Top 5 Rules To The Ideal Living Room Layout Of Your Home

A space that embodies the coming together of family and friends, your home’s living room is everything that its name talks off. A much-used space, arranging your living room furniture, accessories, and appliances with tact can help shape the entire area in ways that maximize space utility and creates a warm and welcoming environment.

Living Room & what are the steps to plan one?

Be it a new home you are building, a remodel in the process or just a quick weekend shuffle-around of furniture, having a plan in mind always helps get the ball rolling. Even though the task may be as simple as moving a couch by a few inches and adding a few poufs for color and comfort, it’s important to know that often even a small task can get confusing or blown out of proportion without a little preparation.

Step 1: Planning And Purpose

The first step is planning, and it starts with knowing what the living room is going to be used for most. Any remodel or renovation for functional purposes requires you to start by charting out what you need most out of that space, and everything else follows.

How to have an ideal Room Layout in your home?

Try and map your week’s routine and see what your living room is used for most. Is it more often than not the room where your children have play-dates or is it somewhere where you majorly spend Sunday afternoons lounging with a cup of coffee? Are you one for intimate gatherings of family and friends or a space which fill up fast with people at every dinner party?

Once you know what the space will be used for most often, you can start by narrowing down furniture according to functionality and flexibility – a large plush couch that is great to lie in a read but which just as efficiently seats four at crowded dinners.

Step 2: Movement In The Living Room

Next, you need to physically address the space you have at hand. Depending on its size and accessibility, you will need to choose and arrange your furniture for easy accessibility. Sometimes we have a tendency to over-fill rooms with furniture, the appeal of which often wears out with time and instead leaves us feeling trapped in the clutter.

The most important rule is that all the entries and exits should be free. An unhindered movement should be possible from the living room into other spaces – the main door and extensions like balconies or gardens. The living room usually becomes the heart of the home, and it is important to keep it easy to reach and move around in.

Decluttering is important, but make sure not to space out the furniture too much – it is important for the space to be comfortable and yet not obstruct the audibility of conversation in the living room.

When it comes to distance, it is best to judge by physically moving things around, but when in doubt, there are a few thumb rules you can fall back on. For example, 3 feet between any two chairs and couches gives the individual enough personal space, but when the space between two people exceeds 10 feet then you can be rest assured that communication is going to be a strain.

The center table and coffee table should be at arm’s length of the person seated on the adjacent couch or chair, but it is important for there to be at least a 15 to 20-inch gap so that the knees don’t hit the rim of the table.

Step 3: Shuffle Things Around

We’ll never really know till we see it in front of us, so once you pick your furniture then allow the final placement of each item to be a process of arrangement and rearrangement. Every individual has their own way of working; there are a few who like to take their time and plan out details, while others prefer to be spontaneous. For those of you who prefer a concrete plan, start with a scaled drawing of the space; moving things around on paper so that you get an idea of how it would look. This route is always easier than to rearrange the furniture in actuality, especially the heavy cabinets.

The other way to go about this is to dive right in. Dedicate some time from your schedule and get a few people to help you shuffle things around in different arrangements.  With each new arrangement, take some time off and see how it looks and feels – surely one of them will click and be just what you were looking for. Remember, don’t be afraid to add, subtract and accessorize even after the heavy lifting is over!

Step 4: Scale And Proportion

Most designers emphasize the need to have a set furniture size in the living room. Furniture scaled correctly makes a living room feel right. Having too much or too little can make or break the space. Don’t get swayed away by how the furniture looks in the store, as it does not mean that it will work just as well back home.

Experts suggest that having large furniture in a large room and small individual pieces in small rooms are advisable, but for things like seating, make sure you don’t compromise on comfort.

Living room layouts nowadays have to accommodate for a television, and even though flat screens do make the space management easier, try and keep the angle of the seating just enough to be able to watch the television if need be but at not too much of a direct angle because that will disturb the conversation. Even though you might be proud of your television and you like watching a movie or game on it every weekend, you don’t want it to be the focal point of your living room.

Step 5: Layouts And Safety

Just like a kitchen layout can play a huge part in the safety of the home, living room layouts can have a role to play as well. As the space is in the center of the home, may of the exit routes in case of fire will be through it, making it essential to keep all entries and exits unblocked and easy to maneuver.

Home Warranty & Its Positive Impact On Your Life

Home Warranty can be a great investment for a newly renovated home. Covering all your appliances, internal wiring, and plumbing systems, and interiors of the house, Home Warranty policies have become a large part of home ownership. Not only does it increase the value of the home, it allows the owner to live worry free as all repairs, servicing, maintenance and replacement are handled by the Home Warranty company for the duration of the policy.

Not sure whether Home Warranty is fit for your home? Don’t know enough about the way it functions to invest in it yet?

HomeWarrantyReviews.com brings to you the Home Maintenance Calculator, a simple tool to help you calculate whether or not a Home Warranty policy is right for you. The tool even provides you with detailed cost estimates with and without a warranty, allowing you to compare in real time. So this better helps you decide whether you want a free quote from the top ten home warranty companies like American Home Shield, 2-10 Home Warranty, First American Home Warranty and the other equally good ones. It’s time put on that sorting hat & choose a free quote from a home warranty company in your location!






