Diamond Certified Company Report

Green Living Builders LLC

Diamond Certified Company Report

Green Living Builders LLC

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 108 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Ana F.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

1 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Rolf is very experienced and thorough. He has good communication which is important and rare with contractors. He does a good job on time and on budget. We recommend them.

I like everything about them. They are rare contractors that are responsive and communicative. They are the best.

Benjamin B.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

2 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do excellent quality work, and it's a good cost for value.

The quality of their work is excellent.

Izzy C.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

3 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're super easy to work with, good communication, reliable and good follow-up after the service was completed.

They were really accommodating with their schedule. They worked really well to fit us in. It was a good experience.

Read All 108 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Rolf Bell, Principal

Formerly known as House Repair Extraordinaire, Green Living Builders LLC is a full-service remodeling company that offers an extensive range of services to its East Bay clients, including kitchen/bathroom remodels, additions, termite repairs, decks, seismic upgrades and accessory dwelling units. The company embraces sustainable building practices along with recommending net zero energy savings options.

Principal Rolf Bell is a third-generation California contractor who was mentored in quality, efficiency and supporting each client’s vision. “We’ve earned a reputation with numerous real estate professionals as their ‘go to’ construction team for preparing houses for the market when there are time constraints, as well as making sure homes are move-in ready per the new homeowners’ vision,” says Mr. Bell. “We work with clients to make remodeling enjoyable by providing expert advice, creative solutions, on-time results and quality craftsmanship to fulfill their desired lifestyle outcomes. Our entire team is responsive and helpful in achieving both essential housing repairs and well-executed remodels.”

Green Living Builders supports the work of Habitat for Humanity International and regularly leads building teams around the globe. “Everyone deserves shelter, and future generations deserve a healthy, sustainable planet,” says Mr. Bell.

Read moreShow less
COMPANY REPORT NAVIGATION

Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
  • Performance is Guaranteed.

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON Green Living Builders LLC

COMPANY CONTACT
Service AREA

The East Bay

SERVICES PERFORMED

Home Repairs
Residential Remodeling & Additions
Bathrooms & Kitchens
Decks
Detached Structures
New Home Purchase Upgrades
Real Estate Sales Preparation
Seismic Upgrades
Termite Repair
Apartment Renovation

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON Green Living Builders LLC

Green Living Builders included an open fireplace in this living room remodel.

Company Profile

Formerly known as House Repair Extraordinaire, Green Living Builders LLC is a full-service remodeling company that offers an extensive range of services to its East Bay clients, including kitchen/bathroom remodels, additions, termite repairs, decks, seismic upgrades and accessory dwelling units. The company embraces sustainable building practices along with recommending net zero energy savings options.

Principal Rolf Bell is a third-generation California contractor who was mentored in quality, efficiency and supporting each client’s vision. “We’ve earned a reputation with numerous real estate professionals as their ‘go to’ construction team for preparing houses for the market when there are time constraints, as well as making sure homes are move-in ready per the new homeowners’ vision,” says Mr. Bell. “We work with clients to make remodeling enjoyable by providing expert advice, creative solutions, on-time results and quality craftsmanship to fulfill their desired lifestyle outcomes. Our entire team is responsive and helpful in achieving both essential housing repairs and well-executed remodels.”

Green Living Builders supports the work of Habitat for Humanity International and regularly leads building teams around the globe. “Everyone deserves shelter, and future generations deserve a healthy, sustainable planet,” says Mr. Bell.

Read moreRead Less
Company Philosophy

"Whatever our clients' repair or remodeling requests, we listen, recommend and execute with their vision, desire for quality, budget and timeline in mind. Foremost in our mind is the fact that we're doing this to please our customers. Throughout the process, our intention is to reduce their stress and make tackling repairs and remodeling enjoyable."

Read moreRead Less
Comparative Summary

Third-generation contractor Rolf Bell began his career at 12 years old, working for his father on weekends in Marin. Today, Mr. Bell channels his years of expertise into House Repair Extraordinaire, his Berkeley-based, full service repair and remodeling company.

