Expert Reports From Local Top Rated Companies

DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT REPORTS HUB
Diamond Certified Expert Contributors

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.

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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

Karen Skinner is senior project design specialist at Viking Pavers, a Diamond Certified company. She can be reached at 408-601-7992 or by email.

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Karen Skinner: A Reinvented Career

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

RICHMOND — After her longstanding career came to a sudden end, Karen Skinner took the opportunity to reinvent her professional livelihood. “I had been in the telecommunications industry for more than 30 years when I was unexpectedly laid off,” she recounts. “At that point, I took some time to decide what I would do next. I was pretty burned out on the telecom field and felt ready to reinvent myself and take on a new challenge.”

Not long after, Karen got wind of a sales position opening at a local paver company and decided to give it a shot. Read more

Expert tip
Tip for Paver Pool Decks
RICHMOND — Polymeric joint sand is used to fill the joints between individual stones in paver installations. It contains a latent plastic element that, when exposed to water, becomes activated and gives the sand an adhesive quality that locks the… Read more

Jay Furlong is CEO of Stanford Painting, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (408) 622-0538 or by email.

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Jay Furlong: A Fresh Coat

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

MOUNTAIN VIEW — After finishing college, Jay Furlong could have pursued a career in his field of study, but instead he decided to start fresh in the painting trade. “I have a degree in mechanical engineering and product design,” he explains. “During the summers in college, I did handyman work with a friend, including some painting. After graduation, a lot of my colleagues got design jobs, but I didn’t like the idea of sitting at a cubicle or even working for a boss—I liked the freedom of doing my own thing. I looked at my options and decided to get into painting. Read more

Expert tip
House Painting: Upfront Cost vs. Long-Term Value
MOUNTAIN VIEW — When choosing a contractor to paint your house, it’s important to weigh upfront cost against long-term value. As you look at different bids, you’ll likely see a wide range of cost estimates and naturally be attracted to… Read more

Zaz Khan is owner of Fast Banners and Signs, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (510) 256-3782 or by email.

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Zaz Khan: Printing Success

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

UNION CITY — After coming to the United States from the Fiji Islands in 2000, Zaz Khan worked in a number of industries before finding his true calling as a professional printer. “When you come to a new country, you basically have to start from scratch, so I took any work I could get,” he recounts. “At one point, I was working four different jobs just so I could feed my family. I did janitorial, catering and even became a professional butcher. Eventually, I got an opportunity to work with a friend who owned a print shop in Berkeley. I soon grew to enjoy the printing business, Read more

Expert tip
Making the Most of an Exterior Sign
UNION CITY — If you’re having a company print a sign to post on your personal or commercial property, it’s a good idea to invest in quality. While an inexpensive banner can work well for temporary signage, permanent signs (for… Read more

Mike Ross is president of Ross Roofing & Construction, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (831) 708-8969 or by email.

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Mike Ross: Roofing Legacy

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

MARINA — As third-generation owner of his family’s business, Mike Ross has been involved in the roofing trade for as long as he can remember. “My grandfather started Ross Roofing & Construction in 1950, and my dad picked it up from him and ran it for 45 years,” he recounts. “Not surprisingly, I’ve been involved for most of my life. At age 10, I was put to work sweeping the yard and sorting nails, screws, and insulation. I continued to work for the business during the summers through high school and college. After getting my degree in construction management at BYU, Read more

Expert tip
Safety Tip for DIY Roof Inspection
MARINA — As a preventative measure, regular roof inspections are vitally important, as they provide an opportunity to catch problems like leaks and dry rot before they compromise the roof’s integrity. The frequency of inspections should depend on the roof’s… Read more

Ilan Sigura is a lifetime veteran of the construction industry and CEO of Sigura Construction, Inc. a Diamond Certified company since 2007. He can be reached at (408) 372-8945 or by email.

