DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT REPORTS HUB
Diamond Certified Expert Contributors

Alex Galvan is owner of The Car Doctor, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 968-4723 or by email.

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Alex Galvan: Car Doctor

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

MARTINEZ — As a young man, Alex Galvan had aspirations to become a medical professional. However, he never thought the patients he’d one day work with would have wheels and mechanical engines. “After graduating early from high school, I decided to work toward becoming a registered nurse,” he recounts. “I enrolled at the local junior college, took care of all my prerequisites and applied for a few nursing programs. However, I had some difficulty getting into a program and ended up on a long waiting list. While I waited, I decided to start working on cars. I had a cousin who was a master mechanic and he taught me a bit about the trade. Read more

Expert tip
How to Pass a Smog Test on a Budget
MARTINEZ — If you own an older vehicle (1999 or prior) in California, getting your biennial smog test can be stressful. Even if your vehicle drives fine, long-term buildup in its fuel system can cause increased emissions, which… Read more

Aaron Sampson is CEO of Sampson’s Landscaping, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 582-4375 or by email.

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Aaron Sampson: In Through the Outdoors

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

NOVATO — Aaron Sampson gained equal experience in construction and landscaping, but it wasn’t until he merged the two spheres that he hit his professional stride. “I got into the construction trades right out of high school,” he recounts. “I worked for a residential building contractor that also did landscaping, so I got an equal amount of experience in both aspects. Eventually, I decided that I preferred working outdoors and began pursuing a career in landscape construction. I earned my C-27 license, which enables me to handle general landscaping as well as exterior building projects like patios, retaining walls, Read more

Expert tip
Investing in Quality With Landscape Construction
NOVATO — One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make with landscape construction is cutting costs with quality. While this may save money in the short term, it often ends up costing more later when things need to be… Read more

Ofer Kolton is owner of Expert Clean & Green LLC®, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 242-2428 or by email.

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Ofer Kolton: Filling the Void

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN MATEO — After immigrating to the United States from his home country of Israel, Ofer Kolton found work as a house cleaner. Later, when he saw a void in an adjacent industry, he figured he might as well be the one to fill it. “While working as a house cleaner, I kept hearing complaints from my clients about carpet cleaning companies,” he remembers. “A lot of these companies operated on a bait-and-switch model, where they’d quote the customer a low price over the phone, only to hike it up considerably when they were actually on the job site. Read more

Expert tip
How to Spot Clean Your Carpet
SAN MATEO — Spot cleaning a carpet stain may not seem like a complicated task, but a lot of people still do it incorrectly. Worse than merely being ineffective, improper spot cleaning can actually make a stain worse… Read more

Armando Garcia is owner of San Jose Heating & Cooling, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (650) 212-5665 or by email.

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Armando Garcia: No Hesitation

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN JOSE — Armando Garcia always wanted to learn a trade, so when he got a chance to get into the HVAC industry, he didn’t hesitate. “At the time, I was working as a laborer for a moving company,” he recounts. “A coworker told me he was getting hired at an HVAC company, so I told him to let me know if there were any more positions available. A week later, he called me and asked if I wanted to get trained in HVAC. ‘Of course!’ I told him, and that’s how I got started.”

During the next few years, Read more

Expert tip
Communicating With Your HVAC Contractor
SAN JOSE — When having your HVAC system serviced or replaced, one thing you should keep in mind is the value of communication. Most homes have specific issues with air flow and temperature that are detrimental to comfort.… Read more

Roberto Ramos is owner of A Ramos Construction, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 235-4719 or by email.

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Roberto Ramos: Taking the Plunge

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

BRENTWOOD — Roberto Ramos spent several years climbing the ladder at his previous job before taking the plunge into entrepreneurship by starting his own business. “I started working in construction back in 1994,” he recounts. “During my first few years, I did everything from fire and water damage restoration to highway construction, and eventually, I got into framing and building houses. I worked my way up to the position of foreman at the company I worked for, and later I became a superintendent. It was a good job that paid well, but I started thinking that I could do even better and have more satisfaction if I had my own company. Read more

Expert tip
Crucial Considerations for a Home Addition
BRENTWOOD — Is your family outgrowing your current home? A great way to expand your living space without relocating is to build a home addition. However, adding on to your home is no small feat, and it requires… Read more

Daniel Tseyref is owner of Chosen Rooter & Plumbing, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 462-4764 or by email.

