Expert Reports From Local Top Rated Companies

DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT REPORTS HUB
Diamond Certified Expert Contributors

Luis Aviles is owner of Moving Forward, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 754-3925 or by email.

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Luis Aviles: Moving Forward

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN FRANCISCO — For most people, the loss of a job would be considered a setback, but for Luis Aviles, it was just the nudge he needed to move his career forward. “I had been working for a local moving company for about a year when I was unexpectedly let go,” he recounts. “Instead of being discouraged, I actually felt empowered to go out on my own as an independent mover. I’d only been working in the industry for a year, but I’m a fast learner and felt I could definitely succeed. After doing some research about starting a business, Read more

Expert tip
3 Tips for Moving in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO — Moving is often a stressful undertaking, but when it comes to moving in San Francisco, the level of stress can be amplified. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case: with proactive preparation, you can facilitate a… Read more

Gabi Rodas is owner of Construction Clean-up by Gabi, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. She can be reached at (415) 992-3026 or by email.

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Gabi Rodas: A Helping Heart

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN RAFAEL — Gabi Rodas has always had a heart for helping others, so it only made sense for her to find a profession that allowed her to do just that. “My work isn’t just about making money, it’s about caring for others, which is very important to me,” she affirms. “After coming to the United States from Guatemala at the age of 17, I got my first job as a house cleaner, which I did for several years. Eventually, I decided to start my own business—something that would utilize my work experience but also allow me to make a positive impact. Read more

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The Advantage of a Construction Clean-up Specialist
SAN RAFAEL — Remodeling your home can create a beautiful space, but it can also create a lot of dust in the process. Even when preventative measures are taken (such as putting up plastic barriers and using vacuum-equipped machinery), it’s… Read more

Darrell Wise is owner of Tree Wise, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 838-8733 or by email.

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Darrell Wise: Out on a Limb

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

DANVILLE — Disenchanted by his job as a delivery driver, Darrell Wise finally found the professional fulfillment he sought by going out on a limb. “Basically, I hated my job, so my wife suggested that I go back to school,” he explains. “That had been the plan when we first got married, but once we had kids and a mortgage, it seemed a lot less plausible. Eventually, I took her advice and enrolled at a local college. I decided to study horticulture, mainly because it sounded easy and interesting. It ended up being a lot more challenging than I expected, Read more

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The Truth about Transplanting
DANVILLE — If you have a tree on your property that’s overgrown or in the way, you may have considered transplanting it. However, few people realize that tree transplanting is rarely successful—in most cases, it’s just an expensive way… Read more

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

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Chad Ray: Headfirst

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

BENICIA — Not knowing whether he’d sink or swim, Chad Ray jumped headfirst into what would ultimately be a successful plumbing career. “While looking for a new job, I decided to answer a craigslist ad for a plumber’s assistant,” he relates. “I had no plumbing experience whatsoever, but I liked working with my hands, so it seemed like something I’d enjoy. On my first day, we did a trenchless sewer replacement. It was basically trial by fire, but I passed and totally fell in love with plumbing in the process.”

After gaining further experience as a laborer, Chad moved up to being a field technician and ultimately went into management. Read more

Expert tip
The Larger Implications of a Recurrent Line Backup
BENICIA — If you have a recurrent problem with your sink or toilet backing up, you may have purchased Drano® or a similar product to remedy the situation. However, it’s likely you’re dealing with a much bigger problem than can… Read more

Rodney Fite is president of REFCorp, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 735-0935 or by email.

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Rodney Fite: An Electrical Fascination

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN FRANCISCO — Upon receiving an early introduction to the trades, Rodney Fite was struck with an electrical fascination. “My father was a carpenter, and he used to take me with him to jobsites when I was a kid,” he remembers. “I was exposed to a lot of different trades, but the one that interested me the most was electrical work. I spent as much time as I could hanging around the electricians to see what they were doing. I ended up studying electronics in college and getting a job at Eastman Kodak Company, where I worked for the next seven years. Read more

Expert tip
Identifying and Replacing Federal Pacific Circuit Breakers
SAN FRANCISCO — If you own a home in the Bay Area, make sure you know what’s in your breaker box. A lot of Bay Area homes have outdated electrical components, and in some cases this can represent a fire… Read more

Desi McGibbon is owner of McGibbon Construction, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 742 – 1938 or by email.

