Tired of seeing your roof green, stained and covered in leaves or in snow? Of all the home maintenance, spring cleaning, repairs and errands a homeowner is fated to, roof cleaning can be one of the most tiresome. Doing a balancing act on the shingles with a broom, a blower and a hose, scrubbing off algae and making sure you don’t have rats and raccoons – it’s not a particularly fun way to spend your Sunday mornings. Unfortunately, keeping your roof clean, damage free and well fitted is of utmost importance, especially when it comes to increasing the life of the tiles and shingles and preventing seepage.
Aesthetics of a clean and shiny roof aside, roofs made of asphalt, wood, tiles or shingles all need to be kept dry and clean if you want them to last a good twenty years or so – and it is recommended to replace them altogether every few decades.
For starters, one of the primary issues are algae, moss and other parasitic growths. Being exposed to the elements constantly, it is inevitable that the existence of air and water are more than enough to cause things to grow on your roof. Adding to that, limestone fillings and wood beams act as perfect hosts for mold.
Slowly eating into your fillers, wood and drains, the strength of your roof itself is at risk, not to mention the gaps that will appear and cause leaks and seepage issues for the inside of your home as well.
There are three primary growths possible on the surface of roof – algae, moss and lichen.
If you have noticed streaks and stains of black on your roof, then algae is the issue you have to tackle. Reproducing rapidly as long as they get moisture and sun, they tend to fasten themselves to the shingles and feed on limestone, undoing the secured shingles from their place.
A growth that actually stems from the algae itself, lichen is light green and fundamentally a fungal growth. Though it doesn’t hold much water, it does eat away at the top layer of the shingle with time because of its acidic nature.
Last we have moss, a much darker green and dense in appearance. Moss and lichen are much stronger than algae and aren’t easily washed off, the former holding water and soil within its structure that may create an environment for even larger weeds to grow on the shingle surface.
Roof cleaning can be done in one of three ways.
You can choose to go the complete replacement way – which can be expensive and sometimes unnecessary all together. Even if you have the money, know that replacement is not a permanent solution and the shingles will need maintaining whether they are old or new.
Next, you can hire a professional cleaning agency. Pros – it’s easy, safety is not an issue as they know what they are doing, and technical expertise will help get rid of the problem for an extended period of time, if not permanently. Cons – of course, it is more expensive than doing it yourself and if you don’t check up on how they clean, it is possible that you are being charged for more, or the cleaning is being done with chemicals which will later harm other parts of the house and garden.
Lastly (and yes, we will tell you everything you need to know on how to do it!) you can choose to clean it yourself. Depending on how handy you are with basic tools, cleaning supplies and a little manual labor, DIY roof cleaning is really that extensive of a task, and it can easily be tackled on a free Sunday morning.
Not humid and yet not too hot and sunny, pick the right day to climb up and scrub your roof clean. Humidity or a slight drizzle can make the roof slippery and unmanageable, simultaneously washing off the cleaning agent before it can work its magic. On the other hand, a hot and sunny afternoon can make the solution dry too fast, again not allowing it to act.
If you haven’t done it before, you should know that walking around on a sloped shingled surface can be an art in itself. Before you worry about the right cleaning agent and scrub to use, make sure you have a sturdy ladder and preferably someone to keep watch, non-slip boots with a good grip and maybe even knee pads.
Cover up to save yourself from unnecessary scrapes, cuts and insect bites, especially since the chances of rusted metal nails and clasps are rather high.
Use a simple broom to clean off the leaves and large debris that has collected on the flat areas and in the drainage points of the roof, letting you get a better look at what’s underneath. Don’t try using a rake or any sharp implement as that can damage the shingles, and make sure to sweep in the same direction that the shingles are laid, so as to make sure you don’t land up raising them in the process.
Next, get on work-gloves and clear off the drains, running water through them if necessary.
This will require a little bit of research, a knowledge of what material your roof is made of and filled in with, and what is causing the damage.
Not wanting to do this every few weeks and have the product at least last a year, it is a good idea to invest in a product that handles algae, moss, weather wear and tear, and damage because of the elements. Additionally, you can choose to coat your shingles or use zinc strips.
If the product sounds too good to be true, then it probably is – cleaning solutions and sprays that claim to solve all your roof damage problems with one swift coat for example are not an option. Pick a solution that is environmentally friendly and doesn’t cause long term harm to the hard wood beams or plants in your garden.
Another way to go is make your own, saving you money and allowing you to control exactly what is going into the cleaning process. One recipe is a mixture of heavy duty bleach (not the one that is for domestic use, but instead the one that you’ll find in a hardware or pool store), dish soap to thicken the bleach and act as a cleaning agent, and hot water to bind it all together. Use a simple garden spray tank to hose the roof with the solution, and wait for it to dry onto the shingles completely. Once dry, then hose it off with just water to make sure all the chemical is washed off.
You’ll have to be there in person for the entire process, and besides the fact that the roof is sloped and shingled, you are now adding a soapy solution to the mix – a recipe for disaster if you don’t do it right!
Make sure you do one section of the roof at a time, allowing it to dry, be hosed off and dry again before you move to the next section, giving you dry ground to stand on as you move.
