How To Start Urban Farming In Your Apartment?

Farming is not an activity which can only be done in a vast plane area; it can also be confined to your house, home or an apartment. Sounds appealing, isn’t it? It isn’t a mammoth task, after all, it is feasible and easy! For starters, here are some tips on where to start from, to have a fun-filled family activity like Urban Farming and get health benefits too!

Essentials For Urban Farming In Your Apartment

Finding A Perfect Location

Urban Farming In Your Homes

A balcony or a patio would be the first option coming to your mind. It essentially should be your first option because it receives plenty of sunlight and has open spaces. One more benefit is that it will keep the soil away from the inner area of your home. You can beautifully decorate the plants on both sides by keeping a path for walking!

The front or backyard is all you have if you are a resident of a lower level. With a lot of unused space, a collective farming can also be put in. Although it might not be an ideal area to dig in for farming, you can line up containers and start growing them.

A fire escape can be a new way of urban farming. After leaving a little space for the footpath, place your containers in the landing. Even though it has limited space, it can be useful to grow something for yourself.

The handrails! Yes, you heard it right. With the same method you used for the fire escape, handrails can also be used to grow one or more produces for oneself.

Walls, for instance, provide a lot of space for vertical gardening that needs to be clamped to the wall. Thus, they should be followed up with asking for permission from your landlord.

Windowsill boxes are better than the walls as they do not need to be secured. You can just lay some containers with no other extra attachments.

Method Of Urban Farming To Be Used

  • The Vertical Farming: The best way to utilize the available space in an apartment is to go for the practice of vertical farming. It is also called the Green Wall wherein, it helps to reduce the overall temperature of the building. Green walls are also used as a piece of art. It can be installed in the balcony, the outside walls of the building or inner areas of apartment such as the living spaces.
  • Pot gardening: A method used extensively across the urban farming sector is the Pot gardening. It ranges from small teacups to automatic irrigation system. Containers are easily movable and can be customized to any sort of balcony. The things to keep in mind while going for a container gardening is to make sure the drainage is loose and provides proper aeration to the roots.
  • Square Footing Garden: These type of Urban farming is ideal for a terrace or balcony. If one wishes to grow a variety of crops in a limited space, Square Footing garden is the best option. It only takes an initial effort to construct a raised bed with soil fills. Soon after, it is sure to yield a wide variety of organic produce. Let alone a Square Foot Garden, a raised bed has its own benefits. It prevents the unwanted weed/grass growth around the square foot.

Sun Conditions

An essential need for all plants to grow is sufficient sunlight, without which plants wither away. Typically, a plant needs minimum 6 hours of sunlight a day for its full growth. But in an Urban Farming setup in an apartment, what we primarily lack is also sunlight. Due to various problems with other apartment or roofs barricading the sun rays, it is quite a task to find spaces where it is possible to grow a crop.

It is advisory to assess the amount of sunlight received in your apartment for some days. Either by making a note of it or by clicking pictures of spaces you are planning to grow crops every one hour, it is necessary to understand the pattern of sunlight received.

After the above task is done, the next step is to evaluate which space will be suitable for your Urban Farming. And this should be according to the maximum amount of sunlight received.

What Crop To Grow

A lot of other questions have to be answered before we decide what to grow in your Apartment.

Prefer to a grow a crop you and your family prefer to consume. It is a total unworthy effort if you plan to grow a crop you don’t like consuming yourself. By raising a crop you like, it doubles your satisfaction that you have a farm all by yourself and can consume it with all your heart.

Decide on the purpose for which you are setting up the farm. If your motive is commercial, it is better to choose a crop that yields high income when you sell. It needs a study of the market value of various crops that can be grown in an apartment set-up. After that, decide which will be feasible and meanwhile profitable to you.

The climate conditions are also essential things to keep in mind while you are planning to set up an Urban Farm. Certain Herbs, Vegetables, and Flowers grow only at a specific temperature. Thus seasons are also one thing to check before you start on with the farm.

Home Warranty For Urban Farmers

Any activity related to farming needs an added focus. Besides watering and adding fertilizers to the crops, there exists a task of maintaining the various machines used for farming.

Be it a lawnmower or a container garden, a frequent inspection is an essential activity for extending their life. However, as the produce keeps growing, it demands multi-tasking.

But here’s the easy way! HomeWarrantyReviews.com provides a hassle-free affair of managing all the repairs and maintenance. By listing out to you Various Home Maintenance Companies, Home Warranty Reviews brings to you many options to choose from. To know more about your spot estimates, A Home Maintenance Calculator can be a relief for any Urban Farmer.

So why wait? All you need is to find a place and plant your favorite crop. Connect with roots. Connect with nature. Feel the magic of farming in your apartment!






