Appliance Shopping Guide

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

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

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

Step 1: Analyze your needs

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

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

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

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

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

Step 2: Measure the space

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

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

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

Step 3: Browse several stores

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

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

Step 5: Warranty

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

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

Step 6: Things to remember while buying used goods

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

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

The final word

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

Hope you enjoyed the article, happy shopping!






Wondering how to start preparing for that perfect dinner you want to host? But your oven range refuses to listen to you. My cake is not baked the way it should have. Oh no! My turkey caught fire while in the oven. Does this sound like your problem?

All of us at some point of time face problems with these electronics. The oven range parts can malfunction and get irksome at times. There are different styles of ovens, including self-cleaning, convection ovens etc, and the style of your oven will determine how you care for it.

Most commonly noticed problems are the broiler elements, bake elements, thermostats, switches, control boards and knobs. Dealing with these issues is a part and parcel of life, but how to make your life simpler and use your oven range in best possible way. Here are some tips that are sure to help.

Tips to clean your oven:

Tips to clean your ovenMaking your oven range look clean and sparkling was never easy but these simple tips can save your time and give that desired look to your appliance. Maintenance of your appliance is crucial. Follow these guidelines for cleaning without damaging your oven surfaces.

  • Before cleaning any range or oven surface be sure the unit is off and completely cooled. Steam burns can occur if you wipe a hot surface with a wet cloth or sponge.
  • After cooking let your oven range cool down, then wipe grates and burner cap with damp sponge and dry thoroughly. Make a habit of wiping down the exterior surfaces with a damp sponge every time you wipe down the worktops.
  • To avoid damage to the oven use only non-abrasive cleanser than harsh chemicals.
  • If you think the dish you are baking may bubble over or drip then always place a drip pan, it will minimize  the efforts of cleaning it.
  • If you are going to fry something on your cooktop or a dish which might splatter then before cooking spread some aluminum foils on the top and make a hole near the burner and remove it once you are done.
  • Use the right sized pans for burners on the cooktop. Don’t put tiny pots and pans on big burners when you have the option of using a smaller burner for smaller pan.
  • Oven ranges may look simple, but they are complicated appliances therefore do not try to repair them on your own and better seek professional help when required.
  • Remember to replace the drip pans or bowls beneath the grates on a range/stove every two to three years as they undergo lots of wear and tear.

Step by step guide to cleaning your oven range                    cleaning oven

It is always advisable to clean your oven as and when you are done, it helps you to avoid those tough stains. They become a mess if left for longer.

  1. Most oven broiler pans are made of porcelain coated steel. Clean them with a non-abrasive cleanser to avoid damage.
  2. To loosen baked on food particles from your oven, place a bowl of boiling water into the oven and leave it closed for 15-20 minutes the steam will loosen up the particles making it easier to clean.
  3. You can use soapy water or a solution of sodium bicarbonate mixed in water to give a new shine to the burner tops / burner bowls.
  4. To clean the racks of your oven you can just put them into a dishwasher.
  5. If you have a self cleaning oven then nothing like it. But make sure to be extra careful as these have hidden heating elements underneath the oven floor and above the oven ceiling.
  6. If you have not paid enough attention then your oven goes poof !!! There are higher chances of fuse burn out.
  7. Once you have run the self-cleaning cycle, wipe away the ash residue with a damp sponge or a rag.

Home warranty and your oven range

A home warranty is a service contract, normally for one year, which helps protect homeowners against the cost of unexpected covered repairs or replacement on their major appliances that break down due to normal wear and tear. Coverage is for systems and appliances in good working order at the start of the contract. Please note that a manufacturers guarantee and home warranty are totally different.

Home warranty companies cover oven and ranges as the major appliances and it is applicable in case of wear and tear and accidental damages but any damages due to non maintenance of your appliance, the home warranty companies will not cover the charges.  oven with food

After a year of purchase its better to extend your warranty period. An extended warranty is a type of insurance policy that covers your household appliances beyond the manufacturer’s guarantee. If your oven/range breaks down due to a mechanical or electrical failure, the home appliance warranty will pay for repairs or a replacement.

Oven ranges are one of the most common appliances used at homes. Almost 90 percent of household use oven ranges in America. There are even double range oven selling in the market where you can cook two turkeys at a time to make your job even more easier. Replace worn out parts like bulb, knobs, and get your oven serviced once in awhile. Maintain your appliance well to fulfill your love for cooking and baking so that you can host more dinner parties and family gatherings without any distress.