Once you’re done, zinc strips can help keep the shingles clean and sparkly for extended amounts of time – some may even say forever! Cost efficient and not too difficult to install, zinc strips fitted to the top of your roof cause metal ions to flow down the surface of the shingles when it rains, killing the lichen and algae and keeping the roof damage free.
DIY tips and tricks, maintenance dos and don’ts, and even hiring professionals are all well and good, but even so the bother of service and repair looms over our heads.
While smaller issues such as algae and lichen can be handled right at home, rooftop damage can be a painstaking thing to deal with. From termite infestation to seepage and material damage, one way to make sure you are secure when it comes to such repair costs is Home Warranty.
Functioning much like insurance but with a much wider range of coverage –appliances in your home as well as the structure of the building itself – Home Warranty takes responsibility for all your repair needs.
Get your own estimate using the Home Maintenance Calculator on the HomeWarrantyReviews.com website and get an approximation of how much your home will cost you in repairs, just by feeding in a few simple details. Giving you a comparison between the cost of Home Warranty and that of maintaining it yourself, warranty keeps you prepared for unexpected servicing costs and keeps you covered when it comes to tasks you cannot always do yourself.
Heating and air conditioning units make us feel nice and comfy. No matter what the temperature is outside, whether it’s too hot or too cold, HVAC units help us relax inside our homes. So, as owners of HVAC systems, we want to keep our heating and air conditioning units in good working condition. To do that correctly typically involves regular maintenance and occasional repairs.
There are times when we make mistakes though, some of those being very common. Making mistakes with the maintenance of HVAC systems will typically reduce those systems’ performance and efficiency. We all make mistakes. But, how we handle them is the crucial thing.
In order to correct these mistakes, you first need to know what is going wrong. To help you out, we have covered the most common mistakes that HVAC owners make. After learning about these you should know what to avoid, while effectively dealing with your HVAC units.
Like all other mechanical systems, the performance of HVAC units reduces with time. But if you maintain your HVAC system properly it does tend to work well longer. People often ignore this fact. Moreover, older HVAC systems are not equipped with the modern technology. Their construction and optimal efficiency become obsolete over time. Because of this fact some homeowners trade an older system for a newer one rather than dumping good money into costly repairs up system upgrades.
Many people constantly change the settings of their HVAC systems. They fiddle with the controls and settings of their HVAC systems, day in and day out. But they don’t realize that, this can harm the overall performance and efficiency of their HVAC units. It is recommended that you set your HVAC systems to a particular setting, which will work for all temperatures. The settings should remain stable. This way the HVAC unit will adapt to your comfort level. You can also adopt other measures to control the temperature of your home. For instance, in winters, you can add another layer of clothing or use a blanket to keep yourself warm, instead of changing the settings of your heating unit.
Some people continuously run their HVAC units. Some homeowners leave their air conditioning and heating units on when they go out so that when they return home they can find their homes at the preferred temperature. In extreme heat or cold this approach to maintaining a constant, comfortable temperature may take a toll on your HVAC system. It also uses a lot more energy, resulting in huge electricity bills. Instead of this approach you might find a tolerable temperature and maintain that until you return home. Or you can opt for a programmable HVAC system with time-specific temperature controlling options. Such units allow you to pre-program the settings and govern how your HVAC unit operates when you are not at home so that when you arrive home you can feel comfortable without constantly running your HVAC unit.
Keeping only one particular setting of your HVAC system throughout the year is also not good. Seasonal high temperatures or low temperatures can put excessive stress on the system. Keeping your home around 72 degrees Fahrenheit may be desirable, but it may not be ideal year round from the point of view of maintaining your HVAC system. If you are not sure of the temperature that is safest to maintain for your particular system at various times of year you should ask the company or technician maintaining your system for that advice.
Yes, many people forget about the crucial V in HVAC. The V stands for ventilation. People oftentimes overlook the IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) of their homes. Kitchens and bathrooms are the most common places in a house that may be poorly ventilated. Depending on your region’s climate your house may suffer from high humidity in addition to having ventilation issues. Such homes require mechanical systems to deal with excess humidity. Excess humidity can cause your system to work much harder than is ideal for its expected operational life. And improper ventilation, even without extra moisture in the air can seriously affect the performance of the system. Make sure that your HVAC units incorporate adequate ventilation with the 3 essential pressures– positive, negative, and balanced pressure.
Every house has a different structure and architecture. Modern homes tend to be much larger than ones from the past. HVAC systems have also changed. But you should never assume that the HVAC system in your home is the exact match to your home size and other unique factors. If you never seem to find a comfortable balance between the indoor temperature and the electric bill you may want to speak with an HVAC professional. Make sure that your HVAC unit or units are sized properly. And don’t skimp on costs at this point. Going with the best HVAC service and sales outlet in your area is wise.
People often ignore the fact that they need to call on professionals once in a while, for maintaining and repairing their HVAC units. Remember to schedule an appointment with an HVAC technician, at least once each year, in order to ensure proper functioning of your HVAC unit. Twice per year may be better, and your local service company may offer pre-paid plans with discounts for paying in advance. Paying in advance may also help to avoid forgetting to schedule the service calls. And don’t fall into the trap of trying to save money at the expense of the longevity of your HVAC system. You get what you pay for. You might save some money by choosing the cheapest HVAC service contractor, but spend a lot more when the system starts to break down due to cheap parts, cheap filters or improper maintenance.
