Is Extended Home Warranty Necessary?

Extended home warranty provides warranty coverage for major home appliances after the manufacturer’s warranty period is completed.

Buying the home warranty, avoids unnecessary stress and to assists you in peace of mind. It is truly a best insurance for your investment. The costs are very low compared to repair bills of any of your appliances.

Extended Home Warranty

Before deciding on extended warranty

Homeowners are generally provided with home warranty coverage along with the purchase of new house by the seller. But when your original home warranty expires, you have the choice of extending your existing warranty. Before deciding on extension of home warranty it is essential to know whether it is really beneficial to consider the warranty to continue hence let us find the facts on this issue.

Cost consideration on home warranty

The basic home warranties are available at about just $400 per year. Let us assume that the warranty period has expired on any major appliance where the device may have lost manufacturer’s warranty.  Just an initial visit may be charged minimum of about $50 to $100. Repair companies will also bill on an hour basis, for the first hour they may charge you about $50 to $70 and sometimes the subsequent hours will be charged less but varies from case to case. Addition to it you are expected to pay for the repair job.

Planning for home repairs is not predictable. Charges on repair job will differ depending upon the system, duration of time since how long you are using the device. In the usual cases home warranty policies covers up the equipments insured for the period of one year once the warranty is about to expire you can just extend the home warranty just by additional payment and renewal of documentation on what all appliances the policy should cover.

Importance of extended home warranty

Extended home warranty can surely help homeowners in leading stress free life and saves tons of money. It is realistic if you have been repeatedly spending on maintenance and repairs. Usually the breakdown period of appliances starts just before or after your warranty expires because of its usability, if you want to avoid such hassles of contacting repair services. Extended warranty service just makes things easier you are already guaranteed of competent and licensed repair company.

If you calculate, you will surely save thousands of dollars on all the possible repairs, this is quite a big amount of money that you have to set aside if you choose not to opt on warranty. At the end of each passing year you would get a clear idea on how much you need to pay on the renewal of your policy to extend the assurance. There is no need to search for fresh home warranty companies to renew the scheme you can just pay the extra amount and set your life in calm. Any unexpected issue will also be taken care of such companies hence it is truly worth to invest money in affording extended home warranty plan.

Based on your choice, these policies can be extended online or in person. You may be able to find better deals on home warranties online. On the other hand, a benefit of this is that you can take your time to make up your mind without salespeople constantly pestering you. You do not even have to browse the pages of your directory and call them one by one to ask for availability, if you have this service. All it takes is one call to make your life simpler and relaxed.






Gas grillNothing announces the advent of summer like firing up the grill. Sadly, nothing spoils a summer party faster than a grill that won’t light, cooks unequally or smokes too much. Marinades, Grease, and sauces cause mess on gas burners, while charcoal grills endure the corrosive properties of charcoal.

All professionals know the value of their tools. The basketball players have their shoes. The surgeons have their knife. And you have your grill. The perfect tool can aid you get the job done with the greatest of ease. But before showing off your grilling skills to everyone, you must know how to care for your grill.

Grills of all types, from simple kettles to stainless steel restaurant-grade infrared grills, need maintenance to guarantee that they perform and last. A careful cleaning makes sure that the burners fire well, heat distributes equally, and the grill is safe. Usual maintenance of your home  lets you catch problems like rust early on.

Without correct grill maintenance, you are just playing with fire!

For a successful season of grilling, you need a clean, reliable grill.

Easy Maintenance Tips for Grills

Follow these tips to keep your grill in fine working order – and have delicious meals for many summers to come.

Cleaning a gas grill1. Not all Grills are Created Equal.

Always study your owner’s manual for detailed guidelines and cleaning instructions. Most are obtainable online at the grill manufacturer’s website.

2. Clean After Every Use.

Regardless of what type of grill you have, you must clean it regularly. Clean and reliable grills work better, last longer and won’t have a terrible taste on food. This is particularly true for cooking grates, which, if left unclean, can harbor bacteria that could contaminate your food.

3. Keep it Hot.

The best time to clean a grill is just after food is removed, as the cooler you allow your grill to get, the more time you are giving stuck-on food and grease to set. Heat makes it simpler to take out food particles, so get at it while it’s very high in temperature.

4. Use Protection.

After every use, put a grill cover over your cooled, cleaned grill, and if possible, store in a sheltered area. This is mainly important during the off season to help avoid dirt buildup, mechanical failures and rusting.

5. Keep Up Appearances.

After every use, take away dirt and grease from the outside of your grill. If you see rust spots or areas where paint is coming off, use grill-safe paints for external touch-ups.

Cleaning your Grill

Simple and easy cleaning will increase your grill’s grilling potential for many years.

Cleaning cooking grates1. Cooking Grates

  1. Clean them after each use. Here’s how to do it easily and quickly
  2. If your grill has cooled, close the top and turn up the heat for about 5 to 10 minutes
  3. Use the back end of a stiff wire brush to rub off cooked-on remains
  4. Make use of brush side to take out all remaining particles and grease
  5. Put out the flame and allow the grill to cool
  6. Coat grates with a paper towel or cooking spray to avoid future buildup

Charcoal grill2. Charcoal Grills

Low maintained charcoal grills are more inclined to rust. After each use, and after the grill has fully cooled, remove grates and clear your ash catcher; or take out ashes using a large spoon or garden trowel. Then employ your wire brush to remove any remains.

Extend the long life of your grill with a careful preseason cleaning. Remove each detachable piece, and clean individual parts with warm, soapy water and a wire brush. Allow cooking grates to soak for 15 to 30 minutes before scrubbing. Heat the grill completely for about 15 minutes to burn off any remaining soap residue before using.

Outdoor gas grill3. Propane or Gas Grills

These grills at times have a misleading “clean” knob or a “self-clean” setting, but these settings will burn off only some stuck-on food. In case your grill has a setting like this, use it to preheat before cleaning grates.

Lift the grate and gently clean the barriers above the burners. The barriers could be lava rocks, ceramic briquettes or metal plates. If it is ceramic or rock, use a soft cloth, as these surfaces are more delicate than metal. Employ your wire brush to clean metal plates.

Cleaning grill with Wire Brush4. The Emergency Deep Clean.

In order to remove baked-on food or grease, wrap cooking grates tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil- shiny side out – and put on a heated grill for about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on severity. Allow the grates to cool and then unwrap the foil. If that does not work completely, follow up with a wire brush and warm soapy water.

Follow these simple grill maintenance tips and you will have a trouble free barbecue season this year! So get out there, clean the grill and just don’t forget to use these great grill maintenance tips.

Good maintenance will extend the life and working of the grill.

Read more about how to prolong life of your appliances.




At HomeWarrantyReviews.com, we strive harder to bring you honest articles that help you decide in buying home warranty plans from over 90+ companies listed with us and over 25 thousand reviews to skim through. This article is all about annual savings from home warranty plans.

Now given for a fact, all of us would like to have a great deal, be it on any day (not only on Memorial Day or Thanksgiving or Christmas, gotcha!). So we decided to help you make an informed decision and save you dollars which could obviously prolong and protect your budget for unforeseen circumstances.

Annual Savings From Home Warranty Plans

Here are ways to Estimate Home Maintenance Costs and it’s good to know Which Appliances Break Most Oftenwhen you plan to buy an optimal home warranty as per your needs. And we’ve also got a free get quote tool for you to know what’s best in your area. Why don’t you give it a spin!

Choosing The Right Home Warranty

From $70 being shelled out to a repair executive to the individual appliances consuming more than $200 at one go, you could save plenty of dollars if you knew how to choose the right Home Warranty Plan.