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



In a quite short period of time, home protection plan have grown considerably in recognition. Today, the plans are almost standard in every city real estate transactions, where 8 of every 10 homes sales are covered. Homeownership can be one of life’s many pleasures, but it’s not always cheap. Most likely the last thing a homebuyer wants to do after closing on their new home is to shell out even more money on appliances or systems that unpredictably break or malfunction. It’s a usual part of being a homeowner, though, and procuring a home warranty protection plan is one way you can attain some peace of mind.

When your appliance breaks down, don’t worry about whom to call to fix it, or what it will cost. There are various options by which you can protect your budget from pricey emergency repairs.

  1. Home Warranties
  2. Extended warranties on expensive appliances
  3. Appliance Service Contracts
  4. Service contract for specific items such as HVAC
  5. Hire a pro when something breaks down

Want to know how home warranty works? Watch this video –

Home Warranties

Home Protection Plan

Home warranty plans, also called home protection plans, are basically service contracts or insurance policies that cover major appliances and systems of a home. It’s a good idea if you are a first time home buyer without any understanding in maintaining a home or property. Homeowners insurance does not cover breakdown of a home’s major systems or appliances, but a home warranty protection plan can help with repair expenses such as refrigerator that stops running, or your air conditioning system breaks down in the middle of the night.

When a breakdown happens that involves a system covered by the home warranty plan, the homeowner calls the insurance firm and desires a service call. The cost of the service call, which ranges from $35 to $95 per visit based on your location, is salaried by the owner. The warranty company allots the call to an approved contractor, and the home protection company shells out for the system repair or replacement.

What parts of a home are covered by a Home Warranty?

Home warranties naturally cover the mechanical systems of a home such as heating, plumbing, water heater and most built-in appliances. Structural components and pre-existing conditions are usually are not covered. For instance, if the water heater hasn’t worked properly for some time, it possibly that it won’t be covered in the buyer’s home warranty plan. Other items which are typically not covered include faucet repairs, sprinklers and permit fees. Some home warranty cover roof repairs and garage door openers with certain limits.

Another common problem with home warranties is that you will not be able to decide the repair provider that will care of your problem while the warranty is in effect. Normally, if a covered item breaks down, you will put notify your home warranty company, which will select a service provider with which it has an agreement.

Additional coverage is accessible under most home warranties at an extra charge for a spa, pool, air conditioning and freestanding appliances, such as washer, refrigerator and dryer.

Coverage usually runs for a year, but it may be extended at the owner’s choice for a renewal fee. Some people keep their home warranty policy in position for years and years. If the home protection plan is ordered at the time a home is bought, inspections are normally not required.

If you don’t want to have to be anxious about repairs in your first year of home ownership, a home warranty may be a good idea. However, it is imperative to weigh up your warranty, to ensure that you will be properly covered.

Know the basics of home warranty.

Extended Warranties Protect Appliances from Expensive Breakdowns

Extended warranties, by providing protection for pricey purchases and increasing the span of a product’s original warranty, have become the standard for many retailers. These warranties often appeal to economical consumers, for whom purchasing big-ticket items like appliances and electronics can be a challenging decision.

An extended warranty or service contract is like an insurance policy – your savings buys off only when the most evil happens. But do you actually want one? These days, almost all the brand – name appliances are sturdily – built and generally last their usual life span with few or no repairs, rendering extended warranties pointless. In case you do choose to get one, ensure that you do your homework.

Buying Extended Warranties on Appliances

Are Extended Warranties For Expensive Appliances Worth It?

There might be instances where an extended warranty is affordably priced and makes up for a limited warranty that covers little ground and has short period of time, and thus, is worth it. But too often, they are a waste of money. Before you purchase an extended warranty, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the odds that this appliance will break down in X amount of years,
  • What will the price of a replacement or repairs to this appliance be in X amount of years?

You frequently forget that while your product may certainly break down later on, the price of the product will also depreciate later on. Only when the forecasted cost of replacement or repairs become considerably greater than the present cost of the extended warranty, should one consider buying the extended warranty. And still, a warranty must only be thought out if there is also a significant chance that the appliance will stop working in the first place!

Certainly, warranties are significant and you must always ensure that when you buy pricey appliances – like clothes dryer for example – that it has a warranty to follow with it. But if a salesperson is attempting to get you to buy an additional extended warranty, be doubtful. Think about sales and advertising. There is always an income motive and retailers and merchandisers can regularly make money off consumers when they purchase extended warranties than when they buy replacement products or pay for repairs! This is why third party companies and retail stores provide extended warranties, not the manufacturers.

