The Certification Process






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  • Accurate Ratings

    Local companies rated
    Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise™

  • Performance Guaranteed

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  • Deep Info™

    Researched company reports.
    Essential articles and videos by topic experts.


Barbara Schallau Consumer
Bay Area

Hany Louis CEO/General Manager
The Tile & Grout King Inc.

Jagdish Hegde Consumer

Leigh Bakhtiari President
City Carpets

Cecile Monfort Consumer
San Jose

Mark Corrallo President
All Seasons Construction

Jim Baylor Consumer
Bay Area

Bev Oliver Consumer
Bay Area

Gifford Teeple Owner
A Reliable Handyman

Tami Aviles Consumer
Bay Area

Tommy Herren Owner
The Lighting Geek

Watch this video on the Diamond Certified Resource: the most accurate and trustworthy way to find local companies rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

We’ve all felt the joy of choosing a good local company and, unfortunately, the pain when we mistakenly choose a bad one. The problem is, every company claims to be good, yet despite these glowing claims some provide inconsistent quality while others are downright unscrupulous.

We’ve solved this problem for you with the Diamond Certified Resource. Only local companies independently rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise™ earn Diamond Certified. Our rigorous rating and certification process starts with the in-depth pass/fail rating of each company’s customer satisfaction, license and insurances. Most companies can’t pass our rating and earn Diamond Certified, and every Diamond Certified company must continue to deliver on its promises to you, the consumer. That’s why we conduct ongoing customer satisfaction research and credential-based ratings and monitor each company’s performance.

Every Diamond Certified company is backed by our powerful Performance Guarantee, so you’ll feel confident in your choice when you use our always-free web resource or Diamond Certified Directory. If you try unsuccessfully to resolve a disagreement with a Diamond Certified company, our mediator will work with you and the company to attempt to reach an agreement that both parties can live with. If the mediation fails to produce a mutually agreeable solution due to failure of the Diamond Certified company to honor contractual obligations, uphold industry standards or participate in good faith, we will refund your purchase price up to $1,000.

Each time you visit, you’ll see each Diamond Certified company’s Deep Info, including researched company rating reports, verbatim survey responses, essential articles, photo galleries, videos and expert tips. We put all the information you need to choose a company in one place, and no other web page can match this depth of information.

When you choose a Diamond Certified company, you’ll never be fooled by fake or cherry-picked reviews because we survey a large, random sample of each company’s customers by telephone (typically 100 surveys) to get the most accurate ratings and verify only real customers are responding. Company owners can’t cherry-pick by telling friends and selected customers to post 5-star reviews on our site—we don’t allow it.

So, if you want quality, you’ll have confidence in choosing a Diamond Certified company. We encourage you to visit this website on a regular basis to find updated ratings on top rated companies in your area, see verbatim survey responses on each Diamond Certified company, and read thousands of industry-specific expert articles and tips. We care about customer satisfaction, and we care about you. We’re proud to give you all the information you need to choose with confidence.



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Each Diamond Certified Company Report gives you the most accurate and comprehensive Deep Info available for each company. It includes proof of Diamond Certified status, rating charts, verbatim survey responses, essential articles about the company, a capabilities table, a Diamond Certified Video Profile, key photos, company owner expert tip contributions and more. Click on the graphic to learn more


    We survey a large, random sample of each company’s customers by telephone to get the most accurate ratings...


    In addition to providing rating scores for Quality, Intent to Return and Helpful Expertise, each surveyed customer is...


    You get to see the company in action, meet the managers, and learn as they describe their specialties and customer...


    You can choose to scan or go deep into these five researched articles on each Diamond Certified company: Company...


    Each company’s key info is logically organized within this table. You’ll find this system of display gives...


    Top rated local company owners are experts in their fields, and they’ve written topic-based expert articles and created...


    If a picture is worth a thousand words, how about an entire portfolio? You’ll get a better sense of each company once...


    This is a good place to go if you want to do extra research on a company. Here you’ll find a link to each company’s...

Where Are Your Fire Extinguishers? Do You Know How to Use One?

