Kitchen Renovation And The Golden Triangle

For many of us, the idea behind a home and having our personalized space and groove is indisputably linked to having access to our own kitchen. A service and task from your daily routine which hotels and resorts pride themselves in taking care of for you, there is still a joy in waking up to your own perfectly made cup of tea and eggs.  In fact, it has become a space of coming together, from homes that cater to large families with grandparents and children to even bachelor pads for the studying and working young adults.

The lack of time that a working mother of two or a student cramming late nights at the library can give to the kitchen has not necessarily cut down on the use of it. Instead, the focus has become how to renovate and modify a kitchen in the best possible way, how to make multitasking a possibility and how best to utilize the space at hand it make tasks both quick and fun. Efficiency supersedes all else, closely followed by cooking as a community activity – making open kitchens the top trend of the twenty-first century.

Kitchen Renovation Ideas

When starting work on a brand new kitchen or renovating an old one, getting down on paper (and even just feeding in quick pointers on phone apps like Evernote, Google Keep, and Wunderlist), a clear idea of its layout and maximizing the space utilization is the first step. Even though each individual’s usage of a kitchen is subjective, the primary modes of functioning do remain the same.

If a kitchen renovation and remodel is in the books for the near future, there is little doubt that the words ‘Golden Triangle’ have come your way. A technique that is often used by interior designers and architects as the starting point for drawing out plans, the concept of the kitchen work triangle has a lot of subjective routes you can choose to take, best suited for your needs.

The plan fundamentally starts with the placement of three key elements and their positioning – the cooktop, the sink and wash area, and the refrigerator. As efficiency takes the front seat, it’s ideal to be able to reach one from the other without any obstructions.

The Basics Of Kitchen Renovation

Originally worked out in the mid-twentieth century, the Golden Triangle is applied using four essential rules:

  1. The distance between any two appliances should be more than 4 feet long and less than 9 feet long, making them both accessible and yet not hazardously close to one another.
  2. When added up, the perimeter of the triangle should be no less than 13ft and no more than 26 feet.
  3. Movement, traffic flow and access inside the triangle should be minimum, helping you guard against any accidents.
  4. Other storage cabinets, platforms, and appliances even in the periphery of the kitchen shouldn’t extend any more than a foot into the space of the triangle.

Why the Triangle at all?

Why should a rule established almost a century ago still hold value in today’s changing view of a home and kitchen? Well, for starters, the rules are all about simple space and design and are built to accommodate key kitchen appliances efficiently. Secondly, the rule has been modified by designers along the way to accommodate for newer additions to the kitchen – microwaves, ovens, mixers, dishwashers and even coffee makers for example.

A key addition has been the addition of a second triangle, creating a secondary layout for appliances that are used less than the cooktop and sink but are essential to daily routines. The second triangle accommodates for a dishwasher and dryer, microwave and one often used plug-in appliance.

What Bothers You Now?

Try and narrow down the issues you face in your present kitchen format. A spill when you move a hot pot of stew to the side to cool off or draining spaghetti in a sink that is too far. Look at the little things, the cupboard corner that you stub your toe on every so often or the burnt butter before you reach for seasoning from your refrigerator. Though planning is a part of the cooking process, a pre-planned kitchen layout can shorten the entire procedure.

Assessing What You Have

If it’s a remodel you are working towards, a good way to start is by assessing the present kitchen triangle and its shortcomings. Measure it through and see if it serves its purpose. Each kitchen layout and size will call for a different triangle, but it is key that nothing intersects or protrudes and the lines remain clear and accessible from all sides. Even a trash can or breakfast island and stools can be a major obstruction even if they are slightly out of place.

Personalize Your Kitchen

Look at the Golden Triangle as less of a rule and more of a guide or suggestion. Feel free to make changes, especially in a way to suit the space you are working with. In fact, many studio apartments have kitchens set up on single walls, making triangles impossible and yet making accessibility and measurements key.

The Periphery Of The Kitchen

Outside of the triangle or its semblance, a few simple pointers of putting the dishwasher next to the sink, cooktop utensils close to the stove and serving dishes and cutlery closer to the table can create a balance between tasks. Splitting the actual cooking from the serving and consequent clean up can help declutter the space.

Safety as a Part of the Kitchen Layout

Besides the efficiency of usage, safety plays a large part in how a kitchen is designed as well. Regulations have been set down regarding minimal requirements for distances between cooktops, ovens and sinks, as well as for ventilation and windows and where they should be placed.

The stove and oven have to be placed at a distance of at least 2 feet from the sink, with a distance of 2 feet 6 inches above it for ventilation. Ideally, the main door and cabinet doors shouldn’t open onto the cooktop either.

As a precaution for fire, a chimney above a cooktop is great but a window can be counterproductive. Air blowing in can extinguish the existing flame and cause an unidentified gas leak, as well as blow a large flame and cause other objects to catch fire.

Home Warranty for Kitchen Appliances

As an extension to your renovation plans, a kitchen’s functionality depends on its appliances to a great extent. That being said, maintenance of appliances can be a hard thing to keep track off, and the prices do tend to increase with time.

Whether you plan on retaining old appliances or purchasing new ones, a Home Warranty as an extension to the existing warranty of the appliances is a good idea. While insurance covers unforeseen circumstances, Home Warranty looks at daily wear and tear of systems and appliances of the house, allowing you to claim repairs and replacements when required. In fact, most companies provide you with repairmen as well, cutting your involvement to a very small percentage both in terms of time and expenditure.

If you aren’t sure about investing in a warranty, HomeWarrantyReviews.com gives you access to a simple Home Maintenance Calculator. Feed in information about your home and in under a minute you’ll have estimates of maintenance costs down the years with and without a Home Warranty in place.

 






Imagine how messy your kitchen would be with unwashed dishes and bowls if your dishwasher breaks down! Washing those utensils & dishes manually can be cumbersome.

You can stay away from such tricky situations by taking good care of your dishwasher. We have provided below, a simple list for maintaining the appliance. This guide will not only help you to reduce maintenance expenses but also increase the life of the dish washer.

Even if you have an appliance warranty plan, warranty companies expect you to maintain your appliances in good condition before carrying out any repair related work.

Maintenance & Cleaning Tips

If you have been using your dishwasher regularly, then frequent cleaning is not recommended for the interiors of the dish washer. Fortunately, dishwashers don’t need cleaning very often and it’s not hard to clean them.

When you decide to clean them, follow the steps below.Dishwasher Preventive Maintenance

  1. Firstly, empty the dishwasher completely. The steps that follow should be performed when the dishwasher is empty.
  2. Check all the spinning arms. Look to make sure all the holes are open so that water can run through them freely.
  3. Clear any debris out of the holes in spinning arms. Use fine pointed or needle-nose pliers if you have some. Otherwise, try a toothpick or something similar. Take care not to scratch anything if you’re using a tool with a   metal point.
  4. Wipe around the edges of the door and around the gasket. Use a damp cloth and, if you like, a mild spray cleaner. An old toothbrush or other soft, household brush can help get into corners and up under the gasket.
  5. Clean under the bottom of the door. In some dishwashers, this is a dead spot where water doesn’t go, so it can accumulate debris. Wipe this off.
  6. Inspect the bottom of your dishwasher around the drain. There will be a grate or grill under the arm. This is where waste water exits. Look for debris clogging up this area. You shouldn’t have to clean this often if you’re careful about what you put in your dishwasher, but you should remove any solid matter that builds up, especially bits of food, shards of broken dishes, gravel, etc. You may be able to pick up solid objects accumulated on the outside by hand.
  7. Remove hard water deposits or scale, if needed. Run one cycle of your dishwasher empty, with a mild, food acid of your choice. Avoid using bleach and detergents containing bleach if your dishwasher has a stainless steel interior or door.
  8. Spray the front of your dishwasher with a mild spray cleaner of your choice and wipe it with a sponge or soft cloth. Pay particular attention to the controls and the handle. Also, don’t miss the little ledge between panels. It tends to collect dirt.
  9. Refill your dishwasher’s rinse aid dispenser about once per month. Rinse aid helps to prevent spots on your dishes.