Think about sales and advertising. There is always a profit motive and retailers and merchandisers can often make more money off of consumers when they buy extended warranties than when they buy replacement products or pay for repairs! This is why retail stores and third-party companies offer extended warranties, not the manufacturers themselves.

The moral of the story is that you must do a little math and significant thinking prior to buying an extended warranty. Possibly it will be a wise purchase, and may be the money will be better used up toward other services or products.

 

Appliance Service Contracts

Appliance Repair Professional

Don’t lose your cool over unforeseen home repairs; call the experts for a home service contract. One such company that provides Service Contract is Service America. Never again will you have to worry yourself with the hassle and high cost of unforeseen repairs.

Service America is protecting its customers from unpredicted air conditioning, appliance and plumbing repairs for over 38 years saving them a ton of money, time and unnecessary frustration. When something breaks down at home, it becomes necessary for you to rush and find the right technician to fix the problem. Many times it’s an urgent situation and you don’t have the comfort of shopping around for the best price. But you can avoid these types of stressful circumstances, save money and experience peace of mind at the same time by buying a Service Contract.

A Service America Service Contract covers all these appliances and services for just one low yearly cost.

Quoting and buying a service contract takes a few minutes but expectantly you will find it effortless. In order to obtain the best possible coverage you need to give basic information about your home.

 

Service Contract for Specific Items such as HVAC

HVAC-Fort-Lauderdale

In the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry, equipment servicing is generally headed by the issuance of HVAC service contracts. The key purpose of this is to describe the terms of service as well as the cost, the length of service and what requires to be done, and each package of contracts is exclusive to each type of service. These service contracts incorporate full-coverage, full-labor, preventative-maintenance, inspection contracts, and end-use contracts.

All of these HVAC service contracts cover the tasks of each party, material cost, wages and how to decide arguments with a complete document. The equipment, procedures, tasks, unique descriptions and reports on the precise work to be done ought to be covered as well. Every contract also sketches processes and details the responsibilities of the contractor and owner. Regardless of which contract is signed, there can be several contracts put into practice for the same parties at any given time.

 

 

Hire a Pro When Something Breaks Down

Appliances are a vital component of a well running home, as they are utilized every day. When they stop working, an appliance repair professional is able to restore the item to full working order. Along with repairs, professionals will regularly service your appliances to make sure that they run as safely and efficiently as possible.

Appliance repair professionals can render the following services amongst others:

  • Parts and labor warranty
  • Supply and installation
  • Emergency services
  • Service or repair several brands of appliances
  • Safety checks

While hiring your appliance repair professional, make sure that you get a quote on the work that needs to be performed. Ensure that the quote incorporates the call out fee and the cost of any parts that must be replaced. The professional must also be ready to give assurance of their work for a certain period of time. It’s good idea to investigate several repair pros in your area and pick the one that offers experienced technicians, reasonable prices, and good customer service. Always make sure that the professional is insured and licensed.




Okay, so you feel that your tiny apartment is boring and is in desperate need of some styling. Worry not, my friend! Who wants a large apartment when you can always spice up your little one? Plus, we all know that apartments are easier to maintain and you only need to spend less money on them.

Your home should be a space that makes you feel good and we don’t see how the size really matters when it comes to styling. Unless you live in a minuscule apartment like the one Lily Aldrin from “How I met your Mother” occupied (You poor dear!), we don’t see why you would find it difficult to do add some style to your home. Take a look at our list of ten cost effective things you could do that would make your home look A.W.E.S.O.M.E !

Ways to Decorate your Apartment

1. Mirror, Mirror, on the wall!

Well, it doesn’t necessarily have to be on a wall. Large mirrors create an illusion of larger space. If you can place a reasonably sized, framed mirror in your living room, it will definitely increase the glamour quotient of your home.Another option is to cover an entire wall with a freakishly large mirror. These days you can buy doors that have mirrors on one side. This option is ideal if you don’t really have space for a large mirror.

 

1

2. Color your Walls

Who wants to live in an apartment with boring white walls? If you have watched the “Hunger Games”, we’re sure that you would not have forgotten the look of the folks at the Capitol. That’s the effect bright colors have on you. Buy a can or two of your favorite color and paint a wall with it. You can even invite your buddies over and make this a fun chore. Make sure you speak with your building supervisor before you do this.