House Repair Extraordinaire is known for its extensive range of services, handling everything from bathroom/kitchen remodels and apartment renovations to termite repairs and seismic upgrades. “We’re a very versatile company,” confirms Mr. Bell. “We can handle small repairs or large additions. Our subcontractors do fine cabinetry and trim work, as well as difficult repairs on custom and older homes, and we have people with expert knowledge of surfaces such as floor coverings and countertops.”

A former supervisor and building team leader for Habitat for Humanity (a position that took him as far as New Zealand, Poland and Botswana), Mr. Bell brings an exuberance to home renovation that he feels is missing in the industry. “My philosophy is remodeling should be fun,” he says. “We work hard to lower our clients’ stress by making their home transformation enjoyable.” Customers often remark about what a pleasurable experience their remodel was, he adds.

Because Mr. Bell has so much industry experience, he knows it’s crucial for House Repair Extraordinaire to diligently meet deadlines, especially for real estate deals and large, expensive remodeling projects. ‘We’re very time sensitive,” he says, “even if there are a number of subcontractors involved. I’ve been coordinating large projects since early in my life, so I’m able to keep tabs on numerous moving pieces of a remodel.”

House Repair Extraordinaire also fixes older, dilapidated homes–a specialty that directly relates to Mr. Bell’s years of practice. “As a second-generation remodeler and a third-generation contractor, I can work on older homes and give them the same level of detail from which they were originally built,” he explains.

Read moreRead Less
Industry Info

If you’re starting a remodeling project and the ins and outs of the industry are over your head, consider the following as a blueprint for interviewing firms.

How long have you been in business? Look for a company with an established business history in your community. Surviving in any business in today’s competitive marketplace is difficult, so most successful contractors are proud of their history in the industry.

Do you carry workers’ compensation and liability insurance? Ask for copies of the insurance certificates to verify coverage. “It only takes one person to fall off a ladder to really mess up your life,” says Rolf Bell, owner of Green Living Builders LLC in Berkeley. “If a company isn’t carrying workers’ comp and liability insurance, the homeowner is at fault.”

Who will be assigned as project supervisor for the job? Also ask whom you should contact if the supervisor isn’t available. Get exact names and phone numbers for all people who’ll be involved in the project. “Quality control is maintained or lost based on the continuous communication, direction and training provided by the contractor and the primary foreman,” says Mr. Bell.

What’s the time frame for starting the project? Ask questions about work schedules. You should find out when they expect to be finished, how early their crew will begin work, when the crew normally quits for the day, and if you’ll be contacted about delays or changes in the schedule.

What’s your approach to a project of this scope? This will give you an idea of how the contractor works and what to expect during the project. Listen carefully to the answer—it’s a big indicator of the company’s work ethic.

How is your firm organized? You should know what parts of your project will be handled by staff, and which will be contracted out to independent contractors.

Are you a full service or specialty firm? If you’re planning a small project, you may be better off hiring a specialty firm. However, if your project involves multiple changes, entire rooms or additions, you should consult a full service or design-build firm.

Do you offer design services? If you’re considering a large or involved project, you’ll need design services. If the contractor doesn’t have design-build capabilities, you should consider hiring an architect. Depending on the size and scope of the project, you may even need a structural engineer.

Are any of your employees certified? Trade certifications are good indicators of dedication, professionalism and knowledge of the industry. Remodelers are required to meet certain industry criteria to maintain their certifications.

Can I have a list of references for projects you’ve completed that are similar to mine? The contractor should be able to supply you with a minimum of three references, including names, telephone numbers and addresses. As a follow-up to this question, ask how long ago the project was completed and if the contractor can arrange a visit to see the finished job. You should also ask for professional references from suppliers, financial institutions or subcontractors to verify sound business practices.

How many projects like mine have you completed in the past 12 months? This will help you determine the contractor’s familiarity with your type of project. You should confirm that a good portion of those completed projects were similar to the type of project you’re proposing.

