How to Identify Structural Defects in Your Home?

Most of us know how to identify a faulty socket, a home appliance that isn’t working right or a leaky roof panel. What about noticing a structural defect before it gets out of hand? By definition, any crack, fault or deviation in the structural integrity of the building is identified as a structural defect, one that requires immediate attention. And here comes the Structural Warranty for your aid, provided if you have carefully chosen the policy after going through the fine print of the contract.

Structural Defects in a home

Often these defects are noticed in load-bearing elements of the home – the beams, roof frames, support walls and the like. For example, a shift or crack in the foundation stumps could play a part in putting off balance the entire house, as can a fault line in one the walls along the perimeter that hold up the roofs entire weight.

What are Structural Defects

The first step to identifying a structural defect is knowing what it really is. A structural defect is any element of the building’s structure that shows signs of faulty workmanship or materials that results in or may in the future result in:

  1.   Destruction and damage of any kind to the building itself
  2.   Prevention of use of a part of the building due to structural defects
  3.   Need for a space in the building to be blocked or closed due to structural defects
  4.   Eventual collapse of the structure

Why Structural Defects Occur

The cost of repair is astronomical, as compared to fixing appliances or cosmetic non-load bearing partitions and frames. Accessing the foundation stumps can cost an easy $10,000; double if the house is large. While structural engineers and inspectors can be easily hired for routine inspections, it is important for you to be able to spot defects as well.

When it does come to a hired professional, you have the option between a Licensed Engineer and a Home Inspector, the former being advisable as he or she has the authority to not only notice a defect but also suggest plans of action in order to rectify the issue. If you plan on investing in a Structural Warranty or State Warranty for your home, then it usually comes with an inspection.

In the US, soil expansion and other elements of nature account for an easy twenty-five percent of structural defects, but improperly built structures play a large role as well. Bulges in walls due to temperature expansion or loose brick or wood beams, faulty roofing, slanting walls and their lack of load bearing capabilities, cracks – all add up when it comes to construction methods which did not follow the necessary precision and regulations.

Before purchase, a home inspection is considered mandatory for all practical purposes. For an investment that large, it makes no sense flying blind and taking a risk, especially when it comes to the reliability of the structure itself. Unfortunately, that is not the end of it. All statistics indicate to structural defects manifesting themselves 4 to 7 years post the completion of the building, which leads interestingly to why 10-year coverage Structural Warranties have become so common.

Identifying Structural Defects in Your Home

Faults in Foundation

The roots of the building that keep it grounded and steady with an equal distribution of load, a weak foundation can not only be the death of a home but can also be very difficult to fix. Just like a game of Jenga, the home stands firm on its foundation, load bearing frame of walls and roof. If the base shakes, it all comes tumbling down.

Foundation cracks and how to deal with it if you have a structural warranty

Now the tricky part is that faults in the foundation are difficult to identify early on. The first signs of these are seen in the floor – buckling or raised tiles and planks, ruptures, sagging of the flooring materials and crumbling or concrete. Improper sloping and drainage can be markers as well, often caused by roots of surrounding trees that are spreading under your home.

So check if you have a structural warranty in place and that it covers all the mentioned damages so that you can have a worry-free stay at your home!

Improper Technique and Materials in Flooring

Unless the fault is rising up from the foundation, defects in flooring usually owe their existence to faulty workmanship. If the inspection shows that the damage is only on the topmost layer – affecting the tiles, wooden planks or stone surface – then you needn’t worry about the integrity of the foundation below.

Seepage in floors and how structural warranty helps

Any seepages at the floor level, loose tiles due to the grout crumbling and wood warping or raising due to moisture and gaps between tiles are all signs of structural damage. It may seem like a cosmetic issue but left unattended the damage could cause faults in the foundation as well.

No wonder, the recommendation to have a structural warranty makes sense to have, ain’t it?

Cracks

Homes made of concrete can be easily subjected to expansion and contraction. Due to the increase and decrease in moisture and temperature, ruptures begin to appear on the walls and floor.

Cracks in your wall

Cracks on the surface are not usually a problem, especially if they remain static and do not increase or spread. Known as Hairline Cracks, they are less than a tenth of a millimeter and rarely grow or increase in length and width.

Ruptures that are around a millimeter in width can be more visible, but even these can be treated on the surface for cosmetic reasons. They almost never expand and mean no harm to the structure of your home, though depending on where they are positioned they may cause seepage.

Constant expansion and contraction in states that experience extreme changes in weather may cause cracks that are a lot more distinct, often around doors and windows. Not only do they alter the structure of the wall to a certain extent, they also are a few millimeters wide. This shift can cause windows and doors to jam or not shut at all, which may require attention.

A crack with a width of over 5mm is cause for alarm and needs to be inspected. While they can be fixed by reworking on certain parts of the wall, there is a chance that the crack may have damaged the wiring, plumbing, and service pipes which run through the walls.

More than 15mm and you can be rest assured that immediate attention is necessary. No doubt, there has now been some impact on the pipes and wiring inside the walls, and if it needs to sustain a monsoon then seepage is inevitable. Most often, cracks of this width are difficult to miss, and they cause windows, doors, and woodwork to warp and slant. Walls may bulge in certain parts, and floors may slope and rise, making the weight-bearing beams compensate for the load that the walls should be bearing.

Having a Structural Warranty in such instances is nothing but a big relief. The home is covered and the repair costs for such huge cracks are all taken care by the home builder.

Inspection from the Outside

Walking around the outside of your home can tell you a lot about its structure. Keep your eyes open for sagging roof ridges, external cracks, gaps between utilities like chimneys and the adjoining walls, and bulges or recessions in the walls.

Windows and doors must be tested for proper mechanics, as well as for cracks around them due to pressure. It helps to keep a right angle tool ready to check if the corners are clear and without slopes.

Another reason to look both outside and inside for defects in correlation. If cracks and shifts on the outside matchup with defects on the inside, rest assured there is a deep rooted defected that is definitely structural.

Home and Builder Structural Warranty

It may be a tough decision to make, but when you are hunting for a home then it’s a good idea to check if builder-sold homes come with Builder Structural Warranty to back up their reputation.

Home Warranty focuses on the houses appliances and interiors, while Builder Warranty usually takes care of all the heavy duty structural detail, windows, doors and internal systems. Though both their purpose and choosing a plan that offers both is a good idea, it may be best to have your house inspected before choosing one – Home or Builder.

So, it is always good to have the protection and peace of mind a homeowner gets when the home has a structural warranty in place and the appliances are backed up by a legitimate home service contract or home warranty policy!






Anyone with a fully functional kitchen can tell you with confidence that a dishwasher makes a huge difference when it comes to reducing daily workload. Many other major appliances can also breakdown suddenly, so one needs to lookout for all the major appliances in the home along with the dishwashers. With the advent of new technologies and modifications in dishwashers, they have in fact become efficient in terms of water and power consumption as well. The newer models utilize even less water than hand washing dishes does!

Dishwasher Benefits & top tips on how to select the best one

Mostly, a dishwasher is priced around $800-$1000 and within this range, you are sure to get an efficient dishwasher with a reasonable capacity and silent motor. There are options within a lower price range but they tend to be louder and if you have a bigger load, then not all your dishes might come out clean. Having said this, they might be still adequate for your needs, and at the end of the day, it does depend on how often you use it and to what degree.

High-end dishwashers do come with their advantages, but in a sense, are very close to the mid-range appliances. They do tend to be quicker in washing a load, with additional racks and specialty zones with extra water jets, but if you dig deep enough you might find something which is similar within a $1000.

If the consumption of electricity and water is compared, a dishwasher is, without a doubt, more efficient. One cycle of vessels washed in a dishwasher of medium capacity utilizes about 3 to 5 gallons of water and 1 kWh of energy. Now it isn’t hard to believe that hand washing uses more water – in fact, 5 to 7 times as much – but interestingly even the electricity usage is higher when vessels are hand washed.  The electricity required to heat 20 to 30 gallons of water for hand washing vessels is three times what a dishwasher uses for a cycle.

According to these estimates, a dishwasher saves you anywhere between 300 and 400 kilowatt-hours of energy in a year, and a whole of 3000 to 4000 gallons of water. There is no doubt, dishwashers are one way to efficiently utilize the resources we have.

What’s more, the dishes washed in the dishwasher get a lot more sanitized than the ones washed by hands, for no other reason but the fact that the water inside reaches up to 160°F, a good 50 degrees more than an average hand can bear. These high temperatures handle grease and bacteria in ways that usual washing never can, making dishwashers an excellent addition to your list of household appliances.

What Not to Miss

Technology is always on the move and there is a new innovation every day! Dishwashers are no exceptions. Models are continually evolving; before buying one, do your homework. Give it some time and try and map out your average load size and frequency. How many times do you use a dishwasher? Daily or, twice a week? Do your vessels usually have high levels of grease and crust or are they easy to wash? The answer to these simple questions regarding your routine and style of cooking can help you narrow down a great deal from all the options that are now available.

