Tips To Maintain Your Electrical Wiring

Maintenance has never been about just appearance and aesthetics – more than anything, it is vital to maintaining your home and its appliances for safety. From electrocution to sparks, and short circuits to full blown fires, faulty electrical wiring can be extremely dangerous and must be dealt with caution and professional expertise.

What To Look Out For In Your Electrical Wiring System

Wondering how you know when to check your electrical wiring systems? Besides the fact that a routine check of all your sockets and circuits is recommended at least once a year, there are a few signs to look out for when it comes to possible electrical damage

Electrical wiring maintenance tips

  1.   The presence of live current in switch boards and sockets, however mild they might be, can be a sign that your wiring has been exposed to water or is not getting earthed right. If a switch in the washroom or kitchen gives you even a tiny shock when you turn it on and off, chances are that there is an issue.
  1.   Notice frequent dips in voltage, flickering lights once in awhile or bulbs fusing more often than they should? Definitely a sign of internal electrical wiring damage.
  1.   Appliances can get damaged by short circuiting, but there are times when the only sign of the fluctuation or short circuit is through the appliance malfunctioning itself. If your plug sparks when it is in the socket or an adapter heats up and doesn’t work even though the voltage is appropriate, then there could be a problem with the electrical outlet.
  1.   Each circuit board has a specific limit to the load it can take, but within that limit, the appliances connected to it should function perfectly. If the turning on of the dishwasher or air conditioner causes lights to dip, the circuit may be damaged and unable to take the load.
  1.   Besides visible signs, make sure that you keep an eye out for open wiring being chewed by rats or raccoons in the attic, or rainwater accumulating around the circuits in the basement. Even though the impact may not be immediate, any noticeable damage to the wires can lead to serious internal havoc.

The far-reaching effects of faulty wiring bring to mind the much used saying ‘better safe than sorry’. A small investment in a professional, DIY check-ups of your electrical wiring or getting the home warranty for your home can be imperative to keeping you and your loved ones safe. Repairs are costly and maintenance is no doubt an easier way to prevent future problems, so we bring to you seven simple tips to keep track off and maintain your entire electrical wiring system.

Routine Testing

Mark your calendars and keep a monthly check on your electrical outlets, you can do this by yourself and won’t need any assistance. The testers are inexpensive – you can find them at any home hardware store. A three-prong plug, the tester will have indicator lights on each prong. As you plug the tester into each outlet, the lights indicate any problems with the individual outlet. The earlier you know the problem the easier it is to get it solved and the risk of fire or a greater electrical malfunction is avoided.

Out With The Old, InWith The New

Damaged and worn out wiring should be replaced immediately. The process is very simple and you might be able to change the wiring outlets on your own. If the problem seems to be more complicated do not hesitate to call a professional electrical who can perform the work. In fact, if such handy-work isn’t your cup of tea, a home warranty is a simple preemptive measure to rid yourself of unnecessary worry!

Original, Branded, Tested And Certified Electrical Wiring

There are many occasions where it might seem preferable to procure a cheap knock off, but substituting your wiring outlets is not a place to economize. It is ideal to choose parts that are certified by a recognized safety certification institution, as you are rest assured that the product is completely safe and has gone through extensive testing.

Water And Electricity Never Mix

This might seem the most obvious one, but most cases of electrocution are direct results of electrical appliances close to water outlets – kitchens, outdoor sockets, garages, and washrooms especially. Keep appliances as far from the taps and showers, constantly check the wiring in such parts of the house, don’t multitask with things like your hair curler and washing your hands and immediately get outlets tested if the tap or any pipes give you a shock when you touch them.

DIY Isn’t Always The Answer

If the problem seems to persist and is more than your normal wear and tear, it is best to hand over to a professional electrician and in such situations, you should refrain from repairing your own wiring. Large numbers of electrical fires are likely to be caused by faulty repairs. By handing it over to the professional, you become risk-free and it is cost effective in the longer run.

Overloading The Electrical Wiring

To help prevent power outages, make sure there are not too many appliances plugged into one circuit. Overloading is one of the widespread problems of any wiring issue. When you have too many outlets working at once that exceeds your wattage consumption, the components heat up, causing your breakers to trip or spark up. So it is prudent to know which appliances are power hungry.

All’s Well Which Ends Well!

Electrical systems should be maintained well in its entirety – outlets, cords, trip breakers, circuit box, and bulbs amongst other things – and should be replaced if they show signs of malfunction.

Bulbs are especially prone to malfunction, especially when their wattage doesn’t match that of the outlet. Open outlets are dangerous, make sure that such ones are sealed and are untouched by seepage.

Do not disregard the wattage consumption, which is a common problem with bulbs. By putting high wattage consumption bulbs, it would increase your bills and cause the bulb to burn out faster, also causing the base to heat up and in turn risking a fire.  

While you are getting your home checked for faulty wiring, you should also check the wiring outdoors, in the attic and the basement. These are places that you might forget to get checked and unattended, they could cause greater damage.

Home Warranty And Added Benefits

Even with all the steps above, maintaining the entire home’s wiring can be a task – making home warranty a worthy investment, especially during the winter season. Similar to insurance but a lot more specific in nature, Home Warranty takes care of repair and replacement of your appliances and wiring systems, amongst other things.

Repair and maintenance as a task as well as a financial burden can kill the joy of being a homeowner. The responsibilities only pile up, however trivial the task may seem, and keeping track of servicing and fixing is never easy. Taking care of both regular maintenance as well as problem-solving when your electrical system may hit a snag, Home Warranty can be life changing when it comes to the keep up of your home’s electrical wiring and appliances.

In a typical Home Warranty scheme, central air conditioning and heating systems, all appliances however big or small in your kitchen, washer and dryer of both clothes and vessels, entire electrical systems, plumbing systems, leaks, and seepages are covered for all levels of repair and replacement. Nevertheless, it is a good idea for you to do some pre-research before signing the papers!

There are a few simple ways you can get a hang of how Home Warranty works, what it covers, whether or not you need it and what plan will suit you best. Besides asking for recommendations from friends and family, reading up on consumer research based websites can give you not only a clear understanding of what you are getting into, but also substantiate the information with honest reviews from consumers.

HomeWarrantyReviews.com is one such site, giving you a comprehensive list of reviews from users across the country – many of which are specific to the laws of each state. The buying and selling of a house and all the laws that go with it are essential to follow when it comes to such procedures, making it tricky if you land up getting into a deal which doesn’t go hand in hand with the policies of the state.

The website also brings you a Home Maintenance Calculator to help you understand the expenditure your home will require in the long run, as well as awards and ratings of different companies, across the country.






Home protection plans, commonly known as a Home Warranty or appliance protection plan is a service contract that agrees to offer discounted repairs and replacements of your household appliances. It means that if any of your covered appliances breaks, the home warranty company shall provide you with a qualified technician who will repair your device and cover the cost of repair as well.

Home Protection Plans

Ideally, appliance protection plans are best suited for people who have appliances that are fairly used and above 4 years in age, as this is the time where most of the functional issues arise. It is highly recommended that you purchase a home service contract if any of the following are or all are true.

  • Your appliances are over 4 years
  • You don’t have a trusted service vendor
  • You don’t have time for DIY repairs
  • You are a first time homeowner
  • You can’t afford frequent repairs and replacements

If you were to ask if these plans are worth the money, then we would have to admit that there is no straightforward answer to that. There are quite a lot of happy customers out there who swear that purchasing home warranty was the best decision they ever made and yet there are people who think otherwise. It is up to you to decide if you will benefit from a home protection plan.  If you are in need of more guidance, please read the Home warranty buyer’s guide.

This is how a home warranty works

You purchase the appliance protection plan from a home warranty company for a certain amount of coverage. This coverage could be vast and cover almost all the outside and inside appliances or it could be the basic version. If a device covered by the plan fails to operate properly, you simply place a call to your home service contract provider. They will then call up a service vendor with who they have contracted and tell them about your issue. Service vendor then collects your contact information and contacts you to fix an appointment.

He/she then comes to your home to take a look at the damaged gadget. If the repairs needed are minor, they will oftentimes be fixed on the spot. Major repairs and part replacements need approval from the home warranty company. If parts are to be replaced, the home warranty company shall procure them for you and get the appliance fixed. Sometimes, if the technician determines that the device can’t be repaired, depending on your coverage, the home warranty company may replace your device.

Hence, one can say that the benefits of Home warranty are the following:

  • Discounted repairs and replacements of household appliances
  • Qualified and experienced technicians at your doorstep
  • Protection of your budget against expensive repairs
  • Peace of mind
  • Covers all major appliances and systems.
  • Additional coverage can always be purchased
  • Affordable
  • Covers damages resulting from wear and tear

As mentioned before, there still exists a school of thought that home warranty plans are not worth the money. Hence, we must discuss the drawbacks of these plans.

  • Not free of cost. In addition to the annual premium that ranges anywhere between $250 to $1000, you will have to pay a service call fee each time you raise an issue. The amount is typically nominal, around $50
  • Home warranty companies will almost always try to repair and not replace the damaged gadget.
  • Some may feel that there is no flexibility. You usually cannot select a service vendor of your choice and sometimes conflicts may arise on the diagnosis provided by the vendor.
  • Claims can be denied on vague grounds or by stating fine print from the contract.
  • Pre-existing conditions quite often are not covered

Because of these reasons, we suggest that folks who fall under the following categories, don’t purchase a home warranty. This is only a suggestion, if you believe that you shall benefit from a home warranty plan, you should go ahead with it.

  • Your appliances are fairly new and are still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
  • You have a trusted repair vendor.
  • You have time and skill for DIY repairs
  • You have money for frequent repairs

You can consider an extended warranty to protect your new devices. You can read about the differences between home warranty and extended warranty to clear your doubts.

If your devices are new, chances are low that they may need repairs often. Also if they are still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, any damage will be covered by them, provided it is not an excluded case. And all of this is unnecessary if you are a repair vendor yourself!

The bottom-line

Home warranties can be a great way to protect your budget and your appliances. As mentioned before, if you fall into the former category where your devices are old and so on, we highly recommend that you purchase a home warranty. Otherwise, you can do without one.

A lot of unpleasant instances occur due to lack of understanding of the working of the plan. Hence, we urge you to read the policy booklet and the offer document carefully before you make a commitment. These documents are highly significant and have to be studied and preserved carefully.  If you are certain that you want to purchase appliance warranty, please go through our reviews section to choose the best provider out there. Good luck!