Firstly, a homeowner with a new place to crash doesn’t need a home warranty, you’re covered by the builder’s insurance policy for up to a year. Then there’s life expectancy for the new appliances, so you could safely assume that it’s not gonna burn a hole in your pocket for the first few years. The danger mark is when one approaches the 4 year tenure and upwards of it.

Secondly, assume that your home is over 12 years old and isn’t maintained at scheduled intervals (read it as faulty appliances, leaky pipeline, paint fading, shabby interiors, you get the picture!), then even if you have the most amazing home warranty plan on the planet, your claims could get rejected. Home warranty companies seek for schedules of maintenance and keep in mind that not everything is covered and that the service executive could also charge the deductible and not get the appliance working, crazy right? It’s more likely to boil down to the individual state of affairs and policy-to-policy variations. (Clauses, subclauses and more!).

If you’re not covered under a policy at this juncture, then the regular service executive charges something around $70 per hour, also keep in mind that you’ll be charged for extra hours. You’d definitely want to think if you want to repair the appliance or replace the appliance, most would stick to the later option.

Lastly, here lies the category of pivotal importance. The sweet spot of 4 to 10 years during which every homeowner must have a home warranty policy. Now, let me tell you why. Among all the claims, the most sought after one is the HVAC control system. The service costs can vary from as low as $80 to as high as $900, in extreme cases. The average costs hover within the price bracket of $200 to $400. And now this should get you thinking, if one appliance service repair is costing that much, then how about the remaining appliances in your home! We’ve still got the next sought after claim- water heaters, averaging again around $300 for each service repair, and adding more to the list are- swimming pools/spas, garage doors, plumbing, furnaces, washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers and other miscellaneous appliances, which might potentially need a service. Thus, the individual average price of each appliance can shoot over $200 respectively. (That’s a Roadkill if you ask me!)

At this juncture, on a yearly basis, one can expect that at least two of the home appliances could breakdown & give you headaches which you never knew existed! Add to that the service executive’s cut, the cost of the replaced part and you’ll see yourself frowning. Whereas, the average price of one comprehensive home warranty policy is around $600, lesser than getting HVAC control system alone repaired on your own. But, if you choose wisely you’ll cover a lot of other appliances and potentially save a minimum of $1500 to $2000 in a given year. Isn’t that a pretty cool figure to save any day?

Home Warranty Benefits 

So this is why we’re all here folks, to know why Home Warranty plans are beneficial to us, in our day-to-day activities. Here’s a list of comprehensive pointers for us to ponder over-

  1. Protection against unexpected repair costs on home appliances
  2. Comprehensive protection covered in your neighborhood
  3. Expect high workmanship and professionalism, the best in business
  4. Just a call away to sort the issues at hand
  5. Most important appliances are covered in a standard policy
  6. Unlimited services and easy claim process for hassle-free operation
  7. Provides continuous protection by yearly renewals
  8. Attract first time buyers, if you plan to sell
  9. Amount of time saved can be greatly used for other activities
  10. Peace of mind for sure

Better Safe Than Sorry

The bottomline is, if you’re a homeowner falling under the 4 to 10 years age bracket, then home warranties are going to be most beneficial as elucidated. We would also urge you to search for best companies locally listed under your ZIP and find the right choice for a home warranty plan by comparing the different plans offered by top 10 companies. If you fall into other categories, fret not, and make an informed decision by checking out our extensive collection of reviews, get online, be in the know, it’s that simple! Internet is the information superhighway afterall. Happy home warranty hunting everyone!

 




A patio is an ideal place for basking in the sun on those lazy Sunday brunches or happening evening barbeques, wining and dining. A patio can add that special something to your home, at the same time adding value to your property.

A patio is a outdoor space for dining or recreation that adjoins a residence and is often paved and well decorated.
According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, patios were among the top 10 features that buyers want in a new house. More than half of surveyed buyers said that they would be willing to pay a premium for a house with a patio.

Creating a patio for your home can be engaging and rewarding. You can choose to do it yourself or hire a professional. A patio is one of the most flexible places and you can design it the way you want.

Creating a Patio

Five Easy Steps To Laying A Patio

Don’t worry if you’ve never done any hard landscaping before, as our simple guide will lead you through each step of the process. We chose to use slate paving, but the choice of materials are endless (from sandstone to york stone to concrete), with something to suit every budget.

Step 1

Measure the area you want and dig it at least to 15 cms deep to allow space for mortar and slabs.

Step 2

Shovel in three inches of crushed stones for base and make it even. This can be done manually or you can rent a machine tamper.

Step 3

Lay the slabs down and check if you’re happy with the arrangement. Start from the house or a wall or fence if there is one.

Step 4

Make a mortar mix from five parts building sand to one part cement or use ready-made mortar mix and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Create a bed of mortar 5 to 8 cm deep and lay slabs on it leaving 1 cm gaps in between for grouting. Tap down the slabs with a lump hammer. Check with a spirit level as you go to ensure the slabs are level or maintaining the fall away from the house. Leave the mortar to set for at least 24 hours or a few days.

Step 5

Fill in the spaces between the slabs with a mix of three parts building sand to one part cement (or a ready-made mix) using a pointing trowel. If you get any of the mix on the slabs; remove it. Allow to dry for a few days.

A patio is incomplete without elegant furniture, lighting to suit the mood and yes some plants to add some color. Here are some ideas on how you can decorate a patio –

Furniture

Choose furniture which fits the space you have created in the patio else you end up having no space for a table or chair. You have a wide variety of materials to choose from plastic to wood or iron. Resin, a kind of plastic is the best choice for outdoor furniture. It is weather-resistant and doesn’t absorb heat in the summer and are low on maintenance.

Lighting

patio5
Lighting It sets the mood and makes your patio a much sought after place. Embedded lights on stairs can help you watch your steps during dark nights. Here are few lighting options to consider. Energy efficient lighting tips can be found in the articles section.

Chinese lanterns add glamour and ambience to any space, also are very economical. Make sure to shop for sturdy lamps as cheaper ones get worn out easily.

Flood lights are the best for lighting a patio especially when they are positioned correctly and makes the place look much brighter. But these consume lots of electricity therefore can be used as an alternative.

Solar lights  If you are a Mother Nature lover then yes. Even if not then yes, solar lights are the most viable option. These lights tend to sit low to the ground and serve as perimeter lighting, which is perfect for the path to the patio.  Solar lights can be a great option for and can be chosen from variety of styles and illuminates for 15 hours  and of course saves on your electricity bill.

Plants

Spruce up your patio with potted plants, ferns and shrubs and plants which thrive well in your area. You can get creative with the plants you choose and experiment with different colors and texture and use pots of different shape and size. You can also create a pool or a fountain to get closer to the Mother Nature and to add that special touch.

To enjoy your Patio in all weather you have to shield the place. Consider adding a retractable awning or umbrella to your patio space. The shade that these coverings offer will allow you and your family to enjoy your patio comfortably regardless of the weather.

Patio Shades

Retractable awning: This modern shelter allows you to shade your porch and keep it dry during a storm, but you can also retract it to enjoy the sun’s rays.

Sail shades: They’re flexible enough that you can attach them to anything from the side of a house to a tree, and they come in many sizes, shapes and colors to fit any budget and style.

patio2Umbrella 

One can get carried away by the variety of umbrellas to choose from  Auto Tilt Patio Umbrella, Offset Patio Umbrella, 9 Market Umbrella etc. Back-porch classic is both decorative and functional and will give diners a shady respite during mealtimes. For nighttime parties, drape garden lights inside an umbrella for added ambiance.

You can add a fireplace and a barbeque and decorate the place with artifacts to add personality to your space and your patio is done. Home warranty might not be able to cover your patio but insurance will.




