Deck Maintenance – How to Restore Your Deck

Decks have turned out to be an extremely admired, low-cost additions to a home. Decks make it suitable to enjoy sitting outside day or night. They open up the home and help entertaining and outdoor dining. Yet, decks are also subjected to the damaging effects of the weather. As such, maintenance of deck is imperative to avoid discoloration caused by moss, algae, dirt and other plants. These deck attackers destroy the surface of wood. Splinters are formed, creating a rougher surface that is even more welcoming to plants and dirt. Before long, you have a dirty deck that’s unfaithful when wet and riddled with splinters. Regular home maintenance takes some work, but you will enjoy and cherish the changes afterwords.

Deck After & Before Maintenance

After & Before Maintenance

Many homes have a deck these days. It may just be an entrance slope to the most complicated designs. While some decks are finished with customary redwood and cedar (which have natural preservatives in it), various decks are now made from pressure-treated pine or cedar.

A deck installed and designed by a competent deck service team have a long life span, Like servicing your car, the deck also requires usual maintenance checks to cover things such as algae build up, Tightness of Bolts, condition of timber, and general wear and tear. Our coarse climate requires that most decks get some notice during the year. The UV rays in the sun and wetness from rain are the greatest enemies of a deck.

Is Deck Maintenance Obligatory?

Numerous decks are made of pressure treated pine. High quality treated pine will last  30 years or so before there is any considerable decay. However, splintering and discoloration can start on after only a few months. For this reason, most people take on a usual cycle of maintenance. Failure to do so won’t cause your deck to decay, but your deck will definitely become faded and the surface will become prone to splinters and rough.

To make certain that the deck goes on looking good with negligible discoloration and splintering, the deck must be sealed as soon as it becomes steady within its surroundings. This normally means waiting a few weeks after the deck is accomplished before sealing.

What kind of Maintenance is Recommended?

Roughly once a year, the deck must be checked for protruding nails and loose boards, carefully cleaned and resealed. Cleaning deck includes taking away algae, dirt, moss and other organic matter. Resealing is accomplished applying a clear or semi-clear liquid sealant to all uncovered surfaces.

Many proficient painters offer this service. However, quality and prices differ. Usually, sealing expenses and deck cleaning vary from $300-$600. There are lots of firms who are not sure of what they are doing, so be careful and choose highly skilled and experienced individual.

High-Quality Deck Maintenance

Here’s a checklist of things to do in order to maintain your decking material in the best shape possible:

1. Examine and Prepare the Deck

You should scrutinize your deck each year or two. Examine especially for any loose boards or protruding nails that need repair. Clear the deck of any toys or furniture and cover all delicate plants. Next, sweep up the deck of larger debris. Before starting the cleaning process, ensure no children have right to use the area.

2. Clean the Deck

Deck Maintenance

Power Wash

Before applying sealant, you should thoroughly clean the deck of all build-up and dirt. Debris blocking the spaces between deck boards must be blasted out with an influential nozzle on a garden hose or a power washer. The water can also help in diluting any chemicals that may accidentally come into contact with grass and plants. Discoloration and stains can be eliminated by products with a base of non-chlorine bleach base or oxalic acid. Acid-based materials handle stains and graying while bleach-based products eliminate mildew. However, be conscious as bleach used to kill mildew can also put down a surface dull and washed-out. In such situations, an acid-based deck restoration product should be used.

Make sure to study the instructions and warnings for cleaning solution thoroughly. The solutions can typically be brushed onto the deck using a broom or it can be sprayed on with a power washer under low pressure. Generally, the more powerful the chemical, scrubbing will not be required more. Scrubbing can be done by hand by making use of a basic scrub or a push button. After waiting for the directed duration for the chemicals to do their work, carefully clean the deck. High-powered jets can be useful, but excess pressure can gouge wood or cause the grain to become blown up.

3. Seal the Deck

Once the area is dried out, you must seal the deck. Put down tarps to defend air conditioners, plants, and other items that require protection from the sealant. The level of defense needed is based in part on how you are going to apply the sealant. Sealant can be sprayed on, brushed on or rolled on with a paint roller. By far, spraying is the fastest. But this is also the toughest to manage. And, some sealants have color that will discolor surfaces to which they are applied.

Sealants are also coarse on plants. While most plants won’t be spoiled by getting hit with wafting over-spray, direct hits can do actual damage. Sealants are available in either oil-or water based formulas. Generally, the professional sealants, which are usually of better quality, are oil–based. Some sealants have stain to shade the color of the deck. Sealants with stain don’t bring consistent color across the wood all the time, so attempt it first in an out-of-the-way spot to ensure the results go with your prospects. A best deck sealant will also contain ultraviolet sunlight protection to decrease the harmful effects of the sun.

Substitutes to Traditional Decking Materials

There are new decking material choices. Quite a few companies make new decking materials that don’t splinter and don’t need sealing or painting. Most are made of plastic or by mixing wood and plastic together. While more pricey primarily than the ordinary wood products used today, they provide large savings over time due to reduced maintenance costs. Most of them are perhaps not good as decking replacement on older decks since they need tighter spacing of joints due to decreased dimensional strength.