In the fast-paced world, dishwashers have become a necessity in many households. Most of the modern families have dishwashers in their homes. People rely on dishwashers, as they can’t spare time from their hectic lifestyles. But often ignored, the value of a dishwasher is only realized when it stops working. No matter how old your dishwasher is, one year or five years, its cleaning efficiency reduces overtime. Therefore, to keep your dishwasher working like new, you need to take some measures to clean them. We have listed some easy tips to help you out, while keeping your dishwasher running like new.

dishwasher working like new

13 tips to keep your dishwasher working like new

1. Washing is different than scraping

Unless your machine has a special pre-wash cycle or other settings specifically designed to reduce food being left behind at the end of the wash cycle you will need to minimize the amount of food waste that you put into the dishwasher. Before you put your utensils in the dishwasher, rub the food bits off them. This may sound tiring, but scraping is extremely simple as well as essential. It minimizes the stuck food particles on your dishes. Moreover, it saves you from huge maintenance costs in the long run, while making your dishwasher work like new.

2. Do not overload

Do not try to wash too many items at the same time. It is better to wash a few dishes with hand, rather than running the entire load again. If you overload the dishwasher, then you could wind up washing the same load twice and your dishwasher may not be in good working order for very long.

3. Use hot water in the first cycle

Before starting the wash cycle turn on the tap nearest the dishwasher and run till the water is too hot to touch. This means that the first cleaning cycle will run with hot water, instead of cold water. This is an important tip, particularly for winters, because during winters the water takes more time to heat up.

4. Correct washing cycle

Use the proper dishwashing cycle. People tend to reduce the washing cycle, in order to reduce their electricity and water bills, and to save time. But short washing cycles lead to slimy residue on utensils. Additionally, you should wash your super dirty dishes by hand, just like you do your laundry. This will not disrupt the washing cycle, resulting in cleaner dishes.

5. Do not double up the rinse aid

When you go to buy a soap or detergent for your dishwasher, see if one of its ingredients is a rinse aid. If yes, then don’t buy an extra rinse aid. If not, then instead of buying a rinse aid, you can fill the reservoir with white vinegar. White vinegar is a perfect substitute for a rinse aid.

6. Run an empty cycle with vinegar

There are products specially formulated to clean your dishwasher, and you may prefer to use those. But you can just as easily run your empty machine using white vinegar once a month, more often if you see signs that the dishes are not coming out of the wash totally clean. It is the same concept like running a filled dishwasher with vinegar. Toss a cup of vinegar in your empty dishwasher and run the cycle twice. If you have a very dirty dishwasher, then you can also add some baking soda for the fizzing action. This will remove all the old food particles from the dishwasher, making it smell fresh and run like a new one.

7. Clean the dishwasher trap

Under the lower sprayer, there’s a tray, which can typically be removed. Take out that tray and wash it in your sink. Underneath the tray there is a space, which too needs cleaning. If you cannot remove the tray, then clean it with a piece of cloth or a towel. The tray as well as the space consists of trapped food particles. Cleaning both of them will make your dishwasher work more efficiently.

8. Clean the seals and arms

After some time of use, the dishwasher accumulates dirt in its seals and arms, including the rubber gasket of the door and the soap dispenser. Apart from this, there are other small spaces in your dishwasher that collect food and grime and get clogged over time. Make sure that you properly clean and scrub your dishwasher once in awhile, in order to keep it working like new.

9. Set the appropriate temperature of the water heater

Ensure that you set the appropriate temperature of your dishwasher heater, which should be between 120 to 125 degrees. This is the ideal temperature of the water heater for washing your utensils. If the temperature is less than 120 degrees, then the dishes would not be cleaned properly. And if the temperature is higher than 125 degrees, then the water will flash dry without rolling your dishes, in turn leaving your dishes dirty.

10. Test your water

The type of water you use in your dishwasher is an important part of the washing cycle. Hard water will be hard on the utensils as well as the dishwasher, leaving the dishes grimy. Make sure that that the water you use is soft.

11. Use the unused buttons

Dishwashers usually have a lot of buttons and settings that people hardly use. Due to this, people tend to set a particular setting to their dishwasher and then forget about it. In order to keep your dishwasher working like new, you should change its settings from time to time. Use all the settings of the dishwasher, so that none of the working parts become jammed due to disuse.

12. Check your dishwasher connections

You should regularly check all the connections and hoses of your dishwasher. See for dry rot or weak spots and fix them beforehand. This will avoid leakage and flooding in your dining room or kitchen, thus saving you from any untoward accident in the future.

13. Even out

Put a level under your dishwasher. Like washing machines and driers, dishwashers also need a level to work optimally. See that the level of your dishwasher is properly placed. Regularly check the level, as it changes with time.

Now that you have all of these helpful tips it’s time to put them to use! Employ these easy to follow suggestions, and see how well your dishwasher works. These simple DIY tips might also save you money as you run fewer loads of dishes and reduce future maintenances costs.




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

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

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

Home Appliance Warranty Plans

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

Table2 for Appliance Warranty article

Now lets discuss the most important question.

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

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

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

Things to know about appliance protection plans

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

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

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

Do I really need Appliance Protection?

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

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

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

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




Extended 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!