The above simple maintenance tips can make your dishwasher run efficiently and reliably. They also help in extending the life span of your dishwasher leading to prevention of high replacement or repair bills.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iABhGWZN778




“Winter is coming” – Remember this famous dialog by the Starks from Game of Thrones? Well, it is true now. Winter is indeed approaching and that means homeowners have to prepare themselves for the chilly festive season.

While the idea of another Christmas is awesome, the idea of sub-zero temperatures and malfunctioning appliances is not. Fret not! There are some things that you can do to ensure that the chances of your appliances crashing are kept to a minimum. This article will provide you with a list of appliances that needs to be checked before winter sets in and also how to ensure that they don’t breakdown. Wondering why you need to check your appliances in advance? Well, like they say, a stitch in time, saves nine!

Appliances That Need Care Before Winter Hits

Appliances That Need Care Before Winter Hits

So here are some of the appliances that need a thorough check up before the temperature drops-

  • HVAC unit
  • Smoke detectors/ alarms
  • Fireplace (if you have one)
  • Dryer

Let’s take a detailed look at how these appliances should be checked. Don’t worry, the steps are quite simple and only require a very basic examination on the appliances listed above.

HVAC

This one is absolutely essential. If there is no heating in your home, you’ll probably get sick. Or worse, freeze. HVAC units are large appliances and they may require annual maintenance checks. If you have signed up for a warranty plan or similar arrangement that conducts frequent checks on your HVAC, now would be an ideal time. If you don’t have such an arrangement, worry not. Here’s what you need to do.

  • Examine the entire unit visually. Find out what you must look for in an HVAC unit.
  • Check the filter. If it appears old and worn out, replace it.
  • Check the thermostat. If you use a mercury thermostat, now would be a good time to shift to a digital one. They are said to be more accurate.
  • Examine the heating ducts. They may need cleaning to remove any dirt or debris accumulated in them.
  • Finally, keep the area around the unit clear and free of inflammable materials.

While you’re at it, you may want to read about common mistakes HVAC owners make.

Smoke Detectors

Personal safety is always a primary concern. With all the heating devices going in full swing, having a fire, although uncommon, is still possible. Check your smoke detectors to ensure that they are in working order. If they fail, you could risk the lives of everyone in your home.

Here is what you need to do to check your smoke detector –

  • Let the others in the house know that you are going to test the detector. You don’t want everyone panicking when the alarm goes off.
  • Press and hold the test button on your smoke detector. This should trigger the alarm. If it doesn’t. The device could be faulty.
  • If you want to test it in a more real scenario, try spraying some smoke detector aerosol on the detector.
  • If the alarm is triggered, suck out the test material using a small hand held vacuum cleaner. This should silence the alarm.

Dryers

These are appliances that can get really hot if their vents are blocked, making them prime fire hazard material. Leaving them to function unattended during the cold winter season may not be a bright idea. Make sure somebody checks on them at frequent intervals.

The following steps can help you run a basic exam on your dryer-

  • Take a look at the vent behind the dryer. It should not be blocked or damaged.
  • Clean the lint filter. Ideally, this should be done after every few wash cycles.
  • Make sure the area around the dryer is not blocked by objects that could easily catch fire.
  • Finally, if you are going to be away for a long time, unplug the dryer.

Fireplace

While it is lovely to have a fireplace, there are somethings that you just cannot overlook while using them. To ensure that your fireplace is safe for use, do the following –

  • Make sure that the damper opens and closes without hiccups.
  • Arrange a professional sweep to clear out any soot or particulate material that would have accumulated in the chimney.
  • Inspect the mortar around the bricks in the fireplace and chimney. There should not be any cracks or breaks in the bricks.

If you have a gas fireplace, look out for peeling wallpaper and eroding mortar. Ideally, get it inspected by a professional.

General Winterizing Advice

First time homeowners may need to do extensive research about making your home safe for winter. Apart from the appliance maintenance checklist we provided above, there are some general safety and wellness practices that you must follow. This would include things like keeping an emergency contact list ready, stocking up on food, check your car to see if it’s winter-safe and finally formulating a fire escape plan.

Also, do keep in mind that outdoor hose bibs may freeze in the winter and to prevent that, they should be shut off at the source or covered on the outside with an insulator. It should not be difficult to find an insulator as they are available at most home goods stores.

If you don’t have a home warranty, now would be a good time to think about one. Such appliance service contracts help you save money on repairs due to unexpected appliance breakdowns. You could also look into our general appliance maintenance checklist to ensure that your home runs smoothly always.

We hope you found this article useful. Let us know your thoughts. Cheers!




Home Warranty or appliance extended warranty are basically insurance policies for the appliances and systems in your home. Hope you never have to employ them, but glad you have it when your appliance breakdown. With cost of service & electronic components, your repair bill could end up being the same as the price appliance was bought for.

This article will help you in deciding on what is more pertinent, buying a home warranty or extended warranty.

Home Warranty and Extended Warranty – ComparisonHome Warranty or appliance extended warranty

Home Warranty – Valuing Your Possessions

Hands and little house.‘Home Warranty’ is typically provided by the builder to a new homeowner. This covers major household appliances and systems such as washing machine, refrigerators, gas system, central heating and plumbing. Remember, you are only covered if the failure of the appliances or systems is not a result of mishandling or misuse.

 

 

Appliance Extended Warranty

Extended warranty, as the name suggests is usually purchased for a specific appliance(s) or system(s) for a definite period. This warranty is generally provided by the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or any of their subsidiaries or partners. Extended warranty begins once the standard warranty on the product expires and comes with a cost.

What You Get With Your New Appliance

Manufacturer’s Warranty

The least you must be expecting from a warranty on a new appliance is one year on parts and labor. This home warranty cover flaws in parts and workmanship for that year. Generally this warranty will be on site service except for smaller units that may have to be transported to the nearest service centre at the owner’s cost for repair.

This warranty generally starts from the date the appliance was purchased, delivered or installed.

Appliance warranties may or may not cover “cosmetic” or “customer instruct” claims. Cosmetic claims might be a scratch, broken plastic trim piece or knob. Some manufacturers will cover these claims for the first 30 or 60 days. Customers instruct calls can include installation issued calls or operation calls which will also be covered for the first 30 or 60 days.

Limited Warranty

Limited warranties are extended warranties on specific parts of your appliance. These limited warranties are stated in owner’s manual and have fine print, so ensure you read them carefully. Most of the limited warranties offer the part free of cost, the customer may be asked to pay for labor.

Below are some examples of limited warranties.

