Elite Home Improvements Can Build You A Bath System That Lasts A Lifetime

Home Magazine sat down with Jim Whittington to learn more about the unique products and services that he offers, as well as how he came to create his business, Elite Home Improvements Inc.

How did you get started in the Home Improvement business?

I have had my contractor’s license since 1979. I built the Icardo Center at California State University, Bakersfield, as well as the Mervyn’s Shopping Center. I had not considered going into the home improvement business until a couple of years ago when I had solar put onto my home and I got ripped off. I decided that I did not want what happened to me to happen to anyone else, so I started a Whittington Solar. Soon after I came to realize that my customers were in need of additional services for other areas of their home. I knew that I could provide quality products at a fair price.

What services does Elite Home Improvement offer?

We specialize in low-maintenance, energy-efficient upgrades for your home that beautify and increase your property value and save you money! From energy-efficient replacement windows and doors that keep pleasant temperatures in and noise pollution out, to low maintenance exterior coatings, Elite Home Improvements has premium quality solutions. We also utilize the latest technology in solar, patio covers, sunrooms, garden rooms, outdoor kitchens, and professional bathroom remodels.

Can you tell us more about your bathroom remodels?

We are introducing a new product to Central California! We are the exclusive dealer of Sentrel Bath Systems. These products give our clients the high-end look of natural stone, granite or marble wall panels. Sentrel offers the look of stone without any of the cost or upkeep.  It has a lifetime warranty and is watertight, which means it looks new forever and is easy to clean!

Sentrel is a bathroom wall surround system made from a multi-layered composite material that is designed to be an affordable and low maintenance option for stone and granite wet-wall bathroom installations.

We can do any design, whether it is single showers, double showers, bathtubs or a handicap accessible bath system. We can demo your existing bath system and turn it from a bath to a shower, and vice versa.

We have many options for the inside of your shower. There are over 30 colors and patterns to choose from. Additional options for your bath system include: recess shelving, handicap accessibility, and various shower doors. We can even demo your existing tub and make it into a shower and vice versa. Your new bath system includes custom shower doors and plumbing features and we have lots of different fixtures to choose from including various finishes such as chrome, brushed nickel.


What are some of the benefits of a Sentrel bathroom?

  1. Sentrel costs much less than natural stone and is often less expensive than other bathroom remodeling products.
  2. Sentrel is much more hygienic than natural stone because it is impervious to water, bacteria, mold, and mildew. So long, sealants!
  3. Because Sentrel is simple to customize during on-site installation, it is easily adapted to bathrooms of all configurations.
  4. When it comes to durability, Sentrel is scratch resistant and made to last. In fact, it’s twice as thick as most acrylic and fiberglass surrounds.
  5. Sentrel products installed by approved dealers are backed by a Lifetime Warranty.
  6. Sentrel products are American made.

How long does installation take?

Our turnaround time is very fast. We often manage a one week turn around, although this depends on the fixture and custom door selection, as well as what we have in stock at the time of your order.

What else should our readers know about your business?

Right now, we are offering 1-year financing with no payment or interest!

What separates you from your competitors?

We deliver energy efficient improvements and the highest level of craftsmanship and customer service. My team has over 40 years of experience and they all work in-house. We believe that reliability is key, which is why we back our work and products with a Lifetime Warranty! We constantly receive compliments about our great communication with our clients. Most of our business comes from customer referrals when customers share their positive experience with friends and family.

If you want to learn more about the Sentrel Bath System or bathroom remodeling by Elite Home Improvements Inc.

Call us at (661) 396-9970. Stop by our showroom at 4415 Yeager Way, Suite 200 in Bakersfield, California and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Selecting the Right Garage Door For Your Home

Selecting the Right Garage Door For Your Home

Home Magazine recently interviewed Roman Ruiz of King Door Co. to learn about the very best garage doors.

#1 Can you describe King Door Co. Inc. as a business?

King Door is a locally owned garage door store which was established in 1985 by Roman Ruiz. We have 14 employees who support 9 spouses and 25 children in the community. King Door also supports local charities like The Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Special Olympics, and various veteran charities. We espouse core values such as “honesty is the best policy, “Quality as if family,” “Accountable for our actions,” and others. Visit our Website www.kingdoor.com for more information.