It is a known fact that regular maintenance and cleaning of a major home appliance like a refrigerator can extend its life and efficiency. This guide will help you take better care of your refrigerator at home. These tips will help you extend the lifespan of the appliance and will also reduce maintenance expenses. Even if you have an appliance extended warranty plan, warranty companies generally expect you to maintain your appliances in good condition.
Refrigerator Maintenance Tips

Refrigerator Maintenance Tips

  1. When the condenser coils of a refrigerator get dusty, the energy expended by the refrigerator is more. It also leads to the reduction in life expectancy of the refrigerator. For those of you who are unaware, refrigerator coils are located in the rear or underneath a refrigerator. You can just vacuum the vents and coils to clean them. This should be done at least once a month. And while you clean these coils, ensure that you have unplugged the power chord.
  2. In automatic defrost refrigerators, the water flows through the drain hole into the drip pan where it evaporates. Usually the drip pan is located underneath and can be pulled out. This drip pan should also be cleaned regularly as sometimes the water in it might contain some food particles and that may create and odor. You can scrub the drip pan and then clean the drain hole as per instructions in the user manual.
  3. You can find gaskets on the doors of the refrigerator and the freezer. These are designed to seal the cold air inside the refrigerator and the room air outside the refrigerator. Check for any cracks on these gaskets. Slide a piece of paper between the gasket and the refrigerator wall. The paper should not be able to slide which will prove that the gaskets will last for some more time. But if the paper slides easily, then it is time for replacement of the gasket. You can clean the gasket with some water and soap and then wipe it dry. You can also clean the gaskets with vinegar.
  4. You need to clean the refrigerator once a month at least. When you do the cleaning, ensure that you have taken out all the food materials. You can clean the crisper, where you store vegetables, fruit and meat, with soap and water. You can also use a refrigerator cleaner to clean the interior of the refrigerator.
  5. For refrigerators with manual defrost, regularly defrost the freezers. Don’t let the ice build more than 1/4 inch. This should be done for optimum performance. The ice deposits will hinder the ability of the freezer to balance the temperature leading to more power consumption by the refrigerator.
  6. There might be kids in your house (or sometimes adults) who usually leave the door of the refrigerator closed improperly. This may result in small amount of condensation especially during summer. By applying a bit of Vaseline to the gasket, you can remove any obstruction caused by condensation. Also ensure that the door of the refrigerator is not open for a long time.
  7. For that intolerable odor coming from your refrigerator, try using a pinch of baking soda to get rid of it.
  8. Another energy saving tip is that you should keep all the food, that is in the refrigerator, closed. This will minimize the moisture thus leading to less power consumption.
  9. Do not keep your refrigerator near any heating appliance. It will lead to consumption of more power.

By doing the easy maintenance as mentioned in the above tips, you can protect your refrigerator and preserve more energy. Then why not do it rather than putting your money on repairs and replacements?




Home appliance protection plans are getting popular these days among homeowners. Such home warranty plans cover appliance repair costs and help homeowners with maintenance and repair services.

Home Appliance Protection Plan

What exactly is home appliance warranty plan?

Home warranty plan is a contract to insure the appliances in case of breakdowns to cover-up the repairs or replacement.

Watch this video to know the basics of Home Warranty –

Why do I need a home protection plan?

Home protection plan relieves you from unwanted stress and buys you peace of mind by providing the confidence that any repairs and replacement of your insured appliance will be taken care of by qualified service providers.

How does a home protection plan work?

In case any of your insured appliances break down, first step is to place a service request by simply calling up your insurance company. Once the request is confirmed the same is sent out to schedule an appointment. Only the service fee will be collected to determine the problem and sort-out the issue.

Are all the appliances in the house covered in the warranty plan?

Only the products listed in the insurance contract will be taken care of by the Home protection plan. Generally all major appliances  like refrigerator, washer/dryer, bathtub, plumbing systems, electrical systems, ceiling fans, water heaters and garage door opener are covered in the insurance plan. If it is determined that your insured item cannot be repaired by a service contractor, then it will surely be replaced.

Before deciding on home warranty plans and policies:

There are lots of home protection plans available in the market today. But it is not really hard to find which plan suits your requirements best, besides you just need to do some basic groundwork before deciding-

  • First you need to find out what your entire plan should cover
  • How much do you prefer to invest on the warranty plan?
  • Find a suitable home warranty company that offers the kind of plan you are looking for at a particular price to invest on.
  • Go through the policy booklet and fine print of the company contracts
  • Do check whether the policy has any pre-existing condition exclusions and if so what those conditions are
  • Does the company add up any additional fee on repair or service charges?
  • Will the appliance be replaced or repaired? Will they replace items with new or used items?
  • Check company’s response time obligations. Generally it is within 24 to 48 hours for non-emergency repairs.

These are all the questions that you need to find the answers to before purchasing a home warranty policy.  Some company policies cover only certain appliances while few are expensive. You need to be clear on all these issues.

Once you are certain about which plan suits your needs, compare the policy premiums and ensure the coverage plan. Finally, make sure the home warranty  company is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including weekends and holidays, so they are there when you need assistance. You can find such companies in our home warranty company directory. A home warranty company should have a toll-free number so it doesn’t cost money to call. Ensure that the customer support is available on easy track so that it helps in fast communication and service. Sign up with a company that has all the above mentioned facilities.

Planning to buy a Home Warranty policy? Watch this video –

 




Builder’s warranty is a written statement by the builder assuring that the house was completed as per a stipulated set of standards. This provides a form of protection to buyer from latent defects.

This form of warranty is also called a Limited warranty and is issued by the builder on their work. This is done either within the sales contract or as a separate document. The period of duration of such contracts are usually between one to ten years.

Coverage

A Typical Builder’s warranty covers only the material and workmanship issues of various components relating to a new building. This includes

  • Windows
  • HVAC units
  • Plumbing and electrical systems
  • Stolen construction materials are also covered in some plans.

As mentioned before, the duration is largely dependent on the component. For example, material and workmanship issues are covered for a year. This would include paint, drywall, siding and stucco, door and trim etc. HVAC, plumbing and electrical units are usually covered for two years. Major structural defects like a roof that may collapse or any other structural damage that pose danger to the residents are covered for a period of up to ten years.

