Expert Reports From Local Top Rated Companies

DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT REPORTS HUB
Diamond Certified Expert Contributors

Kevin Comerford is president of Service Champions, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (714) 777-7777 or by email.

Shares

Kevin Comerford: Taking the Lead

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

PLEASANTON — Kevin Comerford has roots in the HVAC industry, but it took some time for him to realize his place in his family’s legacy. “My father, Don Comerford, started his business, Comerford Heating and Air, in 1971, so I basically grew up in the industry,” he recounts. “After graduating from Cal Poly with a degree in journalism, I went to work for the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce. I enjoyed working with small-business owners so much that it renewed my interest in my parents’ business. I was also fascinated with the innovative developments that were happening in the HVAC industry at the time. Read more

Expert tip
5 Steps to Prepare Your HVAC System for Winter
PLEASANTON — Following the heat of summer and the mildness of fall, the cold winter weather brings an entirely different set of heating and ventilation needs for the home. To ensure your HVAC system is equipped for optimal performance, consider… Read more

Russell Calhoon is project manager at Paradigm Concrete & Construction, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 385-8993 or by email.

Shares

Russell Calhoon: A Firm Foundation

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

ANTIOCH — By the time Russell Calhoon started working for a concrete contractor, he already had a firm foundation in the trades. “I’m a third-generation builder,” he explains. “I grew up in construction and worked for my dad from childhood all the way to adulthood. My dad taught me a lot, both on and off the jobsite. He actually taught apprenticeship classes on roof framing and stair framing at a local college, and I often went with him to those. We eventually became partners in a business that held licenses in foundation work, general construction, plumbing, electrical, solar power and sewer work.”

After his father retired, Read more

Expert tip
Often-Overlooked Aspects of a Concrete Project
ANTIOCH — If you’re planning a concrete project, be sure to consider the following aspects: Minimum cost Most concrete contractors have a minimum charge for concrete work. If you only have one small project in mind, it might not meet… Read more

Chris Hampton is owner of CDH Construction, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (707) 207-6954 or by email.

Shares

Chris Hampton: A Simple Motivation

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

ROHNERT PARK — Chris Hampton’s involvement in the construction trade began with a simple motivation. “I wanted to work outside,” he explains. “At the time, I had been working in warehouses and kitchens since I was 13, and I just knew it wasn’t for me. I started getting into outdoor work like landscaping and concrete, and I gradually gravitated toward fine carpentry like cabinets and trim work. In 2010, I started my own construction and home repair business, and I’m still running it today.”

Today, as owner of CDH Construction, Chris says his favorite part of his job is simply doing the work. Read more

Expert tip
Considerations for New Baseboards
ROHNERT PARK — If you’re planning to install new baseboards in your home, there are a couple of things you’ll need to consider. One is the type of material to be used. You essentially have two choices: authentic wood or… Read more

Kyle Barnhart is vice president of Mike Testa Plumbing, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 868-5917 or by email.

Shares

Kyle Barnhart: Gradual Growth

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN RAFAEL — Looking back on his plumbing career, Kyle Barnhart identifies a gradual progression of steady professional growth. “My entire career has basically been one big on-the-job learning experience,” he says. “It started in my childhood—my father was a plumber and he used to take me with him to jobsites. I always had an interest in the trade, especially the troubleshooting aspect. You really have to use your brain, and a lot of times, it’s like figuring out a puzzle. After high school, I got a job with a general contractor I knew and things took off from there. Read more

Expert tip
Maintaining Your Water Heater
SAN RAFAEL — Most water heater problems stem from a lack of routine maintenance. Over time, sediment and mineral buildup can inhibit a water heater’s efficiency and water flow, leading to subpar performance and even premature failure. Routinely flushing your… Read more

Oscar Sanchez is owner of Aqua Stat Plumbing, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (510) 244-4660 or by email.

Shares

Oscar Sanchez: A Rewarding Career

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

HAYWARD — When he first got into plumbing, Oscar Sanchez worried he’d made a mistake. However, looking back, he’s glad he decided to stick with it. “I like to say, ‘I didn’t choose plumbing, plumbing chose me,’” he laughs. “Partway through college, I got married and needed to make more money, so I decided to drop out of school and find a full-time job. I had a connection in the plumbing industry, so I became an apprentice. At first, I didn’t like it—it was a lot of grunt work and it was hard. However, after a while I started doing more hands-on work and learning the more intricate parts of the job. Read more

Expert tip
An Effective Tool for Clearing a Drain
HAYWARD — When one of your sink or tub drains gets clogged, you may think you need to call a plumber to get it cleared. However, with the right tool, you may be able to do this yourself. While there… Read more

Dave Lopez is owner of Advanced Roofing Services, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2003. He can be reached at (510) 592-4978 or by email.