#2 What types of services does King Door offer?

We are Customer Service Specialists. We offer sales, service and installation of commercial and residential garage doors and openers along with annual maintenance discount programs. In addition, we offer Clopay high-end entry doors which complement the Clopay garage doors we sell. King Door is excited about our new product the Versa-Lift, a push-button storage solution. Stop by our design center to see all these products at 7450 District Blvd.

We also assist with design selection. First, customers bring photos of their homes. And then we download them into our computer, which allows us to insert different door sections. We made our process fun and easy to help customers make the right garage door decision for their home.

#3 What separates King Door from your competition?

We have a 4000 square foot design center with a variety of working garage doors and openers. Our design center helps customers choose their selection. Also, same day service is big! When your car gets trapped inside the garage, you need assistance now! Therefore, it is vital that a King Door customer service rep answers the phone Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Our customers won’t have to deal with an answering machine or an out-of-town operator.

Our technicians are continually trained and tested on products and customer service. Customers shouldn’t have to reschedule with us because we don’t have the part they need. Therefore, our trucks are fully stocked, and our parts get replenished every morning. We conduct random truck inspections to ensure we do not disappoint the customer.

When it comes to employment, King Door provides uniforms and pays a higher rate than most in our industry. We offer 100% medical benefits, matching 401K, up to 3 weeks paid vacation, annual bonuses, 7 paid holidays, and employees get all major holidays and birthdays off with pay – we call this a “celebration of life day.”

#4 What new trends and products should we know about?

There is a significant demand for modern looks, and we meet these demands by offering the modern steel collection from Clopay, and the high-end glass doors called the Avante collection. The Avante collection offers several glass selections such as frosted, white laminate, mirrored, etc. The faux wood remains a big seller. People love the look and low maintenance of these products. In addition, customers love the insulation value (up to 18 R-value) of these products. Even though real wood needs annual maintenance, King Door remains partial to it because there’s nothing like it.

The opener manufacturers do a great job of keeping up with technology; they have quiet DC motors, battery backup units, internet and Wi-Fi technology. As a bonus feature, they also offer a wall button panel which gives the time and temperature. Great job, Lift Master!

#5 What are some misconceptions about your products?

Some misconception homeowners have is that they think their garage door does not need regular maintenance. We hear people say, “If my garage door moves up and down, it must be fine.” However, your garage door is the largest moving product in your home, and it needs maintenance like any other moving product.

#6 What advice would you give to a Homeowner when it comes to choosing a garage door company?

Ask questions, use common sense, and check for a license and address. Use a company which pays its technicians an hourly wage. Some doors sold at King Door are commissioned but not the parts. Some companies pay their employees by the hour and up to a 17% commission on replacement parts; this way of paying employees can lead to parts being replaced that don’t need replacing. Customers can read articles regarding this growing trend on our website at www.kingdoor.com.

Thank you to all of our customers. We sincerely appreciate your support and your business. Stop by our booth at the home and garden show!

Hot Tubs for Health and Relaxation

Hot Tubs for Health and Relaxation

The Home Magazine sat down with Dennis and Claudia Wilkerson of Hot Tubs Plus to learn about their new business as well as the brand of Hot Tubs that they carry and the benefits of having a hot tub in your home.

Tell us a little bit about yourselves and your decision to open Hot Tubs Plus?

We have been in the pool and spa service and repair business for almost 25 years as owners of California Chemical of Bakersfield.  It is because of our extensive background in water chemistry and repair that we thought hot tubs would be a natural addition to our family operated business.

How did you decide on the Sundance Spa product?

We have been extensively researching hot tub manufacturers for the last three years.  We wanted to make sure that we were doing business with a manufacturer that holds our same values in regard to standing behind their product.  We spoke to various servicemen in the industry, to understand which hot tubs were the most dependable and the easiest companies to work with when it came to warranty work.  We kept hearing one name that stood out more than the others, and that was Sundance Spas.  A good product is only as good as the company representing it.

Tell us a little about Sundance Spas?