Warranty is another extremely important feature – one or more years for free parts and repair is never something to take lightly. Especially when an appliance is used consistently, it is bound to need servicing and replacement of parts one way or another. And it makes sense for every homeowner to know how to effectively take care of all of the appliances, let alone dishwashers!

Modern technology has improved the dishwasher to a get extent, and manufacturers have even come up with models that function at nothing louder than a low hum. With chic controls, efficiency in energy and water use, stainless steel body, and interiors for zero rust and perks like water softeners built into the system so that your dishes are sprightly clean without any hassle, these dishwashers are no longer aesthetic eyesores. In fact, you are going to want to show them off! That said, there is no doubt that they are priced proportionately to their features, so be prepared before you stray to the high-end aisle in the showroom.

The world of almost-robots being a part of our daily lives is here and has entered our homes and workspaces. Many companies have also introduced “Smart” Dishwashers, which use sensors to check cleaning during wash cycles, allowing for customization of your machine settings to meet your load settings and retain optimum efficiency.  If you are looking for something in which you don’t have to interfere at all, then a smart dishwasher is what you need.

Buttons, Controls, Aesthetics and Styling

If machines can function all with sensors, then there is no doubt that controls have become a lot simpler. Whirlpool has introduced a dishwasher which functions with just a single push of a button – a One-Touch control.

Dishwasher controls can be broadly divided into push buttons, dials, and electronic control pads. While mechanical controls such as buttons and dials are a lot more reliable and actually easier to use, the trend has moved towards electronic for its style and trendy aesthetic.

Besides just putting it on, there are usually three kinds of cycles a dishwasher offers – Light, Normal and Heavy. Some washers also provide for a Gentle cycle for people who wish to wash fragile dishes made of crystal and china in dishwashers as well.

The last control is one that adds a timer to the mix, allowing the user to set the load to start at a later time.

Aesthetics have become extremely important when it comes to any room of the house, and appliances becoming trendier is the natural course that design is to take. Instead of hiding their dishwasher under a ledge or behind cabinet doors, people choose to customize the appliance to match the design of the kitchen. Usually, they come in tones of steel, white and black. Lately, companies have begun to offer customized finished to match their cabinet surfaces and tiles. In fact, companies such as ASKO have started a Designers Series in home appliances, with a variety of colors that can even be matched exactly to the shade of your wall or cabinet.

Dishwasher Capacity

Conventional dishwashers are generally of the same size because they are made to fit under a standard height counter which is 24 inches wide. European models are usually smaller than American ones. The most important element when it comes to the capacity of a dishwasher is actually it’s flexibility in rack sizes and shapes, allowing you to snuggly fit in a variety dishes and kitchen implements. Your options might include, terraced racks, fold down trays, and adjustable or removable stands.

Energy-Efficient Dishwashers

Post the federal regulations that were imposed in the late 20th century, dishwashers have become twice as efficient in the use of both water and electricity. This minimized usage is resulting in dips in owner’s electricity bills. Experts opinions and research shows that the maximum amount of energy used in a dishwasher is for the heating of the water, so many new models have inbuilt water heating systems that are localized and efficient. If you invest in one such appliance, then you should be saving up to 20% more on electricity.

Another perk of newer models is that they no longer require you rinse dishes off before you place them in. This not only saves time but also lands up saving water and electricity as the entire process happens in one go without any human intervention. Instead of using soak cycles which waste water, dishwashers have begun to use pressurized sprays to get dishes clean and dry.

Dishwasher Energy-Saving Tips

As we already know, most energy in a dishwasher goes into heating water, then the drying cycles, running the pump and lastly, powering controls. While shopping for a new dishwasher, picking up an energy efficient model is the first step to energy savings, however, there are a few tips on how you could use your dishwasher to the best of its capability.

  • Dishwashers that are being manufactured now are quite powerful, especially when it comes to cleaning. Skip hand-rinsing your dishes, not only would you save water and thereby energy, but also it would let your dishwasher do what it is meant to!
  • Do not over fill your dishwasher. This might lead to in dishes not getting cleaned properly, requiring more than one cycle.
  • There is a huge variety of washing cycles in dishwashers that are in the market now. Experiment and choose what suits your needs the best. The ‘power scrub’  or ‘heavy load’ option may not be necessary for every load.

Four Dishwashers Ideal for Daily Use

KitchenAid KDTE104DSS

KitchenAid Dishwasher

A trendy and efficient model which is also priced reasonably, the KitchenAid dishwasher is one of the quietest in its price range. It has electronic controls situated at the top of the unit, and its one-touch function comes with a Pro-Wash preset that can not only choose the right cycle type for the vessels you load but also alter its settings for more efficient cleaning as it is working. This real-time alteration of settings at such a price is one of its kind, and it also has added features of increased temperatures that kill virtually all the bacteria present.

Bosch 800 Series SHX68T55UC

Bosch 800 Dishwasher

If energy efficiency is what you are looking for then the Bosch 800 series is the way to go. Even though its setting and cycles are standard, elements of modernity are instilled within its functioning, wherein it costs much less to operate as compared to others of its kind.

Electrolux IQ-Touch EI24ID50QS

Electrolux Dishwasher

Electrolux is for individuals who want a dishwasher that can cater to a variety of dishes, materials, and sensitivities. With a very wide range of cycle options and controls, this dishwasher does include cycles that are energy efficient as well.

Samsung DW80F800

Samsung Dishwasher

If you have dishes to clean with crusts and heavy grease stains, then the Samsung DW80F800 is your go to machine. The jets on this unit surpass any other, and as it uses pressure over soak, this appliance is also energy efficient. As a perk, its interiors are stainless steel and resistant to any abrasions.

Home Warranty for your Appliances

Any daily use appliance is bound to sustain routine wear and tear, making its manufacturer’s warranty insufficient. Very rarely do we discard appliances once their warranty gets over, but what we don’t realize is that an appliance needs servicing and repair most once its company-given warranty runs out.

Enter Home Warranty, a simple solution to maintenance and servicing of your home, its appliances, and systems. Everything from scheduled inspections to routine servicing and a claim coverage which will assure that you owe virtually nothing, Home Warranty is an investment worth making. HomeWarrantyReviews.com has a databank of articles, reviews, top ranked companies and guidelines, all catering to consumers who wish to purchase a warranty for their homes. Join the community and look at the research and tools to truly get to know its wide-ranging benefits and policy options offered by companies in your state.




Usually, appliances last for several years, mainly when they are properly maintained. Adequate maintenance actually brings down faulty function incidents considerably. When household appliances no longer work, you have two alternatives. You could either substitute it or repair it. In order to make the right decision, many points have to be kept in mind. Firstly, make sure your commercial appliance’s age and warranty period. If the particular warranty period continues, your repair could fee you nothing, or much less than what you suppose to pay otherwise.

The Cost of Appliance Repair – Are they worth Repairing?

Average appliance repair costs

Assuming that the warranty period is over and consequently repair shall be pricey, then you certainly must consider a few points. You must begin with obtaining estimates and quotes from no less than four different service providers. If the cost is about 50% of the cost of a new appliance then it is worth getting the repair done. If not, it would make more sense to just upgrade to a newer model. An amazingly old kitchen appliance may give you the situation of hard-to-find spare parts. Your repair guy might have a tough time discovering suitable appliance parts and he could charge extra for that too.

Getting original parts to be substituted by spare alternatives is not a very good idea. There are high chances of making more troubles than answers. Even if it does not prove to be a fix, you will face stumbling blocks later on. Throw away your appliance and get yourself a new one instead. New models from reputable warranty companies tend to be more energy-efficient and reasonable. By employing environmentally friendly commercial appliances in your business, you will also be promoting goodwill and sales among your patrons. It also transforms to lower energy expenses and more savings. The extra cost will surely be justified over the years.

How Much Does Replacing or Repairing an Appliance Cost?

Commercial appliance repair service is normally billed for on hourly basis. Average hourly rates for the first half an hour could vary between $50- $70. After that, for any subsequent moment block the rates will be a few dollars less per half hour. On average, if you are a regular customer of a company, you can anticipate to pay 10$-20$ per hour for time slots from your technician. Lower rates are charged if your appliance is delivered to the provider shop and the technician did not have to go onsite for the repair. Sometimes based on the complexity of the job, the rate will vary. This will usually adjust in benefit of the client as then, the duration of time taken for repair is not of importance. The person will not be anxious about being charged too much.

When calling your repair services call center or offices, bear in mind that ‘overtime calls, i.e. the calls taken after business hours, on holidays, and on weekends, will naturally cost you extra. In fact, charges might even be as much as 25% over. Thus, take thin in account. If the repair is not an emergency, calling for an urgent ‘overtime repair’ is not a very smart idea.