Home: The Lifelong Dream

Buying your own home is a dream that many of us cherish and wish to realize one day, but with increasing property prices and taxes, it is becoming increasingly difficult to become a homeowner. While the real estate market is booming with hot options, and extensive marketing to push people to buy a new home over renting, potential American homeowners are more skeptical of the costs and potential return on investment than in past years.

homeowner+rent+buy

Important Factors In Decision-Making Of A Homeowner

1. Tenure Of Living

Buying a home is profitable as long as one can commit to living in the home for a longer period, thus avoiding any extra rental expenditure. But with today’s work culture, it has become considerably uncertain to live in the same city forever and hence may put one in a dicey situation to pay for a mortgage as well as rent while moving to a new city for work or studies.

2.  Mortgage Terms

The mortgage terms should be read through and well understood before buying a home as the value appreciation by buying a home could cause loss, if the home maintenance cost like replacing the heaters or repairing a ceiling or water bills and the actual amount of money going into the principal is considered. In such a scenario, you can opt for a home warranty plan to cut down on the maintenance cost.

3. Overall Stability

Overall stability is a factor that dominates each one of your financial decisions. Stability, in terms of job, relationships, promotion, savings, and family plans determine the amount of money that could be needed for future expenditure and can hence allow you to buy a home or not.

Pre-Requisites And Risks Of Buying A New Home

While buying a home can get you some tax deductions, there is a lot of added pressure as well, in terms of an assured amount that’s needed to pay-off the mortgage, unless you wish to lose your assets to the bank. Also, as per figures, value appreciation in property rates since 1975 has been disappointing and not earned much profit to the homeowners in comparison to other investment options available in the market.

Apart from paying for a mortgage, savings for future and sufficient planning for family expansion is also important as the place should meet all your requirements without piling you with a burden, for life.

Benefits Of Being A Homeowner

Owning a home gives people the benefit to painting it the way they desire, or, make a small basketball court in the backyard and add tons of elements that define your personal space, but the fact that it also adds to a lot of responsibility cannot be overlooked. It is suggested that one should be able to pay at least 20% of the sum as down payment while planning to buy a home but at the same time what is more important is to maintain a constant cash inflow for a good 30-yr time until the mortgage is waved off and the property is entirely owned by you.

Also, it is the great freedom to make or change a carpet or any other thing in the home that comes in as a pleasant surprise while owning a home, where people are free to make their own decisions and not worry about a second opinion for changes that they make.

History of Real Estate Market

But the property market has been quite misleading and unforgivable to many, in terms of considering a new home as an investment for future as factors like selling off a home and at an escalated price which is at par with homeowners’ expectations, may not be the case every time. Realtors charge up to 6% of the property price and finding a deal that land you in profit is not guaranteed while making the purchase, as a homeowner. In the case of an emergency, selling a beloved property at loss may come as a shock to many homeowners. Also, dealing without a realtor may close doors to the best possible price for the property.

Perks Of Renting A Home

Rented properties, on the other hand, come with a bag full of its own positives and negatives. For e.g., living in a rented home lets one move to a new place without worrying about anything, unlike owning a home. But there is also a possibility of the owner escalating the rent, or, willing to discontinue the tenant once the lease is over.

Homeowner: Making The Decision

All in all, there is no better feeling that creating a place that’s a representation of one’s personality, beliefs and ideologies. But leaving the emotional part of it, if planned carefully, one can afford to buy a place with a lesser mortgage and lower interest rates and proudly become a homeowner. Also, one may cut down on extra expenses by availing home warranty plans and similar saving options. As long as that takes the time to be realized, living in a rented home away from the hassle of repair and maintenance is a good idea in order to live life freely, and save enough till one can actually afford to buy a home that they can call their own!

 




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

Top tips to clean your roof

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

Dangerous Or Just An Eyesore?

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

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

Identifying The Problem

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

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

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

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

How To Fix It

Roof cleaning can be done in one of three ways.

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

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

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

Dos & Don’ts Of DIY Roof Cleaning

Tip 1: The Right Time

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

Tip 2: Safety Before All Else

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

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

Tip 3: A Quick Sweep

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

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

Tip 4: Choosing The Right Cleaning Solution

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

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

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

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

Not All At Once

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

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

The Last Step

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

More Than Just Cleaning

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

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

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

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




Your home is the center of your everyday life and possibly your most valued asset. When your home is destroyed or damaged, you want your claim sorted out by an insurance company that realizes this simple fact. A right homeowners’ insurance company best meets your needs and provides you with the most valuable blend of quality service, custom-made coverage, and fair pricing in policies.

Am I Required To Have Home Insurance If I Own A Home?

Depending on where you live – an apartment, house, or condominium – the right home insurance plan can give you peace of mind along with the money you need to replace or repair your home and/or stuff. Home insurance policies vary by the type of coverage you choose, the losses covered and the type of residence you own. You pick a policy that is best for you, whether it’s an all-inclusive policy that covers losses such as smoke, fire, falling objects, and theft of personal property, or whether it’s a policy that covers specified losses.