We hope you have learned a few valuable things here. Owning a home can be a daunting task when you really start to recognize all the details involved in maintaining it. But even when you don’t know a lot personally about the house or its systems you can always save yourself future problems by having a trusted professional to give advice and to do the actual work needed to maintain things around the house. For the HVAC system there is no substitute for a great company or individual contractor, one with a good reputation in your area. Ask your friends or family members if you aren’t sure which company to choose. And just as this website provides reviews for home warranty companies, you can find great websites that you can trust which have thousands of reviews on HVAC installation and service companies.
“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!
So here are some of the appliances that need a thorough check up before the temperature drops-
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.
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.
While you’re at it, you may want to read about common mistakes HVAC owners make.
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 –
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-
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 –
If you have a gas fireplace, look out for peeling wallpaper and eroding mortar. Ideally, get it inspected by a professional.
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!
Extended warranty sometimes also called as a maintenance or service agreement, is a prolonged warranty given to customers who wish to insure their fairly new devices. They are not always provided by the manufacturer and are usually procured along with or as and when the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
Such extended service agreements are often purchased for gadgets and appliances that don’t come under Home warranty. Eg. laptops, TV, desktop computers. They can be purchased over an existing manufacturer’s warranty so that damages due to accidents are also covered. They cover repairs and replacements of the insured device for a fixed period of time, which is usually around 2-3 years.
If you are wondering whether you need an extended appliance protection plans or not, consider this –
You have a reasonably new device which cost you a lot. It is still covered by it’s manufacturer’s warranty but you are not certain if that will be enough. You fear that accidental damages may occur and you cannot afford to repair or replace the device if it happens. If this is what is going through your head, we recommend that you purchase an extended warranty.
There are quite a few advantages that make you want to consider buying an extended appliance protection plans. Here are a few of them:
Although, the advantages may seem great, some experts have the opinion that extended warranty is a waste of money. This is because a decent appliance/gadget manufactured by a reputable company stands very little chance to fail in the first 2 years. It has been noted that retailers make huge profits from extended protection plans as very few consumers claim them.
Also, when it comes to electronic gadgets, it sometimes makes more sense in replacing it with a new one rather than repairing the damaged one. These days you can get a DVD player for around $30, so why then would you spend $20 repairing your damaged DVD player?
Technology is advancing at a very fast pace, unless your device is precious and expensive, we suggest that you think twice and explore a few options before you purchase extended warranty.
You may want to look at the repair rates of the various gadgets in the first 3 years of their lives and then decide if you need to go for an extended protection plan. However, the same cannot be said of Home Warranty, which is always recommended for most homes.
If you feel you don’t need an extended warranty as your appliances are 4+ years old, the best option for you would be a Home Warranty. Find out more about Home Warranty and Home Warranty Companies!
Source: CBS News
While you consider purchasing an extended warranty, ensure that you contemplate on all the points that follow.
Make sure that you know how the plan works. Read through the terms and conditions mentioned in both the contract as well as the policy booklet. Understand what damages are covered and what damages are omitted.
All extended warranties do not have the same duration of coverage. The term can vary anywhere between 6 months to 3 years. Be clear on this.
Beware of this one. In certain cases you will have to ship your damaged gadget to some other location. If this happens you will have to pay the shipping charges. Not only this, there could be several cases where you will have to spend extra money in addition to the amount you pay for availing the warranty. You can speak to the retailer to clear any doubts you have regarding this.
A lot of warranty companies are out there that sell extended warranty. Sometimes it makes sense to consider a few options before you jump into a decision and purchase extended warranty from the retailer. Some companies offer plans that cover a group of devices instead of a single device. These may be much more profitable that purchasing one warranty for a single gadget.
Before you purchase an extended warranty, check with the bank issuing your credit card to know if you are automatically entitled to an extended warranty if you make a purchase with the card. In certain cases, platinum and gold cards offer this feature to customers.
Getting an extended warranty is not a bad idea. However we urge you to go through everything carefully before you purchase an extended warranty from the retailer. Extended warranties, like we said are only for a single appliance/gadget. While they are not pricey as such, sometimes, for homeowners with ageing appliances find Home Warranty plans more ideal. They are affordable and cover a host of appliances and not just a single one. If you think, an appliance warranty plan is what you need, take a look at the top 10 home warranty companies in the U.S.A. Good luck!
Farming is not an activity which can only be done in a vast plane area; it can also be confined to your house, home or an apartment. Sounds appealing, isn’t it? It isn’t a mammoth task, after all, it is feasible and easy! For starters, here are some tips on where to start from, to have a fun-filled family activity like Urban Farming and get health benefits too!
A balcony or a patio would be the first option coming to your mind. It essentially should be your first option because it receives plenty of sunlight and has open spaces. One more benefit is that it will keep the soil away from the inner area of your home. You can beautifully decorate the plants on both sides by keeping a path for walking!
The front or backyard is all you have if you are a resident of a lower level. With a lot of unused space, a collective farming can also be put in. Although it might not be an ideal area to dig in for farming, you can line up containers and start growing them.
A fire escape can be a new way of urban farming. After leaving a little space for the footpath, place your containers in the landing. Even though it has limited space, it can be useful to grow something for yourself.