A Pre-Owned Home Warranty Can Protect You From Costly Repairs

If you are most consumers, you would not even consider buying a new or pre-owned car without some type of warranty. So why would you purchase a home without similar protection? Well, the simple answer is the majority of people just don’t know that home warranties exist. But as home sales are rising, buyers are negotiating for the best possible deals and sellers are seeking for advantages to make their home more pleasing. As a result, home warranties are rapidly becoming part of home sale transactions on both sides.

What is a Home Warranty

Get Covered!

A typical pre-owned home warranty is a service agreement provided to the sellers and/or buyers all through the sale of a home that protects the home’s essential mechanical systems and appliances. Usually, home warranties protect sellers and new homeowners from repair and/or replacement costs that are not covered by their homeowners’ insurance. While specific coverage differs, some of the most common items covered are the water heater, HVAC system, plumbing and electrical system.

Cost to Repair Appliances 2012

According to Homewyse, in 2012 the average cost to Repair Appliances varies from $184.63 to $242.40 per each appliance.

Your cost depends on material costs and local labor, level of preparation, finishes quality and job complexity.

Cost to Repair Appliances – General Information

The cost estimate includes:

  • Costs to material delivery and service provider transportation to and from the job site
  • Costs to set up the worksite for Appliance Repair, together with costs to project existing finishes, components and materials
  • Costs for site cleaning and debris removal once work is complete
  • Costs for machinery or tools to complete the Appliance Repair
  • Costs for tools or machinery used to complete the Appliance Repair

The cost estimate does not include:

  • Cost to modify or add present electrical, plumbing or HVAC systems
  • General contractor charge fees for directing and managing the Appliance Repair. You would expect 12.3% to 19% to the total cost if a general contractor supervises the project

Appliance Maintenance

The following list comprises major work tasks commonly performed during Appliance Maintenance.
Make use of this list to know the timing and sequence of different steps in the Appliance Maintenance project.

Example:

The table mentioned below is provided by Homewyse which is a vendor neutral, comprehensive online reference for the home. It is published by competent home design and construction professionals who seek to produce a “level playing field” for trade professionals and consumers. By relevant professional knowledge and expert insight which is easily accessible to the average homeowner, Homewyse facilitates effective decision making in all matters related to home.

Task Service Provider Duration Do-it-yourself difficulty Target Cost 
Install Electric Cooktop Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $513 – $932
Install Gas Cooktop Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $583 – $1,062
Install Trash Compactor Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $520 – $949
Install Range Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $895 – $1,643
Install Vent Hood Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $445 – $811
Install Washing Machine Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 3 – Complex, Difficult $695 – $1,273
Replace Washing Machine Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $695 – $1,273
Install Refrigerator Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $70 – $117
Install Dishwasher Plumber 1 d Level 3 – Complex, Difficult $488 – $886
Repair Appliances Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 3 – Complex, Difficult $70 – $117
Repair Dishwasher Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 3 – Complex, Difficult $70 – $117
Repair Dryer Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 3 – Complex, Difficult $70 – $117
Repair Refrigerator Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 3 – Complex, Difficult $70 – $117
Replace Built-In Refrigerator Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $1,820 – $3,354
Replace Trash Compactor Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $520 – $949
Install Waste Disposal Plumber 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $105 – $175
Install Ice Maker Plumber 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $230 – $407
Install Dishwasher Plumber 1 d Level 3 – Complex, Difficult $488 – $886
Install Garbage Disposal Plumber 1 d Level 3 – Complex, Difficult $250 – $444



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

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

Do I need extended warranty?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buying Extended WarrantySource: CBS News

Extended Warranty vs. Home Warranty

extended warranty vs home warranty

Things to keep in mind

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

  • Contract Terms and Conditions

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

  • Term of coverage

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

  • Extra charges

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

  • Comparison shopping

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

  • Credit card benefits

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

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




For decades now, the American Dream has been synonymous with Homeownership. Even though the housing market has not got back up after the recession hit of 2008, a majority of the population still strives to own their dream home, looking at it as a sign of stability and accomplishment. The only thing that changes is what each individual, couple or family unit is really looking for in a home, and at what time in their lives, they choose to take the leap.

The When and What of Dream Homes

Statistics show that an approximate 70% of all Americans hope to own a home of their own, comprising a solid 80% to 90% of millennials, aged between 18 and 34. Even though there is a postponement of getting married and having children in the lifestyles of the latter, parents – single or in committed relationships – have dream homes high on their priority list.

As far as dream homes go, it can be safely said that a mere one-third of the cross section across generations claim to already be living in their ideal residence, most aspiring to own a space larger and more luxurious. Yet, size isn’t everything and a very large percentage do want homes that are sized neither too small nor too big, between 1500 to 2500 square feet on an average.

At the end of the day, aspirational homes are greatly dependent on the age-bracket that you fall under – each generation having constantly changing needs, wants and family structures. While Millennials prefer to invest in homes which are high-tech and modern in both structure and amenities, the Baby Boomers (between 50 and 70 years at the moment) are in search for or have already invested in ranch-style homes which are comfortable and easily accessible.

The want for modernity has blended right in with the need to entertain, socialize and have a good time. Countering the luxury of numerous bedrooms, the new dream home features a large spread out floor plan with incentives and perks like French windows opening onto decks, views of the city or the sea, gourmet kitchens, fancy wet bars and open terraces.

From Country to Contemporary – 6 Types of Homes for the American Dreamers

French Country – An Eclectic Blend of American and French

A style of building, interiors, and structure that are appreciated across generations, French Country is making a comeback into the list of homes that Americans aspire to own.

French Country, your ideal home

Having its own touch of fantasy with its French feel, these country homes combine to perfection the resourceful American architectural techniques with French flair and decorative elements. What is more, being a type of home which first gained popularity in the early 1900’s, these country houses can be structured as anything from a small old-worldly cottage with a yard and a fence to an extravagant castle-like mansion with French windows and elaborate décor. Whichever it may be, they are known for their warmth and comfort, with tall window panes letting in plenty of morning sun and a mix of stepped roofs and gables with arches over the doorways to balance out the sharp edges.

The French traditional façade and elements of elevation are kept up through the use of stucco, brick, wrought iron rails and window panes, while the floor plan of the home tends to be more modern and functional – altering itself to fit the needs of your current lifestyle.

Colonial – European Geometricity and Symmetry

Colonial homes are known to be one of the most popular styles of architecture in America, characterized by their sharp geometricity brought by the European colonists in the 18th century. Themselves influenced by the Greeks and Romans in the past, European stylistic tendencies soon cropped up in various parts of both urban and rural America and is still known for its grandeur, symmetry, and stable stature.

Colonial, your dream home

The house is the epitome of formal balance, with the entrance being centrally located and brought to focus by the use of columns, often decorated around the capital or fluted from top to bottom. The formal balance is echoed in the sturdy and square foundation, on which stand an approximate of two or three floors. Taking it a step further, the windows are usually all the same size, symmetrically distributed on the façade with decorative shutters and multiple panes.

The past two to three centuries have seen very little change in this style, though certain homeowners do add elements to suit their needs. As far as dream homes go, the Colonial three-floor home in the city acts as the perfect bridge between the bustle of urban life and a safe and secure space for you and your family. It’s efficient and need based design caters perfectly to the new age priority of functionality while incorporating elements such as classical decorative detailing, hardwood floors and fireplaces without any compromise on the traditional look and feel of the space.  

Tudor – Dynastic English with a Touch of Victorian

Tudor style homes date back to England in the 1500’s, owing its name to the Tudor Dynasty which witnessed the last developmental phase of medieval architecture in England. The Tudor we know today owes a great deal more to modern alterations made to the style of that time, known now as Tudor Revivalist architecture.

Tudor, your dream home

Bringing in elements of both the Victorian charm and tradition as well as ornate gothic height and elevation, the Tudor Revivalist structures feature decorative timber on their façade, placed to give the entire house a sense of stability and weight even though they are purely ornamental in reality. In complete contrast to the colonial style of building, Tudor homes are characterized by their marked lack of symmetry, which is noticeable in all aspects of the interior and exterior of the home. Stressing on the abstract over geometric formal balance, the houses have a mix of angles and shapes which are rather varied, though they fall together in perfect harmony.

In recent times, newer constructions have been shying away from building Tudor style houses, but its archaic quality mixed with its abstract structural plan still keeps it in demand with the present generations of Americans.

Traditional Ranch and Cape Cod – simple, stately and minimal

A style which came into being wholly in America, Traditional Ranch Homes are the Baby Boomer’s dream right about now. Ideal for family units and retirement, ranch homes are known for their close to ground single story plans, minimal or no decorative elements, and functional priority in all aspects.

Cape code, your ideal home

Influenced by North American colonial architecture from the Spanish colonies, Ranch houses cut out direct sunlight and heat, offering the owner a covered porch with a view of the street – right out a country western flick.

Similar in functionality and priority as the Ranch homes, Cape Cod-style houses too boast of low floor plans and modest exteriors. These have now been subject to some experimental design in the past few decades, opening out the floor plan further and increase ventilation, living space and light. The new age American home is beginning to look at the importance of privacy and elbow room, which low floor plans can easily be altered to provide.