New age policies for American Homeowner

Your home insurance plan is made up of the precise options you select. The amount you pay for your policy depends on what coverage you buy, how much you want to cover, and where you set your limits. There are many types of homeowners policies available when once you decide to be a homeowner or not. The most significant part of homeowners insurance is the level of coverage. Avoid paying for more than you require. Below are the most common levels of coverage.

  •  HO-1 & HO-2 – Broad policy that guards against 16 perils that are stated in the policy
  •  HO-3 – Covers the structure against all perils except those specifically excluded by the policy
  •  HO-4 – If you rent or lease your home, you need a renters policy to cover your personal property and liability
  • HO-5 – Premium policy that guards newer, well-maintained homes; it covers against all perils except those specifically excluded by the policy
  •  HO-6 – Insurance for co-ops/condominiums, which includes liability coverage, personal property coverage, and coverage of improvements to the owner’s unit
  • HO-7 – Similar to an HO-3 policy, but for mobile homes
  •  HO-8 – Policy particularly for older homes, with similar coverage to an HO-2 policy. However, it only covers actual cash value. In Florida, many insurers are offering this policy

Comprehending Your Policy

As insurance policies come in many shapes and sizes, the same is true for insurance companies and agents, who can charge different rates for the same coverage. Bigger insurers are not always better and small don’t essentially have the best customer service. So, it’s always good to shop around for the top deals and ask the precise questions in an attempt to know what you are really receiving.

Prior to signing on the dotted line, you should understand that not all homeowners policies are the same. This is always one of the most common misinterpretations about insurance. According to a survey, more than a third of the homeowners said they did not have or didn’t identify if they had adequate homeowners insurance coverage. In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina affected the city of New Orleans, and again in 2012, when Superstorm Sandy damaged numerous communities in New York and New Jersey, thousands of worried survivors got a rude shock when they found their standard homeowners’ policies did not cover flood damage.

Additional Insurance And Endorsements

Many catastrophic events are not covered in the basic homeowner’s policy, but they are still insurable and require additional levels of insurance. In some cases, homeowners need entirely different policies, which are usually several times costlier than the typical homeowners’ premium. Some homes are situated in high-risk areas such as flood, hurricanes and earthquake zones, which make buying additional insurance a top priority for these homeowners. Instead of the usual $250 to $1,000 deductible under basic coverage, you have to shell out 1 to 5% of your home’s insured value (up to 10% in Florida).

Hurricane season is an old threat for many residents living along the southeastern coast of the U.S. Hurricane Matthew, which made arrival on Oct 8, 2016, left an expected $6 billion worth of property loss in its devastation across states such as Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia. If you live in a region that is prone to hurricanes, you must have certain emergency plans in place. Homeowners in hurricane-prone areas need to act fast to file damage claims with their insurance firms. For instance, if your home is insured for $200,000 and your plan has a 3% deductible for hurricanes, you will have to expend $6,000 out-of-pocket on a storm-related claim.

Some Popular Endorsements And Extra Policies Include:

  •  Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage – A policy that pays to reconstruct your home completely, even if the cost is above your policy limits. You can expect to pay $400 to $1,000 more in premiums each year for this endorsement
  • Inflation Guard – A policy that automatically raises your dwelling coverage limit yearly in proportion to inflation, so that your limits are at least 80% of its value. Incremental premium increases in relation to the limit are often charged when the policy is renewed
  • Personal Umbrella Liability Insurance – A policy that broadly covers assets. It increases your liability coverage above the limits available in any of your “basic” policies, comprising auto, boat, and homeowners insurance. Umbrella coverage can extend to other excluded coverages, such as the invasion of privacy, false arrest, and slander, which can kick in once your primary coverage is exhausted. Premiums for this coverage begin at around $150 to $300 per year for $1 million in coverage, an additional $75 for $2 million, and $50 extra per year for each additional $1 million in coverage
  • Scheduled Personal Property – A policy that covers high-value objects such as stamps, jewelry, coins, antiques, guns, computers, furs, and other items that could go beyond the limits of your homeowner’s policy

Creating Your Home Inventory

When you buy a homeowners insurance policy, one of the must have insurance policies, you must prepare the latest home inventory to speed up a claim settlement if you ever need to make one. A complete home inventory, help your insurance company verify the property easier, which in turn makes settling your claim easy. Additionally, you can validate losses for your income tax return with the latest home inventory without any hassles.

For many homeowners, insurance is something to be thought of again, i.e., until the worst occurs. Homeowners who wait until they experience a loss before assessing their own policies do not get the full value – may be little value – out of their incalculable premium payments.

Homeowners insurance is a monetary agreement, but it should also be treated as a living entity to be cherished over time. By reading your policy wisely, shopping around for the suitable agent, comprehending your coverage limits, and create an updated property inventory.




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

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

Claim Denials for Right ReasonsHome Warranty Claim

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

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

Claim Denials for Wrong Reasons

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

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

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

Improve your Claim Approval Rates

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

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

The bottom Line

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

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

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




Public Service Enterprise Group (PSE&G) is an energy company headquartered in New Jersey. They also have a host of products meant for homeowners across NJ. Here, we will be reviewing their appliance repair services.