Posted on April 24, 2018 by Chris Bjorklund

I started thinking about my preparedness a lot last fall when fires were raging in Northern California. One day, I came across an article in Consumer Reports magazine that made six key points about fire extinguishers:

1. Make sure you know where yours are.
2. Make sure they’re not coated in dust.
3. Put them on every level of your house.
4. Keep small extinguishers in your car and kitchen.
5. Keep a multipurpose extinguisher in your garage.
6. Make sure the arrows on the indicators point to green, which means they’ll work when the pins are pulled. Read more

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Posted in: Uncategorized
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How to Use the 2018 Diamond Certified Directory

Posted on April 19, 2018 by Jennifer Chan

Two weeks ago, we mailed the 2018 Diamond Certified Directory to more than 800,000 homes and businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area (if you didn’t get your FREE copy, click here). We’ve made some exciting changes to the Directory this year, so it’s time to get reacquainted!

Every April, American Ratings Corporation publishes 10 versions of the Diamond Certified Directory, covering all of the Greater Bay Area (including Monterey). Read more

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Posted in: Uncategorized, Consumer News, Consumers, Customer Service, Diamond Certified News

  • Bob S.

    Verified customer
    Quality 10
    Loyalty Yes
    Helpful expertise Yes

    Really trustworthy, accommodating, and they did a great job.
    The whole package

  • Joan L.

    Verified customer
    Quality 10
    Loyalty Yes
    Helpful expertise Yes

    This man is so organized and so thorough about everything he does. He gave me a detailed breakdown at the end of each day, letting me know what he did. I was always very interested in what he was doing. He almost makes his work look like an art of some sort. He was always on time, he always had a smile on his face, and he was just very nice.
    He's very experienced. He's great in finding resolutions that actually work for whatever is going on.


Bill Shepherd is president of Shepherd’s Plumbing Heating & AC, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (650) 409-1467 or by email.


Bill Shepherd: A Plumbing Affinity

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN JOSE — A third-generation plumber, Bill Shepherd was introduced to the trade at an early age and never looked back. “My family has been doing plumbing since the 1930s, starting with my grandpa,” he recounts. “I did my first job when I was six years old, when I helped my dad install a toilet at a neighbor’s house. From that point on, I basically fell in love with plumbing. I really enjoyed working with my hands and just had a natural ability for it.” During his teen years, Bill regularly worked for his father on afternoons, weekends and during summers before coming on full-time after high school. Read more

Expert tip
How to Prevent Toilet Problems
SAN JOSE — Even if your toilets work fine 95 percent of the time, problems are bound to arise once in a while. Whether your toilet is running non-stop or clogged and about to overflow, knowing what to do can… Read more

Steve Villa is president of Rafael Floors, Abbey Carpet Center, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 669-4944 or by email.


Steve Villa: An Unlikely Ascent

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN RAFAEL — Few people go from sweeping floors to managing operations at the same company, but Steve Villa did that and then some. “I started at Rafael Floors back in high school,” he remembers. “Ron Leach, the original owner, was my next-door neighbor, and he offered me a job in his warehouse. I would come in every day after school and sweep the floors, run errands, and make deliveries. From there, I became an apprentice installer and continued to work part-time through college. After graduating with a degree in business administration, I returned full-time as an administrative assistant. Read more

Expert tip
Wood and Faux Wood Flooring Options
SAN RAFAEL — If you’re thinking about installing a wood or faux wood floor in your home, you’ll want to know the full spectrum of your options. Here’s a summary of these options and their benefits: Authentic wood flooring The… Read more

Dean Knecht is owner of Dean Knecht Painting, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2008. He can be reached at (650) 648-3925 or by email.


Dean Knecht: Painting Heritage

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

MILLBRAE — Few professionals can trace their professional legacy back six generations, but Dean Knecht is one of them. “I’m a sixth-generation painter,” he affirms. “My family’s painting legacy began in Hamburg, Germany, and was carried over to the United States by my great-grandfather. His son—my grandfather—was a painting contractor, as was my father after him. I started working for my dad when I was 15 and later became his business partner. After about 18 years with my dad, I started my own business, which I’ve been running for almost 30 years.”

Today, as owner of Dean Knecht Painting, Read more

Expert tip
How to Avoid Security Concerns When Painting Your Front Door
MILLBRAE — Painting your front door may seem like a simple task, but it can get surprisingly complicated. One complicating factor is the fact that you have to remain at home until the paint is completely dry, as you won’t… Read more

Jay Lucas is president of Santa Rosa Moving & Storage, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (707) 742-3978 or by email.