With amenities at the minimum, the house was once associated with the simple life, fusing modern ideas of to-the-point design with the American belief system of casual living spaces and informal communities and family units.

Craftsmen and Prairie

The last of the major shifts in architecture in the US, the nineteenth century saw the advent of the Arts and Crafts movements which came into existence in direct opposition of the opulent Victorian style (which was characterized by decoration in all fields) as well as the continued revival of classical styles of the past.

Prairie, your dream home

These styles developed into the contemporary ideals of home ownership shared by the present generations of Americans and focused on simplicity and inspiration from the surrounding nature itself. Not wanting to construct obstructive structures or spend excessively, the building materials and amenities were kept to a minimum in both, though each style was distinctly different.

Craftsmen, your ideal home

The Craftsmen style featured small, sturdy and extremely well-built bungalows known for their expert craftsmanship and lasting strength, while Prairie homes were characterized by spread out floor plans that echoed the prairie through its extending porches, courtyards, and balconies.

Contemporary, New American and Green – Uninterrupted, Individual and Unique

While many of us dream of owning the home down the street from theirs or a cottage that they once drove by in the countryside, a large number of Americans in recent times prefer being able to control and individualize their dream home’s floor plan and structure.

Modern & Contemprorary homes most americans aspire to own

The Contemporary and New American trends in construction are rooted in the need for basic form and function over decorative opulence, incorporating abstract floor plans and leveled rooms and spaces to allow for a flowing interior while not compromising on private spaces.

A touch of luxury has entered the privacy of bedrooms and baths as well, bringing in leisure into busy lifestyles by introducing simple tweaks like couple sinks, bath tubs, walk in closet spaces and oversized windows to greet you in the morning.

The spaces blending into one another also serves well when it comes to the love for entertaining, where open kitchens, terraces and landscaped backyards become a part and parcel of what a dream home should have.

Open floor plans are supported by open facades as well, with numerous windows, minimal dividing walls and doors, and a stress on abstract and asymmetry over formal balance. This focus on function has led to bigger questions regarding the environment as well, with homeowners who are building or renovating using natural and eco-friendly materials available close to the site of construction over large amounts of concrete.

Tips, Tricks, and DIY’s

While owning your dream home can be an aspirational standard you work towards, every home can be made to suit your best and serve its every purpose to the fullest. Even spending a few hours every Sunday on a little gardening or a spruce up cleaning spree can make a great difference in the feel of your home, and bring to the fore elements of its structural beauty that you never noticed before.

HomeWarrantyReviews.com holds within its array of articles not only guides to Home Warranty coverage and companies but also Do It Yourself guides and hacks to maintain your home and garden, giving you a space to discuss and learn about various ways to bridge the gap between physical appearance and functionality when it comes to your home.

What Next For Your Dream Home?

Discussing the various types of the home is something cool. But what is cooler is to keep it that way. How? You might ask! 
We only have three words for that – Research, Ratings & Reviews!
So take out those keen eyes and get online, check for the track record of the home warranty company in question by seeing the innumerable reviews on the internet. Check for their ratings and gauge how the company is performing and see for a fact how clearly the site’s rate a home warranty company, you know you can betcha on our site because we understand how important credibility is & we’ve been the go-to site for many such types of internet researches on home warranty shenanigans!




The thing is, we at HomeWarrantyReviews.com are so delighted for your continued support in providing useful reviews of the home warranties, along with using our outstanding free get quote tool for comparing various companies and its policies. We bet that the insights gained will continue to grow and remain invaluable, like always.

Home is where the heart is – everybody needs to delve deeper into their comfort zones. What’s going to aide us in this constant search? Technology. slowly, but surely technology is going to overhaul your way of life. You have to wait, til the cows come back home, ain’t it?

Modern Technologies To Homeowners

Trimming The Clutter Down

It takes constant effort and dedication to keep a home well-managed. (How else could you create that suave impression on your visitors?) You can run through our Ultimate Home Cleaning Hacks for some much needed inspiration. Keeping your home organized in easy steps is also a saver!

Get this into your head, make a habit out of each and every individual of your family. See to it that these handy tips are followed regularly and you’ll thank us later. It’ll be such an invigorating experience for sure.

Making Edges Way Smoother

The information seen here is the impending future, hopefully being materialized at a local store near you, within a couple of years.

Let’s see them all one-by-one over the next couple of engaging minutes-

Solar Paint

Imagine the paint on a car self-powering a battery, how cool is that for the automotive industry? Paints on a sidewall of a home silently swindling energy to power lights on your front door, you read it right!

Using thin solar films loaded with minuscule photo-voltaic cells, these solar paints can be sprayed to achieve a superior finish. Look how this mind boggling technology is generating power and maintaining the beautiful aesthetics of a home too!

With due technological advancements, the solar paint is able to generate around 8.1% to 10% of solar energy whereas the traditional solar panel harnesses around 18% to 20% of sunlight into useful solar energy. Isn’t this revolutionizing our current trend? Wouldn’t you love to be a part of this remarkable move?

Solar Transparent Panel

Yet another technological breakthrough was seen in the form of completely transparent solar panels. When a normal window pane back home could potentially generate solar energy, undoubtedly skyscrapers can act as a potential source to harness unlimited power of the sun. Further, cities can work on a more self-sustaining energy consumption model. Even our mobile phone screens can be equipped with these transparent panels and according to researchers, these transparent solar panels can reach 50% more efficiency than the traditional solar panels being widely used world-over. Imagine the energy boost you’ll all get and how economically beneficial it can get in the long run! Not to forget the clutter you’d get rid off your rooftops. Ain’t that a charm for any homeowner?

Smart Homes Using Internet-of-Things

This is a huge and promising topic having the most applications under one umbrella. These technological features can relatively be convenient for any homeowner to access and this category gives the kind of satisfaction of comfort, at a deeper level.

Being able to take precautions with the help of a Weather Detection System, you could easily minimize the wrath of nature’s fury. (Probably it’s a good idea for homeowners down south to know which are the best home warranty companies in Florida, for it witnesses the most hurricanes in a calendar year!)

Next comes the state of the art home security systems which manages alarms for break-in, informing the police department to take immediate action at your location. Active surveillance cameras sense body motions and send movement alerts across your smartphones. Smart locks reading your fingerprints can trigger actions which either lock or unlock your front door. Lights can be turned on and off from a remote location, portraying the perspective that the home is not left unattended, even though you’re enjoying a holiday overseas.

The modern kitchen these days are a heaven, since the advent of the IoT, your appliances are more versatile, the age old plain looking front of the refrigerator can now smartly connect online and play your favorite show right on the refrigerator door itself. Yes, imagination can run high and you could potentially see appliances doing more than what they were originally meant to do.

Not only that, the lighting in the living space can be dimmed, music can be played with a flick of the wrist, and the heating and cooling systems can be activated just by the mere presence of a person. Moreover, even the water in your bathtub could be set to a temperature you fancy with nothing but hand gestures. And Light Fidelity (Li-Fi) is going to redefine the meaning of super-fast, crossing a whopping 200 gigs per second!

Conclusion

Imagine how wonderful self cleaning clothes sound, just run it with plain potable water! Visualize your home looking new and fresh every time a rain showers down at your place. Exciting, isn’t it! From rooftop tiles, paints on the walls and to the clothes you wear, newer disruptive technologies are making a significant impact and bringing in more types of appliances to the local store near you. And in due course of time, all appliances fail under certain circumstances. Hence, it’s always a good idea to cover for unexpected costs due to failure. So here’s a fair idea on how much you can annually save from a home warranty and as the technological barriers are brought down and implemented on a large scale, so does the price of the product becomes affordable. Since savings is a word not to be ignored in this fragile economic condition, we strongly advise you to protect your budget with home warranties. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst, eh Cap’n?




Nobody likes a cluttered kitchen because there is nothing more unappealing than it. Given how busy everyone gets these days, it is not a surprise that we found ourselves writing this article because, trust us, people are actually looking up ways to declutter their kitchens in the shortest time span possible.

We did some research and we found out that a cluttered kitchen is not only unappealing, it is also unhygienic. God knows how many germs that ignored, uncleaned corner of your kitchen is harboring.

Before you begin, try to harden yourself so that you don’t feel guilty about the things you are going to discard. Or the money (and time) you may have to spend so that future clutter is avoided.

So, let’s begin!

Cut Kitchen Clutter

 

Step 1 – Efficient use of storage space

Not all kitchens are loaded with cabinets and storage spaces, so make the best use of what you have. If you do not have much, make it a point to reduce the number of things you have in your kitchen.

Efficient use does not mean cram everything into the space that you have such that you’ll need to move a hundred things before you get your hands on what you need. Neatly arrange everything category wise in your cabinets. Keep the perishable and non-perishable items separate. You may also want to invest in racks or brackets that can be mounted on the walls, if you don’t have enough storage space. They are much cheaper than installing more cabinets or drawers.

