Home warranties and home service contracts are NOT the same thing

Readers here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are a diverse bunch.  You have home buyers.  You have home sellers.  You have real estate professionals, and you even have members of the various professions involved directly and indirectly with the home warranty and home service contract industries.  Today’s article is for anybody who is new to the idea of home warranty.  The topic is one of the first things that any consumer or professional new to home warranties should be familiarized with.  Without further ado, let’s get down to why a home warranty and a home service contract are two completely different things!

Differences in home warranty and home service contract

What’s in a name anyway?  Well, sometimes a lot.  Take a home warranty, for example.  In the marketing world, a home warranty is a term that’s generally used to describe more than one type of contract.  And marketers don’t always make it perfectly clear to consumers whether “home warranty” is just a convenient label that’s used due to the need for a familiar way of describing a home service that isn’t always well known among homeowners and homebuyers.  You may have seen an advertisement or piece of literature about a home warranty.  Is that “warranty” really a home warranty, or is it a home service contract?  If you don’t know the difference between the two then read on and learn something that’s important to know when you own a house.

The letter of the law

No matter what it was called when you bought it, if you purchased a “home warranty” then you probably bought a home service contract.  Builders are typically the only people who have a need to buy a true home warranty.  A homeowner typically needs a home service contract.  Knowing the difference is important.  Here’s how it works in the simplest terms.

A home warranty, the true legal contract that warranties labor and materials, is passed from a seller to a buyer without cost when a house is new and being sold to the first occupant.  Though a builder’s warranty can be transferred to a second buyer during the sale of a house, it still doesn’t involve an added cost to that buyer.  A warranty, in the legally defined sense, isn’t something that can be sold.  It’s a guarantee, a right afforded to a customer, to expect that a product purchased will function properly inside a particular time frame.  In a true legal warranty contract, there is a form of compensation for failures, whether that amounts to failure due to material defect or workmanship.  The home warranty typically covers everything between the foundation and the roof, but not items that are not permanently installed, such as dishwashers, refrigerators, or ovens.

Since a home warranty is free of charge and is a legally binding contract, the home buyer has little reason to research the company backing the warranty.  And since the warranty is oftentimes purchased from a third party, in order to free the builder from any future liability to pay for repairs of poorly built or defective parts of a house, there is always a risk of a warranty being backed by a financially unstable company.  If the builder is the one backing the warranty then there may be an even greater risk than if the warranty was backed by a large company which specializes in providing insurance and/or warranties.

So far we’ve covered a very basic description of what a true home warranty is, what it covers, and the risks that can be associated with it.  Now let’s look at what a home service contract looks like by comparison.

Covering breakdowns that occur due to normal wear and tear

A home service contract is NOT a warranty!  Why the emphasis on “not?”  Well, you might be surprised how many consumers are confused about what they have purchased.  And it’s really not their fault that they are confused.  When you call a home service contract a home warranty you make confusion almost unavoidable.  But when you’re selling something you can’t afford to risk the consumer not knowing what your service or product is.  Between the market needing a convenient label for home service contracts, something that consumers will immediately relate to, and the almost inevitable confusion that results from the use of that convenient label lies the need to educate customers.  And that’s what we’re about to try to do in this article.

If you are in a house that is no longer covered by a warranty then anything that goes wrong, whether it be electrical wiring, plumbing, fixtures, etc, you’ll probably pay 100% of the cost of repairs or replacements out of your own pocket.  But you do have the option of buying a contract called a home service contract.  The purpose of a home service contract is twofold.  Let’s break down the two reasons for home service contracts being offered.

  1. When something breaks in a house it usually is completely unexpected.  We all have lives to deal with, and few of us have time for unexpected things that take us away from our jobs, our families, or our other commitments.  So time is a big, valuable thing for us.  And a home service contract is supposed to help homeowners avoid wasting time.  The idea is that the home service contract company has relationships with a lot of professional repair technicians.  And because they work with so many technicians, they can afford their customers access to licensed, bonded, pre-screened professionals in less time than the homeowner could have found them.  Instead of spending a whole day making calls, reading reviews from other consumers, and getting estimates, the homeowner with the home service contract is supposed to be freed to go on with his or her daily life.
  2. Cost!  Nobody likes dealing with the cost of fixing things that break.  We already pay a lot for our houses, and in some cases, we’re already strapped cash-wise.  This is the another big advantage that home service contract companies offer to their customers.  Instead of paying every penny of a home repair, the home service contract company is meant to cover some or all of the cost of a repair or replacement job.

So we’ve covered what a home warranty is and a bit of what a home service contract is, but we have not covered what a home service contract covers.  Let’s break that down into some detail.  Bear with us.  It’s a bit lengthy, but readers will be glad they read everything that follows before buying a home service contract.

What parts of a house does a home service contract cover?  

In some cases, a home service contract might cover most of what a home warranty originally covered.  But it varies greatly from one company to another.  So here’s the best advice anybody will give you about buying a home warranty.  Do NOT fixate on the price alone!  Pricing may look like the bottom line, but you really have to compare home service contract coverage, the companies’ reputations, and other factors aside from the prices.  

Coverage might include structural parts of a house, appliances, system components such as air conditioning and heating, water lines that run from the house to the city’s water lines underneath the street, and lots of other things.  But it’s important to be aware that not all home service contracts are the same.  In fact, they vary so much that a consumer really cannot afford to buy one without doing a lot of homework.  At the very least the buyer should read the contract word for word.

Sometimes the biggest difference is in the fine print

The biggest difference between a home warranty and a home service contract in terms of the way the contracts are written is sometimes in the loopholes.  These loopholes can be the difference between a home service contract being worth the money or not.  Here are some loopholes to watch out for.

Pre-existing conditions

It’s exactly what it sounds like.  A pre-existing condition is something that was already wrong or on its way to being wrong, due to neglect, poor installation, or other factors that the home service contract company deems to have caused a breakdown.  And this language is so vague that some companies use it as a way to deny any and every claim by their customers.  But a consumer can typically spot companies that abuse the pre-existing condition loophole by simply reading reviews from other customers.

Excluded parts

It’s not always safe to assume that if a home service contract covers an item that every part of that item is covered.  Some consumers find out the hard way that a part or a set of parts in an item, say a refrigerator, for example, are excluded.  Nobody wants to find that out the hard way, so it pays to check out every detail of the company’s reputation and the contract before buying a home service contract.

Maximum amounts the company will pay

This one is a big, big area of concern for anybody buying a home service contract.  Some home service contracts will only pay a maximum amount per contract period.  Some have different allowed maximums for different items covered under the contract.  Some will only pay a set maximum amount during the lifetime of a customer’s relationship with the company!  And some reserve the right to cancel or not renew a contract.  That leaves the company an opening to get rid of customers who are making too many repair requests.  It’s very important to look for language in the contract that might be taken more than one way.  If a consumer does not see every word of a contract as being explicitly clear then it may be necessary to get clarification of some parts of the contract in writing before buying the service contract.  And “in writing” is the most important part.

Also, take a look at these important pointers if your claims are denied by the home warranty company!

HomeWarrantyReviews.com wants our readers to be the best-educated consumers when it comes to home warranties and home service contracts.  If you found this article helpful please take a moment to tell us what you learned in the comments below.  Or email us at [email protected] to tell us how our article helped you and what we could do to make it more helpful to other readers.  If you are like most readers then you’ll probably want to keep going from here, on to the next question.  Why not read another of our articles or check out companies that you’re interested in knowing more about while you’re here on the website?






If you want your appliances to function in top condition, you must take care of them. This will help you save money on repair charges in the future. Here are a few maintenance tips that will help you take good care of you appliances:

Appliance Maintenance Tips

Let’s take a look at some basic yet important maintenance tips for keeping major appliances and systems in good condition.

1. RefrigeratorHome Appliances Maintenance

  • Cleaning is recommended every 6-12 months. Clean the condenser coil of your refrigerator on a regular basis.
  • Freezers should be located away from streaming sunlight or heat sources. Otherwise, they work much harder than necessary. Removing interior ice build-up improves airflow and helps to maintain proper freezer temperature.
  • Ensure that door seals are airtight
  • Always set the interior temperature to around 40° F

Follow the above steps and your refrigerator’s efficiency may increase by 30%! Want  more tips? You can read our Refrigerator Maintenance Guide for some cool information.