 

Want to Read More About Home Maintenance?

Then you should check out our home maintenance section!







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

dishwasher working like new

13 tips to keep your dishwasher working like new

1. Washing is different than scraping

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

2. Do not overload

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

3. Use hot water in the first cycle

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

4. Correct washing cycle

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

5. Do not double up the rinse aid

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

6. Run an empty cycle with vinegar

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

7. Clean the dishwasher trap

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

8. Clean the seals and arms

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

9. Set the appropriate temperature of the water heater

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

10. Test your water

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

11. Use the unused buttons

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

12. Check your dishwasher connections

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

13. Even out

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

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




So, you have decided to purchase a warranty that’s going to protect your budget against unexpected repairs and replacements of your household devices. It is a wise step, but you might also want to know about the options you have when you buy warranties. We bring you the list of the most common types of warranties that are purchased to cover household appliances.

Warranty Plans for Household Items

Warranties can differ based on several criteria. The age of appliances, age of the home, current conditions of the device are all significant factors that you must consider before you zero in on a household appliance protection plan.

 The working is pretty much the same for all these plans. When a device cracks, you inform the folks from whom you purchased the warranty and then they send over a technician to fix the damaged device. You will pay a service call charge each time you raise an issue. And, you can’t report multiple issues in a single call.

Before we go into all that, we have to tell you that the Homeowner’s insurance is something that is not included in this article. It is an entirely different plan and if you wish, you can read about the differences between Homeowner’s insurance and Home warranty.

Let’s begin with the list

#1 Home Warranty

We bet that you have definitely heard about this one! This is also the most widely used plan. The Home Warranty also called as the Appliance Warranty/ Appliance protection plans ( it is known by quite a number of names, would take sometime to list them all out) is a service contract that agrees to offer discounted repairs and replacements of your household appliances.

This plan is ideally suited for customers whose appliances are over 4 years. Appliance protection plan covers damages that result due to regular wear and tear, so if you have brand new devices, chances are that you won’t need frequent repairs.

Also, this is not a free of cost arrangement. As a matter of fact, none of the plans discussed here are free. They do cost money, but the amount is nominal as compared to how much you will be paying if you had to carry out the repairs and replacements by yourself.

Home warranties cover almost all the major appliances and systems in your home. They don’t cover the outdoor devices like sprinklers and all that. Read your policy document to get a better idea. You can also read a brief description about the appliances that are covered.

If you think that this is the ideal plan for you, we suggest that you read more about Home Warranty before you make a move.

#2 Manufacturer’s Warranty 

This too is a familiar name. It is the kind of warranty that the appliance’s manufacturer provides for a limited period of time. Meaning that when you purchase a brand new appliance, the manufacturer’s warranty agrees to repair/ replace your device if something happens to it during the stated warranty period. The time frame changes from manufacturer to manufacturer. The average is often 1 year.

This warranty is a kind of legal binding. If they displease you by not honoring the conditions mentioned in the warranty contract, you can sue them.

Most new gadgets come with a manufacturer’s warranty, even if you buy them online, you can get the manufacturer’s warranty. Major appliances like HVAC units come with longer warranty periods. But keep in mind that the coverage doesn’t remain the same thoughout the warranty period. From second year on-wards, you will be paying for the repair service as the coverage becomes limited to certain parts alone.

You can’t use a Home Warranty to cover a device that is already covered by it’s manufacturer’s warranty. As stated before, Home warranty is for devices that are old, used and no longer covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

#3 Seller’s warranty

Also called as the dealer’s warranty, and is the warranty that is provided by the seller of the device. This is a very short duration warranty, usually around 6 months and if a defect occurs within the stated time, you have to take the gadget to that particular seller itself and no one else. It is not a very flexible and easy plan, but it is definitely better than no warranty at all.

#4 Extended Warranty

This is the kind of warranty that gives you the choice to extend the manufacturer’s warranty as and when it expires. These are ideal for the devices that are not covered under the Home Warranty plans eg., TV, Laptops, etc.

You can’t avail extended warranty on used and old devices. They can only be taken for fairly new gadgets whose manufacturer’s warranty expired recently.

#5 Home service contracts

These are third party service contracts, often provided by the seller or repair vendors. The costs vary widely as these contracts are usually given by local yet licensed service vendors. The coverage also varies so it is difficult to give much details about this type of warranty.

Speak with a few vendors and compare with the other options you have.

Getting the best

Do your research to get the best out of Appliance warranties. Always ensure that you chose a reputable company. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure that the company you chose has a clean record. Friends and family can also recommend good companies for you.

Remember, any kind of warranty, if chosen wisely can benefit you immensely by protecting your budget and also by giving you peace of mind.