Warranties for newly built homes guarantee to replace or repair certain elements of the home, if needed, within a definite time. If you are bearing mind a new home warranty, it is significant to realize what it covers, how to make a claim, and the procedure for resolving disputes with the builder or warranty company.

Protection for your Newly Built Home

Home warranty for new homes

A new home warranty can offer peace of mind for homeowners, assuring that if something goes wrong in the early stages of a home’s life, it will be covered. Many appliance service contracts sold to homeowners are backed by the builder; others are procured by the builder from an independent company that presumes liability for certain claims. For added protection, homeowners may pay for coverage on their own from third party warranty companies in order to supplement the coverage their builder offers. The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs want builders to buy a third-party warranty as a way to defend buyers of new homes with FHA or VA loans.

New Home Warranty: What’s Covered?

New home warranties usually offer limited coverage on workmanship and materials relating to different components of the home, such as heating, windows and air conditioning (HVAC), electrical systems, and plumbing for definite periods. A warranty also normally defines how repairs will be made.

The length of coverage differs depending on the component of the house. Coverage is offered for workmanship and materials on most components all through the first year. Coverage for plumbing, electrical systems and HVAC is usually two years. Some builders offer coverage for up to 10 years for “major structural defects,” sometimes defined as problems that make a home insecure and put the owner in danger. For example, a roof that could crumple is a “major structural defect.”

Nearly all warranties for newly built homes, however, do not cover costs an owner may acquire as an outcome of a major construction defect on warranty repair, similar to the expense of having to move out of one’s home while repairs are being made. Nor do they in general cover:

  • Household appliances
  • Small cracks in brick, tile, cement or drywall
  • Components covered under a manufacturer’s warranty

To know more about coverage, look into what’s typically covered in a home warranty plan.

Filing a Claim

If you have a flaw in your new home that may be covered by your warranty, first study the warranty or service contract cautiously to ensure that your problem is covered. Give particular concentration to the length of specific types of coverage.Home Warranty Claim Form

Specialists suggest that its owners pursue the matter with both the original builder and the home warranty company. The builder possibly will defer to the warranty company, but at least they have been alerted.

Homeowners must make a list of the troubles that they want to get resolved and should make sure that the problems are covered under the home warranty. Pay attention to the “performance standard” section of the document, which records common problems and explains to what extent the builder is liable for fixing them.

Next, file your claim as per the instructions in your warranty, and put your application for repair in writing, even though the company offers a hotline for urgent needs. Ask for a return receipt, and keep a record of your correspondence and conversations with the company. Probabilities are your claim will be managed to your satisfaction, but if a dispute occurs, it’s good to have a record of your dealings with the builder and the warranty company.

In best-case scenario, the builder or the home warranty company will fix the problem. If issues continue, however, the problem could go to settlement.

Protect Yourself from Future Problems

One way to safeguard against future problems is to appoint a home inspector to inspect the house before taking custody. Many new homeowners think that they don’t need a home inspection since municipal building inspectors have signed off on the work done in the home; the house is new; and it is covered by a home warranty.

New homeowners should also bear in mind to keep a maintenance file comprising documentation of everything done on the home, including regular and special maintenance. The paperwork will come in handy if a claim is required.

In filing a claim, homeowners must keep in mind to be persistent. It may take a while. In the end, diligence pays.

New Home Warranty: Disputes

Frequently, a dispute occurs between a homeowner and a builder or third party company over whether a defect is covered or whether repair was finished appropriately. Many warranties provide for meditation of disputed warranty claims on newly built homes, followed by compulsory binding arbitration. In meditation, a unbiased third party – a mediator – assists the homeowner and the company resolve the problem by making the discussion easy between both parties. It is up to the homeowner and the company to settle an agreement.

In case meditation does not work to resolve the dispute, it is possible that the homeowner would be needed to put forward any claim to arbitration, instead of going to the court. In this procedure, an “arbitrator” or panel makes a decision or award once the participants present their cases. Some warranties let the homeowners pick an arbitrator from a list acceptable to the builder or the third-party warranty company.

Arbitration is less formal than court. Most warranties want that both parties obey the arbitrator’s decision, without appeal. If your loan is funded through the FHA or VA and you file a claim against the third-party warranty company, you can opt between arbitration and going to court. If you pick arbitration, realize that you are bound by the verdict.

Costs of a New Home Warranty

Home Savings

Even though arbitration is normally less pricey than going to court, home owners can anticipate shelling out several thousand dollars so as to take their claim through the process, based on the complexity of the arbitration. Understand your warranties carefully to decide what arbitration outlays or costs the homeowner is liable for and what expenses the builder must pay.

A few companies provide homeowners the option of arbitration or going to court. Sometimes builders disburse all costs related with arbitration to support a homeowner to agree not to take the issue to court.

You can also use our absolutely cool tool to get a free home warranty quote!

More Information on New Home Warranty

To discover more about warranties on newly built homes, get in touch with your state or local builder’s board. If you have loan insured by FHA, call the closest U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development field office for additional information. In case you have a VA loan, you can contact the nearest VA office.

Further, you can also compare and choose home warranty companies depending upon your requirements.




Do you fear the onset of your monthly energy bill but discover yourself unwilling – or unable – to pay out the money required transforming your home into a self-sustainable abode? Good news: There are some convenient, simpler ways to save energy at home – and money.

Save Energy at Home

It’s no big shock that energy costs money, but some people welcome their bills each month with surprise when they see how much their utilization is costing them. According to the U.S Department of Energy (DOE), the average family uses about $1,600 per year on utility bills alone. Anything you can do to preserve energy puts some of that money back in your pocket.

Many people are concerned about effects of energy on environment. Sometimes energy issues may seem complex, pricey and out of our control. The truth, however, is that conservation and efficiency are the most useful ways to reduce energy usage.

Your collective efforts will make for real changes in our energy independence, our financial security and our actions to lessen global climate changes.

These days, it’s more of a win-win than ever to save on energy. Every time you lower your utility bills, you put more money back in your back account. And lesser energy bills also means less energy consumed, which means less harmful emissions released into our environment. And what makes this an even better deal is you don’t have to renovate your home to make it more energy efficient. There are many simple, effective things that you can do, with little investment and little or no DIY experience, to save energy at home.

Let’s take a look at 10 simple ways you can save energy at home.

1. Have an Energy Audit

Have an Energy Audit Performed

Before doing anything else, learn how your house is working at present. An Energy Audit (or Home Performance Review) will provide you an assessment of you energy use, insulation levels, air leakage and mechanical systems like cooling, ventilation, and heating). Offered through utility companies and private contractors, an Energy Audit may include numerous diagnostics, such as a infrared camera scan, blower door test, and a combustion appliance test. The outcomes can help you fix on what energy improvements to do first, and which ones can wait.

2. Use Your Thermostat

Programmable ThermostatTurning up the thermostat during the summer and turning it down during winter are great tactics for putting your thermostat to work for your wallet. The DOE suggests setting the furnace at 68 degrees and the air conditioner at 74 to keep your house comfy while reducing your energy costs and decreasing the demand on energy grid. A programmable thermostat allows you make the house cooler or hotter during the times when you are not in home. This lessens the temperature difference between the exterior and interior of your house, which in line reduces loss of energy. In case you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the existing unit yourself.