The handrails! Yes, you heard it right. With the same method you used for the fire escape, handrails can also be used to grow one or more produces for oneself.
Walls, for instance, provide a lot of space for vertical gardening that needs to be clamped to the wall. Thus, they should be followed up with asking for permission from your landlord.
Windowsill boxes are better than the walls as they do not need to be secured. You can just lay some containers with no other extra attachments.
An essential need for all plants to grow is sufficient sunlight, without which plants wither away. Typically, a plant needs minimum 6 hours of sunlight a day for its full growth. But in an Urban Farming setup in an apartment, what we primarily lack is also sunlight. Due to various problems with other apartment or roofs barricading the sun rays, it is quite a task to find spaces where it is possible to grow a crop.
It is advisory to assess the amount of sunlight received in your apartment for some days. Either by making a note of it or by clicking pictures of spaces you are planning to grow crops every one hour, it is necessary to understand the pattern of sunlight received.
After the above task is done, the next step is to evaluate which space will be suitable for your Urban Farming. And this should be according to the maximum amount of sunlight received.
A lot of other questions have to be answered before we decide what to grow in your Apartment.
Prefer to a grow a crop you and your family prefer to consume. It is a total unworthy effort if you plan to grow a crop you don’t like consuming yourself. By raising a crop you like, it doubles your satisfaction that you have a farm all by yourself and can consume it with all your heart.
Decide on the purpose for which you are setting up the farm. If your motive is commercial, it is better to choose a crop that yields high income when you sell. It needs a study of the market value of various crops that can be grown in an apartment set-up. After that, decide which will be feasible and meanwhile profitable to you.
The climate conditions are also essential things to keep in mind while you are planning to set up an Urban Farm. Certain Herbs, Vegetables, and Flowers grow only at a specific temperature. Thus seasons are also one thing to check before you start on with the farm.
Any activity related to farming needs an added focus. Besides watering and adding fertilizers to the crops, there exists a task of maintaining the various machines used for farming.
Be it a lawnmower or a container garden, a frequent inspection is an essential activity for extending their life. However, as the produce keeps growing, it demands multi-tasking.
But here’s the easy way! HomeWarrantyReviews.com provides a hassle-free affair of managing all the repairs and maintenance. By listing out to you Various Home Maintenance Companies, Home Warranty Reviews brings to you many options to choose from. To know more about your spot estimates, A Home Maintenance Calculator can be a relief for any Urban Farmer.
So why wait? All you need is to find a place and plant your favorite crop. Connect with roots. Connect with nature. Feel the magic of farming in your apartment!
Buying a home is a cherished dream for many first time home buyers, a sort of milestone if you will. A home will probably be the most expensive purchase you ever make in your lifetime, which is why a lot of thought and consideration is given to it. For most home buyers, especially, first timers, the financial cost alone is monumental. If you are someone who is planning to buy a home for the first time, we’d like to warn you about some of the biggest challenges that you will face.
For convenience, we’ve sorted the challenges into two categories – Financial challenges and maintenance challenges. Let’s begin with the financial challenges.
Most buyers cannot afford to pay the entire price in one go. They will typically opt to get a home loan. However, even if you do opt for a home loan, you will still have to pay the down payment, which is a lump sum anywhere between 3%-20% of the sales price of the house. This is often a rather big amount which you will have to arrange yourself. The rest can be paid off with a house loan.
Your credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness. It is often used to estimate risk involved in lending money or resources to a person. Credit scores also decide at what rate of interest a loan should be given to you. So if you do have a house loan, your credit score will be hugely affected. Should you require a loan before your home loan is paid off, the chances are high that such a loan would either be difficult to get or would come at a high interest rate.
It goes without saying that purchasing a house will take up a huge chunk of your savings. Since you’ll also be using up money to furnish/decorate your new home, you’ll most probably be left with a very tight budget leaving very little room to afford holidays or other recreational activities. You’ll also be paying monthly installments to the bank to pay off your house loan for the next decade or so which would mean that the tight budget will remain tight for a very long time.
Maintaining a home in good condition is no easy task. It is not pocket friendly either, especially when the home is 4+ years old. First time home buyers find home maintenance very taxing, mostly because they are new to this. So, if you are one among the first time home buyers, then here are some things you should worry about-
Leaking plumbing is a messy and inconvenient event. It could also cause further damages to the house. Fixing one requires skill and sometimes hefty sums of money. Leaks are one of the most common issues reported by first time home buyers and handling it will require the services of a skilled plumber.
Possibly the most expensive kind of maintenance challenge that you will encounter is an appliance breaking down. Big appliances like built-in refrigerators or the HVAC units cost a lot and replacing them could cost you heavily. Sometimes a repair job could fix the issue, but even that requires the skills of an experienced technician and some amount of money.
Houses or any kind of property are often considered as solid investments with a very little scope for depreciation. Hence, buying a home is often positively encouraged. Although they are expensive, they could be an asset unlike any other in the long run.
If you did buy a home, your homeowner duties don’t end there. Home maintenance, like we said before, is not an easy or cheap task. This is why most American homeowners swear by a home warranty plan. For older homes, an appliance warranty plan is your best bet for budget protection. They are affordable and come in wide range of coverages. All you need to do is alert your home warranty company when there is a breakdown and you can get the repair done at a nominal fee! Also, it is strongly recommended that you get a home inspection done before moving in to reveal potential damages with the house. It will also help you in deciding whether you need to look for another house if the damages are too many. We also recommend that you read up on whether your need a home warranty or not.