Some apartments don’t encourage their residents creating masterpieces on the walls. If you don’t have the option of painting your walls, try using colorful furniture instead. A funky bright pink chair, or an emerald green sofa may bring a drastic change to your home. You can also try using brightly colored curtains and drapes.

chair

3. Fun with furniture!

If your apartment is really small, it would be unwise to fill it up with large pieces of furniture. This restricts movement around your home and in general ruins the whole look and feel. If you have sufficient space, “float” your furniture so that cleaning will be easier.

Chuck out all the unnecessary furniture. If you rarely eat at home, then its pointless to keep a dining table and six chairs. Instead use this space for something that you genuinely need, say a work space or an exercise room. Budding musicians can use this space to display and practise on your instruments.

display photo

4. Display what’s dear to you!

Do you have old photographs lying around somewhere? Use them to add a personal touch to your home. Frame them elegantly and hang them up on the walls. If you paint and have painted any pieces, put them up on display. It needn’t necessarily be anything two dimensional like a painting or a photograph, you can always make something fun and creative and display that as well!

open storage

5. Open storage for kitchen staples

Now this one not only looks nice, but it also ensures easy reach to things you need. Place an open shelf in your kitchen and rooms. Neatly arrange all your stuff on it adding flower vases and other showpieces of your choice intermittently. Metal shelves are best suited for this. They are stable, sturdy and can hold a weight.

If you store your kitchen staples this way, it will save you a lot of time while you prepare your shopping list as you can visibly see all the empty jars. Just make sure that you don’t place any rotting veggies or fruits on them

carpet

 

6. Mind your carpets

If your apartment is rented out, you may feel stuck with the things inside it. In such a situation, you could bring a lot of change by placing suitable carpets and rugs. You wouldn’t believe the difference they bring to the entire house. Try carpets with patterns and designs. If you are not a regular cleaner, go for ones that are not furry and bushy.

entertainment

7. Center of entertainment

Decorate your TV wall with some panel work or artwork. Turn that into a focal point. Always try to go for a wall mounting TV, it saves space and is easier to move around and of course the picture quality is better.

If you have other recreational devices, they too can be placed in decorative backgrounds. This adds a certain charm to your apartment.

green

8. Add a touch of green

Go green! Add plants and bonsai trees to you home. You have a lot of options on indoor plants and they are easy to maintain as well. If you don’t want a live plant you can always go for a fake one, but it will never be as good as a live one.

Plants are not the ideal additions to your bedroom, what with the CO2 being emitted at night and all that. However windows and kitchen counters are ideal locations for these green friends.

eclectic

9. Be eclectic, be unique

There’s no fun in symmetry. Use your creativity, make a mix of themes and styles. You can go online and check various color combinations and theme mixes. Like they say, two styles are better than one single boring one.

10. Wake up the stylist in you!

Sometimes your options are limited. You can’t always implement all the changes you want to, right? Say for example the colour of your bathroom tile, no matter how painful and eye damaging that color is, there is very little you can do about it.

So what do you do? Work around it. Try to get other stuff that matches or negates the effect of that bad tile color. Same goes with everything else that you can’t change. At the end of the day, its more about what you make out of the things that you already have.

The bottom line – Be Creative!

These are not rules that you must follow, they are simply tips that you can adopt if you want to. It is your home and your life. Let nothing stop you from decorating it the way you want. Be sure that it reflects your personality and that you turn it into something that makes you feel warm and homey.

The last thing you want after a tiring day at the office, is to walk into a space that doesn’t make you feel relaxed. Let your creativity run wild, make use of what you have. Happy decorating!




Hardwood floors look remarkably stunning and add luxury appeal to your home. Brazilian Cherry, Exotic Acacia, Maple, Classic Oak are popular but you have  a wide variety to choose from. They compliment any kind of decor and keep your home warm in the winter.

Although stone and tile floors are significantly sterile and easy to maintain, they do not have the same warmth and feel as timber floors. Homes with wood flooring never go out of demand and sell faster comparatively.

You have a wide variety to choose from and some eco friendly options as these trees grow back faster.

Types of Flooring

Hardwood Flooring Maintenance
Types of flooring currently available in the market:

Engineered Wood Flooring

This is manufactured using three to nine layers of different wood veneers. Top layer consists of high quality wood and sub layers can be of same or different class.

These floors expand and contract less than solid wood flooring during changes in humidity and temperature, but cannot be sanded and polished as many times compared to the solid wood flooring.

Solid Wood flooring

These are thick and are composed of solid wood from top to bottom. The benefits of this kind of flooring is that it can be easily installed on any kind of surface and can be sanded and refinished umpteen times. Solid wood floors cost you little more than the engineered counterparts. Engineered floors are easy to maintain compared to solid wood floors.