3. Seal Air Leaks

Home Caulk

A huge amount of energy is spent when inside air (heated or cooled) escapes to the outside through leaks in walls, windows, doors and attics. Pipes, wires and ducts that enter the attic must have caulking or foam sealant applied – insulation is not sufficient! Doors and windows must have tight weather stripping and caulking, and wall penetrations need to be caulked or sealed. Sealing joints in duct work with approved foil tape or mastic can increase the effectiveness of your heating and cooling systems by carrying heated or cooled air where you want it

4. Energy Star Appliances

Energy Star certified aplliancesBuy Energy Star products as these identifies energy-efficient appliances which include dryers, washers,refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, computers, room air conditioners, and many more. To get the Energy Star, they must meet severe energy efficiency and reliability criteria set by the US Environmental Protection Agency or the US Department of Energy. For warranty of all these appliances check out our Home Warranty Company Reviews site.

Since Energy Star appliances use less energy, these products save you funds on your electricity bill and aid protect the environment by causing fewer harmful emissions from power plants. The point here is to not increase the use of these items just because they are energy savers. This is much the same as idea low-fat food: consuming more beats the purpose.

5. Control Hot Water Use

Control Hot Water Use at HomeA standard showerhead can use up to 5.5 gallons of water per minute. Based on your mix of hot/cold water, that means a 10 minute shower could make use of 40 gallons of hot water! Latest low-flow showerheads are available which delivers a high pressure spray at less than 2 gallons per minute. You not only save the energy to heat all that water, you save the water, too. Don’t forget to turn down your water heater to 120 degrees, and wash clothes in cold water.

6. Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

Energy efficient light bulbA quick and easy way to lessen your energy use is to substitute existing incandescent lights with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights. As per General Electric (NYSE:GE), compact fluorescent bulbs makes use of two-thirds less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs, and last up to 10-times longer.

GE reports that employing a 13-watt compact fluorescent instead of a 60-watt incandescent will result in a $30 savings in energy costs over the life of a bulb. In spite of the bulbs that you use, turn them off when you go away from room. For garages, laundry rooms, basements and other little-used areas, think about installing timers that automatically turn off the lights after a predetermined amount of time – just if you forget to shut them off.

Ceiling Fan Energy Star® Approved7. Ceiling Fans

Turn your ceiling fan on and use them properly. As per Energy Star, a voluntary labeling program sponsored by the DOE and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ceiling fans must be set to spin counter clockwise in the summer, which pulls hot air up to the ceiling and away from the living space. During winters, reverse the setting so the fans blow the hot air down.

8. Home Electronics

DVD players, stereos, kitchen appliances, televisions and other plugged-in appliances draw a little amount of power when turned off. Plasma televisions and large LCD use up to 400 watts of energy and about 4 watts when not in use. Make use of the surge suppressor to turn them completely off when not in use, or unplug these items until you actually need them.

9. Use Your Surroundings

Trees save EnergyStrategically placed trees can help to cut your heating and cooling costs. During the summer, trees provide shade and during winter they provide a windbreak. Placing large deciduous trees in the right places can decrease cooling costs up to 25%, as per U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). These trees must be planted on the south and west sides of your home and properly positioned to shade hard surfaces. Because they lose their leaves in winter, they permit the sun to warm your house. Evergreen trees planted on the north side of your home will help to guard the house from cold winds in every season.

10. Make Windows More Efficient

Even if you seal windows properly, window glass is a thin barrier against outside temperatures. If you can pay for it, set up new storm windows in your home. Storm windows reduce temperature loss by sealing leaks and making a dead airspace between window panes. Though installation is pricey, storm windows have a fairly short return on investment (about 10 years).

There are arrays of solutions to save energy. You can all save by changing your habits like remembering to turn off lights and start to see a difference in bills

==>Click here to get the Quote for Home Warranty.




Building insurance is a type of insurance most people don’t know enough about. This is the cover that provides for dealing with storm damage, accidents, malicious damage and a range of other things most people understandably prefer not to think about at all if they can help it. Building insurance is a type of “catchall” insurance, which covers damage to buildings which can run into very heavy costs for owners. So how do i insure a building? Read this article to get clear insight about building insurance.

Insure a Building

Buildings and risk management

This is a very versatile type of insurance, and it needs to be. Building damage can include some extremely difficult, capital-intensive issues that owners have to deal with quite regularly. It’s a form of investment protection, very common in commercial properties, to deal with the risks of businesses. If you own several million dollars worth of building, you need to know you’re properly covered.

The fact is that any type of building ownership includes a lot of basic risk management by definition. If you own rental properties, you’ll be well aware of the possibilities of damage from various sources, and the fact that premises really need to be maintained. Damage has to be fixed, and if that damage isn’t adequately covered, it’s money out of pocket upfront, a loss in any terms unless you have a very good homeowners insurance policy.

That’s not good business practice, and it’s exactly what building insurance is designed to deal with. For homeowners, the issues may be different, but the principle is the same. If you’re paying off a mortgage, and the budget is looking a bit fragile, the last thing you need is building damage running into thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. That whole scenario has to be covered, and covered properly.

Building insurance basics

The best approach to building insurance is to take a long hard look at your needs and then start shopping around for insurance that covers your needs. You’ll probably be surprised to hear that online buildings insurance is quite easy to get, complete with upfront quotes and adjustable cover, which can be tailored to your needs. This is the new paperless insurance, bureaucracy-free to the extent that it’s possible to be, and it’s getting a lot of market share because it’s highly efficient for both private and business purposes.

The shopping around needs to include:

  • Clear understanding of policy values. This is critical. Ask questions, and you’ll get straight answers. The insurers need informed customers, particularly about cover values. Sales and quality are now inseparable in this highly competitive industry, so expect good offers and good information.
  • Clear policy operation values: How a policy is operated, including outlay on premiums and policy variations is often critical, particularly to people having property portfolios to manage. Efficiency pays off in time and value, so go for the best you can get in these areas.
  • No “grey areas”. Best practice in insurance includes Product Disclosure Statements, and these statements are comprehensive. Read them.

Buildings insurance is easy to get and easy to manage. Stay in front of the issues, and your cover will do the rest.




While appliance protection plans are always a wise purchase if your appliances are older than 4 years, you still have to make sure that you chose a home warranty company that has a good reputation. It has been noticed that companies sometimes deny our claims on vague grounds, often quoting fine print from the contract. One major such reason stated for denying claims is lack of maintenance.

More than a handful of customers have reported that their claims were denied stating that the device was badly maintained. While it is understandable that customers feel cheated, we still have to realize that since contracts explicitly mention that lack of maintenance issues are not covered, we can’t expect the company to repair such devices.

Claim Denials for Right ReasonsHome Warranty Claim

Let’s take a look at a story that happened sometime back. A lady bought a home warranty contract thinking that she’ll get some budget protection. Her appliances were well over 4 years old. She briefly breezed through the contract and assumed that except for damages due to hazards, thefts and some explicitly mentioned perils, every other damage was covered. One day, her radiator breaks down. She informs the home warranty company and they send a tech to take a look at the device.

The tech finds out that the device was never serviced for quite a bit of time which eventually led to its breakdown. He innocently reports to the same to our lady who gets mad at the tech and the company. The lady then decides to write about this incident on the internet without realizing that the fault could be on her part. She did not get her devices serviced nor did she read the contract carefully. The company’s reputation suffered due to her carelessness.

Claim Denials for Wrong Reasons

Now let’s take a look at another story. Yet another lady bought a home warranty contract from a company that was not really famous nor did it have a good reputation. She paid her premium and she was a good housekeeper who regularly got her appliances serviced. She turned to her warranty company when her refrigerator malfunctioned. This company then sends over a tech who diagnoses the issue to be one caused due to lack of maintenance. The lady was distraught. She was sure that the issue was something else but what choice did she have? The company in question here, operated without ethics and refused to repair a damage that was legit. This incident too leaves the lady furious and in a position where she would definitely bad mouth the company.