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

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

Do I need extended warranty?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buying Extended WarrantySource: CBS News

Extended Warranty vs. Home Warranty

extended warranty vs home warranty

Things to keep in mind

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

  • Contract Terms and Conditions

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

  • Term of coverage

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

  • Extra charges

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

  • Comparison shopping

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

  • Credit card benefits

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

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




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

Essentials For Urban Farming In Your Apartment

Finding A Perfect Location

Urban Farming In Your Homes

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

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

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

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

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

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

Method Of Urban Farming To Be Used

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

Sun Conditions

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

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

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

What Crop To Grow

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

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

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

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

Home Warranty For Urban Farmers

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

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

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

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




In general home warranty covers up the service on repair and replacement cost on insured home appliances. If a policy covered equipment breakdowns due to wear and tear, an insurance agency pays for its maintenance.

Home Warranty Essential

Planning to sell your house? Then home warranty really adds-on

Houses offered with a comprehensive home warranty plan will obviously sell quicker with a better price than those without. Sounds like a great deal, yes it is and it certainly can be. As a seller you are in a competition with many other sellers in the market with the very similar houses and price range. Offering a home warranty may work as bonus attraction to the buyers.

What is seller’s home warranty?

Seller home warranty insures on certain aspects of a property. While coverage period varies, generally covers for a period of 1 year. The purchaser could then renew the policy at the end of every year. This could be a bargaining tool for the seller.

What covers in the policy?

That differs, basic plan would cover home appliances like refrigerator, washer/dryer, bathtub, plumbing systems, electrical systems, ceiling fans, water heaters and garage door opener. If you want to add-on equipment, then you will have to go for an extra coverage.

How much does it Cost?

So how much does a home warranty cost?  Basically the cost depends on the company you decide, the devices to be covered and the amount of insured time. The basic home warranties are available at about $400 annual premium, with a deductible per repair that ranges from $50 to $80. Home warranty companies sometimes offer special sales, discount policy prices or offer additional coverage for the same price which can be considered as extra benefit. The overall idea is the same; to help save some money and give the buyer quick repairs and thus sellers home warranty, is a good buyer incentive to purchase house.

Is home warranty buyer’s best bet?

Before closing the deal home buyers will give attention on their home warranty. Since the contract can cover on multiple items, it is always better to go through the sample copy of policy before you commit the sale. If you are a first-time buyer then it is a really good idea to get home warranty since you have no experience in maintaining your home equipments.

Who pays for the home warranty insurance?

Now the very next question arises is who pays for Home Protection Plan? Whether the seller or the buyer pays for the policy. It depends, seller normally pay for the coverage since it adds-on seller’s benefit to close the sale and buyer will not disturb the seller if any equipment goes wrong. Buyer could renew the policy in future with add-on equipment with extra coverage if necessary.

How does it Work then?

Although specific plans provide for specific types of coverage, most operate the same way.

  • If a home system or appliance breaks or stops working, the home owner needs to call to the home warranty company.
  • Then the home warranty company calls a provider with which it has a business arrangement.
  • Continuing to it the specific provider calls the home owner to make an appointment.
  • The provider fixes the problem. If an appliance is malfunctioning and cannot be repaired, depending on contract coverage, the home warranty company will pay to replace and install the appliance.
  • In return the home owner pays a small trade service fee (less than $100).

There are several benefits of home warranty. Home protection policy is surely not an added expense but it is a sort of investment for safety. Even if you spend extra expense on this, you can certainly be assured of the long term benefits, since you are already saved from paying the repairs or replacements expenses.

Watch this video to know some research facts on Home Warranty.




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

Insure a Building

Buildings and risk management

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

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

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

Building insurance basics

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

The shopping around needs to include:

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

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




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

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

General guidelines

Pursue Insurance Claims

 1. Information

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

2. Maintain Call logs

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

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

3. Be nice and pay attention

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

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

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

They still won’t listen- What to do ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Review filed under: National Home Protection
Author: Donald Walker

——————————————
On Aug 11, 2008 I contacted someone named Jeffrey at national home protection located in the city of New York City, NY: 42 West 38th Street 8th floor suite 800 New York, NY 10018. I have two properties in the State of California that I was considering home warranties for. I wanted to know if there were discounts for multiple properties. Jeffrey told me he had special pricing for multiple homes called the “realtor pack “which was 15% off quoted prices with a 45.00 Dollar service call deduction. He told me in order to receive these discounts I had to purchase a minimum three year policy. My main concern was what the policy exclusions were. I call it a policy because that’s how national home protection advertised their service on the internet as an insurance policy.