  1. Laundry products may have a 2-5 year limited warranty on parts that stop working. Other limited warranties may cover the transmission for up to 5 years and a limited lifetime warranty on a stainless steel tub. The part will be covered but you will generally be liable for the labor and any trip service charge.
  2. Cooking appliances may have an extra 2-5 year limited warranty on ceramic cooking surface, heating elements and electronic controls. This is normally only parts and you need to pay for labor and any trip charges.
  3. Dishwashers may have an additional limited warranty on the pump/motor assembly for 2-5 years. The inner tub may also be covered against rust after 5 years to the lifetime of the appliance. Labor and service charges are your responsibility.
  4. Microwave ovens usually have a 5 year limited warranty on the magnetron. You may be responsible for un-installing the microwave if it is an over-the-range model.

Parts replaced under a limited warranty will not increase the warranty period. Generally they will only be assured for the remaining life of the original product’s warranty period.

Lastly, these extended warranties or any appliance warranties are not transferrable to a second owner so keep this mind while buying or selling a pre-owned product.

Do I require Home or  Extended Warranty?

When repairs on appliances are needed, they can be pricey. Here is a list of appliance types and some repairs that we think might call for a purchase of a repair contract.

Built-in Models

When a major problem occurs, specially a built-in appliance, it may not be easy. Some built in appliances are not uniform in size and cabinet work may be required to replace this appliance. In this case, getting the appliance repaired may be expensive. Contract would definitely be best for this case.

Electronic Models

Many modern day appliances have electronic controls. If you live in an area that is prone to power outages, surges or fluctuations, electronic appliances have a bigger danger of being damaged. Most electronic boards are not low-priced to replace, as some cost well over $300 for the part alone. In this case, an agreement would perhaps be wise.

Gas Range

Majority of gas ranges use electronics for control and ignition of the gas. These parts need service or replacement through the life of the stove. Glow bar igniters in your oven are not hard to replace but the cost for these parts are $50-$150. Control boards cost generally from $100-$250. With these costs alone, you can purchase an agreement.

Standard gas ranges require fewer repairs. These stoves are very simple and can run for a lifetime without a repair. Moreover, of gas stoves can still be used even if you have a power outage. In this case, agreement is not recommended.

Electric Ranges

For electronic, self-clean, glass top stoves, a contract is always recommended. Parts on these stoves are usually pricey. Elements alone can cost almost $200; glass tops can cost $600, and controls up to $250.

In case you are purchasing a simple, basic coil type stove, repairs are fairly low-priced. In most of the cases these repairs can be done by the homeowner and he/she shouldn’t be worried about a repair agreement.

Gas Dryers

Gas dryers must be serviced by skilled technicians only. Sometimes heating problems are difficult to diagnose and can be dangerous if not corrected properly.

 

What you Should Know About Home Warranties and Extended Appliance Warranties

Do your homework BEFORE buying home warranty or extended warranty for your appliances or systems. Understand the “Terms and Conditions” of the contract, specially its limitations.

Be sure you know:

  • Any repair NOT covered
  • If you must get second opinions or price estimates before repair
  • The reputation of the selling agent
  • If the agreement contains a service repair cost “deductible” clause
  • If you have to take the appliance to the repair shop or it will be repaired in your home
  • If you will be reimbursed for consequential damage such as clothing or food loss resulting from freezer failure
  • If the agent is responsible for a repair when the necessary part is no longer available
  • If you can renew annually and what the cost is to do so

Asking the right questions BEFORE PURCHASING will prevent unwelcomed surprises!

 

Differences between Extended Warranties & Home Warranties

Extended Warranty

extended-home-warranties

‘Extended Warranties’ usually mirror your original home appliance warranty, offering repair, service and replacement of major systems and appliances within home that breakdown. Extended warranties can be provided by the manufacturer, the dealer where you purchased it, or third party. Manufacturers will generally let you procure an extended warranty at the time of purchase or during your warranty period. Since these warranties are offered by who made your appliance, so the service will generally be provided by the same people who provide the warranty work.

These service companies usually have the proper training for your appliance and are more knowledgeable about your appliance.  Dealer extended warranties will either service your appliance themselves or use an approved service provider. Either way, the service company must be trained for your appliance similar to the manufacturers extended warranty contract.

Third Party extended warranty is generally managed by a national company. One more thing that you should keep in mind is that some credit card companies extend the manufacturer’s warranty by a full year when you pay using one of their cards.

Home Warranty

Home warranties are all the time, a third party company and are a bit different than extended warranties. These warranties cover your entire home which includes plumbing, HVAC systems, electrical appliances and other items. The cost related with these home warranties is based on the items that are actually being protected and on the type of deductible or service fee you sign up for.

Home warranties can be procured any time without any age restrictions or an inspection of your home and equipment. In addition, sellers, builders and real estate agents provide these home warranties when selling their houses.

These home warranties need to be read very carefully. Home warranties have the most omissions and generally the highest deductible cost to the homeowner.

There are dozens of home warranty companies which do not perform the work themselves. They sub-contract all the work out to independent, generally local, service shops of all types.

 




A patio is an ideal place for basking in the sun on those lazy Sunday brunches or happening evening barbeques, wining and dining. A patio can add that special something to your home, at the same time adding value to your property.

A patio is a outdoor space for dining or recreation that adjoins a residence and is often paved and well decorated.
According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, patios were among the top 10 features that buyers want in a new house. More than half of surveyed buyers said that they would be willing to pay a premium for a house with a patio.

Creating a patio for your home can be engaging and rewarding. You can choose to do it yourself or hire a professional. A patio is one of the most flexible places and you can design it the way you want.

Creating a Patio

Five Easy Steps To Laying A Patio

Don’t worry if you’ve never done any hard landscaping before, as our simple guide will lead you through each step of the process. We chose to use slate paving, but the choice of materials are endless (from sandstone to york stone to concrete), with something to suit every budget.

Step 1

Measure the area you want and dig it at least to 15 cms deep to allow space for mortar and slabs.

Step 2

Shovel in three inches of crushed stones for base and make it even. This can be done manually or you can rent a machine tamper.

Step 3

Lay the slabs down and check if you’re happy with the arrangement. Start from the house or a wall or fence if there is one.

Step 4

Make a mortar mix from five parts building sand to one part cement or use ready-made mortar mix and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Create a bed of mortar 5 to 8 cm deep and lay slabs on it leaving 1 cm gaps in between for grouting. Tap down the slabs with a lump hammer. Check with a spirit level as you go to ensure the slabs are level or maintaining the fall away from the house. Leave the mortar to set for at least 24 hours or a few days.

Step 5

Fill in the spaces between the slabs with a mix of three parts building sand to one part cement (or a ready-made mix) using a pointing trowel. If you get any of the mix on the slabs; remove it. Allow to dry for a few days.

A patio is incomplete without elegant furniture, lighting to suit the mood and yes some plants to add some color. Here are some ideas on how you can decorate a patio –

Furniture

Choose furniture which fits the space you have created in the patio else you end up having no space for a table or chair. You have a wide variety of materials to choose from plastic to wood or iron. Resin, a kind of plastic is the best choice for outdoor furniture. It is weather-resistant and doesn’t absorb heat in the summer and are low on maintenance.

Lighting

patio5
Lighting It sets the mood and makes your patio a much sought after place. Embedded lights on stairs can help you watch your steps during dark nights. Here are few lighting options to consider. Energy efficient lighting tips can be found in the articles section.