So you see, like a coin with two sides, the home appliance warranty industry too has a good side and a bad side. There are cases where genuine claims were denied just so that the company can make a profit and there were cases where the denial was genuine and the customer could just not accept it.

We understand that nobody wants to encounter such unpleasant experiences. We can’t make these warranty companies behave themselves, so what we can do is to make sure that we don’t associate ourselves with companies that have a bad reputation or are fraudulent.

Improve your Claim Approval Rates

Here’s a list of things you can do to avoid any disputes and conflicts

  • Always, we repeat ALWAYS pick a company that has a good reputation. Consider multiple options, read online reviews, talk to your friends and family, visit the company’s office if possible before you zero in on a company.
  • Never ignore the documents. Always read the policy booklet and the contract thoroughly. You can get someone to look at it as well, just to be on the safer side. Before you sign, make sure that you understand how the plan works and what is excluded and included in the coverage.
  • Pick a company that has a round the clock customer support.
  • Some companies recommend a home inspection prior to signing the contract. They do so, so that pre-existing issues can be detected. If the company does not conduct an inspection, it could be a potential problem. In future, they may deny your claim saying that it was a pre-existing issue. To save yourself, get your home inspected by a professional inspector even if the warranty company does not recommend one.

The bottom Line

We are a team of likeminded people who built HomeWarrantyReviews.com to provide genuine feedback about the industry to its customers, so we are not here to praise the industry or cover-up their mistakes. In the time that we spent here, which is over 9 years, we have come to realize the following:

  • Not all feedback and stories provided by customers are completely true
  • Not all companies are rip-offs
  • Most of the unpleasant incidents reported  occur due to a lack of understanding between the customer and the warranty company.
  • Fraudulent companies exist and one must practice caution so that they don’t end up being cheated.
  • Good experiences are often unreported.

If you keep all these points in mind, we’re sure that your experiences with the home warranty industry will be a pleasant one. Cheers!




May 20, 2014: A fast growing home service contract company, Sensible Home Warranty has announced that the company has closed down its operations once and for all. The company, reported to have its main office in New York made the declaration through their website announcing that they were shuttering their services.

“To our loyal customers and dear friends:
It is with great regret that we must notify you that Sensible Home Warranty has shuttered its operations. We wish you all the best of luck and thank you for your years of support.” – read the announcement on the official website of the veteran warranty company.

Growing discontent among customers

For the past several months, customers of Sensible Home Warranty have been reporting instances of displeasure and dissatisfaction with the services they received from the company. Despite the fact that the company has been functioning for more than a half decade, Sensible Home Warranty failed to build a sustainable business.

According to customers, the company repeatedly failed to process claims and provide adequate service. The latest reviews about the company revealed that the company frequently denied claims on vague grounds. It is worth noting that the company had mostly positive reviews in its early years. It is not clear what caused the downfall.

Sensible Home Warranty

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) shows that over 1811 complaints were filed against them during the last 3 years of which 1037 complaints were filed during the last three months. Furthermore, it was revealed that the company had been banned in three states.

Following the announcement of their closing, customers of Sensible Home Warranty have expressed shock and betrayal through various review sites and social media. One irate customer expressed her disappointment and stated that she felt cheated as she had purchased a long term plan from the company. The customer had been trying to contact the company regarding a claim for several weeks when the announcement of the company’s closing came through.

Did Sensible Home Warranty deserve this Fate?

Despite some bad PR around, the company did have a loyal base of satisfied customers who vehemently said that their services were exceptional. Some even expressed their sadness at the news of them closing down. This makes us want to believe that in spite of what the reviews on the internet say about such companies, home warranty is one industry were misunderstandings are common leading to an unpleasant interaction between the companies and their customers. Like many, a company which succumbed to infamy, Sensible too may have been judged badly.

As customers all over the nation reel in shock from the news, the company has requested that customers direct inquiries to [email protected] until further announcements are made. The company has been unavailable for a statement.

UPDATE June 26, 2014: ABC News covered a news story on this topic. According to them, you can collect refunds from the State Dept. of Insurance if you are in Arizona. Other states may or may not have such a provision.

 

What Choices Consumers Have Now?

It is not easy to recover your losses since home warranty companies are loosely regulated. Here are your choices:

  1. Make Sure You Have Adequate Coverage – First and foremost, it is important to make sure your appliances and HVAC units are protected. Since you no longer have the coverage, you should find a reputable home warranty company on our site, request a quote and then buy a home protection plan. Make sure you are covered from day one, by showing them proof of coverage from the now defunct company.
  2. Recover Your Losses – Contact your State Insurance Department and find out if they can recover your costs from the company. Some States do require companies to put down deposits, so if you are lucky, you will be paid from those reserves. The other option you can pursue is to hire a lawyer and go after this company’s assets while the company is still going through the bankruptcy process.

UPDATE 09/26/14:

Here’s an update on this news. The Nevada Division of Insurance is trying to reach out to customers of Sensible Home Warranty in Nevada who have unpaid claims against the company. All customers who fall into this category are requested to file a Proof of Claim form to the organization on or before 26 March, 2014. The Commissioner for Insurance will be evaluating the forms received for granting approval. The Division does not guarantee that a fixed percentage of claims will be paid, they have also stated that the funds available for the program are limited.

For more information, check the Nevada DOI press release.

 




Premium Home Warranties or a Deductible Home Warranties? Should I include a Home Warranty contract or not? These are just some of the many questions that you are to deal with before purchasing a home.

Buying Home Warranty Intelligently

You may have done a CIA level inspection of your home-to-be, but sometimes despite it, there is no telling when, why or how a machine will break down and force you to interrupt your everyday chores. Isn’t it a nightmare when you are forced to wait for days to simply wash your clothes or dishes? We don’t want a piling heap of clothes in our living rooms or even a stinking kitchen for that matter. Because with today’s employment demands it is hard and even close to impossible to manage work alongside home chores. So without your appliances to lend you a hand, you may never catch up on your housework.

Stop-Home-Warranties-Problems

 

So what happens if they break down?! The effective solution would be to use a home warranty contract to ensure a quick and reliable way to fix them in time, without coming in between your everyday schedules.

Buying Home Warranties are one such intelligent solution to your problems. Given how crucial it is, we want to cover all the mistakes people usually make while buying Home Warranties. In giving you a heads up, we hope to help avoid frustration, as well as cover all topics before an actual machine crisis ensues.

Here is a list of mistakes a consumer might make when choosing a Home Service Contract-

# 1 – Assuming Home Warranties Are Covered While Buying Properties

When purchasing a home, make sure you are buying from a builder who has covered the Home Warranty costs. While some states make the payment of warranty compulsory, otherwise, builders don’t usually cover the Warranty prices along with the price of the property/home. And in the states where it is compulsory, the home builders register with their respective regulator, thus escaping the need to make sure your warranty is paid. However, this is how it works only in the states where payment of warranty is compulsory. Hence, always make sure your builder is charging you the warranty along with the price of your home. If not, you may be falsely charged while not really availing a Home Warranty contract.

# 2 – Skipping The Inspection Of Your Home-To-Be

Not inspecting can be one of the first and worst mistakes you will ever make while buying a home. It should be obvious that home sellers have a tendency to hide defects within the property! Hence, always schedule a home inspection before purchasing a home which could avoid multiple costs later. If you are unfamiliar with the way a machine works or are ill-equipped to do so, rely on someone observant and knowledgeable in this aspect. Hence, with your own interests at heart, an inspection before moving in, i.e., at least prior to a month, have the home and its appliances inspected thoroughly.

