Expert Reports From Local, Top Rated Companies

DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT REPORTS HUB
Diamond Certified Expert Contributors

Young Moon is owner of Green Brush Painting Company, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (408) 782-4993 or by email.

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Young Moon: Business-Minded

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SANTA CLARA —Just a couple of years into his painting career, Young Moon felt primed to start his own business. “Back in 2006, I had just returned from South Korea and didn’t have a career lined up,” he recounts. “My brother-in-law was a painter and he recommended I learn the trade, so I decided to give it a shot. I got a job working for his previous boss and worked for him for the next two years. While I enjoyed painting, I eventually came to realize that I preferred the business side of things to the actual hands-on work. This made me think I should start my own painting business. Read more

Expert tip
Spot Texturing With Drywall
SANTA CLARA — Preparation is a key aspect of any painting project, and interior jobs are no exception. In addition to priming and taping off seams and corners, a painter needs to repair any damage to the wall’s surface. While… Read more

Justin Donahue is lead designer of Oak Mountain Cabinets, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 456-4943 or by email.

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Justin Donahue: Cabinet Architect

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

PLEASANT HILL — As a young man, Justin Donahue was headed toward a career in architecture, but when he applied his skills to cabinet design, he knew he’d found his calling. “My dad is a general contractor, so I grew up around construction, which naturally led to an interest in architecture,” he remembers. “After graduating from high school, I started doing architectural drawings for a living. However, since I was so young, I didn’t have very good contacts, and I routinely got stiffed on payment. Eventually, I decided I’d be better off getting a regular job, so I went to work for a local cabinet shop doing cabinet design. Read more

Expert tip
A Common Misconception About Cabinet Refacing
PLEASANT HILL — Due to its reduced cost and timeline, cabinet refacing has become an increasingly popular option for kitchen remodeling. However, some homeowners are unsure about cabinet refacing, either because they think their cabinets are unsalvageable in their current… Read more

Glayston Soares is owner of Mr. Pavers Contractor Services, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 523-6065 or by email.

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Glayston Soares: From Parcels to Pavers

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

RODEO — After years working in the shipping industry, when Glayston Soares saw an opportunity to get into the paver business, he was confident he could deliver. “I used to be a contractor for FedEx—I had eight trucks and covered a couple of routes for them,” he recounts. “I actually got into pavers through my brother, who at the time was a paver contractor in Florida. He was having some difficulties with his business, so I told him he should move to California and start a company with me. With his industry knowledge and my administrative skills, I knew we’d make a good team. Read more

Expert tip
A Critical Aspect of Paver Installation
RODEO — With the high amount of soil movement and seismic activity that occurs in California, it’s crucial for paver features like driveways and patios to have a solid base. Proper base preparation consists of several steps, including excavation, laying… Read more

Leo Molchanov is owner of Attic Pros, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (866) 221-3296 or by email.

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Leo Molchanov: A Natural Extension

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

OAKLAND — When Leo Molchanov started cleaning attics and crawl spaces, it was just a natural extension of the work he was already doing. “In 2008, I came to the U.S. from Ukraine, where I’d worked as an electrician,” he recounts. “As I considered my career options, I noticed that there was a lot of demand for air duct cleaning, so I decided to start my own business. In the course of cleaning air ducts, I found that many of my customers had issues with their attics and crawl spaces. Some just needed these areas cleaned, but others had issues with rodents and energy efficiency. Read more

Expert tip
Two Ways to Keep Rodents Out of Your Attic and Crawl Space
OAKLAND — When rodents infest an attic or a crawl space, it can cause a lot of issues, from unwanted noise to unsanitary conditions. The best way to keep rodents out of these areas is to take preventative measures. Consider… Read more

Rick Stein is co-owner of Just Remnants, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 523-7797 or by email.

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Rick Stein: A Flooring Focus

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN RAFAEL — Having come from a multifaceted professional background, Rick Stein established his long-term livelihood by focusing on one particular aspect. “When I was younger, I worked for my family’s business, which handled design, supply and installation for hotel renovations,” he recounts. “I always felt drawn to the flooring aspect—I enjoyed the creativity and problem-solving it involved. Eventually, I decided to pursue a career in the flooring industry and opened Just Remnants in 1991. I was able to utilize my prior experience to get commercial contracts, but I also brought in a residential component. Today, we continue to provide for the flooring needs of residential and commercial clients alike.”