WorryFree is an appliance protection plan covering a range of heating, cooling and appliance repair/replacement services. The protection plans are offered by PSE&G to New Jersey residents. The company claims that customers who move to Worry Free protection, experience peace of mind and budget protection.

Services Included in the WorryFree Protection Plan

  • Repair services when an appliance breaks down.
  • Replacement services when it is time to buy a NEW heating, cooling or water heating equipment.
  • Contracts for household appliances when you wish to enhance your coverage.

Repair services

The company is said to have a large team of skilled contractors who provide efficient repair services. Here is the list of heating and cooling devices PSE&G WorryFree plan repairs for you.

  • Gas Furnace/Boiler repairs
  • Central Air Conditioning repairs
  • Gas and Electric Water Heater repairs
  • Refrigerator repairs
  • Gas and Electric Range/Stove repairs
  • Dishwasher repairs
  • Washing Machine repairs
  • Gas and Electric Dryer repairs
  • Gas Grill repairs
  • Gas Pool Heater repairs
  • Gas Outdoor Lamp repairs
  • Gas Fireplace Log repairs
  • Gas Space Heater repairs
  • Heat Pump repairs
  • Ductless Heating and Cooling System repairs

To schedule a repair service, customers can simply visit their website and place a call to the customer service center number provided onsite. After providing all the relevant information, the representative will then schedule the appointment at the earliest.

Replacements services

All NJ customers receive replacement services when they sign up for the WorryFree plan. To avail this service, customers must call up the company to get a free estimate and information about the various replacement options. Customers may even qualify for N.J state rebates up to $900. For further details, readers are requested to visit their website.

Business protection services

PSE&G also offers business protection to N.J. business customers. A WorryFree Business Heating Protection Plan is said to be one that provides fast service when you are in need. It covers your water heater (gas) PLUS one gas boiler furnace OR one rooftop gas heating unit.
The company claims that you can avail additional benefits like the following:

  • Dependable coverage for repair service and certain parts that manufacturers’ warranties often omit.
  • Zero deductible or labor charge to replace covered parts.
  • Zero price increases because your appliances are aging.
  • No exclusions based on make or model.
  • Fast response for repair work from New Jersey’s largest fleet of appliance repair trucks.
  • Online account access and scheduling – 24/7!

Review

Reviews and feedback reported about the WorryFree plans by PSE&G are mixed to positive, with positive reviews being reported more often. Like most companies that sell home warranty services and products, PSE&G too will have their own set of hurdles. On the whole, the plans seem to be as good as warranty plans provided by other reputable companies. However, since warranty needs vary from person to person, only a customer can make a choice on whether the plans are suited for his needs or not. We suggest that our readers visit the website of PSE&G to gather further information about their plans and services before you make a purchase

Contact PSE&G

Official website: pseg.com
Contact number: 800-4367734
Address:
35 Journal Square Suite #2, Jersey City, NJ 07306 (corner of Bergen and Newkirk St.)
317 George St. New Brunswick, NJ 08901




Well, technically it isn’t winter yet, but like the Starks say – “Winter is coming” and as a homeowner, you better be prepared for it. If you live in a region which sees subzero temperatures and biting winds, your house, and its contents could be in trouble. While snow covered trees and angelic white surroundings may look pretty, the potential damages that cold temperatures can cause to household appliances are no fun. Frozen water in the plumbing, malfunctioning humidifiers and the scariest of them all – broken radiators which means no heat! Many things could go wrong and if that happens in the dead of the winter, you could be in trouble. So before the winter sets in full swing, here’s a checklist of things you must get done.

winter is here

Step 1: Plumbing Check

This step cannot be skipped, more so if your home is 4+ years old. The outdoor pipes face the biggest perils as they can easily have water freeze inside them causing grave damages. Like you learned in school, frozen water expands and this means that the pipe could burst if water has frozen inside it. Needless to stay, a burst pipe is not an ideal thing during Christmas season. Your septic piping may also need your attention. Clogged sewage or burst pipes within the sewage system are nightmares.

To prevent plumbing issues, here are some things that you could do –

  • Leave the water running. Not torrentially, leave the faucets to trickle.
  • Inside the home, keep the heating at a minimum of 550F.
  • Pad or insulate the piping systems outside.

Step 2: HVAC Check

Unless you want to freeze to death, inspecting your HVAC unit or even better, getting a professional to check and run a maintenance routine is highly recommended. We have a dedicated HVAC maintenance checklist which you MUST go through to prevent possible breakdowns. Some things you could do to ensure smooth running of your HVAC unit are –

  • Clean the furnace/boiler.
  • Clear the vents to ensure that dirt and debris are not clogging it.
  • Check external pipes for clogs and snow and clear them out.

Winters require your heating systems to work overtime and sometimes even round the clock. Even if they are in their best shape, here are some signs that could indicate that the system will become faulty soon. Watch for –

  • Varied temperature zones within a room. Cold in one spot, hot in another.
  • Shrieks and other unusual sounds from the vents or the system as such.
  • Sudden fluctuations in the temperature in either direction.