If not the first time, do hire a professional Home Inspector before your warranty plan expires. Hence 12 or 24 months into use, some of the appliances might be showing signs of defect which are unrecognizable for a normal person. This will reduce the risk of ever having to spend either for labor and material costs since the defects would’ve been repaired when it has started to show the first signs. Also, since this will cover all the upcoming four seasons, we recommend you always hire a professional Home Inspector, at the expiration of your Warranty term if not at the time of delivery.

# 3 – Not Reviewing Your Home Warranty Contract

This can lead to disasters in terms of price, be it manual labor or material cost. Some Warranty companies don’t cover all the peripheral prices which are mentioned in the contract, which is why not reviewing a contract can lead to miscommunication between the buyers and the builders. While most plans cover all the appliances within, some might not cover the external structures. And if the model contract doesn’t cover the conventional structures, you can contact the contractor to add coverage to other appliances of your wish.

# 4 – Not Choosing The Right Plan

Since the market is flooded with hundreds of home warranty companies and hence, a mind-numbing number of Home Warranty Plans to pick from, it is all the more difficult to choose a Home Warranty plan that suits your home best.

It should be obvious that a Home Warranty plan used for a newly built home won’t necessarily be the right pick for a property that is a decade old. From HomeWarrantyReviews, you can use our Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) to complain or highlight a company based on your previous experience and also compare Home Warranty companies. This will give you a better insight as to which company could be the right pick for you. Since the CRP complaints can be reviewed by the companies themselves, they can immediately rectify it. Also don’t forget to read our reviews, checking out our Home Warranty Appliance Maintenance Calculator in order to make the right choice.

# 5 – Not Researching Home Warranty Companies

Sometimes after using our Home Appliance Maintenance Calculator, you might find that Home Maintenance cost could be more without a Home Warranty or vice-versa. Using an unbiased guide on Home Warranty plans which is not sponsored by any Home Warranty company, in particular, can help you give a balanced view without misleading you to purchase from a company. For such an unbiased opinion, it is always important to do your own research to evaluate your needs and costs before buying.

Our Home Warranty Appliance Maintenance Calculator calculates as well as compare the costs of repairing with and without a Home Warranty contract. This will hence give you a complete picture regarding whether or not you should buy a certain plan or a certain part of the plan.

Is That It When It Comes To Home Warranties?

Yes and No. As a leading platform for all of your home warranty needs, including getting your fresh quotes in a jiffy to using our knowledge resource of a wealth of articles and the free tools like that of a home maintenance calculator, we always create value for our readers.

So we always advise our readers to be cautious of not reading the fine print in the home warranty contracts, and we’re also against having predetermined opinions on certain companies or not researching enough on the new companies who’ve joined a long list of companies and who yearn to provide a quality service at your doorstep.

Go ahead and give our features a shot!




Home warranty coupons and deals:
02/17/14 Update

As of now, many of these coupons have expired. However you can still get a price quote for home warranty on our website. This will be a free quote and there is no obligation to buy

10/11/08 Update

Choice Home Warranty is offering 25% discount on premium and $15 off of service call fee. Use the code “HOLIDAY25” here – http://choicehomewarranty.com/quote-start.php

Coupon expires on 12/26/2008

Check out our reviews section for Choice home warranty reviews

11/18/08 Update

Choice Home Warranty is offering 15% discount on premium and $15 off of service call fee. Use the code “15OFF” here – http://choicehomewarranty.com/quote-start.php
Check out our reviews section for Choice home warranty reviews

10/17/08 Update :

We found this discount deal on deal catcher forums – National Home Protection is offering 20% off, and $50 Gift card

Sign up for a new home warranty and get 20% off your monthly bill, $45 service calls (usually $60) & a free $50 Home Depot Gift card. Offer expires 10/31.

Use Promotional Code SAVE20 Check out our reviews section for National Home Protection home warranty reviews




HomeWarrantyReviews.com stands by its commitment to help users buy home warranties intelligently. And here’s some breaking news that we believe we’re the first to report on Delta Home Protect-

The Arizona Department of Insurance has received one or more complaints from Arizona consumers regarding Delta Home Protect. Thus, the Department of Insurance is investigating the matter.

Delta Home Protect (DHP) is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The company claims to be licensed in 45 states in the USA. Furthermore, the company claims to offer its service programs providing timely and professional assistance to its customers in the time of need and that they work diligently with numerous licensed and certified contractors to ensure peace of mind as they understand the importance of customer satisfaction.

delta home protect not licensed in arizona

However, HomeWarrantyReviews.Com has an insider scoop from the Arizona Department of Insurance which strongly advises all of the consumers of the state of Arizona to exercise extreme caution while doing any financial transactions related to home warranties with DHP.

HomeWarrantyReviews.Com encourages our readers to report any solicitation from an unlicensed home service contract company to the regulatory agency covering such contracts in their respective states. Being proactive will not only help our readers avoid disreputable companies but also help state’s regulators catch unlicensed companies faster. Doing this will help other homeowners, home buyers, realtors, and service repairman by bringing greater awareness about such pressing issues like unlicensed home service contract companies.

In this regard, it is good to skim through our list of home warranty companies which are out of business already. We maintain this list of closed companies in order to help our readers avoid being conned by companies that do not follow the rules. We welcome your feedback, including questions. Readers who need help will be contacted if an email address is provided or addressed here on the site in a comment if no email address is given.




As a landlord, legal responsibility is a bigger issue for you. You need to guard yourself against the losses that can potentially crop up to your properties and in general financial health. What if your occupant is hurt on the rental possessions? You want to be sure that if you are prosecuted, you have the adequate insurance to lend you a hand.

Insurance Landlord needs

As a landlord, you should guard your income stream and that’s your rental income. If the structure is adequately spoiled then it is not possible for the renter to dwell in your property, so you require a protection to your rental income so as to meet your obligations, together with the mortgage on the property, if any. This is where you have to reflect carefully on what your exact needs are and purchase the right coverage.

Take heart! While it may sound scary, insurers have previously designed policies for the landlord’s requirements. Always remember that there will be a dissimilarity in these policies, so you will have to verify the fine print and choose the one that suits your situation. By shopping around, you will get a better idea of what is obtainable in coverage and at what price.

Essential Insurance for Landlords

There are some forms of insurance you can take to make your life simpler and less of a burden. Here is a list of essential insurances that a landlord must have:

Get a Home Warranty

Landlords most likely take issue with this one, as it appears to take money out of their pockets-especially those with the ability to do repair work themselves. However, you can draw a better class of tenant if they recognize that there’s a warranty in place. (i.e., they won’t have to hunt you down and request you to come by to make repairs). Besides, it will free you up to truly manage your belongings as an owner rather than just a handyman. To end with, a home warranty policy will pay for itself with one or two repairs.

To get an estimate of home warranty costs for your rental properties, visit our home warranty price quote section

Landlord House Insurance

If you possess a home then you likely know the significance of ensuring that it is properly protected. Having the correct insurance for your property is a good step towards making sure that you have the guard you require. Landlord house insurance is essential for anyone who possesses a home. The key to home insurance policies is ensuring that you receive the best price for your insurance.

Below is a list of ways by which you can decrease the rate of your insurance policy.

  • Security System– If you set up a right security system that can sense fires or thieves, then you can find a reduced rate on your insurance policy.
  • Increase Deductible– You can ensure to pay a lower amount for your insurance plan by increasing your deductible payment. The deductible is the payment that you are required to pay once you make a claim on your insurance plan. Make sure that you find a good deductible rate for yourself.
  • Remove Potential Hazards– If you stay in an area that is bounded by trees then likely you have a high risk of a fire occurring. By clearing the trees you may be able to save money on the insurance. Based on the circumstances you may have to shell out a higher premium for your contents house insurance.
  • Find the Right Lender– The best way to save money on your landlord house insurance is to gaze around. Start a search online and hunt for different companies that provide reasonable insurance for your home. You can obtain free online quotes for house insurance from different companies but make sure that you get comprehensive quotes for your insurance. Get the details of the coverage and don’t be fooled by any company as the offer really low prices because they normally have high deductibles and bad coverage.

