San Francisco – Contractors - Green Building & Remodeling

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(415) 523-6065

Serving San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin and Alameda counties including the Sunset District, Daly City, San Rafael and Oakland.

Services include Green building and remodeling, high-efficiency appliance installation, non-toxic and renewable building materials. Brands include FSC...
License 927887 | DCID4156134560

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Why Trust Diamond Certified Green Builders Rated Highest in Quality?

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a green building contractor that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified green construction company. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated green builder and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you'll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you'll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

How to Choose
Find an Experienced Green Contractor in San Francisco

More and more people are building green in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area. Evidence is mounting regarding the many benefits of green design and construction. Government incentives promise to make building eco-friendly as rewarding as it has ever been.

If you’d like to join the eco-revolution in San Francisco, keep in mind that green building and remodeling is a relatively young branch of the larger contracting industry. There are special challenges to choosing the best green contractor that is right for your needs.
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More and more people are building green in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area. Evidence is mounting regarding the many benefits of green design and construction. Government incentives promise to make building eco-friendly as rewarding as it has ever been.

If you’d like to join the eco-revolution in San Francisco, keep in mind that green building and remodeling is a relatively young branch of the larger contracting industry. There are special challenges to choosing the best green contractor that is right for your needs.

The green learning curve can be a steep one; it’s important to arm yourself with information that will make you a knowledgeable and confident consumer in the burgeoning green building and remodeling marketplace in and around San Francisco.


How to Select a Diamond Certified Green Contractor in San Francisco
Since green building is fairly new, green building codes are new as well. There is more wiggle room in green building than traditional construction. This means you need to go the extra mile to insure that your green contractor is experienced and knowledgeable. Below is a list of factors to consider before choosing a green contractor for building or remodel project in San Francisco.

  • Find a Diamond Certified Green Contractor
    Be sure to find a Diamond Certified green contractor for your building or remodeling project in San Francisco. All green contractors that have earned Diamond Certified have passed a rigorous ratings process, including license verification and interviews of a random sample of actual customers. For this reason and more, you can know that you’re in good hands when you hire a Diamond Certified contractor to meet all of your green remodeling or building needs.
  • Purchase Green Building Software
    Check out green building software. There are software programs available that will help you analyze choices from a life cycle perspective. Life cycle analysis will help you document all financial, human health, and environmental impacts throughout a products entire life cycle. This allows you to discuss with your green contractor the benefits and tradeoffs of different green strategies.
  • Search for Experience
    Be sure that your green contractor of choice has several years’ experience with green building. Ask about his education. Does it include green design? Has she followed up with additional training? It’s important that your green contractor is licensed and bonded, but also make sure that he is a member of green design organizations. Your green contractor should follow construction practices that minimize contamination and protect indoor air quality. Make sure they have experience in the areas that are most important to you.
  • Speak With References
    Make sure to speak with clients of your green contractor. Ask them about the quality of the work. Also, ask them to evaluate the green contractor’s process. Did he complete the construction on time and within budget? Was he willing and able to be flexible with the complexities of the building process? Check with a local consumer protection agency for any complaints.
  • Research Previous Work
    Have you seen green houses or remodels that you like? If so, ask for the builders’ names. Or tag along on a tour so that you can find a green building home that you like. If you’re picking a builder from a list, make sure to see the green work he has done in the past. If you can’t see it in person, request a portfolio.
  • Educate Yourself about Green Construction
    It is important to research green building before hiring a green contractor. Check out introductory books and web resources. You may even want to take a class or attend a seminar on green building. Just make sure you understand the overall concepts so that you are better prepared to find a green contractor that fits your needs.
  • Check Out Your Green Contractor’s Library
    Request a tour of your green contractor’s library. Check for green design books, materials samples, or product information in his office. Ask if he has subscriptions to green design journals or access to online green resources.
  • Don’t Assume All Green Building Services Are the Same
    Be sure to interview your prospective green contractor. Ask plenty of questions. While they are working on your green construction project, check in frequently. Once the walls are covered up and the paint cans stored away, it is difficult to proclaim that your design wasn’t carried out properly.
  • Does the Green Contractor Practice What He Professes?
    Does the green contractor you've hired recycle on the jobsite and in his office? How does he operate his business? Are green design elements evident? For example, does he use environmentally responsible office supplies and materials, energy efficient fixtures, etc.? Be sure to ask what your green contractor practices in order to ensure worker health and safety on the jobsite.
  • Build Green Concepts Into the Contract
    Specifications are a powerful tool in green building. Be sure to discuss the contract specifics with your green contractor of choice. They should state everything from the quality of materials to how the paint is applied. Request a copy of the specifications for your own records as a reference for future repairs or touch-ups.
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Know What You Want
Consider These Questions Before Selecting a Green Contractor in San Francisco

The first and most important step you’ll take on your way toward a sustainably constructed home in San Francisco will be to decide what green features you want and/or need. Begin by asking yourself some key questions....

