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Diamond Certified Experts: How to Hire a Remodeling Contractor

When choosing a remodeling contractor, there’s a lot more to consider than the bottom line. Photo: Ryan & Ryan Construction, Inc. (2016)

When choosing a remodeling contractor, there’s a lot more to consider than the bottom line. Photo: Ryan & Ryan Construction, Inc. (2016)

Considering the stakes involved, it’s no surprise that a large-scale remodeling project can be a bit unnerving. After all, you’re entrusting thousands of dollars to a contractor’s promise to deliver a product that currently only exists on paper. That’s why, prior to hiring a contracting firm, it’s critical to confirm it’s worthy of your trust. To gain further insight, we’ve asked five Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to weigh in on what to look for when hiring a remodeling contractor.

A Current License: Diana Connolly, Montclair Construction & Structural, Inc.
All building and remodeling contractors in California are required to carry proper licensing. Unfortunately, not every working contractor conforms to this legal obligation, so you’ll need to make sure yours does. To verify a contractor’s license is current, look up the license number on the California State Licensing Board’s website (www.cslb.ca.gov), which keeps a record of all registered contractors in the state. Continue reading “Diamond Certified Experts: How to Hire a Remodeling Contractor” »

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Welcome Home! Here’s Your New House Checklist.

You spent countless Sundays at open houses. You signed 50+ legal documents. You wrote a check for a single, heart-stopping, six-digit figure. And now, drumroll please…you’re the lucky owner of your very first house! Congratulations! Now it’s time to get to work. Here’s a checklist of all the things you should do when moving into a new house.

Continue reading “Welcome Home! Here’s Your New House Checklist.” »

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Money Matters: Financial Advice for Engaged and Newly Married Couples

Newlyweds shouldn’t wait to get their finances in order. Photo: Allegra’s Studio (2015)

Newlyweds shouldn’t wait to get their finances in order. Photo: Allegra’s Studio (2015)

I decided to write about this topic after talking to my recently married son and his new wife about some aspects of getting their finances in order that they hadn’t thought about. After a wedding, it’s easy to get distracted writing thank-you notes instead of doing important paperwork and planning related to your new legal status as a married couple.

The first thing that may come to mind is taxes. According to Geoffrey Kulik, a partner at Sterck Kulik O’Neill Accounting Group, Inc., a Diamond Certified firm, newlyweds have to file their taxes for the entire year as either “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately.” “Because of the way the laws are written, this change of status could result in a significantly higher, or lower, combined tax bill,” he explains. Continue reading “Money Matters: Financial Advice for Engaged and Newly Married Couples” »

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