Step 2 – Proper disposal of waste and unwanted materials

Sometimes, one disposal bin may not be enough for a home that houses a family of 2+. Ideally, have two large bins, one for organic waste and one for everything else. Scan your kitchen and chuck everything that is unnecessary or starting to rot. That applies to expired packed goods too. Dispose old cleaning sponges and washcloths if they look dirty.

Also, try to keep your garbage bins away from the stove/part of the kitchen where you cook or store food.

Step 3 – Shopping smart and avoiding unnecessary purchases

Half the clutter in your kitchen is probably from bulk deals you jumped up at and never paid attention to later. Even if something is on an unbelievably awesome sale, don’t buy it unless you are 100% sure that you cannot avoid buying it.

If you are a victim of bulk purchasing syndrome, you may want to scan your kitchen once again and chuck out some things. Trust us, the amount of space you’ll end up freeing is enormous!

Step  4 – Cleaning the kitchen before and after each cooking session

Setting aside the task of cleaning will only make you dread it more and increase your chances of putting that task away further. Make it a point to clean your kitchen or arrange your counters before you begin cooking. Once you are done preparing a meal, there is a good chance that everything will become messy or unclean. So repeat the cleaning routine unless your kitchen is spotless.

This step alone can help you save a lot of time clearing accumulated clutter in the future.

Step 5 – Assign a place for everything

If you are the kind of person who crams everything into the first available spot, you’ll end up with a very chaotic, disorganized kitchen over time. If your kitchen is already like that, you may want to take everything out and rearrange them back into shelves.

Assign places for everything. Spices together, containers and vessels together, and so on. You may also want to label everything so that it will be easier to find them as and when the need arises.

Do Not Skip De-cluttering

If you found the process tedious, you may be wondering if you could put it away for some other time. We strongly discourage this. The earlier you get it over with, the better you will feel. It may seem difficult at first but if you put on some music and get yourself to start the task, you’ll find that it’s not that hard.

Once you are done, spray some lemon juice or your favorite essential oil to make your kitchen smell heavenly. We recommend that you avoid room fresheners and chemical fragrances as kitchen is a bad place for them.

If you are a lazy homeowner and if your home is more than four years old, you may want to consider getting a Home Warranty plan to protect your appliances and budget.  While you are at it, we would also recommend that you go through some awesome home maintenance write-ups for some added info. Thanks for reading!




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

Insure a Building

Buildings and risk management

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

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

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

Building insurance basics

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

The shopping around needs to include:

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

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




Since you searched for this online, it is possibly true that you are frustrated beyond possible limits, because your Insurance Company, that you hired to make your life easier, is in fact annoying you. Let’s not waste time, this article explains the strategy that you must adopt in the event that your Insurance company acts tough on your claim.

Let’s take you over the essentials first. The points that follow must be adhered to , otherwise you stand a chance to lose the fight against the Insurance company.

General guidelines

Pursue Insurance Claims

 1. Information

Gather all the information you can regarding your damaged device eg Manufacturer’s name,  model no, batch no, claim center’s details, basically anything that is required. You should have them ready before you call up the Insurance Company. Keep the info that you gathered in the same place, this is will make accessing them easier. Keep your policy booklet and contract ready as well.

2. Maintain Call logs

Once you have gathered all the required information, call the Insurance company. It is suggested that you don’t place your call on Mondays as it is the busiest day of the week. You should keep records of the following:

  • All communication with your Insurance company must be noted down precisely. Details about the following are most significant.
  • Time, date and duration of the call.
  • Name, ID and call center location of the representative you spoke to.
  • Name of the supervisor to whom your call was transferred.
  • Details about the content of your communication.

3. Be nice and pay attention

Remember that being rude is not going to reap any rewards. The Representative on the other end of the line is possibly more frustrated than you are as they have to deal with annoyed customers like you all day.

  • Greet the Representative back, make sure that you have gotten his name and other details right.
  • Politely explain your grievance, ask for their help, give them details that are required.
  • Tell them why you think your claim should be processed.
  • Always keep in mind that your fight is with the Company and the representative has nothing to do with it.

If you follow the above two rules, you might get a positive response from the Insurance company soon. But there are cases where even good manners and genuine claims fall on deaf ears. If you are experiencing something like that, read on.

They still won’t listen- What to do ?

Call them up at a later time:  This may help if the representative you talked to is a kind fellow. Or they may decide to help you just so that you stop annoying them with constant calls. Give it a try.

Speak with a supervisor:  We are not sure how much this would help, but it is still worth a try.

Threaten them: Yes, you read that right. You probably had thought about it already. First, tell them that you had been a loyal customer and that you will be disappointed if your issue is not resolved. If that does not work, threaten them by telling them that you will terminate your contract if your grievances are not solved immediately. When you do this, they will ask you why you want to terminate your contract. Proceed on telling them how your constant pleas and calls were ignored.

Threaten them some more: It might be helpful if you threaten them by saying that you will tarnish their reputation by bad mouthing them. Declare that you are going to publicise the details of how you were treated and you can even tell them that you will announce the same through various social media.

BBB: The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is one such institution that mediates between the customers and the businesses to resolve issues. Place a complaint with them . The BBB is not a government run organization, however they are advocates of integrity and ethics. They do keep records of all the complaints. No institution wishes to be in the bad list of the BBB.

Attorney General’s office: If you genuinely feel that you are being victimized, you can complain to the Attorney General’s office. They will conduct enquiries and try to resolve the issue. If you do not wish to do this, then simply threaten the Insurance Company by telling them that you will complain to the Attorney General’s office.

Last resort: The lawsuit threat. This should not be used unless your case is that compelling. Most biggies in the Insurance field have their positions covered legally and you may lose unless you have a strong case against them.




Today’s topic:  Customer Service Success Through an Efficient Contractor Network in Home Warranty Industry

LOGO (1)

With thanks to the following participants:

Gwen Gallagher, President, Old Republic Home Protection

Dave Quandt, Vice President of Field Operations, American Home Shield

HomeWarrantyReviews.com is proud to offer the first in our new series of home warranty industry round table discussions.  In this first issue, we hear from two of the top companies in the industry regarding how each of their organizations meets the growing demands from their customers for high quality, timely service from repair contractors.

We asked each company the following three questions.  Their answers bring into greater focus how a very large home service contract provider deals with the challenges of a shrinking labor market while at the same time seeing its customer base increase and the demands of those customers increase as well.

HWR logos

1. Companies in the home warranty industry rely greatly on contractor networks. How does your company approach the job of ensuring quality customer service through a network of contractors?

Gwen:  Old Republic Home Protection sets high customer service standards for our Independent Network Service Providers… and it begins even before allowing them to join our network. Coaching service providers and establishing our service expectations begins with the first contact and continues throughout their tenure in our network.

As a standard, Old Republic Home Protection requires Service Providers to:

(1)  Provide timely and professional service

(2)  Be licensed in the trades they service

(3)  Carry General Liability Insurance

(4)  Charge fair and reasonable rates for parts and labor

(5)  Maintain the requirements on an on-going basis

HWR Industry round table

Prior to signing up, Service Providers receive our Contractor Guide, detailing our operations procedures, service processes, and service expectations. Calls throughout the sign-up process reconfirm our service expectations. We then follow-up each month to reinforce our guidelines, expectations, and commitment to our Plan Holders.

Customer feedback is paramount to the process. We respond quickly and appropriately when our Plan Holders, either through random surveys or interactions with our staff, indicate a potential service issue. We have a team of specialists dedicated to following up on customer feedback, rewarding service providers for excellent performance, coaching them when needed, and removing them from our network when they cannot meet our service expectations.

Dave: We hold our contractors to very high standards of performance and accountability. Last year we reviewed more than 3,500 applications from contractors that wanted to join the American Home Shield network.

Once a contractor joins, that contractor’s service quality is monitored on 15 different performance metrics, including quality and cost factors. Some of the tools we use include:

  •         Monthly quality of service report through customer surveys and comments
  •         Monthly work plan to monitor performance
  •         Monthly contractor scoring on quality and cost metrics

2. Is your company taking any steps to prepare for the forecast shortages of specialty trade workers, such as electricians, in the U.S. in coming years?

Gwen:  We work hard to establish a strong reputation with service providers. We reward service providers who perform well by giving them additional work, filling in the gaps when their retail business might be slow. We pay them quickly and fairly for services rendered and we treat them as part of our team. As such, service providers prefer to work with us and we’ve yet to experience shortages.

Even in regions where there might be shortages from a retail perspective, we seek out experienced tradesmen—those who’ve worked under the guidance of more seasoned professionals for some time—who are starting their own businesses. They find that working with Old Republic Home Protection is a great way to build their client base through word-of-mouth referrals and repeat business from satisfied customers.

We closely monitor every region, ensuring we have sufficient service providers to meet our customers’ needs. We focus recruiting efforts on those areas and trades that dip below our established thresholds. Recruiting can come internally through our team of service provider procurement specialists or externally through referrals from our nationwide sales staff and real estate professionals.