If this article got you worried, we would like to sincerely apologize. We were merely giving out pointers on what to expect when you don the shoes of a homeowner. And like we said, buying a home is a serious step and it comes with an immense sense of accomplishment for many. So if you’ve found your dream home, go ahead and get it! We wish you all the very best with your new home. Cheers!
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.
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:
Buildings insurance is easy to get and easy to manage. Stay in front of the issues, and your cover will do the rest.
Recently, there was an interesting review posted at AHS warranty discussions page about dealing with insurance claims. The legal option suggested by the reviewer might be useful to some homeowners, who have difficulties dealing with home warranty insurance claims.
It is not practical and cost effective to take legal route to pursue your insurance claims and you may want to read How to pursue insurance claims article before you go that path. However, if you are fighting an insurance claim on a big ticket item, and you have exhausted all other options, this is definitely an effective strategy. Author of this post himself was an attorney and he effectively used the legal threat to beat the home warranty company.
Here is the excerpt:
I have discovered how aggrieved homeowners can turn the tables on home warranty companies and beat them at their own game. Please share this with everyone you know.
I’m an attorney and after having a problem with my home warranty company, American Home Shield, I decided to investigate whether other homeowners had experienced the same or a similar problem. What I found were web sites devoted to consumer complaints on which numerous homeowners had recounted incidents of fraud, deception, and rip-offs by their home warranty company. I also found a blog written by a former American Home Shield employee and another written by a former plumber for a home warranty company. Both recounted situations that would not pass the “smell test” in a court of law.
I also investigated lawsuits that had been filed against American Home Shield in Georgia, which is where I live. I found about 15 cases. The majority of cases had been filed in small claims court. As I reviewed the cases, I discovered that none of the cases had been litigated. In every instance, the case had been settled to the Plaintiff’s satisfaction although the details of each settlement were not part of the case file. With the knowledge that all cases had been settled to the homeowners’ satisfaction, I realized that American Home Shield would settle with an aggrieved homeowner before allowing a case to go to trial. My conclusion is that the only thing aggrieved homeowners need to do to beat home warranty companies at their own game is to file suit. The last thing American Home Shield wants to do is litigate a homeowner’s claim and the reasons are obvious to me.
The most obvious reason American Home Shield would not want to litigate a claim is that in most instances, the cost to American Home Shield to settle a claim would be less than the cost to litigate. The average amount of a claim in the cases I found was $3,800.00. Two were for less than $1,000.00 and only one was for more than $10,000.00. I’m sure far more than the 15 homeowners who have filed lawsuits in Georgia have had their claims denied. American Home Shield wins when a claim is denied and the homeowner does not sue, which is exactly what American Home Shield is counting on homeowners not doing.
Another reason American Home Shield does not want to litigate is because the company does not want to have to defend its craftily drafted contract or its questionable business practices, which is exactly what it would have to do if a case went to trial. American Home Shield also does not want such information to become public knowledge, which is also likely to happen. Additionally, a judge or a jury would also be hard pressed to return a verdict favorable to a company that engages in questionable business practices.
The final reason American Home Shield does not want to litigate is because a lawsuit actually places American Home Shield in a precarious situation. American Home Shield would have a difficult time defending any claim by a homeowner because the company has no first hand knowledge about the claim; it would need the testimony of the service contractor who, for its own reasons, may be less than eager to testify. The only knowledge American Home Shield has is what the company has been told by the service contractor. And any testimony from American Home Shield about what it was told by the service contractor is hearsay and not admissible in court.
To defend a claim, American Home Shield would need to subpoena the service contractor who actually made the diagnosis to testify about the claim. If the homeowner has done his/her homework, he/she would subpoena witnesses who could dispute the witnesses for American Home Shield. The homeowner should subpoena one or more service companies who had been called either for a second opinion or to make the actual repairs to dispute the testimony of the American Home Shield service contractor. The homeowner might also consider locating one or more other aggrieved homeowners to testify about their problem with American Home Shield. Another good witnesses for the homeowner to subpoena would be a former service contractor for the home warranty company or a former employee of a service contractor.
Since American Home Shield has at least three significant reasons why it does not want to litigate, the best and easiest way an aggrieved homeowner can beat American Home Shield at their own game (and most likely any other home warranty company) is to file suit. The one thing for an aggrieved homeowner to keep in mind is that if he/she does not sue, the home warranty company will win. But if he/she sues, the homeowner will most likely win. And that is how an aggrieved homeowner can beat American Home Shield at their own game.
My advice to aggrieved homeowners is not to stress over a denied claim, the denial of a situation as an emergency, repeated “band-aid repairs,” or a delay in authorization or in the repair of an item. I would also advise a homeowner not to waste time arguing with American Home Shield but to set a reasonable deadline for the appropriate action. Upon expiration of the deadline without receiving satisfaction from American Home Shield, the homeowner should then proceed as if they did not have a home warranty and then sue American Home Shield for reimbursement. The homeowner should also remember to document every action or inaction by both himself/herself and American Home Shield. Although the disadvantage to the homeowner is initially having to pay for the repairs, the advantage is that the homeowner can choose the service contractor and the brands and quality of products. I won’t guarantee all aggrieved homeowners will prevail every time but I have good reason to believe most aggrieved homeowners will prevail the majority of time.