Washing machine2. Washing Machine

  • Check the connections where hoses meet faucets for both cold and hot water to ensure that they are not showing signs of leaking. Also check the drain line to ensure that leaks or overflow are not occurring.
  • Check hoses and screens for buildup.
  • Don’t overload the washing machine. If the machine is packed with clothes, it will need more energy to move them around. This means added strain on the washer’s motor, transmission, belts, and other parts.
  • Do not under-load the machine. Small loads can lead to off-balance cycles, which put a strain on the drive components.

Dishwasher

3. Dishwasher

  • Always set dishwasher’s multiple settings to save water.
  • Set the water heater to 120°F.
  • Use the ‘overnight-dry’ feature whenever possible.
  • You should inspect the condition of the door seal periodically and keep it clean. When water or dirt builds up on the seal, it can cause mold growth.
  • When loading your dishwasher, be careful to not damage the racks. Dishwasher racks are typically very expensive and often rival to the cost of a new appliance.

For more information, read dishwasher maintenance and repair guide.

oven4. Oven

    • Clean your range top often.
    • A gas oven with a solid ventilation system is the most energy-efficient choice.
    • Self-cleaning ovens use a lot of energy but are better insulated than other models.

 

  • Follow few basic checks before you call your home warranty people for service

5. Clothes Dryerdryer

  • Avoid overloading. When a dryer is overloaded, it puts a strain on the belt that turns the drum and that can lead to repair
  • Check exterior portion of the exhaust system to ensure that it is not clogged
  • Restricted air flow can tax the motor, but keeping the lint filter and the area below it clean, keeps the dryer operating more efficiently.
  • Clean out the lint filter before every load.
  • Every three months, use detergent to remove the chemical residues that can cling to the lint filter and restrict airflow.
  • Once a month, look at the dryer exhaust duct for crimps and obstructions.
  • Every year, remove and clean out the entire exhaust duct line from the dryer to the outside.
  • Reduce fire hazards by replacing vinyl with something else for flooring.

Troubleshooting Appliances

1. Washing machine: Washer Mold, Washer Vibration and Bubbles in Washing machine

final

  • WASHER MOLD

    – Any washer can develop mold if the lid is kept closed always, trapping moisture within. But more serious issues have been reported regarding mold in frontload washers, especially high efficiency (HE) washers. There are ways to reduce the risk of washer mold, but even with the best of care, some frontload washers tend to have mold issues. This can become a very serious health issue that requires constant attention to minimize the effects on the family. The mold is usually black – the worst kind and sadly it is usually a recurring problem that requires proactive care.

  • WASHER VIBRATION

    – When a washer vibrates and starts gyrating out of place, there’s an imbalance problem which could be due to the wash load, but it could also signal a problem with the laundry room floor.  An imbalanced wash load is easy to fix, just cancel or pause the cycle and redistribute the load. At the most, you may have to add a large towel or two to help balance the wash and resume the wash cycle.

  • BUBBLES IN AN HE WASHER

    – If you’re using a High Efficiency (HE) washer, but inadvertently used the wrong detergent (regular), you may have soap bubbles that are trying to escape from the washer. Turn off the washer and proceed to a rinse and spin, which may need to be repeated to clear out the high volume of suds. HE detergent is a low siding formula which is recommended for high efficiency washers.

2. Humidifiers & Home Moisture: Water Droplets on Windows, Mold

  • WATER DROPLETS

    – Water droplets or steamy interior windows are usually an indication of excessive moisture. This could simply be caused by a large pot boiling on the stove, but it could signal another problem. It can be caused by a humidifier which is over humidifying the room – not being properly sized for that area or is running on High, where Low would be sufficient. Either way, it’s giving off way too much moisture. You can easily correct that by turning it down or moving the humidifier to a larger area of the house.

  • MOLD

    – Mold in the high corners of a bathroom usually signals that you need a fan in that areas which exhaust the bath/shower steam to the exterior of the home. Mold can be difficult to remove and will often recur prompting another home repair.

NOTE: The above troubleshooting tips are of advisory nature only. If your appliance isn’t working properly and you are not comfortable attempting any of the following, you may contact your local home warranty company and they can surely refer you to a qualified service contractor. If you don’t have a home warranty, contact a local technician at the earliest to get your appliance fixed.

Performing these small tasks in your regular cleaning and maintenance routine will reduce operation costs and may even eliminate the need for professional repairs. When you take great care of your appliances and further safeguard them with a home appliance warranty, you’ll be able to extend the life of your home appliances and count on them to last for many years to come.




Do you have a trusted appliance lying around your household for the past few years that you don’t want to give away or replace? Yet you are worried that it’s going to crash pretty soon leaving you with no other option other than repairing it or replacing it with a new one? Fret not! This article will shed some light on how to insure your household appliances against potential breakdowns

Let’s begin by comparing Home Warranty from the Homeowner’s insurance policy. The primary difference between the two is that Home Warranty covers repairs and replacements of failed appliances and systems, while the the Homeowner’s Insurance covers damages caused to your home and its content by natural hazards or theft. You can always find a contractor to repair your damaged appliances, but more often than not the costs involved in such scenarios are rather high. The other option that you have is to apply for a Home Warranty plan.

The Home Warranty plan is a contract of service that covers repairs and replacement of appliances and systems in your home. Depending on the kind and extent of coverage you wish to avail, the annual premium for the Home Warranty plan can range anywhere between $ 250 to $ 450. In addition, each time you approach the warranty company for a service, you have to pay a service fee usually called as the deductible. This is around $ 50. You can take a look at the table below if you want to know he systems and appliances that are covered under the Home Warranty Plans.

Home Appliance Warranty Plans

If you have doubts regarding whether or not your appliances need a Home Warranty Plan right now, take a look at the following chart. It tells you what the average lifespan of the common household appliances.

Table2 for Appliance Warranty article

Now lets discuss the most important question.

What kind of plans are available and do I actually need them?

Let me clear the former first. You have two options, you can either avail an extended warranty for each appliance or you can get a Home Warranty which covers all your appliances. Although, getting extended warranty on each appliance is not a wise decision, the best way out is to get a Home Warranty.It is also suggested that if your appliances are not new and over four years old, getting a Home Warranty will turn out to be highly useful. However, if your home and the appliances you own are reasonably new and still covered by the Manufacturers warranty, you may want to consider taking an extended warranty. You can click here for further details and comparisons between the two.

If you are wondering how this works then here’s the answer. The company offering a Home Warranty plans often sign contracts with vendors offering repair services to appliances. Each time you approach your warranty provider with a claim, they  call up these repair facilities which in turn sends a technician to evaluate the condition of your appliance.He shall decide if your appliance needs to be repaired or replaced.Service charges(deductible fee) of the technician shall be paid by you and it is always nominal.

Things to know about appliance protection plans

If you have read so far, then it would mean that you are genuinely interested to know as much as possible about Home Warranty plans. Few hiccups that you may encounter are as follows:

  • Home warranty plans are a way to ensure security and to reduce maintenance costs. They don’t provide blanket coverage nor do they pay for pre-existing issues.
  • All companies do not offer the best customer service. Make sure that the Home warranty company you choose comes with high recommendations.
  • Ensure that you read the contract for Home Warranty thoroughly.This ensures that conflicts do not arise later.
  • Many a times, it is often seen that Home Warranty companies opt for repairs rather than replacement of the damaged appliance. Further, waiting period for this is also considerably long in some cases. Worst of all, claims are sometimes rejected on unclear grounds or by bringing up small clauses from the contract that are often overlooked by the customers.

It is again stressed that you read your contract carefully and have it looked over multiple times , paying immense attention to the monetary factors.

Do I really need Appliance Protection?

Despite the issues that were mentioned, it is advised that you insure your appliances by availing a Home Warranty Plan. Costs incurred during repairs and replacements can be considerably reduced if you have a sound Appliance Protection plan. Also, if you choose to sell your home while the Home Warranty plan is still valid, the value of the property is likely to be higher than when it is sold without a Home Warranty. Most buyers recommend strongly in favor of Home Warranty plans. You are likely to do the same if your choice of  home warranty provider is good.

