Expert Reports From Local Top Rated Companies

DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT REPORTS HUB
Diamond Certified Expert Contributors

Jeff Kendall is president of Custom Exteriors, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (877) 312-3507 or by email.

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Jeff Kendall: A Customized Career

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

PLEASANTON — Since taking his first sales job, Jeff Kendall has spent the subsequent decades customizing his career. “I’ve been doing sales since I graduated college,” he recounts. “I’ve always loved meeting and talking with people, and I appreciate not being stuck in an office all day. After working as a Yellow Pages salesman for a few years, I got a job as a window and siding sales estimator at Sears. It was there that I met Kevin Gundry, who is now co-owner of Custom Exteriors. Later, while working for a Bay Area home exterior company, I got a call from Kevin, Read more

Expert tip
Permits: An Important Consideration When Hiring a Contractor
PLEASANTON — Before hiring a contractor to replace your home’s windows, siding or stucco, make sure they’re willing and able to handle building permits. The permitting process for exterior renovations can be quite daunting—there are Title 24 questions, floor plan… Read more

Grayeagle Porter is a design consultant at Custom Exteriors, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (877) 312-3507 or by email.

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Grayeagle Porter: An Unforeseen Trajectory

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

PLEASANTON — As a young man, Grayeagle Porter could never have foreseen the unique course his professional path would take. One thing is for sure: he wouldn’t change a thing about it. “I actually began my career in the theater,” he recounts. “I got my degree in dramatic arts and acted professionally for about 10 years. After getting married, I needed higher-paying work, so I got into the hospitality industry and worked in hotels and restaurants. During this time, I was approached by the owner of a window company, who told me I’d be really good at selling windows. Read more

Expert tip
3 Window Styles
PLEASANTON — When installing new windows, it can be difficult to decide which style will work best for your home. To make an informed decision, consider the following window styles and their attributes: Vinyl The quality of vinyl windows has… Read more

David Lopez is sales manager of Custom Exteriors, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (877) 312-3507 or by email.

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David Lopez: A Grounded Career

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

PLEASANTON — After joining the United States Air Force, David Lopez figured he’d spend the rest of his life soaring through the skies. In the end, he found satisfaction in a more grounded career. “Out of high school, I joined the Air Force and served four years as a crew chief on an A-10 Thunderbolt,” he recounts. “After I got out, my plan was to become a pilot for United Airlines. Between moving back to California from my Air Force base in Tucson, I made a friend who was in the construction business. I started working with him and I enjoyed it, Read more

Expert tip
Benefits of a Fiberglass Entry Door
PLEASANTON — When choosing a new entry door for your home, it’s worthwhile to consider the many benefits a fiberglass door provides: Performance Wood entry doors expand and contract with changes in weather, which can cause issues like sticking or… Read more

Marc Roos works in partnership with Sereno Group to help clients buy and sell properties in Santa Clara County and parts of San Mateo County. He can be reached at (650) 207-0226 or by email.

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Marc Roos: A Residential Affinity

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

When Marc Roos got his first job in the real estate industry, he didn’t know it would be a stepping stone toward a successful long-term career. “I got into real estate by accident, really,” he says. “After college, a friend and I were looking for work, so we went to the campus employment center. One of the job ads was placed by a commercial real estate broker who was looking to drum up sales; we both responded and were hired. From there, my friend went on to pursue a career in commercial real estate, but I was much more interested in the residential side. Read more

Expert tip
4 Tips for Staging Your Home
LOS ALTOS HILLS — When selling your home, you can increase its appeal to potential buyers by staging it. Staging is a common real estate sales technique for enhancing a property’s visual attractiveness. Essentially, you want your sale property to… Read more

Sean Mader is co-owner of Atticare, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (408) 758-5718 or by email.

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Sean Mader: One for All

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN LEANDRO — When asked the secret to his success with Atticare, Sean Mader credits a trifecta of unique talents contributed by the company’s three owners. “Atticare is owned and operated by Zack, Scott and myself—all good friends who served together in the Israeli military,” he explains. “We share a similar perspective on operations and our goals for the company, but each of us brings a unique set of skills to the table. Zack is a natural strategist who makes sure we stay ahead of the competition; Scott specializes in systems and operations; and I focus on marketing, customer service and business relations. Read more

Expert tip
4 Reasons to Inspect and Upgrade Your Attic
SAN LEANDRO — Even if you don’t spend much time in your attic, you shouldn’t neglect this area of your home. At least once a year, you should inspect your attic for potential issues. Furthermore, if your attic isn’t thermally… Read more

Alex Rodriguez is owner of A-Rod Auto Collision, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (408) 622-0473 or by email.