For aggrieved homeowners whose claims were denied at sometime in the past, you may still be able to sue for reimbursement. To make that determination, the homeowner needs to research the statute of limitation for suing on a contract in their state. In any event, a homeowner should be safe filing suit for a claim that was denied during the past twelve (12) months.
Within the next six months, instead of reading homeowner’s stories about being scammed and ripped off by their home warranty company, I want to read stories about how homeowners turned the tables and beat their home warranty company at their own game.
If anyone has any questions, I can be contacted at [email protected]
May 20, 2014: A fast growing home service contract company, Sensible Home Warranty has announced that the company has closed down its operations once and for all. The company, reported to have its main office in New York made the declaration through their website announcing that they were shuttering their services.
“To our loyal customers and dear friends:
It is with great regret that we must notify you that Sensible Home Warranty has shuttered its operations. We wish you all the best of luck and thank you for your years of support.” – read the announcement on the official website of the veteran warranty company.
For the past several months, customers of Sensible Home Warranty have been reporting instances of displeasure and dissatisfaction with the services they received from the company. Despite the fact that the company has been functioning for more than a half decade, Sensible Home Warranty failed to build a sustainable business.
According to customers, the company repeatedly failed to process claims and provide adequate service. The latest reviews about the company revealed that the company frequently denied claims on vague grounds. It is worth noting that the company had mostly positive reviews in its early years. It is not clear what caused the downfall.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) shows that over 1811 complaints were filed against them during the last 3 years of which 1037 complaints were filed during the last three months. Furthermore, it was revealed that the company had been banned in three states.
Following the announcement of their closing, customers of Sensible Home Warranty have expressed shock and betrayal through various review sites and social media. One irate customer expressed her disappointment and stated that she felt cheated as she had purchased a long term plan from the company. The customer had been trying to contact the company regarding a claim for several weeks when the announcement of the company’s closing came through.
Despite some bad PR around, the company did have a loyal base of satisfied customers who vehemently said that their services were exceptional. Some even expressed their sadness at the news of them closing down. This makes us want to believe that in spite of what the reviews on the internet say about such companies, home warranty is one industry were misunderstandings are common leading to an unpleasant interaction between the companies and their customers. Like many, a company which succumbed to infamy, Sensible too may have been judged badly.
As customers all over the nation reel in shock from the news, the company has requested that customers direct inquiries to [email protected] until further announcements are made. The company has been unavailable for a statement.
UPDATE June 26, 2014: ABC News covered a news story on this topic. According to them, you can collect refunds from the State Dept. of Insurance if you are in Arizona. Other states may or may not have such a provision.
It is not easy to recover your losses since home warranty companies are loosely regulated. Here are your choices:
Here’s an update on this news. The Nevada Division of Insurance is trying to reach out to customers of Sensible Home Warranty in Nevada who have unpaid claims against the company. All customers who fall into this category are requested to file a Proof of Claim form to the organization on or before 26 March, 2014. The Commissioner for Insurance will be evaluating the forms received for granting approval. The Division does not guarantee that a fixed percentage of claims will be paid, they have also stated that the funds available for the program are limited.
A home warranty protection is a form of insurance intended to protect homeowners from expensive repairs of appliances and systems. In average home warranty plan, homeowners are required to pay a flat rate deductible for each service call other than an annual fee. Sometimes a seller will put home warranty as a part of the package when negotiating the sale of a home. Other times you may desire to procure a home warranty so as to protect yourself against repairs that may become essential on your home. Though a home warranty will not cover pre-existing conditions in your home, it can be useful way to reduce unpredicted expenses when you possess a home.
While home warranties are beneficial to useful older appliances, some homeowners discover that they don’t need the home warranty plan any longer. When this happens the homeowners must take several steps to terminate the home warranty plan so as to avoid additional charges.
Get in touch with the home warranty company by telephone to talk to a representative. Tell the representative that you desire to terminate the policy. Inquire the representative about the standard process for terminating. Ask particularly whether you may expect any prorated premium refund and about cancellation fees. The representative may inform you that you require sending the warranty company a written notice of termination. Obtain the mailing address from the representative along with the representative’s name. If there is an option to cancel by phone you can avail that option, but using snail mail is a better option as you will have a proof of cancellation request.
Write a notice to the home warranty company in order to inform them that you want to terminate your policy. Date the notice with the current date and state your policy number and dates of coverage in the notice. Specify the prorated refund information you received from the representative and add the representative’s name. Sign your name at the bottom of the notice.
Send the notice via registered post or courier to the address you received from the warranty company representative. Make sure you keep the receipt.
Wait for a check from the warranty company with your prorated premium refund. The refund may have a cancellation fee removed from it.
American Home Shield is 35-year-old company that focuses in offering home warranties. Well-liked among homeowners, contractors and real estate companies, American Home Shield has a wide assortment of appliance, central heating and cooling, and water heater warranty products.
If you are certain to call off your AHS home warranty service, make sure to avoid potential problems by cautiously reviewing your warranty contract before commencing the cancellation process.