These warranties do not cover the cost incurred by the owners as a direct consequence of material and workmanship issues. Eg, staying away or moving out temporarily while a repair is being conducted. They also DO NOT cover the following:

  • Household appliances.
  • Components that are still covered by the Manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Minor cracks in tiles, bricks or drywall.
  • Damages sustained as a result of your own abuse, outsider or people whom you hired to work on the property.
  • Deterioration of materials used in construction within an expected level.

Making a claim

If you wish to make a claim for your repair, first and foremost, refer to your warranty contract to ensure that the damage is indeed a covered one. If so, place a request to the builder informing them about the damage and requesting for a repair. It is recommended that you place this request in writing even if the company has a telephonic submission method. Ask for receipts and keep records of all correspondence. These records will help you if a dispute arises.

Things to keep in mind

The builder’s warranty cannot replace the Homeowner’s Insurance or Home Appliance Warranty. All three are very different and have their own unique features.

For your own safety, it is suggested that you ask the following questions about your warranty.

  1. What is not covered?
  2. Name some of your previous projects so that you can speak with some owners
  3. What is the extent of your liability?
  4. What do I do if I have a claim or dispute?

The laws related to enforcing these warranties vary in each state. Therefore it will be a wise step to check with your State’s attorney general’s office or contractor licensing board to ensure that your builder follows all the laws as required by the state law.

Make sure that the contract is thoroughly studied and preserved. Experts say that the longer the contract, lesser the benefits. Such long contracts indicate inefficient builders who use vague clauses to narrow down the possibility of you succeeding in filing a claim. Shorter the contract, better the builder.

You may be asked to sign a “Warranty document” at the time of closing the sales. This is often a way to impose more rules on you and thereby narrow down your chances of making a claim on your warranty. If you have already agreed to sign such a document on your sales contract, you can’t do much about it. But if you have not consented to any such thing, you can and you should refuse signing this.

Towards the end of the duration of your contract, get your home inspected by a professional home inspector. This will help you make the best out of your warranty.

Difference between Home Warranty and Builder’s Warranty

We stated earlier that the builder’s warranty cannot be used to replace a home warranty.  Although both these plans cover home and it’s components, they are poles apart on certain matters.

Builder’s Warranty

You can also read about Differences between Homeowner’s insurance and Home Warranty.

The builder’s warranty is always a good way to ensure that you won’t have to pay for any repairs caused due to faulty or badly constructed structures. Always remember to clear all questions you have prior to signing the contract. Once signed, preserve the contract and other documents carefully. Should you ever feel that the service you received is not up to your expectation, spread the word. You can visit websites like ours to read about warranties and other topics related to owning a home. Cheers!




Green landscaping is a science which comes with some advantages, and a lot of personal criteria. Green landscapers tend to be very highly motivated, and very demanding of themselves because of their commitments. Green landscapers treat their designs like other people treat their home insurance – Everything must be covered. This is a demanding process, and it can get tough.

Green landscaping

The issues

The basic concepts of Green landscaping are very like permaculture. Green landscapes are ecologically structured. They can include soil biota and great attention to natural ecology. They naturally include consideration of soil issues, runoff, species mixes, and a range of other technical issues which could easily fill a large library. As you may have gathered, that means Green landscapes can be difficult concepts to put into practice.

An example of Green landscaping

The most easily explained version of Green landscaping is a “restoration” type of ecological concept, using native plants, etc as the basis of the design. That isn’t necessarily easy in the modern world. Many areas are in a state of ecological flux, and native sources are often in decline. Re-establishing species isn’t straightforward, because they need their local ecology, including insects, etc, to be in working order, and that’s often not the case.

It’s not impossible, however.

A design that works

Even in degraded environments, the Green landscaper has some assets:

  • Climate
  • Soil types
  • Remaining supporting ecology
  • Species affinities for the site

Without getting too technical, these are core assets, and they can be used effectively if the restoration process is also structured. Trying to re-create an ecology takes time, and the stages of reconstruction vary considerably depending on types of environment and ecological mechanics.

Setting up an ecological base involves several basic stages:

1.    Physical landscaping: Restoration may require some reshaping of the land in degraded environments. Soil removal, replacement and/or eco-targeted reconditioning is also usually required.

2.    Restoring drainage conditions: Common in developed areas, this is critical to success, because native plants, insects and microfauna require specific levels of moisture.

3.    Working vegetation to promote soil chemistry and biota: This can be something simple, like the most common plant in the area which is a design component. These plants are the foundations of the area ecology, often keystone species. More to the point, they can be used as site-specific keystone species, which don’t contradict the intended natural ecological profile.

4.    Staged plantings: When the keystone species and environs are in place, the big picture can be painted, and further plantings, physical landscaping, and other processes can take place with no risk to the core biology.  (This also mimics the growth patterns of new trees, etc., and is a trustworthy mechanism for evolving the site and growth habits of the plants.

This is a rather simple depiction of a lot of hard work, but it’s very reliable. If you’re a Green landscaper, using the natural formative processes of the environment is your best option. It’s your “contents insurance” for your design. You can put your heart into your work, and win.




A place to make countless memories in and call your own, if you’re in the market for a new home then you sure know what a task it can be to research, hunt and narrow down to just the right space. From the way the homes you walk into make you feel to the technical details – the plumbing, storage units, materials used and more – the entire process can not only be exhausting but can also take weeks, if not months for home inspection. While the gut feeling is all yours to trust, there is a simple way to get help when it comes to ironing out the value of a space, the cost you will have to add as overhead once you buy it, what to consider and functional tips and points to focus on when you remodel.

Home-warranty-home-inspection

A home inspection is a simple step recommended for aspiring homeowners, a step that comes right after you narrow down on your dream home and just before you sign the papers. We all know never to judge a book by its cover, but the trick here is to find the right people to judge the inside and estimate its condition.