I asked if I could review the home warranty policy first and Jeffrey told me that once I purchased the policy he would immediately e-mail me a copy of the policy to review and also send me a copy through the U.S. mail that I would receive in about three days, along with 300.00 Dollars in Home Depot gift cards (50.00 per property per year) that were part of a promotional link to their web site and that I had 30 days to review the policy before it went into effect and that I could cancel at any time and keep the gilt cards, and after 30 days I could cancel with a pro-rated refund .I then gave Jeffrey my credit card number over the phone to complete the purchase. On Aug 13, 2008 I checked my e-mail and had not received the policy from Jeffrey, I did receive an e-mail from someone named Victor Hakim Sales Manager at national home protection (nhp) who offered me the same so-called “realtor pack” deal (see attachment #B) that I had just purchased from jeffrey but without the requirements that I was subjected to earlier. I now realized I had been the victim of false and misleading business practices at nhp. On Aug 18, 2008 I finally received the (2) insurance policies. In the mail from nhp and after further review found that Jeffrey misrepresented the facts about their cancellation policies and promotions (I received no home Depot card nor could I cancel the policy at anytime). He clearly committed fraud over the phone. I immediately contacted nhp and spoke to someone who refused to give her name, about cancelling the policies. I was told my request was being forwarded to a manager for review and a decision would take 72 hours then someone would call me. On Aug 20, 2008 I sent two e-mails as a reply to victor hakim about dissatisfaction with nhp and demanded a full refund. I explained that Jeffrey had not explained the terms or conditions to me as stated in their policy, and that as I looked further into their company I found out that it was common for his employees to deceive the public. Further nhp does not make assurances that the public understands their cancellation policies, nor do they provide reasonable time to review or an opportunity sign their policies. My e-mails were never answered.

On Aug 20, 2008 I faxed to nhp a formal notice to cancel all policies and continued to call. All faxes were verified as received. On Aug 22, 2008 I called nhp and again spoke to someone who told me that my cancellation request was still being processed and my final call to nhp was on Aug 25, 2008 when I was told nhp will not accept my request to cancel the policies. It’s very clear based on the sampling of hundreds of complaints which I have enclosed with this letter that National home Protection engages in deceptive business practices to obtain their customers. Consider that fact that a policy that takes seven days to reach a customer via U.S. mail would be impossible to review with three day (72 hour) clause or the fact that nhp employees do not inform their customers of the importance of these conditions and assures that they fully understand them.

Nhp has an extensive history of deception and fraud and has an unsatisfactory rating with every known consumer protection agency, and was doing business under the name of United Home Warranty, and are currently under criminal investigation in the state of New Jersey for consumer fraud. They have now changed their name to National Home warranty and are currently doing business in the state of New York.
Their customers are being denied service for no reason, hundreds of customers never receiving their (Home Depot) promotions and cancellation requests denied.

I hope this information will encourage you to do what’s necessary to protect thousands of Americans from consumer fraud and deception by National home Protection as witnessed at:
1. Complaints.com 6.Abclocal.go.com
2. Scams.com 7.The squeakwheel.com
3. My3cents.com 8.Consumeraffairs.com
4. Complaintboard.com 9.thestuccocompany.com
5. Ripoffreport.com 10.viewpoint.com


Additional advice about home warranty:
Home appliance warranty coverage varies and you should be aware that not all home appliances and furnitures are covered. While Kitchen electronics, and electrical system are covered, storage cabinets, ceiling fans, and furniture repairs are generally not covered




Not every home needs home warranty coverage. So, as a homeowner, you should get appliance warranty plans if only it makes financial and practical sense.

Home Warranty is a appliance repair contract which takes care of repairs of electrical, plumbing and appliances inside the home. You will pay an annual premium (in the range of $300 to $500) in advance for repair or servicing of most important appliances in your home.Do I need Home Warranty?

If you don’t have a plan in place and wondering what would it cost, get an estimate on home warranty for your house.

If you are an existing homeowner, appliance warranty simply provides peace of mind. It protects your pocket from expensive repairs. If something breaks down, you will place a call to the service provider and they will repair or replace the system within a reasonable timeframe.

If your house is more than 5 years old, you are likely to encounter many repair issues. So, it is a good idea to have home warranty insurance unless you have time and money at your disposal and you like fixing things around.

Imagine your air conditioner or heating unit breaks down and you need to replace the old unit. It may cost anywhere from $6,000 to $14,000 to replace. If you have warranty contract, it would be the service provider’s responsibility to replace the unit.

For a lot of people purchasing a home for the first time, the issue of home warranty arises before completing the transaction. Is this type of protection plan truly necessary?

Benefits of Home Warranty Insurance

Benefits of Home Warranty

The new home buyers have fears when procuring a home and fairly so. They do not want to come across a major repair bill soon after purchasing their new home. In order to ease these fears, real estate agents at times offer home warranty insurance to help close the deal. Most of the times they may have the seller pay this or they might even shell out it themselves. The average price for this is $300-$500 a year.

So now you can be sure, it will be purchased at the lowest costs for one year. After all, this is just a concession to help you relax with your worries and close on the house. So in your mind, if it’s FREE then go ahead and take them up on the contract. Or, you can decide the provider and see if they will employ the company you suggest.

Now, you should keep a few things in mind.

First of all, you get what you shell out. Second, most of the home warranty firms are not reputable. Many among them have a record of complaints and displeased clients. So be careful while choosing a reputable company as it requires exhaustive research.

How Does a Home Warranty Protection Plan Work?

If any of your appliances such as garbage disposal, washing machine or heating and cooling systems malfunction or break down, all you have to do is call up the home warranty company which will arrange a technician to come by your home to fix the problem. Most companies have a service call fee that is called as a deductible and will normally charge you about $60 to $100. There are a handful of home warranty companies that offer zero ($0) deductible as well.

Should I Purchase Home Warranty?