Chinese lanterns add glamour and ambience to any space, also are very economical. Make sure to shop for sturdy lamps as cheaper ones get worn out easily.

Flood lights are the best for lighting a patio especially when they are positioned correctly and makes the place look much brighter. But these consume lots of electricity therefore can be used as an alternative.

Solar lights  If you are a Mother Nature lover then yes. Even if not then yes, solar lights are the most viable option. These lights tend to sit low to the ground and serve as perimeter lighting, which is perfect for the path to the patio.  Solar lights can be a great option for and can be chosen from variety of styles and illuminates for 15 hours  and of course saves on your electricity bill.

Plants

Spruce up your patio with potted plants, ferns and shrubs and plants which thrive well in your area. You can get creative with the plants you choose and experiment with different colors and texture and use pots of different shape and size. You can also create a pool or a fountain to get closer to the Mother Nature and to add that special touch.

To enjoy your Patio in all weather you have to shield the place. Consider adding a retractable awning or umbrella to your patio space. The shade that these coverings offer will allow you and your family to enjoy your patio comfortably regardless of the weather.

Patio Shades

Retractable awning: This modern shelter allows you to shade your porch and keep it dry during a storm, but you can also retract it to enjoy the sun’s rays.

Sail shades: They’re flexible enough that you can attach them to anything from the side of a house to a tree, and they come in many sizes, shapes and colors to fit any budget and style.

patio2Umbrella 

One can get carried away by the variety of umbrellas to choose from  Auto Tilt Patio Umbrella, Offset Patio Umbrella, 9 Market Umbrella etc. Back-porch classic is both decorative and functional and will give diners a shady respite during mealtimes. For nighttime parties, drape garden lights inside an umbrella for added ambiance.

You can add a fireplace and a barbeque and decorate the place with artifacts to add personality to your space and your patio is done. Home warranty might not be able to cover your patio but insurance will.




Moving into a new home is always something people look forward to. While new beginnings promise hope and happiness, there are some things you need to consider before you pack up and make the move.

Whether you are buying a home or renting , the rules remain pretty much the same. One must carefully inspect the property and neighborhood to determine whether it suits your needs and lifestyle.

Let’s a take a look at some of the things you must do before you move into a new home.Things To Do Before You Move Into A New Home

1. Inspect The Property

Hire a professional home inspector to take a look at your new place irrespective of whether the home is old or new. As discussed elsewhere on our site, home inspection reveals existing and potential faults with the property and the appliances. This is all the more necessary if you are planning to buy the house.

If there are multiple faults with the house, it means that you will be spending a lot of money on repairs in the future. While all home warranty companies do not mandate a home inspection, it may be a good idea if you are planning to purchase a home warranty to protect your budget. However, if the owner is selling a house with an existing warranty plan, an inspection may not be necessary.

However, if you are planning to rent the house, you don’t need a professional home inspection. You can do a basic assessment yourself to ensure that the home is functional.

2. Make The House Ready-To-Move

This step consists of several little things. Most sellers and owners exhibit their property claiming that it is ready to move in. However, there are some vital points that you need to check/implement.

  • Change locks on all doors that lead to the outside. We cannot stress enough about the importance of this step. It is vital to ensure the safety of everyone at home.
  • Give the interiors of your house a fresh coat of paint, unless of course the house was freshly painted recently. This step will not only improve the visual appearance but will also remove mould and fungi from your walls.
  • Pest proof your house. This not only avoids infections but it also saves damage to your property.
  • Fix shelves and storage spaces if needed. If the house you are buying or renting is old, chances are high that there wouldn’t be enough storage options. Kitchens may also require contemporary cabinets and carousels. Do not wait to put them in after you move.
  • Check smoke detectors and other essential components. If needed replace them.

3. Pick a Home Warranty and Homeowner’s Insurance Ahead Of Moving

If you are buying the house and if you plan to do it on mortgage, homeowner’s insurance is always mandatory. Apart from this, you may need to buy a home warranty to cover your budget in case any of your appliances break down.

Select the plans well in advance so that you won’t have to spend time on it later when you are tired after all the moving and unpacking.

4. Get Acquainted With Neighbors

Speak to your neighbors and get to know your neighborhood. New neighbors are the best sources of information about facilities available in the vicinity. Also ask about the general atmosphere in the area.

5. Drive Around The Neighborhood

Once you meet your new neighbors, it will not be a bad idea to drive around the place. When you do so, make a note of the department stores, hospitals, eat-outs and other essential joints in the vicinity.

And You’re Done!

You’re almost there. Once you change your address and telephone numbers, you are ready to move! Last but not the least, make sure you hire a reliable and reputable packers and movers. Lousy ones cause  damage to your items. Best avoid them. Good luck!

Hope you enjoy your new home!




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.




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

Home Warranty Claims

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

Common Causes of Home Warranty Claims Denial

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

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

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

How to Dispute Home Warranty Claim Denials

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

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

 




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

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

Here is the breakdown of home warranty companies market share :

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

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

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

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




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

Contractor looking for job

Why Work With A Home Warranty Company?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To Work With A Home Warranty Company?

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

Some of these leading Home Warranty Companies include,

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

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

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


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

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

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

What To Remember Before Becoming A Service Contractor?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Structural Defects in a home

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

What are Structural Defects

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

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

Why Structural Defects Occur

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

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

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

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

Identifying Structural Defects in Your Home

Faults in Foundation

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

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

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

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

Improper Technique and Materials in Flooring

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

Seepage in floors and how structural warranty helps

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

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

Cracks

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

Cracks in your wall

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inspection from the Outside

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

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

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

Home and Builder Structural Warranty

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

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

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




Home Warranty Hidden CostsWhen is the homeowner supposed to buy home warranty? A home warranty is not a plan that can be purchased and used for the life of a home, but it is a warranty coverage for home appliances. It is procured before the sale of a home and acts as insurance for the new homeowner. Selling a home can be much easier if there is a home warranty drawn in. Shopping for a new home is a pricey endeavor.

People accept loans to purchase real estate, not wanting or expecting to spend extra on repairs for systems, appliances and things such as roofing. These hidden costs usually leave new homeowners in complex positions. A home warranty protects the new homeowner against these unexpected problems. Sometimes issues with different household features such as appliances come up in the closing days of a real estate contract. This can make a closing tricky and cost the original owner large sums of money they had not intended on spending. These issues might also convince the potential buyer to pull out of the deal, resulting in a failed transaction. The seller must then perform the necessary repairs before putting their home back on the market. A home warranty can only be implemented to working appliances and systems. The age of the item is not taken into consideration as long as it is in working order.

Prior to Purchase

Retailers, installers and manufacturers may provide separate warranties, each of which covers a different part of the home. Inquire for copies to take home and contrast against other packages from other retailers. Ensure that you get a copy of the complete warranty, not only a summary brochure. Glance at the combined terms of all the warranties that cover a home. All new homes must have a warranty but old or used homes may not, or may have a limited warranty. Be cautious of homes sold with no warranty – there may be several hidden problems with the home.