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Desi McGibbon: A Lifelong Builder

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN RAFAEL — If Desi McGibbon can’t imagine doing anything other than building, it’s probably because he’s been doing it for as long as he can remember. “I’ve been building all my life,” he affirms. “My father and uncles were all contractors, so I was basically raised in the industry. As a kid, I’d be carrying buckets of cement and doing whatever other grunt work was needed, but as I grew older, I started to learn the trades in greater detail. Even after going to college and earning a degree in business, I eventually returned to building. It’s just what I know.”

Originally from Ireland, Read more

Expert tip
Looking at the Big Picture with Deck Construction
SAN RAFAEL — When building a deck on your property, it’s best to have all the details sorted out before the work begins. Homeowners often give a lot of thought to the kind of decking material they’re going to use… Read more

Voldi Chandler is president of Chandler Construction, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (707) 584-6579 or by email.

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Voldi Chandler: Putting it All Together

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

NAPA — Voldi Chandler gained experience in a variety of trades before deciding on a career that incorporated all of them. “Prior to getting into the trades, I was doing microwave electronics, which got me interested in working with high voltage electricity,” he recounts. “After that, I got a job with an HVAC company, where I learned about everything from sheet metal work to framing, roofing and plumbing. After gaining experience in so many different areas, I decided to get into general construction, where I could both apply the knowledge I had and continue to learn more. Not long after becoming a foreman for a construction company, Read more

Expert tip
3 Considerations for Buying an Antique Home
NAPA — The idea of living in an antique home may seem romantic, but it’s easy to overlook the potential practical drawbacks. To avoid making a poor decision, take a look at three key aspects before making an offer. 1.… Read more

Jeannie Apostole-Holden is a veteran real estate broker and has been Diamond Certified since 2016. She can be reached at (408) 659-6797 or by email.

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Jeannie Apostole-Holden: An Attuned Profession

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

CUPERTINO — After teaching high school English for 13 years, Jeannie Apostole-Holden decided to switch to a career that was more attuned to her personal strengths. “I got into real estate because I felt like it fit my personality,” she explains. “I’ve always been a very social and detail-oriented person, so I liked the fact that it utilized both of those characteristics. I started in 1982, and almost 40 years later, I still love what I do.”

As a real estate broker, Jeannie says her favorite part of her job is helping people achieve their goals. “Buying or selling a house is a big deal for anyone, Read more

Expert tip
Permits and Real Estate
CUPERTINO — Many homeowners overlook the importance of getting permits for remodeling, plumbing and other types of work. The reality is that getting permits isn’t just important for ensuring work is done up to code—it can also affect future attempts… Read more

Bill Hinkamp is owner of Rockridge Builders, a Diamond Certified company since 2002. He can be reached at (510) 761-6917 or by email.

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Bill Hinkamp: Designing and Building a Career

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

OAKLAND — Even while studying architecture in college, Bill Hinkamp never lost his love for construction. Later, he would merge his dual interests into a single professional venture. “I’ve always been involved in construction and I continued to be attracted to the industry during my time at UC Berkeley,” he affirms. “Since I was studying architecture, I increasingly began to see construction as a design/build discipline, which would inform my later career.”

Following college graduation, Bill went to work for an architectural firm, but it wasn’t long before he found himself involved in construction once again. Read more

Expert tip
Getting Ready to Meet with a Remodeling Contractor
OAKLAND — If you’re planning a remodeling project, one of your first steps should be to meet with a contractor. However, in order to make the most of your initial meeting, it’s best to be prepared by having an idea… Read more

Andrea Vernerova is property manager at CM Property Management Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2014. She can be reached at (408) 763-3540 or by email.

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Andrea Vernerova: A Lasting Impact

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN JOSE — After several years as a real estate agent, Andrea Vernerova realized she could have a more lasting impact as a property manager. “I got into real estate because I liked the idea of helping people achieve their goals of homeownership,” she recounts. “During my time as a real estate agent, I met a lot of people who managed properties. Property management was very attractive to me because, unlike real estate, you don’t just help a client one time and say goodbye—you’re able to continue helping them on a long-term basis. Eventually, I decided to trade my career as a real estate sales agent for one as a property manager.”

Ten years after becoming a property manager, Read more

Expert tip
Property Manager Responsibilities
SAN JOSE — A property manager has several responsibilities, both during and between tenancies. Here are just a few of them: Prepare the rental property. When a rental property becomes vacant, the property manager oversees preparations for the next tenants.… Read more