Purchase home warranty if any one of the following is true:

  1. You have appliances that are getting old
  2. Your house is more than 5 years old
  3. You do not have time and patience to get the repair done yourself
  4. You do not have a trusted contractor and you do not want to go through the pain of cold calling contractors from Yellow Pages, screening them, getting quotes, and checking their work.
  5. You do not have cash cushion to handle costly repairs
  6. You are buying a home for the first time.

If you are are a first time home buyer, you should definitely get some kind of coverage. New home owners are generally short of money, so the risk of having to pay for a pricey HVAC repair is just too much for them to manage. Having to mend or restore a heating and cooling system could cost thousands of dollars.

So, What Should You Know about Home Warranty?

Top reasons to buy Home Warranty

Firstly you must know precisely what is covered and broad this coverage is.

The short list of coverage is:

  • Inside Electrical System
  • Appliances
  • Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Interior Plumbing not including the Fixtures

How much does it cost ?

Price depends on the type of coverage and also on the city you live in. If you would like to know how much would it cost to get a service contract, choose one of the Top Rated Home Warranty Companies and request a price estimate.

Your work will be to find out how much coverage you have and for how long. You must comprehend that there are various levels of coverage. In some cases they may cover the furnace but not the air conditioning outside. You have to ask and need to understand.

Before you buy, you need to be acquainted with the reputation of the company. You can check home warranty reviews on our site and shortlist few good companies. Almost all of the companies will have some complaints, but you should look how many they have and are they determined.

One thing about this type of protection plan is that the warranty companies are interested in repairing, rather than replacing your appliance in most cases. In most cases, they will service the units only if the fault is due to regular wear and tear conditions. If the units are poorly maintained, then they may not repair. One more thing you need to be cautious for is “pre-existing defects or deficiencies” since these are not covered. You will discover that almost all home warranty companies won’t allow the policy to take effect unless you have stayed in the house for at least 30 days.

The good thing about having home warranty insurance is that it can give you calmness since you are likely stretched out on the budget anyway. The final thing you want is to have an appliance or a furnace go away in the first year after moving in.

The Bottom Line

For older homes, it is a “no-brainer” choice. But before buying a home service contract, homeowners should study the fine print in the home warranty contract and cautiously think whether the warranty is going to pay off. Home sellers who want to provide a warranty to buyers and homeowners/buyers who would feel more relaxed having a home warranty should also carefully investigate to find a reputable home warranty company that will in fact pay for genuine repairs when they are desirable.




As a landlord, legal responsibility is a bigger issue for you. You need to guard yourself against the losses that can potentially crop up to your properties and in general financial health. What if your occupant is hurt on the rental possessions? You want to be sure that if you are prosecuted, you have the adequate insurance to lend you a hand.

Insurance Landlord needs

As a landlord, you should guard your income stream and that’s your rental income. If the structure is adequately spoiled then it is not possible for the renter to dwell in your property, so you require a protection to your rental income so as to meet your obligations, together with the mortgage on the property, if any. This is where you have to reflect carefully on what your exact needs are and purchase the right coverage.

Take heart! While it may sound scary, insurers have previously designed policies for the landlord’s requirements. Always remember that there will be a dissimilarity in these policies, so you will have to verify the fine print and choose the one that suits your situation. By shopping around, you will get a better idea of what is obtainable in coverage and at what price.

Essential Insurance for Landlords

There are some forms of insurance you can take to make your life simpler and less of a burden. Here is a list of essential insurances that a landlord must have:

Get a Home Warranty

Landlords most likely take issue with this one, as it appears to take money out of their pockets-especially those with the ability to do repair work themselves. However, you can draw a better class of tenant if they recognize that there’s a warranty in place. (i.e., they won’t have to hunt you down and request you to come by to make repairs). Besides, it will free you up to truly manage your belongings as an owner rather than just a handyman. To end with, a home warranty policy will pay for itself with one or two repairs.

To get an estimate of home warranty costs for your rental properties, visit our home warranty price quote section

Landlord House Insurance

If you possess a home then you likely know the significance of ensuring that it is properly protected. Having the correct insurance for your property is a good step towards making sure that you have the guard you require. Landlord house insurance is essential for anyone who possesses a home. The key to home insurance policies is ensuring that you receive the best price for your insurance.

Below is a list of ways by which you can decrease the rate of your insurance policy.

  • Security System– If you set up a right security system that can sense fires or thieves, then you can find a reduced rate on your insurance policy.
  • Increase Deductible– You can ensure to pay a lower amount for your insurance plan by increasing your deductible payment. The deductible is the payment that you are required to pay once you make a claim on your insurance plan. Make sure that you find a good deductible rate for yourself.
  • Remove Potential Hazards– If you stay in an area that is bounded by trees then likely you have a high risk of a fire occurring. By clearing the trees you may be able to save money on the insurance. Based on the circumstances you may have to shell out a higher premium for your contents house insurance.
  • Find the Right Lender– The best way to save money on your landlord house insurance is to gaze around. Start a search online and hunt for different companies that provide reasonable insurance for your home. You can obtain free online quotes for house insurance from different companies but make sure that you get comprehensive quotes for your insurance. Get the details of the coverage and don’t be fooled by any company as the offer really low prices because they normally have high deductibles and bad coverage.