Here is the summary of benefits you shall have if you avail a Home Warranty Plan

  • Confidence: This is something that can rarely be bought with money. Home Warranty Plans provide you a tension free life. It does so by relieving you from worries about unexpected expenses occurring due to damage of your appliances.
  • Broad coverage: Almost all your appliances and systems are covered by the U.S. Home warranty contract.
  • Affordable prices: The annual premium as well as the deductible you pay are both affordable to an average U.S. citizen.
  • Budget protection: To those of you who just purchased a new home and had to spend quite a lot on one time expenses like drapes, landscaping etc, the first year in your new home is not the ideal time to expect financial drains due to faulty appliances.
  • Lawsuit avoidance: Assuming that you sold your home while it was still covered by the Home Warranty, any appliance that sustains damages will be taken care of by the home warranty company. If the appliance was not covered by a Home Warranty, it may often result in the buyer suing the seller.

May it be reminded again that reading the contract well is of utmost importance. You can get a free estimate on home warranty from top rated companies on our website before you purchase the plan.




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.




A bathroom is one of the most important places at any home. A place to relax, rejuvenate and unwind. A clean and well maintained bathroom is a sign of physical and mental well being of a family.

With time the structure and appliances grow old and no longer have the same appeal. Chipped walls, dull sanitary ware, old flooring, leaky taps, rusted pipes can put you off. An old and dirty bathroom can be a big embarrassment. Does this sound like your situation? Do you think twice before answering when your guests ask, can I use your washroom?

Then its time for you to consider renovating it. Thoughtful re-designing can make it spacious and provide more storage. Renovation also adds value to your home if you plan to sell.

Options are endless when it comes to remodeling bathrooms as there is a wide scope for improvement. The combination of plumbing, electrical wiring, and decorating schemes packed into the smallest residential spaces create unique demand for its renewal.

If it needs to be restructured then everything has to be discarded and built from scratch. But if the layout is fine and the waterproofing is sound, then it will not cost you a fortune. A dramatic difference can be made by simply changing the color scheme, re-tiling over the old floor, replacing cabinets and sanitary ware. There are even  resurfacing products that can put a new surface over old colored tiles or chipped and outdated bathtubs.

What to Consider Before Starting a Bathroom Renovation?

Before you rush to speak to a  renovation company and ask for quotes, it is very important to do your research. The variety of  renovation options can be overwhelming including the infinite choices of baths, showers, toilets, taps, shower heads, tiles, paint colors, mirrors, splash backs, etc. The more determined and clear with ideas you are in what you require from your renovation, the more likely you will be of getting the one that you always wanted.

The secret to your dream bathroom is detailed specifications. While tabulating what you require, consider this questions.

  • The size of the structure.
  • What type of baths, showers, basins, vanities would you like? Which price point is best for you (mid range, top of the line, etc)?
  • The  fixtures that you would like. What types of taps, shower heads, etc?
  • The tiles, glass, mirrors and painting that you would like.

Now you have a foolproof plan of what exactly you want. Wondering what next? It might come in handy to consult your friends and relatives who have got renovation done from potential and reputed contractors. Do your research and be sure that you opt for the army of people you would want to hire to transform it.

How Much Does it cost to renovate a bathroom?

Typically  it would cost between $9,000 and $25,000 depending on a number of factors such as:

  • The size of space
  • Specifications of the work that is required.
  • The building materials that are used.
  • The choice of fittings such as taps, shower heads, etc.

The next step is to choose the sanitary wares and fixtures. If your existing ones are in decent condition then you can make them look new.

All you need to do is wash and scrub with an abrasive cleanser, Lime-A-Way. Then sand on them. The final stage is to paint. Mix the epoxy and paint with a brush and roller. Brush in one direction to make it spread evenly.

If they are way too old and ready to be discarded then yes it’s time for some shopping, but before heading to the store flip through the magazines and browse home improvement websites and get a firm idea about the fixtures, shower curtains, and sanitary wares you would need, it will save you time and costs.

Here are the essentials that you may have to buy:-                                                                        Bathroom Renovation

Bathtub

These come in a variety of styles with built-in shelves for condiments. You should be able to get a decent one for under $200. Check for the desired size.

Shower Curtain

Shower curtains and hangers set the mood of the whole washroom and its gets better when coordinated with towels. If  the area is small you should go with a lighter color and you can choose to experiment with different  kinds of fabric. You can choose vinyl, polyester, cotton, or other decorative textiles. Remember that vinyl and plastic shower curtains can be spot-cleaned while fabric curtains may need to be taken down and washed.

Toilet

Compared with other fixtures, toilets are not that expensive, but low-flush toilets are not cheap. Choose the one which will complement other sanitary-ware. You can also try a toilet tank water saver. This is a mechanism that fits in the toilet tank and only lets enough water in the tank to do the job. And it’s adjustable.

sinkSinks/ Faucets

Sinks/ faucets add elegance to the place, so pay more attention while choosing. It can be counter top, wall mounted or wall hung, above counter vessel types, pedestal, cast iron, integrated, freestanding, or self-rimming, and more. The  sink that you choose will determine the type of faucet and handles that you can install in the sink, so keep that in mind to assure that your faucet purchase is compatible with your  sink purchase.

To save money buy a water saver shower head. This can save you over 50% of the water and hot water costs for the same duration of shower.

Plumbing

Do not change the location of plumbing when working on low budget. Plumbing modifications requires bringing out the pipes from wall. After placement, you will have to do wall repair work. If new tiles were not in your mind, they will have to be then. Consider renovation in tight budget and forget plumbing modification. That means showers, tubs, toilets, and sinks should remain in the same position.

Floor

Linoleum: In a small or medium-sized washroom, changing the floor can be as easy as rolling out a section of beautifully-designed linoleum over the present floor and gluing it. If the present flooring is linoleum you can get a neutralizing agent to scrub the floor and then apply the mastic. The new linoleum will go down easily. Then install molding to hold down the edges.

Tile: This is also cheap and can go over other flooring. For small spaces it can be a do-it-yourself job but a handyman can do it quickly and cheaply. Big tiles can also be used on the walls from the floor to the ceiling for a royal look. You can also choose to have stick on tiles which can be stuck on any surface and look magnificent, moreover you can do it yourself.

Lighting

Usually the lighting is overhead and/or framing the mirror. This might take a couple of hundred bucks for an electrician but installing sconces on each side of the mirror will really give it a makeover.

Painting

It is the cheapest remodeling technique and usually one gallon of finish will do the job. Blue, Sea green, orange based on your preference and the advice of the contractor, you can choose the colors.

Mirrors

One beautifully framed mirror over a sink is more attractive than many surfaces covered with mirrors. These will enhance the looks of your washroom.

 after renovation

Before and after renovation

Wooden or bamboo accessories seem to have replaced the old fashioned steel racks. You should first look at the type of wood the racks are made of. Pine or oak can be strong, but be careful; they may form fungus when left wet.

Take advantage of space between wall studs by recessing a tall storage cabinet into the wall to maximize vertical storage while saving floor space. The cabinet should have an interior depth of at least three inches and a door flush with the wall.

When your it is completely renovated you can bring in one or two indoor plants like Boston fern, peace lily etc, which helps in cleaning the air. When your renovation is completely done then yes it’s time for indulgence. Enjoy your new bathroom.




Household appliances are mostly large pieces of equipment which cost quite a lot of money. Most homeowners use their appliances until they break down, which is usually a span of 10 – 20 years. However, if you don’t practice caution or do adequate research, you may end up buying a product that does not suit your needs, which causes both financial loss and frustration.

While planning a purchase in advance helps you find the lowest price, it may not always be possible. If your AC breaks down during summer when the heat and the AC unit prices are high you will not have a choice.

We bring you a quick and easy guide to enlighten you about the do’s and don’ts of appliance shopping. Follow this and it will ensure that you will remain happy with your purchase!Appliance Shopping Guide

Step 1: Analyze your needs

You could be someone who is either needing an appliance urgently or you could be someone who expects a certain appliance to crash soon and is looking for replacement. In the first case, you will rush to the closest store or look up online to find one that suits your needs. While doing this, you may ?tend to get sidetracked and forget your actual needs.

Some people buy appliances because they are visually appealing or if it comes at a very low price or if it has attractive freebies. All of this leads to you ending up with an appliance that does not suit your requirements. You’ll probably regret your purchase immediately.