Extended warranty sometimes also called as a maintenance or service agreement, is a prolonged warranty given to customers who wish to insure their fairly new devices. They are not always provided by the manufacturer and are usually procured along with or as and when the manufacturer’s warranty expires.

Such extended service agreements are often purchased for gadgets and appliances that don’t come under Home warranty. Eg. laptops, TV, desktop computers. They can be purchased over an existing manufacturer’s warranty so that damages due to accidents are also covered.  They cover repairs and replacements of the insured device for a fixed period of time, which is usually around 2-3 years.

Do I need extended warranty?

If you are wondering whether you need an extended appliance protection plans or not, consider this –

You have a reasonably new device which cost you a lot. It is still covered by it’s manufacturer’s warranty but you are not certain if that will be enough. You fear that accidental damages may occur and you cannot afford to repair or replace the device if it happens. If this is what is going through your head, we recommend that you purchase an extended warranty.

There are quite a few advantages that make you want to consider buying an extended appliance protection plans. Here are a few of them:

  • Extended warranty agrees to repair or replace your appliances if it breaks down after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
  • They cover most of the electrical and mechanical damages.
  • You may never have to claim anything on your manufacturer’s warranty as the chances of a device failing in the first 12 months of it’s life are low.
  • They are easy to acquire and they give you peace of mind.
  • Almost all major appliances can be covered with an extended warranty.

Although, the advantages may seem great, some experts have the opinion that extended warranty is a waste of money. This is because a decent appliance/gadget manufactured by a reputable company stands very little chance to fail in the first 2 years. It has been noted that retailers make huge profits from extended protection plans as very few consumers claim them.

Also, when it comes to electronic gadgets, it sometimes makes more sense in replacing it with a new one rather than repairing the damaged one. These days you can get a DVD player for around $30, so why then would you spend $20 repairing your damaged DVD player?

Technology is advancing at a very fast pace, unless your device is precious and expensive, we suggest that you think twice and explore a few options before you purchase extended warranty.

You may want to look at the repair rates of the various gadgets in the first 3 years of their lives and then decide if you need to go for an extended protection plan. However, the same cannot be said of Home Warranty, which is always recommended for most homes.

If you feel you don’t need an extended warranty as your appliances are 4+ years old, the best option for you would be a Home Warranty. Find out more about Home Warranty and Home Warranty Companies!

Buying Extended WarrantySource: CBS News

Extended Warranty vs. Home Warranty

extended warranty vs home warranty

Things to keep in mind

While you consider purchasing an extended warranty, ensure that you contemplate on all the points that follow.

  • Contract Terms and Conditions

Make sure that you know how the plan works. Read through the terms and conditions mentioned in both the contract as well as the policy booklet. Understand what damages are covered and what damages are omitted.

  • Term of coverage

All extended warranties do not have the same duration of coverage. The term can vary anywhere between 6 months to 3 years. Be clear on this.

  • Extra charges

Beware of this one. In certain cases you will have to ship your damaged gadget to some other location. If this happens you will have to pay the shipping charges. Not only this, there could be several cases where you will have to spend extra money in addition to the amount you pay for availing the warranty. You can speak to the retailer to clear any doubts you have regarding this.

  • Comparison shopping

A lot of warranty companies are out there that sell extended warranty. Sometimes  it makes sense to consider a few options before you jump into a decision and purchase extended warranty from the retailer. Some companies offer plans that cover a group of devices instead of a single device. These may be much more profitable that purchasing one warranty for a single gadget.

  • Credit card benefits

Before you purchase an extended warranty, check with the bank issuing your credit card to know if you are automatically entitled to an extended warranty if you make a purchase with the card. In certain cases, platinum and gold cards offer this feature to customers.

Getting an extended warranty is not a bad idea. However we urge you to go through everything carefully before you purchase an extended warranty from the retailer. Extended warranties, like we said are only for a single appliance/gadget. While they are not pricey as such, sometimes, for homeowners with ageing appliances find Home Warranty plans more ideal. They are affordable and cover a host of appliances and not just a single one. If you think, an appliance warranty plan is what you need, take a look at the top 10 home warranty companies in the U.S.A. Good luck!




Getting and staying organized is a bit of a challenge for many of us. This challenge often feels impossible to meet, resulting in the individual getting trapped in an overwhelmed mode. It is probable, however to overcome the overwhelmed feeling and efficiently get your home arranged by breaking the task into smaller steps and following an organized approach to achieve each step.

Get Your Home Arranged

Reasons for getting Organized

After a tiring day at work, you require to get to place where you could take enough rest and relax for recharging your energy. No other place can be more appropriate to do that, than your own home. But, first and foremost, you need to get your home organized to make it your favorite place for relaxation.

Your house is not just a place where you take your sleep, stock up your belongings and nurture your body with food and other basic requirements. But, your home is your sanctuary for the reason that whatever happens through the day, you would always go to the place where you could ease your victories and judge your failures.

Those are the reasons why organizing your home should be a main concern if you want to keep its comfort. Since you are too busy at work and usual activities, you would find it a major challenge to get your home organized. Generally, people complain that it is hard to organize the home as there are just too many stuff that are stored in. They are too busy to fix the mess and clean the dirt regularly.

That is why the ability to get your home planned is a must for you and for everyone. Once you gain knowledge of how to get your home organized, you would surely realize that it is not a hard task. Moreover, you would surely develop the practice of being responsible and reliable in keeping your place as pleasant as possible.

Get Your Home Arranged in 7 Simple Steps

After implementing the following organizing tips, you’ll speculate how you or anyone else manages without being organized.

  1. Schedule time to de-clutter your home and do this regularly.
  2. Place your things in such a manner that there would be sufficient space for free movement within the house.
  3. Keep the orderliness of your cabinets, shoe rack and even your refrigerator. Throw away unwanted stuffs so that they would not pile up and will be trouble-free to get your home organized. If the stuffs have sentimental value, you could just pile them up in the garage or in the storage room.
  4. Keep your house hygienic and clean it regularly. Ensure there is no dust piled up at furniture and appliance surfaces.
  5. Arrange the books in the book shelf and label your compact discs and place them as per their categories.
  6. Use every room as per their proper functions to get your home organized. This would avoid unnecessary mess everywhere inside the house.
  7. Do not file the bills with personal letters and other important documents.

Keep to your goals and get your home organized. You would find that a planned home would surely make you feel good in the future as you would not be messed up inside the premises of your own sanctuary. If you still face difficulty to get your home organized, you need to consult experts.

All the Best with the re-organization!




A space that embodies the coming together of family and friends, your home’s living room is everything that its name talks off. A much-used space, arranging your living room furniture, accessories, and appliances with tact can help shape the entire area in ways that maximize space utility and creates a warm and welcoming environment.

Living Room & what are the steps to plan one?

Be it a new home you are building, a remodel in the process or just a quick weekend shuffle-around of furniture, having a plan in mind always helps get the ball rolling. Even though the task may be as simple as moving a couch by a few inches and adding a few poufs for color and comfort, it’s important to know that often even a small task can get confusing or blown out of proportion without a little preparation.

Step 1: Planning And Purpose

The first step is planning, and it starts with knowing what the living room is going to be used for most. Any remodel or renovation for functional purposes requires you to start by charting out what you need most out of that space, and everything else follows.

How to have an ideal Room Layout in your home?

Try and map your week’s routine and see what your living room is used for most. Is it more often than not the room where your children have play-dates or is it somewhere where you majorly spend Sunday afternoons lounging with a cup of coffee? Are you one for intimate gatherings of family and friends or a space which fill up fast with people at every dinner party?

Once you know what the space will be used for most often, you can start by narrowing down furniture according to functionality and flexibility – a large plush couch that is great to lie in a read but which just as efficiently seats four at crowded dinners.

Step 2: Movement In The Living Room

Next, you need to physically address the space you have at hand. Depending on its size and accessibility, you will need to choose and arrange your furniture for easy accessibility. Sometimes we have a tendency to over-fill rooms with furniture, the appeal of which often wears out with time and instead leaves us feeling trapped in the clutter.

The most important rule is that all the entries and exits should be free. An unhindered movement should be possible from the living room into other spaces – the main door and extensions like balconies or gardens. The living room usually becomes the heart of the home, and it is important to keep it easy to reach and move around in.

Decluttering is important, but make sure not to space out the furniture too much – it is important for the space to be comfortable and yet not obstruct the audibility of conversation in the living room.

When it comes to distance, it is best to judge by physically moving things around, but when in doubt, there are a few thumb rules you can fall back on. For example, 3 feet between any two chairs and couches gives the individual enough personal space, but when the space between two people exceeds 10 feet then you can be rest assured that communication is going to be a strain.

The center table and coffee table should be at arm’s length of the person seated on the adjacent couch or chair, but it is important for there to be at least a 15 to 20-inch gap so that the knees don’t hit the rim of the table.

Step 3: Shuffle Things Around

We’ll never really know till we see it in front of us, so once you pick your furniture then allow the final placement of each item to be a process of arrangement and rearrangement. Every individual has their own way of working; there are a few who like to take their time and plan out details, while others prefer to be spontaneous. For those of you who prefer a concrete plan, start with a scaled drawing of the space; moving things around on paper so that you get an idea of how it would look. This route is always easier than to rearrange the furniture in actuality, especially the heavy cabinets.

The other way to go about this is to dive right in. Dedicate some time from your schedule and get a few people to help you shuffle things around in different arrangements.  With each new arrangement, take some time off and see how it looks and feels – surely one of them will click and be just what you were looking for. Remember, don’t be afraid to add, subtract and accessorize even after the heavy lifting is over!

Step 4: Scale And Proportion

Most designers emphasize the need to have a set furniture size in the living room. Furniture scaled correctly makes a living room feel right. Having too much or too little can make or break the space. Don’t get swayed away by how the furniture looks in the store, as it does not mean that it will work just as well back home.

Experts suggest that having large furniture in a large room and small individual pieces in small rooms are advisable, but for things like seating, make sure you don’t compromise on comfort.

Living room layouts nowadays have to accommodate for a television, and even though flat screens do make the space management easier, try and keep the angle of the seating just enough to be able to watch the television if need be but at not too much of a direct angle because that will disturb the conversation. Even though you might be proud of your television and you like watching a movie or game on it every weekend, you don’t want it to be the focal point of your living room.

