop by and say hi!

Home and garden shows are terrific resources for anyone beginning, finishing or just dreaming about a home improvement project. With hundreds of exhibitors, they usually feature just about every kind of home improvement contractor you can imagine. Continue reading “Visit us at the Sonoma County Fall Home Show!” »

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Posted in Consumer Events, Consumers, Customer Service, Home improvement | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Residential Solar Power: The Basics

With California experiencing one of the worst droughts in recorded history, it’s a great time to explore converting to solar. Not only can solar power help put the brakes on climate change, it’s also one of the least “thirsty” methods of generating electricity. According to Diamond Certified solar company Sungevity, coal-fired power plants require 100 to 1,000 gallons of water to generate one megawatt-hour of electricity. Solar, by comparison, requires zero gallons of water to produce the same amount of electricity (more details). With this in mind, we’re re-posting this timely article on how to get started with a  residential solar power system.

Solar panels are low maintenance.

Keeping your solar panels in good shape is actually relatively simple. Photo: Synapse Electric, 2015

People have many reasons for switching to solar power, from rising electricity consumption and energy costs to growing concerns about the environment. Regardless of why you want to install a solar system on your residential or commercial property, there are numerous factors to consider before making a final decision. To ensure you’re as knowledgeable as possible when going through the process, consider the following tips and information:

Continue reading “Residential Solar Power: The Basics” »

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Painting the “Fifth Wall”: The Importance of Ceiling Color and Sheen

While it’s an often-overlooked aspect of the painting process, ceiling color plays a crucial role in a room’s aesthetics. Photo: Pro-Staff Painting & Faux Finishing (2014)

While it’s an often-overlooked aspect of the painting process, ceiling color plays a crucial role in a room’s aesthetics. Photo: Pro-Staff Painting & Faux Finishing (2014)

When planning to repaint a room, it’s easy to get preoccupied with choosing wall and trim colors. However, there’s one wall that many people neglect to address altogether: the ceiling (also known as the “fifth wall”). Even though its role in a room’s aesthetics is somewhat subtle, a ceiling’s function is nonetheless crucial; in some cases, it may constitute the difference between a good-looking room and a great-looking one. Continue reading “Painting the “Fifth Wall”: The Importance of Ceiling Color and Sheen” »

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