So you have wooden floor? Or planning to get?  Wondering what it takes to clean and maintain them here is a piece of advice to help you.

Cleaning

cleaning floor Cleaning your floor is important and it depends on the environment of your home. If you have kids and pets at home then you need to clean it more often to prevent scratches. Use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar.

Water is an enemy of hard wood floors. Never put water directly on the floor instead use a damp mop if it is recommended by the professionals who installed your flooring or by the experts at the local hardware store.

Wipe away liquid spills immediately, else they penetrate and damage the flooring.

6 Quick Maintenance Tips

Well maintained flooring can give you comfort and last for decades. Here are some maintenance tips.

  • To minimize the dust and dirt at home, place floor mats at entrance.
  • Never use steam on wooden floors as it can lead to cupping.
  • Fix furniture pads under the legs of tables and chairs to avoid scratches. These pads can be found at any hardware store.
  • Heavy shoes and heels can create dents on the floor. You can leave the footwear outside and use light footwear at home.
  • If you have pets then clean up pet mess immediately and dry the area really good. Keep their food dishes on a mat and keep their nails trimmed.
  • In kitchens and bathrooms where sinks, refrigerators, dishwashers and other water based appliances are located, it is helpful to place area rugs in front of such appliances to prevent water from getting into your floor.

How to repair scratches?

Scratches ,wear and tear in hardwood flooring is a common occurrence. You tried your best to protect your flooring but somehow it did not work, worry not. Here are some quick fixes for those scratches.

Camouflage scratches

To hide minor scratches in wood floors rub wax sticks or markers which suit your floor color, these are great scratch busters because they include stain and urethane, which protects the floor’s finish.

How To Make Homemade Polish?

Mix equal parts olive oil and vinegar, which work together to remove dirt, moisturize, and shine wood. Pour a little directly onto the scratch. Let the polish soak in for 24 hours, and then wipe off. Repeat until the scratch disappears.

Fix The Gaps In Floor

Do you see gaps in between your flooring ? Its a common phenomenon. You can fill the gaps with colored wood putty or if you have some leftover planks, rip a narrow band and glue it into the gap.

If your floors are aged and have undergone wear and tear beyond repair then it’s time to consider replacing them. Well maintained floors can last longer and save you the cost of replacement. Therefore you have a reason to maintain your wooden floors to make them look new. Since home warranty does not cover your flooring, you might want to take extra care. Click here for a list of appliances which are covered in home warranty.




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.




Recently, there was an interesting review posted at AHS warranty discussions page about dealing with insurance claims. The legal option suggested by the reviewer might be useful to some homeowners, who have difficulties dealing with home warranty insurance claims.

Insurance Claims

It is not practical and cost effective to take legal route to pursue your insurance claims and you may want to read How to pursue insurance claims article before you go that path. However, if you are fighting an insurance claim on a big ticket item, and you have exhausted all other options, this is definitely an effective strategy. Author of this post himself was an attorney and he effectively used the legal threat to beat the home warranty company.

Here is the excerpt:

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American Home Shield – how to beat home warranty companies at their own game

I have discovered how aggrieved homeowners can turn the tables on home warranty companies and beat them at their own game. Please share this with everyone you know.

I’m an attorney and after having a problem with my home warranty company, American Home Shield, I decided to investigate whether other homeowners had experienced the same or a similar problem. What I found were web sites devoted to consumer complaints on which numerous homeowners had recounted incidents of fraud, deception, and rip-offs by their home warranty company. I also found a blog written by a former American Home Shield employee and another written by a former plumber for a home warranty company. Both recounted situations that would not pass the “smell test” in a court of law.

I also investigated lawsuits that had been filed against American Home Shield in Georgia, which is where I live. I found about 15 cases. The majority of cases had been filed in small claims court. As I reviewed the cases, I discovered that none of the cases had been litigated. In every instance, the case had been settled to the Plaintiff’s satisfaction although the details of each settlement were not part of the case file. With the knowledge that all cases had been settled to the homeowners’ satisfaction, I realized that American Home Shield would settle with an aggrieved homeowner before allowing a case to go to trial. My conclusion is that the only thing aggrieved homeowners need to do to beat home warranty companies at their own game is to file suit. The last thing American Home Shield wants to do is litigate a homeowner’s claim and the reasons are obvious to me.