Step 5: Layouts And Safety

Just like a kitchen layout can play a huge part in the safety of the home, living room layouts can have a role to play as well. As the space is in the center of the home, may of the exit routes in case of fire will be through it, making it essential to keep all entries and exits unblocked and easy to maneuver.

Home Warranty & Its Positive Impact On Your Life

Home Warranty can be a great investment for a newly renovated home. Covering all your appliances, internal wiring, and plumbing systems, and interiors of the house, Home Warranty policies have become a large part of home ownership. Not only does it increase the value of the home, it allows the owner to live worry free as all repairs, servicing, maintenance and replacement are handled by the Home Warranty company for the duration of the policy.

Not sure whether Home Warranty is fit for your home? Don’t know enough about the way it functions to invest in it yet?

HomeWarrantyReviews.com brings to you the Home Maintenance Calculator, a simple tool to help you calculate whether or not a Home Warranty policy is right for you. The tool even provides you with detailed cost estimates with and without a warranty, allowing you to compare in real time. So this better helps you decide whether you want a free quote from the top ten home warranty companies like American Home Shield, 2-10 Home Warranty, First American Home Warranty and the other equally good ones. It’s time put on that sorting hat & choose a free quote from a home warranty company in your location!




Fastening the seat belts snug around your son when you drive him to school, looking both sides before crossing the road – every individual has been hardwired to keep themselves and their loved ones safe in every circumstance. While we deem our homes safe, secure and padlocked, domestic hazards of fires are rampant, leading to thousands of death every year in our country alone. We, child-proof our electrical sockets and cabinet doors, but what about FIRE SAFETY?
Fire safety is your TOP Priority!

From an aromatherapy candle standing lit too close to a curtain to unchecked damaged wiring systems, residential fire deaths are most often from toxic gas and smoke inhalation. More than the actual contact with flames and first degree burns. Closed domestic spaces with no secondary exits and ventilation can be a fire safety risk and danger to lives involved. So this puts fire safety on every homeowners’ checkbox to deal with.

In order to help you with equipping you and your family, with fire safety measures, we have compiled all of the Precautions, DIY tricks, and checklists to keep you safe, prepared.

Never get caught off guard with our 14 tips to fire safety at home:

1.      Smoke Alarms

No one can keep track of every room, store, and gallery throughout the day and night. Step one is keeping an eye out, and the only way to do that right is by installing smoke alarms. An adequate number of suitable spaces, especially the kitchen, attic, and basement, can go a long way when it comes to being aware of the slightest possible hazard. Smoke Alarms are such a pivotal piece of the puzzle in the fighting against untoward incidents of a fire breaking out and are your primary line of defense to have fire safety at home.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire – and no doubt, smoke detectors are not something you can choose to skip. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and local fire departments in almost every state have passed the installation of smoke alarms in domestic as well as commercial spaces as a compulsory requirement. The government also has extensive safety guides online, from precautionary measures to what to do afterward.

2.      Exits Routes

Even though having an exit plan is essential for everyone for fire safety at your homes, it becomes ever so important in a home with children, grandparents, and joint family structures. It may not always be possible to find and reach out to everyone at a moment’s notice, not to mention smoke makes visibility a near impossibility. Draw out the best escape route from each space in the home, make sure every member of the household understands it – especially your children. A few drills aren’t a bad idea!

3.      Easy Accessibility to the Outside

Knowing where to get out from isn’t enough. Rummaging for keys and fighting with a jammed lock or handle can be a matter of life or death in the case of a fire. Keep all the major exit keys handy, if possible make a couple of larger grill windows on each floor openable when needed, and know that a stuck door isn’t only irritating but also could turn out to be dangerous.

4.      Unattended Flame

It may be obvious, but most of us land up taking a candle or two for granted once in awhile. Check the gas stove in the kitchen, scented candles in the bath and any use of oil burners at regular intervals. Never leave the home or turn in for the night leaving these burning.

5.      Lint Filter

It seems harmless, but lint filters in your washer dryer must be cleaned regularly. Lint is highly inflammable, and the smallest electrical spark it may be exposed to can cause a fire.

6.      Cigarettes and Alcohol

If you’re a smoker or happen to have a cocktail party at home, a little extra caution is called for. A cigarette butt was thrown without being stubbed out, and that combined with a little spirit spilt on the floor can instantly cause a flame that may not always be easy to control.

It can also be that the cigarette butt can cause a fire in the garden if you have dry leaves on the ground. Remember, a spark is what it takes for a raging fire!

7.      Winter Heating Appliances

Summer causes overloading of electrical appliances, but the dry winter air and numerous heating appliances are just as dangerous. Heater, fireplaces in the living room and electric blankets all have to be used with caution and preferably given time to cool off for at least a few hours every day.

8.      Electrical Wiring

Overloading electrical sockets, not matching the voltage of appliances with circuits they are connected to, and ill-functioning appliances are some of the most common reasons for domestic fires. Regularly check your wiring system for any wear and tear, break and overloading.

9.      Fire Safety for Children

Children and how fire safety matters

Instilling the simple rule that all implements of fire – match sticks, lighters, gas burners – are not toys for your children to play around with is not just to prevent burnt fingers. The smallest flame around the house can get out of control. So fire safety should be inculcated in the young ones for it keeps them safe from future fire hazards.

10.   Inflammable Substances in Storage

Keep chemicals and fuels that are inflammable in your line of sight as far as possible. A forgotten can of fuel in the basement or garage even causes an explosion during a residential fire.

11.   Outdoors

Your garden, porch, and backyard can be prone to fire as well. A pile of dry leaves left unattended or a home next to open areas that are prone to bushfires can be just as hazardous as a can of fuel. Such outdoor spaces, combined with a parked car outside, can often snowball into a full blown fire. So make sure that all of your family members are adhering to the fire safety standards being set, both inside and outside of your home.

12.   Ventilation

Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a big part of toxic gas inhalation during a house fire, and ventilation is the only way to take precautions from it.

13.   Things We Take for Granted

Over and above all that, there are a few things that everyone should know in case you are facing a fire. First, smoke in closed spaces hampers visibility to almost nil, making maneuvering through rooms rather difficult. Second, a fire at night requires smoke alarms, as smoke in the bedroom doesn’t wake you up – in fact, it put you into an even deeper state of sleep.  

Thirdly, know that you aren’t a trained fireman, and taking matters into your own hands can only complicate things. At any sign of a fire, get out of the building, call for help and wait before you go back in.

Lastly, have fire extinguishers in place. Make sure that all of the family members know where it is and must be ideally placed where everyone can quickly reach at. Also, have regular maintenance on your fire extinguishers so that they don’t fail when you need it the most!

14.   Emergency Numbers

Last but definitely not the least, basic emergency numbers should be kept handy, not only on a mobile phone but also written down and kept visible on the refrigerator or next to the front door. Calling 911 or the local fire department immediately can save both lives and avoid property damage.

Aftermath – Repair, Home Warranty, and Home Insurance:

If such an event were to occur, and injuries were prevented, property and appliance damage to some extent is inevitable. The financial stress it can put you in can be kept at bay at least to a certain extent through Home Insurance. In fact, investing in Home Insurance can be a precautionary measure as well.

Most often, Home Warranty does not cover fire-related damage to property, wiring systems, and appliances, but having your home secured with Home Insurance as well as Home Warranty can make sure each coverage makes up for the other. Warranty and Insurance have been structured in a way so as to not have overlapping claims, making each unique and essential in their own way.

Going forward, make sure that you also do a thorough research on companies offering home insurances and home warranties. A dollar saved is as good a dollar earned, when you successfully file a claim!




If you have been planning to buy a house or you have already bought a house, realizing the importance of homeowners insurance is very important. Make sure you have adequate coverage. Studies reveal that approximately 20% of the Americans have cut back on their insurance costs to meet their other monthly financial obligations.

Home Insurance Premium

However, insurance coverage is one thing that should never be compromised upon. Your home insurance should be such that it should not only give you adequate coverage but it should also do justice to the amount you shell out as premium. And your premium should be within your reach. It is only when you find it difficult to make payments for the premium that the insurance policy appears to be a financial burden to you.

The ideal way to find the best quote for homeowners insurance  is to shop around. You can compare quotes online or talk to insurance carriers personally. There are many insurance carriers that offer different plans to meet the requirements of the consumers. You can try out these and after evaluating the pros and cons of the plan, should you buy your  insurance policy.

It is very important that you are not underinsured. If you save some cash now by staying underinsured, you may have to shell out just the double in case of a financial emergency or an unforeseen event.

Ways to cut down homeowners insurance costs

Instead of buying inadequate coverage for your homeowners insurance policy, there are many things you can do to cut down expenses related to your insurance policy in a reasonable manner. Given below are few measures you can take to reduce insurance costs.

  • Do not insure the land, insure your home – The land that is attached to your house isn’t prone to theft, fire or windstorms. So, don’t waste money by insuring the land too. Insure your house and its belongings instead.
  • Enhance safety and security measures – You can install safety devices such as safety alarms and burglar alarm to enhance the safety and security of your house. It reduces the insurance cost to a great extent. And you may also avail discounts up to 20%.
  • Review your policy once a year – You want to get adequate coverage. So, if you review or check your home insurance policy every year, you will be able to make the necessary changes and adjustments as needed.
  • Stick to a single insurer – If you have been with one insurance carrier for several years, your insurance carrier may extend special discount to you. Studies reveal that several insurance carriers offer approximately 5% discount to consumers who have been with the same insurance carrier for a period of 3 years or more. And if you have managed to continue with the same insurance carrier for a period of 6 years, you can as well be given a discount of 10%.
  • Make electronic payments – It has been observed that there are many insurance carriers that charge approximately USD$5 for sending payments by mail. The best way to make your insurance payment is to have your premium deducted directly from your account. So, try to make payments electronically.
  • Review your credit rating – Maintain a good credit rating and make sure you keep track of the same. Often insurance carriers allow you to enjoy better rates if you have a good credit rating,

So, when you have the above measures to keep your insurance cost down, it is not necessary to reduce the coverage to save costs.




Claim denial is an incident in which a home warranty company rejects a customer’s request for repair service. Sometimes customer claims are legit and fully entitled to receive services stated as per the contract. Claim denials are considered to be a major reason behind spats between service contract companies and the customer.

While some claims are denied for genuine reasons, some customers argue that companies deny claims on vague grounds often stating fine print from the contract. Yet, there are also cases where the companies were falsely accused of unfair claim denial solely because the customer failed to understand the terms mentioned in the home service contract.