Most often home inspection is a part of all well drafted real estate deals, including a system within which the price and repairs can be renegotiated after the inspection, saving you both time and energy.

Who To Hire For Home Inspection?

Just like any other professional, hiring a home inspector can be a lot easier if you know the right questions to ask.

Just Home Inspection, Nothing More

More often than not, home buyers tend to rely on their contractors for inspections as well, frequently creating a conflict of interest. Raising questions about the authenticity and real need for the repairs that the contractor has pointed out can create unnecessary tension, making it a lot easier if you kept both separate.  

Insurance, Sample Report And Pricing

Of the three aspects to be clarified before hiring an inspector, the first stands to be one that is very often overlooked. Being a profession that has its if’s and but’s when it comes to safety, the responsibility of being cautious and secure during the inspection should be the agencies alone. Be it insurance to assure that any accidents do not come back onto you or the required gear for the procedure, make sure you are free from any legal complications from the first step itself.

In order to understand more clearly what you are getting your money’s worth, and how much you will be actually be spending on this process, start by getting estimates as well as sample reports from three to four consultants or companies. Proceed to judge the inspectors based on how comprehensive their sample report is, and to what extent the price justifies the service they are providing – making an informed decision definitely makes a difference!

References And Specific Expertise

While companies and agencies of repute do exist, if you’re looking to hire an individual consultant then it’s a good idea to get in touch with them through word of mouth or check out their references beforehand. Even when it comes to a company, go through online reviews to get a better idea of who you are hiring.

A general home inspection is quite standard, paying attention to the structural elements of the building as well as to smaller details such as appliances inside and outdoor wear and tear due to weather. Depending on the age, architectural style, materials and problem areas of the home, it may help for you to hire an inspector with a more particular area of expertise.

Being Present

Being a part of the inspection process is essential, and hiring an inspector who does not keep you in the loop is never smart. From getting acquainted with space through the eyes of the professional to firsthand explanations and insight into what is substandard and why, tagging along will give you the chance to clarify any inhibitions you have with space, to begin with.

What All It Includes

Broadly speaking, a home inspector should thoroughly look through all structural aspects of the building and foundation – aspects such as the roof and walls for seepage or termites, possible shifts in the flooring, insulation, age and condition of woodwork and plumbing, the functionality and safety of the electrical system, cooling system etc. Indoor appliances can be a part of the inspection as well, assuming they come with the home.

Specific to each of these issues, the inspector would look at and categorize the defects into –

  1. Safety issues and hazards, minor or major defects and long-term impact if the repair is postponed.
  2. Structural elements, wiring or other items that can be serviced or repaired by contractors and professionals, and those that need to be replaced altogether.
  3. Aspects that are okay to be left as is for now but may need to be re-evaluated in a few years.

Post the inspection – that usually lasts a few hours – the inspector will submit a comprehensive report to you, giving you the highs and lows of the property and maybe even tips on how to maintain the home and retain its condition for longevity and resale in the future.

For Buyers And Sellers Alike

Hiring a home inspector isn’t just for home buyers! The task of putting a home on the market and actually making a sale can be just as daunting as buying one and making it a home, and just as inspection puts the buyer’s mind at ease, it also helps assess the value of the property and gives you the upper hand.

Buyers

Making you confident, well informed of the value and aware of the possible issues within the purchase of the property, home inspection empowers the buyer to have control over their decisions and know what they are getting into. Being an investment of significant sums of money, an inspector’s expertise can be highly beneficial, impartial and yet of appropriate judgment – giving you just the professional intervention you need before taking the leap.

Though home inspection minimizes the possibility of disagreeable surprises regarding repairs and replacements after the home is purchased, it’s not all about the negatives. Alongside what requires attention, an inspector also brings to your notice the crowning jewels of your property and how they can be maintained in mint condition.

Sellers

A quick and economical way to give you the upper hand and have you one step ahead of the questions the buyers and real estate agents will harrow you with, a home inspection from a seller’s point of view can be just as beneficial as that from buyers.

Giving you the chance to know the true value of your home, tidy up areas that are not in the best condition and even repair certain aspects that may exponentially boost the monetary value as well as the salability of the property. Just as a buyer would not want any surprise repair needs after the deal is finalized, it is preferable for the seller to have a clear idea of the pros and cons of the property so as to assure that a deal that seems otherwise perfect doesn’t fall through at the last minute because of setbacks. Being honest about the condition of the property can be a negotiating tactic of its own, giving the buyer a clear picture and allowing for a smooth mediation between both parties. Legally speaking, the inspection can be drawn into the clause itself, exonerating the seller from any further responsibility for the condition of the home as well as assuring that no lawsuits can be filed, considering all the necessary information was disclosed prior to the deal being finalized.

DIY – Be Your Own Home Inspector

Still looking to be your own inspector and have a go at your own property or want to give your new home a good poke before letting in the professional? There are a few things to keep in mind, for your safety and the success of the enterprise itself.

Getting Ready For Home Inspection

Before you get started, make sure you are dressed right for the task – gloves, covered shoes, a mask for when you enter the basement and attic, and basic tools to be able to inspect behind panels of wood and a strong flashlight.

home inspection

What To Look For

  1. Checking wooden joists in the flooring for stability and strength, any holes or missing beams could compromise the flooring.
  1. Rotting wood in between floors, in the attic or basement, and in the parts of the home that are exposed to the elements.
  1. Termites or mold in any part of the building, and if they are there then how extensive the damage is.
  1. Exposed electrical wiring or electrical work that seems not up to the mark.
  1. Water pressure in all the bathrooms and kitchen, as well as the condition of at least the external plumbing and drains.
  1. Condition and age of the appliances – cooling/heating systems, refrigeration, gas inlets etc.
  1. Cracks in the foundation.
  1. Damage due to overgrowth of trees and creepers adjacent to the building, specific to individual homes with a garden.

