DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT REPORTS HUB
Diamond Certified Expert Contributors

Anh Nguyen is owner of A Plus Builders LLC, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (408) 852-7940 or by email.

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Anh Nguyen: A Balanced Perspective

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

PORTOLA VALLEY — With a combination of architectural training and hands-on experience, Anh Nguyen brings a balanced perspective to the residential remodeling industry. “My background is in architecture and design,” he explains. “I did design and planning for the City of San Jose, and from there I took a job with the federal government managing large projects like building courthouses and federal buildings. After a while, I missed being out in the field and getting my hands dirty, so I decided to switch gears and get into residential remodeling. I started my company very small and handled most of the work myself, Read more

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DIY Cabinet Hardware Installation
PORTOLA VALLEY — Are you remodeling your kitchen or bathroom? New cabinetry is often the most expensive aspect of remodeling these areas of the home. Fortunately, there are ways you can save money on this aspect, one of… Read more

Avi Edri is owner of Edri Construction, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 488-0900 or by email.

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Avi Edri: In His Father’s Footsteps

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

WALNUT CREEK — When asked how he got into the construction industry, Avi Edri credits the instruction and inspiration he received from his father. “My dad is a contractor, so I learned pretty everything I know from him,” he affirms. “He’s not only extremely professional, he’s an artist in his trade, so I was lucky to have him as a teacher. I started learned the trade from him when I was 14. It was difficult, but I loved it, and I knew early on that this would be my lifelong career.”

After accumulating several years of experience, Read more

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Assessing Countertop Materials
WALNUT CREEK — There are a lot of decisions to make during a kitchen remodeling project, one of which is choosing a countertop material. Below, we’ll briefly look at three potential options: quartz, quartzite and marble. Quartz As… Read more

Jim Rossi is owner of Presto Pest Control, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (408) 418-2159 or by email.

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Jim Rossi: Getting the Bugs Out

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN JOSE — In his prior career, Jim Rossi spent a lot of time dealing with software bugs, but he never imagined he’d one day be dealing with real ones for a living. “I have a background in IT with a focus on customer support,” he recounts. “I worked in a variety of facets, from small startups to large corporations. At one point I had been out of work for a while and was interested in finding a new career path—something that was more physically active than sitting at a desk. During this time, I had a routine pest control service at my home. Read more

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Advice for Dealing With Bed Bugs
SAN JOSE — If you think you have a bed bug problem, your first inclination might be to wash your bedding, apply a store-bought pesticide and/or relocate your sleeping arrangements. However, we strongly recommend not doing any of… Read more

Tim Netherton is owner of High Definition Solar, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 399-1919 or by email.

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Tim Netherton: Good Energy

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

CONCORD — For Tim Netherton, a successful career in the solar industry is the result of hard work, a commitment to excellence and no small amount of faith. “Prior to getting into solar, I worked for a home remodeling company,” he recounts. “I started off in sales, but I was soon promoted to a management position where I learned about the business side of things, like legalities and how different departments function. During the following years, I saw a lot of opportunity in the solar industry, and eventually I decided to take a leap of faith and start my own company. Read more

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A Crucial Factor for Choosing a Solar Contractor
CONCORD — When choosing a solar contractor, homeowners often focus on price, but given the unique nature of solar, there are far more important things to take into account. The first and foremost factor you should consider when… Read more

Jose Eduardo Sandoval is president of Callado Concrete, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 350-6438 or by email.

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Jose Eduardo Sandoval: A Concrete Career

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

OAKLEY — Before he got into the concrete industry, Jose Eduardo Sandoval worked in banking as a loan officer. Though a seemingly incongruous transition, his prior experience tied in nicely with his new livelihood. “During my years as a loan officer, I gained a lot of experience interacting with people, so when I got hired to handle sales and customer service for Callado Concrete, it was a good fit,” he explains. “Sure, I didn’t spend my days in an office anymore, but I was still interacting with people and guiding them through a process, so it was fairly similar.” Later, Read more

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3 Ways to Minimize Concrete Cracks
OAKLEY — Concrete is a great material for improving your yard or landscape. Whether used for a patio, retaining wall or pool deck, it provides optimum strength, longevity and aesthetics. The only downside of concrete is that it… Read more

Shem Isaac is president of Home Living Window Fashions, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 493-8979 or by email.