Sundance is one of the leading brands in innovation and hydro-therapy.  They have patented Fluidix Jets that simulate hands-on massage and are positioned to reach pressure points used in reflexology and acupuncture.  They have an easy water management program that filters seven times more water per minute than typical spas, which means that the owner spends less time on maintenance.  Sundance also uses smart technology so that you can control your spa, on select models, from a smart device – including maintenance.  Many of these spas also include aromatherapy capabilities.  We have a wide variety of models to choose from, including the two top sellers.

You mentioned hydrotherapy and aromatherapy, can you elaborate?

Hydrotherapy is the use of water to treat ailments.  Relaxing in a hot tub increases circulation, which increases healing.  It helps loosen the muscles around the spine and increases blood flow.  Aromatherapy is the use of scents to enhance a feeling of well-being.  Sundance was the first hot tub manufacturer to combine aromatherapy with hydrotherapy, without lessening water quality.  Sundance® Sunscents ™ are injected into the bubbles and released when they come to the surface. I like to say that our hot tubs are not only good for the body, but are great for the soul as well.

What is some of the feedback that you have had from your customers in this first month?

We have heard a variety of results that have included sleeping more soundly, relief from aches and pains, and the ability to un-plug with the family at the end of the day.  It truly is an opportunity to sit and relax with your family and shut-down the outside noise, and relax in your own backyard.  Plus it’s like you have a personal massage therapist at home!

What else should our readers know about you?

We are a family owned business that operates with integrity.  We stand behind our product and our work.  We have a beautiful showroom that allows you to get a feel for our product.   When you buy a hot tub from us, you will deal with us through every step of the process, from the initial purchase to the final delivery to your home.  The pricing of our hot tubs includes the cover, stairs, starter pack of chemicals, as well as standard delivery and set up (in the greater Bakersfield area).  We also offer financing, and frequently have 0% APR offers.  We hope that you will stop by and see us, so that we can answer all your questions.

Dennis & Claudia Wilkerson


Hot Tubs Plus

Hawley’s Window Coverings

Hawley’s Window Coverings

Enhance curb appeal while transforming interior spaces

Bakersfield Home talked with Devin Gardea at Hawley’s Window Coverings to learn about their long-standing Kern County business.

Can you tell us about your experience in your industry?

We opened in 1979 to serve Kern County and the surrounding areas. James Hawley was a drapery installer for other companies and wanted to open his own business. He’s still our owner today, so we have 38 years’ experience in window coverings!

What type of services do you provide?

We offer any kind of window covering you can imagine. Today, customers mostly want shutters, shades, blinds and some draperies. Shutters are popular for their modern, clean look. Roman and roller shades are good for a soft touch instead of a hard covering. They’re a different look that give people options for style and effect. We provide a wide range of quality brands, such as Skandia Window Fashions, Sunland Shutters, Graber, Hunter Douglas, Mariak and many more. We also have experienced staff that install the window coverings.

What separates you from your competitors?

I would say that our primary difference is our longevity in the business and experience in this market since 1979. Our experience provides the insight that helps us provide quite accurate estimates with the first measuring. We have a showroom and a store front on Easton Dr. for customers to see many different working samples. And, we’re a local, family-owned company.

Are there any misperceptions about the window coverings business that you want to clarify?

People sometimes think that they can’t afford custom window coverings. But we do a good job of working within a customer’s budget. Window coverings are more reasonably priced than people think. And when we meet with a customer, we measure and always do a free in-home estimate. The best part of making an appointment for us to come measure and give an estimate is that there’s nothing to worry about from start to finish; it takes the DIY measurement anxiety out of the equation. Then, we can talk about options and work out the details.

What are some design tips that make a huge difference?

We recommend staying neutral. You want the flexibility of having window coverings last through changes that you make, such as painting your walls a different color or buying new furniture with a different pattern or color. The window coverings enhance the look of the room, but they’re in the background.

What new ideas, trends and products should we be looking forward to in window coverings ?

Some people hear vinyl and think, ‘ugh.’ But vinyl shutters have come a long way in the last few years Vinyl isn’t plastic; it is a solid vinyl composite material that look very similar to wood. Customers like the fact that vinyl shutters have a 25 year warranty.

Many home owners are looking for energy efficiency in all areas of their home – do you have tips related to window coverings?