Shares

Dave Lopez: Roof Dreams

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

ALAMEDA — When asked why he got into the roofing trade, Dave Lopez cites both a family connection and an entrepreneurial aspiration. “My dad was a roofer, so I became familiar with the trade early on,” he recounts. “After high school, I started working in the industry and climbed up the ladder from apprentice to journeyman, foreman, and then superintendent. My goal from day one was to have my own roofing business, which I achieved in 1998. I started out with a pickup truck, working out of my home, and from there I expanded into a shop and an office. Read more

Expert tip
The Impact of Roof Pitch on Roofing Material Selection
ALAMEDA — Tar and gravel roofs have been around for a long time, but in recent years their popularity has waned. This is largely due to aesthetics, with many homeowners choosing to replace their tar and gravel roofs with composition… Read more

Hesam Rezaee is president of Molly Maid of Sonoma County, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (707) 219-6365 or by email.

Shares

Hesam Rezaee: A Clean Opportunity

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

PETALUMA — An avid entrepreneur, Hesam Rezaee was in between business ventures when he came upon a clean opportunity. “Previously, I ran a coffee shop and a print shop, which were located right next to each other,” he recounts. “Running two businesses simultaneously was hard, and after about two years, I was burned out. I sold one of them, closed the other and took a six-month break. During this time, I started looking for a new opportunity—something that had a good business model and family-friendly hours. When I came across a Molly Maid franchise in Sonoma County that was for sale, Read more

Expert tip
How (and When) to Clean Your Dishwasher
PETALUMA — Your dishwasher cleans your dishes, but sometimes it needs to be cleaned as well. Here are some signs that it’s time to clean your dishwasher: Reduced effectiveness in washing Calcium stains from the hard water An unpleasant odor… Read more

James Burton is general manager of Oak Plumbing Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (707) 652-9121 or by email.

Shares

James Burton: True Survivor

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

BENICIA — Before he was general manager of Oak Plumbing Inc., James Burton handled logistics for major corporate accounts—no small responsibility, to be sure. “In my prior career, I ran massive warehouses on huge accounts for clients like Honeywell and Hewlett-Packard,” he details. “One of the biggest accounts I managed was a billion-dollar vaccine program. It wasn’t unusual for me to be managing up to 400 employees at one time.”

So, how did someone accustomed to handling such large-scale operations end up working at a small plumbing company? As James relates, it resulted from the combination of a lifelong friendship and a life-altering event. Read more

Expert tip
Thinking Proactively About Your Plumbing System
BENICIA — When it comes to maintaining your home, one of the best things you can do is think proactively. The health of your home is just like the health of your body. Most of us tend to think proactively… Read more

Eva Kissova is owner of Kiss Painting, a Diamond Certified company. She can be reached at (415) 523-0015 or by email.

Shares

Eva Kissova: Mastering a New Trade

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN RAFAEL — After earning not one but two master’s degrees, the last thing Eva Kissova expected was that she’d start a house painting business, but that’s exactly what happened. “I have master’s degrees in education and environmental management,” she affirms. “Unfortunately, I finished college right before the economy crashed in 2008 and spent the next two years trying to find work, to no avail. Eventually, I decided to switch gears entirely and start a business with my father, who is a professional house painter.”

While Eva lacked hands-on experience in the painting trade, Read more

Expert tip
Extending the Lifespan of Exterior Paint
SAN RAFAEL — Many homeowners think they’re getting “the most for their money” by waiting until their house paint has completely failed before repainting. However, in reality, this tactic doesn’t save money—it actually wastes it. A far more cost-effective strategy… Read more

Jeff Schroeder is general manager of American Kitchen and Bath, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2008. He can be reached at (408) 372-8959 or by email.

Shares

Jeff Schroeder: A Natural Transition

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN JOSE — By his account, Jeff Schroeder’s entry into the home remodeling field was a purely natural transition. “My father actually started his own remodeling company back in 1980, and as a kid, I would go to jobsites with him from time to time,” he remembers. “During my senior year of high school, I started working for him on a more regular basis, which was when I really got hooked. As soon as I graduated, I started full-time in the industry and I’ve been at it ever since.”

Today, as general manager of American Kitchen and Bath, Read more

Expert tip
Waterproofing Your Home
SAN JOSE — An essential aspect of home maintenance (both inside and out) is protecting against moisture intrusion. One of the most effective measures in this regard is the application of sealant materials such as caulking. However, when performing this… Read more