To avoid this, before you start to shop, analyze your requirements. Make a list of the following-

  • What specifications do you need – energy efficient, CFC free etc
  • Decide the size range of the appliance
  • How much are you going to use it
  • Do you want a brand new one or a second hand one
  • What is your budget

Write down the answers on a paper and keep it with you while you shop. If you are merely looking for an exact replacement, write down the model no. and manufacturer’s name and pay a visit to your closest appliance store.

Step 2: Measure the space

Imagine the horror if you buy an appliance and bring it home only to find out that it doesn’t fit where you wanted it to?

To avoid that, measure the space where you plan to keep the appliance. Do it twice to avoid minor errors. Keep the measurements with you while you shop. Once you visit a store, select appliances that match your measurements.

However, if you feel that appliances that come in the size you need do not have the features you require, it’s best to either make space for a larger one or find out if there are used variants of the model you need.

Step 3: Browse several stores

If you wish to get the best price, don’t expect to find it in the first store you look. Visit several shops or websites, if you are purchasing the appliance online and compare prices. Don’t get swayed by the freebies. Most e-commerce websites and shops provide great deals during festive seasons. If you are planning your purchase in advance, Black Friday sales are the best time to buy appliances (or most things, for that matter).

If the requirement is urgent, you’ll have to make do with whatever’s available. Once you zero in on a model, look up online to see who offers the best price.

Step 5: Warranty

It might be a good idea to look an appliance that comes with a warranty. Most products come with a manufacturer’s warranty, but some stores do sell extended warranties for products they sell.

Some stores like, Home Depot and Lowe’s also offer extended warranty for specific appliances. Extended warranties are different from home warranties and are ideal if you need coverage only for a certain appliance which is no longer covered by it’s manufacturer’s warranty.

Step 6: Things to remember while buying used goods

If you are planning to purchase an used appliance, you need to be extra careful. Find out why the appliance is being sold – is it because the owner upgraded or is it because the appliance sustained major breakdowns?

Examine the appliance thoroughly before you make the buy. Also ask for warranty papers and bills. Buying one without the relevant papers may not be a wise step.

The final word

Appliance purchases cost substantial amounts of money. Buying the wrong product will leave you troubled. Make the purchase only after you are convinced that it is the best option.

Hope you enjoyed the article, happy shopping!




Tired of seeing your roof green, stained and covered in leaves or in snow? Of all the home maintenance, spring cleaning, repairs and errands a homeowner is fated to, roof cleaning can be one of the most tiresome. Doing a balancing act on the shingles with a broom, a blower and a hose, scrubbing off algae and making sure you don’t have rats and raccoons – it’s not a particularly fun way to spend your Sunday mornings. Unfortunately, keeping your roof clean, damage free and well fitted is of utmost importance, especially when it comes to increasing the life of the tiles and shingles and preventing seepage.

Top tips to clean your roof

Aesthetics of a clean and shiny roof aside, roofs made of asphalt, wood, tiles or shingles all need to be kept dry and clean if you want them to last a good twenty years or so – and it is recommended to replace them altogether every few decades.

Dangerous Or Just An Eyesore?

For starters, one of the primary issues are algae, moss and other parasitic growths. Being exposed to the elements constantly, it is inevitable that the existence of air and water are more than enough to cause things to grow on your roof. Adding to that, limestone fillings and wood beams act as perfect hosts for mold.

Slowly eating into your fillers, wood and drains, the strength of your roof itself is at risk, not to mention the gaps that will appear and cause leaks and seepage issues for the inside of your home as well.

Identifying The Problem

There are three primary growths possible on the surface of roof – algae, moss and lichen.

If you have noticed streaks and stains of black on your roof, then algae is the issue you have to tackle. Reproducing rapidly as long as they get moisture and sun, they tend to fasten themselves to the shingles and feed on limestone, undoing the secured shingles from their place.

A growth that actually stems from the algae itself, lichen is light green and fundamentally a fungal growth. Though it doesn’t hold much water, it does eat away at the top layer of the shingle with time because of its acidic nature.

Last we have moss, a much darker green and dense in appearance. Moss and lichen are much stronger than algae and aren’t easily washed off, the former holding water and soil within its structure that may create an environment for even larger weeds to grow on the shingle surface.

How To Fix It

Roof cleaning can be done in one of three ways.

You can choose to go the complete replacement way – which can be expensive and sometimes unnecessary all together. Even if you have the money, know that replacement is not a permanent solution and the shingles will need maintaining whether they are old or new.

Next, you can hire a professional cleaning agency. Pros – it’s easy, safety is not an issue as they know what they are doing, and technical expertise will help get rid of the problem for an extended period of time, if not permanently. Cons – of course, it is more expensive than doing it yourself and if you don’t check up on how they clean, it is possible that you are being charged for more, or the cleaning is being done with chemicals which will later harm other parts of the house and garden.  

Lastly (and yes, we will tell you everything you need to know on how to do it!) you can choose to clean it yourself. Depending on how handy you are with basic tools, cleaning supplies and a little manual labor, DIY roof cleaning is really that extensive of a task, and it can easily be tackled on a free Sunday morning.

Dos & Don’ts Of DIY Roof Cleaning

Tip 1: The Right Time

Not humid and yet not too hot and sunny, pick the right day to climb up and scrub your roof clean. Humidity or a slight drizzle can make the roof slippery and unmanageable, simultaneously washing off the cleaning agent before it can work its magic. On the other hand, a hot and sunny afternoon can make the solution dry too fast, again not allowing it to act.

Tip 2: Safety Before All Else

If you haven’t done it before, you should know that walking around on a sloped shingled surface can be an art in itself. Before you worry about the right cleaning agent and scrub to use, make sure you have a sturdy ladder and preferably someone to keep watch, non-slip boots with a good grip and maybe even knee pads.

Cover up to save yourself from unnecessary scrapes, cuts and insect bites, especially since the chances of rusted metal nails and clasps are rather high.

Tip 3: A Quick Sweep

Use a simple broom to clean off the leaves and large debris that has collected on the flat areas and in the drainage points of the roof, letting you get a better look at what’s underneath. Don’t try using a rake or any sharp implement as that can damage the shingles, and make sure to sweep in the same direction that the shingles are laid, so as to make sure you don’t land up raising them in the process.

Next, get on work-gloves and clear off the drains, running water through them if necessary.

Tip 4: Choosing The Right Cleaning Solution

This will require a little bit of research, a knowledge of what material your roof is made of and filled in with, and what is causing the damage.

Not wanting to do this every few weeks and have the product at least last a year, it is a good idea to invest in a product that handles algae, moss, weather wear and tear, and damage because of the elements. Additionally, you can choose to coat your shingles or use zinc strips.

If the product sounds too good to be true, then it probably is – cleaning solutions and sprays that claim to solve all your roof damage problems with one swift coat for example are not an option. Pick a solution that is environmentally friendly and doesn’t cause long term harm to the hard wood beams or plants in your garden.

Another way to go is make your own, saving you money and allowing you to control exactly what is going into the cleaning process. One recipe is a mixture of heavy duty bleach (not the one that is for domestic use, but instead the one that you’ll find in a hardware or pool store), dish soap to thicken the bleach and act as a cleaning agent, and hot water to bind it all together. Use a simple garden spray tank to hose the roof with the solution, and wait for it to dry onto the shingles completely. Once dry, then hose it off with just water to make sure all the chemical is washed off.

Not All At Once

You’ll have to be there in person for the entire process, and besides the fact that the roof is sloped and shingled, you are now adding a soapy solution to the mix – a recipe for disaster if you don’t do it right!

Make sure you do one section of the roof at a time, allowing it to dry, be hosed off and dry again before you move to the next section, giving you dry ground to stand on as you move.

The Last Step

Once you’re done, zinc strips can help keep the shingles clean and sparkly for extended amounts of time – some may even say forever! Cost efficient and not too difficult to install, zinc strips fitted to the top of your roof cause metal ions to flow down the surface of the shingles when it rains, killing the lichen and algae and keeping the roof damage free.

More Than Just Cleaning

DIY tips and tricks, maintenance dos and don’ts, and even hiring professionals are all well and good, but even so the bother of service and repair looms over our heads.

