Diamond Certified Company Report

A Reliable Handyman

Diamond Certified Company Report

A Reliable Handyman

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Diamond Certified Qualification

Based on customer surveys, we declare this company has passed all rating steps and has earned The Diamond Certified Award

David Pak
Director of Ratings Research
Company Credentials i
  • Liability Insurance
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 198 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Brad C.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

1 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He does high-quality work and he's easy to get along with. He's not going to be the fastest guy in the world and he typically works alone, but that's not a criticism. He gets the job done and he gets it done in a reasonable amount of time. I've used him about a half a dozen times and I've been happy every time.

He does really good work. He's perfect for his role.

Zoe B.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

2 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He's very pleasant to work with, they have good pricing, and they stay on budget. He always does what he says he's going to do and he's a really cool guy.

He could do everything that I wanted him to do. He cleaned up after himself, he's very friendly, and nice to work with.

Nancy K.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

3 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He arrived on time and he did several jobs around our house for us, including putting in a new deadbolt on our front door. He did an excellent job, he was very clean, very polite, and friendly. I thought it was great.

He was on time and he did a good job. He did everything that we asked him to do and he did it very well. He called before he came and he also made a follow-up call three days later to make sure everything was working the way we wanted it to. We were very happy with the service.

Read All 198 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Gifford Teeple, Owner

A Reliable Handyman provides a variety of home repair services for a clientele base that stretches from Hercules to San Leandro. The company fixes light switches and faucets, hangs doors, repairs floors, replaces locks and windows, plasters and paints, handles minor carpentry work, assembles IKEA furniture, and much more.

Owner Gifford Teeple originally entered the handyman trade after working in Illinois as a property manager. He says he enjoys helping people and the physical nature of home repair work, and he feels that any job worth doing is worth doing right. “I do high-quality work and pay attention to details. I’m very thorough, and I leave jobsites as clean as I find them.”

Mr. Teeple says he takes pride in communicating honestly with his clients and always keeps them updated on project developments as work progresses. “Some jobs are too large, so repairs are limited to what I can complete by myself, but I always tell my customers beforehand what I can and can’t do.”

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON A Reliable Handyman

COMPANY CONTACT

Hercules to San Leandro

SERVICES PERFORMED

Minor Carpentry, Electrical and Plumbing
IKEA Assembly
Drywall Repair
Fence Repair
Door, Window and Lock Repair
Tub and Sink Re-caulking
Roof Patching
Small Custom Jobs

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON A Reliable Handyman

Company Profile

A Reliable Handyman provides a variety of home repair services for a clientele base that stretches from Hercules to San Leandro. The company fixes light switches and faucets, hangs doors, repairs floors, replaces locks and windows, plasters and paints, handles minor carpentry work, assembles IKEA furniture, and much more.

Owner Gifford Teeple originally entered the handyman trade after working in Illinois as a property manager. He says he enjoys helping people and the physical nature of home repair work, and he feels that any job worth doing is worth doing right. “I do high-quality work and pay attention to details. I’m very thorough, and I leave jobsites as clean as I find them.”

Mr. Teeple says he takes pride in communicating honestly with his clients and always keeps them updated on project developments as work progresses. “Some jobs are too large, so repairs are limited to what I can complete by myself, but I always tell my customers beforehand what I can and can’t do.”

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Company Philosophy

"Simply put, I strive to provide the repairs each customer wants. I might give some advice, but my basic approach is to understand my customers' desires and do everything I can to achieve them."

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Comparative Summary

Positive communication between A Reliable Handyman and its clients begins with the very first contact. As the owner and sole proprietor of the company, Gifford Teeple makes it a top priority to develop an open line of communication right from the start. “I answer the phone. I respond and I’m honest, reliable and dependable,” says Mr. Teeple. “I always return calls promptly, and if I’m held up in traffic, I’ll call clients to let them know I’m on my way.”

When it comes to building good customer relations, honesty is essential. Mr. Teeple believes in telling a potential customer upfront about the scope of a job and what it will take to complete it. As a project progresses, he keeps the client apprised of all developments. “I keep in good communication with the customers,” says Mr. Teeple. “They appreciate that.”

High standards for workmanship and cleanliness are guiding principles for A Reliable Handyman. “I do high-quality work and pay attention to detail. I’m very thorough and spend time to make sure the work looks good and is done neatly. I put drop cloths down if necessary. I sweep up after I’m done and leave a site as clean as I found it.”

Taking pride in the connections he’s developed with his customers, Mr. Teeple sees A Reliable Handyman as a reflection of himself. “People have often said it’s nice to work with me because I have my own business and it’s not just a franchise. I am my business,” he says. “So I can’t transfer it to somebody else, because the quality comes from my personality, my expertise and the way I deal with and relate to customers.”