Will I need a permit? Most cities and towns require permits for building projects. Failure to obtain the necessary permits or to arrange obligatory inspections can be illegal. In some cases, if a project violates a zoning law or some other regulations, it may even have to be demolished if there’s no way to comply with the law. A qualified remodeling contractor will be conscious of the permit process and ensure all permits have been obtained before initiating any work.

Can I have a list of your suppliers? Calling a contractor’s suppliers will help protect you from mechanics liens for nonpayment by the contractor. Suppliers also can be a source to establish a company’s credit history.

Read moreRead Less
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the types of questions your female customers ask?

A: Typically, female customers have a desire to understand the repair or remodeling sequence, so they know what to expect. They want to be certain we have the expertise to do what they’re requesting. Women also want assistance with critical decision timelines, so they know their remodeling job is being kept on schedule.

Q: Do you pull permits?

A: We pull permits probably 75 percent of the time. We always give clients the option to do a project fully permitted, and we tell them the consequences of doing it either way.

Q: What’s your stance on job site cleanliness?

A: I always ask clients to give me their requirements for cleanliness, and I’ll explain my philosophy: The cleaner we make a job site, the more time it’ll take to perform the job. If a client needs to come home to a clean house every night, we’ll completely clean and dust it. If they want the work to be done as quickly as possible, we’ll put up a vapor barrier and spend more time building. I really listen to what a client’s cleanliness preference is and respond accordingly.

Q: Do you offer design/build services as well?

A: No, but I have numerous concept architects and interior designers who are great to work with for projects that need this level of design.

Q: How soon can you begin working on my project?

A: I begin by asking clients about their desired outcome. When do they want to start the project? When do they want to have it completed? Once they share that information with me, I’ll immediately respond with a clear answer. I don’t lead on clients and then underperform—I’ll give a yes or no answer based on their timeline needs.

Q: How do you handle security on site?

A: About 80 percent of our clients give us their keys and alarm codes. We’ve never had a client complain about something being lost or stolen by anyone in my crew or any of my subcontractors. I have a trustworthy network made up of people who’ve never let me down.

Q: Do you use lockboxes?

A: Our jobs last anywhere between four hours and four months, so using a lockbox depends on the site. Most of the time, we don’t bring a big container, park it in a driveway and lock everything inside. We usually work with clients to find a space in their basement or garage for securing tools and other valuables. That approach has worked well for us.

Read moreRead Less

SELECTED PHOTOS FROM Green Living Builders LLC

View Comments
Shares

DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Rolf Bell

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • Rolf Bell is a 35-year veteran of the building industry and principal of Green Living Builders LLC, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (510) 295-9322or by email.

Rolf Bell: A Charitable Builder

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

BERKELEY — After getting an early start in construction, Rolf Bell left the field to pursue a more charitable vocation, which gave him a renewed perspective when he later returned to the trade. “I’m a third-generation builder,” he explains. “I started working with my father on weekends when I was 12 years old, and later I used my saw and hammer to pay for college. After graduating, I became a lead carpenter for a roofing crew, but I soon decided to switch gears and become a Lutheran minister. Through the ministry, I got involved with Habitat for Humanity, which allowed me to utilize my construction background for a charitable cause. I eventually returned to full-time construction work, but I’ve continued to stay involved with Habitat and use my skills to help those in need.”

Today, as owner of Green Living Builders LLC, Rolf says he enjoys the twofold character of his revamped career. “I like being able to do construction on different levels and for different causes. I still do charity work locally and abroad, but I also do a lot of high-end remodeling, which keeps me challenged and helps me stay on the cutting edge of technology. All in all, it’s a nice mix that keeps me fresh and excited.”

A resident of Berkeley, Rolf expresses his appreciation for its characteristic diversity. “I really enjoy the diversity of the people here—it makes for more interesting and engaging interactions than if it were a more homogenous culture. I also enjoy the variety of the architecture and building opportunities, which allows me to stay on the growth edge of my industry.”