Landlords Contents Insurance

Many landlords believe that they do not require any insurance for the contents in their buildings. They hold the impression that these contents are taken care of by the building insurance they procured. However, that is not the actual case. To get the contents covered, they will have to spend extra in landlords’ contents insurance. Some landlords even feel that the contents will be covered by any insurance policy the tenant holds. But the actual fact is that the policies bought by the tenants will only cover possessions of the tenants and not that of the landlord.

If the landlords truly worry about the contents for which they put in a huge amount of money, they must procure landlords contents insurance. In this way, they can expect to get some reimbursement for the items in case they are damaged. Having no insurance for these items will leave them totally destructed if they face any incident causing damages.

Umbrella Insurance Policy

It’s called “umbrella insurance as it is intended to give liability protection beyond when the liability on other policies has been exhausted. Depending on the insurance company, you can obtain an umbrella policy with an extra one to five million in liability protection.

Umbrella Insurance gives an added layer of liability coverage. It’s isn’t just for rich and famous. Whether it’s an incident on your policy or a serious auto accident concerning costly medical bills, you can find yourself liable for damages that exceed the limits on your homeowners, auto or boat policies. A pricey judgment is the last thing you want to be anxious about.

Landlords habitually handle different types of policies, but one of the most significant and frequently unnoticed types of insurance is the umbrella insurance policy.

Consider these factors if you are not sure if you would benefit from procuring umbrella insurance or not.

  • Rentals– Though you carry an independent fire policy for each home, umbrella insurance can help you protect in case your tenant or tenant’s guest are injured on a rental property.
  • Vacant land-Your vacant land can be used by neighborhood children to play. If one is hurt it could result in an expensive lawsuit. In such situation, umbrella insurance can offer additional coverage.

Taking no notice of these insurance policies is not recommended anytime. The consequence of such ignorance could lead to serious losses that will be hard to recover. On the contrary, landlords are strongly suggested to make an investment in such policies that will save them a lot of money in case of any accidents.




American Home Shield (AHS), a leading home warranty company in the United States, appoints Mark Barry as new president of the company.

Mark Barry as New PresidentBarry most recently served as president of United Technologies Automation and Control Solutions, a $3.2 billion Hartford, Conn-based unit of UTC’s climate, control and security business. He previously served as the president of GE Security-Americas before it was acquired by UTC in 2010.

He spent seven years at Tyco International, including five years as the president of Tyco’s fire and security services Asia division, based in Singapore. He led a multinational team of 11,000 employees in 12 countries, growing the division to $1 billion in annual sales of its electronic security systems, fire-protection, detection and suppressions systems, and related services.

Barry succeeds David Crawford, who is retiring from the post after more than 25 years with American Home Shield, a servicer of home warranties with more than 1.3 million customers in 49 states. Crawford has been AHS president since 2006.

AHS is a pioneer in the home warranty industry, serving more than 1.4 million customers across 49 states of America, and is one of the best service provider in America.

The company offers home protection plan, a service contract which covers the repair or replacement of home appliances and components. It also offers home care advices in the areas of maintenance, tips and also guides towards aspects involved in buying and selling of homes, inspections etc.

It was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee with service centers in Georgia, Iowa, and Tennessee. American Home Shield Corporation operates as a subsidiary of The ServiceMaster Company. It employs 1,700 employees and has over 11,000 approved, independently insured service contractors nationwide.

The ServiceMaster Company is one of the world’s largest and most versatile service networks. The company’s network includes TruGreen, Trugreen Land Care, Terminix, AHS, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec.

Barry said in a recent phone interview, in his career he saw the penetration of household-alarm systems jump from about just 2 percent in the early 1990s to close to 30 percent.

“The (home-warranty) industry has the same potential to do that,” he says, “We are passionate about our commitment to grow in the real estate space, but we also know that we have the potential to grow beyond that niche and reach even more households.”

“He says a key to growth is getting the message to prospective customers on the value of American Home Shield warranties.

Last month he visited Carroll, Iowa and received inputs from department representatives and also visited city mayor Adam Schweers and Area Development Corporation executive director Jim Gossett.

Barry says he’s impressed that AHS’s employees are “incredibly well-focused” and the business is a “well-operating organization.”

The company has added more employees and with a promising president it is all set to grow and take the home warranty industry to a new level.




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!




Are there scams in the home warranty industry?

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

Home Warranty Scams

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

“The Emperor’s New Clothes”

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

 

“The Ponzi Scheme”

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

 

“The Disguise”

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

 

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

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

 

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

 




Ever wondered what is the difference between home warranty and homeowners insurance ? Are they not same? Let’s find answers for these questions.

While home warranty and home insurance products may come across as same, they are totally different. The coverage, cost, terms and conditions vary greatly. Home insurance is compulsory in some cases whereas home warranty is a recommended choice.