Jay Lucas: A Moving Legacy

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

ROHNERT PARK — As president of Santa Rosa Moving & Storage, Jay Lucas represents the third generation to run his family’s business. However, had it not been for certain technological advancements, he may have been in an altogether different industry. “My grandfather started this business in the late 1940s,” he explains. “Originally, it was a different sort of company—it sold firewood and ice, which at the time were the primary sources of heat and refrigeration. Most of the ice sales were to fishermen who worked in the Sausalito Harbor and wanted to keep their fish fresh. Of course, when modern heating and refrigeration came around, Read more

Expert tip
5 Tips to Simplify Your Move
ROHNERT PARK — To minimize the stressfulness of your moving project, take proactive steps to simplify the process. Consider the following tips: Use an easy labeling system. For example, you can use colored tape to designate which boxes go into… Read more

Chris Young is sales manager of J & M Windows & Glass, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2007. He can be reached at (408) 782-4917 or by email.


Chris Young: Keeping it in the Family

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

CAMPBELL — A third-generation participant of his family’s window and glass company, Chris Young takes pride in continuing the legacy established by his grandfather. “My grandpa started J & M Windows & Glass in 1974, and my dad took over in the mid-1980s,” he recounts. “I first got involved in 2008. I was a couple of years out of high school and the economy had just taken a dive, so I came in to help and ended up staying. I like working for the family business and carrying on my grandpa’s legacy. I think that’s the main motivation for me—to keep it going.”

Today, Read more

Expert tip
How to Maintain a Sliding Glass Door
CAMPBELL — When a sliding glass door becomes difficult to operate, it’s usually due to a lack of maintenance—specifically, cleaning and lubrication. People are often surprised to find their door issues can be resolved by merely applying lubricant to their… Read more

Bryan Arlaud is CEO of Certified Heating and Air Conditioning, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (510) 371-5909 or by email.


Bryan Arlaud: Customer-Focused

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

CONCORD — From the early days of his HVAC career, Bryan Arlaud stood out among his professional peers thanks to a singular focus. “I’ve always been the best in whatever department I worked in, and that’s because I was always focused on the customer experience and building relationships,” he explains. “There were a couple of companies I worked for where the owners didn’t really care—it was all about the money. That was a big motivator for me to start my own company, because I’d be able to treat customers as well as I thought they should be.”

Bryan’s involvement in the HVAC industry started early. Read more

Expert tip
How to Save Big on Heating and Cooling Costs
CONCORD — If your HVAC system is more than eight years old, it likely constitutes the lion’s share of your home’s energy consumption. In fact, it’s common for heating and cooling to represent more than half of a home’s total… Read more

Ricardo Larromana is owner of Larro’s Moving Services, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (650) 866-5993 or by email.


Ricardo Larromana: From Scratch to Success

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN FRANCISCO — Ricardo Larromana had been a professional mover for the better part of a decade when he decided to start his own business from scratch. “I started out working for a major moving company in 2007,” he recounts. “After about seven years there, I wanted to do my own thing, so I bought a truck, hired a helper, and began doing hauling and internal moves. Over time, I started getting calls for bigger moving jobs, and the more jobs we did, the more business picked up. Today, just a few years later, we’re a full-service moving company with a four-truck fleet.”

Today, Read more

Expert tip
How to Pack Kitchen Items for Moving
SAN FRANCISCO — From delicate dishes to sharp knives, kitchen items pose many challenges when packing for a move. Here’s how to pack a couple of common items: Plates First, place some bubble wrap at the bottom of the… Read more

Jayne Bunce is owner of Jayne Bunce Interiors, a Diamond Certified company. She can be reached at (925) 480-7913 or by email.


Jayne Bunce: A Redesigned Career

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

DANVILLE — Dissatisfied with her technology career, Jayne Bunce decided to completely redesign her professional livelihood. “Before getting into real estate, I worked in the technology field, designing databases and doing systems work for Fortune 500 companies,” she recounts. “However, after 13 years, I found that I wasn’t very happy, largely because I wasn’t utilizing the creative side of my brain. I began working with a career counselor to find a vocation that would better fit my personality. Interior design was one of the options that came up, so I decided to take some classes on the subject. My first class was on color design and I immediately felt like I was in my element…it just felt right.”