What we need to understand is that not all companies deny claims unfairly because doing so will severely damage their reputation. So unless there is a valid reason, reputable companies will not deny a customer’s claims randomly.

Let’s take a look at some common reasons for claim denials

1. Appliance is not covered

This is often the most common reason for denying a claim. Most service contracts only cover a fixed set of appliances and not everything in your house. If your home service contract provider gives you this reason, go check your contract and make sure that the appliance is indeed not covered. In case you find that it is a covered item, place further calls to the company and let them know that the as per the contract, the item is covered.

Home Warranty Claim Denials2. Appliance is not maintained properly

No home service contract covers an appliance that has become damaged due to lack of maintenance. Regular wear and tear is not caused due to insufficient maintenance. It is the result of prolonged, proper usage. It is the homeowner’s duty to carry out regular maintenance routines, especially for HVAC appliances. However, if you believe that the damage is not caused due to insufficient maintenance, tell the company that you need to get a second opinion from a different contractor.

3. The damage is pre-existing

Home service contract providers often tell the customer that the damage was one that existed even before the contract was signed and hence it will not be covered. There’s hardly anything you can do about such a denial. However, you can avoid chances for such disputes by making sure that you get a home inspection done prior to signing the contract. That way the home inspector’s report will clearly state about what appliance has what damage. If it is not in the report and if the item is covered, you may be entitled to a repair service.

4. Unusual wear and tear

Wear and tear due to regular usage and wear and tear due to rough handling and careless usage can be distinguished quite easily. If the damage was caused due to the latter kind of wear and tear, your claim stands a chance to be denied. In this scenario too, you can ask for a another contractor to get a second opinion if you disagree on the diagnosis.

5. Code Violations and improper installation

If the appliance was not properly installed and if it violates the codes laid down for safe use and installation, chances are high that your claim may be denied.

What should a customer do when claims are denied?

It goes without saying that the policy booklet, the contract and the inspection report, if any, must be preserved carefully. The moment you realise that your claim has been denied, go through your contract and policy document to make sure that the claim is denied purely based on the terms in the contract. If you have a home inspection report go through that too. If you feel that your claim has been unjustly denied, you can call the home service contract company again and press the issue.

You can also visit review websites and post a review about your experience. HomeWarrantyReviews.com has a feature called the Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) which is a platform for companies and their customers to resolve their issues. The customer merely needs to report his negative experience with HomeWarrantyReviews.com, following this, he will be asked if wants to take part is CRP. If he/she chooses to participate in it, the company will be notified about his/her grievance and will be given 30 days to respond/ sort it out. If the company fails to respond or resolve the issue, the customer’s negative review becomes public. Some review websites allows their users to resolve the issues with the contract provider by communicating with them through a specific platform. The advantage of this system is that if the home service provider fails to resolve the issue for the customer or fail to respond within a time frame, the review becomes public, thereby affecting the rating and reputation of the company. Most companies do not want that.

Whatever the reason could be, we request customers to make things clear before they react to a claim denial. It could be that the company is not at fault here and because of a misunderstanding, their name gets tarnished. Most of the unpleasant scenarios can be avoided if the company you pick is reputable. Hence we cannot stress enough on the importance of picking the right company, a good home service contract provider will always put the interests of the customer first. Remember, good communication is often the solution to the biggest of problems.




Review filed under: HSA Home Warranty
Author: Paul Dalton

Call me a homeowner with realistic expectations. It seems that some others expect 1 hr service; but for the price we pay that is unrealistic, that speed of service would come with a steep price. Heat and cold can be uncomfortable; but they are not considered “emergency” items until they become life-threatening.

It is Saturday and I just called in a claim on my downstairs heating unit, which apparently just stopped working. The customer service agent, Sarah was polite, took my claim provided me the claim#, the name of the preferred provider and a phone number to contact them if I have not received a call by 10 am on Monday. (To me, that is next day service and I can live with that)

As a policy holder for 3 years, I can recall 4 claims (3 of which were honored without problem and 1 which we disagreed upon; but the unit is functioning).

I have never had a problem with HSA customer service (other than prolonged wait time). Each agent has been polite and tried to be helpful (they didn’t always have the answer I wanted but they tried to help).

It appears some people confuse HSA service with that of the sub-contractors that showed up to provide service. For the most part the contractors HSA sent to my house were polite and knowledgeable; with one exception (after my complaint and likely others, that contractor is no longer part of the HSA network) Yes HSA tries to find the lowest cost providers to make their business model work and those tend to be one or two man businesses; but that doesn’t mean they can’t be knowledgable. The contractors that have been to my residence diagnose the problem then convince the HSA rep that the service is covered because as one guy put it; “I make more money when I have work to do and unless they approve the claim, I can’t do much work.”

Without this policy, I never would have been able to replace the compressor on my HVAC unit for $75 (+50 to the contractor for a second man to help with carrying/installation/disposal). Yes, it is a 10 seer unit, so it is not the latest and greatest, and yes it is a lower tier brand name so it may not last as long as top-tier unit; but I have AC that works just fine for a severely discounted price.




Can a Contractor benefit from the Home Warranty Companies? There may be universal consensus on the subject which is why this article is dedicated to show how work can be extracted and also examine the full scope of benefits a Contractor can draw from a Home Warranty Company.

Contractor looking for job

Why Work With A Home Warranty Company?

The better the reviews for a Home Warranty Company (New York, Virginia, Texas, California, etc.), the better your chances of earning and saving more at the same time. What makes it so attractive is the almost nullification of advertising costs for the contractor. All companies that work along with Contractors offer free referrals to Contractors, to all their home warranty customers.

In order to make the most of the significant market that exists, it is never enough to know the technical know-hows of how to repair electronic appliances but you should also be ready to expend a part of your revenue into marketing your brand.

Another reason it is beneficial to work with a Home Warranty company would be because it guarantees continuous work, and you are less prone to be out of work on a not-so-profitable season. With increasing work calls from the Home Warranty Company, the more chances you have at expanding your brand, either by hiring new technicians or buying new work-enhancing technology. With this sort of reliability, you could be fixing an AC and heater at any time of the year.

This can also prove beneficial to the Home Warranty company too as the contractors provide good reviews of the companies they are working with, increasing their chances of contacting them again or even spread goodwill by word of mouth.

When you decide to take on this relationship with a Home Warranty Company, it is also important for a Contractor to remember that he/she must be efficient in receiving calls from customers, who are directed from the Home Warranty company itself. Customer service is the lifeline on which the success of Contractor business can rely on, especially in the case where you are working with a Home Warranty Company where all your customers are directed from the contact number you provide the company.

Joining bigger Home Warranty Companies can give you a form of exclusivity if one outperforms all the contractors a company has hired. This will allow you to appear at the top of their list of contractors, especially if they provide reviews’ section.

How To Work With A Home Warranty Company?

Almost all leading Home Warranty Companies offer online applications which you can fill up in your leisure time and submit with all the relevant information typed in.

Some of these leading Home Warranty Companies include,

  1. American Home Shield
  2. Select Home Warranty
  3. Home Warranty Of America
  4. Choice Home Warranty
  5. One Guard Home Warranties  

The customer reviews’ section within our own website can also be found for some of the top rated Home Warranty Companies like American Home Shield, The Home Service Club, Secure Home Warranty, America’s Preferred Home Warranty-APHW, Select Home Warranty and First American Home Warranty (also picked as 2017’s Editor’s Choice, a brand new category introduced this year).

However, all contractors are requested to review the home warranty companies they’ve worked with on an exclusively dedicated space called the Vendor’s Area. Here, one can dish out all the good and bad experiences one’s had by taking up the jobs given by the home warranty companies.


Some of the benefits to the contractor by working with a Home Warranty Company like above, in addition to the ones already mentioned, would be:

  1. Phone claim approvals
  2. Detailed information of their employers / the company
  3. Administrative support
  4. Online invoice
  5. Ability to review payment history
  6. Cancel or resolve service fee
  7. General management of claims online

Renowned Home Warranty Companies also help their contractors in times of need, which include an experienced support team and a high limit on calls. Companies like Home Warranty of America also helps Contractors claim costs.

What To Remember Before Becoming A Service Contractor?

Before filling up your application form to become a Service Contractor, it is a necessary step to license your contractorship. Every Home Warranty Company expects the Service Contractor they are about to work with are certified contractors with a license and hence you are required to fill up your license ID in the application form.

Also you are required to fill in your Auto Insurance Policy Number, and your General Liability Insurance Policy Number (optional). Insurance Policies are in your own interest, hence even if some of them are optional we recommend you create one if absent.

Diversifying your skills can also be very beneficial before applying for a Contractorship with a Home Warranty Company. As you fill up your application, you are asked of your specialization and hence learning new skills can help you strike off more blanks, increasing your popularity among the reviews and consequently help increase your revenue.

Consistent work can be guaranteed when you are able to juggle with different kinds of repairs be it plumbing, garbage disposal, weed/lawn mowing, ceiling fans, gas fireplace or septic system. These numbers can go up to a hundred so a little bit of extra skill can only put you so much ahead of the rest of the contractors.

If you are looking to expand your presence in contractorship, applying to work with a Home Warranty Company is the best as it can get. You can save and earn more at the same time, a chance usually deprived for those working outside of these companies. There are many ways you can utilize such an opportunity, more so as there are numerous Home Warranty Companies and your chances at getting in at any one of them aren’t nearly dim. Go ahead and fill your applications now!

Our portal also lets you access some of the most sophisticated lists of best home warranty companies, ranked on a various different criterion. This is, in addition to the Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) and Home Maintenance Calculator. Be sure to check them out!

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I know it’s not normal to admit it, but I’m a warranty nerd. I spend a lot more time researching the home warranty industry than most people. But it’s sort of my job, so I feel less awkward admitting that I get excited over talking with people who are not familiar with home warranties, also called home service contracts. I like telling people about the service and helping them with their questions.

One of the questions I hear most often is “how do I choose a home warranty?”

The answer is initially easy but gets more complex as I go on with explaining the process. So I like to break down the process to five easy steps in order to make it all more manageable.

Step one: Do you need it?

Before you buy anything you really should decide whether you need it or not. With home service contracts it’s pretty simple to do this. First, is the home you want to cover with the contract brand new? If so then are you only looking to cover the appliances? If the answer is no then you probably don’t need the contract. If the answer is yes then the next question is whether or not the appliances you want to cover are out of the manufacturer or retailer’s warranty or service contract. If you say yes to this one then it’s time to shop for a home warranty. If not then you should probably wait until your appliances are no longer covered and then look into getting a contract to provide repair services.