Dave: The biggest shortages we have seen are in the appliance and plumbing trades. We are recruiting in traditional ways, and are even expanding our contractor recruiting efforts using social media and advertising and engagement with trade schools. Getting connected with trade organizations will also help us find and recruit contractors in these areas.

Also, because we’re a business unit of ServiceMaster, we can approach thousands of franchise owners regarding available contractor services.

3. Summers and winters are bringing more extreme high and low temperatures each year. How does your company cope with surges in claims due to weather related strains on systems?

Gwen:  Meeting high demands begins with service provider procurement. Based on years of experience and data analysis, we are able to closely predict our service demands by region as the season’s change. We anticipate surges and plan ahead as opposed to reacting when they occur.

In those parts of the country that have weather extremes, we procure more service providers than meets the typical demand. As spikes occur, the higher number of service providers is most often sufficient to meet our needs.

In extreme weather surges, when spikes in demand are at their peak, we put the needs of our customers first. If our network service providers become overwhelmed, we’re quick to offer approval for Plan Holders to use their own service providers from outside our network. This process helps ensure fast and efficient resolution of the customer’s service issue.

Dave: We are strong advocates of customer education and engagement and share a lot of information and tutorials about the importance of regular maintenance on our Home Matters blog and YouTube channel. We also send out pre-season e-mail notifications to our customers about starting furnaces or A/C units early to ensure they catch any issues before temperatures change.

Because we have more than 1.5 million customers—and receive more than 3 million service requests each year—we have a lot of data around weather forecasts that helps us anticipate peaks in the heating or cooling seasons. With this data, we work with our contractors to plan for capacity in different geographic regions and make sure they are able to prepare from a staffing standpoint to handle the volume.

Our contractor relations teams also keep a close watch on customer saturation by Zip code to ensure we have adequate contractor coverage. If the demand is more than our capacity we immediately start recruitment of additional contractors to fill the gap.

HomeWarrantyReviews.com wishes to thank the participants in this first round table discussion.  For more information about the representatives from the two companies please scroll down.  If your company would like to participate in future round table discussions please click here for more information.

About the Participants of the Home Warranty Industry:

Gwen Gallagher is the president of Old Republic Home Protection (ORHP). For more than 35 years, she has held multiple positions within the company from customer service to financial reporting, becoming president in 1994. Gwen lends her vast experience and industry knowledge to charting the strategic direction of the organization, ensuring production and profit while maintaining its vision of “People Helping People.”

Dave Quandt is the vice president of field operations—and oversees contractor relations—for American Home Shield, the nation’s largest home warranty company. With more than 11,000 contractors in its network, American Home Shield has one of the largest home warranty contractor networks in the country.

Note from HomeWarrantyReviews.com to readers:  Would you like your company to be featured in upcoming round table articles?  Please contact us here.

 




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

Contractor looking for job

Why Work With A Home Warranty Company?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To Work With A Home Warranty Company?

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

Some of these leading Home Warranty Companies include,

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

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

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


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

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

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

What To Remember Before Becoming A Service Contractor?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recommended Articles




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.




American Home Shield, the nation’s largest home warranty provider, announced that it has launched a new website to help first-time homebuyers. While there are many resources available online, the new website, FirstHomeResources.com aims to be a one-stop shop for consumers ready to buy their first home.

American Home Shield Offer

A recent survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed that owning a home is a high priority for 51 percent of renters. With this kind of figure, it is apparent that more help is needed for anxious first-time home buyers who will be hungry for thorough information. FirstHomeResources.com is a comprehensive website for home buyers who are scouting for information online.

Speaking on this initiative, Philipp von Holtzendorff-Fehling, Chief Marketing Officer of American Home Shield said “American Home Shield’s mission is to make home ownership easier and this website is just an extension of that mission”.

He said purchasing a home is a complicated and daunting process for first-time homebuyers as it requires significant planning and research efforts. The company has built this website as a free resource to help future homeowners navigate the pitfalls and prepare for the unexpected.

We at HomeWarrantyReviews.com, present a comprehensive review of the new website.

At first glance, the site looks amicable and contains menu bars for easy navigation. Here are the menu choices and a closer look at the features offered.

Planning & Research

This section introduces you to homeownership, its benefits and responsibilities and how owning a home can build equity when compared to renting one. As a first-time homebuyer, it is important that you recognize the nuances of a buyer’s market. Also in limelight are the most vital aspects of buying such as mortgages & creditworthiness, as well as the credit score system, affordability and mortgage plans.

It then moves on to explain the home market and types of homes to look for. “Planning your Search” section provides insights on working with a real estate professional in finding a home. This area stresses the fact that the Internet is the best place to research and gather relevant data.

You can also download a complimentary copy of the “First-time Homebuyer Guide” which contains key tips and checklists to plan your purchase and move.

Making the Purchase

Making a purchase is probably the most crucial juncture in fulfilling the dream of owning a home. This segment covers diverse aspects surrounding the deal. From hiring an inspector to helping you assess the pros and cons of a property, to shopping for mortgage and more, detailed purviews are provided here. This section also covers the value of a home warranty and traditional homeowners insurance along with the benefits of those services. For a homeowner, a home warranty can provide important protection against unexpected expenses when covered major appliances/systems break down due to normal wear and tear.

Settling In

If you have struck a happy deal with the seller and are settling down, refer to this section for links and websites to help homeowners. While many websites listed are primarily the services offered by Service Master, this section also covers some external websites.

Sweepstakes

This area gives an opportunity to enter a drawing to win iTunes gift cards from American Home Shield. Two $50 gift cards and one $500 gift card will be given away each week and an additional $3000 winner will be drawn monthly. The sweepstakes is open now through 10/31/13.

About AHS

American Home Shield is a subsidiary of The ServiceMaster Company and is the industry leader in the home warranty industry. Founded in 1971, AHS services more than 1.3 million customers across 49 states in the US. The Memphis-based company employs approximately 1,800 employees and has a national contractor network made up of over 10,000 independent home-service contractors.

About ServiceMaster

With a global network of more than 7,300 company-owned, franchise and licensed locations, Memphis-based ServiceMaster is one of the world’s largest residential service networks. The company’s high-profile brands are Terminix, TruGreen, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is to educate homeowners with the latest industry updates. We are not advising for or against any of the above companies.




There are few home warranty companies that do not charge service trade fee or “deductible”. If you are looking for such companies, please read on. Please note that we do not endorse any of these companies.

IMPORTANT: To read most recent list of companies that offer Zero dollar deductible, please visit our Home Warranty Plan Comparison section and sort the companies by Deductible (low to high)

Zero Deductible

Home Warranty Plans with No Service Call Fee

Following are the home service contract companies that offer zero deductible as of this writing:

  1. Complete Protection
  2. UtilPro Appliance repair
  3. HomeServe USA
  4. Stanley Warranty
  5. Hi Tech Home Warranty
  6. Certified Warranties
  7. AHPS Home Warranty

As a website dedicated to offering honest information about the various matters related to Home Warranty, we have collected the feedback of several appliance warranty customers in the form of reviews. Please check out our tool to find top rated home warranty companies in your area. There, you can sort through the various companies based on their premium amount, deductible amount, ratings and total reviews.

What is a deductible?

In an insurance policy, a deductible is the sum of money paid by the insured party before an insurer will pay any expenses. It is usually a fixed amount and is a part of most policies covering losses to the policy holder and must be paid by the insured before the insurance company’s own coverage plan begins.

For example, an auto insurance policy may bear a $500 deductible. If the owner of a car hits another car by mistake while parking and both drivers decide that the loss is minimal, he or she would pay the repair bill $500 out of his own pocket. Insurance companies would not support a claim for such small damages. Based on the incident, the deductible may apply per covered incident, or per year. For policies where we can’t restrict the incidences, the deductible is usually applied per year.

What is a premium?

An insurance premium is the definite amount of money charged by insurance firms for active coverage. Cost of a premium can differ widely for the same service, which is why experts strongly suggest getting several quotes before committing to an insurance policy. Insurance brokers or agents takes basic information from people and evaluate an insurance premium estimate depending on the answers and other factors.

The lowest quoted cost on a premium may be the better deal, but the level of coverage may also be lesser. Insurance premium is mainly based on statistics, while people’s habits and history can cause the premium to be lower or higher. For example, a 22 year old male looking for car insurance for a sports car can often predict a higher insurance premium than a 45-year old woman driving a mid-size sedan. Both may perhaps have excellent working records, but the insurance company considers the younger driver in faster car to be at more risk for accidents. Thus, the premium quotes will be clearly different.

In general, a faster car will cost more to insure, just because the owners of those vehicles tend to drive faster. The amount of a deductible is typically related to the amount of premium charged by the insurers. That is, higher deductible amount are usually related with lower premium rate and vice versa. Try to find stability between reasonably priced premiums and a fair deductible when buying insurance.