Assess the original American Home Shield contract. The company contract is state-specific with termination terms that are planned to obey the individual states’ consumer protection laws. To avoid being charged unforeseen fees, evaluate the contract before contacting American Home Shield. In case you don’t find your original contract, send a letter via certified postal mail to American Home Shield requesting a copy of the contract for personal records.
The address is as follows:
American Home Shield
P.O. Box 849
Carroll, IA 51401-9901
Write a cancellation letter asking for the termination of services. This letter must have the warranty holder’s name, service address, and account number. It should also request that the warranty service be terminated 30 days from the date of the letter. American Home Shield needs a minimum of 30 day’s notice, so set your mind to shell out for an extra month of warranty service.
When mailing the letter have an extra copy mailed to the credit card issuer or the bank being drafted for the automatic monthly payments. Ensure to add a CC postscript to the letter sent to American Home Shield so that it is known that bank has been informed. Do not try to email, fax or call customer service to make cancellation requests, as the receipt of these requests can be difficult to verify.
Call credit card issuer or the bank handling the automatic warranty payments and inform the customer service representative that the account is listed to be terminated. Confirm that the copy of the termination letter has been received, and notify the representative of the last expected payment date. Detail the date and time of the phone call along with the name of the representative spoken to.
Contact American Home Shield via registered mail requesting for written verification of warranty cancellation. It can take up to 5 weeks to obtain this written confirmation, and once you get it, file it away with the original contract.
Once the cancellation has been verified, watch bank and charge accounts for been confirmed, watch bank and charge accounts for unlawful deductions made by American Home Shield. If money is drafted from an account 30 days after the termination request is made or after termination has been confirmed, call the bank or card issuer. Offer to fax the written cancellation verification and in most circumstances, the bank or credit card issuer will repay the additional charge.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows several home related expenses to be deducted from income tax. While most homeowners enjoy tax exemption on expenses like mortgage interest, property taxes etc, some are unaware whether home warranty premiums are allowed deductions.
When some of our readers approached us with this question, we realized that this could be a common question among homeowners across the country. We have tried to address that concern up to the best of our ability and we hope that this article will clear up any confusion you had about such tax deductions.
As you may know, a home warranty is essentially a service contract that agrees to provide you with discounted repair and replacement services. In the United States of America, homeowners unfortunately do not enjoy the benefit of exemption on a home warranty premium you pay for your residence.
However, warranty premiums can be tax deductible if they are on an income producing building. Which means if your house is something like a home office or if it is a house that you have rented out, the premium you pay towards home warranty will be considered as a deductible expense.
A premium paid towards home warranty is considered as a pre-paid maintenance cost of your home and will therefore be non tax deductible. Which means that repairs and replacement costs, no matter how they are covered, will not be a valuable tax deduction.
If you are a tenant in some house that enjoys the protection of a home warranty plan you pay for, you will not be able to claim exemption on its premium. Only the owner will be able to consider premiums as deductible expense.
Even if you don’t have a home warranty or a home insurance policy, expenses towards repairing and replacing household appliances/ systems will be considered as maintenance costs and hence will not be tax-deductible.
In this case too, if the repair/replacement was needed for an income producing building/home, you may be able to claim an exemption.
Typically, no. IRS allows homeowners to deduct private mortgage interest from federal taxes. But, homeowner’s insurance premiums shall not receive tax exemption. Same applies to flood or title insurance. This is pretty much the way home warranty premiums work. Unless an income is generated by the building like in the case of rental properties or home office, you are out of luck.
IRS allows the following expenses to be considered as tax deductible expenses-
The following are considered as non-exemptible expenses-
We have noticed that it is a common practice to confuse home insurance and home warranty. While homeowner’s Insurance is mandatory for homes with mortgages, a home warranty is usually a choice. Though home warranty premiums may not help you save tax dollars, if your home and its contents are 4+ years old, they are a very wise purchase. Such service contracts provide you with discounted repairs and replacement services if your appliances/systems break down due to normal wear and tear, such damages are typically omitted by homeowner’s insurance. At the end of the day you save more money if you pay premiums for a warranty than if you pay for a repair/replacement job.
If you are worried that a home warranty is going to be expensive, we earnestly encourage you to use our website to get a free quote. You’ll be surprised to find that there are some companies that sell warranty products at compelling prices, some even at zero deductible rates. You can also browse through our site to compare plans and their features. While you are at it, don’t forget to take a look at top ten companies and our annual home warranty award winners!
Our readers are welcome to reach out to us should they have any questions or concerns. We hope that you found this article helpful and informative. Thank you!
June,2012: The month of June brings some great news for those of you who are planning to buy foreclosed homes! Freddie Mac is now offering free appliance protection plans from Home Protect warranty. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or simply called Freddie Mac, is a public government sponsored company that works with mortgage lenders to help people get better access to home financing and loans at reduced rates.
Freddie Mac has declared that it will offer $500 credit on home warranty to home buyers who have bought their houses through HomeSteps division. This offer is a bonus assurance provided to homebuyers as this incentive has allowed homeowners to obtain Home Protection coverage plan without any additional investment on policy coverage.
This offer is only available for homeowners who can purchase a qualified, foreclosed single-family home, townhouse or condominium.
Home Protect home warranty is a subsidiary of Cross Country Home Services company which is a provider of a variety of residential service plans. A Home Protect Warranty protects consumers by offering them discounted repairs and replacement services.