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The first and most important step you’ll take on your way toward a sustainably constructed home in San Francisco will be to decide what green features you want and/or need. Begin by asking yourself some key questions.

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee?
  • Is green building an important factor for me when choosing a local builder?
  • What are my plans for the future regarding my home? Do I plan to move within five years? Within 10? Do I plan to expand my family?
  • How much can I afford to invest in a green building or remodel? How long am I willing to wait for my investment to pay off, monetarily?
  • Do I want to build green for practical reasons such as lowering electrical bills?
  • Do I or any of my family members have health reasons such as asthma or allergies that building green would help?
  • Are there current conditions in my home that could affect plans for remodeling green? (Asbestos issues, lead paint, old appliances, mold, roof in poor condition, etc.)
  • Am I uncomfortable in my current home? (Drafty rooms, lack of storage, high utility bills, mold, etc.)
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What to Ask on the Phone
Questions You Should Ask When Speaking with a Green Contractor in San Francisco Over the Phone

After you’ve figured out what you’re looking for in the green building or remodel of your dreams, you’re ready to start searching for a San Francisco green contractor that’s right for you. Choosing a green builder calls for some special considerations.

Here are some questions you should ask any prospective San Francisco green contractors:...

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After you’ve figured out what you’re looking for in the green building or remodel of your dreams, you’re ready to start searching for a San Francisco green contractor that’s right for you. Choosing a green builder calls for some special considerations.

Here are some questions you should ask any prospective San Francisco green contractors:

  • Has your green building company earned and maintained a Diamond Certified rating?
  • When was the last class or seminar you took in sustainable building?
  • What are the benefits of building green?
  • How long have you had your firm/business?
  • How many green/sustainable projects have you worked on this year?
  • Is your past work consistent with a recognized third party green building certification program?
  • Do you subscribe to sustainable practices within your own business operation? Your own home?
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What to Ask in Person
Questions You Should Ask When Meeting with a Green Contractor in San Francisco in Person

Once you’ve narrowed the selection of sustainable builders in San Francisco who have met some of your hiring criteria, it is time to interview them in person.

The following are some questions that will help you further identify whether a given green builder is right for your project....

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Once you’ve narrowed the selection of sustainable builders in San Francisco who have met some of your hiring criteria, it is time to interview them in person.

The following are some questions that will help you further identify whether a given green builder is right for your project.

  • Do the construction firms hire subcontractors or do the general contractors and their employees perform the work?
  • How and when do you clean up the construction site?
  • What professional organizations are you a member of?
  • Do you specialize in the type of work that I need? If so, can you provide examples of similar work in San Francisco that you have completed?
  • What will be the timing on bidding and completing the green home construction?
  • How do you perform your work—what time do you start, how will you protect my carpets, how will you handle trash and debris, etc.
  • Do you carry workers’ compensation and liability insurance?
  • What type of warranty do you provide and what are the terms for your green building projects?
  • Will construction permits be needed? Who is responsible for getting these permits?
  • How do you price green building construction?
  • How many projects that are similar to mine have you completed in the last year?
  • How many projects do you have going at the same time?
  • What kinds of green materials and techniques to you commonly use?
  • How will work on the site be made sustainable?
  • Will all green details and considerations be written into the contract?
  • Do you have a list of references that I may contact?
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What to Ask References
Learn About Previous Customers’ Experiences with San Francisco Green Building & Remodeling Contractors

It’s best to find a Diamond Certified green contractor because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a green contractor in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews....

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It’s best to find a Diamond Certified green contractor because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a green contractor in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

If you can’t locate a Diamond Certified green contractor within reach in San Francisco, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your prospective green contractors.

Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by the contractor are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers.

If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied. The following are questions you should be sure to ask a San Francisco green contractor’s former clients.

  • What was the project the green building contractor worked on for you?
  • Did the contractor’s work begin and end on the agreed-upon dates? If not, why not? How did the contractor address the discrepancy?
  • Did the green construction work pass inspection?
  • Did work start on time each day? Stay mostly on schedule?
  • Was the construction finished at the agreed-upon estimate?
  • How happy were you with the final product? Did the contractor’s craftsmanship meet, fail to meet, or exceed your expectations?
  • Were the sustainable contractor and crew friendly and professional?
  • How did the contractor approach any deviations from the schedule or estimate? Did he “surprise” you at any time with extra charges or changes to the agreed-upon work? How well did you feel he explained things every step of the way, throughout the project?
  • How easy was it to reach the contractor throughout the course of the project?
  • Would you hire this sustainable building contractor again?
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Review Your Options
Locating and Hiring an Experienced Green Contractor in San Francisco

Before deciding on the best green contractor in San Francisco, for you, it’s important to consider the following questions....