The most obvious reason American Home Shield would not want to litigate a claim is that in most instances, the cost to American Home Shield to settle a claim would be less than the cost to litigate. The average amount of a claim in the cases I found was $3,800.00. Two were for less than $1,000.00 and only one was for more than $10,000.00. I’m sure far more than the 15 homeowners who have filed lawsuits in Georgia have had their claims denied. American Home Shield wins when a claim is denied and the homeowner does not sue, which is exactly what American Home Shield is counting on homeowners not doing.

Another reason American Home Shield does not want to litigate is because the company does not want to have to defend its craftily drafted contract or its questionable business practices, which is exactly what it would have to do if a case went to trial. American Home Shield also does not want such information to become public knowledge, which is also likely to happen. Additionally, a judge or a jury would also be hard pressed to return a verdict favorable to a company that engages in questionable business practices.

The final reason American Home Shield does not want to litigate is because a lawsuit actually places American Home Shield in a precarious situation. American Home Shield would have a difficult time defending any claim by a homeowner because the company has no first hand knowledge about the claim; it would need the testimony of the service contractor who, for its own reasons, may be less than eager to testify. The only knowledge American Home Shield has is what the company has been told by the service contractor. And any testimony from American Home Shield about what it was told by the service contractor is hearsay and not admissible in court.

To defend a claim, American Home Shield would need to subpoena the service contractor who actually made the diagnosis to testify about the claim. If the homeowner has done his/her homework, he/she would subpoena witnesses who could dispute the witnesses for American Home Shield. The homeowner should subpoena one or more service companies who had been called either for a second opinion or to make the actual repairs to dispute the testimony of the American Home Shield service contractor. The homeowner might also consider locating one or more other aggrieved homeowners to testify about their problem with American Home Shield. Another good witnesses for the homeowner to subpoena would be a former service contractor for the home warranty company or a former employee of a service contractor.

Since American Home Shield has at least three significant reasons why it does not want to litigate, the best and easiest way an aggrieved homeowner can beat American Home Shield at their own game (and most likely any other home warranty company) is to file suit. The one thing for an aggrieved homeowner to keep in mind is that if he/she does not sue, the home warranty company will win. But if he/she sues, the homeowner will most likely win. And that is how an aggrieved homeowner can beat American Home Shield at their own game.

My advice to aggrieved homeowners is not to stress over a denied claim, the denial of a situation as an emergency, repeated “band-aid repairs,” or a delay in authorization or in the repair of an item. I would also advise a homeowner not to waste time arguing with American Home Shield but to set a reasonable deadline for the appropriate action. Upon expiration of the deadline without receiving satisfaction from American Home Shield, the homeowner should then proceed as if they did not have a home warranty and then sue American Home Shield for reimbursement. The homeowner should also remember to document every action or inaction by both himself/herself and American Home Shield. Although the disadvantage to the homeowner is initially having to pay for the repairs, the advantage is that the homeowner can choose the service contractor and the brands and quality of products. I won’t guarantee all aggrieved homeowners will prevail every time but I have good reason to believe most aggrieved homeowners will prevail the majority of time.

For aggrieved homeowners whose claims were denied at sometime in the past, you may still be able to sue for reimbursement. To make that determination, the homeowner needs to research the statute of limitation for suing on a contract in their state. In any event, a homeowner should be safe filing suit for a claim that was denied during the past twelve (12) months.

Within the next six months, instead of reading homeowner’s stories about being scammed and ripped off by their home warranty company, I want to read stories about how homeowners turned the tables and beat their home warranty company at their own game.
If anyone has any questions, I can be contacted at [email protected]

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Recently Warranty Week Newsletter published a report on home warranty companies market share in U.S. While it is not clear how the estimates were made and what assumptions were in place, the estimated numbers seem to be in the ballpark and must give an approximate idea where the companies stand.

With 41% market share, American Home Shield leads the pack followed by First American (11%), Old Republic (8.3%), CCHS (6%), 2-10 HBW (5.3%), and Fidelity (4.3%). It is interesting to note that the major service providers account for only 76% of the market. According to the report, remaining 24% of the market is shared by small companies and half of which are Internet scam companies which have no credibility whatsoever.