 

Home Warranty And Peace Of Mind

Just as home inspection can help do away with inhibitions of buying a new home, getting Home Warranty with wide coverage can assure peace of mind for years to come. Having gone through the aspects of inspecting a home thoroughly before investing in it, now comes the trick of making sure that your repair, servicing and replacements costs and tensions are all taken care of!

A service contract that assures the complete fixing and replacement of appliances, plumbing, electrical systems, and cooling systems of your home – saving energy on unexpected repairs and the trouble of looking for the required professional for each product – home warranty covers most major appliances and is yearly renewable without any hassle.

Home Maintenance Calculator

Not quite sure about how far this warranty could really make an impact?

Home-Warranty-Calculator

HomeWarrantyReviews.com brings you the Home Maintenance Calculator, a simple tool to get an estimate of what repairs and replacements can cost without a warranty in place, in comparison to the yearly cost of the home warranty itself.

It’s not always enough to base the decision on the age or the general condition of the appliance, and the Home Maintenance Calculator has been carefully put together so as to not miss any factors. By feeding in basic details of how old the home is, the age of individual appliances and systems and the number of times the home usually requires repairs in a year, the tool uses data to give you a very good idea of the end cost.

Getting your result is simple as well – the charts alter according to the parameters you feed in, and if the sum for maintenance is higher than that of warranty, then it is best to get yourself a reliable home warranty coverage, preferably chosen through meticulous research. In fact, finding the right deal for your home is not much different from hunting for the perfect home inspector! Read reviews, get estimates and make sure the plan covers all the essentials; a little bit of digging around may make all the difference when it comes to the perfect home warranty plan to fit your needs.




If you have been planning to buy a house or you have already bought a house, realizing the importance of homeowners insurance is very important. Make sure you have adequate coverage. Studies reveal that approximately 20% of the Americans have cut back on their insurance costs to meet their other monthly financial obligations.

Home Insurance Premium

However, insurance coverage is one thing that should never be compromised upon. Your home insurance should be such that it should not only give you adequate coverage but it should also do justice to the amount you shell out as premium. And your premium should be within your reach. It is only when you find it difficult to make payments for the premium that the insurance policy appears to be a financial burden to you.

The ideal way to find the best quote for homeowners insurance  is to shop around. You can compare quotes online or talk to insurance carriers personally. There are many insurance carriers that offer different plans to meet the requirements of the consumers. You can try out these and after evaluating the pros and cons of the plan, should you buy your  insurance policy.

It is very important that you are not underinsured. If you save some cash now by staying underinsured, you may have to shell out just the double in case of a financial emergency or an unforeseen event.

Ways to cut down homeowners insurance costs

Instead of buying inadequate coverage for your homeowners insurance policy, there are many things you can do to cut down expenses related to your insurance policy in a reasonable manner. Given below are few measures you can take to reduce insurance costs.

  • Do not insure the land, insure your home – The land that is attached to your house isn’t prone to theft, fire or windstorms. So, don’t waste money by insuring the land too. Insure your house and its belongings instead.
  • Enhance safety and security measures – You can install safety devices such as safety alarms and burglar alarm to enhance the safety and security of your house. It reduces the insurance cost to a great extent. And you may also avail discounts up to 20%.
  • Review your policy once a year – You want to get adequate coverage. So, if you review or check your home insurance policy every year, you will be able to make the necessary changes and adjustments as needed.
  • Stick to a single insurer – If you have been with one insurance carrier for several years, your insurance carrier may extend special discount to you. Studies reveal that several insurance carriers offer approximately 5% discount to consumers who have been with the same insurance carrier for a period of 3 years or more. And if you have managed to continue with the same insurance carrier for a period of 6 years, you can as well be given a discount of 10%.
  • Make electronic payments – It has been observed that there are many insurance carriers that charge approximately USD$5 for sending payments by mail. The best way to make your insurance payment is to have your premium deducted directly from your account. So, try to make payments electronically.
  • Review your credit rating – Maintain a good credit rating and make sure you keep track of the same. Often insurance carriers allow you to enjoy better rates if you have a good credit rating,

So, when you have the above measures to keep your insurance cost down, it is not necessary to reduce the coverage to save costs.




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

Home Warranty Claims

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

Common Causes of Home Warranty Claims Denial

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

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

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

How to Dispute Home Warranty Claim Denials

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

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

 




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.




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

Contractor looking for job

Why Work With A Home Warranty Company?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To Work With A Home Warranty Company?

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

Some of these leading Home Warranty Companies include,

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

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

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


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

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

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

What To Remember Before Becoming A Service Contractor?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A home warranty sounds like it is a great form of monetary security against unexpected, expensive home repairs. But you should understand what is covered in a “standard” home service contract. When you are buying a home, there is possibility that you were provided with a home warranty by the seller and you assumed that it will take care of all repairs inside your home. But there are some items NOT covered in a home warranty.

Basics of home warranty –

What Does Home Warranty Cover?

The best answer to this can be found by evaluating your specific contract or by reviewing an on-line contract sample.

Basic coverage includes:

  1. Plumbing stoppages
  2. Plumbing System
  3. Sump pump (permanently installed)
  4. Toilets
  5. Hot water pump
  6. Bathroom whirlpool motor pump
  7. Water heater
  8. Ceiling fans
  9. Smoke detectors
  10. Built-in dishwasher
  11. Built-in microwave
  12. Attic and exhaust fans
  13. Heating and duct-work
  14. Telephone system
  15. Electrical system
  16. Instant hot water dispenser
  17. Built in trash compactor
  18. Oven
  19. Cook tops
  20. Doorbells
  21. Air conditioning
  22. Garbage disposal
  23. Range and oven
  24. Telephone wiring
  25. Central heating system
  26. Range Hood
  27. Humidifier
  28. Refrigerators (does not include ice maker)

Because coverage differs from policy to policy and from state to state, request to see a sample copy of a policy before you commit.