While smaller issues such as algae and lichen can be handled right at home, rooftop damage can be a painstaking thing to deal with. From termite infestation to seepage and material damage, one way to make sure you are secure when it comes to such repair costs is Home Warranty.

Functioning much like insurance but with a much wider range of coverage –appliances in your home as well as the structure of the building itself – Home Warranty takes responsibility for all your repair needs.

Get your own estimate using the Home Maintenance Calculator on the HomeWarrantyReviews.com website and get an approximation of how much your home will cost you in repairs, just by feeding in a few simple details. Giving you a comparison between the cost of Home Warranty and that of maintaining it yourself, warranty keeps you prepared for unexpected servicing costs and keeps you covered when it comes to tasks you cannot always do yourself.




Next to the so important health insurance each individual should have, there stands as second in line the home insurance. For homeowners, the home insurance is a specifically well tailored preventive measure any damages should happen to their property. The most important fact before you settle for one certain type of home insurance policy, is to ask yourself which kind of insurance do you actually need.

Home insurance

For example, if you live in a high risk area where floods happen quite often, then you should take an extra option for flood insurance. Certainly because your property lies in a high risk area, the flood insurance for your home is an extra option, it will not be included in the policy, and it will cost more. It is you, who should decide whether you need it or not. Bear in mind that it is not only the physical property which needs protection, but also your personal belongings (i.e. jewelry), and don’t forget about personal liability issues. Find the quickest way to get insurance quotes compared online.

The market offers you plenty of choices, and that is why it is so hard to make a choice. Settle your priorities first, see how much you can afford to pay for the insurance premiums and which are those aspects which definitely need insurance coverage. You have to watch out for the advertisements which offer too high discounts, but little or not effective coverage for you. The points where you can save when buying a home insurance is basically if you apply for one online (can bring you up to 15% savings), there are also certain new buyer discounts, plus if you make no claims for a number of years since you have the insurance, that could lower the price of your insurance with as much as 50% in some cases.

Some of the main coverage factors within a home insurance policy should contain:

  • Buildings cover
  • Contents cover / Contents lost or even damaged when moving
  • Theft from garages
  • Lost/damaged business equipment
  • Alternative accommodation for the insured when needed
  • Food in the freezer / money in the house

Certainly the amounts to which the above mentioned situations are covered for, differs from one insurer to the other, but these should be contained in a standard home insurance plan. As for the extra options you may choose, these are plenty, and each homeowner chooses according to his needs and best interest. On the extra options list you may settle for Accidental Damage, which simply means protection for accidental damage of your stereo equipment for example. Then, the personal possessions cover is yet another extra option, which compensates you for loss of money or credit cards up to a certain coverage

limit, or accidental damage loss or theft of personal items. The family and legal protection extra option will offer coverage for almost any legal costs up to a certain amount, disputes revolving around employment issues, or property and inheritance related ones. Plus, the home emergency option will offer a helping hand in case your door lock breaks, your electrical heating fails, so that you don’t have to worry about the incurring costs a professional would charge for an emergency repair to your home. Check and discus with your family all the available options pertaining to home insurance in general, and settle for the one which is the most affordable and efficient regarding your personal needs.




Americans buy home warranty to protect themselves from repair and replacement costs of home appliances that fail due to normal wear and tear. Unfortunately a lot of policy holders feel let down by the result after filing a claim with their warranty company. Some people are ignorant that they have the power to dispute the outcome of a claim when one is filed; others are conscious that many customers succeed when they dispute a claim correctly. The procedure involved in disputing a claim can be extensive, but can be worth time investment.

Home Warranty Claims

A home warranty is a service contract that covers systems and items in your home that are usually not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Furnaces and outside air conditioning units, plumbing and electrical systems are items commonly covered under a home warranty protection plan. The homeowner requests a claim with the warranty company when a covered item requires repair. Some home warranty providers repay the homeowner for the cost of the repair while others send a contractor directly to the home for repairs.

Common Causes of Home Warranty Claims Denial

You should look at these factors carefully for any items that you estimated to be covered by the home warranty contract you aim to procure. Make sure you read the contract one more time and understand the reason for denial. In some cases, even courts cannot help you if the claim was denied for a reason clearly stated in the contract.

So what are some of the common reasons for denial of claims on home warranty?

  • Lack of Maintenance – You are supposed to take care of cleaning and maintenance of appliances. HVAC units must be serviced every year and you should keep maintenance records.
  • Code Violations – If any of your appliances violate safety and installation codes, they won’t be covered.
  • Unusual wear and tear – due to reckless usage etc.
  • Improper installation – This is where having a home scrutiny done by a professional is so significant. Paying out a few hundred dollars for this kind of assessment could save you thousands of dollars and years of annoyance. For instance, if the HVAC system was not installed properly, or if the defect existed before the new buyer takes ownership, the claim could be denied. If the seller is reluctant to deal with issues that are found in a home inspection, think two times before you close on that home.
  • Excluded appliances Clause – Not all appliances are covered. Your service contract lists all covered appliances. Make sure you are okay with the coverage.

How to Dispute Home Warranty Claim Denials

Always be polite and be friendly with customer service professionals. They will go an extra mile if they like you. The first step should always be that you speak to customer service supervisors and their bosses who make the decision. Assuming those steps did not result in a favorable outcome, you can follow these escalation steps:

  • Step 1: Verify your home warranty documents. The definite steps you have to take with the home warranty company to appeal a petition for denial must be listed in the documents.
  • Step 2: Make contract with your home warranty company. Keep a record of all dates and times you talk to a company representative. Obtain the names of every person you speak to. Inquire for the required paperwork to demand a denial of your warranty plan.
  • Step 3: Get the problem re-estimated by a third party. Speak to a local contractor or repairman and get a written estimate for the repair. Have the professional note in writing of what he thinks is the reason of the damage.
  • Step 4: Pursue the warranty company’s appeal process. Some companies want mediation actions be started by and finished by you before the issue can be taken further. Provide any documentation demanded by the company.
  • Step 5: Approach Better Business Bureau (BBB.) Most companies are willing to resolve your issues and close BBB complaints to have a clean record.
  • Step 6: Call your State attorney general’s office. The attorney general’s office normally deals with warranty fraud and service denials.
  • Step 7: File a complaint in small claims court if your claim is small enough. Small claims courts are confined on how much money you can file for a suit. Ensure with the small claims clerk’s office to settle on if your claim falls under the limit.
  • Step 8: Get hold of an attorney for larger claims. Verify with your local bar association to locate an attorney knowledgeable in real estate and denial of service matters. The permissible charge for an attorney differs by area, but usually you will be able to sue the warranty company for the lawyer charges you paid other than your claim.

 




Selected consumer review filed under: 2 10 Home Warranty
Author: Karen, Potomac Falls, VA
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They have chosen not to RENEW my policy!!

No reason was given as to their decision. I have been with them since I bought my home in March 2001, so now we are in 2009…I have used them for 8 years. I have also received more benefit from 2-10 then they have from me. Just in 2008 I placed 10 claims. My deductible was $85 each occurrence, could be bc I am in the higher cost of living area.

So as I ponder whether to go find a NEW home warranty company, I am not reading any reviews that say this is worth the efforts. Here is my advice…based on 8 years of using 2-10.
1) if you use a warranty company…be willing to let them define the time-line to get your repair done. To speed this up…they tell you give the contractor 24 hours to call YOU. Well…I get the work order # from the 2-10 rep. and I tell her what contractor I want to come service the unit as well and I make sure I have the tele #. Then I wait 2 hours and then call the contractor, by then they should have received the FAX from 2-10 with the work order details. This way you get a reaction from the start….same day..get that appt booked.

2) with 2-10 if I have one contractor to come fix several issues, I paid ONE $85 deductible. So if you have small minor issues, hold them till you get a big issue, call them(detail all issues) into 2-10, get is sent to a proper contractor that can fix all your appliance issues and they take 1 fee.

3) Several times, ok a unit was too much to “repair”, so 2-10 wanted to “replace” it with a “comparable” unit….so there be careful…be an educated consumer…ask them the model #, and then go online look at the features of that unit they want to install…compared to what you have. You can ask for a “buyout” if you want…if they agree..they send you a check..and you go buy what you want…even throw some extra money in to get an even nicer unit than your older one. I did this several times. Catch is though that once you do a buy-out….the new unit is not covered under 2-10 till it passes 1 year of installation..but that is OK..bc it comes normally with a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty anyway. BUT also beware that you now have to a) remove old unit and dispose and b) pay for delivery of the new unit.. So you may find going with an appliance store that offers free delivery/free installation/free removal.