If you see any of these signs, have a professional look at the system right away.

Step 3: Roof Check

Roofs often get the worst of it as they are constantly exposed. Roof tiles may crack or even break if the climate gets that harsh. Such cracks and breaks allow water to seep into your attic and disturb the temperature of your house, or worse, cause further cracks and breaks. It might be a good idea to get your roof inspected. If your roof sustains extensive damages, the repairs could cost you an average of $600.

Some DIY checks you could do are –

  • Look for loose tiles/shingles
  • Check your chimneys for clogs and debris
  • Check attic for leaks and cracks

Step 4: Fireplace Check

Fireplaces were the first heating arrangements that civilized humans used. They are fairly inexpensive to maintain when compared to HVAC units. Before winter sets in, it might be a good idea to give your fireplace a thorough cleaning. The general rule of thumb is that the fireplace must get cleaned once a year, ideally before the winter. A lot of ash and other fuel residue tends to accumulate within the fireplace which could lead it to function badly.

If you use gas, your fireplace will be considerably cleaner. However, there is always the risk of debris or leaves that fell through. Wood fireplaces may need a routine check from a professional.

Step 5: Appliance Warranty

Most American homeowners swear that an appliance warranty plan is the best strategy for budget protection. Any unexpected repair cost will get covered as long as the damage was caused due to normal wear and tear. Of course, for damages caused due to natural hazards or perils, you’ll need a homeowner’s insurance and not a home warranty. While both plans are designed to cover repair and replacement costs, homeowners insurance and home warranty are quite different from each other.

During winter, especially in regions where the temperatures drop really low, the risk of appliances getting damaged rises significantly. So, if you are not a home warranty customer already, you may seriously look into getting one. It could help you save thousands of dollars in the long run.

Happy Housekeeping During Winter!

Maintaining a house in good working order, especially when the climate gets harsh, is no easy feat. Which is why you need to go through our home maintenance checklist and execute the steps in it to ensure that you have a warm and cozy winter. The festive season is just around the corner and nothing spoils our mood more than faulty appliances. Keep your home warranty ready and you’ll have your peace of mind. Have a good winter!




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

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

10/11/08 Update

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

Coupon expires on 12/26/2008

Check out our reviews section for Choice home warranty reviews

11/18/08 Update

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

10/17/08 Update :

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

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

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




Texas Energy (TXU) has joined hands in partnership with Cross Country Home Services (CCHS) to provide customized and unique home warranty services for existing and new TXU customers.

TXU Energy

TXU Energy is a competitive retailer that provides electricity and related services to over 2.2 million electricity customers in Texas. It is a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corporation founded in 1912 with its headquarters in Dallas (Texas).

Cross Country Home Warranty Services (CCHS) offers home warranties and maintenance plans directly to consumers and through a list of industry partners. The company is a member of The Cross Country Group founded in 1978 and is one of the largest privately held providers of customer services in the US.

Through this new partnership, TXU energy consumers can avail the following services –

  • TXU Energy A/C & Heat ProtectSM
  • TXU Energy A/C & Heat Protect PLUSSM
  • TXU Energy Surge ProtectSM
  • TXU Energy Surge Protect PLUSSM

“The TXU Energy home warranty program offers superior solutions that let our customers choose the level of service and coverage they need,” said Jennifer Pulliam, director of products and innovation for TXU Energy. “We want to help our customers protect the investments they’ve made in home electronics, appliances and even air conditioning and heating because repair or replacement costs can be high.”

Both companies maintain A+ rating with Better Business Bureau (BBB), demonstrating their commitment to superior business practices which makes the collaboration with each other strong and facilitate enhanced services to its consumers.

This association is sure to benefit consumers as claims are as simple as a phone call to CCHS’s service center, which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And all customers who sign up for a home warranty plan receive up to a 15 percent discount on non-covered repairs and savings on name-brand appliances by using CCHS’s exclusive Appliance Buyline.

“A home warranty program is a good idea for anyone who wants to have the security and convenience of knowing that if a major appliance or system in their home breaks, they will be able to have it repaired cost-effectively and without a delay by a pre-qualified expert,” said Sandra Finn, president of CCHS. “We are proud to bring our services and consumer satisfaction commitment to TXU Energy customers, who can rest assured that we’ll always be there when they need us.”




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

Home Warranty Plan

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

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

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

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

How Does the Plan Work?

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

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

Advantages of a Home Warranty Plan

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

Disadvantages

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

Final word

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

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




There was a news report covered by HomeWarrantyWiz.com regarding recent developments with regard to fake Internet testimonials, company reviews, and ratings being detected and penalized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  HomeWarrantyReviews.com was involved with the research behind this article, particularly by sharing our experiences with home warranty companies that have attempted to use our ratings system to post fictitious consumer reviews.

Fake Reviews

Home warranty is a highly complex product and many consumers rely greatly on the information they find on the Internet in order to choose a home warranty company.  Fake Internet reviews make finding accurate information about companies more challenging and can sometimes lead consumers to making misinformed decisions.