Anything that creates a dead air space helps to save energy, such as shutters and cellular shades. Shutters are great for insulating because of the space between the shutter and window. The dead air space creates a buffer that traps warm air in the summer before it gets into the room. In the winter, the cold outside air doesn’t get through to the interior. The same principle is true for cellular shades because they have a ‘honey comb’ structure that creates a buffer between the window and room interior.

Do you have any suggestions for simple upgrades?

2” or 2.5” wood or faux-wood (vinyl made to look like wood) blinds can make an immediate impact in a room for a reasonable price. It’s an attractive “shutter” look for a lesser cost. The blinds come with a very nice decorative valance. The faux-wood blinds are also easy to care for.

What would you like to communicate to our readers about your business?

We’re grateful to be in business for 38 years with the same owner, and are happy to estimate window coverings for any client. Customers will find us to be competitively priced, and we can usually get out to do an estimate and measure within a few days of getting a call. The nice part about having one of our trained professionals measure is that IF there is any mistake in sizing, it’s our mistake to fix and not the customer’s responsibility.

Devin Gardea

Hawley’s Window Coverings

A Hand Crafted Mattress

The Difference in Handcrafted, Custom Built Mattresses

Q&A with Eric Slagle, owner of Slagle’s Mattress Factory.

Can you tell us about your experience in the mattress industry?

I started nearly 30 years ago in the mattress business, both manufacturing and retail sales. My wife, Kim, does all the hard work – office, accounting, and payroll. I manage, design, manufacture and sell the finished product. We’re a family-owned business that builds with pride and a sense of responsibility to the community we so proudly serve.

What’s the difference in your hand built custom made mattress and all the national brands other retail stores sell?

At Slagle’s Mattress, every mattress we sell is handcrafted and custom built. Many of the techniques we use have been around for decades, but modern technology has been unable to improve upon. Most manufacturers have actually cut quality and incorporated practices to ensure their mattresses don’t last as long. At Slagle’s, we still build double sided, flippable beds with the highest quality USA-made components we can find to ensure years of comfortable use.

Do you build custom size mattresses?

Yes, odd size and special orders are always welcome. For antiques, boats, truckers and especially RV beds. Any size, any shape, any comfort level, even round or split top mattresses for adjustable beds.

What recommendations do you offer people who are looking for beds?

I first try to find out if the customer is a side, stomach, or back sleeper. That will help me direct them to a more suitable mattress. If there is chronic lower back pain or maybe acid reflux or snoring issues, that customer may be needing an adjustable (head up, foot up) type bed. The beauty of having a local factory on site is that it enables us to customize the chosen mattress to suit the customer’s needs. Different color fabric, higher or lower style boxes, even subtle enhancements in firmness or softness, nearly all mattresses can be customized in this manner.

What separates you from your competitors?

A mass produced bed can hardly compare to a handcrafted custom built one. Whereas a lot of national brands look for ways to cut quality by shopping globally for cheaper components, we’ll gladly pay a bit more to buy higher quality USA-made components and bed frames. Their labor is on piece work, they can’t take the needed time to build each mattress set as if their last name is on it, as mine is.

What are new trends in the mattress industry?​

Memory foam has been hot, both literally and figuratively. It lacks breath

ability so the industry has started infusing it with cooling gels. Some folks that are chemically sensitive have issues with the off-gassing of these chemicals in memory foam. At Slagle’s, we carry memory foams and hybrids but have a preference for the 100% natural Latex. It’s far more breathable, resilient, comfortable and better for the environment. We make a large selection of latex mattresses from pillow soft to extra firm.

What compliment have you received lately?

I feel so blessed and humbled to have the abundant amount of referrals we get. We’ve even delivered throughout the state to folks that have been referred to our quality, comfort, or ability to customize individual needs or desires. We’ve had an A+ with the Better Business Bureau for nearly 25 years, and been voted and acknowledged as one of the best mattress stores in Bakersfield for several years running now.

Anything else you want to tell readers about your business? ​

I encourage everyone to come see and feel the difference a handcrafted mattress can make in their lives, and witness for themselves why the national brands just can’t compare.

From our family to yours, “REST ASSURED.”

Counter Top Trends

Counter top Trends & Four Questions to ask your contractor

Our talk with Armando Trevino of Stone Crafters!