What is and not covered before purchasing any home warranty

  • How long does the warranty last? For existing homes, warranties last about a year after which you can renew them. For newly built homes sold by the builder, the warranty provided by the builder can last for as long as 10 years, but incorporates shorter coverage terms for certain systems and materials. For instance, the doors, trim and drywall may be covered for the few years of the warranty term, while major damage or structural defects to load bearing portions of home are covered for quite a few years longer, as long as it meets the severity of defect stated by the warranty coverage. Again, make sure to read the fine print.
  • What is covered and what is barred? Warranties usually disclaim responsibility for consumer abuse, normal wear and tear, neglect of maintenance, and site preparation. Many exclude “cosmetic” items and some exclude important items such as wall cracks and leaky faucets, and doors and windows. Used homes typically have extremely limited warranties. To learn more, check out What is not Covered by Home Warranty article
  • What can cancel the warranty? Sometimes moving or selling the home together with improper site preparation can void the warranty. Does the home need regular maintenance to keep the warranty in force? If yes, what kind of maintenance?
  • Are appliances covered by a separate warranty? Whom do you contact for service? Who performs the warranty work? How does the retailer, manufacturer, and installer split job? Whom do you contact first? It is recommended to purchase directly from a manufacturer, but it is not possible in all states due to licensing laws.
  • Be wary of “extended warranties.” These are often little more than high-priced insurance products issued by 3rd party companies. Terms of the extended warranties may be dissimilar than the original warranty, so assess them as closely. If you are financing the extended warranty, then interest costs should be considered as one of the factors.
  • Arbitration Clauses: These contract terms restricting your right to take legal action are more common in manufactured homes than conventional buildings. You must ask whether any of manufacturers, retailers or the finance companies uses mandatory arbitration clauses in their contracts. What does it cost file a claim? Will they sell you the home warranty without the clause, or with the clause changed to your satisfaction? Request to see the argument while shopping.
  • Quality of Service: Check whether the retailer has references from previous customers. Verify with more than one, possibly people who have been in their homes long enough to endure the excellence of warranty service. You can also check the history of the manufacturer, retailer and installer. Many states want retailers to be licensed.

After the Purchase of Home Warranty

  • For new homes sold by builders, store all documents pertaining to the sale of your home, in addition to any correspondence with the retailer, manufacturers and state or federal agencies. Evaluate the homeowner’s guidelines and other information found in the homeowner’s manual that your retailer gives you upon receiving your new home. This manual is needed by the Federal law. There must be facts on how to deal with warranty issues, as well as maintenance necessities that may need to be pursued to keep your warranty valid.
  • Maintain credentials of maintenance performed on the home.

Small Print Clauses and Hidden Costs of Home Warranty

  • Waiting period – normally 30 days from the date of purchase of home warranty
  • Claim denials are very common and some of the reasons include negligence and lack of maintenance of appliances. For HVAC units are you supposed to get the annual maintenance performed by a professional. Make sure you keep maintenance records.
  • Trade/Service Call Fee – You are required to pay service call fee per repair incident. The amount is anywhere between 50 to 100 dollars.
  • Repair Over Replacement. Even if an appliance is faltering very often, the service providers tend to repair it rather than replace it as it will cost them less. Due to this tendency of service providers, you have to face the same problem repeatedly, without having much control over it as you are tied down by spending in the plan.
  • Max Limit – Some companies will set the ceiling on maximum amount on repair expenses they incur. Make sure you understand these limitations.
  • As you near the end of your warranty period, cautiously examine the home for signs of problems.

As a consumer, identify what is and is not covered before purchasing any home warranty. Ensure the details are clarified in any contract before you sign it.

None of these aspects should deter a buyer from purchasing a warranty that meets his or her needs but it takes a fair amount of due meticulousness to identify all the hidden costs in buying a home regardless of whether it is new or used.




We previously reported about NY attorney general’s lawsuit against National Home protection. On December 15, 20009 NY New York Attorney General Andrew M. announced a court victory in the lawsuit against this home warranty company. NHP’s website is not accessible any more and phone calls are not answered. The company is believed to be defunct and its customers cannot expect any service, although they might get some kind of severance from this lawsuit.

According to the reports published at wivb.com this morning, the court found NHP engaged in false and misleading advertising, made multiple misrepresentations and violated New York consumer protection and insurance laws. Subsequently, the company and its principals, Leo Serrur, David Seruya and Victor Hakim, agreed to pay $900,000 in restitution, penalties and costs. The agreement was approved by the New York Supreme Court on December 14.

NHP sold consumers yearly home warranty plans at an annual price of about $370. NHP’s advertising and contracts promised to repair or replace consumers’ household systems and appliances which failed to work properly due to normal wear and tear. Hundreds of consumers who purchased NHP’s plans complained to the Attorney General’s office and other agencies that NHP did not provide the promised services or replacements.
The Court also concluded that NHP made multiple misrepresentations to consumers via its website, including that it provided “sensible protection against repair costs,” “affordable coverage that could save you thousands,” and that it “will replace your unit with the same or like model.” The Court noted that consumers complained that claims were denied for failure to produce maintenance records and that they were offered inferior appliances or cash back offers that were a small fraction of the actual appliance cost. The Court also ruled that the Attorney General could recover on behalf of all aggrieved consumers, including those residing outside the State of New York, since NHP used New York to complete its deceptive transactions.

Importantly, the Court’s decision makes it clear that a company cannot rely on small print terms and conditions of contracts to disclaim attractive advertising claims that lure consumers to purchase products or services.

As part of its agreement with the Attorney General’s office, NHP and it principals have agreed to pay a total amount of $900,000 in restitution, penalties and costs. The company and its owners are also permanently enjoined by court order from running a home warranty business unless they first comply with the New York Insurance law on demonstrating financial responsibility and with other New York consumer protection statutes, violations of which are punishable by contempt.

Consumers who are eligible for restitution under the settlement
include:
– Consumers who were denied contracted-for, or advertised services from NHP;
– Consumers who did not receive gift cards advertised and offered by NHP as an incentive for entering into the home warranty agreements; or
– Consumers who were denied the right to cancel their home warranty agreements within twenty (20) days of the date of mailing of the home warranty agreement or within ten (10) days if the home warranty agreement was delivered at the time of sale, and have not received a full refund from NHP or any other entity.

Consumers who were harmed by NHP’s deceptive conduct and false advertising will be able to file a claim for restitution. All NHP customers will receive claim forms by mail over the next several weeks and need not take any further action at this time.

Consumers may check the Attorney General’s website periodically for updates on the National Home Protection consumer claims process. Consumers with questions may also call the Attorney General’s Consumer Helpline at (800) 771-7755.




Most homeowners are quite concerned about maintaining their household appliances in good working condition. Any homeowner worth his salt will admit that it is no easy task. Hence it calls for some expertise in the form of appliance maintenance plans. What confuses homeowners is the fact that there are so many appliance maintenance plans out there and they end up wondering which ones to sign up for!

Here’s an article that’ll help you decide what plans you need to buy to ensure smooth running of your household appliances, while going easy on the pocket too.

HVAC Maintenance Plan

Plumber at Work

There are quite a few things you need to consider before you decide whether or not you need an appliance maintenance plan.

  1. Age of your appliances: If your appliances are 4+ yrs old, you may need a maintenance plan.
  2. Availability of a trusted contractor: If you don’t have a contractor you can rely upon, it is highly recommended that you purchase a home protection plan.
  3. Sufficient funds for frequent repairs and replacements: Repairs and replacements are expensive to get done. Makes more sense to buy protections plans, right?
  4. Time and skill for DIY repairs: Unless you are a contractor yourself, it is advised that you seek professional help in case an appliance crashes.