The recent FTC fine levied on an advertiser outside the home warranty industry for advertising that involved fake reviews posted online is a good sign for home warranty customers and for all consumers who use the Internet to shop and research products or services.  Websites like ours which are actively monitoring the reviews posted on them are an additional resource aside from the FTC and state attorneys, working in the consumer’s corner.

Penalizing Companies Posting Fake Reviews

There have been instances where we have blacklisted companies for repeatedly posting fake positive reviews. Some companies employed some sort of advanced techniques to make the review look legitimate. But we have built a  sophisticated rating system over the years and will catch any attempt to manipulate the reviews. On top of that we have a team of experienced staff members who make sure the review passes through their litmus test. So, if you are company that relies on such tactics, take a note!

Ensuring that fake reviews and ratings are caught and removed and that the offending parties are warned is just one way in which reviews sites can police reviews and ratings and keep them as accurate as possible.  Consumers also have a responsibility as well. Consumers must be diligent to make their reviews as factual as possible in order to make the fake reviews easier to spot.  Detailed reviews stand apart from general ones and often fake reviews give only the most basic details, focusing more on glowing compliments about the service or product.  Leaving emotion out of reviews is also important because the same companies that post fake reviews or attempt to deflect blame whenever customers post highly emotional testimonials.  Ultimately the task of spotting fake reviews falls greatly upon the consumer’s shoulders but now that the FTC has thrown its hat into the ring things will be much more complicated and risky for companies that prefer false advertising over legitimate customer testimonials.




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.




This infographic depicts the most basic definition of what a Home Warranty is all about. Although the title says that it is for dummies, we’re sure that even people with average/ above average intelligence can keep up!

Now, an appliance warranty is a form of protection your purchase for your household appliances and systems. It is a contract that offers to provide you discounted repair and replacement services should your device sustain any damages.

Home Warranty Dummies

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Coverage

As you can see in the infographic, all major systems and appliances are covered. Now that would include refrigerator, built in ovens and microwaves, washer/ dryer, HVAC units and major systems like plumbing and electrical units. Additional coverage can always be purchased, so you can rest assured that all your devices can be protected!

How Does Home Warranty Plan Work?

This is how it works. When your covered device gets damaged, you simply place a call to the warranty company explaining your situation. If the damage is not an excluded one, your claim will be taken up. The warranty company then sends a technician to your home to fix the damage.

Claims

Let’s discuss the claims part. Like we said, when you notice a damage, all you need to do is inform the warranty company about it. Did you notice that title saying “Common reasons for claim denials”? Yes it is true. Although this does not happen often, it is still noticed that companies often deny claims. The grounds for claim denial varies from company to company and can be understood only after you go through their policy booklet.

However, common reasons for denial are as follows

  • Insufficient maintenance
  • Improper installation
  • Code violations
  • Unusual wear and tear

Don’t worry too much about it. If you choose a reputable company, chances are low that your claims will be unjustly denied.

Premium and Deductible

Moving on, let’s discuss the premiums and deductibles involved. As the image says, the annual premium for most basic warranty plans are somewhere in the range of $250- $500. This can vary depending on the extent of coverage. Larger the coverage, higher the premium.

Each time you raise an issue, you will be expected to pay a deductible/ service call fee (it’s nominal, around $50). The happy news is that there are some companies offering plans at zero deductible.

So there! That’s what the infographic is all about. Isn’t it an awesome image? Cheers!




Real estate transactions are always approached with caution. They often involve large amounts of money so being careful is a wise step. Having a skilled real estate agent may help you a lot in achieving a deal that’s perfect for you, especially if you are new to real estate dealings. But the questions is, how do you choose a real estate agent that suits your needs?

Irrespective of whether you are a buyer or a seller, there are certain things that you can do to ensure that your real estate agent is quite good. You can ask your friends and relatives in case if they have used the services of a real estate agent before for referrals.

Pick The Best Real Estate Agent

How To Pick The Best Real Estate Agent

 

But before you decide about an agent, understand why exactly do you need an agent. There are many benefits of hiring a real estate agent.

  • Saves a lot of time and energy
  • Negotiation skills of a real estate agent could come handy
  • Better access to the buying/selling population

So our checklist for picking the right real estate agent involves doing the following things-

#1. Credentials

Some say that like doctors, real estate agents too have specializations. A certified real estate agent often belongs to any of the three categories-

  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
  • Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR)
  • Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)

Also, if an agent calls himself a Realtor, it could mean that he/she is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Based on what your requirement is – buying, selling or renting, pick an agent with the right credential.

#2. License

Check with your state’s regulatory body to find out whether the agent you have in mind has a license to be a real estate agent or not. Most states have a board from whom practicing real estate agents are expected to obtain a license. This board also oversees the discipline of such agents. Such a regulatory body would be the best place to find out if there are any existing complaints, disciplinary actions or lawsuits against a certain real estate agent or not. This information could be available online.