Steps to Choose the Right Home Warranty

Step two: How much do you need?

This part is really important! Your livable square footage and the items you want to cover should be known before you begin shopping for a home warranty. Knowing these things ahead of time will allow you to get the most accurate price and coverage quote.  Do not go with a generic price and coverage quote or buy online without speaking to a company representative unless you are absolutely certain that the contract you are purchasing is exactly what you need.

Step three: Which companies cover your zip code?

Maybe you live in a highly populated place, or maybe you don’t.  This can affect how many service technicians are in your area.  And that can affect how many home warranty companies will offer to cover your home.  It pays to know whether or not a company covers your area before you get into examining price and coverage quotes.  You’ll waste time talking with the wrong companies if you’re not careful.

The easiest way is to go online to find home warranty companies that serve your area and short list them.

Step four: Do you already have things breaking or about to break?

This part is extremely important.  Some companies have periods of time after you sign up when they will not cover repairs.  You should ask if this is the case.  And you should also ask if things that were already broken or about to break are still covered by the home service contract.  Many companies in the home warranty industry have exclusions in their contracts for things that were not working properly or not properly maintained before you became their customer.  And in some cases the fine print in the home warranty contracts may require you to submit maintenance records or otherwise prove that something that breaks was not poorly maintained or repaired improperly prior to becoming a customer.

Step five: Read reviews and contracts carefully!

Along with understanding the exclusions mentioned in step four, this is the most important of all steps.  Do not buy a home warranty until you have read a number of reviews on reputable consumer review websites.  And do not trust websites that rank companies based on advertising dollars those companies spend with the websites.  You can usually trust services such as Angie’s List to provide objective information based on real consumer feedback.  But many fly-by-night websites cannot be trusted and will steer you toward whatever company is paying them the most for advertising or other marketing services.  The ultimate and best resource is a friend or family member who has experience buying home service contracts for their own homes.  Once you’ve gotten reviews or first hand experiences from other consumers you need to read the contracts you are considering buying, word for word.  Don’t skip things just because the contracts are dull reading material, and don’t overlook things that you think are not clear or worded suspiciously.  If you talk with a company representative about parts of the contract which concern you then you should either get a better feeling or an intuitive feeling that this company is not the right one for you.  And that’s how you make the best decisions when buying any product or service.

As you shop for a home warranty please keep in mind that these contracts do save some homeowners money, not to mention time finding a screened contractor on short notice.  But in some cases it makes just as much sense to put away money in a savings account that earns interest and leave that money for emergencies.  Ultimately the decision is up to each individual homeowner, and it’s not always an easy one to make.  If you are not sure you understand how best to calculate your potential savings on home warranty, you can use this excellent calculator provided here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com!

About the Author

Kevin Wallach is a freelance writer and marketing professional. His focus is on performance based marketing services for the home warranty and home service contract industry.




Do you possess a home warranty program? Chances are, if you are a new homeowner, you likely do. But after you have been in your home for a year, you are likely speculating if you should renew your home warranty or not. So many families get themselves in the same situation and expectantly this article will be able to offer you some help.

Renew Your Home WarrantyIn all possibility, when you bought your home you obtained a home warranty covering a range of items in your home, i.e. roof, air conditioner, appliances, heating and plumbing systems, possibly your spa/pool etc. If you had a great Realtor he or she can get the seller to pay for the warranty. So here you are approaching date and questioning if you should renew it or not.

Consider Your Options

Firstly all you should ensure that you inspect your situation properly. This means that you must be careful not to purchase too much insurance or procure coverage for items that you don’t have. So many times, people buy coverage for things like home telephone wiring when they don’t even have a home phone or landline any longer.

How much peace of mind do you require?

For some people, they do not have sufficient money in their savings to pay for a major system repair like a HVAC system. That’s the same thing as a heating or cooling system. You also require making sure that you only purchase coverage for your heating and cooling system if you don’t need for your kitchen items and refrigerator covered as well. Or in case you are not bothered about the AC going out, you may only require coverage for your other major systems and appliances.

Should you renew your home warranty program?

Majority of first time home buyers get to the end of that first year and feel like they want to take the chance on not having a system to be unsuccessful. And the reality is, many of them won’t. But for some people anything that can happen will happen if luck is involved. So for them making the choice to renew is a no brainer.

Things to Consider When Renewing

Consider Several Factors for RenewalWe all are familiar in these economic times coming up with $350 to $600 is a lot of money for most of us. If you certainly did not have to pay for the initial coverage, then there is a doubt that you paid much attention to the cost of your home warranty. No doubt, you had to pay the $50 – $55 service call if you had one and that likely felt like a fine deal, particularly if you had something major go wrong like your hot water heater going bad. Maybe you didn’t have any service calls at all and now you are faced with this renewal expense and there’s a good chance you’re saying “I don’t think so”.

For people who reside in older house, age is definitely a factor to consider. How old are your appliances, your AC and heat pump, the filter motor for your pool, hot water heater, your roof, garage door opener and some of many other things that a home warranty can cover.

You must also factor in the additional costs of the service calls; they have a means of adding up if you have 3 – 4 of them in a year. These certainly are costs over and above the cost of the warranty itself. Study the fine print of your policy before you renew to be sure the items that you may be worried about are really covered. Some of the items you desire to be covered are not in the standard policy but are considered “optional coverage and have supplementary fees. You may have more than one surprise and can be very disappointed if you find out the warranty did not cover “that specific” item.

The additional thing, as a homeowner, you must know that if you don’t have an existing home warranty you can always acquire one. These companies don’t just cater to the new home buyer of a resale home. You can procure a home warranty any time, but you recognize that there will be a 30 day waiting period for it to go into effect.

So how do you approach the renewal question if you are about to purchase a new home warranty?

One way to deal with the query of your right to renew is to just ask the contractor you work with, whether it’s a real estate professional or a home warranty company. If the home warranty that is being offered to you for consideration does not permit you to renew without the company’s consent then you must compare that service contract to others which would allow you to renew freely. It is never a benefit to have a home warranty contract that does not guarantee your right to renew. Actually you risk a lapse in service coverage if you purchase a home warranty that does not guarantee you the permission to renew. Your next home warranty might not provide you instantaneous coverage after buying it, which would leave you with a period which any repairs required, would be 100% out of pocket.

It might appear like you are getting ahead of yourself by distressing about the renewal of contract you might not be interested in renewing. Although you just give yourself the choice of renewing you are better off than being refused or canceled renewal. Never let your policy lapse.  You can continue renewing your policy for the period of time in which you own your home, except if you have had lapses in coverage.




June,2012: The month of June brings some great news for those of you who are planning to buy foreclosed homes! Freddie Mac is now offering free appliance protection plans from Home Protect warranty. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or simply called Freddie Mac, is a public government sponsored company that works with mortgage lenders to help people get better access to home financing and loans at reduced rates.

Freddie Mac Free Home Warranty

Freddie Mac has declared that it will offer $500 credit on home warranty to home buyers who have bought their houses through HomeSteps division. This offer is a bonus assurance provided to homebuyers as this incentive has allowed homeowners to obtain  Home Protection coverage plan without any additional investment on policy coverage.

This offer is only available for  homeowners who can purchase a qualified, foreclosed single-family home, townhouse or condominium.

About Home Protect Home Warranty

Home Protect home warranty is a subsidiary of Cross Country Home Services company which is a provider of a variety of residential service plans. A Home Protect Warranty protects consumers by offering them discounted repairs and replacement services.

With the coverage policy of Home Protect, home buyers will be safeguarded against unexpected appliance breakdowns and expenses related to it. Home Protect’s also offers enhanced coverage options which includes coverage of swimming pools, sump pumps and even unknown pre-existing conditions. Such enhanced coverage is a huge bonus while purchasing foreclosed homes.

Home Protect Home Warranty says that their plans are sold either for one or two year. Both plans offer the same coverage along with access to Cross Country Home Services benefits like discounted rates for new appliances. The company has a large network of over 40,000 service vendors.

In addition to this, if you have decided to purchase a house from HomeSteps property on or before May 24th 2012 and is expected to close the deal before August 31st 2012 you may become eligible to get two year Home Protect Home Warranty coverage.

 




Most homeowners are quite concerned about maintaining their household appliances in good working condition. Any homeowner worth his salt will admit that it is no easy task. Hence it calls for some expertise in the form of appliance maintenance plans. What confuses homeowners is the fact that there are so many appliance maintenance plans out there and they end up wondering which ones to sign up for!

Here’s an article that’ll help you decide what plans you need to buy to ensure smooth running of your household appliances, while going easy on the pocket too.

HVAC Maintenance Plan

Plumber at Work

There are quite a few things you need to consider before you decide whether or not you need an appliance maintenance plan.

  1. Age of your appliances: If your appliances are 4+ yrs old, you may need a maintenance plan.
  2. Availability of a trusted contractor: If you don’t have a contractor you can rely upon, it is highly recommended that you purchase a home protection plan.
  3. Sufficient funds for frequent repairs and replacements: Repairs and replacements are expensive to get done. Makes more sense to buy protections plans, right?
  4. Time and skill for DIY repairs: Unless you are a contractor yourself, it is advised that you seek professional help in case an appliance crashes.

In short, folks who have old appliances, lack DIY repair skills and sufficient money and do not have a trusted contractor should purchase some form of protection for their household appliances.

What plan do I purchase?

Let’s make this easier for you. An HVAC maintenance plan covers only heating, ventilation and cooling units. A basic home warranty plan covers all the major systems and appliances in the home which includes HVAC units and other appliances too. In simple terms, the coverage is often more for home warranty contracts.

Let’s take a look at some of the common advantages

  1. Budget protection
  2. Service from qualified and skilled professionals
  3. Increases value of property at the time of sale
  4. Peace of mind.

Now let’s take a look at the advantages separately

Advantage of HVAC maintenance plans:

  • Often includes annual/ half-yearly maintenance routines.
  • Discount on labor and parts
  • May help lower electricity bills

Advantages of Home Warranty plans:

  • Wider coverage. Protects more than just HVAC units. Coverage can be extended as per homeowner’s wish
  • Covers damage that occurs due to regular wear and tear and sometimes even due to lack of maintenance. This does not apply to HVAC maintenance plans.
  • Affordable and transferrable
  • Increases the value of property at the time of sale

Who needs an HVAC maintenance plan?

