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Tag Archives: Kitchen

Choosing Appliances for a Kitchen Remodel

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When it comes to kitchen remodeling, one aspect that’s sometimes overlooked is the energy efficiency of kitchen appliances. Photo: MSK Design Build (2015)

When planning to remodel their kitchens, many homeowners focus on improving aspects such as visual aesthetics and functional utility. However, a kitchen remodel also provides a great opportunity to improve energy efficiency, primarily through updating appliances like refrigerators and ovens with new, environmentally-friendly models. By minimizing energy consumption, updating your kitchen appliances will reduce both your carbon footprint and monthly power bills, which is a true win-win situation. Here are some things to look for when selecting new appliances:
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Diamond Certified Experts: 5 Preliminary Steps for Remodeling

Take the hassle out of your remodeling project by getting organized early on. Photo: Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders (2016)

Take the hassle out of your remodeling project by getting organized early on. Photo: Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders (2016)

Everyone knows home remodeling projects can be costly and complicated, but they don’t have to be as stressful as they’re often made out to be. By taking preliminary steps and addressing things in advance, you can set yourself up for a smooth process and successful results. To gain some helpful insight, we’ve asked five Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to give their tips on preparing for a remodeling project.

Jim Kabel1. Define the scope: Jim Kabel of Case Design/Remodeling
Before you begin interviewing designers and contractors, have a clear idea of what you want. Continue reading “Diamond Certified Experts: 5 Preliminary Steps for Remodeling” »

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7 Ways to Save Money on Your Home Remodeling Project

For those working on a limited remodeling budget, there are several ways to cut costs without compromising quality. Photo: Altera Design & Remodeling, Inc. (2015)

For those working with a limited remodeling budget, there are several ways to cut costs without compromising quality. Photo: Altera Design Kitchen & Bath (2015)

It’s a new year, and we at the Diamond Certified Resource are ringing in 2016 by declaring January “Home Makeover Month.” All month long, we’ll be featuring informative articles, videos and tidbits to guide you in pursuing your New Year’s remodeling resolutions.

While many Bay Area residents are preparing to tackle their long-deferred project ideas, for some, the urge to remodel is constrained by the significant expenses involved. However, even if you’re working with a limited budget, there are numerous ways you can cut costs without compromising quality. Here are seven money-saving strategies to consider:

1. Design your project to accommodate existing systems. If your plumbing and electrical systems are in good condition, you can avoid the cost of rerouting pipes or wiring by designing your remodeling project to accommodate them. In addition to saving a substantial amount of money, this strategy aligns with a sustainable approach to remodeling. Continue reading “7 Ways to Save Money on Your Home Remodeling Project” »

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Diamond Certified Experts: Tips for Pest-Proofing Your Home

When it comes to keeping your home pest-free, it’s a good idea to take preventative measures. Photo: Leading Edge Pest Management, Inc. (2015)

When it comes to keeping your home pest-free, it’s a good idea to take preventative measures. Photo: Leading Edge Pest Management, Inc. (2015)

“Termites and spiders and rats, oh my!” Even if you don’t have an ingrained fear of these pests, the last place you want to see them is inside your home. That’s why we’ve asked four Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to give some tips on how to keep these vexatious vermin outside where they belong.

Keep things clean. There’s nothing pests like better than a free meal, which is why Felipe Montanez of Hydrex Pest Control of the North Bay, Inc. says the number one preventative measure you can take against infestation is to be thorough with your cleaning. Continue reading “Diamond Certified Experts: Tips for Pest-Proofing Your Home” »

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Cool Tips for a More Efficient Refrigerator

You may not realize it, but your refrigerator might be consuming far more energy than normal. Photo: Earl Farnsworth Express (2015)

You may not realize it, but your refrigerator might be consuming far more energy than normal. Photo: Earl Farnsworth Express (2015)

Most people assume their refrigerators are working fine as long as they don’t notice any obvious problems, but few realize they’re paying far more than necessary to keep their food fresh. The reality is that an inefficient refrigerator can consume up to three times the amount of power used by a properly functioning unit, often without anyone noticing. That’s why it’s a good idea to periodically inspect your refrigerator and address any issues that may be causing energy loss.