Difference Between Home Insurance And Home Warranty

difference between home warranty and homeowners insurance

Home warranty offers protection for your major appliances, as well as plumbing and electrical units. It covers the cost of repairing or replacing major household appliances in case they break down, provided they meet the terms and conditions of the home service contract.

Home insurance covers your home in the event of damage due to natural calamity or man-made disasters and offers you liability protection from lawsuits in case of a third party involvement. If your neighbor came visiting you and accidentally fell and got injured and decides to sue you, then home insurance will take care of the claims. Home insurance is mandatory if you have a mortgage on your home.

What Does A Home Warranty Contract Cover?

Items covered by a home warranty may vary by company and plan, but typically includes the following items:

  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC)
  • Electrical system
  • Plumbing system
  • Water heater
  • Kitchen appliances such as refrigerator, stove/oven/range, built-in dishwasher, built-in microwave, garbage disposal, built-in trash compactor
  • Clothes washer and dryer
  • Garage door opener
  • Coverage for pools, spas, well pumps and other items may be available for an additional fee.

Benefits Of Home Warranty Coverage

To The Homeowner

  • Placing a claim and getting your appliance repaired is lot more easier.
  • Helps save up huge costs.
  • You can get repaired as many appliances you want provided they are covered.

To The Seller

  • Home may sell faster and at a higher price.
  • Protection from after-sale legal disputes.
  • Increases marketability of home.

To The Buyer

  • Warranty coverage on major systems and built-in appliances.
  • Protects your cash flow.
  • Access to network of qualified service technicians at your fingertips.

Home Insurance

In case of an uncertain event like fire, theft, vandalism, or certain natural disasters, the cost of damages are covered. It also covers your personal items and gives you liability protection. Liability insurance will protect you from lawsuits in the event that someone is injured on your property. Home insurance will only insure your personal items in case they are stolen or ruined in a disaster. Repairs and replacements due to wear and tear are not covered.

What Does A Home Insurance Policy Cover?

The insurance policy varies depending on your state of residence and type of policy, but generally it will cover the following.

  • Structure and contents of the house.
  • Personal property such as indoor and outdoor furniture, clothes and home electronics such as computer, TV, stereo, etc.
  • Jewelry may be covered up to a certain value, or itemized for its full value, or excluded entirely.
  • Living expenses if your home is uninhabitable as a result of a natural disaster.
  • Events like theft, vandalism, fire, windstorm, lightning, hail, falling objects such as a tree.
  • Liability claims such as someone got hurt while in your property and decided to sue you. The policy will take care of it.

Benefits Of Home Insurance

Home is the most prized and cherished possession any individual can have and nobody anticipates damages to this, therefore a home insurance provides you the following benefits when you cover your home.

  • Covers accidental damages to your interiors and exteriors as well.
  • Easy to renew all you have to do is pay the premium on time.
  • Processions are covered regardless of new or old.
  • Assures you peace of mind and gives you a feeling of safety and security.
  • Pays for loss and minor damages like broken glass of a window.

Cost/Pricing For Both

A standard warranty runs $300 to $500 for a year of protection, which covers the cost of repairing or replacing a home’s major systems and appliances. Home sellers typically pick up the tab for the first year of coverage. Extended coverage plans for pools, spas and washers and dryers can be purchased at an extra cost.

Insurance cost varies from state to state and depends on the extent of coverage and the location of the property but a standard insurance can cost any homeowners insurance is between $300 and $1,000.

How To Choose A Home Warranty?

When you are planning to buy a home warranty, make sure that you do some research. Check our home warranty reviews section that provides pricing, comparison, quotes and consumer reviews of all major companies. When you are getting price quotes, inquire to look over a sample policy. Bear in mind to understand the entire policy, together with the fine print.

Another advantage of home warranty policy is that it is transferable. That means when you sell the house the warranty would be passed to the new owner. This has proved to be a well-liked feature amongst home buyers as homes having home warranties are selling at increased prices and in much shorter times. This in itself could make it sensible to get a home warranty policy.

How To Make A Claim?

When a covered appliance breaks down you need to contact your warranty company. A warranty company already has business ties with different service vendors. They will in turn contact a service repairman to come to your home and repair the appliance. The repairman will fix the item or recommend replacing it. The service repairman will bill your warranty company directly, but you have to pay a service charge when the repair person visits your home.

How To Choose Home Insurance?

With any kind of insurance, it is always a good idea to shop around and evaluate benefits and prices as most insurance companies will provide you a policy discount. Ensure you read the policy before writing a check and ask any queries that you have in mind.

So, the conclusion is that home warranty and insurance are complementary to each other. You can choose to protect everything you own, provided you can afford to. Keep in mind that these insurance products do cost a bit more, but compared to the benefits they provide and the peace of mind you get, it seems like a very small amount. Insure your home as well as buy a home warranty all within your budget.

 




HVAC Maintenance Checklist

 

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HVAC appliances are one of the most vital components in a home. Naturally, unexpected crashes and breakdowns of HVAC units disrupt a peaceful living. And once they crash, boy! They are really expensive to repair (or replace).