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Alex Rodriguez: A Family Operation

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN JOSE — For years, Alex Rodriguez and his family had talked about starting an automotive business. Finally, by aligning their skills and resources, they successfully followed through with their dream. “I come from a big family, and we’ve always worked on each other’s cars,” explains Alex. “A few of my relatives have professional auto body experience and we’d often talk about starting our own business. After working for 34 years as a construction equipment operator, I was getting ready to retire and I had the money to purchase a business, so we all decided it was time to make it happen.”

Since founding A-Rod Auto Collision in San Jose in 2016, Read more

Expert tip
How to Assess a Scratch on Your Vehicle
SAN JOSE — If there’s a scratch on your vehicle’s body, you may assume the area will need to be repainted. However, this may not be the case. Vehicle body scratches often look similar, but their impact can vary substantially… Read more

Jim Gardner is owner of Jim Gardner Construction Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (510) 254-5887 or by email.

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Jim Gardner: A Sound Structure

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

OAKLAND — After more than 20 years doing structural work, Jim Gardner has established himself as an expert in his field. However, the foundation of his professional expertise didn’t form overnight; rather, it was something he built up gradually. “After college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, so I worked a bunch of different jobs, including firefighter, swim instructor and river rafting guide,” he recounts. “When my mother moved to the Bay Area from Southern California and bought a house, I offered to fix it up for her. I’ve always been handy, but I’d never done any real construction work at that point, Read more

Expert tip
Solutions for Drainage Problems
OAKLAND — When it comes to drainage, most homeowners don’t realize there are two different types of water that need to be addressed: surface water and subterranean water (also known as groundwater). Furthermore, these two types of water each require… Read more

Kevin Sollitt is a 32-year veteran of the HVAC industry and president of Temperature Perfection, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (510) 200-8950 or by email.

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Kevin Sollitt: Unexpected Growth

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

FREMONT — As a budding HVAC professional, Kevin Sollitt was always looking for opportunities to grow in his career. However, he never expected he’d grow to the point of starting his own company. “Right out of high school, I went to work for a local HVAC company in Fremont,” he remembers. “I soon realized the chances of moving up in the company were pretty low, so I left after a couple of years and found a company where I could grow. A few years in, I was promoted to service manager—a position that came with a lot of responsibility but little authority. Read more

Expert tip
Air Quality Solution for Allergy Sufferers
FREMONT — One thing many homeowners ask about is how to improve their home’s air quality to alleviate their allergy issues. In such instances, I recommend investing in a medical-grade air filtration system. These systems purify indoor air by providing… Read more

Steve Ionis is president of Rayne Plumbing and Sewer Service, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2004. He can be reached at (408) 283-0600 or [email protected]

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Steve Ionis: The Long Road

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN JOSE — If you ask Steve Ionis where he’s from originally, he’s likely to reply that there’s no such thing as “original”—an apt response from a man whose upbringing took place in various spots around the world. Steve was born in Shanghai, China, his parents having emigrated from Russia several years prior. Soon after his birth, the rise of Mao Zedong compelled them to relocate to the recently formed state of Israel, where the family resided for six years before moving again, this time to Tokyo, Japan. After he graduated high school, Steve spent three years in the Israeli army, Read more

Expert tip
A Green Way to Deal with Hard Water
SAN JOSE — Hard water is a common problem in the Bay Area—not only does it leave people with a rough feeling when they come out of the shower, it often causes damage to homeowners’ water pipes, water… Read more

Harold Bloom has been selling homes in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties since 1985. He can be reached at (650) 605-3928 or by email.

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Howard Bloom: Still Having Fun

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Reporter

LOS ALTOS — When asked what inspired him to get into real estate, Howard Bloom says it was more fun than his day job. “Before I was a real estate agent, I worked as a hospital administrator. In 1982, I started buying and reselling government-repossessed properties. Pretty soon, I was buying two or three properties a year. Eventually, I decided real estate was more fun than being in meetings all day. Plus, I was using a lot of the same skills I used at my job: dealing with people, solving problems and negotiating contracts. In 1985, I began doing real estate full-time and have been at it ever since.”

Today, Read more

Expert tip
Choosing a Quality Real Estate Agent
LOS ALTOS — If you’re looking to buy a home, one of the first things you should do is choose an agent to represent you. However, just any agent won’t do—to ensure a successful outcome, you’ll need to choose a… Read more