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Before deciding on the best green contractor in San Francisco, for you, it’s important to consider the following questions.

  • Does my green contractor have good references that I have checked?
  • Is my green contractor of choice charging a reasonable price for quality work on my green building or remodel project?
  • What is my time frame for this green building or remodel project: When do I intend to start it and when do I need to have it accomplished?
  • Which green contractors in San Francisco offer the better warranty for the overall cost?
  • Is my green contractor of choice well-established in the community?
  • Have you gotten quotes from a minimum of three green contractors?
  • Is my green contractor of choice listed in the CSLB website as having complaints filed against him? If so, were they valid complaints that required disciplinary action?
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How to Work With
Being a Responsible Green Building Company Customer in San Francisco

Once you have found the best green contractor for your building or remodel project in San Francisco, your work as a responsible customer has just begun. During your green building or remodel project, pay attention to the following tips in order to have success with your green contractor.

Avoid Allowances
It is wise to avoid allowances in the estimate as these can account for huge discrepancies between projected and actual costs. If in doubt, err on the side of caution and overestimate.

Keep Communication Open...

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Once you have found the best green contractor for your building or remodel project in San Francisco, your work as a responsible customer has just begun. During your green building or remodel project, pay attention to the following tips in order to have success with your green contractor.

Avoid Allowances
It is wise to avoid allowances in the estimate as these can account for huge discrepancies between projected and actual costs. If in doubt, err on the side of caution and overestimate.

Keep Communication Open
Be sure to keep open lines of communication at all times This is the key to always keeping things moving smoothly.

Maintain a Project JournalIt might be helpful to keep a project journal: your own record of the building or remodel project as it progresses. This could be helpful in keeping things moving according to schedule and clarifying disagreements. Make sure to keep track of all changes to the plan in writing. You might want to include the contract, any change orders, specifications, cancelled checks, lien releases, record sheets, plans, invoices, warranties, bills, identifying information for materials used, record sheets, and any other written correspondence with the green contractor.

Foresee and Plan
It is important to try to foresee and plan for potential problems. A common problem, for example, could be an absentee subcontractor. Outline with your green contractor a contingency plan if this should happen.

Don’t Micromanage
If something is truly important, it is good to make your opinions known. But remember that sometimes you have to let a green contractor and his crew do what they are hired to do. Keep an open mind and listen to your green contractor’s suggestions and ideas.

Check the Construction Work as it Progresses
Be sure to check the work continually as it progresses in San Francisco. Don’t wait until everything is finished before you check to make sure everything is according to plan.

Ask for a Written Contract for the Green Building Services
Be sure that both you and the green contractor sign the contract once it is drawn up. This contract protects the interests of both you and the green contractor. It should include the following information:

  • A clear, concise, and complete description of the green building or remodeling project, including start and completion dates.
  • The green building company’s name, physical address, mailing address and phone.
  • Payment structure and schedule
  • Detailed description of entire green building or remodel project
  • Demolition, debris removal and preparation cost and procedures
  • Material cost and type of materials used
  • Project timeline
  • Who is overseeing the project/performing the sustainable construction services
  • Warranties should be written and the length of time as well as limitations should be covered. Warranties should cover materials and workmanship, and names and addresses of the warrantor. This may include the contractor, manufacturer, and distributor.
  • How changes to the remodel or building project and/or disputes are handled
  • Any oral promises made
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Be a Good Customer
How Can You Be a Good Green Contracting Customer in San Francisco

It's the green contractor’s responsibility to construct quality sustainable building using the best possible building techniques. But you play a big part in the success of your green contractor, too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a San Francisco green contractor....

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It's the green contractor’s responsibility to construct quality sustainable building using the best possible building techniques. But you play a big part in the success of your green contractor, too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a San Francisco green contractor.

  • When your contractor contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the project on schedule.
  • Be clear and upfront with the contractor. Let them know what you want in as much detail as possible, the long-term outcome you’re expecting, and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
  • Before you hire a green contractor in San Francisco, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with green contractors occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
  • Be sure your contractor has a phone number where they can reach you at all times. The work will move along more smoothly if your contractor can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
  • Pay for the work promptly.
  • Why would you want to be a good customer? Green contractors in San Francisco appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.
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Check the Work
Verify the San Francisco Green Contractor’s Work Against the Invoice

When the green contractor’s work is completed, most professional contractors will give you a written invoice that details the completed work. This invoice usually includes:...