Adding to a long list of home warranty companies which have entered the home service contract space only to quickly exit, Stanley Warranty announced recently that the company is immediately terminating its services.  Visitors to Stanley’s website see this message:

Stanley Warranty

The company’s closing may come as little surprise to those who are aware of last year’s announcement of an investigation into the new company’s business practices.  In June 2015 New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs announced that it had filed a complaint against Stanley Warranty, LLC, alleging that the company had committed acts contrary to its contractual commitments to its customers.  Among the state’s specific complaints against the company were alleged offenses that specifically involved Stanley’s home service contract customers.  Stanley also operated a business unit which provided consumers with extended service agreements for motor vehicles, commonly called auto warranties.

Here’s a quick analysis that we can provide to readers seeking more information about Stanley Warranty’s abrupt closure and the precedences set by other companies that pulled this same move in recent years. Come back to HomeWarrantyReviews.com for updates as we learn more about the fallout from Stanley Warranty’s announcement.

This Isn’t The First Time That A Home Warranty Company Has Gone Belly Up

Like Sensible Home Warranty did in 2014 when it closed shop, Stanley provided no apparent warning to their customers that pre-paid services would not be provided, though at this time it’s still unclear to HomeWarrantyReviews.com whether the company contacted customers via telephone or postal mail prior to closing its doors.  It’s also not known yet whether Stanley’s failure to uphold its commitment to any pre-paid customers will compound the company’s problems with New Jersey’s consumer agency.

Another company in the home warranty space that closed its doors in 2014, Colonial Home Warranty, sought bankruptcy protection.  Through bankruptcy, the company appears to have been able to escape financial responsibility for unfulfilled service contracts and repair bills from their contractors.  Whether or not Stanley Warranty will seek similar protection is not clear at this time.

The Signs Were All Over The Place That Stanley Warranty Was Trouble

Reviews for Stanley Warranty, also known as Stanley Safe Club, here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are almost entirely negative.  The reviews reflect an apparent trend of the company not honoring its promises to customers or contractors who performed repairs on its behalf.  Many of the worst reviews mention repair contractors pursuing payments from the homeowners after Stanley Warranty failed to fulfill its duty to make those payments in a timely manner.

On its Better Business Bureau page, Stanley Warranty already had an F rating prior to the announcement of its cessation of services to its customers.  On Yelp, a recent review includes a comment about a refund check from the company to the customer, who had canceled services ahead of the expiration of the contract period, being denied due to insufficient funds.  That review was created in December of 2015, leading to the obvious question whether or not Stanley was insolvent well before it closed its doors in 2016.  Interestingly, reading past reviews on Yelp leads you to at least one claim in 2014 that Stanley Warranty had announced on its company website that it was closing.  And no matter how far back in time a reader travels on Yelp, the story seems to be consistently poor, one unhappy customer after another.

Perhaps the most insulting element of this story is that Stanley Warranty sold its service contracts with a promise of zero service fees.  Anyone familiar with the home service contract industry knows that most companies charge a fee, paid by the customer to the service provider, at the time of a service call.  For a company to offer competitive rates with no service fees is a pretty compelling deal for consumers.  And many of the consumers lured in by that deal are now left with every required repair being paid entirely out of their own pockets, despite having paid well in advance for home service contracts from this company.

What Happens Next May Not Be Good For Stanley Warranty’s Pre-Paid Customers

The home warranty industry has a history of companies like Stanley Warranty popping in and out of the space and taking loads of customers’ money out the door when the companies fold or burning up the money received from customers through mismanagement and unhedged risks.  Consumers who have been buying home warranties for years probably recognize some of the company names, ones like Arkidus, Sensible Home Warranty, Colonial Home Warranty, and  Certified Warranties Corporation.  All of these companies have something in common.  They sold home service contracts right up until the day they shut the office lights off and locked the doors.  

This may be the single biggest black eye that the home warranty industry has received in the last decade, and it just keeps happening.  As if companies being able to enter an industry that is so much like insurance, often undetected by the state agencies that regulate their industry, improperly funded, and perhaps even criminally intent on defrauding their customers is not enough, the end result of the companies is consumers left with financial losses sometimes amounting to thousands of dollars in service contract fees paid in advance.  All too often the regulators in the states where the customers live are powerless to retrieve those customers’ funds, and even when bankruptcy courts are involved the individual consumer is usually out of luck when liquidated assets are divided up among registered claimants.

In a nutshell, the chance of Stanley Warranty’s customers seeing refunds is very, very slim.  It’s quite likely that this story will end the same way it did for customers of Sensible Home Warranty in 2014 when that company disappeared overnight.  But that should not stop consumers willing to do whatever they can to seek justice.  Readers who wish to pursue legal action should immediately seek advice from an attorney, preferably one with experience with defunct service contract companies.

What’s A Nice Homeowner To Do?

If there’s any worthwhile piece of advice we can give to our readers who are shopping for a home warranty company it’s this:

Do your homework!  Despite it not always being easy to do, consumers must research companies in the home service contract space before making a purchase.  Here’s an example of the kind of detailed reporting available to consumers trying to evaluate the financial health of companies selling home service contracts in the United States.  That article by Warranty Week is an excellent resource.  Keep in mind that if the home warranty company you choose is using its sales to finance its claims then you can probably count on two things happening.  One, the company will do whatever it can to avoid paying your claims.  Two, the company will eventually get into hot water and close up quickly in order to try to avoid the owners bearing personal responsibility for the actions of the company.

Be safe out there.  And if you are a Stanley Warranty customer who would like to share information with other readers in the same boat as you then please share your story in the comments section below.




There are five types of warranties plans available such as manufacturer warranty, home warranty, seller’s warranty, extended warranty, appliance service contract etc. All the above mentioned terms are basically protection policies of your household appliances. All these warranty contracts are slightly different and we will get into them in just a moment. Please note that we do not cover homeowners insurance here but you can refer to the article that talks about home insurance and home warranty differences

Types of Warranties

Home Warranty

Home warranty is a service contract on your home appliances and it covers repairs and maintenance of household machinery. Home warranty plan takes care of repair and replacement of all your insured appliances by the qualified service provider. This plan is also referred as

  • Appliance Protection Plan
  • Appliance Service Contract
  • Home Maintenance Plan
  • Home Protection Plan
  • Home Appliance Insurance
  • Appliance Repair Service
  • Home Warranty Insurance

Manufacturer’s Warranty

One of the basic thing people look for while purchasing any appliance or gadget is the warranty. A warranty is a kind of assurance provided by the manufacturer for the product and if the item does not meet the expectations then the insurance provider is bound to repair or replace the product within the stated warranty period. The standard coverage is generally for the period of one year. A warranty is a legal binding which means if the seller does not stick to their words, then you can legally file lawsuits against them.

These days all the online stores and offline stores are providing manufacturer’s warranty and the original bill along with the purchased product. The products shipped are also completely sealed and as good as what you can get from retail stores. You can extend the warranty for additional years if you desire, although it is not necessary in most cases. Generally, big ticket items such as HVAC units come with 5 years warranty, but the coverage will be limited to parts only from second year onwards. That means you will have to pay for the repair service.

Home appliance warranty companies generally do not cover an equipment when it is under manufacturers warranty.

Seller’s Warranty

Seller Warranty is also known as dealer warranty. The warranty is basically provided by the respective seller or the dealer of the products. Most of seller warranties last for the period of 6 months. In case of any sort of defect of malfunction of the product, you have to take the product particularly to the seller from whom you bought it.

Extended Warranty

You have an option to extend manufacturer’s warranty when it expires. It is recommended only for those appliances that are not covered by home warranty, such as laptop, PC, TV and other electronics.

You can also extend home warranty when your original plan expires. 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

Home Service Contracts

Service contracts are also considered as agreement or protection agreements. Most of these are offered by vendors selling the appliance, a service company, or a third party service provider. Home service contractors are basically local, licensed, and insured team to provide service. The price, terms and coverage choices widely vary as these companies tend to be local service providers. The repair and customer service may also vary depending on the vendor. Make sure you thoroughly understand the contract before you sign it.

Do your homework before buying home warranties, extended warranties, or service contracts for your major appliance. Understand the “Terms and Conditions” of the contract, especially its limitations.

Make sure you know and understand:

  • The reputation of the selling agent or the service provider
  • If the agreement contains a service repair cost “deductible” clause
  • If you must get second opinions or price estimates before repair
  • If you renew annually and what is the cost to do so
  • Any repair not covered such as plastic, glass, rust, corrosion non-functional parts, and installation, wiring or plumbing corrections
  • Costs involved if you have to take the appliance to the repair shop (against being repaired in your home)
  • What happens when the necessary part is no longer available
  • Any other terms and conditions of the contract, especially its limitations

Asking the right questions BEFORE PURCHASING will prevent unwelcome surprises.




Here’s a funny pictorial story that gives a peek into how does a Home Warranty work. Mr.Fox here is our friend who purchased a home service contract. His beloved washing machine crashed one day while the contract was still valid.

How Does a Home Warranty Work

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Now, back to the story.