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Industry Info

Quality, responsibility, trustworthiness and good communication skills are the keys to a reliable handyman. When faced with the important decision of hiring a handyman, be sure to take into account the level of experience of anyone you’re considering. Screen each candidate thoroughly. You may want to check to see if the handyman is a member of the Better Business Bureau. “Definitely check their references; get some feedback from some of their clients,” says Gifford Teeple, owner of A Reliable Handyman. “Pay attention to your gut instincts. How do you react when you’re speaking to them for the first time on the phone?” Make sure that whomever you hire guarantees their work and is willing to come back and fix something if necessary. Pick someone who’s happy to answer any and all questions regarding a job.

Homeowners should make sure that anyone hired to do work for them is covered by liability insurance. “And if they have a crew,” says Mr. Teeple, “they should have workmans’ compensation insurance.”

It’s wise to shop around and interview a number of handymen. But don’t just go with the lowest price, advises Mr. Teeple. Quality, responsibility, trustworthiness and good communication skills are valuable attributes, and should be a significant part of your decision-making process. Because you want to find someone you can feel confident about bringing into your home and calling whenever needed, you should seek out someone with whom you’ll have a good professional relationship—someone who you can count on.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How did you get into the handyman business?

A: I was working for my landlord as his right-hand man, doing most everything, for about six years. He had eight different properties and more than one hundred units. When he sold his properties, I started my own business.

Q: Do you guarantee your work?

A: Quality is guaranteed. If there’s a problem for which I’m responsible, give me a call and I’ll come back and fix it for no charge.

Q: Do you offer any incentives or discounts?

A: I offer a 10 percent senior citizen discount.

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SELECTED PHOTOS FROM A Reliable Handyman

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Gifford Teeple

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • Gifford Teeple is a longtime veteran of the home repair industry and owner of A Reliable Handyman, a Diamond Certified company since 2005. He can be reached at (510) 200-0450 or by email.

     

Owner

Gifford Teeple: Positively Reliable

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

EL CERRITO — Following college, Gifford Teeple was unsure what his professional future would look like, but after he relocated to a new setting, things quickly began to take shape. “After finishing college in 1994, I moved from Southern California to Chicago,” he recounts. “My landlord owned 10 other rental properties and did all his own repairs and maintenance. I needed a job, and since I had some prior experience working with an electrician, he agreed to take me on as an assistant. At first, I was just handing him tools and doing grunt work, but over the next several years, I learned a lot and eventually was maintaining all of his properties singlehandedly. After 10 years, I decided to move back to California, where I settled in the Bay Area and started my own handyman business.”

Today, as owner of A Reliable Handyman, Gifford says he enjoys making a positive impact, one repair at a time. “My motto is, ‘Fixing the little things that make a big difference.’ The little things add up, whether it’s a towel bar that fell off years ago or a doorknob that isn’t working correctly, so I like fixing my customers’ problems and bringing them greater peace of mind.”

A resident of El Cerrito, Gifford expresses his appreciation for the dynamic character of the Bay Area. “I love the natural beauty here, as well as all the different neighborhoods in El Cerrito, Berkeley and Oakland. I also appreciate the forward-thinking mentality—the people here tend to be a little more progressive politically, ecologically and spiritually. I also like the fact that we’re close to San Francisco but also close to nature. It’s basically the perfect balance.”

Outside of work, Gifford engages in a variety of active pastimes, from outdoor activities to community events and music. “I love getting out and walking in the woods and by the ocean,” he says. “I also like playing ping pong, attending local events like workshops and film festivals, and playing music. I play guitar and drums, and I’m currently taking a piano class.” Additionally, Gifford likes to further his positive impact through volunteering. “Once a week, I spend a couple of hours at Jefferson Elementary School in Berkeley, where I help students with their reading skills. I enjoy working with kids, so it’s a fun way to contribute.”

In regard to his professional career, Gifford stresses the importance of reliability. “With a name like A Reliable Handyman, reliability is obviously key, so I always want to be someone whom people can count on,” he affirms. “I also think the relational aspect is important. I’m not just an ‘all business’ kind of guy; I like to be personable and interact with my clients in a pleasant and friendly manner.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Gifford says he’d spend more time enjoying life and serving others. “I’d definitely devote more time to travel and artistic pursuits, but I’d also sign on for more hours working with kids. Of course, even if I did retire, I don’t think I’d stop doing handyman work altogether. I like working with my hands, so maybe I’d do that on a volunteer basis as well.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: If you could immediately master any musical instrument, what would you choose?
A: The guitar. I started taking guitar lessons in Chicago and I still play a bit, but it’s been on the backburner since I switched my focus to piano.

Q: What kinds of movies do you like?
A: I like movies that make me think, especially documentaries and thoughtful science fiction films.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: I collect travel experiences. I backpacked around the world in my mid- to late-20s, and I still enjoy visiting and experiencing new places.