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When the green contractor’s work is completed, most professional contractors will give you a written invoice that details the completed work. This invoice usually includes:

  • The green contractor’s name, physical address, and license number.
  • A list of all services performed.
  • The total cost of the green contractor construction project, including the amount due for labor.
  • Any applicable guarantees or warranties provided by the green contractor and/or manufacturer.
  • It’s wise to compare the completed work against the invoice. Make sure that the green construction project was completed to your satisfaction. If you have questions about the work that was done, this is the time to ask.
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Written Warranties
Request Written Warranties from San Francisco Green Building Contractors

Before the green contractor leaves, confirm any warranties offered by the green contractor and/or manufacturers in San Francisco. The written warranty document must detail the following:...

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Before the green contractor leaves, confirm any warranties offered by the green contractor and/or manufacturers in San Francisco. The written warranty document must detail the following:

  • The green contractor’s name and physical address in San Francisco.
  • Your responsibility in the case of a problem with the green remodel or building project and what you need to do in order to redeem the warranty.
  • If the green building or remodel warranty is transferable to the new owner in the event that you sell the structure the contractor has remodeled or built.
  • The length of time as well as limitations should be covered. Warranties should cover materials and workmanship, and names and addresses of the warrantor. This may include the contractor, manufacturer, and distributor.
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Top 10 Requests
Top Services By Green Building & Sustainable Remodeling Contractors

The following are some of the green building industry’s most cost-efficient, popular remodel and building requests.
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The following are some of the green building industry’s most cost-efficient, popular remodel and building requests.

Walls & Attic Insulation
Adding insulation to walls and attics provides your primary defense against heat loss. It can save you up to 25% of your heating costs.

Nontoxic Paints
Paints and finishes are among the leading causes for polluted indoor air which is a hazard to human health. Regular paints and finishes release low level toxic emissions into the air for years after their application. The application of nontoxic paint provides many benefits to your home or building. Nontoxic paint reduces toxins. It also reduces landfill, groundwater and ozone depleting contaminants. Nontoxic paints are easy to clean with soap and water and do not emit hazardous fumes during application.


Programmable Thermostat Installation
Because of their energy saving benefits and convenience, programmable thermostats have become hugely popular. They save energy and money on utility bills by allowing you to set home temperatures based on various factors. They have a higher accuracy when compared with manual thermostats. Programmable thermostats contain no mercury and are eco-friendly.

Energy Efficiency Windows
The installation of energy efficient windows can lower household energy bills by 7-15 percent. Energy efficiency windows also lower energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

Roof Insulation
Adding insulation to your roof makes your home energy efficient, comfortable and more resistant to outside noise.

Moldy Carpet Removal
Because mold can be a dangerous indoor air contaminant, it is important to have it removed immediately. When mold grows on damp surfaces, it releases spores into the air. When inhaled, these spores cause sneezing, congestion, runny or itchy nose and throat irritation. It may even cause more serious symptoms such as asthma attacks, pneumonia-like illnesses, allergy attacks, and even infections. The young and the elderly are especially sensitive to mold. Some molds may even be toxic.

Photovoltaic (Solar) Panels
Installing photovoltaic panels on your home or building allows you to take advantage of solar energy. Because solar energy is a completely renewable resource, you can rely on it as a constant and consistent power source. Photovoltaic panels require very little maintenance and last a good long time. Solar energy does not create pollution. Though they are expensive initially, in the long run you will save yourself a lot of money as it costs nothing to harness the power of the sun.

Water Efficiency Toilet & Showerhead Installation
This is the installation of energy efficient toilets and showerheads. By upgrading your toilet to a low flow model and installing low flow showerheads, you can save water and energy.

Insulating Water Heater
Though water heaters are insulated, they can waste energy by losing heat if they are designed with minimal insulation. By adding more insulation, you can save money. Insulating a water heater can stop up to 97% of radiant heat loss.

Solar Water Heaters
Installing solar water heaters saves on energy, water heating costs, and the environment. A solar water heater uses the sun’s free energy to create hot water. This can reduce your hot water energy consumption by 50% to 90% which saves you money year after year.

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If Things Go Wrong
Protect Yourself With The Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee

Diamond Certified companies are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. If the company you’ve hired is Diamond Certified and you can’t resolve the issue by talking with the owner, contact the mediation department at info@diamondcertified.org or call 800-738-1138.

Ways To End Conflict Quickly with San Francisco Green Contractors...

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Diamond Certified companies are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. If the company you’ve hired is Diamond Certified and you can’t resolve the issue by talking with the owner, contact the mediation department at info@diamondcertified.org or call 800-738-1138.

Ways To End Conflict Quickly with San Francisco Green Contractors
Most people have positive experiences with commercial roofing companies in San Francisco. However, sometimes conflict is inevitable. If you have a problem with your commercial roofing contractor, follow these steps to resolve the conflict as quickly as possible.

