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Radu Binzari is a 21-year veteran of the construction industry and owner of Strong Builders Construction, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2009. He can be reached at (415) 504-7877 or by email.

Radu Binzari

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Radu Binzari: Building Strong

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO — Originally from the Republic of Moldova, Radu Binzari came to the United States at the age of 32 and brought with him a construction expertise that was foregrounded by a multi-generational background. “My father and grandfather both worked construction, so I was raised in the field,” he says. “Later in life, when I came to Northern California on vacation, I was attracted by the local industry. Since my father had done a lot of wood work, I appreciated the American emphasis on building with wood as opposed to rock and concrete, which is the common method in Europe. Overall, I saw a lot of opportunity for both life and work, so I decided to stay.”

Today, as owner of Strong Builders Construction, Inc., Radu says his favorite part of his job is interacting with customers. “I find that Bay Area homeowners tend to be very open to new ideas and thinking outside the box, which makes my job more fun. I enjoy working with my clients to create designs, select products and solve problems.”

In regard to a professional philosophy, Radu espouses the importance of staying true to your word. “From big things like price to small things like punctuality, it’s important to deliver what you promise to your clients,” he says. “If you tell a customer you’re going to be there at a certain time, you have to show up on time. If you tell a customer a certain price, that price should be the same at the end of the job. That’s why our clients appreciate us—we do what we say we’re going to do.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Radu says he wouldn’t. “I’d work,” he laughs. “I’m the kind of person who likes to stay busy. Even when I’m off, I’m usually working on my own house, fixing things and doing little remodeling projects.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant in San Jose.

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: New Year’s Eve.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: An early bird.

Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?
A: Legos.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Work.

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Proper Intervals for Deck and Tile Sealing


SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO — Most people understand the importance of home maintenance, but not everyone knows the proper intervals at which to perform various tasks. Two common instances of this are the sealing of wood decks and tile surfaces. Deck sealing To… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Tile Sealing Frequency

Complete Video Transcription:

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO — Host, Sarah Rutan: Tile surfaces look their best when regularly sealed, but the technique and frequency of sealing can vary depending on the type… Read more

Derrick Tracey is a 27-year veteran of the stone and tile industry and owner of Derrick Tracey Custom Tile & Marble, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 201-6125.

Derrick Tracey

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Derrick Tracey: Stone and Tile with Style

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter

LIVERMORE — For Derrick Tracey, what began as a mere summer job ended up becoming a lifelong livelihood. “I went into college not really sure what I wanted to do,” he recalls. “To earn some extra money between semesters, I started doing stone and tile work with a family friend and found that I really enjoyed it. In particular, I liked the creativity involved, as well as the process of putting several pieces together to get an aesthetically pleasing final product.”

After gaining a few years of industry experience, Derrick struck out on his own and founded Derrick Tracey Custom Tile & Marble in 1993. More than two decades later, he says he still finds fulfillment from performing hands-on work. “It definitely gives me a lot of satisfaction. When I finish a project that I’m totally proud of and see that the customer is happy as well, it makes me feel really good.”

A lifetime resident of Livermore, Derrick expresses his appreciation for life in his hometown. “It’s a great community to be a part of,” he affirms. “The people are nice, the schools are good, and we’re situated right between the mountains and the beach, so we really have the best of both worlds.” Outside of work, Derrick takes advantage of this diverse local landscape by pursuing outdoor activities, often in the company of his wife, Monica, and sons, Kyle and Carson. “We like to get out and do things as a family, from hiking and skiing to hanging out at the beach.”

When asked what his future retirement might look like, Derrick says he’ll devote more time to the hobbies and activities he currently enjoys. “I’ll probably play more golf, as well as do more traveling and hanging out with family and friends. Maybe I’ll kick things off with a trip to Tahiti.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Oakland A’s.

Q: What’s your favorite season?
A: Winter—I love the snow.

Q: What’s your favorite kind of food?
A: Sushi.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Sports memorabilia.

Q: Pancakes or waffles?
A: Pancakes.

Read more

DIY Tile and Grout Sealing


LIVERMORE — In the old days, sealing tile and grout was a messy (not to mention smelly) job, which is why most people left it to the professionals. Today, however, the emergence of water-based sealers has transformed this once-arduous task… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: How to Seal Your Tile and Grout

Complete Video Transcription:

LIVERMORE — Host, Sarah Rutan: Sealing tile and grout was once a messy endeavor, but thanks to today’s cutting-edge products, it’s now something you can easily do… Read more

Hany Louis is CEO and general manager of The Tile & Grout King Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2011. He can be reached at (408) 622-0338 or by email.

Hany Louis

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Hany Louis: Tile Royalty

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SANTA CLARA — The son of a general contractor, Hany Louis has been immersed in the construction and remodeling trades since childhood. When it came time for him to choose his own professional path, however, he decided on an industry niche that would not only utilize his knowledge and experience, but feed his artistic side as well. “Out of all the trades, tile work is one of the most versatile and artistic, which is why I think it appealed to me so much,” he explains. “With most other trades, there’s either a right way or a wrong way of doing things, but when it comes to tile work, there are all kinds of right.”

Hany founded The Tile & Grout King Inc. in 2007, and he says he still appreciates the artistic attributes that characterize his craft, particularly working with designs and collaborating with customers on ideas. He also derives fulfillment from the positive feedback he receives from satisfied clients. “Our reviews are foundational to the success of our company,” he affirms. “Hearing customers rave about how much they love our team, our service and the quality of our work brings me a real sense of satisfaction.”

A resident of Santa Clara—where he lives with wife, Michelle, and son, Jordan—Hany says he appreciates the cultural climate that distinguishes the region. “Besides being a nice, classy area, the Silicon Valley is an exciting place to live. What better place to be than in the midst of the technology capital of the world?”

Outside of work, Hany enjoys participating in activities that combine recreation and exercise. “I’m not a fan of working out, simply because I don’t enjoy the repetitive nature of it, so I stay in shape by playing competitive sports like volleyball.” Additionally, Hany and his family enjoy going on winter snowboarding excursions at various Lake Tahoe resorts.

In his life and career, Hany emphasizes the value of prioritizing family. “I think it’s important to put your family first, because once you understand the value of family, it guides you in other aspects of your life,” he explains. “This is something I’ve learned from experience, having become a father while still in high school. My son is the reason I turned my life around—he motivated me to complete my education and start my business, and I don’t think I’d be here if it wasn’t for him.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Hany says he’d take his snowboarding hobby to an international level. “I’d definitely do some traveling. I’d love to just tour the world and find some new snowboarding spots along the way!”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Jose Sharks.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Kenzo Sushi in South San Jose.

Q: Did you play any high school sports?
A: I wrestled and played football.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Cookies—I’m a legitimate cookie monster.

Q: What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up?
A: “MacGyver.”

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The Importance of Resealing Tile


SANTA CLARA — A common misconception about tile is that once it’s installed, the only maintenance required is regular surface cleaning. However, when it comes to tile materials like stone, porcelain and ceramic, an important additional step is continuous resealing.… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Proper Stone, Tile & Grout Maintenance

Complete Video Transcription:

SANTA CLARA — Host, Sarah Rutan: To ensure the longevity of your stone, tile and grout, its important to know how to properly care for… Read more