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.

Bill Shepherd President
Shepherd’s Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

Cindy Faulkner President
Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar

Michal Johnson Owner
Grout Works Bay Area

Dane Marcy Service Manager
Kelly’s Appliance Center

Eva Kissova Owner
Kiss Painting

Dr. Alfred dela Cruz Owner
Alfred B. dela Cruz, DDS

Francisco Cortes President
Green Environment Landscape, Inc.

Hung Tu President
An Ky Construction Inc.

Janet Thrasher President
Thrasher Termite & Pest Control, Inc.

Jerry Allison President
Jerry Allison Landscaping, Inc.

Amie Prendergast Owner
Precision Door Services of the Bay Area


Video: A Technique for Repairing Fire Damaged Concrete

RICHMOND — Terry Barkai: Today I wanted to discuss a special technique we using when we have projects with fire, smoke, and soot damage over concrete-type of material, versus the normal residential drywall and wood. In those cases, what we utilize is dry ice blasting. As you can see, the guys here using the compressor and the special machine are putting a lot of pressure on the concrete, using the dry ice blasting and removes all the residues of smoke and soot from the surfaces. If a company or contractor does not have the ability to use this method, what they will have to do is a wipe-down of the surfaces. What makes dry ice blasting much more superior and much more effective is that with that technique, Read more

Repairing Fire Damage on Concrete Surfaces

RICHMOND — When it comes to repairing fire damage, the methods a contractor employs vary depending on the character of the affected surface. For example, cleaning fire, smoke, and soot damage on concrete surfaces requires a different method than cleaning damaged drywall and wood. The most effective method is dry ice blasting, which utilizes special machinery that enables highly pressurized cleaning to remove all smoke and soot residues from the affected concrete surfaces.

If a contractor doesn’t have this machinery, they’ll have to do a thorough wipe-down of the affected surfaces. What makes dry ice blasting superior is its ability to penetrate and remove residues from all the tiny, porous areas in the concrete. Read more

Specialty Spotlight: Garage Makeovers

Posted on June 08, 2021 by James Florence

Is your garage a mess? Has it become a ragtag catch-all for anything that doesn’t have a place? Don’t feel bad—this is a common scenario among homeowners. The problem with garages is they’re too often regarded as separate from rather than part of the house. When you shift to the latter perspective, you can start to appreciate your garage’s potential as a functional and even enjoyable area of your home. Read more

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Posted in: Home Remodeling, Home Organization, Home Improvement
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The Big Parch: How Drought is Affecting Wells in Northern California

Posted on June 03, 2021 by James Florence

As California faces another year of drought, everyone in the San Francisco Bay Area is once again being urged to conserve water. While those of us whose homes are connected to city water supply networks will be doing our part, it can be easy to take this admonishment for granted—after all, no matter what happens, we can rely on water coming out when we turn on the faucet. However, for many rural homeowners, water conservation is less a civic responsibility than an act of survival. Read more

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Posted in: Water Conservation
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Watch this video to learn Chris Bjorklund's Top 10 ways to be a savvy consumer.

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


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

Tune Up to Take Off!

Posted on June 01, 2021 by Jim Stein

Are you ready for the second half of 2021? Now is the time to tune up your team to attract and delight Quality Customers. If you qualify for Diamond Certified, you’ll maximize your status with each potential customer to increase your sales win rate, prove your pricing is based on quality and increase your referral rates.

Diamond Certified Tune-Up Training
Quality Customers are attracted to and influenced by Diamond Certified and most of your competitors haven’t earned it, so presenting your company as Diamond Certified has never been more important. Read more

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You earned it, you own it.

Posted on May 03, 2021 by Jim Stein

Customer quality has a huge impact on your company’s long-term success. If you just compete on price, you’ll spin your wheels with low margins and no profits. A steady diet of bad financials is tough enough to swallow, but it gets worse. Low-quality customers cause disputes and stress.

But you know that. It’s why you’ve managed your company to attract and satisfy Quality Customers—those with integrity who want fair dealings and are willing to pay for quality work. And when your work is done, it’s the Quality Customers who stay loyal and refer their friends. Read more

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Your 5 Useful Answers

Posted on April 02, 2021 by Jim Stein

People buy from people they trust. People they like. People who care about them.

That’s why we created your new 5 Useful Answers feature. It’s a 3- to 5-minute Zoom-style video interview that helps you demonstrate your company’s Helpful Expertise®. If you qualify for Diamond Certified, we’ll do everything to create it for you and post only your best answers on your Diamond Certified Company Report page. We give you the video to use on your website, in social media and even as a link in your email signature. Your potential customers will know you and trust you before they even meet you or your team member! Read more

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Gaining Competitive Advantages

Posted on February 18, 2021 by Jim Stein

Demand is demand. You can’t do much to control it. It fluctuates based on season, the economy and, nowadays, the rules around COVID. Supply is different. You can take actions that will bring you a bigger and better share of the local demand for services you supply.

Each day, potential customers are choosing local companies in your industry. Sometimes it’s you; sometimes it’s a competitor. The better customers, those who are willing to pay for quality, have a choice, but only a choice between you and your local competitors. Read more

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