3) When you elect to use your warranty to repair an appliance in your home, realize that you are giving THEM the authority to define how THEY want it to be fixed. Fixing to normal operation…..so many a times a contractor has advised that my unit needed to be replaced, that new repairs are going to be needed over time….2-10 did not want to replace. So in this case, I had call-backs for the same issue…and if they are within a relative close time-period, the deductible was waived for me.

I am not renewed by 2-10, been with them since 2001….and well I had the basic plan plus the extra coverage package which I recommend if one is going to do 2-10. It saved me in 2006 when my heat pump went out….got an entire new unit….my old unit was a TRANE..was only 5 years old…the new unit is a PAYNE….so 2-10 said they are similar in quality..and therefore a reasonable replacement. I thought otherwise, but again, I have not choice, unless I agree to do a buy-out…and then my cost after their merger buyout would be thousands of dollars to upgrade and the cost involved in the heat pump removal/and installation. Realize that also there are costs that 2-10 will not cover with some repairs…any modifications needed to accommodate new equipment..are not covered..and also freon recovery in the home was not covered. So in heat pump repairs…realize you are going to pay more than the deductible bc there are always costs not covered.

So 8 years, must have called in around 20 calls to 2-10…all of them taken care of, many times I use the same contractor.. they know me by now. As you make calls, guide them to use the same contractor, try to “group” your similar claims so you pay one deductible; Call them when you have not heard anything for 24 hours; call them again and again..and call contractor to CALL them as well….the contractor wants to make the repair..so enlist them to pursue 2-10 for authorizations. AND lastly, do not do anything till you get a work order/authorization number, that is essential for coverage.

Our home is 10 years old…why do I have so many A/C and appliance issues? Whether your home is new or old…..things happen…so ask yourself..can you handle a $250 repair job? Can you handle a $600 washer replacement? Can you handle a $8,000 heat pump replacement cost? The heat pump is what costs the most…so maybe going with a “service” contract with a local A/C firm that is referred by a friend or neighbor is better. They come service it twice a year….and you may get more value for your money there. Heat pumps are most likely one of the most expensive things to repair..so maybe just focus on the big item and let the smaller appliance issues and hot water issues..things that are $600 or less…fall on you.

I have been through this many many times…frustrated with 2-10 and then happy I sure had them! So for me to advise one way or the other is tough. All I know is that I needed to limit my “exposure” to high cost repairs..and I did that with 2-10 warranty. I used them at least 20 times, if not more really…it is incredible. I can guess that they thought after 8 years enough is enough for me! When my heat pump went and it was 100 degrees and I was 8 mos pregnant..boy that was a tough time…I was so unhappy and frustrated at the claims process, approvals waiting for a “good” technician to come..that is key….I did go out and buy a window a/c unit and 2-10 agreed to reimburse me for that unit. So here they redeemed themselves bc they understood my issue and were trying to help. The contractors have to be good….I estimate that many unhappy replies are because the contractors were so bad. 2-10 at some point has to do a better job in expanding their contractor network and also fine-tune the ones that are approved.

Good luck and if you are with 2-10 figure out the keywords you need to use to get a repair covered. When my garage door fell…and the opener jammed….that was going to be covered, till they asked how it happened and I told them that I nicked it with the car before it fully lifted up….so they called that “abusive use”, so it was not covered. I had to pay for that. Guess they were right on that one. So be versed on how you are going to describe a faulty unit….so that is is covered and not owner abuse…if your washer breaks….tell them it has been a progressive thing…and normal use…not that you put a 6 x 8 rug in there to wash!!! ok???

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Looking for new home warranty? Get price quotes from reputed companies such as First American and AHS
Home Warranty Plans – Protect Your Home Appl. & Avoid Costly Repairs. Get Covered Today with 30 days money back guarantee!




Here is a list of most read articles about home warranty on our site. Enjoy your reading and provide us your feedback!

Articles

Home Appliance Warranty Plans – What is appliance protection plan and how does it help homeowners

Extended Home Appliance Warranty – Things you should consider before buying an extended appliance warranty policy.

FAQs on home warranty plans – This section covers most frequently asked questions about the protection plan

Five Types of Appliance Protection Plans – Covers various kinds of warranties such as appliance warranty, manufacturers warranty, extended warranty, sellers warranty, home service contract etc.

How to choose a home appliance warranty plan – This article explains how to choose a home  warranty plan and the service provider company.

Is home warranty necessary for buyers and sellers – Explains if home warranty is needed for sellers as well as buyers.

Average appliance repair costs – Provides a list of average appliance repair occurance percentages to help you decide whether you need to participate in a home warranty program.

Home warranty quotes – Home warranty quotes, coupons and deals

Is home warranty really an insurance? – Not necessarily. This articles explains why you cannot bank on home warranty for all your repair and replacement needs.

Home maintenance Tips – How to take better care of your sweet home

How to pursue insurance claims – How to pursue a claim when the service provider company is acting tough on your claim.

An Open Letter to Home Warranty Industry – An open letter written by someone who worked in the home warranty industry for a long time. Author provides an insightful view of the industry. The views and opinions expressed are author’s own.




Premier global provider of warranty solutions and benefits, the Warranty Group Inc,  has announced that they will be extending their agreement with the American Residential Warranty. The agreement, which will undergo a multi-year extension, is said to be one that provides warranty programs to homeowners throughout the nation. The announcement was made on the 19th of February, 2014.

American Residential Warranty

The contract extension is said to include certain changes as well. The agreement will now include addition of appliance coverage in the states of California, Nevada and Virginia. This will increase the footprint of the American Residential Warranty to a total of 50 states in the USA. The renewed contract will also have expanded coverage which includes external water and sewer lines and well pumps.

The senior Vice President at Warranty Group,  Justin Thomas  expressed his pleasure in continuing the partnership with American Residential Warranty. Both companies have a long- standing heritage of providing financial protection to consumers on major household appliances and systems. Mr. Thomas has also stated that through this contract, his company will support  the American Residential Warranty in continuing their services throughout the nation.

Richard Kaufman, the chief executive officer at American Residential Warranty, stated that their direct-consumer-marketing methods have helped in tremendous growth and expansion. He also stated that through their continued relationship with the American Residential Warranty, they have been able to develop and offer a comprehensive range of home warranty products, which has been an integral part of their success.

HomeWarrantyReviews.com hosts consumers reviews for both companies – The Warranty Group, Inc and American Residential Warranty.

About The Warranty Group, Inc

The Warranty Group, Inc, has been in the industry for over 50 years and has become a global provider of warranty products. The company operates in over 30 countries and currently has around 1900 employees working with them. The company also provides underwriting, claims administration and marketing expertise to some of the leaders in manufacturing, distribution and retailing of consumer goods which includes automobiles, homes and appliances among various others. The Virginia Surety Company and London General Insurance are wholly owned by The Warranty Group, Inc. For details visit www.thewarrantygroup.com.

About The American Residential Warranty

 American Residential Warranty is one of the leading companies in the home warranty industry. They offer customizable home warranty solutions to homeowners across the USA. They carry out direct-to-consumer marketing and effectively use the various electronic, social and print media to run national multimedia campaigns. For more information visit www.americanresidentialwarranty.com.




Home warranty is a service contract that offers discounted repairs and replacements for your household appliances. If you have an appliance protection plan, and if one of your covered appliances breaks down, the home warranty company will repair it for you at a very nominal price.

Home Warranty Plan

In general, such plans are considered a wise purchase for those

  • Who have fairly old appliances, ie 4+ years.
  • Have no time for DIY repairs.
  • No budget for expensive repairs and replacements.
  • Do not have a trusted contractor.
  • Is a first time home owner.

If any of the above mentioned conditions are true, it will be a good idea to purchase an appliance protection plan. Folks who fall into any one of the categories stated above stand a high chance of encountering frequent damages leaving their pocket empty.

