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    Diamond Certified Expert Contributors
    Read topic-based expert articles and watch informative video tips by Diamond Certified Expert Contributors, each of whom manages a local company that has been independently rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

    Diamond Certified Consumer Blog
    The Diamond Certified Blog is updated bi-weekly and features helpful articles and videos on a wide variety of topics. Read blogs about home, health and auto maintenance; learn about industry-leading organizations; stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the Diamond Certified Resource; and much more.

    Savvy Consumer Tips
    Read the latest consumer advice and tips from Chris Bjorklund, a Bay Area consumer advocate with more than 35 years of experience. You can also access archived Savvy Consumer Tips and contact Chris about consumer issues in your area.

    How to Be a Savvy Consumer
    Watch a video and read informative articles to learn how you can be a savvy consumer and get the most out of the consumer experience.

    Local Company Owner Blog
    Read our comprehensive series of business-to-business blogs to gain valuable insight into topics like customer retention, brand building, improving market signals and more.

DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS
Helpful Expertise From Owners of Top Rated Companies

If you want to gain knowledge on specific local services and become a more savvy consumer, we encourage you to access the Diamond Certified Expert Reports through the search options on the right. These mostly industry-specific articles, tip sheets, videos and blog entries are created for consumers by local experts. The authors know what they’re talking about because they own or manage local Diamond Certified companies that have been independently rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise. Each has contributed their expertise to create these reports for you and other consumers as a way to give back to their community.

Adam Garza Owner
San Jose Plumbing, Inc.

John Gorman Owner
Save Energy Company

Agustin Cruz Owner
Cruz Auto Repair

Alain Joske Owner
Inscapes

Amanda Lafferty Design Associate
National Blinds & Flooring Inc.

Amie Prendergast Owner
Precision Door Services of the Bay Area

Alex Oceguera CEO
Cosmos Roofing

Alex Nunez Manager
B & J Transmissions

Blaine Lucas Owner
Foothill Locksmiths, Inc.

Carlos Aguilera Owner
A C A Remodeling Design

John Gingrich Owner
Gingrich Horticulture Service

Alan Kostelnik Owner
Gardens of the Wine Country

RECENT DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT REPORTS

Video: Benefits of Sealing Your Attic Floor

SACRAMENTO — Sarah Rutan: When it comes to insulating your attic, there’s a key component you don’t want to overlook. Today we’re in Sacramento with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Greg Sutliff of Alcal Specialty Contracting to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Greg Sutliff: Most homeowners know that to improve the energy efficiency of their home, they need to increase the insulation in their attic. What most don’t know is that air sitting on that attic floor is also a very key component to improving the energy efficiency of the home. A side benefit to insulating that attic floor is the improvement of indoor air quality that will happen once that attic floor air sealing is completed. Read more

Video: Measuring Attic Insulation

PLEASANTON — Host, Sarah Rutan: Due to the important role attic insulation plays in home energy efficiency, it’s important to make sure you have an adequate amount. Today we’re in Pleasanton with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Kevin Comerford of Service Champions to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Kevin Comerford: Another tip that homeowners can do in order to make sure their heating and air-conditioning system is operating properly is ensure that they have the right levels of insulation in their home. Right here you could see that I have a stick. It’s called a “tubulizer” in fact. And this helps me determine how thick is this pink insulation in an attic, Read more

DIAMOND CERTIFIED CONSUMER BLOG
Blog
House Calls: 5 Important Health Checkups for Your Home

Posted on September 20, 2018 by James Florence

If you think about it, there are a lot of similarities between your body and your home. For example, each contains a network of systems that allow the whole to function as needed. With a little imagination, you can draw parallels between your home’s plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems and your body’s circulatory, nervous, and respiratory systems. Read more

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Posted in: Plumbing, Roofing, Pest Control, Electrical, Home Maintenance, Fire Prevention, HVAC, Home Tips
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Specialty Spotlight: Cabinet Refacing

Posted on September 18, 2018 by Suzanne Carroll

A complete kitchen renovation is expensive. The average cost is about $23,000, with high-end transformations costing upward of $50,000. The priciest part of these renovations is the cabinetry, as it requires significant planning, resources and labor to install. However, homeowners looking to save money and time may find that cabinet refacing is an easier and less expensive option for achieving the results they want.