Landlords Contents Insurance

Many landlords believe that they do not require any insurance for the contents in their buildings. They hold the impression that these contents are taken care of by the building insurance they procured. However, that is not the actual case. To get the contents covered, they will have to spend extra in landlords’ contents insurance. Some landlords even feel that the contents will be covered by any insurance policy the tenant holds. But the actual fact is that the policies bought by the tenants will only cover possessions of the tenants and not that of the landlord.

If the landlords truly worry about the contents for which they put in a huge amount of money, they must procure landlords contents insurance. In this way, they can expect to get some reimbursement for the items in case they are damaged. Having no insurance for these items will leave them totally destructed if they face any incident causing damages.

Umbrella Insurance Policy

It’s called “umbrella insurance as it is intended to give liability protection beyond when the liability on other policies has been exhausted. Depending on the insurance company, you can obtain an umbrella policy with an extra one to five million in liability protection.

Umbrella Insurance gives an added layer of liability coverage. It’s isn’t just for rich and famous. Whether it’s an incident on your policy or a serious auto accident concerning costly medical bills, you can find yourself liable for damages that exceed the limits on your homeowners, auto or boat policies. A pricey judgment is the last thing you want to be anxious about.

Landlords habitually handle different types of policies, but one of the most significant and frequently unnoticed types of insurance is the umbrella insurance policy.

Consider these factors if you are not sure if you would benefit from procuring umbrella insurance or not.

  • Rentals– Though you carry an independent fire policy for each home, umbrella insurance can help you protect in case your tenant or tenant’s guest are injured on a rental property.
  • Vacant land-Your vacant land can be used by neighborhood children to play. If one is hurt it could result in an expensive lawsuit. In such situation, umbrella insurance can offer additional coverage.

Taking no notice of these insurance policies is not recommended anytime. The consequence of such ignorance could lead to serious losses that will be hard to recover. On the contrary, landlords are strongly suggested to make an investment in such policies that will save them a lot of money in case of any accidents.




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.




Ever wondered what is the difference between home warranty and homeowners insurance ? Are they not same? Let’s find answers for these questions.

While home warranty and home insurance products may come across as same, they are totally different. The coverage, cost, terms and conditions vary greatly. Home insurance is compulsory in some cases whereas home warranty is a recommended choice.

Difference Between Home Insurance And Home Warranty

difference between home warranty and homeowners insurance

Home warranty offers protection for your major appliances, as well as plumbing and electrical units. It covers the cost of repairing or replacing major household appliances in case they break down, provided they meet the terms and conditions of the home service contract.

Home insurance covers your home in the event of damage due to natural calamity or man-made disasters and offers you liability protection from lawsuits in case of a third party involvement. If your neighbor came visiting you and accidentally fell and got injured and decides to sue you, then home insurance will take care of the claims. Home insurance is mandatory if you have a mortgage on your home.

What Does A Home Warranty Contract Cover?

Items covered by a home warranty may vary by company and plan, but typically includes the following items:

  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC)
  • Electrical system
  • Plumbing system
  • Water heater
  • Kitchen appliances such as refrigerator, stove/oven/range, built-in dishwasher, built-in microwave, garbage disposal, built-in trash compactor
  • Clothes washer and dryer
  • Garage door opener
  • Coverage for pools, spas, well pumps and other items may be available for an additional fee.

Benefits Of Home Warranty Coverage

To The Homeowner

  • Placing a claim and getting your appliance repaired is lot more easier.
  • Helps save up huge costs.
  • You can get repaired as many appliances you want provided they are covered.

To The Seller

  • Home may sell faster and at a higher price.
  • Protection from after-sale legal disputes.
  • Increases marketability of home.

To The Buyer

  • Warranty coverage on major systems and built-in appliances.
  • Protects your cash flow.
  • Access to network of qualified service technicians at your fingertips.

Home Insurance

In case of an uncertain event like fire, theft, vandalism, or certain natural disasters, the cost of damages are covered. It also covers your personal items and gives you liability protection. Liability insurance will protect you from lawsuits in the event that someone is injured on your property. Home insurance will only insure your personal items in case they are stolen or ruined in a disaster. Repairs and replacements due to wear and tear are not covered.

What Does A Home Insurance Policy Cover?

The insurance policy varies depending on your state of residence and type of policy, but generally it will cover the following.

  • Structure and contents of the house.
  • Personal property such as indoor and outdoor furniture, clothes and home electronics such as computer, TV, stereo, etc.
  • Jewelry may be covered up to a certain value, or itemized for its full value, or excluded entirely.
  • Living expenses if your home is uninhabitable as a result of a natural disaster.
  • Events like theft, vandalism, fire, windstorm, lightning, hail, falling objects such as a tree.
  • Liability claims such as someone got hurt while in your property and decided to sue you. The policy will take care of it.

Benefits Of Home Insurance

Home is the most prized and cherished possession any individual can have and nobody anticipates damages to this, therefore a home insurance provides you the following benefits when you cover your home.

  • Covers accidental damages to your interiors and exteriors as well.
  • Easy to renew all you have to do is pay the premium on time.
  • Processions are covered regardless of new or old.
  • Assures you peace of mind and gives you a feeling of safety and security.
  • Pays for loss and minor damages like broken glass of a window.

Cost/Pricing For Both

A standard warranty runs $300 to $500 for a year of protection, which covers the cost of repairing or replacing a home’s major systems and appliances. Home sellers typically pick up the tab for the first year of coverage. Extended coverage plans for pools, spas and washers and dryers can be purchased at an extra cost.

Insurance cost varies from state to state and depends on the extent of coverage and the location of the property but a standard insurance can cost any homeowners insurance is between $300 and $1,000.

How To Choose A Home Warranty?

When you are planning to buy a home warranty, make sure that you do some research. Check our home warranty reviews section that provides pricing, comparison, quotes and consumer reviews of all major companies. When you are getting price quotes, inquire to look over a sample policy. Bear in mind to understand the entire policy, together with the fine print.

Another advantage of home warranty policy is that it is transferable. That means when you sell the house the warranty would be passed to the new owner. This has proved to be a well-liked feature amongst home buyers as homes having home warranties are selling at increased prices and in much shorter times. This in itself could make it sensible to get a home warranty policy.

How To Make A Claim?

When a covered appliance breaks down you need to contact your warranty company. A warranty company already has business ties with different service vendors. They will in turn contact a service repairman to come to your home and repair the appliance. The repairman will fix the item or recommend replacing it. The service repairman will bill your warranty company directly, but you have to pay a service charge when the repair person visits your home.

How To Choose Home Insurance?

With any kind of insurance, it is always a good idea to shop around and evaluate benefits and prices as most insurance companies will provide you a policy discount. Ensure you read the policy before writing a check and ask any queries that you have in mind.

So, the conclusion is that home warranty and insurance are complementary to each other. You can choose to protect everything you own, provided you can afford to. Keep in mind that these insurance products do cost a bit more, but compared to the benefits they provide and the peace of mind you get, it seems like a very small amount. Insure your home as well as buy a home warranty all within your budget.

 




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Planning to sell your home and hoping to get top dollar for it? You’ve come to the right place! Selling a home often requires as much thought and consideration as buying one, especially if you are trying to fetch a good price for it. Thankfully, these are a set of pointers you can go through to ensure that you get a good deal. So, sit back, read and get to know how a home can be sold for a great price!

top dollar

Step 1: Research For Top Dollar

Any transaction that involves real estate should be researched well. Selling a home for top dollar is no different. You could begin with finding out what the average market value is for homes in your neighborhood. You could also pick a real estate agent to help you with the sale of property. Real estate agents always stay updated about prices and know the vibe of the crowd.