What is Not Covered in a Standard Plan?

As discussed above, the contract covers only those parts, systems and appliances that are mentioned as covered and excludes all others. Remember you can always pay extra premium to cover these items before you sign the contract.

  1. Faucet repairs (unless otherwise stated in the policy)
  2. Spa or pools (you can request/add this coverage in some cases)
  3. Hot tubs (you can request/add this coverage in some cases)
  4. Not all plans pay for washers and dryers or garage door openers. These come under “Enhanced Coverage”
  5. Outdoor items such as sprinklers
  6. Haul away debris
  7. Hauling away old appliances
  8. Outdoor water systems
  9. Combo ceiling fans
  10. Second air conditioner
  11. Second fridge/freezer
  12. Food spoilage
  13. Icemaker
  14. Well Pump
  15. Central Vacuum
  16. Limited Roof Leak
  17. Septic system
  18. Septic Tank Pumping
  19. Stand Alone Freezer
  20. Home entertainment
  21. Office package
  22. Central AC unit
  23. Wine cooler
  24. Heating system
  25. Septic system
  26. Additional spa
  27. Washing machine

However, for items such as washer/dryer, kitchen refrigerator, air conditioning, spa equipment, pool and roof leak repair, additional or optional coverage are available for an extra fee at the time of contract. Verify your contract to check which optional coverage, if any, were paid for.

Basics of Home Warranty

A home warranty is neither similar nor it is a replacement for homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance policy covers major unforeseeable events such as fires, theft, property crimes, hail and certain types of water damage that could have an effect on the homeowner’s personal possessions and the entire structure. A home warranty does not cover these hazards but it covers particular components of the home. It covers regular wear and tear defects which may include an older air conditioner break down or requiring certain parts changed in spite of you have kept up with needed maintenance. In simplest terms, a home warranty is an additional coverage for the items in your home which might initially have been covered by a manufacturer’s or builder’s warranty.

When you purchase a home warranty, you are principally signing a service contract. The contract provides for low-priced repair and replacement service on a number of home’s major appliances. Most plans have a basic component that offers all the homeowners who pay for a policy with certain coverages. The contract will spell out which appliances it’ll cover, how much is required to pay per occurrence and what is not covered. For instance, structural aspects of your home are not covered. So if your roof falls down, that would be covered by homeowner’s insurance. In case your water heater leaks, the water heater would be covered but the consequent water damage would be homeowner’s insurance issue. Homeowners are also allowed to procure one or more optional components that give additional coverage at additional cost.

How much does a Home Warranty Cost?

They are quite inexpensive, usually ranging from $259 to $400, based on coverage. Home warranty companies every now and then run special discount policy prices or special sales or provide additional coverage for the same price. The policies are prepaid for a year in advance, at which time they run out or can be renewed.

How Do They Work?

Though specific plans offer for definite types of coverage, most operate in the same way.

  • If a home appliance or a system breaks down, the home owner calls the home warranty firm.
  • The home warranty company calls a service provider with whom it has a business arrangement in order to examine the problem.
  • The provider then calls the home owner to make an appointment.
  • If the provider settles on that the required replacement or repair is covered by the warranty, he accomplishes the work. In case an appliance cannot be repaired and is malfunctioned, based on the contract coverage, the home warranty firm will pay to put back and set up the appliance.
  • The homeowner only pays a small trade service fee (less than $100) plus the money he/she has spent by now to buy the warranty.

Watch this video to know how home warranty works –

Types of Coverage

As all plans differ, you are required to ask specifically what is covered. Inquire with your real estate agent if upgrades are available. Make sure that whether the home warranty company will pay for your repairs to make certain types of appliances or systems compliant with new regulations. Pay close attention and read the home warranty contract cautiously to know the coverage, limitations and exclusions.

What to Expect in a New Home Warranty?

Home warranties may be procured by individuals buying a new or used home, landowner, and persons selling their homes or investors. Each company’s coverage is decided by the terms of its contact, but basic home warranties usually cover the parts and labor on or replacement of chief home systems and equipment.

What’s covered? Most home warranty firms provide a variety of plans, all offering different levels of coverage, so be sure to study the details of any contract before procuring. Even if you decide to renew the contract from your year-to-year, double check the details of your plan as the coverage can change yearly.

Here is a common idea of what a homeowner can wait for to find in each tier of service.

The Bottom Line

A home warranty is not an ideal solution to the risks homeowners face. Before buying one, it’s important that the homeowners read the home warranty contract and consider whether the warranty is probable to pay off. Home sellers who want to provide a warranty to buyers and homeowners or buyers who feel more relaxed having a home warranty should also do extensive research to get a reputable home warranty company that will in fact pay for legal genuine repairs when they are required.

Other home warranty tips –

 




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.




By:  Kevin Wallach


One of last year’s most talked about movies, “The Big Short,” got people thinking once more about the great housing market crash of 2007.  The film, based on true events, cut to the heart of the abuses of government regulatory weaknesses that allowed one of the worst market collapses in history to occur.  Though that financial crisis is behind a great many, plenty of U.S. homeowners are still feeling its effects in the form of an upside down mortgages, loans bigger than the value of the houses that collateralize them.  According to NBC News, 13% of U.S. homeowners are still seriously underwater.  This estimate was based on figures provided by RealtyTrac, and the basis for the term, “underwater,” was that the home’s value is 25% less than what is currently owed by the homeowner.