Outside of work, Rolf engages in a variety of pastimes, both at home and abroad. “I’m really into traveling, which is one of the perks of doing charity work overseas,” he says. “Most of all, I enjoy unusual and exotic opportunities, whether swimming with whales in Tonga or watching bears catch salmon in British Columbia.” Locally, Rolf enjoys activities like skiing and hiking, as well as hanging out with his family. “My wife, Laura, and I have two grown daughters and two grandchildren, so we enjoy seeing them and doing things together.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Rolf says he’d expand his horizons of travel and experience. “As I mentioned, I love traveling and having authentic, intimate international experiences. The diversity of life on this planet is awe-inspiring to me, so I’d like to continue to see and experience as much as I can.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Kirala in Berkeley.

Q: What kinds of movies do you like?
A: Adventure movies and thought-provoking films like “Arrival.”

Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for dessert?
A: Tiramisu.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Global experiences.

Q: What’s the most death-defying feat you’ve ever attempted?
A: It’s a tie between bungee jumping in New Zealand and walking along the girders beneath the Golden Gate Bridge as a teenager.

Read moreRead less
Expert articles
  • Cutting-Edge Glass Technologies

    BERKELEY — If you’re planning to replace windows, sliding doors or other glass components in your home, you might want to put this off for another year or two. Glass technology is on the cusp of a major revolution, so if you hold out a little longer, you’ll have an opportunity to take advantage of cutting-edge innovations. Here are a couple of emerging glass technologies to watch for:

    Smart glass
    Today, we use window coverings like blinds and drapes to improve our windows’ insulation and provide privacy and light control. However, with the advent of smart glass, window coverings may become a thing of the past. Smart glass has transmission properties that can be altered by the application of voltage, light or heat. For example, with the flip of a switch, a panel of glass can go from fully transparent to opaque, providing privacy or glare reduction when desired. Likewise, smart glass can assist with home energy efficiency, as the molecules within the glass are charged to respond in a certain way to fluctuations in light or temperature. Whether they’re letting in heat in winter or blocking ultraviolet rays during the summer, smart glass windows go beyond the insulating abilities of normal glass to provide a more comfortable home environment.

    Photovoltaic glass
    With photovoltaic glass, your windows can double as solar panels. All the windows on your home’s southern and western exposure can be glazed with a photo-prepared coating that turns them into electrically charged entities. Some studies claim that photovoltaic window glass will pay for itself within a year of installation due to the energy it generates.

    These revolutionary glass technologies are expected to be available for the residential market in 2018, so stay tuned, because it’s going to be a whole new world.

    Read moreRead less
Expert video tip

Video: Innovations in Glass Technology

Complete Video Transcription:

BERKELEY —  Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re thinking about replacing the windows in your home, make sure you’re aware of imminent innovations in glass technology. Today, we’re in Berkeley with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Rolf Bell of Green Living Builders to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Rolf Bell: Rolf Bell, Principal, with Green Living Builders. What would be valuable for most clients to know at this point in time, as we’re at the beginning of 2017, is to, if you’re considering installing replacement glass in some parts of your house or all parts of your house, I would recommend putting that off. And the reason is we’re at a revolution with glass technology. And there’s smart glass, active glass, and photovoltaic glass that will be available for the residential markets, some at very affordable prices, in 2018, some with remarkable energy-producing capabilities, others with unusual heat and cooling properties. So, pay attention to what’s coming out on the glass market because it’s going to be a whole new world in 2018.

Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local, top rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

Read moreRead less
Green Living Builders LLC WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON Green Living Builders LLC
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i

Each surveyed customer was asked, “If you needed any helpful expertise, did this company provide that expertise?” To calculate this score, total “Yes” responses were divided by total responses (excluding those that stated they hadn’t needed any expertise).

Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 108 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
Green Living Builders LLC : Average 9.3 out of 10 based on 108 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Ana F.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

1 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Rolf is very experienced and thorough. He has good communication which is important and rare with contractors. He does a good job on time and on budget. We recommend them.