#3. Tenure In The Business

This information can be obtained from the regulatory board in your state. The state licensing authority often gives more precise answers than the agents themselves. As you want someone who’s on top of their game, an agent who has not been active in the last few years may not be a good choice.

Keep in mind that you want someone who is familiar with your target location and price range. Someone with a bad market presence may not be a good choice.

#4. Listings

These days most agents have a website through which they invite in potential clients and also display their current listings. If you are a seller, you should be ware that most buyers begin with the Internet. So you want someone who makes use of the Internet effectively, as being web savvy definitely has its advantages.

If the real estate agent’s website has a database of current listings and its details, it is definitely a good sign.

#5. References

If a real estate agent is good, he/she would’ve closed many deals and would have many clients who recommend them strongly. The greater the number of closings, greater is the agent’s experience. Make sure that you call up most of the references provided by the real estate agent. Clients are often the best people to give you feedback.

Do Your Research

While we have given you really cool tips, we strongly suggest that you do ample research before you pick an agent. Ideally, meet several real estate agents and shortlist the ones that meet all the above mentioned pointers. You can then pick one from that list. If you are a seller, we would also like to remind you that offering a home warranty with your home may increase the sales price of your property. And if you are a buyer, if a property comes with home warranty, it could mean that your budget could stay protected if major appliances and systems require repairs.

We hope you found this article useful. Do let us know what you think. Cheers!




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

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

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

What is Structural Warranty?

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

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

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

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

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

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

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

A Middleman

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

Value of the Home

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

How Structural Warranty Works

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

What Structural Warranty Covers

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

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

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

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

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

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

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

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

The Cost

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

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

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Here’s a write up about top home warranty companies in New Jersey. Now all you need to do is scroll through the list of companies, visit our site for a free quote and user reviews to pick your home warranty! We guarantee you that you’ll find that it is very useful!

Home Warranty Companies In New Jersey

Located in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of U.S.A, New Jersey is indeed a popular state. Fondly called as the Garden State of America, NJ has much to offer for its residents. No matter where in New Jersey you are, if you are a homeowner, your primary concern would be caring for your family and your home. Like most homeowners, it’s natural that you’ll worry about the expenses of repairing unexpected damages and replacements of your household appliances.

So here’s our list of top home warranty companies in NJ based on user reviews and ratings-

These companies have been around for several years and are on this list because of the feedback they have received on our site from their customers. Take a detailed look at each one of ‘em!

1. American Home Shield

American Home Shield or AHS as it’s commonly called, is a company that founded the home warranty industry. Naturally, this is a company with unparalleled experience and a nationwide footprint. AHS also has a massive contractor network where every single technician is selected after a stringent screening process.

AHs offers plans that are designed to suit the needs of homeowners, Realtors, buyers and sellers alike. Their plans are reasonably priced and standard plans start from as low as $250 every year. The company also has an online claims facility and a customer service facility that runs around the clock.

2. Home Service Club

Yet another popular home warranty company in NJ is the Home Service Club (HSC). This too is yet another company with nationwide footprint and with coverage in over 48 states. HSC too screens each technician in their contractor network and follow up with the customers to ensure that they are satisfied with the services.

HSC’s plans start from $400 annually and the deductibles are charged between $65 to $125. Warranty purchases can be made through their website which also has the facilities to allow homeowners track their account. Online claims can be made just as easily as claims can be made with their round the clock customer care service.

3. Select Home Warranty

Headquartered in NJ, Select Home Warranty is one company which has plans to cover anything from rental properties to mobile homes and condo units. They have three main warranty plans which vary in the extend of coverage and comes at affordable prices. This is one company that does not place an age restriction on the house or mandate a home inspection prior to purchasing a plan.

Select Home Warranty’s plans start at $299 annually and the average deductible is charged at $45 per service visit. Customers can purchase plans through their website and even place claims online to schedule to a repair.

4. HSA Home Warranty

This is a company with close to 30 years experience in selling warranty products. Like the others on this list, HSA too offers competitive plans at compelling prices to its customers. More than just home warranty plans, the company also has a host of other services and even a newsletter for homeowners, sellers, buyers and real estate agents.

Annual premium for plans sold by HSA range between $589 – $619. The deductible varies depending on the kind of plan you chose but is usually between $50 – $100. HSA too has a 24/7 claims facility and also the facility to place claims through their website.

5. Choice Home Warranty

Choice Home Warranty is a popular choice among NJ homeowners owing to their comprehensive warranty plans and affordable pricing policies. With policies that will add to the value of your home, CHW has managed to garner a lot of positive feedback from their customers.

Standard plans are available at premiums ranging from $370 – $450. Deductibles are charged starting at $60. CHW too has an online claims facility and has a massive network of skilled, licensed and experienced technicians ready to be dispatched when claims come in.

The Bottom Line

This list has been prepared based on actual user reviews submitted on our site. Therefore, there is a good chance that we may have missed out on an awesome company due to insufficient reviews. We welcome inputs from readers based in NJ to know more about companies there. Do let us know what you think. Also, you can take a look at top home warranty companies in various states across U.S.A. Cheers!