From Buyers Market to Seller’s Market The U.S. Housing Shortage

Imagine what this means for the homeowners.  You face the choice of holding on to a house that may or may not ever reach a value which would match or exceed the mortgage.  For many families, this just is not an option.  The other prospects are not any better, though.  Accepting foreclosure or a short sale can be as damaging to a consumer’s credit rating as a bankruptcy.  The long term effects of having poor credit can be devastating, particularly so for families barely hanging on financially and experiencing long-term decreases in household income.

It’s no surprise then that homeowners who owe more on their homes than the houses are worth should be cheering the current situation facing the housing market.  That situation, of course, is the housing shortage that is being realized nationwide, worse in some regions than others.  In a blog post on Trulia’s website just days ago, the online publisher of real estate industry information broke down factors that are contributing to the shortage of homes and particularly the shortage of affordable ones.  According to that Trulia article, 95 of the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas have seen dramatic drops in the number of new starter homes being built.  If you compare these metro areas with various measures of employment opportunities, you begin to see that what’s driving the economic recovery in some regions may also be driving a split between housing that is affordable for the most fortunate among us and that which is affordable for the average worker or for the working family.

Talk of a housing shortage may seem bizarre to those who are still watching their property values hover, stuck in a zone that seems almost permanent.  These homeowners are witnessing a recovery in a housing market that has not been evenly experienced nationwide.  While places like southern California see spikes in prices of even undeveloped land, much of the country is seeing stagnation, except in neighborhoods with premium housing options.  So while inventory nationwide is shrinking, it’s not necessarily translating into big opportunities for owners of homes around the United States to sell at break even or a profit.  And those who do sell their lower-priced houses as such are running into problems finding houses that they can afford at the next price level.

So, what is it that’s really driving housing shortages, if not healthy employment and more people moving from their first house to their second, and more expensive one?  This is where speculation can lead to some pretty grim possibilities.  Back in January of this year, The Washington Post gave some predictions for the housing market in 2016.  Among those visions of the coming year were sunny forecasts of continued rising home values, built on solid ground this time, unlike the lead up to 2007.  But what the Post’s article may be wrong about is how solid the ground is under these increasing housing costs.  According to some market analysts, a new type of real estate investor is largely taking the place of larger institutional investors.  These “mom and pop” investors are, unlike their larger predecessors, using credit, not cash, to make these purchases.  In this article from RealtyTrac about mom and pop investors in the real estate space, the purchase of homes is secondary to the effort to purchase the loans themselves.  And it doesn’t end with small investors who buy distressed houses on credit or who buy non-performing loans (NPL) and usually foreclose, adding to reduced house values in areas already struggling to rebound.  There is evidence, as Fortune reflects in their recent article, that a number of large scale investment factors are directly contributing to overvalued real estate in the U.S., an undercurrent that is buoying sales of overpriced homes, thus leading to a shutout for prospective buyers with budgets that just are not big enough for the market’s demands.

If worst case scenario predictions prove to be true then American homeowners should not expect to see the continued value increases predicted by optimists and eager salespeople.  And if it proves to be true that the shortage is mostly built on speculation, much like the bubble that burst in 2007, then that 13% of underwater mortgages reported by NBC News may, in the not-so-distant future, grow much bigger again and abruptly end the housing shortage.


About the Author:  Kevin Wallach has written about the home warranty industry and other homeowner related topics since 2009.  He is actively involved in the marketing of home warranties, as well as being an active member of the larger industry.  He is the administrator of the Linkedin group for the home warranty and home service contract professionals.

HomeWarrantyReviews.com is proud to bring our readers editorial articles such as this one. If you would like to see other topics related to home ownership covered in future editorial articles, please let us know. And if you came here today to read about home warranties then please consider one of our recent articles about home warranty companies and their services.




Maintaining everything in the home is one of the major concerns homeowners have to deal with. Every homeowner worth his salt will tell you that the primary expenses incurred in the process of home maintenance are due to appliance and system faults.
Home Maintenance Plans

Having said that, we’re sure that everyone has heard of Appliance / Home maintenance plans or simply put, home warranty plans. Such plans are contracts that agree to provide you with discounted repairs and replacement services for household appliances and systems. Do keep in mind that such plans are for ageing appliances that have suffered quite a bit of wear and tear over the years. Appliance warranties only cover damages that are due to age, wear and tear.

Home Warranty – How Does it Work?

The working of such plans are quite simple. You purchase the warranty from a home service provider for a specific duration. During the coverage period, if your appliances / systems breaks down, you only need to  call the your warranty provider. They will send a technician to fix your faulty item at just a nominal service charge fee. The actual cost of repairs will be borne by the company.

Hence, in many ways, a warranty is a wise way to protect your budget from unexpected expenses. To know more about home service contracts, read things to know about home warranty. You’ll find that helpful.

Cost of Home Maintenance Plans

Now, coming to the actual problem that this article addresses, cost of home maintenance plans. In general such appliance warranties are affordable and reasonably priced. Most companies offer a specific set of plans from which you can choose, based on your requirements.

The annual premiums for a home service contract ranges between $200 – $ 600, for a home under 5,000 sq.ft. When you purchase a plan, you will be provided with a policy booklet that explicitly specifies all the items that will be covered. You will also be provided with information about various other terms and conditions. Like we said before, home service contracts do not cover damages due to anything other than age and regular use. For faults due to crime, hazards and other perils, you may want to check the difference between home insurance and home warranty.

In addition to the annual premium, you may also have to pay a nominal fee as the deductible each time you raise an issue. Deductibles usually cost between $50 – $100. There are some companies that offer zero deductible appliance protection plans

Like we discussed before, different providers charge different amounts for their plans. Following are the facts that decide the cost of home warranty.