Any homeowner, in his right sense would therefore make sure that the heating, cooling and ventilation units are well taken care of and maintained. For all of you who are wondering how to extend the life of your HVAC appliances, this checklist is just the right thing for you!

Monthly maintenance routine

Yes, all HVAC appliances will do well if you give them some basic cleaning every month. Ensure that you do the following two steps at least once a month.

  • Check thermostat settings
  • Clean out the vents, replace filters, and keep it dust free as much as possible

Annual maintenance routine

The U.S. Dept. of energy advises homeowners to carry out a maintenance routine at least twice a year. This ensures that the power consumption is optimized and hazards are avoided. Here are the steps that you should carry out yearly to ensure healthy running of your HVAC appliances/ systems.

  • Hire a professional inspector to perform checks on your HVAC units
  • Hire a professional to clear the air ducts
  • Re check and tighten all electrical connections
  • Check refrigerant levels
  • Use suitable lubricants to lubricate moving parts
  • Clean the area around HVAC units and ensure that it always remains dry

If you think that these tasks are difficult and that your warranty plan will save you, here’s some incentive for you to get going in the right direction.

Home Warranty Companies usually DO NOT cover damages caused due to lack of  maintenance. Which means that if your system stops working and the technician diagnosis says that the damage was caused due to lack of maintenance, your claim may be denied.

If that is not compelling enough, here are some more things that will happen if you are careless about HVAC maintenance

  • Excess power consumption. Man! those electric bills are going to shock you (literally)
  • Unclean machinery heats up abnormally, this leads to fire hazards.
  • If vents are clogged with debris or other particulate matter, efficiency of the system drops
  • If you don’t monitor your gas/ fuel connections, health issues and fire hazards may happen

Appliances and systems in our home and around us help us lead a happy and easy life. So it is only fair that we do for them at least a fraction of what they do for us. Take good care of your appliances, don’t use them roughly and above all, purchase a home warranty plan to protect your budget against unexpected appliance crashes.

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If you’re on the lookout for a home or if you are planning to sell a property, chances are you may have hired a real estate agent. Such agents are the godsend when it comes to real estate transactions as they can help you get really good deals. That said, they can also be a pain in the neck if they are not competent enough. So the question is, is your real estate agent good enough to get you that dream deal? Let’s find out.

Qualities Of A Good Real Estate Agent

When you hire someone to help you buy or sell a property, keep in mind that the money involved is not little by any means. You may want to look for the following qualities in a potential agent.

  • Commendable experience in the field
  • Good knowledge of the locality you are interested in
  • Well organized and the kind who pays attention to detail
  • Hardworking and honest
  • Tech-savvy
  • Has a good network to rely on

Although there is no foolproof way to find out if a potential agent has these qualities, the best approach would be to interview multiple agents and pick the one who reflects most of the above qualities.

Analyzing Your Real Estate Agent

 Real Estate Agent

If you have already hired an agent, here are few things you could check to decide whether your agent needs to be replaced or not.

1. He/She is a part-time agent

You’re not ok with a part-time doctor to treat your illness, then why-oh-why would you let a part-time agent handle your real estate transactions? Most part-time agents are off their game and may fail to get you the best deal.

If the one you have right now is indeed a part-time agent, you may want to consider replacing him/her.

2. Charges very low commission

The typical commission charged by agents for buying/selling a house is 6%-7%, which is equally split by the buyer and the seller. Most agents refuse to sell for a commission lower than that. So if your agent agrees to a lower commission, be cautious. This does not mean that the commission is not a negotiable sum. It’s just that most good real estate agents disagree to go below the typical norm.

3. Lack of or difficulty in communication

If your agent doesn’t return your calls or messages within two days or is, in general, a very difficult person to get through, it could be a bad sign. Competent agents are always on top of their game so they would never keep a client waiting.

4. No, or negligible experience

This is especially true in the case of part-time agents. One way to check for experience is to ask for references. If the references span over many years, well and good or you can directly ask your agent to give you details about how many deals he has closed.

5. No online presence

It wouldn’t have been a bad thing 10 years back, but today, not making use of resources available online to market/sell properties is a bad call. This should be one of the signs that your agent needs to be replaced.

The Final Word  

Like in any profession, there are good ones and there are bad ones. But in this particular case, picking a bad real estate agent can cost you heavily so you may want to interview many agents before you make your final pick. If you are a seller, you should look into some ways to get your home sold faster. And if you are a buyer, you should also be aware of what to look for when you buy a new home.

Hope you enjoyed reading this. Cheers!

 




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

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

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

What is Structural Warranty?

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

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

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

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

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

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

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

A Middleman

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

Value of the Home

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

How Structural Warranty Works

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

What Structural Warranty Covers

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

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

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

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

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

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

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

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

The Cost

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

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

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

Home Warranty Companies In Ohio

Best Appliance Warranties In Ohio

 

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

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

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

1. American Home Shield (AHS)

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

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

2. The Home Service Club

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

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

3. Select Home Warranty

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

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

4. HSA Home Warranty

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

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

5. Choice Home Warranty

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

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

Before You Buy A Home Warranty

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