The most common question about counter tops is ‘What are my options?’ For enjoyment and maximizing home re-sale value, granite and quartz are the most popular options. So, what’s the difference?

Granite ranges in types and price from entry-level to exotic. The difference is in the look. An entry-level granite is more uniform in design. An exotic granite has more variation and may have more intense or distinct colors. Good quality granite has an epoxy resin that is vacuum sealed onto the stone, meaning that there is an actual coating on granite that makes it impenetrable to stains.

Quartz is a non-porous material that consists of 89% granite and 11% resin. The beauty of quartz is that you can get colors that mimic marble in white and greys that are simply not available in granite. You can get quartz with veins (the kind that looks like marble) for about the same cost as exotic granite. Beyond the material, you will need to choose details such as the type of edge on the counter top.

It’s important to do your homework before hiring any contractor. Check state license boards as well as social media sites to start. Here are 4 questions to ask when shopping around for a company to help with your kitchen:

1. How long have you been in the business? What about your employees?

I’m celebrating 21 years of experience in this business. And some of the employees on my team have been working with stone counter tops for over 30. Counter tops are never a one-person job. Ask about the team.

2. What level of detail do you provide?

Some contractors only provide one part of the total project. Ideally, you want a contractor who is responsible for all of the details before, during, and after installation. For example, I tell people, “I come with the job.” When someone signs a contract, I help them source all of the materials that they need — the stone and backsplash. We’ll talk about the faucets, stove top, or other related appliances. It saves time to have everything ready to go before the start date. That is the key – making sure that everything is lined up and that you aren’t waiting for anything.

3. What is the schedule for the work?

The time it takes to install new counter tops varies widely by contractor. For us, the average kitchen remodel is one week from start to finish. Monday is a busy day – demolition to rip out existing tile, take down the bare cabinet, remove old tile, take it to the dump and dispose of it. Then, we make templates using modern technology to recreate your exact kitchen. Tuesday through Thursday is when we create your kitchen in the shop; we don’t need to be in your home. Friday – our team takes care of the installation and the job is complete. Be sure and ask about schedule so that your kitchen isn’t torn up any longer than it has to be.

4. Why are you the best for the job?

It’s always interesting to hear what people have to say about their work, and it helps you understand if this is a person you want to do business with. It’s important to me to help people make decisions that they won’t regret later, and I make sure that they are happy. I also help my clients save money by passing along savings on material in the form of various discounts that I receive from my vendors.

There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do to make a job right – my job is to make you happy. Isn’t that the way it should be?

Finishing Touches Make the Difference

Finishing Touches Make the Difference

Window coverings upgrade and update a home, adding pleasure and practicality. Blinds and More, Inc. is a locally-owned source for a wide variety of custom window coverings.

Their personal service combined with competitive pricing gives them an almost 21-year history of beautifying homes in Bakersfield. Dennis Knittel, owner of Blinds and More, talked with Bakersfield Home Magazine about his experience with window coverings.

What are important considerations when choosing types of window coverings?

Number one, we ask people what’s important to them. Let the light in, or darken a room? Make a statement or blend in with decor? Is saving energy or reducing noise an issue? We also talk about budget and anticipated length of time in the home so that we can help customers get the best value. We want people to understand the different options available.

What mistakes should people avoid when purchasing window coverings?

Going for a low price and sacrificing quality is often disappointing. We also see that sometimes people only think about how the window covering will look from the inside. The exterior view is also important if the windows are on the front of the house. Finally, many people think that a custom service is outside of what they can afford. However, a professional can help get the exact look that a customer wants and will want to live with for many years. It’s important to talk through such an important decision.

How do you work with customers?

My wife Kathy and I have owned and operated Blinds and More, Inc. for close to 21 years in Kern County. These years of experience give us the expertise that benefits our customers in choosing of window coverings – no matter the need.  We have professionally-trained consultants who work one-on-one with customers in their home or office. We know that people typically make their decisions based on the following areas:

1 – Quality of the product;

2 – Economical pricing; and

3 – Experience, especially of the installers.

What products do you provide?

As our name states, we offer more than blinds.  We offer Plantation Shutters, Roman Shades, Honeycomb Shades, Solar Roller Screen Shades, and Verticals.  Every manufacturer has different strengths in each category, and are unique in their own way.  We understand the benefits of each for different types of windows and budgets. One of the newer and more innovative features is motorization, which is now offered in almost every category of window coverings.