Here is the breakdown of home warranty companies market share :

Company Name Market Share (%)
American Home Shield by Service Master 41
First American Home Buyers Protection 11
Old Republic Home Protection Co. Inc. 8.3
Cross Country Home Services (HMW) 6
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty Corp 5.3
Fidelity National Home Warranty Co. 4.3
Dominion Products and Services Inc. 3.7
Home Service USA Corp. 3.3
American Water Resources Inc. 3.3
Home Security of America (HSA) 2.1
Service America Enterpirse 2.0
Home Warranty of America – HWA 1.7
Land America – BHW 1.5
Broward Factory Service – BFS Less than 1%
Allied Home Warranty Less than 1%
The Warranty Group (ServicePlan) Less than 1%
Warrantech Home Service Less than 1%
Nations Preferred Home Warranty Less than 1%
American Home Gaurdian Less than 1%
America’s Preferred Home Warranty Less than 1%
HISCO Home Warranty Less than 1%
Blue Ribbon Home Warranty Less than 1%
Home Warranty Inc. Less than 1%
RAM Home Warranty (Rehak) Less than 1%
U.S. Home Protective Association Less than 1%
Nicor Services Less than 1%
Others 5%

The $1.5 billion home warranty industry was hit by the real estate downturn and but looking at the growth chart, 2009 was not a bad year. The growth was flat for the last 2 years, but the industry did not experience any negative growth unlike the real estate market.

You can read the home warranty market share report at their website

You can refer to home warranty companies and their offers on our website as well.




If you’re contemplating on buying home warranty coverage, read this article, it will assist you to choose the best service to match your needs.

Home Warranty Buyers

To begin with, a major step is to find a reputed company in your vicinity. This is a critical area of concern because most buyers do not have the required information. We collect and present ratings on home warranty companies from our website visitors in a detailed and presentable manner. Potential buyers should consider a range of factors along with user ratings such as annual premium, deductible costs, appliances coverage, pre-closure charges and those small but vital clauses in the contract. Read on…

Do I need a Home Warranty?

The very first step is to decide if you really need home warranty. Check our article that explains the need for home warranty on this site and review the checklist. It is a good idea to get a detailed home inspection report on your existing house from a third party inspector. This report will help you understand the potential and existing problems with your appliances and will also help you decide if you need home warranty. If some appliances are aging and need special attention, be sure to check if the warranty company provides sufficient coverage for those appliances.

Make a list of 3-5 home warranty companies that match with your needs. You can use home warranty price comparison section to identify providers based on premium, deductible, coverage effective dates etc. (Please note that our list covers most of companies that have nationwide coverage and it may have missed local warranty providers.)

Consult your friends and colleagues and gather feedback on service provided from their service providers. Be sure to ask about their satisfaction levels on service and claims turnaround time. A “Word of mouth” advice really helps if it’s from an acquaintance.
Choose a company that has a proven track record in this industry. Several consumers are unsatisfied with the services offered by many home warranty companies and it may be tricky to deal with some companies while claiming a repair or replacement.

There are several ways to research.

  1. Use home warranty insurance ratings to learn about the ratings given by our users.
  2. Check company’s track record using trade organizations such as Better Business Bureau.
  3. Research the company over the Internet for any negative reviews. Insurance discussion board in scam.com has the list of complaints against many home warranty companies. www.ripoffreport.com is another website for lodging complaints.
  4. Your real estate agent will also be able to provide the name of few reliable warranty companies in the area.

Determine if you need extra coverage. Most basic home warranty plans do not cover clothes washer/drier, second set of equipments (second refrigerator), pool/spa equipments, computers etc. And some plans also exclude air conditioning, roof, etc.

Now, start calling the companies and make notes of their offerings. Be sure to collect information such as –

  • Annual premium
  • Deductible per incident (Trade service call fee)
  • Average turnaround time for repair handling
  • If you have determined that you need extra coverage mentioned above, check on the cost
  • If you have any aging equipments reported in your Home Inspection report, be sure to check if the warranty company provides adequate coverage for those equipments
  • Ask them how they calculate the buyout amount if you decide to replace the equipment yourself.
  • Is coverage effective immediately upon buying the policy? (only matters if you need immediate coverage)
  • Ask for clarifications and contractual obligations. Observe how they are treating you, which is a good indicator of how the company treats its customers after sale.

Finally, browse the contractual terms when you are ready to buy the coverage. Request a reliability report from your local BBB to make sure there are not many complaints against the preferred company. Remember to keep all maintenance records which may be required when you file claims.

This video provides helpful tips on how to compare different home warranty companies

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4ADRjQGYSo

If you have decided to buy home warranty, we recommend that you get a free price quote from the top companies by clicking on the link below.

==> Get a FREE price quotes for a home warranty




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.




Freddie Mac has started offering free home warranty coverage for 2 years when you buy bank owned or foreclosed real estate property. The “Smart Buy” program was started in late August and is expected end at the end of October.

free home warranty

The promotional program applies to real estate owned homes sold through the agency’s HomeSteps unit, which deals with foreclosed properties that have been turned over to the lender. Called SmartBuy, the program seeks to address one of the major concerns homebuyers have about buying foreclosed property, namely, the potential cost of repairs on a home that may have been poorly maintained or allowed to deteriorate.