If you do not want to appoint an agent, you can use the old-school method and gather information from friends and family. You should also do some research on the amenities available in the neighborhood as such matters affect the sales price of your house.

The Internet is also a very good place to begin your research. You can also make use of online portals to list your house. This will give better visibility and might help you get an idea about prices of houses in your neighborhood.

Step 2: Pricing For Top Dollar

Many factors should be considered while pricing your house for sale. Apart from obvious factors like size, amenities, and age of the home, there are factors like facilities in the neighborhood, proximity to schools/hospitals/parks, connectivity, and history of the locality. Again, internet research will help you with this task and probably be worthy of your time for those top dollars of your home. There are online tools which give you an estimate of the sales price of your home after you provide details.

If you have listed your property on an online marketplace, be sure to keep checking in often. Events that happen in your neighborhood like crimes or accidents could adversely affect your listing. Staying updated is key here. Also, unless you fix the right price, a good deal can never happen.

Step 3: Negotiate For Top Dollar

If you have placed an ad for your property in print or online media, there is a good chance that many potential buyers will try to contact you to collect information. These folks are also going to negotiate with you to drop the price. While making a small reduction is fine, dropping the price by a large margin could get the buyer suspicious. He/she will begin to wonder if the house is truly worth top dollars if you drop the price without much fuss. The general trend among sellers is to price the house a little above the market value. That way, even if a buyer makes a request to reduce the price, the deal will still be good.

Like we said before, real estate agents are of huge help when it comes to negotiating. In fact, the entire negotiation can happen with the agent alone leaving you free of the task of having lengthy conversations with the buyer.

Step 4: Add-ons

Everybody loves add-ons, more so when it comes to property. This is a step which is almost guaranteed to increase the selling price of your home. Research has found that a home warranty plan definitely increases the sales price of your house. These plans not only protect your budget, they will also relieve the seller from future disputes. If an appliance in your home fails, the new homeowner will simply contact the warranty provider and not the seller.

You can also put in more shelves or racks to increase storage. Most people are huge fans of ample storage and hence, it could compel people to buy your property. Replacing old appliances will also help sell your home faster.

Step 5: Aesthetics

Nobody wants a house that looks old and spooky. Peeling paint, squeaky doors – in general, anything that looks like the Amityville horror house will be seen as a huge turn-off. It could repel potential buyers. A fresh coat of paint is almost mandatory for the house before it goes on the market. You could also enhance the external appearance of the home by improving the garden (if you have one) or you can add some other landscape detailing. You could also renovate the bathrooms (if they are old) or the kitchen for faster sales. The money you spend on upgrading your home can be reaped back once you sell the property. Trust us, decorating your apartment creatively helps lure in buyers!

Strike A Good Deal For Top Dollar

Unless you use the services of an agent, your home could be in the market for some time. Do not let that prompt you to drop the prices drastically. A good deal will definitely come by. In the meantime, read up on various home maintenance guides to give your home a thorough upkeep. You could also get a home inspection done as a home inspection report is something that potential buyers would want. That’s all! Hope you strike a very good deal!




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.

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Texas is the second largest state in America, regarding the number of people living in it. That means a great number of households that need protection and maintenance. Also, statistics concerning the trends of population evolution are pointing towards growth in the future. Soon, new residences will have to be built to accommodate the growing no. of people. In a state with so many homes, a Home Warranty should be a must. Anything can go wrong and get broken, leaving you with the inability of doing your everyday tasks. Yes, there are companies that take care of these matters, but considering the high number of households that might need their assistance, you may have to wait for a while. As an advice to homeowners, here are five of the most reliable Home Warranty companies in Texas, as of June 2015.

1. The Home Service Club

The most important appliances in your home, in case they malfunction and regardless of their age, will be repaired and handled by the Home Service Club. And in case your appliance cannot be repaired, their solution also foresees a replacement of the malfunctioning device. The company has an extensive network of sub-contractors, meaning that interventions at the client’s house will be done in a short time frame. Customer service is available around the clock, in any day of the week, so you can call them any time you need assistance. Besides phone calling, any customer can access their website in case they need any of the services they provide.

The company is getting great reviews from former clients. They appreciated the short period of solving the matter and the professionalism of technicians. Customers expressed their contentment and stated that company is reliable and trustworthy.

They have two available plans for their services. The Standard plan, which cover some of the most significant appliances and systems within a home. And the Comprehensive plan, which includes almost anything needed in a house, regarding devices and household appliances.

Home Warranty Companies in Texas

2. American Home Shield

A large number of technicians and contractors who compose the American Home Shield team, are ready all the time to take care of any systems or appliances that might get broken in your home. They have built quite a reputation in their extended activity in this branch, earning thousands of satisfied customers, who got their appliances running in the shortest notice.

Customers are happy with the services received from the company, pointing out promptitude, respect and well-trained technicians on the field. Most of them did not wait longer than 24 hours to get their appliances working again, which is extremely important for every homeowner.

Regarding their plans, the company has quite a diversity. The most preferred by clients is the Combo plan, destined to take care of the majority of appliances and systems a house may have, at a very low price. They also offer a customizable Build Your Own Plan, which allows the homeowner to designate his priorities. Shield-Essential takes care of the devices that are most costly to buy and repair. Shield-Plus works the same way as the previous plan, but having a few extras. And Shield-Complete that gathers all the benefits of both of the previous plans, plus a couple of other advantages.

3. Complete Appliance Protection

As the company claims, everything that comes with an outer metal case and gets plugged in, will be covered by their services. They also have a customer service available regardless of day or hours, and there are no fees for calling in each time you have a problem.

Reviews show that customers appreciate the company, some of them using their services for more than 10 years. They appreciate the availability of the customer service, the professionalism with which their issues are treated and the quality of the services.

The Complete Appliance Protection has four plans to offer to their clients. They have the Kitchen and Laundry plan and the Heating and Cooking plan, which both state what their cover in their names. They also have the Full House and Full House Plus plans, with extended covering regarding the type of appliances.

4. Landmark Home Warranty

The services offered by this company regard both homeowners and real estate agents as well. They can take care of any appliance or system that refuses to work properly. Besides the traditional customer service, a client can also visit their website to find out information about plans, services or to become a member. There will also be a call fee of $65, regardless of the plan you chose.

Customers seem to be impressed by the services they receive. They appreciate the high quality of the repairs, fast solving of the matter and reliability at each call for a problem. Being there for the customers and offering the best support is the success recipe for this company.

The company offers four types of plans. Standard, Premier Plus, Value and Deluxe, each having specific coverage and price. From all these, Deluxe is the plan that offers the most coverage and solves most of your issues regarding appliances.

5. Select Home Warranty

Repairs or replacements should never be a worry with the services provided by this company. It doesn’t matter what type of home you have or what appliance gets broken, as long as the terms mentioned in the contract are met, Select Home Warranty will repair it for you. Their network of technicians and contractors is rather large so that they can be at your place in no time.

Customers are quite happy with the services and promptitude, claiming their issues were solved in a relatively short period. Also, they mentioned that the quality of the services is also reliable. Still, there were some customers wishing for some more coverage in the company’s plans.

They have three types of plans available. Bronze Care, Gold Care and Platinum Care, and each plan has a specified coverage and a payment plan. If you wish to get maximum coverage, then you will have to opt for the Platinum care. Also, do remember that there is a service call fee for all customers, regardless of the plan.

To view a complete list of top rated home warranty companies use the link below: