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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Solano County – Doors CATEGORY

Gary Kluck is a veteran of the home improvement industry and CEO of Quality First Home Improvement, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2008. He can be reached at (877) 297-8594 or by email.

Gary Kluck

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Gary Kluck: On the Upbeat

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

CITRUS HEIGHTS – Gary Kluck has a lot on his plate. Between managing a home improvement company with more than 180 employees to singlehandedly running a household, it’s easy to think the stress might get to him now and then. However, Gary says maintaining a positive outlook goes a long way toward achieving both inner peace and outward success. “I’m a ‘glass half full’ kind of guy. I have a very upbeat personality, so when I do get stressed, I just stay calm and look at the positives of the situation, and pretty soon I’m back to normal.”

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Gary got his start in the construction industry at an early age. “I began working for my father when I was about 12 years old,” he remembers. “He was in home improvement and did a lot of concrete work and rough framing. I started out doing mostly grunt work, but I continued to learn and develop my skills, and I’ve been immersed in it ever since.”

Gary’s westward migration began in the early 1980s and included a five-year stint working in Colorado before he eventually reached Northern California. When the company he had been working for went bankrupt following a change of ownership, Gary reached out for advice on his next move. “I called the original owner of the business and asked him what I should do next,” he recalls. “He said, ‘Go do your own thing.’ I took his advice and started my own company, and it was the best decision I ever made.” Today, nearly a decade later, Quality First Home Improvement, Inc. is going strong with Gary at the helm.

In addition to running a business, Gary is employed as a full-time father and homemaker, raising his youngest of four daughters while his wife, Tamara, is pursuing her own career out-of-state. “A few years back, my wife decided to go to medical school to become a physician,” he explains. “She’s actually in Pennsylvania doing her residency right now, so I’m kind of like Mr. Mom for the next couple years.” Though his responsibilities keep him busy, Gary does find time to play golf with his friends on a regular basis. He also takes advantage of the occasional opportunity to get away from it all. “We have a cabin up at Eagle Lake, and we like to go out there to do some boating and fishing and just enjoy the peacefulness of nature.”

Gary attributes much of his personal and professional success to the power of positive thinking. “We attract what we think and feel, so it’s important to feel great and think great,” he says. “That’s what I tell all my employees, and it’s really how I built the company. When we started, there were four of us; now, there are 181. By putting out positive energy, we’ve been able to attract positive people who want to do good things.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: Green Bay Packers.

Q: What’s your earliest memory?
A: Digging up worms in the garden when I was three or four years old.

Q: Do you do any celebrity impersonations?
A: I used to do a pretty good Humphrey Bogart, but it’s been a while.

Q: What were you most known for in high school?
A: Playing basketball. I could really jump—as a 6’1” forward, I could out-jump our 6’4” center!

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Sit by the fire.

Q: If you had a theme song, what would it be?
A: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin.

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How to Prevent Concrete Cracks

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CITRUS HEIGHTS — Many homeowners like to tackle their own concrete projects, whether that means installing a patio cover or renovating a driveway. Laying concrete may seem like a simple task, but there are certain aspects that can complicate the process.… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Solving a Common Concrete Issue

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Complete Video Transcription:

CITRUS HEIGHTS — Host, Sarah Rutan: When laying concrete during a home project, one of the most common problems is cracks forming in your concrete. Today we’re… Read more

Kevin Gundry is a 28-year veteran of the home improvement industry and CFO of Custom Exteriors, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (877) 312-3507 or by email.

Kevin Gundry

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Kevin Gundry: Customizing Success

By James Florence, Senior Writer

PLEASANTON — After nearly a decade in the home improvement industry, Kevin Gundry took a seminal step to customize his professional destiny. “I got into selling home improvements back in 1989,” he recounts. “After working for a couple of different companies, I partnered with my friend, Jeff Kendall, to found Custom Exteriors in 1997. At first, we were basically going door to door, throwing flyers onto driveways and cold-calling past contacts. We grew substantially during the following decade, nearly doubling our business each year. When the 2008 crash hit, we had to weather some hard times, but we hung in there and have since been on the rise.”

Today, as CFO of Custom Exteriors, Inc., Kevin says his favorite part of his job is transforming people’s homes with exterior upgrades. “It’s amazing how something as simple as replacing windows can make a home look so much better. It’s really neat to see the impact of our work and get positive feedback from customers who have seen an improvement in their homes’ look and performance.”
A resident of Danville (where he lives with wife, Bianca, and their children), Kevin expresses his appreciation for life in the Bay Area. “I think the Bay Area is one of the best places in the world. With five kids, my wife and I don’t get to travel much, so it’s nice that we at least get to live in such a beautiful and diverse place.”

When he’s not working, Kevin likes to spend as much time as possible outdoors. “I’m a big backpacker—I probably backpack 100 miles every summer,” he details. “My goal is to backpack along the entire Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Oregon, and every year I do another chunk of it.” Besides backpacking, Kevin enjoys fishing, camping and spending time with his family.

In regard to his career, Kevin espouses the importance of quality over quantity. “While we’re happy to see our company growing again, we don’t want to grow just for growth’s sake,” he explains. “After all, you can be a huge company, but if you aren’t making your customers happy, what good is it? That’s why we pay close attention to efficient management and customer satisfaction, with the goal of continually improving the way we run our business. By staying focused on what matters most, we hope to continue growing in both size and excellence.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Kevin says he’d do some long-deferred traveling. “I’d visit some countries I’ve never been to, which at this point is most of them,” he laughs. “The truth is, I’ve only been to Canada and Mexico, so there’s a whole lot more world for me to see. Of course, I would also spend more quality time with my family.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: An early bird.

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Oakland Raiders.

Q: What’s your favorite TV show?
A: “The Walking Dead.”

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Talk radio—mostly sports.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for dessert?
A: Chocolate ice cream.

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Upgrading Your Window Glass

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PLEASANTON — These days, double-pane glass is standard for new windows. That’s why, when a homeowner replaces their old, single-pane windows with new, double-pane ones, they assume they’re getting the best technology available. However, these homeowners don’t realize that all window glass… Read more

Double-Pane Window Innovations

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PLEASANTON — Double-pane windows have come a long way over the last decade, with today’s products incorporating several performance-enhancing innovations. One such innovation is the development of Low-E 366 glass, which contains layers of silver oxide that reflect radiant heat… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Best Window Glass for Sound Suppression

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Complete Video Transcription:

PLEASANTON — Host, Sarah Rutan: When replacing your home’s windows, consider upgrading to a glass product that offers maximum sound suppression. Today we’re in Pleasanton with Diamond Certified… Read more

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