What recommendations do you offer to those looking for your services that make a big impact in a home or office?

If you want to make a big impact in the appearance of your property, both inside and out, we recommend Plantation Shutters.  These shutters are a unique window treatment because they create a look that enhances the overall design of your property.  You can use shutters to beautify your property from every vantage point.  Customers say their rooms explode with light and openness during the day, while also allow for privacy in the evening and at night.  Blinds and More, Inc. can help you select the best shutters in the industry for your unique space.

What experience in your industry sets you apart from your competitors?

What sets Blinds and More, Inc. apart from other companies and Large Box stores is the ‘volume discount’ that we receive from our manufacturers.  We also don’t have the overhead that many other companies have.  Our in-home/office approach helps our customers understand not only how the product will look but how it will be installed in their home or office.  We pride ourselves on being knowledgeable in our industry on all of the various products, as well as understanding why certain products will or will not work. What’s most important is taking care of the needs of our customers, and helping them select the best way to cover their windows.

What would you like our readers to know about selecting window coverings?

Selecting window coverings for your home might sound easy, but it can often be a complicated process.  Not all products will work in every space.  But don’t fret! Blinds and More is here to help you with those decisions, and ease you through the process.  Call us to set up a free in-home/office appointment for a time that fits your busy schedule.  A professionally trained consultant will bring samples of our products to you. Color swatches and other necessary materials help you make your decision and put your mind at ease.

We also provide great warranty and service repair work to our customers at no charge.  We are an established company and a licensed California Contractor.  Simply put, you can count on us for quality products and superior service.  Blinds and More makes it possible to pay less for window coverings and still get the best. One of our customers said so nicely what we work hard to do:


We are so pleased with our shutters.  They certainly upgrade our house and make our home more comfortable and inviting. You are lucky to have an employee like Felipe to install the shutters.  He worked constantly for 6 hours without taking a break.  Besides his excellent work ethic, he is a great craftsman.  I am sure that you compensate him well for his loyalty and talent. We are happy to do business with you and will not hesitate to refer to others.


Jack and Jeanette C.

Everything you need to know about Gas Inserts for your Fireplace

Everything You Need to Know About Gas Inserts

Green Dragon 13

We spoke to Gary Flanagan at Econo Air about the benefits of gas inserts, and the rebates and vouchers offered by the Valley Air District.

Please tell us about the benefits of switching from a wood burning fireplace to a gas insert.

Bakersfield has many no burn days due to our poor air quality. That means many homeowners with wood burning fireplaces rarely get to enjoy them. With a gas insert, you can ‘turn on’ a fire any time you feel a chill or want to enjoy the ambiance. Another benefit is that a gas insert heats the living area, providing zone heating. You save money on utility costs when heating your primary living area instead of the entire house.

Most homes have central heating that comes in at the top of the room, and heat goes up, right? With a high efficiency gas insert there is no need to keep a blanket on your legs while reading a book, or watching tv.  You control the fire and heat with your remote thermostat, so that you are always comfortable.

Finally, many people get tired of the cost of buying wood and the hassle of hauling ashes and taking care of a wood burning fireplace.

Continue reading “Everything you need to know about Gas Inserts for your Fireplace”

Home Protection Unleashed

Home Protection Unleashed


Peace of Mind for Double-Door Homes

Bakersfield Home Magazine talked with  the founders of Security Guard Dog, to learn about their practical product that stops burglars.

What is the Security Guard Dog?

Security Guard Dog is a simple metal bar that fits on double door handles and prevents ‘kick-in’ burglaries.

Continue reading “Home Protection Unleashed”

BBQ Meets the Digital Age!

 BBQ Meets the Digital Age!


The Owner of the Bulk Yard, David Geig, talks to The Bakersfield Home Magazine about one the fastest rising stars in BBQ – The Pellet Grill.

Pellet grills are becoming one of the hottest trends in BBQ, even though they’ve been around for several years. The word is out — wood pellets provide convenient, clean grilling, and add great flavor to whatever you’re grilling.

Continue reading “BBQ Meets the Digital Age!”