  • Homeowners who have no time for repairing and maintaining their HVAC units themselves
  • People who don’t have the budget to carry out regular maintenance routines
  • People whose other appliances and systems are reasonably new and well-maintained
  • Folks who require budget protection

The U.S Dept. of Energy advises having your HVAC systems checked at least twice a year. This could be expensive for some.

Who needs a Home Warranty?

Homeowners whose homes are aged should definitely think about purchasing a home warranty plan. It covers more than just your HVAC units. Ideally, following are the types of homeowners who need a home service contract:

  • Homeowners whose homes and the components in it are 4+ yrs old
  • People who lack time and skill for DIY repairs
  • People who lack sufficient funds for costly repairs and replacement services
  • Folks who are first time homeowners

Still undecided?

Although most home warranty plans include coverage for HVAC units, the services are not as extensive as provided by an HVAC plan built specifically with heating and cooling needs in mind. If you feel that you are okay with basic coverage, then it would make more sense to go for a home warranty as your other appliances get protection too. Another option (safer one) is to buy a home warranty plan that covers on general household appliances and electrical systems and then to top it up with an HVAC plan. It may cost a little more than just a single plan, but it will be useful in the long run.

Yet another vital thing to do is to get your HVAC appliances get checked by a professional at least once a year. Regular maintenance checks are often helpful in diagnosing problems at an early state. Hence, no matter what the age or the make is, annual maintenance checks are a must for every HVAC appliance/system.

You can also read about Home Maintenance Tips on our website. We host several articles that explain the maintenance regimes for various household appliances and systems.

Remember, no matter how much thought you give into deciding a plan, if you don’t take the same effort for picking a reputable company, it may disappoint you. Always, we repeat, always select a trusted warranty provider and do sufficient research before you sign the contract. You can visit websites like ours, HomeWarrantyReviews.com, to see reviews and ratings about various warranty providers. Our website provide readers with reviews from genuine customers who are more than willing to share their experiences with others.




The Illinois department of insurance issued a warning earlier this year to its residents to avoid a Florida based home warranty company Arkidus Home Protection, Inc. Arkidus had been unlawfully advertising home warranty services via the internet to residents of Illinois and in many cases there were documented incidents of these consumers who purchased a warranty not receiving the services promised to them.

The company and its owner, Reinaldo “Ray” Berges has previously been served with a cease and desist order by the Illinois Department of insurance, but continued offering service coverage for household appliances and major system components. The company had its headquarters in Miami though more recent reports suggest that office has been closed for many months.        Arkidus Home Protection

The company has not been granted any certificate of authority to sell insurance or home warranties to the consumers in the state of Illinois, thus the cease and desist order from that state was issued.  This unfortunately may not help recover the money lost by the Illinois consumers who purchased home warranties, also referred to as residential service contracts or home service contracts.

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), The consumers have launched over 245 complaints against the company in last three years. BBB indicates in its report that Arkidus conducted its business through a website, www.theahp.net.

BBB is a non- profit organization more than a 100 years old functioning in U.S and Canada. It collects and provides free business reliability reviews on over 4 million businesses. The BBB plays the role of an intermediary between businesses and consumers. Though it is not mandatory for any firm to get accreditation from BBB such accreditation is sought by some companies in order to build faith in their business.  Arkidus is not accredited by BBB and thus the amount of involvement BBB may have had with Arkidus’s customers would have been limited to collecting and documenting complaints and then reporting complaints to the company.  For further recourse consumers who have complaints against Arkidus would likely need legal representation or assistance from consumer protection entities.

According to publicly available information Illinois’s Department of insurance has also received many complaints from customers of Arkidus who allege they have been tricked by that company and were unable to obtain reimbursements for their claims or their canceled contracts.

The complaints from consumers are also publicly available on various websites.  One such complaint posted online was from Jose. E who is a resident of Florida.  In his post he said, “This Company is a scam. I started service with them in May, and they will not honor their policy. I keep getting calls from companies that were dispatched by them. I needed a plumber and an electrician, and both have been harassing me with the remainder of their bill, even though I paid my deductible. Do not purchase anything from this company, they are frauds.”

Arkidus appears to have ceased doing business but for a time the company was successful persuading customers to pay long term contract fees, in some cases for terms of two years or more. These customers spent thousands of dollars in some cases, all of which they now face losing forever.  If significant legal action isn’t taken against the owner of the company it is unlikely that consumers will receive any reimbursement and this whole story will end sadly.  Hence we warn our readers to be cautious about choosing home warranty companies with very little business history, no matter how positive the early reviews of the company may be.

Tips to prevent you from becoming a victim of similar home warranty and insurance scams

  • Reading about incidents like the ones surrounding Arkidus Home Protection’s brief business in the home warranty space may leave you wondering if there is a way to avoid becoming a victim. Here are some things you can keep in mind when choosing an insurance company or home warranty company.
  • When shopping for home warranty or insurance make sure any company you consider doing business with is properly registered and if licensing or bonding is required by your state be certain those things are in order as well.
  • Check a company’s background, reviews and the companies’ customer complaint records which can found on the company’s local Better Business Bureau website.
  • Never purchase financial products such as home warranties or insurance policies from a company which solicits your business at your door without doing the same homework you would with any other company.  Impulse purchases from hard-sales-tactics sales people are very often regretted by the consumers making them.
  • When dealing with sales people face to face try to develop an eye for details, study the business cards and other documents and verifying that the business address furnished is authentic and not just a P.O. Box, short term single office rental or other temporary type of mailing address.  Though legitimate and not alone a sign of trouble, short term addresses and discreet addresses may be a warning sign that you won’t be able to track anybody down when you run into trouble with the product you bought.
  • Always demand a contract for the services provided, claims and reimbursement, and other provisions and then study the fine print carefully before signing the document or making a purchase.
  • Always ask for a bill or invoice and never pay by cash.  Using a check or a credit card can sometimes help you when you seek reimbursement after not receiving what was promised to you by the merchant.

If you suspect you are dealing with the wrong people already or believe you too have been scammed do not delay making a formal report to the appropriate agency or agencies.  Both at the state and national level in the U.S. there are free and fast ways to make your voice heard when you feel you’ve been misled by a business or been the victim of a scam.  The important thing is to act quickly and not give up if you feel your complaint is being documented but not being acted upon.




Life is certainly unpredictable, you cannot control the outcome but surely can prepare yourself through careful planning and minimize the risk and be on the safer side. Insurance is one such protection mechanism which covers major expenses with an understanding that you will pay a smaller fee as a premium.

Insurances

An insurance is a contract in which an individual receives financial protection or reimbursement against losses from an insurance company against the payment of a premium.

We have an inherent need to protect ourselves and our family, so why not buy insurance and secure the unknown future. According to needs you have various insurances. Some are a must while others are worth. Here is a quick tour into the world of insurance policies.

Insurances That You Cannot Miss To Have For Your Home And Family

Life Insurance

As the term suggests you are insuring your life with a certain amount. It is an insurance that pays out a sum of money either on the unfortunate death of the insured person or after a set period.

Benefits of a Life insurance

  • Risk Cover – Insurance ensures that your loved ones continue to enjoy a good quality of life against any unforeseen event.
  • Planning for life stage needs – Life Insurance not only provides for financial support in the event of untimely death but also acts as a long term investment which can reap benefits once it reaches a maturity period.
  • Assured income through annuities – Life Insurance is one of the best instruments for retirement planning. The money saved during the earning life span is utilized to provide a steady source of income during the retired phase of life.
  • Tax Benefits-Insurance plans provide attractive tax-benefits for both at the time of entry and exit under most of the plans.

Health Insurance

It is a type of insurance coverage that pays for medical and surgical expenses that are incurred by the insurer. Health insurance can either reimburse the insured for expenses incurred for illnesses or injury or pay the care provider directly.

  • Protection against rising health expenses – Life Insurers through riders or stand alone health insurance plans offer the benefits of protection against critical diseases and hospitalization expenses. This benefit has assumed critical importance given the increasing incidence of lifestyle diseases and escalating medical costs.
  • Provides peace of mind – You don’t have to worry about the huge bills when you visit the doctor or an unfortunate accident or an expensive surgery your insurance will take care of unpredictable medical needs.
  • Regular health checkups – Insurance gives you various benefits and one of such is that you can avail regular health checkups and keep a tab and stay healthy.

Auto Insurance

It is an insurance for all your automobiles against theft and accidents.

Benefits of Auto- insurance

  • With a high cost of living there is hardly much room for savings in case of an emergency. Unfortunate auto accidents are the kind of emergency situations that can easily drain your bank account. A premium according to the specified period can be of a great help.
  •  Even in case of a minor accident with no injuries, cost of paying for another person’s vehicle and your own can burn a hole in your pocket and an insurance is a friend in need to bail you out in such a situation.
  • It helps you in case of automobile thievery, you can claim the insurance with some existing terms and conditions whereas getting the complete value might not be possible.

Home Warranty

A home warranty is a contract for repair and replacement of major home appliances such as refrigerator, washing machine, garbage disposal etc. on payment of a premium.

Benefits of home warranty

  • Saves you huge cost of repairs
  • A Home Warranty will repair or replace any covered item. It adds value to your property and benefits everyone from a buyer, seller to homeowner has an advantage.
  • Assures you peace of mind

Home Insurance

This insurance covers the home including the structural elements as well as the valuables inside the home. However, you can claim this insurance only where there is a natural disaster such as flood, fire etc. Please note that this does not cover the appliance repair and replacement costs.

Benefits of home insurance

  • Protects your biggest investment that is your home in case of natural and manmade disasters.
  • Covers accidental damages to your interiors and exteriors as well.
  • Takes cares of any third party damages and legal issues if any incident occurs while in your property.
  • Assures you peace of mind and gives you a feeling of safety and security.

Often Home warranty and insurance are thought to be similar but they are completely different in the coverage they provide. Home insurance is a must to have whereas home warranty you can choose to get.

When it comes to insurances you have a plethora of options to choose. From travel insurance to disability insurance etc, you can choose and plan according to your needs. All insurances have advantages and disadvantages but insurance no matter which protects your peace of mind. While buying insurance always make sure to do a background check of companies you are dealing with and read the reviews and fine print thoroughly.

Click here to check for Home Insurance and warranty companies.

Future is unpredictable yet securable therefore get insured stay assured.