  • Extent of coverage
  • Type of plan
  • Additional benefits/ services
  • Size of the house
  • Age of the house

If you want to purchase a home warranty plan, we suggest that you get your home inspected first. While some companies offer this service prior to the contract being signed, some companies do not. A home inspection reveals a lot of potential problems that your house may face and the inspector may even recommend a plan to make the best out of home warranty.

Bottom Line

If you are still unsure about home warranty, we suggest that you go through our web site and read some informative articles that may help you solve some confusion. That said, we still think that a home warranty is a clever way to protect your appliances and save cash in the process. Cheers!




The Illinois department of insurance issued a warning earlier this year to its residents to avoid a Florida based home warranty company Arkidus Home Protection, Inc. Arkidus had been unlawfully advertising home warranty services via the internet to residents of Illinois and in many cases there were documented incidents of these consumers who purchased a warranty not receiving the services promised to them.

The company and its owner, Reinaldo “Ray” Berges has previously been served with a cease and desist order by the Illinois Department of insurance, but continued offering service coverage for household appliances and major system components. The company had its headquarters in Miami though more recent reports suggest that office has been closed for many months.        Arkidus Home Protection

The company has not been granted any certificate of authority to sell insurance or home warranties to the consumers in the state of Illinois, thus the cease and desist order from that state was issued.  This unfortunately may not help recover the money lost by the Illinois consumers who purchased home warranties, also referred to as residential service contracts or home service contracts.

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), The consumers have launched over 245 complaints against the company in last three years. BBB indicates in its report that Arkidus conducted its business through a website, www.theahp.net.

BBB is a non- profit organization more than a 100 years old functioning in U.S and Canada. It collects and provides free business reliability reviews on over 4 million businesses. The BBB plays the role of an intermediary between businesses and consumers. Though it is not mandatory for any firm to get accreditation from BBB such accreditation is sought by some companies in order to build faith in their business.  Arkidus is not accredited by BBB and thus the amount of involvement BBB may have had with Arkidus’s customers would have been limited to collecting and documenting complaints and then reporting complaints to the company.  For further recourse consumers who have complaints against Arkidus would likely need legal representation or assistance from consumer protection entities.

According to publicly available information Illinois’s Department of insurance has also received many complaints from customers of Arkidus who allege they have been tricked by that company and were unable to obtain reimbursements for their claims or their canceled contracts.

The complaints from consumers are also publicly available on various websites.  One such complaint posted online was from Jose. E who is a resident of Florida.  In his post he said, “This Company is a scam. I started service with them in May, and they will not honor their policy. I keep getting calls from companies that were dispatched by them. I needed a plumber and an electrician, and both have been harassing me with the remainder of their bill, even though I paid my deductible. Do not purchase anything from this company, they are frauds.”

Arkidus appears to have ceased doing business but for a time the company was successful persuading customers to pay long term contract fees, in some cases for terms of two years or more. These customers spent thousands of dollars in some cases, all of which they now face losing forever.  If significant legal action isn’t taken against the owner of the company it is unlikely that consumers will receive any reimbursement and this whole story will end sadly.  Hence we warn our readers to be cautious about choosing home warranty companies with very little business history, no matter how positive the early reviews of the company may be.

Tips to prevent you from becoming a victim of similar home warranty and insurance scams

  • Reading about incidents like the ones surrounding Arkidus Home Protection’s brief business in the home warranty space may leave you wondering if there is a way to avoid becoming a victim. Here are some things you can keep in mind when choosing an insurance company or home warranty company.
  • When shopping for home warranty or insurance make sure any company you consider doing business with is properly registered and if licensing or bonding is required by your state be certain those things are in order as well.
  • Check a company’s background, reviews and the companies’ customer complaint records which can found on the company’s local Better Business Bureau website.
  • Never purchase financial products such as home warranties or insurance policies from a company which solicits your business at your door without doing the same homework you would with any other company.  Impulse purchases from hard-sales-tactics sales people are very often regretted by the consumers making them.
  • When dealing with sales people face to face try to develop an eye for details, study the business cards and other documents and verifying that the business address furnished is authentic and not just a P.O. Box, short term single office rental or other temporary type of mailing address.  Though legitimate and not alone a sign of trouble, short term addresses and discreet addresses may be a warning sign that you won’t be able to track anybody down when you run into trouble with the product you bought.
  • Always demand a contract for the services provided, claims and reimbursement, and other provisions and then study the fine print carefully before signing the document or making a purchase.
  • Always ask for a bill or invoice and never pay by cash.  Using a check or a credit card can sometimes help you when you seek reimbursement after not receiving what was promised to you by the merchant.

If you suspect you are dealing with the wrong people already or believe you too have been scammed do not delay making a formal report to the appropriate agency or agencies.  Both at the state and national level in the U.S. there are free and fast ways to make your voice heard when you feel you’ve been misled by a business or been the victim of a scam.  The important thing is to act quickly and not give up if you feel your complaint is being documented but not being acted upon.




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!




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

top dollar

Step 1: Research For Top Dollar

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

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

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

Step 2: Pricing For Top Dollar

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

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

Step 3: Negotiate For Top Dollar

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

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

Step 4: Add-ons

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

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

Step 5: Aesthetics

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

Strike A Good Deal For Top Dollar

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




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

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

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

What is Structural Warranty?

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

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

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

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

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

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

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

A Middleman

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

Value of the Home

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

How Structural Warranty Works

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

What Structural Warranty Covers

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

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

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

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

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

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

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

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

The Cost

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

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




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

Home Warranty Companies In New Jersey

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

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

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

1. American Home Shield

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

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

2. Home Service Club

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

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

3. Select Home Warranty

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

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

4. HSA Home Warranty

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

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

5. Choice Home Warranty

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

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

The Bottom Line

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