A typical home owner’s warranty costs anywhere from 300 to 600 dollars and will have a deductible per incident. There are several companies (AHS home warranty, Old republic home warranty, First American home warranty etc.) that offer home protection plans.

Freddie Mac will also pay closing costs of up to 3.5 percent of the purchase price. For example, on a $200,000 home, the program would pay up to $7,000 in closing costs, however it does not cover down payment.

Freddie Mac plays a critical role in the mortgage industry. Serving as one of the nations largest agencies that securitises conventional home loans, they have been in a precarious financial position over the last two years as home foreclosures have swept over the housing markets. Freddie Mac, along with Fannie Mae, another large national agency covering the mortgage markets, have both received billions of dollars of capital from the U.S. government in the last twenty four months. The companies financial problems escalated as they were leveraging the value of their loan portfolios in multiples over ten percent

Second and vacation homes, investment properties or property purchased solely for rental purposes are not eligible. There is a minimum purchase price of $25,000. More information on the program, including localized listings of eligible HomeSteps properties, are available through www.homesteps.com web site. Local real estate agents can also provide information on which properties are offered through the program.

As an advice, if you are buying a home make sure you hire a professional home inspector. They will inspect appliances, backyards, plumbing, electricity etc. to make sure everything is in good and working condition.




When you compare “promise contracts”, such as home warranties, you must first comprehend exactly what is being assured. You can then evaluate attributes. Fraction of the research should also be aimed at comparing customer’s ratings of the companies that offer the warranties.

Comparing home warranty companies facilitates you to find the policy that suits your budget and needs. A home warranty is an individual policy you can procure to provide coverage for your home’s important appliances and systems. The precise prices and coverage obtainable to you varies by each home warranty company functioning in your area, so comparing the exact rates and services from each company is a significant step when picking a policy for your home.

When buying a home warranty, you are not only giving capital to the supplier, you are also giving your belief that they are going to cover you when you need it most. That’s why it’s so imperative to verify into a company’s history, see how they function and what they ought to offer, plus learn how they entertain their customers. It’s worth exploring before you purchase.

Six Steps to Choose a Home Appliance Warranty

  1. Determine the Coverage: Jot down the kind of coverage you need. Include exact items you want to be covered. Electrical systems and plumbing are typically covered under a basic home warranty, but you have to shell out for coverage for some other main appliances such as spa or garage door opener.
  2. Shortlist companies:  Visit Compare Home Warranties section to make a list of companies that you like. You can also check with your friends and family members or with a local real estate agent for a list of suggested home warranty providers.
  3. Research Providers and Pricing: Note down the pricing and ratings info for each company. You can also get price estimate of appliance warranty policy in the same section. Visit the official website of each warranty company if you desire.  Jot down the overall annual price for your preferred policy from each company.
  4. Talk to Companies: Contact home warranty company and inquire more about pricing information and a quote if the information isn’t available online or to verify data you received online. Ask how much fee they charge for a service call, and make a note of prices for each company next to policy price information you already listed. Ask about the typical wait times for a technician to know if there will be someone available promptly to help you when you need it. Also inquire if emergency and 24-hour service is available. Observe how they handle their customers.
  5. Read the Fine Print: Evaluate policy and service fee prices as well as service terms offered in the contract. Don’t assume anything. Pre-existing conditions are generally not covered. Few companies also require you to get maintenance & inspection done on HVAC units by a professional every year. But some  companies add lots of fine print clauses so as to exclude coverage on many things. This is the MOST important step among all.
  6. Customer Service: Finally, remember to check the customer service of the company you choose. When you call to inquire, observe how they treat you. Are they well mannered and kind or intolerant and impolite? Do you have to waste a lot of time on hold before getting through to speak to someone? Realize what their hours so you can make out whether there be someone accessible to help you when you call for it. Also, discover who the company employs for repairs. Ensure it’s a company individual you are happy with, and that they are near enough that they will be able to facilitate your repairs in a timely manner.

This video will help you compare home warranty companies.




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.




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

Green Advantage Warranty

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

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

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

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

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

About the company

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




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!




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.

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

1. The Home Service Club

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

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

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

Home Warranty Companies in Texas

2. American Home Shield

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

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

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

3. Complete Appliance Protection

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

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

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

4. Landmark Home Warranty

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

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

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

5. Select Home Warranty

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

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

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

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