Q: How do you like your eggs?
A: Scrambled.

Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: Probably the future, just to see how far we’ve come in terms of interstellar travel and contacting life on other planets.

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Expert articles
  • How to Fix a Jammed Garbage Disposal

    EL CERRITO — One of the most common plumbing problems in the kitchen is a clogged or jammed garbage disposal. You may assume this requires the assistance of a plumber, but in many cases, you can easily resolve the problem yourself.

    First, check if the disposal merely needs to be reset by pressing the red “reset” button at the bottom of the unit and testing it again. If it still doesn’t work, you’ll need to manually “unjam” it.

    Most people don’t realize that garbage disposals come with tools that are specifically designed to unblock jams. Usually, this tool is located in a small compartment beneath the unit. However, if you’ve lost your tool, a simple quarter-inch Allen wrench will serve the same purpose.

    Before attempting to unjam your disposal, make sure the power is shut off, whether by unplugging it or turning off the breaker. Insert your tool into the appropriate slot (located in the center of the unit’s underside) and rotate it back and forth. This motion will turn the disposal’s grinding unit, which will help dislodge anything that’s caught in the teeth. After removing the tool, restore power to the device, run the faucet and turn on the disposal. You may need to hit the reset button again, as its automatic shut-off may have been triggered.

    If you don’t have a tool that fits into the disposal’s slot, try using a broom handle. Spray some WD-40 into the disposal to loosen it up, insert the broom handle and crank it around manually. Restore power to the unit, turn the water on and test it again.

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  • How to Fix a Running Toilet

    EL CERRITO – If you notice your toilet running intermittently throughout the day, you may think it’s just a minor annoyance, but it’s actually costing you money. A running toilet is caused by water slowly leaking out of the tank into the bowl. When the tank’s water level gets too low, the toilet thinks it’s being flushed and brings in more water to restore the correct level. Over time, this can result in substantial water waste and higher utility bills.

    Typically, a running toilet issue can be resolved by replacing the “flapper” that covers the fill valve at the bottom of the tank. This is something you can easily do yourself without tools. Here’s how it’s done:

    1. Turn off the water to the toilet at the shut-off valve, which is located on the wall near the toilet. Take the lid off the tank and flush the toilet to drain it; this will allow you to work without getting wet and prevent water waste.

    2. Remove the old flapper by unhooking the chain from the flush lever and lifting the flapper off of its hinges.

    3. Take the old flapper to your local hardware store and find a new one that matches it. This is important, since there are many different kinds of flappers.

    4. Install the new flapper. Simply replace it the same way you removed the old one and reattach the chain to the flush lever. Turn the water back on, replace the lid and do a test flush. If you have any issues with the toilet not flushing correctly, you probably need to adjust the length of the chain by hooking it lower or higher on the flush lever. If the running persists, there may be other factors at play, in which case you should call a plumber or handyman.

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Expert video tip
  • Video: How to Unjam Your Garbage Disposal

    Complete Video Transcription:

    EL CERRITO — Host, Sarah Rutan: If your garbage disposal is jammed, you’ll be glad to know this is something you can likely fix yourself. Today we’re in El Cerrito with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Gifford Teeple of A Reliable Handyman to learn more.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Gifford Teeple: Hi. Sometimes you may encounter a small problem with your disposal, where it may be jammed, it may not be working. But it’s possible that you can fix it yourself, if it’s still humming when you turn the switch on. If you turn the switch on and you don’t hear any humming, then it’s dead, and you’ll have to get a new garbage disposal. But if it’s still humming, there are three things you can do very easily.

    First, make sure the switch is off for the garbage disposal. Then go underneath, push the red reset button at the bottom of the garbage disposal, and then hit the switch, and turn it on from the top. See if that works. If that doesn’t work, it’s still probably jammed. It could be rusted shut.

    So, then you use what’s called the “jam-buster” tool, which is a little hex wrench. And you put that in, in the very center of the bottom of the garbage disposal, and crank it around. That should break it free.

    If you don’t have one of those wrenches, you can also use a broom handle. So, again, make sure the switch is off. You can also spray some WD-40 into the garbage disposal to help it loosen up. Then put the broom handle in and crank it around manually. That should break it free. Then take the broom handle out, turn the water on, and then press the switch to turn it on. That should do the trick.

    Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local, top rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

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  • Video: How to Unjam Your Garbage Disposal

    Complete Video Transcription:

    EL CERRITO — Host, Sarah Rutan: If your garbage disposal is jammed, you’ll be glad to know this is something you can likely fix yourself. Today we’re in El Cerrito with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Gifford Teeple of A Reliable Handyman to learn more.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Gifford Teeple: Hi. Sometimes you may encounter a small problem with your disposal, where it may be jammed, it may not be working. But it’s possible that you can fix it yourself, if it’s still humming when you turn the switch on. If you turn the switch on and you don’t hear any humming, then it’s dead, and you’ll have to get a new garbage disposal. But if it’s still humming, there are three things you can do very easily.