From that initial class, Read more

Expert tip
How to Choose Colors for an Interior Design Project
DANVILLE — One of the most crucial aspects of designing a home interior is choosing colors. Why? Because different colors convey different emotional effects. For example, warm colors like red, yellow and orange tend to be inviting and make people… Read more

Jonathan Millington is owner of Ace Plumbing and Rooter, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 523-0012 or by email.


Jonathan Millington: Crash Course to Success

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN FRANCISCO — Jonathan Millington’s plumbing career may have started with a crash course, but it ultimately led to an uncommon level of success. “In my early 20s, I was looking for a trade to get into and became interested in plumbing,” he begins. “I started reading some books about it and found a job with a local plumbing company. They gave me a real crash course. I think the idea was to train me really quickly and get me out in the field. As a result, I had to learn a lot from my mistakes, because I didn’t have a chance to fully learn things during my training.”

After getting a handle on the technical side of plumbing, Read more

Expert tip
The Importance of Sewer Inspections in Real Estate
SAN FRANCISCO — Before purchasing a home, buyers typically have a number of inspections performed to ensure the property’s integrity. A few common areas of inspection include the roof, the structure and the foundation. However, there’s one area of the… Read more

George Walton is president of Alameda Structural, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2008. He can be reached at (510) 371-5956 or by email.


George Walton: A Structural Inclination

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

ALAMEDA — The son of a general contractor, George Walton was basically raised in the construction industry, where, over time, he found himself inclined toward a particular aspect. “I started building houses with my dad when I was 12 years old and I’ve been doing construction ever since,” he recaps. “I was always drawn to structural work in particular. It’s very challenging, which appealed to me, and there’s less paperwork. In 1984, I started my own residential structural repair company. Five years later, in the wake of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, I decided to focus primarily on foundations and seismic retrofitting, Read more

Expert tip
The Importance of a Pre-Purchase Soils Report
ALAMEDA — When buying a home in the Berkeley Hills, one important step is having a soils report performed by a geotechnical engineer. Why? Because if the home needs foundation work, you’ll need to know what type of soil it’s… Read more

Jack Wahl is owner of Jackson’s Paving & Equipment Rentals, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (707) 219-6303 or by email.


Jack Wahl: Heavy-Duty

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SANTA ROSA — Jack Wahl has always been in awe of heavy-duty vehicles, so when he saw an opportunity to operate them professionally, he jumped on board. “I’ve always had an interest in heavy equipment,” he affirms. “While working as a plumber, I had a chance to operate some trenching equipment and I really enjoyed it. Later, when I hired a paving company to install a driveway at my home, I again felt inspired watching the process and equipment used to perform the job. At that point, I decided to get a job in the paving industry, and I fell in love with it right away. Read more

Expert tip
Advantages of Professional Asphalt Sealcoating
SANTA ROSA — The simplest way to prolong the lifespan of an asphalt driveway is to have it routinely sealcoated. Sealcoating is the process of applying a sealant that protects an asphalt surface from the elements. This sealant keeps rainwater… Read more

Charlie Judson is a 34-year veteran of the water treatment industry and president of Weeks Drilling & Pump Company, a Diamond Certified company since 2004. He can be reached at (707) 823-3184 or [email protected]


Charlie Judson: A Life Well Spent

By Matt Solis, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SEBASTOPOL – Charlie Judson didn’t expect to find a career in water treatment when he was a young geology student at Santa Rosa Junior College—like many students, he was simply looking for a way to make some extra money when he stumbled upon an industry that would eventually become his life’s work. “I answered an ad for a company that was looking for someone to install water filters, which I had some experience with, and I ended up working there for a couple years and learning the basics of the business,” he remembers. “I found the water quality part of the job extremely interesting and challenging, Read more

Expert tip
Factors for Well Placement
SEBASTOPOL — When it comes to drilling a well, proper placement is key. There are several factors that go into determining well placement, including the following: Setbacks A setback is the municipally mandated distance between a structure or… Read more