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Ilan Sigura: An Integral Career

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SANTA CLARA — By the time he reached early adulthood, Ilan Sigura had already established deep roots in the construction industry. Even when he tried his hand at a new profession, it wasn’t long before he returned to the field that had become an integral part of his identity. “My father was a contractor, and he began teaching me the trade when I was just a boy,” he explains. “Later, as a college student, I decided to study computer science. After I graduated, I spent a couple of months engineering software for a tech company, but I didn’t like it at all. Read more

Expert tip
Crucial Aspects of Green Building
SANTA CLARA – When it comes to designing and executing a remodeling project, one of the most important considerations is energy conservation. Building codes require a certain level of energy efficiency, but there are many opportunities to go above and… Read more

Graham Jones is owner of The Genteel Plumbers, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (650) 525-4193 or by email.

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Graham Jones: A Unexpected Direction

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN FRANCISCO — Graham Jones never planned on becoming a plumber, but when his original professional pathway diverged, that’s the direction it took him in. “I was actually going to automotive school, with plans to become a mechanic,” he recounts. “However, at a certain point I realized it wasn’t the right career for me, mostly because I didn’t want to be stuck in the same place every day. I expressed this to my brother, who’d recently switched from working as a chef to becoming a plumber. He recommended I look into plumbing, so I did. I ended up doing an apprenticeship with a company in San Rafael, Read more

Expert tip
An Easy Way to Maintain Your Sink Drains
SAN FRANCISCO — To prevent clogged sink drains, it’s a good idea to routinely clean out your drain pipes. Rather than using a store-bought drain cleaner like Drano®, try a simpler method: dish soap. It’s no wonder that dish soap… Read more

Dr. William Hummer is owner of William R. Hummer, DDS, a Diamond Certified practice since 2002. He can be reached at (510) 351-5711 or by email.

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Dr. William Hummer: An Early Calling

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN LEANDRO — Many people find their professional callings in adulthood, but Dr. William Hummer knew much earlier what he wanted to do with his life. “I was 13 years old when I decided I wanted to be a dentist,” he affirms. “Around that time, a lot of my peers were talking about what they wanted to do when they grew up. I had just gotten braces, so I naturally thought of my orthodontist. He had his own business, made his own schedule and earned a nice income; plus, he got to work with his hands and take care of people for a living. Read more

Expert tip
Heeding the Warning Signs of Oral Cancer
SAN LEANDRO — Treating cancer is one of the great challenges of modern health care, and dentistry is no exception. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, nearly 50,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with oral cancer each year,… Read more

Brandon Stieg is president of Pacific Circle, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2007. He can be reached at (415) 785-8044 or by email.

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Brandon Stieg: Finding a Balance

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

LAGUNITAS — As a young man, Brandon Stieg had a talent for architecture, but he preferred being outside to sitting at a drafting desk. Eventually, he was able to find a balance between the two. “I’ve always been artistic, but I was also good at math, so when I got to college, it made sense to major in architecture,” he recounts. “However, soon after starting an architectural apprenticeship, I realized I didn’t want to be an architect. The idea of being at a desk for eight hours a day just didn’t appeal to me—I wanted to be working outside. Read more

Expert tip
Metal Enhancements for Wood Decks and Fences
LAGUNITAS — Natural wood is a popular material for building exterior structures like decks and fences. However, due to wood’s sensitivity to the elements, these types of structures are often prone to functionality and maintenance issues. A good way to… Read more

Jay Kats is owner of Revolt Electric, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (408) 412-9754 or by email.

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Jay Kats: All Revved Up

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SUNNYVALE — For Jay Kats, a love of cars ultimately led to a career as an electrician. “I’ve been working on cars since before I was old enough to drive,” he affirms. “In the course of learning mechanical work, I also learned how to work with the electrical aspects of automotive. However, when it came time to get a job, I didn’t want to be a mechanic, mainly because I didn’t like being stuck in one place, even if it was a garage. Since I was well-versed in automotive electrical, I decided I would learn to do electrical work on a wider scale and become a professional electrician.”

Today, Read more

Expert tip
How to Identify Unsafe Circuit Breakers
SUNNYVALE — Like most inconspicuous household components, residential electrical panels are often overlooked, which is why many Bay Area homes still have their original circuit breakers. The problem is that some old circuit breakers pose significant safety hazards. Two examples… Read more