In short, folks who have old appliances, lack DIY repair skills and sufficient money and do not have a trusted contractor should purchase some form of protection for their household appliances.

What plan do I purchase?

Let’s make this easier for you. An HVAC maintenance plan covers only heating, ventilation and cooling units. A basic home warranty plan covers all the major systems and appliances in the home which includes HVAC units and other appliances too. In simple terms, the coverage is often more for home warranty contracts.

Let’s take a look at some of the common advantages

  1. Budget protection
  2. Service from qualified and skilled professionals
  3. Increases value of property at the time of sale
  4. Peace of mind.

Now let’s take a look at the advantages separately

Advantage of HVAC maintenance plans:

  • Often includes annual/ half-yearly maintenance routines.
  • Discount on labor and parts
  • May help lower electricity bills

Advantages of Home Warranty plans:

  • Wider coverage. Protects more than just HVAC units. Coverage can be extended as per homeowner’s wish
  • Covers damage that occurs due to regular wear and tear and sometimes even due to lack of maintenance. This does not apply to HVAC maintenance plans.
  • Affordable and transferrable
  • Increases the value of property at the time of sale

Who needs an HVAC maintenance plan?

  • Homeowners who have no time for repairing and maintaining their HVAC units themselves
  • People who don’t have the budget to carry out regular maintenance routines
  • People whose other appliances and systems are reasonably new and well-maintained
  • Folks who require budget protection

The U.S Dept. of Energy advises having your HVAC systems checked at least twice a year. This could be expensive for some.

Who needs a Home Warranty?

Homeowners whose homes are aged should definitely think about purchasing a home warranty plan. It covers more than just your HVAC units. Ideally, following are the types of homeowners who need a home service contract:

  • Homeowners whose homes and the components in it are 4+ yrs old
  • People who lack time and skill for DIY repairs
  • People who lack sufficient funds for costly repairs and replacement services
  • Folks who are first time homeowners

Still undecided?

Although most home warranty plans include coverage for HVAC units, the services are not as extensive as provided by an HVAC plan built specifically with heating and cooling needs in mind. If you feel that you are okay with basic coverage, then it would make more sense to go for a home warranty as your other appliances get protection too. Another option (safer one) is to buy a home warranty plan that covers on general household appliances and electrical systems and then to top it up with an HVAC plan. It may cost a little more than just a single plan, but it will be useful in the long run.

Yet another vital thing to do is to get your HVAC appliances get checked by a professional at least once a year. Regular maintenance checks are often helpful in diagnosing problems at an early state. Hence, no matter what the age or the make is, annual maintenance checks are a must for every HVAC appliance/system.

You can also read about Home Maintenance Tips on our website. We host several articles that explain the maintenance regimes for various household appliances and systems.

Remember, no matter how much thought you give into deciding a plan, if you don’t take the same effort for picking a reputable company, it may disappoint you. Always, we repeat, always select a trusted warranty provider and do sufficient research before you sign the contract. You can visit websites like ours, HomeWarrantyReviews.com, to see reviews and ratings about various warranty providers. Our website provide readers with reviews from genuine customers who are more than willing to share their experiences with others.




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

Fake Reviews

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

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

Penalizing Companies Posting Fake Reviews

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

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




Life is certainly unpredictable, you cannot control the outcome but surely can prepare yourself through careful planning and minimize the risk and be on the safer side. Insurance is one such protection mechanism which covers major expenses with an understanding that you will pay a smaller fee as a premium.

Insurances

An insurance is a contract in which an individual receives financial protection or reimbursement against losses from an insurance company against the payment of a premium.

We have an inherent need to protect ourselves and our family, so why not buy insurance and secure the unknown future. According to needs you have various insurances. Some are a must while others are worth. Here is a quick tour into the world of insurance policies.

Insurances That You Cannot Miss To Have For Your Home And Family

Life Insurance

As the term suggests you are insuring your life with a certain amount. It is an insurance that pays out a sum of money either on the unfortunate death of the insured person or after a set period.

Benefits of a Life insurance

  • Risk Cover – Insurance ensures that your loved ones continue to enjoy a good quality of life against any unforeseen event.
  • Planning for life stage needs – Life Insurance not only provides for financial support in the event of untimely death but also acts as a long term investment which can reap benefits once it reaches a maturity period.
  • Assured income through annuities – Life Insurance is one of the best instruments for retirement planning. The money saved during the earning life span is utilized to provide a steady source of income during the retired phase of life.
  • Tax Benefits-Insurance plans provide attractive tax-benefits for both at the time of entry and exit under most of the plans.

Health Insurance

It is a type of insurance coverage that pays for medical and surgical expenses that are incurred by the insurer. Health insurance can either reimburse the insured for expenses incurred for illnesses or injury or pay the care provider directly.

  • Protection against rising health expenses – Life Insurers through riders or stand alone health insurance plans offer the benefits of protection against critical diseases and hospitalization expenses. This benefit has assumed critical importance given the increasing incidence of lifestyle diseases and escalating medical costs.
  • Provides peace of mind – You don’t have to worry about the huge bills when you visit the doctor or an unfortunate accident or an expensive surgery your insurance will take care of unpredictable medical needs.
  • Regular health checkups – Insurance gives you various benefits and one of such is that you can avail regular health checkups and keep a tab and stay healthy.

Auto Insurance

It is an insurance for all your automobiles against theft and accidents.

Benefits of Auto- insurance

  • With a high cost of living there is hardly much room for savings in case of an emergency. Unfortunate auto accidents are the kind of emergency situations that can easily drain your bank account. A premium according to the specified period can be of a great help.
  •  Even in case of a minor accident with no injuries, cost of paying for another person’s vehicle and your own can burn a hole in your pocket and an insurance is a friend in need to bail you out in such a situation.
  • It helps you in case of automobile thievery, you can claim the insurance with some existing terms and conditions whereas getting the complete value might not be possible.

Home Warranty

A home warranty is a contract for repair and replacement of major home appliances such as refrigerator, washing machine, garbage disposal etc. on payment of a premium.

Benefits of home warranty

  • Saves you huge cost of repairs
  • A Home Warranty will repair or replace any covered item. It adds value to your property and benefits everyone from a buyer, seller to homeowner has an advantage.
  • Assures you peace of mind

Home Insurance

This insurance covers the home including the structural elements as well as the valuables inside the home. However, you can claim this insurance only where there is a natural disaster such as flood, fire etc. Please note that this does not cover the appliance repair and replacement costs.

Benefits of home insurance

  • Protects your biggest investment that is your home in case of natural and manmade disasters.
  • Covers accidental damages to your interiors and exteriors as well.
  • Takes cares of any third party damages and legal issues if any incident occurs while in your property.
  • Assures you peace of mind and gives you a feeling of safety and security.

Often Home warranty and insurance are thought to be similar but they are completely different in the coverage they provide. Home insurance is a must to have whereas home warranty you can choose to get.

When it comes to insurances you have a plethora of options to choose. From travel insurance to disability insurance etc, you can choose and plan according to your needs. All insurances have advantages and disadvantages but insurance no matter which protects your peace of mind. While buying insurance always make sure to do a background check of companies you are dealing with and read the reviews and fine print thoroughly.

Click here to check for Home Insurance and warranty companies.

Future is unpredictable yet securable therefore get insured stay assured.