Several types of appliance protection plans are available in the market today. Most of them differ with the extent of coverage. Most of the first tier or basic plans cover only major systems and appliances in your home. This usually excludes outdoor appliances and systems and second sets of devices. Eg spa and pool units, sprinklers are common things excluded from coverage. Also second air conditioning unit, second cooler etc are also omitted. However, the best part about these plans are that their coverage can always be extended. Accordingly the annual premium you pay will be higher.

How Does the Plan Work?

If an appliance crashes while the warranty plan is still valid, all you have to do is to inform the company about the damage. Once you give them all the necessary details, they will call up a service vendor with whom they maintain business ties. The vendor then contacts you to fix an appointment and on the agreed time he arrives to take a look at your appliance. If the damage is minor, the technician will fix it right away.

However, major damages or part replacements may need approval from the home service contract company. Any parts that require replacement will be procured for you by the company.

Advantages of a Home Warranty Plan

  • It offers some amount of protection for your budget.
  • It is the closest thing you can find to peace of mind.
  • You get the service of experienced and qualified technicians.
  • You don’t have to look for a service vendor, they will be sent to your doorstep.
  • Flexible coverage. You can purchase as little or as extensive coverage as you need.
  • Affordable. Most plans have annual premiums that range anywhere between $250 to $600.

Disadvantages

  • It is not a free of cost arrangement. In addition to the annual premium, you will also be paying a service call fee each time you raise an issue. The fee is nominal, usually around $50.
  • You cannot raise multiple issues in a single claim.
  • Claims are sometimes rejected based on vague and unclear grounds and often stating fine print from the contract which customers usually overlook.
  • Conflicts may arise on the diagnosis given by the technician.
  • The home warranty company will always try to repair and not replace your damaged appliance.

Final word

Home Warranty plans are a great way to insure your household appliances if they are old or aging. However, people often tend to confuse this with homeowner’s insurance, which is quite a big mistake. Homeowner’s insurance can never be replaced with a home service contract or vice versa. Though they both offer protection for your appliances, their grounds for placing a claim are totally different.

May it be reminded again that the policy booklet and contracts are vital documents and should be studied and preserved carefully. If you have decided to go ahead with a home warranty, check out Top Home Warranty Companies listed on our site.




Are there scams in the home warranty industry?

When you look at the words most often used in emotional complaints about home warranty companies you may find that “scam” is a very common term. But if you look very closely at the home warranty industry it’s hard to find evidence of a scam rooted in the established home warranty companies.

Home Warranty Scams

Though home owners are not always happy with the speed or manner of the response to their claims it takes more than just complaints to make a true scam. So are there no scams in the home warranty industry? My personal opinion is that there are plenty of scams and if you look back you’ll find plenty more in the past. Does that make the home warranty industry unique? I definitely don’t believe so. Auto insurance, health insurance, home building, government, religion – you name it, there have been scandals and grounds to throw words like scam around. Home warranty is not unique in that it has unhappy customers. Show me an industry without unhappy customers and I’ll be the first to change careers. But like I mentioned before, home warranty customers have been victimized and are probably being victimized even today.

Spotting the scams and the companies that are not operating with the best interests of their customers in mind is the very first priority. This is where home owners and legitimate home warranty companies can work together. Real estate agents, home repair contractors, home inspectors, and many other professional and customer advocacy groups can also help to point out the signs that home warranty companies are not doing what is right for their customers.

 

How do you spot home warranty companies that may be scamming customers?

How can home owners identify home warranty companies that are likely to be scams or just not be doing what is right in terms of their commitments to customers? There are a few basic approaches to getting a good read on a home warranty company and all of them involve some time spent doing home work. What this comes down to really is customers taking their time and not making impulse purchases of home warranty contracts. And during that period of finding out about a home warranty company here are some things home owners would be wise to look out for:

  • Is the home warranty company well established? This one is important. Many home warranty companies that fail to take care of their commitments due to greed or negligent management practices still cannot be labeled scams. But like the companies that are intentionally misleading customers, the ones that do a bad job with customer service or mismanage the company’s assets tend to wind up being fly-by-night companies. If a company hasn’t been around long then home owners should be extra cautious.
  • Are people you know talking about the company? If you ask everyone you know about a home warranty company and nobody can tell you a thing about them then, again extra caution is wise. Keep in mind that hearing about other people you know signing up for a home warranty doesn’t necessarily mean a company will be good to deal with as a customer. Until you file a claim you don’t really know what you’ve gotten yourself into.
  • Do your state government’s insurance regulatory authorities or other public offices know anything about the home warranty company? Some states have rules for home warranty companies while others do not. If you live in a state that has no regulations, licensing requirements, or other rules for home warranty companies then you should tread very carefully. If you choose a home warranty company that fails to deliver on its promises your state may have little or no recourse available for you. If your state licenses or otherwise sets limits on home warranty companies don’t sign or buy anything until you know where the home warranty company stands with your state’s regulatory entity. And ask about complaints. Some officials can tell you if there have been complaints filed with their office or other offices against the home warranty company you are inquiring about.
  • Find out more about the company in terms of physical location and ownership. As mentioned earlier in this article, there are sometimes signals that a home warranty company isn’t legitimate. The harder it is to find out about the ownership and location of a company the more cautious a home owner should be about doing business with it.

 

What sorts of home warranty scams should you watch out for?

It’s difficult to predict what sort of stunt criminals will pull tomorrow but in terms of what scams I’ve heard of up to now, here are a few. The names may be funny but the financial losses and wasted time on the parts of the jilted customers is nothing to smile about.

 

“The Emperor’s New Clothes”

This one involves a company that isn’t a company at all. It has none of the financial depth that is required to cover the costs of handling repairs and replacements when home warranty customers file claims. In fact these companies rarely have a real office and follow the same pattern almost every time. They deny all the claims they can, approve the ones they can’t but then don’t pay anyone for the work performed, and then when frustrated customers cancel they promise refunds which they also fail to pay.

 

“The Ponzi Scheme”

These companies oftentimes pay their contractors and approve returns but do so in such a way as to gradually put the company further and further behind on various debts. While they do this they use positive customer reviews to attract more customers and also spend a great deal on advertising in some cases. By the time they become fat with customers and reach their peak they’ve already bankrupted the company through poor management. The customers who are holding new home warranty contracts the day the company finally sneaks out its back doors and turns off the phones are the ones who get hit the hardest. Sometimes this type of scam leaves a long-term trail of customers who don’t find out their contract is worthless until they attempt to contact their home warranty company’s customer service center. This grab-the-cash-and-dash routine has burned many, many home owners over the years.

 

“The Disguise”

Some people who found bad home warranty companies get away with their misdeeds or only receive a slap on the hand that holds the checkbook. They then go on to start other home warranty companies using new company names and sometimes using different people as the officers or owners of the company. By disguising themselves they evade the public scrutiny that would otherwise stop their scams cold. Home owners caught up in the web of these characters can count on denied claims, shoddy work, unpaid contractors pursuing the home owner for debts the home warranty company owes payment for, and many other unpleasant circumstances.

 

What can home owners do if they suspect they are dealing with a fraud that is posing as a home warranty company?

For the sake of other consumers, friends, and the home warranty industry where companies work diligently to satisfy their customers, any home owner who feels that a claim was handled unfairly or that there are signs of misconduct on the part of their home warranty company should not remain silent. All too often home warranty companies give the overall industry a bad name with their poor handling of claims, contractor relations, or other important areas of their businesses. And in the case of true scams, more often than not, the people behind the scams only get away with what they do because it takes so long for anyone in a position to stop them to realize what is happening. As consumers realize their options to use government offices, social media, and word of mouth to sound the alarm about bad home warranty companies it will become more and more difficult for new scams to find victims.

 

This is a guest article written by Kevin Wallach. As owner and writer at HomeWarrantyWiz.com Kevin spends a great deal of time collecting information to help his readers better understand home warranty plans. Though home warranty is not the most popular topic online, it does mean a lot to home owners who need help with questions about it.

 




2-10 Home Buyers Warranty is in the process of launching Green Advantage Warranty as part of protection assurance programs for new and upcoming green building initiatives.