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Dallas is the fourth most populated metro area in the country with 280 localities. The most active areas between April 2015 and April 2016 included Westhollow, Oak Lawn, Mountain Creek, Cedar Crest, Lake Highlands and Uptown. The Dallas-Fort Worth area is the top job producing metro areas in the country, and hence Dallas attracts thousands of new residents each year. In the past year, at least 7,800 real estate agents have assisted consumers with over 10,756 residential home sales in Dallas, Texas.

Price-of-real-estate-properties-in-Dallas

Whether you are buying or upgrading from your starter home, or downsizing now, working with a real estate agent is probably the best move. They will be knowledgeable in what it takes to advertise a home and also how to successfully negotiate a purchase.

If you are looking to purchase a home or property, it is important that you appoint a local real estate agent. Local Dallas realtors have familiarity with listings, actual property values, and trends in your target area and have dealt with dozens of properties in Dallas, thereby bringing detailed market experience to the transaction. Once you outline your specifications, your Dallas realtor will be able to show you the most suitable home that best fits within your vision.

Similarly, if you are selling a home in Dallas, the qualified realtors can guide you through the entire process. They may already have buyers who may be interested in buying a property in your area. Besides, your Dallas realtor will be able to make use of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and other property listing systems to market your home for sale to other potential buyers.

Moreover, your Dallas realtor will be aware of the trustworthy local professionals such as contractors, escrow officers, mortgage bankers or appraisers who may help you close the transaction smoothly. The Dallas real estate agents also have experience with local housing laws and will be able to explain any industry jargon that you may not already be familiar with.

Dallas is home to numerous realtors, so make sure that you choose someone who comes closest to having the best professional experience to match your needs Below is the list of 7 highly recommended realtors based on their sales volume in dollar amounts, the number of transactions and an average price of homes sold. These professionals have proven results and can be a powerful ally as you purchase, sell, or invest in Dallas real estate.

 

Ellen Terry

Best-Agent-in-Dallas

Ellen Terry’s name has been synonymous with brilliant customer service, business expertise and the highest standards of integrity and ethics in the Dallas’ real estate market. Her 36 years of knowledge, experience, and proficient negotiating skills have proven invaluable to many of her customers. She has in-depth experience in Dallas’ most preferred neighborhoods and can offer latest market scenario besides renowned customer service.

Ellen Terry is referred as the Neiman Marcus of the real estate industry owing to her dedication to the highest level of excellent marketing and an utmost commitment to superiority in both service and product. During her notable career, she has closed over $530 million in sales volume epitomizing 158 multi-million dollar properties ranging from $1 million to $22 million.

Ellen’s civic, charity and professional activities have earned her

  1. Southern Methodist University Distinguished Alumni Award
  2. The Easterwood Cup Realtor of the Year
  3. The Distinguished Alumni Award for Christian College in Columbia, Missouri
  4. The She Knows Where She’s Going Award and the Kim Dawson Attitude and Attire Award by Girls, Inc.

She has been a continuing member of the Dallas Junior League Crystal Charity Ball Committee and a current member of Charter 100. Owing to her professional experience and dedication, she is also honored at the 8th Annual Award of Excellence for successful entrepreneurs.

Besides being an expert realtor, Ellen also acts as an executive vice president of coaching and mentoring at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty that helps her coach agents who want to attain their business goals.

Ellen’s favorite quote is by Napoleon Hill, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve,” and she not only believes this, she lives it!

 

Rene Burchell

Top-Agent-in-Dallas

Rene Burchell is a proficient realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Plano, Texas. She is licensed since 1992 and has been keenly helping buyers and sellers effectively since 2002. Rene holds the Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), e-PRO, Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES), Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) and Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designations. Rene’s commitment to ongoing education and passion for accomplishing her clients’ real estate goals has facilitated her to be consistently recognized as a Top Producer and Top Sales Associate and team both with RE/MAX; her former alliance as well as Keller Williams.

Rene is a member of the National Association of Realtors, Texas Association of Realtors, Collin County Association of Realtors the latter which she spent 2 years as the Director of the Board. She is also an active member of the Women’s Council of Realtors where she served as the 2011 Past President for the Collin County and served 5 years on the board.

Before working in real estate, Rene worked as a financial executive assistant for Whirlpool, Merrill Lynch and Cain Watters & Associates PC for a decade after receiving her real estate license in 1992.

Rene and her team dedicatedly work with first time home buyers & sellers to Luxury Real Estate in the Dallas, Plano, N. Dallas, Allen, Frisco, Prosper, Celina, Little Elm, McKinney and nearby cities. Her focus on quality service, professionalism, and client satisfaction have earned her following accolades and awards:

  1. Keller Williams Realty Plano – 2015 Agent Leadership Council (ALC)
  2. Keller Williams Realty Plano – 2010- 2014 Top Producing Associate
  3. Keller Williams Realty Plano – 2011-2015 Top Producing Team
  4. Five Star Real Estate Agent, Texas Monthly Magazine, 2013-2015

 

Dani Hanna

Expert-Agent-in-Dallas

Dani Hanna has over 11 years of knowledge in real estate and more than 24 years of in-depth experience of residential home construction, contract negotiation, and organizational expertise. She diligently navigates the buying and selling process to your advantage. Dani is constantly acknowledged as a top producing agent and one of the best real estate agents in the mid-century neighborhoods of central Dallas, including Lakewood, Oak Cliff, the M-streets and Lake Highlands.

Dani’s clients and peers have recognized her willingness to step outside the box to attain her goals. Her clients say she is a true advocate of their best interest and puts the right people in place to execute their specialty. It’s no wonder she is constantly a top producer at Dallas City Center, with sales more than 20 million dollars. Dani enjoys tremendous client loyalty for the past five years in a row and has also been named on D magazine’s “Best Real Estate Agents” list since 2007.

Call Dani today if you are seeking a clear communication, seamless real estate transaction and local market expertise.

 

Debbie Murray

Super-Agent-in-Dallas

Debbie Murray has relished an exceptionally successful real estate career in Dallas where she was voted as “D Best Realtors in Dallas” by D Magazine and named a Unique Homes “Elite 2008” realtor” by the esteemed magazine. She attained her real estate license in the mid-1980’s while working as a Series 7 and 63 certified associate with Merrill Lynch. Debbie has keenly served condo, single family home and townhome buyers in the Dallas area for the past 17 years. Her in-depth knowledge of Dallas, Denton and Collin counties has brought her new and repeat clients from each. Besides a luxury home specialist, Debbie also focuses on home staging, international buyers, buyer representation, pro athlete and corporate relocation and new construction.

Debbie’s comprehensive relocation experience has served transferees from major corporations such as Cadbury Schweppes, State Farm Insurance, J.C. Penney, Hunt Oil, Price Waterhouse, and Mohawk Industries. She holds a BBA degree in Marketing from the University of Texas at Austin. As a marketing major from one of the leading business schools in the US, Debbie is equipped to innovatively implement a tailored marketing strategy for your home.

Debbie’s clients benefit from her Broker’s license education and the special skills which she has attained from her 9 professional designations.

  1. Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
  2. Certified Negotiation Expert
  3. Accredited Staging Professional
  4. Certified Residential Specialist
  5. Accredited Buyer Representative
  6. Graduate Realtor Institute
  7. e-Pro Internet Designation
  8. Transnational Referral Certified
  9. Equator Short Sale Designation

Debbie says, “My designations have trained me at a higher level in real estate.  It is exciting to share that knowledge with my clients when helping them purchase or sell a home.”

Debbie is a member of the MetoTex Association of Realtors Forms and Contracts Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for The Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas. Proud of her association with the number one producing residential real estate office in Dallas (and Christie’s International affiliate), Debbie expect to work with you!

Debbie has surpassed in real estate sales as she attentively listens to her clients, always putting their needs above all. A home’s resale value is Debbie’s number one priority, whether her customers are buying an existing or building a new home.

 

Laura Michelle

Awesome-Agent-in-Dallas

A consistent real estate expert for almost 20 years, Laura Michelle characterizes the meaning of outstanding customer service. She has been consistently honored as a multi-million dollar producer and best agent by several publications. The idea of connecting property, architecture, and people fascinated her while concentrating her studies on Business and Real Estate at the University of Texas, where she graduated with honors. Laura provides a sophisticated understanding of the trending market to her clients and offers counsel from a business manager’s point of view. She strives hard to provide unmatched service and offers innovative tactics to reduce the stress from purchasing or selling a home in the Dallas, Garland, Mckinney, Plano, Richardson areas.

She holds the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designations along with her broker’s license offering buyers with the highest level of service in a transaction. Laura concentrates on fostering customer relations with the latest technology and marketing developments. This has earned her the following accolades:

  1. D Magazine Best Agent and Top Producer for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015
  2. Texas Monthly Five Star Professional Award
  3. ‘Dallas Top 10’ Realtor
  4. Top Performing Individual Agent
  5. Relocation Network Member
  6. Licensed Texas Broker- Member of NAR, TAR, GDAR
  7. Recipient Industry VIP Award for Customer Service

Laura is the best producing agent in several properties sold at Dave Perry-Miller & Associates and the industry has acknowledged her with the VIP Award for Excellence in Customer Service.

 

Tom Rhodes Jr.

Best-in-class-Agent-in-Dallas

With over 38 years of experience in Dallas real estate, Tom Rhodes Jr has sold more than $1 billion in homes and properties. He is a Certified Residential Specialist, a Certified Commercial Investment Member and a Graduate of the Realtor Institute and leads The Rhodes Group. With unparalleled market knowledge and impeccable customer service, the Rhodes Group can market their clients’ home most effectively and have averaged a home sold every 2.5 days for the past decade. When you appoint The Rhodes Group, you hold the power of Dave Perry-Miller & Associates (a subsidiary of Ebby Halliday, the leading privately-owned real estate company in Texas) whose performance is supreme in the industry by selling more than one-fourth of their listings in-house and each averaging nearly one million dollars per sale.

With over 85% of The Rhodes Group’s clients coming from repeat and recommendation business, it has been named to The D Magazine’s list of Best Real Estate Agents in Dallas since 2004.

 

Bill Shields

Experienced-Agent-in-Dallas

Bill Shields has more than 30 years of professional real estate experience in home buying in Collin County and Dallas County. He specializes as a buyer’s agent and dedicated to helping you find your ideal home. Shields and his team negotiate the best price and choose the right strategy to protect your rights and interests throughout the entire home buying process. With over 20 years of experience as an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent, Shields assesses home values based on previous sales and help you purchase the right home at the lowest price. Shield and his team of skilled real estate professionals have the updated information on the great North Texas communities.