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Dallas is the fourth most populated metro area in the country with 280 localities. The most active areas between April 2015 and April 2016 included Westhollow, Oak Lawn, Mountain Creek, Cedar Crest, Lake Highlands and Uptown. The Dallas-Fort Worth area is the top job producing metro areas in the country, and hence Dallas attracts thousands of new residents each year. In the past year, at least 7,800 real estate agents have assisted consumers with over 10,756 residential home sales in Dallas, Texas.

Price-of-real-estate-properties-in-Dallas

Whether you are buying or upgrading from your starter home, or downsizing now, working with a real estate agent is probably the best move. They will be knowledgeable in what it takes to advertise a home and also how to successfully negotiate a purchase.

If you are looking to purchase a home or property, it is important that you appoint a local real estate agent. Local Dallas realtors have familiarity with listings, actual property values, and trends in your target area and have dealt with dozens of properties in Dallas, thereby bringing detailed market experience to the transaction. Once you outline your specifications, your Dallas realtor will be able to show you the most suitable home that best fits within your vision.

Similarly, if you are selling a home in Dallas, the qualified realtors can guide you through the entire process. They may already have buyers who may be interested in buying a property in your area. Besides, your Dallas realtor will be able to make use of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and other property listing systems to market your home for sale to other potential buyers.

Moreover, your Dallas realtor will be aware of the trustworthy local professionals such as contractors, escrow officers, mortgage bankers or appraisers who may help you close the transaction smoothly. The Dallas real estate agents also have experience with local housing laws and will be able to explain any industry jargon that you may not already be familiar with.

Dallas is home to numerous realtors, so make sure that you choose someone who comes closest to having the best professional experience to match your needs Below is the list of 7 highly recommended realtors based on their sales volume in dollar amounts, the number of transactions and an average price of homes sold. These professionals have proven results and can be a powerful ally as you purchase, sell, or invest in Dallas real estate.

 

Ellen Terry

Best-Agent-in-Dallas

Ellen Terry’s name has been synonymous with brilliant customer service, business expertise and the highest standards of integrity and ethics in the Dallas’ real estate market. Her 36 years of knowledge, experience, and proficient negotiating skills have proven invaluable to many of her customers. She has in-depth experience in Dallas’ most preferred neighborhoods and can offer latest market scenario besides renowned customer service.

Ellen Terry is referred as the Neiman Marcus of the real estate industry owing to her dedication to the highest level of excellent marketing and an utmost commitment to superiority in both service and product. During her notable career, she has closed over $530 million in sales volume epitomizing 158 multi-million dollar properties ranging from $1 million to $22 million.

Ellen’s civic, charity and professional activities have earned her

  1. Southern Methodist University Distinguished Alumni Award
  2. The Easterwood Cup Realtor of the Year
  3. The Distinguished Alumni Award for Christian College in Columbia, Missouri
  4. The She Knows Where She’s Going Award and the Kim Dawson Attitude and Attire Award by Girls, Inc.

She has been a continuing member of the Dallas Junior League Crystal Charity Ball Committee and a current member of Charter 100. Owing to her professional experience and dedication, she is also honored at the 8th Annual Award of Excellence for successful entrepreneurs.

Besides being an expert realtor, Ellen also acts as an executive vice president of coaching and mentoring at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty that helps her coach agents who want to attain their business goals.

Ellen’s favorite quote is by Napoleon Hill, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve,” and she not only believes this, she lives it!

 

Rene Burchell

Top-Agent-in-Dallas

Rene Burchell is a proficient realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Plano, Texas. She is licensed since 1992 and has been keenly helping buyers and sellers effectively since 2002. Rene holds the Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), e-PRO, Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES), Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) and Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designations. Rene’s commitment to ongoing education and passion for accomplishing her clients’ real estate goals has facilitated her to be consistently recognized as a Top Producer and Top Sales Associate and team both with RE/MAX; her former alliance as well as Keller Williams.

Rene is a member of the National Association of Realtors, Texas Association of Realtors, Collin County Association of Realtors the latter which she spent 2 years as the Director of the Board. She is also an active member of the Women’s Council of Realtors where she served as the 2011 Past President for the Collin County and served 5 years on the board.

Before working in real estate, Rene worked as a financial executive assistant for Whirlpool, Merrill Lynch and Cain Watters & Associates PC for a decade after receiving her real estate license in 1992.

Rene and her team dedicatedly work with first time home buyers & sellers to Luxury Real Estate in the Dallas, Plano, N. Dallas, Allen, Frisco, Prosper, Celina, Little Elm, McKinney and nearby cities. Her focus on quality service, professionalism, and client satisfaction have earned her following accolades and awards:

  1. Keller Williams Realty Plano – 2015 Agent Leadership Council (ALC)
  2. Keller Williams Realty Plano – 2010- 2014 Top Producing Associate
  3. Keller Williams Realty Plano – 2011-2015 Top Producing Team
  4. Five Star Real Estate Agent, Texas Monthly Magazine, 2013-2015

 

Dani Hanna

Expert-Agent-in-Dallas

Dani Hanna has over 11 years of knowledge in real estate and more than 24 years of in-depth experience of residential home construction, contract negotiation, and organizational expertise. She diligently navigates the buying and selling process to your advantage. Dani is constantly acknowledged as a top producing agent and one of the best real estate agents in the mid-century neighborhoods of central Dallas, including Lakewood, Oak Cliff, the M-streets and Lake Highlands.

Dani’s clients and peers have recognized her willingness to step outside the box to attain her goals. Her clients say she is a true advocate of their best interest and puts the right people in place to execute their specialty. It’s no wonder she is constantly a top producer at Dallas City Center, with sales more than 20 million dollars. Dani enjoys tremendous client loyalty for the past five years in a row and has also been named on D magazine’s “Best Real Estate Agents” list since 2007.

Call Dani today if you are seeking a clear communication, seamless real estate transaction and local market expertise.

 

Debbie Murray

Super-Agent-in-Dallas

Debbie Murray has relished an exceptionally successful real estate career in Dallas where she was voted as “D Best Realtors in Dallas” by D Magazine and named a Unique Homes “Elite 2008” realtor” by the esteemed magazine. She attained her real estate license in the mid-1980’s while working as a Series 7 and 63 certified associate with Merrill Lynch. Debbie has keenly served condo, single family home and townhome buyers in the Dallas area for the past 17 years. Her in-depth knowledge of Dallas, Denton and Collin counties has brought her new and repeat clients from each. Besides a luxury home specialist, Debbie also focuses on home staging, international buyers, buyer representation, pro athlete and corporate relocation and new construction.

Debbie’s comprehensive relocation experience has served transferees from major corporations such as Cadbury Schweppes, State Farm Insurance, J.C. Penney, Hunt Oil, Price Waterhouse, and Mohawk Industries. She holds a BBA degree in Marketing from the University of Texas at Austin. As a marketing major from one of the leading business schools in the US, Debbie is equipped to innovatively implement a tailored marketing strategy for your home.

Debbie’s clients benefit from her Broker’s license education and the special skills which she has attained from her 9 professional designations.

  1. Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
  2. Certified Negotiation Expert
  3. Accredited Staging Professional
  4. Certified Residential Specialist
  5. Accredited Buyer Representative
  6. Graduate Realtor Institute
  7. e-Pro Internet Designation
  8. Transnational Referral Certified
  9. Equator Short Sale Designation

Debbie says, “My designations have trained me at a higher level in real estate.  It is exciting to share that knowledge with my clients when helping them purchase or sell a home.”