Mr. Fox had an appliance warranty, so he did not have to

  • Look for a technician
  • Pay for repairs
  • Carry the device to a service center
  • Do the repairs himself

Mr. Fox simply called the home warranty company who in turn called up a service contractor with whom they maintain business ties. The warranty company sent a technician to Mr. Fox’s home to take a look at the appliance. The tech fixed the issue right there as it was a minor problem. You see, if the problem was big and if parts needed to be replaced, the tech would have had to wait for the approval of the warranty company before doing it.

Once the problem was fixed, the tech collected the service call fee and departed his way. Mr. Fox lived happily ever after resting assured that if his appliances crashed, he would always have his home warranty company to rely on!

The end




No human need is greater than a home to live in. While not all of us can afford to buy our dream houses, there are people who are not even sure buying is a good idea. The decision between buying and renting is one that has reduced many a strong willed man to tears.

As folks who work closely with homeowners, we have, over the years gathered knowledge about handling such dilemmas. So we thought we’d write an article to help those faced with the doubt that has plagued many of us – Should I buy a house or should I rent one?

Buying a house

Buying Vs. Renting A House

We know that it is not a silly decision. So here are some points you should give thought to before you lean towards one decision.

1. How long are you planning to live in that area?

This is something that should be considered before anything else. If you are in that city for an assignment or for a short duration, buying a house may not seem like a sensible option. If you plan to settle there permanently, looking into buying will be wise. Rent is often considered by many as dead money. That money never comes back or turns into an investment. So, give due thought to how long you plan to stay in an area and put that down on your list of things to consider.

2. How are your finances?

Does your bank balance match that of Arab Royals’? You could buy a mansion in that case. Is your balance the typical American average? Well, you could maybe buy a house with some aid from loans then. But if you don’t have enough for a down payment, don’t even think about taking loans from several lenders to buy a house. Also, if you have no source of income, loans will never even be an option.

3. Are you looking for an investment or just a roof over your head?

If you plan to buy a house, redecorate and sell (which is an expensive but rewarding business idea), you could probably look into some options for buying. If you are just looking for accommodation, renting an affordable place might seem sensible.

4. Worried about landlord issues?

Believe us when we say this, some folks steer clear of the idea of renting because they are worried that the landlord might be a nightmare. However, don’t let this be the reason that deters from renting. Having a home of your own is indeed a satisfying feel but there is no reason why you should feel small because you stay in a rented house. For many, renting may make more sense financially than buying a home.

Perks Of Buying A House

Buying a house does have formidable benefits. Here are some of them-

  • Tax exemption for all payments you make towards buying a house.
  • A house of your own is a huge asset and can serve as an investment.
  • Mortgage rates are mostly fixed, unlike rent which could go up annually.
  • You could become part of the local community.
  • You’ll be free to do whatever you want in your space – decorate your home as you wish, invite guests as you want and live the way you chose :).

Disadvantages Of Owning A House

Like everything has two sides, owning a home too has a trying side. Let’s take a look at some common disadvantages of owning a house-

  • Maintenance. Or the excess of it. You may want to look into home warranty plans if you want to protect your budget from unexpected repairs.
  • Various kinds of taxes. You’ll have to pay them all!
  • Potential depreciation costs. If a crime/hazard happens in your neighborhood, the value of your home may fall below what you bought it for.
  • Paying for mandatory homeowner’s insurance, if you have a mortgage plan.

Perks Of Renting A House

Well, since it’s better suited for the not so well off, financially, renting offers many advantages over buying. Let’s take a look at some of them –

  • Very little maintenance required. If major systems get damaged, it’s mostly the landlord’s job to get it fixed.
  • No worries about owning a depreciating asset.
  • No mandatory insurances or protection plans, except maybe renter’s insurance.
  • Moving from one city to another or shifting, in general, is easier if you stay in a rented home.

Cons Of Renting A Home

Often called as a dead investment by many, renting comes with its set of heartbreaking disadvantages. Here are some of them-

  • Can’t redecorate/remodel your home as per your desires. Most rental agreements lay down clauses preventing the tenant from making any permanent changes to structures of the home.
  • No tax benefits. The money you pay every month is as good as lost.
  • Not your house, so not your rules. Some landlords are pretty strict about what activities can be done in their house.
  • Most landlords demand a yearly increase in the monthly rental amount.

The Bottom-Line

We can’t decide for you, but we can urge you to strongly consider every aspect before you make a choice. Owning a home is indeed a wonderful experience that is unmatched. If you are already a homeowner and if you are thinking about buying an additional house, we would recommend that you look into easy home maintenance tips & cleaning hacks. You may also want to compare top home warranty companies to ensure that your budget stays protected.




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

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

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

What is Structural Warranty?

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

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

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

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

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

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

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

A Middleman

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

Value of the Home

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

How Structural Warranty Works

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

What Structural Warranty Covers

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

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

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

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

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

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

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

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

The Cost

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

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




If you are a homeowner in Ohio, this is an article that can’t miss! Your home is probably the biggest investment in your life and you know it takes time and money to keep it running well. We’re sure that you would’ve considered a home warranty plan to save yourself hundreds of dollars in repairs and replacements. But are you sure you know about the best companies in your locality? This is why you need to know about the best home warranty companies in Ohio.

Home Warranty Companies In Ohio

Best Appliance Warranties In Ohio

 

Being the 10th most densely populated state in the country, Ohio does have numerous players in the home warranty sector. Yet, some companies have managed to outshine others with exceptional services and great products. You may already be knowing that our website ranks companies based on feedback collected from actual customers. We have also used these reviews to come up with the best home warranty companies in the country. So, based on said reviews, here are the companies that top the list of best appliance warranty providers in Ohio-

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

We’d like to provide you some more details about the companies in this list. HomeWarrantyReviews.com has a detailed page for every company listed with us and we also have a statewise list of companies. So if you have friends and family in other states, do tell them to pay us a visit for getting their home warranty needs to be addressed.

1. American Home Shield (AHS)

American Home Shield (AHS) is a company that laid the foundation of the home warranty industry, Since its inception in 1971, American Home Shield has always been a popular choice among American homeowners. AHS has a nationwide footprint with even some parts of Canada being included in their coverage.

Being one of the first companies to sell warranty products, their experience is close to unmatched. All AHS home warranty plans are designed to cover major appliances and systems at reasonable prices. A typical AHS warranty plan would cost somewhere between $249 – $500+ and the deductible per service visit would cost somewhere between $75 – $125. The company maintains a massive contractor network of over 11,000 skilled and licensed technicians who are selected after a careful screening process. AHS, like most of the top players, maintains around the clock customer service facility and also runs an online claims submission program. Backed by strong reviews, this is one company that totally deserves to be on top of this list.

2. The Home Service Club

Home Service Club or HSC, is a company who considers themselves innovators in the field of home warranty. HSC’s primary focus has always been on providing the best possible service to their customers. The company’s coverage spans 48 states across the country. HSC believes that the frequent surveys and customer feedback programs they conduct are the reason why they are able to stay on top of their game.

HSC’s plans do not mandate a home inspection, neither do they place a restriction on the age of the appliances. A standard plan from HSC will cost around $400 and the deductible per service visit is charged between $65 – $125.

3. Select Home Warranty

Yet another company with huge popularity in Ohio is Select Home Warranty (SHW). Select has a vast national network of contractors and is also a company with a commendable tenure in the home warranty industry. Headquartered in New Jersey, this company covers anything from rental properties and condos to mobile homes.

For homeowners in Ohio, SHW provides three types of home warranty plans each varying in the level of coverage. On an average, SHW’s plans are priced between $299 – $599 and most plans have a service call fee of $60. This is yet another company that does not place a restriction on the age of appliances, neither do they mandate a home inspection.

4. HSA Home Warranty

HSA is a company with close to 30 years experience in the home warranty industry and they also have immensely positive reviews from their customers. Headquartered in Wisconsin, HSA believes that their success is attributed to the problem-solving capabilities and the commitment of their team.

Their primary product, the appliance warranty plan, comes in two variants for Ohio homeowners and they cost between $589 – $619 and their deductible cost ranges between $75 – $100. Customers are also given the option to extend coverage by adding items from a pre-selected list of add-ons.

5. Choice Home Warranty

Choice Home Warranty (CHW) is a company known for providing comprehensive warranty plans to their customers. The company claims that they can cater to the needs of homeowners, real estate agents, buyers and sellers.

CHW offers transferable home warranties to homeowners, buyers and sellers alike. Standard plans are priced between $370 – $450 and the average deductible charge is $60. CHW has a 24/7 customer service facility and also an online claims facility through which customers can manage and track the progress of their claims.

Before You Buy A Home Warranty

While we have indeed provided you with a list of some of the best companies, we recommend that you conduct ample amount of research before you zero in on a choice. Our website would be an excellent place to find out insights about home warranty companies across the country. We suggest that you go through user reviews and go through our statewise list of companies before you decide. We hope you found this useful and don’t hesitate to contact us in case you have a query. Cheers!