Today, Read more

Expert tip
Considerations for Hard Surface Flooring
Hard surface flooring is an increasingly popular segment of the flooring industry, with more and more homeowners choosing products like prefinished hardwood and vinyl plank. However, when considering this style of flooring, it’s important to assess specific conditions… Read more

Fred Wozniak is co-owner of Just Remnants, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 523-7797 or by email.

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Fred Wozniak: Return to Flooring

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN RAFAEL — After retiring from his job as a software specialist, Fred Wozniak decided to return to the industry where he’d originally worked as a young man. “My first job as a teenager was for a company called Tile Town in Detroit, Michigan,” he remembers. “I worked there doing installation for about six years before transitioning into the software industry, where I worked for IBM and then started my own company. I retired in the early ’90s, but I still needed something to do, so I decided to get another job. I saw an ad for a position with a flooring company called Just Remnants, Read more

Expert tip
Caring for Wool Carpet
SAN RAFAEL — Wool carpet is a popular flooring option, and it’s no surprise why—it looks absolutely beautiful when properly maintained. But what does proper maintenance involve? Here are a few guidelines: •  When vacuuming a wool carpet,… Read more

Kay Tagle is a 30-year veteran of the real estate industry and owner of Kathleen (Kay) Tagle, a Diamond Certified company. She can be reached at (925) 405-5901 or by email.

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Kay Tagle: Fully Invested

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

WALNUT CREEK — Kay Tagle achieved professional success when she turned her side hustle into her full-time vocation. “I used to work for the federal government, but I also bought and sold investment properties on the side,” she recounts. “I bought my first house in Daly City, sold it and bought another in Serramonte, and I continued investing from there. At a certain point, my godmother said, ‘Why don’t you just get your license and do real estate full time?’ I decided to take her advice, and in 1990 I became a full-time Realtor. Originally, I sold properties in San Francisco, Read more

Expert tip
5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Sale
WALNUT CREEK — Getting ready to sell your home? Consider these tips for maximizing its appeal to buyers: 1. Declutter. Every area of your home should look neat and tidy, with all surfaces clear and free of clutter. The idea… Read more

Richard Hiteshew is president of A-1 Guaranteed Heating & Air, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (707) 670-3950 or by email.

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Richard Hiteshew: Family First

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

VALLEJO — When asked what motivated him to start his own HVAC business, Richard Hiteshew says he just wanted to have more time with his family. “After several years working as a technician, I was fed up with my job encroaching on my family life. The final straw was when I had to work on my daughter’s fifth birthday, even though I requested the day off weeks in advance. I came home to my wife, Krissy, and told her I was going to start my own company. She said it was a great idea. Considering that we had a house payment, Read more

Expert tip
Why You Should Invest in Electric Appliances
VALLEJO — California has established a goal of relying entirely on zero-emission energy sources for electricity by the year 2045. A likely byproduct of this goal is that gas prices will skyrocket over the next 25 years. For this reason,… Read more

Mike Hernandez is operations manager of Lewis Tree Service, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (831) 296-3280 or by email.

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Mike Hernandez: An Outdoor Opportunity

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SANTA CRUZ — Mike Hernandez has always loved being outdoors, so when he accepted an opportunity to give tree work a try, it was hardly going out on a limb. “One day, about a year out of high school, I ran into a family friend who worked in the tree service industry, and he asked me if I’d be interested in trying it,” he remembers. “I had worked a couple of other jobs by that point and learned that working indoors wasn’t for me, so tree service seemed like it might be a good fit. As it turns out, Read more

Expert tip
Why You Shouldn’t Over-Prune Your Trees
SANTA CRUZ — As tree service professionals, we’ll often have customers ask us to prune back their trees as much as possible. Naturally, they think this will maximize the length of time until their next pruning service. However, the reality… Read more

Kacey Copeland is owner of autoTech Blackhawk, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 388-6924 or by email.

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Kacey Copeland: Taking the Next Step

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

DANVILLE — For Kacey Copeland, starting an auto repair business was simply the logical next step in his professional career. “After several years in the automotive industry, I was considering what my next move would be,” he remembers. “By that point, I felt like I’d become an expert in my field and was just treading water, unsure what direction I should go in. Around that time, the owner of the shop I worked at had another location come available. He didn’t think anyone wanted to buy it, so he was just going to sell the property. To me, Read more

Expert tip
Rethinking DIY A/C Maintenance
DANVILLE — If your car’s air conditioning system has stopped working, you may have considered fixing it yourself. All you need to do is add some more refrigerant, right? The truth is, A/C system maintenance is more complex than you… Read more