Bill Shields is a Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) and has the following Professional Real Estate Memberships:

  1. Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®)
  2. Accredited Buyer Representative Manager (ABRM®)
  3. Certified Residential Broker (CRB)
  4. Collin County Association of REALTORS®
  5. Texas Association of REALTORS®

Prior to entering the world of real estate on your own, see if any of the above Dallas realtors can help you instead. It will take just a few minutes to analyze their transactions and reviews and find the best match based on your needs.




An offshoot of Home Warranty, Structural Warranty is a legal agreement between the builder of the home and you – the owner. Structural Warranty functions basically in the case of new homes, wherein the builder assures that the home he has built will have no structural defects for a period of ten years after its construction. His claim is covered by the company which offers him warranty coverage for the building, at times additionally including workmanship and internal systems.

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

The system functions just like Insurance, but covers defects which may occur due to age and wear and tear, not natural disasters or unforeseen circumstances. Like the Home Warranty covers the items in a home – its appliances, wiring and plumbing systems, interiors etc. – Structural Warranty covers elements like the foundation, girders and beams, roofing, and flooring.

What is Structural Warranty?

Before the purchase of a home, it is advised for either the new owner, seller or realtor to purchase Home Warranty, in order to establish a relationship of trust and confidence in both parties involved. Just as a Home Warranty leaves the new owner knowing that his home and all that is in it is secure for at least a year after its purchase, Structural Warranty establishes the same sense of security in the buyer of a new home straight from a builder.

It is rather simple – all structural defects are now to be fixed by the company that the Warranty has been purchased from or by the builder offering the warranty himself, and as long as the terms and conditions are met, neither the builder nor the new owner is liable.

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

We see before our eyes appliances, electrical systems and plumbing leaks occur every once in awhile – but most of the time structural damage is noticeable only after it is too late. Given that large parts of the US are known to have soil that expands with seasonal changes, statistics show that more than 25% of all buildings in the country experience some kind of structural damage during the first decade of their life, almost 10% of this being major and often irreversible.

It isn’t always about how reputable the builder is, in fact, the more reliable the builder the higher the chances are of them investing in warranty for the homes they have built. Years after a deal is signed, sealed and delivered, a matter like soil expansion that is out of the hands of both the parties can spring up, making Structural Warranty the only way to guard against massive expenditure out of your own pocket in the future. Studies show that the warranty is most often claimed 4 to 7 years after a home is built to completion.

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

The chances of an individual investing a sum as large as the cost of a home in anything else in his or her lifetime is very slim, making this purchase one that could develop complications if not done right. Builder’s offering Structural Warranty for the home they have built can not only assure the buyer of their expertise but also give them a legal document to go back to in case frivolous lawsuits or complaints are lodged. Like in the case of any two-way agreement, responsibilities, terms, and conditions are clearly outlined.

A Middleman

If a third party company is used to establish a warranty, then any complaints, disputes or discussions will be handled by them – until the point of reconciliation. This saves time and discomfort for both parties involved, especially the builder.

Value of the Home

If you happen to be a builder with larger holdings or varied properties and houses, then the value of each building is sure to increase if Structural Warranty is added to the mix. Use it as a marketing strategy, one that is true to every word and will help you build lasting relationships with your clients.

How Structural Warranty Works

Structural Warranty functions according to the guidelines of the Housing and Urban Development department of the US, which stipulates particular criteria within which a company must cover damages. Larger builders may choose to provide their own Structural Warranty schemes to the buyer, while builders without a department to handle such claims or smaller building agencies may choose to use third-party warranty companies. Even more so than Home Warranty claims and structures, Structural Warranty coverage and insurance backing vary drastically from builder to builder and company to company. If you happen to be a part of the decision making of who to choose, make sure you do your research and pick a coverage that is extensive and appropriate to your home.

What Structural Warranty Covers

If you go through a Structural Warranty contract or guide, you will notice one important point – the extremely specific and near legal language used to describe what that particular company or builder covers. Structural Warranty owes this specificity to regulations set by the Housing and Urban Development Department of the US, as well as to the builders’ need to protect themselves from futile claims and lawsuits.

Due to each Structural Warranty being unique (much like Home Warranties state-wise laws), we will get into what the warranty covers in general. Know that this isn’t ironclad, and you have to cross check the terms and conditions with your builder.

As a whole, third-party companies offer two kinds of warranty, one which accounts for any damage to the structure of the building from the moment the deal is closed between the builder and buyer. The second stipulates that the company will only begin to cover damage to the home 3 to 4 years post the sale, implying that any structural damage before then is up to the builder to fix.
Each company usually has a base plan and other additional perks that you can choose to opt for.

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

  • Beams, Pillars, and Columns
  • Girders and Lintels
  • Foundation of the home
  • Masonry arches
  • Roof beams, and framing systems
  • Flooring
  • Walls and partitions that bear the load and contribute to the building’s structural validity.

The last of these, load bearing partitions, are often accompanied by the additional coverage of non-load bearing partitions. These claims are almost purely cosmetic, and certain Structural Warranty companies do assure the fixing of these, keeping in mind the original material integrity of the home.

Integral to any warranty and insurance difference, Structural Warranty doesn’t cover any damage due to natural disaster, accidents or unforeseen circumstances; anything that is covered under insurance, basically.

Lastly, any structures added to the original home – an extension, outhouse and detached garage space for examples – would not be covered. If the need is felt, the builder could then purchase a separate Structural Home Improvement Warranty.

The Cost

Individual state laws in the US tackle Structural Warranty in different ways, making the cost different in each state as well. On an average, if the basic warranty is purchased, then it shouldn’t cost more than 1% of the purchase cost of the home. In most states which are positioned in low-risk areas (minimal soil expansion, etc.), the price is only about half a percent of the home’s price, whereas in high-risk zones the price can go up to 1.5% to 2%.

When looked at it in terms of a median example, while Structural Warranty would cost anywhere between $500 and $1500 for ten years, the repair in case of structural damage could be between $50,000 and $100,000; Structural Warranty being about one percent of the estimated repair budget.




If you’re a resident of Oregon, this is an article you wouldn’t want to miss. Every homeowner worth his salt must be well informed about the best home warranty companies in the state they reside. Being a coastal state in the Pacific Northwest region, Oregon has a diverse landscape which makes it a very popular choice for potential home buyers. All the more reason why you should go through this article because who knows, you may settle down in Oregon one day!

Home Warranty Companies

Oregon’s Best Home Warranty Companies

 

As you know, our website hosts reviews from actual customers of home warranty products from across the country. These reviews form the basis on which various companies are ranked on our site. For your convenience, we also have a list of top ten home warranty companies in the country. And based on the reviews collected from the customers in Oregon, here’s a list of top home warranty providers in this region-

  1. American Home Shield
  2. The Home Service Club
  3. Select Home Warranty
  4. Landmark Home Warranty
  5. HSA Home Warranty

In more detail, here’s the list of top competitors.

1. American Home Shield

Considered as the founder of the home warranty industry, American Home Shield, or AHS as it is commonly called, is a company that has over 40 years of experience. AHS has come to be a company that has a nationwide footprint with many customers praising its services. AHS claims that their plans are designed to help out homeowners, sellers, buyers and Realtors alike.

With plans that cover most appliances and systems in the home that too at compelling prices, AHS has garnered many rave reviews. On an average, a standard plan comes at an annual premium of $249-$500+ and the deductible per service visit charge ranges between $75-$125. AHS claims to have a massive contractor network with over 11,000 technicians who are selected after a stringent screening process. With positive reviews flowing in from all parts of the country, AHS rightly deserves to be called one of the best home warranty companies.

2. The Home Service Club

Serving across 49 states in the US, The Home Service Club (HSC) is yet another major player in the home warranty industry. HSC, like its counterparts, have designed plans that are suited to cover major appliances and systems in a home at affordable prices. The company believes that they are innovators who constantly come up with new ways to help improve customer satisfaction and the quality of the services they provide.

A standard plan offered by HSC costs around $400 and the deductible charged per service visit ranges between $75-$125. HSC is also one of the few companies that don’t mandate a home inspection prior to purchasing a warranty product from them. The company’s contract network is extensive and like most of their counterparts, HSC too has around the clock customer service facility and also an online claim submission feature.

3. Select Home Warranty

Yet another tough competitor in the state of Oregon is Select Home Warranty or SHW for short. Select Home Warranty is headquartered in New Jersey and has quite an extensive coverage across the country. And like other companies on this list, SHW too takes pride in its massive contract network with over 10,000 carefully selected technicians.

For homeowners in Oregon, select has three main plans to offer. They come in varying levels of coverage and are priced between $299-$499. Service call fee per visit is on an average around $60. SHW does not place a restriction on the age or the size of the property to be covered, neither do they mandate a home inspection prior to signing the home warranty contract. This is a rare feature and it makes them all the more loved.

4. Landmark Home Warranty

Landmark Home Warranty(LHW) is a company that provides services in the states of Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Texas alone. Despite the lack of nationwide footprint, LHW has managed to garner rave reviews in states that operate in. They also offer pest control, re-keying and heater tune-up services in certain states.

LHW too provides plans that are designed to provide peace of mind to the homeowners. With most of major appliances and systems being covered, the plans come at reasonable prices, ranging between $425-$625. Deductibles too are charged nominally, at around $60 per service visit.

5. HSA Home Warranty

Home Security of America Home Warranty or just HSA Home warranty, is the final company on our list of top 5 companies in Oregon. With over 30 years of experience in home warranty sector, HSA has grown to become a popular choice among American Homeowners. Headquartered in Cross Plains, Wisconsin, HSA is a company that claims customer satisfaction is their prime area of focus.

Home warranty plans by HSA come in two variants each with varying levels of coverage and priced between $589-$619. The deductible per service visit charge ranges between $75-$100. The company also allows customers to customize and extend their coverage by adding items from a select list of add-ons. The annual premium would then vary based on the level of coverage picked by the customer.

The Final Word

What we have provided you is just a list based on the reviews that we have gathered on our site. There would be other companies in the local market who are equally commendable. So the only way to make a wise choice is by doing ample amount of research. Our site offers profound insights about various companies across the country. You could also take a look at the award winning home warranty companies to help with your decision. As always, we welcome your questions and would be more than happy to help you out. Cheers!