  • Document the issue photographically.
    If you do end up in court over the issue, you’ll need to have catalogued your reason for complaint. 
  • If the problem becomes apparent mid-project, avoid hiring another contractor to finish the work in San Francisco.
    As tempting as it may be to get your project finished as quickly as possible, don’t make things more complicated by bringing in another San Francisco green contractor until you’ve resolved the problem with your original contractor.
  • Identify exactly what the problem is so that it’s clear to all concerned parties.
    It is important to do your best to solve the problem by clearly and effectively communicating with all concerned parties. Don’t lose your temper before you even know for sure that there’s a real problem.
  • Maintain your composure and be respectful.
    You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by remaining civil.
  • Really listen to your green contractor’s point of view.
    Do your best to listen carefully to your green contractor’s perspective. At the very least, you’ll be able to move forward with the knowledge that you were as fair as possible.
  • Check the contract.
    It’s possible the solution to your problem is as clear as the language of your contract. Before a conflict escalates, check to see if the answer is in the contract that you and your San Francisco green contractor have already agreed to.
  • Find a third party arbitrator.
    If you are unable to discuss the issue with your contractor without one or both of you flying into a rage, find an impartial person to help you talk to each other.
  • Refrain from making your complaint public.
    Aside from the potential legal ramifications of badmouthing your green contractor publicly, it also adds to the overall unpleasantness of the situation. Try to maintain professionalism at all times.
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Glossary of Terms
Glossary of Terms for Clients of Local Green Contractors
Sustainable building materials, LEED construction and eco-friendly home plans.
Eco-friendly home construction and remodeling can be beautiful and responsible. Photo: Springwood Builders (2012)

Below are key green building terms used by ecofriendly remodeling companies.

air cleaning
This indoor-air quality-control strategy removes various airborne particulates and/or gases from the air.

Also known as: air clean systems, air cleaning equipment, air duct cleaning, home air cleaning, home air purifiers, heap air purifier, room air purifiers, room air cleaners...

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Below are key green building terms used by ecofriendly remodeling companies.

air cleaning
This indoor-air quality-control strategy removes various airborne particulates and/or gases from the air.

Also known as: air clean systems, air cleaning equipment, air duct cleaning, home air cleaning, home air purifiers, heap air purifier, room air purifiers, room air cleaners

alternative energy
This is energy from a source other than the conventional fossil-fuel sources of oil, natural gas and coal such as wind, running water, and the sun.

Also known as: alternative energy companies, alternative energy funds, alternative energy stocks, alternative energy facts, solar energy facts, alternative energy resources, alternative energy home resources, alternative energy pros and cons, solar energy pros and cons

biological contamination
This is contamination of a building environment caused by bacteria, molds and their spores, pollen, viruses, and other biological materials. It is often linked to poorly designed and maintained HVAC systems. People exposed to biologically contaminated environments may display allergic-type responses or physical symptoms such as coughing, muscle aches and respiratory congestion.

carbon dioxide monitoring
This is a method for determining indoor air quality by using the concentration of carbon dioxide as an indicator. Although the level of CO2 is a good indicator of air quality, it is dependent on the presence of certain conditions and must be applied accordingly.

Also known as: carbon monoxide monitor, carbon monoxide detector, carbon dioxide meter, measuring carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide measurement, carbon dioxide sensor, carbon dioxide alarm, natural gas detector, methane gas dector

certified lumber
This is a general shorthand term for lumber that has been certified sustainable harvest by an independent certification authority.

Also known as: fsc certified, fsc wood, fsc certified lumber, certified lumber, certified wood, certified forests, certified forest products, timber companies, timber products, wholesale timber

compact fluorescent lights
This is small fluorescent lamps that are used as an efficient alternative to incandescent lighting.

Also known as: fluorescent lights, compact fluorescent, compact fluorescent light bulbs, compact fluorescent lights, dimmable fluorescent, compact fluorescent grow lights, energy efficient lighting, energy efficient lights, compact fluorescent lamps, fluorescent lamps

construction and demolition waste
This is waste from building materials, dredging materials, tree stumps, and rubble resulting from construction, remodeling, repair, and demolition of homes, commercial buildings and other structures and pavements.

Also known as: construction demolition, construction and demolition debris, construction and demolition waste management, c&d recycling, c&d debris, hazardous waste disposal, construction debris, construction debris landfull, solid waste, solid waste management, waste recycling, recycling waste, hazardous waste

daylighting
This uses natural light in an interior space to substitute for artificial light. Daylighting is considered a sustainable building strategy because it reduces reliance on artificial light and reduce energy use in the process. When well designed, it contributes to comfort and performance.

deconstruction
Rather than demolishing a building and placing the remains in a landfill, this is the careful disassembly of the building into its component parts, which allows many of those parts to be reused or recycled.

demand hot water system
These are hot water heaters designed to conserve energy by providing instantaneous hot water, rather than storing preheated hot water in a tank. Such devices can serve an entire home or serve an individual water use.  