The first thing you should check is the condenser coils, which, depending on your refrigerator’s design, will be located on the back or across the bottom front. When these coils are dirty or otherwise obstructed, it inhibits efficient operation and requires the unit to work harder to maintain the desired temperature. In addition to making sure there’s adequate room to facilitate proper air flow, you should clean your coils at least once a year. Continue reading “Cool Tips for a More Efficient Refrigerator” »

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Industry Overview: Plumbing 101

Whether you have a plumbing problem or want to perform preventative maintenance, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with industry basics. Photo: Roman’s Plumbing (2015)

Whether you have a plumbing problem or want to perform preventative maintenance, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with industry basics. Photo: Roman’s Plumbing (2015)

Like many industries, plumbing is extremely complex and continues to become more so with ongoing technological innovations. This article contains some useful information to help you get more acquainted with the trade, including key terms, DIY tips and answers to frequently asked questions.

Key Terms

Aerator: A device added to the open end of a faucet that mixes air with water to create a more even flow. Inexpensive to install, faucet aerators can help conserve water without diminishing water pressure.

Fittings: Fittings usually refer to faucets, shower valves and tub fillers, although they may also refer to piping coupling such as elbow and tee fittings.

GPM: Gallons per minute (GPM) is the rate of water flow from faucets and shower heads. GPM is regulated by the federal government, with the maximum flow rate for new showerheads and faucet aerators currently set at 2.5 GPM, although there are new aerators that operate at as little as 0.5 GPM. Installing low-flow fixtures can result in a water savings of 25 to 60 percent without a noticeable change in water pressure. Continue reading “Industry Overview: Plumbing 101” »

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Spring Cleaning: Simple Ways to Brighten, Freshen and Rejuvenate Your Home

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Spring cleaning provides an opportunity for you to make the most of your home’s aesthetic qualities. Photo: Sara Hunt Malone Design (2015)

April is here, which means it’s once again time to engage in the longstanding domestic ritual known as spring cleaning. In addition to tackling annual maintenance tasks like cleaning your carpets and flushing your water heater, spring cleaning offers a chance to optimize your home for enjoying the temperate weather and extended daylight. Here are some simple things you can do to brighten, freshen and rejuvenate your home.

Brighten
During the sunny season, you’ll want to bring as much light as possible into your home. Start by washing your windows. Regardless of the tools or methodology you employ (most professionals recommend using a squeegee and a 100 percent cotton cloth), there are a couple of important rules to follow. First, don’t clean your windows in direct sunlight—they’ll dry too fast. Also, when it comes to hard-to-reach windows, your safest bet is to hire a professional. Continue reading “Spring Cleaning: Simple Ways to Brighten, Freshen and Rejuvenate Your Home” »

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Industry Organization Spotlight: The National Kitchen & Bath Association

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For over fifty years, the National Kitchen & Bath Association has been promoting service and quality excellence in the remodeling industry. Photo: Altera Design Kitchen & Bath (2015)

Overview
Established in 1963, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is a nonprofit trade association that consists of more than 60,000 professional members from all spheres of the kitchen and bathroom remodeling industry. The association’s stated mission is to enhance the success and excellence of its members, promote professionalism and ethical business practices, and provide leadership and direction for the kitchen and bathroom industry worldwide. Continue reading “Industry Organization Spotlight: The National Kitchen & Bath Association” »

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How a Bedtime Story Inspired Me to Get Organized

One of the best ways to increase comfort and functionality in the home is to implement organizational measures. Photo: PremierGarage (2014)

One of the best ways to increase comfort and functionality in the home is to implement organizational measures. Photo: PremierGarage (2014)

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How to Remodel on a Budget

Most homeowners have heard the advice to budget for 20 percent over what they expect to spend or avoid making additions once the work is underway, but many experts recommend more specific ways to save money on a remodeling project. Consider the following tips:

Time your job right. Contractors often charge more during peak construction times (summer and fall) because labor and material costs are usually higher due to increased demand. Schedule your job during winter or downtime in your contractor’s schedule to knock hundreds of dollars off your remodeling bill. Ask your contractor about off-season discounts or other money-saving scheduling arrangements.

Combine jobs. If you’ve been considering getting new windows, adding a skylight or solar tube, or installing solar panels or a solar hot water system, merging these projects with your remodel might save you money in the long run. If your walls need to be opened up for a remodel, it may be a good time to re-pipe for solar hot water. In addition to the energy savings, you’ll save money on construction costs because you won’t have to re-open the walls later. Continue reading “How to Remodel on a Budget” »

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