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Daniel Tseyref: Unlocking Potential

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN FRANCISCO — For years, Daniel Tseyref rebuffed offers to get into the plumbing business, but when he finally gave it a try, he unlocked an unknown potential that altered his professional trajectory. “Before getting into plumbing, I worked at a car dealership for 10 years,” he recounts. “My brother was a plumber, and for years he kept trying to talk me into joining him. I was pretty adamant about not doing it. I didn’t know if I would like it, and moreover, I wasn’t sure I’d be any good at it. Eventually, he wore me down and I agreed to try it. Read more

Expert tip
Identifying and Resolving Toilet Leaks
SAN FRANCISCO — Toilet leaks waste water and money, but they aren’t always easy to identify. In fact, many households have leaky toilets that perpetually go unnoticed. The good news is this problem can usually be fixed quite… Read more

Damon Turner is president of Smart Window Cleaning, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 938-6902 or by email.

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Damon Turner: Crystal Clear Success

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

NOVATO — After more than three decades in the window washing business, Damon Turner looks back on the catalyst for his longtime career. “Before I got into window washing, I was working in construction,” he recounts. “I had a couple of friends who were in the business, and they told me I could make more money cleaning windows than being a construction laborer. A few months later, when their company had an opening, I was able to get in and start working as a window washer. Years later, my business partner, Eric Kennedy, and I bought the company, and we’ve been running it for more than 30 years now.”

Today, Read more

Expert tip
When is the Best Time to Clean Your Windows?
NOVATO — While there may not be a “right” or “wrong” time to have your windows cleaned, there are some factors you should take into account when planning for service. One is your window cleaning company’s availability. Most… Read more

Troy Scott is owner of Heavenly Greens, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (408) 372-7973 or by email.

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Troy Scott: A Heavenly Opportunity

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN JOSE — When Troy Scott started working at Heavenly Greens as a sale rep in 2006, he never thought he’d eventually own the company. “I was drawn to this company by a fascination with the artificial turf industry,” he remembers. “Not only was it an innovative, growing industry, I had a feeling that water conservation would continue to be a trend, which it has. I started handling marketing for the company, and I eventually got promoted to vice president of marketing. In 2017, Tim Netherton, who was vice president of sales, and I acquired the company from the original owner.”
Today, Read more

Expert tip
Base Options for Artificial Turf
SAN JOSE — When choosing an artificial turf product, most people focus on the look and feel, but another important aspect that often gets overlooked is what’s below the turf: the base. Unlike a natural lawn, an artificial… Read more

Rafi Benbenishti is owner of HSR, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 344-6763 or by email.

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Rafi Benbenishti: Home Repair Extraordinaire

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

MARTINEZ — Following an unplanned relocation to an unfamiliar country, Rafi Benbenishti found his professional calling in the home maintenance and repair industry. “I’m originally from Israel,” he explains. “In 2000, I went traveling abroad and visited Thailand, Australia, and the Philippines, to name a few. Eventually, I came to the United States, where my brother was living at the time. What was meant to be a short visit ended up being a permanent stay. I started working in the home repair industry and spent the next several years learning everything from duct repair to insulation upgrades. In 2011, Read more

Expert tip
Avoiding Fire Hazards With Dryer Vent Maintenance
MARTINEZ — Fifteen thousand homes burned. Fifteen deaths. Four hundred injuries. $99 million in property damage. Contrary to what you might expect, these disturbing annual figures aren’t the result of arson or wildfire. The real culprit is much… Read more

Thomas Carrell is general manager of Crandall Roofing Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (707) 387-4025 or by email.

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Thomas Carrell: Going for the Goal

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SANTA ROSA — Besides being a second-generation roofer, Thomas Carrell has always been involved in sports, including a 15-year stint playing semi-pro football. So, when an opportunity arose to purchase the roofing business he worked for, he went for it like a quarterback on third and goal. “My father was a roofer, so I got into the industry when I was a teenager,” he remembers. “I spent the better part of a decade working for him and learning the trade. After I gained enough experience on the installation crew, I took an estimating position with Crandall Roofing. About 15 years later, Read more

Expert tip
3 Crucial Aspects of a Fire-Resistant Roof
SANTA ROSA — Fire safety has always been a concern with roofs, but with the recent wildfire crises in California, it’s more important than ever. To ensure your roof is optimally fire-resistant, consider the following aspects: Roofing materials… Read more