    First, make sure the switch is off for the garbage disposal. Then go underneath, push the red reset button at the bottom of the garbage disposal, and then hit the switch, and turn it on from the top. See if that works. If that doesn’t work, it’s still probably jammed. It could be rusted shut.

    So, then you use what’s called the “jam-buster” tool, which is a little hex wrench. And you put that in, in the very center of the bottom of the garbage disposal, and crank it around. That should break it free.

    If you don’t have one of those wrenches, you can also use a broom handle. So, again, make sure the switch is off. You can also spray some WD-40 into the garbage disposal to help it loosen up. Then put the broom handle in and crank it around manually. That should break it free. Then take the broom handle out, turn the water on, and then press the switch to turn it on. That should do the trick.

    Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local, top rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

    Read moreRead less
A Reliable Handyman WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON A Reliable Handyman
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Diamond Certified Qualification

Based on customer surveys, we declare this company has passed all rating steps and has earned The Diamond Certified Award

David Pak
Director of Ratings Research
Company Credentials i
  • Liability Insurance
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 198 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
A Reliable Handyman : Average 9.2 out of 10 based on 198 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Brad C.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

1 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He does high-quality work and he's easy to get along with. He's not going to be the fastest guy in the world and he typically works alone, but that's not a criticism. He gets the job done and he gets it done in a reasonable amount of time. I've used him about a half a dozen times and I've been happy every time.

He does really good work. He's perfect for his role.

Zoe B.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

2 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He's very pleasant to work with, they have good pricing, and they stay on budget. He always does what he says he's going to do and he's a really cool guy.

He could do everything that I wanted him to do. He cleaned up after himself, he's very friendly, and nice to work with.

Nancy K.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

3 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He arrived on time and he did several jobs around our house for us, including putting in a new deadbolt on our front door. He did an excellent job, he was very clean, very polite, and friendly. I thought it was great.

He was on time and he did a good job. He did everything that we asked him to do and he did it very well. He called before he came and he also made a follow-up call three days later to make sure everything was working the way we wanted it to. We were very happy with the service.

Bob S.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

4 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They get here on time, they work efficiently, and they get the job done correctly.

I like that I could trust him, he was good.

Carol R.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

5 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He's reliable, he gives you good advice, and he does good work.

The fact that we felt like we could trust him. We were satisfied with what he did.

Jayden H.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

6 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He is friendly, easy to work with, he communicates with you, and he gets back to you right away.

He was friendly.

Diane K.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

7 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would highly recommend him.

He arrived when I asked him to and he accomplished what I needed. He's marvelous and I would highly recommend him. It's been perfect for me.

Ed P.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

8 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He's reliable, does good work, and he has a lot of integrity.

I liked a combination of things, that he did the job well, was timely, that his charges were reasonable, and also that he was interesting to talk with.

Edna T.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

9 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Hire them, he does good work.

He did what I asked him to do, he arrived on time, he was very conscientious, his work was exemplary, and he did it the right way.

Eleanor G.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

10 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He's dependable.

I could always depend on him to do whatever is needed to be done, it's always a good job, and he doesn't have to repeat it.

Gretchen K.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

11 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He's very easy to work with and he knows what he's doing.

He showed up on time, his prices were reasonable, and we were happy.

Hanna E.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

12 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He's just very slow and I think it's because he's the only person doing the work.

He definitely knew what he was doing, he knows his stuff.

Janice G.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

13 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He's reliable, on time, and responsible.

The quality of his work.

Jennifer R.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

14 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

It served its purpose and they fulfilled my needs.

I received a call back promptly.

John K.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

15 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He's very competent, prompt, and considerate.

He was available and he knew exactly what to do.

Karen K.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

16 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He gets the job done in a timely fashion.

He completed the work that I needed done and he did a nice job.

Karolyn M.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

17 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I was really impressed with the quality of the finished work, I felt that his finished work was exemplary.

He's reliable. The quality of his work is amazing and his communication and scheduling are excellent.

Kathy S.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

18 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He's always punctual, professional, and gets the job done exactly as I want.

I like that he knew exactly what to do and fixed what needed to be fixed. He's great.

Laurie K.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

19 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

It's a good name. He shows up when he says he's going to show up, he's a very good problem solver, and he's quick with communication. He's done projects on my rental properties and I have a lot of confidence that he'll get the job done.

He gets the job done. I think he's very reliable and I can count on him.

Lorraine G.

VERIFIED A Reliable Handyman CUSTOMER

20 of 198

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I believe that he's a Diamond Certified company.

He knew what he was doing and he was very nice.

Read All 198 Survey Responses at Ratings View