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Shem Isaac: Drawn Into Shades

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

BENICIA — While he initially planned for a temporary stint in the window covering industry, Shem Isaac ultimately found himself drawn into a permanent career. “Before I got involved in window coverings, I was in the water purification business,” he recounts. “My company was being bullied by a much larger competitor, and it got to the point where I was having trouble supporting my family. An acquaintance of mine who had a small window covering business offered to pay me $500 to get some appointments for him. I went out and got him seven appointments. He came back and said, Read more

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Advice for Choosing Window Coverings
BENICIA — Choosing new window coverings for your home isn’t something to be taken lightly. Window coverings are a substantial investment, so it’s important to make an informed, conscientious choice that will leave you satisfied for the long… Read more

Cheryl Tarik-El is managing partner at We Love Small Jobs Handyman Services – Remodelers & Builders, a Diamond Certified company. She can be reached at (510) 251-2200 or by email.

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Cheryl Tarik-El: Love at First Site

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

OAKLAND — When Cheryl Tarik-El married a contractor, she had already fallen in love with the man, but she didn’t know she would also fall in love with his trade. “My husband, Moorice, started his business in 1985, which evolved over time into We Love Small Jobs Handyman Services-Remodelers & Builders,” she recounts. “After we got married, I left my job as a recruiter and became managing partner at the business. The construction industry was very different from the last field I’d worked in, but I loved it from the beginning. I like anything that has to do with the home and I’ve always dealt with people, Read more

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3 Tips for Engaging a Home Services Contractor
OAKLAND — When engaging a contractor for a home project, your initial outreach can have a big influence on the outcome. The following tips can increase your likelihood of getting a response, as well as your chances of… Read more

Jose Valencia is owner of Valencia Painting & Sons Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 582-4372 or by email.

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Jose Valencia: Painting Passion

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SANTA ROSA — For Jose Valencia, a successful career as a painter is the result of a passion for the trade. “I first started painting in 2005,” he recounts. “I had a friend who was a painter and he invited me to work with him. Right away, I liked everything about painting, from the fine workmanship involved to the transformation of the completed job. I decided that I wanted to become a great painter and immediately focused on improving my skills. I didn’t care about the money or that I was working almost every day—I had a passion for the work and satisfying my customers.”

Today, Read more

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What You Need to Know About Power Washing
SANTA ROSA — Some homeowners think power washing the exterior of their home is a bad idea because it can damage the paint job. This concern is warranted, as power washing can very well cause damage to house… Read more

Ray Kunz is general manager of Orinda Motors, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 709-4934 or by email.

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Ray Kunz: Back in Action

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

ORINDA — After a lengthy stint in the automotive industry, Ray Kunz switched gears and started his own business coaching agency. Years later, he found himself drawn back into the field where he made his start. “I’ve been in the auto industry all of my life,” he affirms. “I started as a technician when I was 17 and gradually climbed the ranks to service advisor, manager, and general manager. In 2001, I left the industry and started a business coaching company. One of my clients was Allen Pennebaker, the owner of Orinda Motors. After working with Allen for 15 years, Read more

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5 Things to Look for in an Auto Repair Shop
ORINDA — With so many auto repair shops to choose from, it can be hard to find one that provides expert and reliable service. That’s why, when searching for the right shop, you should look for the following attributes:… Read more

Christal Barquero is owner of SLB Business Management – PW Compliance, a Diamond Certified company. She can be reached at (707) 200-1249 or by email.

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Christal Barquero: An Unexpected Journey

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

ROHNERT PARK — When Christal Barquero filled a position as a secretary for an Oakland construction firm, she figured it would just be another job, but it actually led to a lifelong career. “I’m one of those people who never knew what they wanted to be when they grew up,” she recounts. “I worked as a bank teller for a while and also did a stint working for the Department of Fish and Wildlife. When I got hired as a secretary for a contracting firm, I didn’t know anything about construction, but I was fascinated by it. Over time, Read more

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Maintaining Compliance on a Public Works Project
ROHNERT PARK — So, you’ve just put in a bid for that big public works project. While you wait to see if you got the job, take the following steps to make sure you’ll meet labor compliance: Confirm that… Read more