I like everything about them. They are rare contractors that are responsive and communicative. They are the best.

Izzy C.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

2 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're super easy to work with, good communication, reliable and good follow-up after the service was completed.

They were really accommodating with their schedule. They worked really well to fit us in. It was a good experience.

Benjamin B.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

3 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do excellent quality work, and it's a good cost for value.

The quality of their work is excellent.

Arsian R.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

4 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would definitely use them again, and I would recommend them to others.

They are very decent people who do a very good job.

Lauren M.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

5 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're very easy to work with and cooperative.

I like their attention to detail and the quality of their work.

Nikki B.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

6 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're reliable, trustworthy and experienced.

They're reliable, trustworthy and experienced. It was a very good experience.

Cathy R.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

7 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Rolf is great. He really knows his field and has a lot of great suggestions.

They're very timely, and they keep to deadlines.

David B.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

8 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Excellent attention to detail, reliable, and honest

Excellent attention to detail, reliable, and honest, I was very satisfied.

Matt M.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

9 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Great quality of work, great communication, and great customer contact

The way they understood my needs for the job

Benjiman B.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

10 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Excellent work, quality work, and a good price

The quality of the work

Cathy R.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

11 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Rolf is very thorough, very knowledgeable, and a really nice guy.

They're very efficient, and he's able to give you ideas on how to use space. I was pretty satisfied.

Christine F.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

12 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

That the contractor is conscientious, knowledgeable, and he helped me find good deals. The workmanship was excellent. If I had any questions, he did it to my liking.

Just the customer service, the care, and the way it all turned out, it was personal, quick, and he was aware.

Jason B.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

13 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I think that he is extraordinarily knowledgeable and extremely intelligent. He works with you and listens to you. He hires a really good crew, which is important. I worked a lot with his lead guy as well. He was very good. I would use the word excellent for everything he does. I am a designer, and I would use him with any client if I was in the area. If I talk to a stranger, I would tell them to use this guy and check him out. I deal with a lot of people who do construction, and he and his crew are nice and very good. I owe him a call, as I'd like to get together with him.

I felt very comfortable and confident working with him. A lot of complexities come up and a lot of things go on with permits. He is very helpful. I love him, and I like his temperament. He is a very cool dude. He stays on an even keel. He has his act together, and he is more knowledgeable than a lot of other people. That is really apparent. He didn't talk down to me at all, and I could ask him questions. He would give straightforward answers. He is a decent guy, and you don't get bad vibes from him.

Katie C.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

14 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He was great, and he was attentive. He paid attention to my needs, and he was creative. He was attentive to deadlines, and he helped me solve problems. He was a strong listener and communicator.

He was great. He was attentive. He paid attention to my needs, and he was creative. He was attentive to deadlines, and he helped me solve problems. He was a strong listener and communicator.

Kristen F.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

15 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are doing great work, and they are reasonably priced.

The owner is a very knowledgeable guy, and he is committed to the highest quality.

Mike H.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

16 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're very competent. The estimates matched the work, and they were very considerate and very easy to work with. Rolf is dedicated to making both life and the project easy for his clients.

The creative solutions to remodel projects, and the dedication to quality construction work

Andrea D.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

17 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very honest, and they do everything on time and under budget. They do beautiful work.

They take the time to understand and visualize what I'm looking for. They are connected with really good subcontractors as well.

Andy T.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

18 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do high quality work at a premium price with a good value.

Their knowledge of the service I was looking for, they did a deck replacement. Rolf was great, and he communicated directly.

David B.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

19 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I don't really have anything in mind. Rolf did a great job.

Rolf was very professional. He did a good job. They did everything well.

Lily C.

VERIFIED Green Living Builders LLC CUSTOMER

20 of 108

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They have a great group of people working for them who make you feel secure having them work in your house all day.

They make sure that everything is done correctly. I had used them years before, and they did a good job.

Read All 108 Survey Responses at Ratings View