Diamond Certified Blog

Tag Archives: Remodeling

Diamond Certified Experts: Bathroom Remodeling 101

When it comes to home remodeling, the bathroom is a perfect place to start. Photo: Bay Bathrooms and Kitchens (2017)

It’s a new year, which for many Bay Area homeowners means it’s time to start thinking about their next remodeling project. While there are several areas of the home to consider remodeling, an ideal place to start is the bathroom. Since the bathroom tends to be one of a home’s smallest spaces, it’s typically more affordable to renovate than larger areas like the kitchen. However, along with the kitchen, the bathroom is considered one the most lucrative areas of the home to remodel in terms of increasing resale value. Furthermore, since the bathroom is statistically considered the most dangerous room in the house (due to the increased chances for falls and other accidents), remodeling provides an opportunity to improve safety.

However, even though remodeling a bathroom offers many benefits, it can be a surprisingly complicated endeavor, which is why a successful result depends on a careful approach. To gain further insight into the process, we’ve asked six Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to weigh in on a few key areas. Continue reading “Diamond Certified Experts: Bathroom Remodeling 101” »

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Castles on the Ground: How to Build Your Dream House

Remodel Your House in 2017

A dream house doesn’t have to be entirely out of reach. Photo: Tori Atwell – Alain Pinel Realtors, 2017

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” ―Henry David Thoreau

Welcome to January. Last month, you cooked up your dream home in a heady mix of holiday punch, gingerbread and champagne. Now, both metaphorically and literally, it’s time to build those foundations. We’ve written often on this blog about how to get started on a house remodeling project (for examples, see “How to Choose a Contractor” and “Choosing Appliances for a Kitchen Remodel”). Carefully choosing a licensed contractor, budgeting attentively and understanding local building laws are all important preliminary steps, but they aren’t the first things you should do. So, how do you actually start? How do you translate the airy structures of December into your very own castle on the ground? Continue reading “Castles on the Ground: How to Build Your Dream House” »

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Tip Sheet: 5 Steps to Prepare for Remodeling

If you're planning to remodel in 2017, you'll need to get the ball rolling early. Photo: Case Design/Remodeling (2016)

If you’re planning to remodel in 2017, you’ll need to get the ball rolling early. Photo: Case Design/Remodeling (2016)

Like many Bay Area homeowners, you may be planning for a remodeling project in the upcoming new year. Since preparedness is the name of the game in remodeling, it’s best to start addressing the preliminary details well in advance. Use the following tip sheet to make sure all your bases are covered:

1. Get multiple bids. Getting estimates from at least three contractors will enable you to compare bids and make a more educated choice. Continue reading “Tip Sheet: 5 Steps to Prepare for Remodeling” »

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Tip Sheet: 5 Considerations for Redesigning a Room

Photo: Artistic Lighting (2016)

When redesigning a room in your home, you’ll want to take several practical aspects into account. Photo: Artistic Lighting & Electric (2016)

1. Consider the room’s functionality. How do you plan to use the room? Will it be a work space or will you be entertaining? Will it be a quiet, personal space or an area where you’ll spend time with family? Sometimes spaces have to function in multiple ways, so be sure to consider this when making design choices.

2. Make the most of lighting. Many people think that if they install overhead lighting, they can eliminate lamps and other forms of lighting. However, they don’t realize that these various light fixtures play an important role in both the functionality and aesthetics of a room. Remember, you want to have light at all levels. Continue reading “Tip Sheet: 5 Considerations for Redesigning a Room” »

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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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Savvy Consumer Tip: Hiring Licensed Contractors

Do you know how to spot an unlicensed contractor? Watch this video for some helpful tips.

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Industry Organization Spotlight: Best of the Remodeling Industry

In the course of planning a home remodeling project, it’s beneficial to gain insight from informative resources. Along with the Diamond Certified Resource, a great place to look for information is remodeling industry organizations. In addition to advocating high standards of workmanship and professionalism in the remodeling industry, these associations are dedicated to educating and empowering professionals and consumers alike. Here are three of the premier organizations in the remodeling industry:

National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)

Overview

nari-logoNARI is the only independent national association dedicated solely to the remodeling industry. By providing helpful resources for remodeling professionals and consumers, it seeks to fulfill its stated core purpose: “To advance and promote the remodeling industry’s professionalism, product, and vital public purpose.” Continue reading “Industry Organization Spotlight: Best of the Remodeling Industry” »

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Choosing Appliances for a Kitchen Remodel

kitchen-remodeling-green

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:
Continue reading “Choosing Appliances for a Kitchen Remodel” »

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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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Industry Organization Spotlight: National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)

NARIOverview
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is the only independent national association dedicated solely to the remodeling industry. By providing helpful resources for remodeling professionals and consumers alike, NARI seeks to fulfill its stated core purpose: “To advance and promote the remodeling industry’s professionalism, product, and vital public purpose.”

NARI’s roots go back to the Depression Era, when the Northeast Roofing, Siding and Insulation Contractors Association (NERSICA) was formed as part of President Roosevelt’s National Recovery Act. After changing its name to the National Remodelers Association (NRA) in the mid-60s, it merged with the National Home Improvement Council in 1983 to become NARI, which continues to flourish today with 58 chapters nationwide. Continue reading “Industry Organization Spotlight: National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)” »

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