 

What is cabinet refacing?

Cabinet refacing is a method of updating your cabinets without enduring the expense and hassle of ripping out the old ones. It’s different from simply painting over the old cabinets. During refacing, workers remove doors and drawers, sand down all the original cabinet surfaces, Read more

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Posted in: Home Remodeling, Specialty Spotlight
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HOW TO BE A SAVVY DIAMOND CERTIFIED CONSUMER
Watch this video to learn Chris Bjorklund's Top 10 ways to be a savvy consumer.
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE COMPANY YOU CHOOSE

Your Role in Creating a Win-Win Relationship

Many consumers find that it helps to know the scope of their jobs and their overarching goals before talking to a local service company. By knowing what you want to accomplish… Read more

How to be Their Favorite Customer

When you work with a local company, it’s ultimately their responsibility to perform a thorough and complete job, but you play a big part in the success of your project, too… Read more

Best Practices for Communicating with a Company

Delivering feedback to a company is like landing an airplane on an old runway—it can be bumpy or smooth depending on how much work has been put into maintaining the area… Read more

WHAT TO DO IF THINGS GO WRONG

How to Develop the Relationship to Prevent Problems

Be willing to be satisfied. It’s strange but true. Small-business owners and their staff really like making their customers happy for its own reward. They’ll go the extra mile for customers… Read more

The First Steps to Problem Resolution

“Don’t make assumptions.” This piece of wisdom is perhaps the most powerful guiding principle in conflict prevention. I picked it up from a book called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz… Read more

Go to Problem Resolution and Mediation Hub

This informative page will teach you what to do when you have an issue with a local company. Read more

LOCAL COMPANY OWNER BLOG
Blog
Welcome to the Neighborhood!

Posted on May 01, 2018 by Greg Louie

Recently, I discovered an app that allows me to interact with people in my neighborhood who are looking to buy or sell things like electronics, furniture and clothing. The concept isn’t exactly groundbreaking (craigslist has been around for a while, after all), but there’s something about this app that sets it apart from the others I’ve tried: the community aspect. Since everyone who uses it lives and/or works in the same area, there’s a real sense of fellowship in the interactions I’ve seen. I mostly use the app to share Diamond Certified companies with neighbors who have specific needs. For example, if someone is looking for window coverings, I’ll give them a link to a nearby company’s Diamond Certified Company Report page—it makes them feel confident in my referral and I usually get thanked for my advice. Read more

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Spring Training for Your Team!

Posted on April 01, 2018 by Greg Louie

Spring is a season of renewal. In nature, new grasses grow, flowers bloom and birds nest. For consumers, moods brighten, home improvement projects are planned and winter-delayed health appointments are booked. For company managers, it’s a time to achieve performance numbers, optimize employee skills and generate more referrals.

For the Giants and A’s, spring is a great opportunity to work on perfecting the fundamentals. As the MLB season gets underway, I can’t help but reminisce about my own history with America’s pastime. Here’s something you might not know about me: from the age of 19 to 25, I was a semi-professional baseball player. It seems like a lifetime ago, but it’s true—I played on a number of tournament teams that competed across the United States and even played against international teams like Australia and Japan. Read more

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The Making of Your Helpful Expertise

Posted on March 01, 2018 by Greg Louie

The other day, I watched a documentary about the making of Pink Floyd’s groundbreaking 1973 album, The Dark Side of the Moon. It’s an album I’ve heard countless times over the course of my life, but as I watched the band members go into detail about the techniques they used to record those classic songs, it occurred to me that I only knew part of the story. Sure, I know most of the words to “Money,” but I didn’t know that in order to achieve the cash register sounds at the beginning, they had to stretch their reel-to-reel tape across the studio to make it fit with the song’s unusual time signature. Read more

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