Green Advantage Warranty

The 2-10 home appliance warranty company offers Green Advantage Warranty to builders who meet eco-friendly standards. Builders need to build homes that fulfill the requisites of Energy Star, National Green Building Standard (NGBS), or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

Green Advantage Warranty includes repairs and replacement of Energy Star certified products and appliances. Coverage includes the replacement of green labeled items, engineered wood products, sustainably harvest lumber, low or no emission finishes and recycled products with accordance of applicable national certification standard.

Scott Cromie, Chairman and Chief Executive officer states that “With one in four homes now certified by green building standards, it is clear that home buyers want a more eco-friendly home, and that offering warranty protection that targets these values offers builders a clear competitive edge,” and also reports “Our new Green Advantage Warranty represents 2-10 Home Buyers’s Warranty commitment to greener business practices, and celebrates the home builders and home buyers who want a greener home and lifestyle. We’re proud to offer a product that meets these standards, while continuing to provide the same leading, trusted protection our company stands behind.”

Builders interested in participating are encouraged to call 877.777.1344 for more information. You can register to 2-10 HBW Green Advantage Warranty, just by adding up a minimal additional fee over the existing standard rate. It is as simple as checking a box next to the certification standard on 2-10 HBW’s Home Enrollment Application.

Green Advantage Warranty is an added policy to the company’s existing home warranty package, including one, two and ten years of coverage offering for new construction home builders. Company’s 10 years warranty covers structural warranty defect. Under the policy of 1-2-10 warranty one year of surety coverage of workmanship and materials. Two years of warranty also covers on systems.

About the company

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty® is in market for more than 30 years, now the company has offered customers and their homeowners the most comprehensive warranty program available. Whether you’re building, selling or buying a home, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty offers a complete line of warranty, service contracts and risk management products. Since 1980, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has provided warranties and service contracts for more than 5.5 million new and pre-owned homes.




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Purchasing your home was likely the single largest investment that you ever made… and not just monetarily. Homeownership is an emotional investment as well. You care for your home, pouring your heart into maintaining and improving it. Your home is where you watch children grow, create lasting memories, cry a few tears—some happy and some sad—and watch as the seasons of life change.

So, with all that you’ve poured into your home, you deserve to maximize the return on your investment when it comes time to sell. Including a home warranty in the transaction helps protect your investment— monetarily and emotionally—and may even help attract better offers.

Offering a Home Warranty

What Is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty helps defray the unexpected costs associated with repairing or replacing a home’s major systems and appliances should they malfunction due to normal wear and use. For the home seller, coverage remains in effect while the home is on the market (up to 180 days in most cases). For the buyer, coverage usually goes into effect at close of sale and lasts for up to one year.

What Is Covered?

Home warranties cover your home’s major systems and appliances when they fail due to normal wear and use. This includes:

  • Heating and air conditioning systems
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical systems
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Garage door openers

What Are the Advantages during the Listing Period?

Since we all know things happen at the least opportune time, home sellers may avoid Murphy’s Law by purchasing a home warranty. If your water heater springs a leak while your home is on the market, paying the full cost of a repair can erode potential profits from the sale of your home and possibly delay closing until repairs are complete.

With a home warranty plan, home sellers get immediate protection, as coverage takes effect the day your agent submits the application. This is important, as it means there are no delays or waiting periods before you can make a service request, further saving your precious time and resources.

On top of the budget protection home warranties provide, home sellers benefit from access to a network of qualified contractors and the peace of mind that comes with knowing help is just a phone call away (you can even request service online!). Perhaps most important is a greater return on your investment, as your home may sell faster and at a higher price.

No matter how well you maintain your home, potential buyers are taking a perceived risk. The older your home (and its systems and appliances), the greater the risk in their eyes. You can offset the perceived risk by offering a home warranty with the home sale. In many cases, a home warranty could prove to be the differentiating factor for some buyers, giving them enough confidence to increase their offer and more aggressively pursue your home.

In addition, the home warranty continues protecting you beyond the close of sale. One of the last things you want is an after-sale issue because a covered system or appliance malfunctioned in your old home. If you include a home warranty with the home, the buyer contacts the home warranty provider—not you—to have the malfunction resolved.

Home Warranty Coverage Is Affordable

There are two distinct coverage periods in a real estate transaction, the seller’s coverage period (when the home is on the market, up to 180 days) and the buyer’s coverage period (after the close of sale, up to 12 months). When you choose to have seller’s coverage, you agree to purchase a home warranty contract for the buyer as well. In most cases, the fees for the home warranty contract are paid through the closing process, meaning there is no out-of-pocket cost to you until the home sells.

Depending on your state, the warranty company either includes coverage for the home seller with the home buyer’s contract or provides the coverage for a small fee (typically $60 to $75) in addition to the cost of the home buyer’s contract. That’s a small price to pay for tremendous budget protection!

What You Should Know about Home Warranty Coverage

It’s important to note that home warranties do not cover everything. Read your contract carefully to understand how the Plan works. Every home warranty has terms and conditions of coverage that explain what is and is not covered, the conditions under which coverage applies, and any dollar limits that may apply.

Home warranties provide coverage for the items specified in your contract, which are typically limited to the home’s major systems and appliances.

For home buyers, additional optional coverage is available. In some states, items such as air conditioning, kitchen refrigerator, and clothes washer and dryer may be included in the standard plan or available as options for an additional fee. Optional coverage may be available for other non-standard items, including swimming pool and spa equipment, well pump, septic system, ornamental fountain, and more.

Plan upgrades provide additional protection and enhancements to custom fit the individual needs of your home. For example, some companies offer plan upgrades that cover additional costs for permits, cranes required for repairs, modifications, correction of code violations, and a host of other coverage enhancements. Consider the systems and appliances in your home when choosing coverage to ensure you choose adequate protection to meet your needs.

Bottom Line

It’s inevitable that a home’s systems and appliances will eventually break down and usually at the least opportune time. A system malfunction could cause unnecessary financial hardship and personal stress when your home is on the market. A home warranty, however, offers affordable budget protection and peace of mind. It may also help sell your home faster while attracting higher offers from confident buyers.

Speak to your agent to learn more and ensure you realize the full value home warranty coverage can provide.

About the Author

This article was prepared by Old Republic Home Warranty, a leading provider of home warranty plans.




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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There is no question that a large number of people would give anything to live in California. This is one of the greatest states in the US because no other location in the entire country has ever been able to become the capital of entertainment and dreams. The state that has given life to the largest phenomenon in the entertainment industry and that is of course Hollywood. This is one of the main reasons why so many people choose to move to this state. In this article we are going to talk about the top five warranty companies and how important it is to be able to hire their services if you want to get the best service. These are the top rated home warranty companies in California as of June 2015

1. The Home Service Club

This is a great company that has an excellent service with two main warranty plans available. They have the standard and comprehensive plans. Once covers the primary systems and appliances and the other covers basically everything in your household. The reviews are generally very good and their services are known to be very efficient. They have fewer plans than others, but their current plans are quite good.

2. American Home Shield

This is the company that basically founded the home warranty industry. They offer a wide variety of home warranty plans that have a wide range of costs that can fit most budgets. The general opinion in the reviews about this company are quite good, so you can definitely trust their services to be good. They have been in the business longer than anyone else and they have learned how to get things done properly.

Home Warranty Companies in California

3. Home Warranty of America

This is another company that has been providing excellent services to millions of Americans in every state of the country. They have been providing some of the most cost effective plans that are available in the industry. The reviews for the business are very positive and their customer service is their greatest strength. This is one of the companies with the largest reach in the country.

4. Select Home Warranty

This company has plans that truly fit all kinds of budgets and they give coverage to all sorts of properties and the repairs and replacement that might be needed for their homes. This is the main reason why so many reviewers are saying that this is the home warranty service.

5. Total Protect

There is no question that customer services is the most important thing that the staff at Total Project wants to be able to provide to all of their clients. They have a very special method of helping with home warranties by giving homeowners better tools in order to maintain their own homes much better. The reviews say that this is the one company that seems to get involved the most and this is the reason why they have gained so much respect in the business. The reviews are generally quite positive too.

Conclusion

There is nothing more important than being able to get the right kind of service when it comes to your home warranty. This is going to allow you to maintain your home in top condition at all times for a very reasonable cost. The use of this kind of service has become extremely popular in California and now you have plenty of choices that will allow you to decide which one is going to be the best decision. You can research all of the companies that we have just mentioned and decide which one will be best for your needs.

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