Debbie is a member of the MetoTex Association of Realtors Forms and Contracts Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for The Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas. Proud of her association with the number one producing residential real estate office in Dallas (and Christie’s International affiliate), Debbie expect to work with you!

Debbie has surpassed in real estate sales as she attentively listens to her clients, always putting their needs above all. A home’s resale value is Debbie’s number one priority, whether her customers are buying an existing or building a new home.

 

Laura Michelle

Awesome-Agent-in-Dallas

A consistent real estate expert for almost 20 years, Laura Michelle characterizes the meaning of outstanding customer service. She has been consistently honored as a multi-million dollar producer and best agent by several publications. The idea of connecting property, architecture, and people fascinated her while concentrating her studies on Business and Real Estate at the University of Texas, where she graduated with honors. Laura provides a sophisticated understanding of the trending market to her clients and offers counsel from a business manager’s point of view. She strives hard to provide unmatched service and offers innovative tactics to reduce the stress from purchasing or selling a home in the Dallas, Garland, Mckinney, Plano, Richardson areas.

She holds the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designations along with her broker’s license offering buyers with the highest level of service in a transaction. Laura concentrates on fostering customer relations with the latest technology and marketing developments. This has earned her the following accolades:

  1. D Magazine Best Agent and Top Producer for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015
  2. Texas Monthly Five Star Professional Award
  3. ‘Dallas Top 10’ Realtor
  4. Top Performing Individual Agent
  5. Relocation Network Member
  6. Licensed Texas Broker- Member of NAR, TAR, GDAR
  7. Recipient Industry VIP Award for Customer Service

Laura is the best producing agent in several properties sold at Dave Perry-Miller & Associates and the industry has acknowledged her with the VIP Award for Excellence in Customer Service.

 

Tom Rhodes Jr.

Best-in-class-Agent-in-Dallas

With over 38 years of experience in Dallas real estate, Tom Rhodes Jr has sold more than $1 billion in homes and properties. He is a Certified Residential Specialist, a Certified Commercial Investment Member and a Graduate of the Realtor Institute and leads The Rhodes Group. With unparalleled market knowledge and impeccable customer service, the Rhodes Group can market their clients’ home most effectively and have averaged a home sold every 2.5 days for the past decade. When you appoint The Rhodes Group, you hold the power of Dave Perry-Miller & Associates (a subsidiary of Ebby Halliday, the leading privately-owned real estate company in Texas) whose performance is supreme in the industry by selling more than one-fourth of their listings in-house and each averaging nearly one million dollars per sale.

With over 85% of The Rhodes Group’s clients coming from repeat and recommendation business, it has been named to The D Magazine’s list of Best Real Estate Agents in Dallas since 2004.

 

Bill Shields

Experienced-Agent-in-Dallas

Bill Shields has more than 30 years of professional real estate experience in home buying in Collin County and Dallas County. He specializes as a buyer’s agent and dedicated to helping you find your ideal home. Shields and his team negotiate the best price and choose the right strategy to protect your rights and interests throughout the entire home buying process. With over 20 years of experience as an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent, Shields assesses home values based on previous sales and help you purchase the right home at the lowest price. Shield and his team of skilled real estate professionals have the updated information on the great North Texas communities.

Bill Shields is a Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) and has the following Professional Real Estate Memberships:

  1. Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®)
  2. Accredited Buyer Representative Manager (ABRM®)
  3. Certified Residential Broker (CRB)
  4. Collin County Association of REALTORS®
  5. Texas Association of REALTORS®

Prior to entering the world of real estate on your own, see if any of the above Dallas realtors can help you instead. It will take just a few minutes to analyze their transactions and reviews and find the best match based on your needs.




Just the decision to take the task of building a home into your own hands can be daunting, keep aside the fact that liabilities are now yours alone to deal with. The joy of being there every step of the way and having a say in every brick, beam, and wall comes with a lot of responsibility. The smallest of injuries on site to a worker, accidental falls, natural disasters and other unforeseen circumstances can put your budget off by thousands of dollars.

Time is a factor as well, having the plan pushed back by weeks, if not months; time and money that you cannot get back. Such accidents are what makes it prudent for you to invest in structural insurance, warranty and legal coverage for all the essentials.

What is Structural Insurance?

Structural insurance functions within the parameters of Builders Insurance and Site Insurance, covering claims regarding the foundation and architectural framework of the building, as well as the integrity of the site it is built on.

Structural Insurance & Home Warranty

As the percentage of self-built homes increase in the US, numerous companies now offer a comprehensive list of structural insurance for homes built without the assistance of building agencies.

If narrowed down to just structural claims, structural insurance covers the claim of any structural defects in a home for a fixed number of years after it is built. Often certain companies have a secondary set of rules, pertaining to the fact that the claim will only kick in 7 to 10 years after the house is completed.

That being said, structural insurance usually comes hand in hand with site and builders insurance as well, both essential and usually synonymous with structural insurance.

Site Insurance

Site insurance is offered to builders as well as individuals who have purchased land and intend to construct. It not only covers any natural disaster-related damage – fire, storm, flood – to the land, but also the temporary structures on it. The coverage puts aside a certain sum to take care of any unforeseen circumstances that may cause huts, caravans, tools and the building under construction itself to be partially or wholly damaged.

Certain insurance companies not only take care of the monetary side of things but also offer services to clean, repair and bring back the space to its former state.

Builder’s Insurance

In recent times, Builder’s Insurance has become a must for self-built structures, especially since it establishes a sense of trust between the homeowner and the bank or builder who is offering monetary assistance.

Builder’s insurance acts as the umbrella under which site and structural insurance fall, but often companies do cater to individual needs by offering them separately. These insurance policies even accommodate for theft of tools and valuables from the site, but usually, put a limit of the claim. That being said, it is important to pick appropriate coverage plans and not under or over-insure your property.

Allowing delays and pushbacks, any building or structural insurance for individuals who are constructing on their own extend to 18 months, as opposed to the usual 12-month coverage given for builders.

Why Insurance During Construction is Essential

Building a home isn’t only about the structure and integrity. Along each step of the way, you have to be aware of not only accidents and loss that are beyond your control, but also any harm that the process may cause to workers, the public and adjacent private and public property.

Structural Warranty for self built homes

As a homeowner, you are liable if any of your workers are injured during the course of construction, or even if they fall ill due to toxic substance exposure while they worked for you.

Even a trespasser walking into property can have a legal claim if he or she is injured due to any improper construction methods.

Damage to surrounding property can be another reason you are faced with a very large bill for compensation. Everything from a falling tree branch to heavy machinery vibrations that may cause harm to adjacent structures can be seen as cause for a lawsuit. Most often, such damage is seen to happen during the time when your foundation is being set, causing worry about underground water sources and support extending below the ground of other buildings in the area.

Home and Structural Warranty

Besides structural and builder’s insurance, warranty extends the coverage, claims, and care for years after the home is built – taking care of issues and damage that insurance does not address. While insurance deals with unforeseen circumstances and matters that were out of your control, Home Warranty offers solace when you need to deal with maintenance, repair, and replacement due to general wear and tear.

Usually put in place for a period of ten years, Structural Warranty covers defects in the foundation, load-bearing walls, beams, pillars and sometimes even wiring and plumbing systems. Not only does it keep you worry free, it also assures that any negligence on the part of the contractor is covered for without conflict.

 




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!