Also known as: hot water recirculation system, instant hot water systems, hot water heat, hot water heating, water heating systems, hot water tank prices, solar hot water systems, solar hot water system, hot water circulator, hot water circulating system

dual-flush toilet
This toilet conserves water by the use of two-different settings. One setting uses less water for liquid waste removal, and another uses more water for solid waste removal.

Also known as: dual flush toilets, efficient toilets, water efficient toilets, wall hung toilet, wall hung toilets, wall mounted toilets, dual toilets, toto toilets, dual toilet, dual flish, dual flash toilets, one piece toilets

durability
This is the factor that affects the life cycle performance of a material. The more durable item is environmentally preferable, as it means less frequent replacement. However, durability is irrelevant if the material is replaced for aesthetic reasons prior to it actually wearing out.

energy management system
This is a control system capable of monitoring environmental and system loads and adjusting HVAC operations accordingly for the purpose of conserving energy while maintaining comfort.

Also known as: energy management systems, energy management control system, building energy management system, energy management consultants, home energy management system, energy management software, free energy, energy management solutions, energy saving, energy monitoring, energy monitor, home energy management

envelope
This is the boundary that separates a building's conditioned and unconditioned spaces. The term is typically used when referring to heat and air transfer, such as through walls, windows, and the roof. All of these are part of the building's envelope.

geothermal energy
This is hot water or steam extracted from reservoirs beneath the Earth's surface. It can be used for heat pumps, water heating, or electricity generation.

Also known as: advantages of geothermal energy, cost of geothermal energy, geothermal energy costs, geothermal energy facts, geothermal energy pros and cons

gray water
This is domestic wastewater composed of wash water from bathroom, kitchen, and laundry sinks, tubs, and washers.

Also known as: gray water irrigation, gray water collection, greywater, greywater system, greywater recycling, gray water system, gray water recycling, recycle water, recycling gray water, grey water systems, gray water tanks, gray water tank

green building
This is a the practice of increasing the efficiency in which buildings and their sites use and harvest water, energy, and materials. This reduces the negative impacts on human health and the environment. Green building includes consideration for the entire building life cycle such as siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance and removal.

Also known as: green building and design, green building design, green building construction, green building council, green building homes, green home building, green building materials, new green building materials, green building certification institute, green building technologies, green building systems, green building system

green design
This architectural design conforms to environmentally sound principles of building, material and energy use. A green building, for example, might make use of solar panels, skylights and recycled building materials.

Also known as: green building design, green building and design, green home design, green home designs, green homes, green design products, green products, sustainable design, green sustainable design, green design architecture, green architecture design, green building, green building materials

green electricity
This is electricity generated from renewable energy sources, such as solar power, wind power, biomass, and small-scale hydropower.

Also known as: green energy companies, alternative energy companies, renewable energy, alternative energy, solar power, solar power companies, green energy sources, alternative energy sources, green energy electricity, electricity energy

greenhouse effect
This is the warming of the Earth's atmosphere attributed to a buildup of carbon dioxide or other gases. Eco-friendly building and green remodeling processes help limit greenhouse gasses and lower the greenhouse effect in urban areas.

greenhouse gas
This is a gas, such as carbon dioxide or methane, which contributes to potential climate change. Green building is one way to help lower greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay Area.

ground cover
This is low-growing plants that are often grown to keep soil from eroding and to discourage weeds.

Also known as: shade ground cover, ground cover shade, flowering ground cover plants, flowering ground cover, full sun ground cover, ground cover plants full sun, perennial ground cover, perennial ground covers, vinca minor ground cover, creeping thyme ground cover, thyme ground cover

ground source heat pump
This heat pump has underground coils to transfer heat from the ground to the inside of a building. By using the naturally more stable temperature of the earth as its heat source, it results in substantial energy savings.

Also known as: water source heat pump, water source heat pumps, geothermal heating cost, geothermal heat pump cost, geothermal heating and cooling, geothermal cooling, water source heat pump system, ground source heat pump installation

high efficiency
This is a general term for technologies and processes that require less energy, water, or other inputs to operate. A goal in sustainable building is to achieve high efficiency in resource use when compared to conventional practice.

Also known as: high efficiency water heater, high efficiency water heaters, high efficiency toilets, high efficiency washers, high efficiency gas furnaces, high efficiency top load washers, high efficiency oil furnaces, high efficiency heat pumps

high efficiency toilet
This type of toilet, known as an HET toilet,  provides at least 20% water savings over the federal standard of 1.6 gpf and still meets the most rigorous standards for flush performance. HETs include pressure-assist toilets that use as little as 1.0 gpf, gravity-flush toilets that consume 1.28 gpf, and dual-flush toilets that offer two different flush volumes.

Also known as: high efficiency toilets, efficient toilets, efficient toilet, water efficient toilets, dual flush toilets, low flow toilets, high flow toilets, pressure assisted toilets, wall mount toilets, toto toilets, toto high efficiency toilets

hydronic heating
This space heating system uses water circulated through a radiant floor or baseboard system or a convection or fan coil system.

Also known as: hydronic baseboard heating, electric boilers for hydronic heating, radiant heating panels, hydronic radiant heat panels, hydronic heating supplies, radiant heating supplies, radiant floor heating installation, underfloor heating, hydronic underfloor heating

national green building standard
This is based on the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines and passed through ANSI. This standard can be applied to new homes, remodeling projects, and additions.

Also known as: nahb, nahb green, nahb green building standard, green building standard, green homes, green home builders, building green homes, green building rating systems

natural ventilation
This ventilation design uses existing air currents on a site and natural convection to move and distribute air through a structure or space. Strategies for natural ventilation include placement and operability of windows and doors, thermal chimneys, landscape berms to direct airflow on a site, and operable skylights.

Also known as: natural ventilation design, air vent, roof vents, roof air vents, exhaust fans, ventilation fans, ventilation systems, roof ventilation, stack ventilation

on-site stormwater management
This is building and landscape strategies that control and limit stormwater pollution and runoff. These strategies include vegetated roofs, compost-amended soils, pervious paving, tree planting, drainage swales, and more.

passive solar
These are strategies for using the sun's energy to heat or cool a space, mass, or liquid. Passive solar strategies use no pumps or controls to function. A window, oriented for solar gain and coupled with massing for thermal storage (e.g., a Trombe wall) is an example of a passive solar technique.

Also known as: passive solar house, passive solar house plans, passive solar water heater, residential solar power, solar panels, passive solar panels, solar heaters, passive solar heaters, passive solar home plans, zero energy homes

porous paving
These paving surfaces are designed to allow stormwater infiltration and reduce runoff.

Also known as: permeable pavers, permeable pavement, pervious paving, porous pavement, asphalt paving, porous asphalt paving, grass pavers, concrete pavers, concrete paving, driveway paving, patio pavers, paving stones, asphalt driveways

reclaimed materials
These are materials that are no longer needed where they are so they are reused in a new location or for a new purpose. For example, wood and other materials are salvaged from a building under demolition or deconstruction and are used in the construction of a new building.

Also known as: reclaimed building materials, reclaimed wood flooring, used lumber, reclaimed lumber, recycled wood, recycled building materials, salvaged wood, architectural salvage, salvaged flooring, antique hardwood flooring, reclaimed hardwood flooring, used building supplies, used building materials, reclaimed wood beams, reclaimed beams

recycling
This process collects materials that would otherwise become solid waste and separates, process, and returns them to the economic mainstream to be reused in the form of raw materials or finished goods.

Also known as: recycling plastic, recycle plastic, recycling center, paper recycling, recycle facts, recycling glass, recycling bins, recyclable materials

renewable energy
This energy is generated from renewable resources such as sunlight, wind, and agricultural products.

Also known as: renewable energy sources, renewable energy companies, renewable energy, solar renewable energy, renewable energy resources, renewable energy projects

renewable resources
A resource that can be replenished at a rate equal to or greater than its rate of depletion; e.g., solar, wind, geothermal and biomass resources.

Also known as: renewable energy resources, list of renewable resources, renewable water sources

trombe wall
This thermal storage system is used in passive solar design. It is a high-mass wall that stores heat from solar gain during the day and slowly radiates the heat back into the living space at night.

Also known as: trombe walls, trombe wall design, trombe, passive solar energy, passive solar home, passive solar house design, solar home plans, solar for the home, solar heat, home solar heating, solar energy, trombe wall construction, home wall construction

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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ for Local Green Building Contractors and Green Remodeling Companies

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified green contractor?...

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Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified green contractor?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a local green contractor with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only green contractors rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified green contractor.

Q: What is “green building”?
A: Green building refers to a combination of design, construction and operational practices that reduce a structure’s negative impact on its occupants and its surrounding environment. Green building practices generally decrease the structure’s toxic output and increase the efficiency with which a structure is able to draw upon the energy, water and materials at its site.

Q: What are the benefits of green building?
A: There are myriad benefits to building green. Environmental benefits include but are not limited to protecting natural spaces, and reducing water and energy use and harmful air emissions; economic benefits include but are not limited to reduced operating costs, mitigated risk (health issues, avoidance of faulty or inappropriate systems or materials), optimized performance over time, tax incentives for energy efficient practices and materials, availability of outside funding sources, and added value to a community; health benefits include but are not limited to better air quality and reduction in toxic emissions from building materials.

Q: Does it cost more to build green?
A: Up front, maybe—but not necessarily! Over time, certainly not! Even small, low key projects can make a big difference in your energy consumption, which of course, leads to savings. Furthermore, research shows that the costs of building green are actually decreasing over time as builders become experienced and sustainable practices and materials become more commonplace.

Q: What are some of the basic features of a green home?
A: Generally speaking, green homes, have increased energy efficiency, conserve water, have improved air quality, and reduce pollution and harmful waste. An array of techniques and materials can be employed that will result in these characteristics for any building—green structures need not be identical.

Q: What part do reused and recycled materials play in green building?
A: Reused and recycled materials reduce solid waste problems, cut energy consumption in manufacturing, and save natural resources. Remember, sustainability is all about minimizing impact, and choosing, for example, to use salvaged lumber from your own project site means you won’t be using fresh lumber and thus potentially contributing to deforestation. Many reused materials also tend to be durable and, increasingly, attractive.

Q: Why use locally produced materials?
A: Materials have to get to your project site somehow. The farther away their origins, the more fuel was expended to get them—so buying locally does make a difference in the overall greenness of your project!

Q: What standards exist for green buildings?
A: LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification is as close to an industry standard as exists at the moment. You can read more about LEED at www.usgbc.org.

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Consumer Agencies
Consumer Associations and Agencies for Information on Green Remodeling Companies

United States Green Building Council (USGBC) (www.usgbc.org)
National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) (www.nahb.org)
The Green Building Initiative (GBI) (www.thegbi.org)
California Building Industry Association (CBIA) (www.cbia.org)
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) (http://www.abc.org/)...

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United States Green Building Council (USGBC) (www.usgbc.org)
National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) (www.nahb.org)
The Green Building Initiative (GBI) (www.thegbi.org)
California Building Industry Association (CBIA) (www.cbia.org)
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) (http://www.abc.org/)
California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) (www.dca.ca.gov)      
North Coast Builders Exchange (NCBE) (http://www.ncbeonline.com/)

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Industry Information
San Francisco Green Building Information
Popular Green Construction BrandsTypes of Green Building Services Available in San Francisco Districts Served Zip Codes Served
Homasote Green Building Productsgreen home buildingBarbary Coast
Bayview District
Bernal Heights
the Castro
Cole Valley
Cow Hollow
Diamond Heights
Duboce Triangle
Eureka Valley
Excelsior
Financial District
Fisherman's Wharf
Fort Mason
Glen Park
Golden Gate Park
the Haight
Haight-Ashbury
Hayes Valley
Hunters Point
Inner Richmond
Inner Sunset
Jackson Square
Japantown
Laurel Heights
Marina District
Mission District
Nob Hill
Noe Valley
North Beach
Outer Richmond
Outer Sunset
Pacific Heights
Potrero Flats
Potrero Hill
Presidio
Rincon Hill
Russian Hill
San Francisco
Sea Cliff
South of Market Street (SOMA)
Sunset District
Telegraph Hill
the Tenderloin
the Presidio
Treasure Island
Twin Peaks
Union Square
West Portal
Western Addition
94101
94102
94103
94104
94105
94107
94108
94109
94110
94111
94112
94114
94115
94116
94117
94118
94119
94120
94121
94122
94123
94124
94125
94126
94127
94129
94130
94131
94132
94133
94134
94140
94141
94142
94146
94147
94157
94158
94159
94164
94165
94166
94167
94168
94169
94170
94172
94188
Ecological Adhesivesreclaimed woods
American Recycled Plasticgreen roofing installation
Green Choice Flooringeco-friendly siding
Elwood Reclaimed Timbergreen building technologies
Sustainable Building Systemsgreen building consulting
GreenTech Cabinetrybuilding green schools
Certain Teed Green Building Products eco-friendly office building construction
EnviroFoam Insulationsustainable living construction
Green-Source Productsgreen flooring materials
Greenway Recycled Paverssustainable housing construction
USG Green Building Productsgreen building material supply
BioShield Healthy Living Paints & FinishesLEED building materials
Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologiesgreen construction
Eco-Friendly Flooringgreen cabinets
James Hardie Sustainable Building Materialseco-friendly paints, coatings & sealants
EnviroGLAS Recycled Glass Construction Productsgreen decking, fencing & railings
Renewal By Andersen green building insulation
Urbanslabs Sustainable Surfacesrecycled building materials
Renewed Materialsgreen building product resources
Organic Surfacessustainable bathroom remodeling
EcoStar Roofinggreen kitchen remodels
Energy Efficient Restoration Systemssustainable surfaces
Certified Green Building Systemsenergy-efficient window & door installation
Green Building Systems Incenergy efficient design
Kama Energy Efficient Building Systemsalternative building materials
Butler Building Systemseco-friendly building material construction
Enercept Structural Insulated Panels 
Environmental Wall Systems