With the coverage policy of Home Protect, home buyers will be safeguarded against unexpected appliance breakdowns and expenses related to it. Home Protect’s also offers enhanced coverage options which includes coverage of swimming pools, sump pumps and even unknown pre-existing conditions. Such enhanced coverage is a huge bonus while purchasing foreclosed homes.
Home Protect Home Warranty says that their plans are sold either for one or two year. Both plans offer the same coverage along with access to Cross Country Home Services benefits like discounted rates for new appliances. The company has a large network of over 40,000 service vendors.
In addition to this, if you have decided to purchase a house from HomeSteps property on or before May 24th 2012 and is expected to close the deal before August 31st 2012 you may become eligible to get two year Home Protect Home Warranty coverage.
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.
There are quite a few things you need to consider before you decide whether or not you need an appliance maintenance plan.
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.
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
Now let’s take a look at the advantages separately
Advantage of HVAC maintenance plans:
Advantages of Home Warranty plans:
Who needs an HVAC maintenance plan?
The U.S Dept. of Energy advises having your HVAC systems checked at least twice a year. This could be expensive for some.
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:
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.
Adding to a long list of home warranty companies which have entered the home service contract space only to quickly exit, Stanley Warranty announced recently that the company is immediately terminating its services. Visitors to Stanley’s website see this message:
The company’s closing may come as little surprise to those who are aware of last year’s announcement of an investigation into the new company’s business practices. In June 2015 New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs announced that it had filed a complaint against Stanley Warranty, LLC, alleging that the company had committed acts contrary to its contractual commitments to its customers. Among the state’s specific complaints against the company were alleged offenses that specifically involved Stanley’s home service contract customers. Stanley also operated a business unit which provided consumers with extended service agreements for motor vehicles, commonly called auto warranties.
Here’s a quick analysis that we can provide to readers seeking more information about Stanley Warranty’s abrupt closure and the precedences set by other companies that pulled this same move in recent years. Come back to HomeWarrantyReviews.com for updates as we learn more about the fallout from Stanley Warranty’s announcement.
Like Sensible Home Warranty did in 2014 when it closed shop, Stanley provided no apparent warning to their customers that pre-paid services would not be provided, though at this time it’s still unclear to HomeWarrantyReviews.com whether the company contacted customers via telephone or postal mail prior to closing its doors. It’s also not known yet whether Stanley’s failure to uphold its commitment to any pre-paid customers will compound the company’s problems with New Jersey’s consumer agency.
Another company in the home warranty space that closed its doors in 2014, Colonial Home Warranty, sought bankruptcy protection. Through bankruptcy, the company appears to have been able to escape financial responsibility for unfulfilled service contracts and repair bills from their contractors. Whether or not Stanley Warranty will seek similar protection is not clear at this time.
Reviews for Stanley Warranty, also known as Stanley Safe Club, here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are almost entirely negative. The reviews reflect an apparent trend of the company not honoring its promises to customers or contractors who performed repairs on its behalf. Many of the worst reviews mention repair contractors pursuing payments from the homeowners after Stanley Warranty failed to fulfill its duty to make those payments in a timely manner.
On its Better Business Bureau page, Stanley Warranty already had an F rating prior to the announcement of its cessation of services to its customers. On Yelp, a recent review includes a comment about a refund check from the company to the customer, who had canceled services ahead of the expiration of the contract period, being denied due to insufficient funds. That review was created in December of 2015, leading to the obvious question whether or not Stanley was insolvent well before it closed its doors in 2016. Interestingly, reading past reviews on Yelp leads you to at least one claim in 2014 that Stanley Warranty had announced on its company website that it was closing. And no matter how far back in time a reader travels on Yelp, the story seems to be consistently poor, one unhappy customer after another.
Perhaps the most insulting element of this story is that Stanley Warranty sold its service contracts with a promise of zero service fees. Anyone familiar with the home service contract industry knows that most companies charge a fee, paid by the customer to the service provider, at the time of a service call. For a company to offer competitive rates with no service fees is a pretty compelling deal for consumers. And many of the consumers lured in by that deal are now left with every required repair being paid entirely out of their own pockets, despite having paid well in advance for home service contracts from this company.
The home warranty industry has a history of companies like Stanley Warranty popping in and out of the space and taking loads of customers’ money out the door when the companies fold or burning up the money received from customers through mismanagement and unhedged risks. Consumers who have been buying home warranties for years probably recognize some of the company names, ones like Arkidus, Sensible Home Warranty, Colonial Home Warranty, and Certified Warranties Corporation. All of these companies have something in common. They sold home service contracts right up until the day they shut the office lights off and locked the doors.
This may be the single biggest black eye that the home warranty industry has received in the last decade, and it just keeps happening. As if companies being able to enter an industry that is so much like insurance, often undetected by the state agencies that regulate their industry, improperly funded, and perhaps even criminally intent on defrauding their customers is not enough, the end result of the companies is consumers left with financial losses sometimes amounting to thousands of dollars in service contract fees paid in advance. All too often the regulators in the states where the customers live are powerless to retrieve those customers’ funds, and even when bankruptcy courts are involved the individual consumer is usually out of luck when liquidated assets are divided up among registered claimants.
In a nutshell, the chance of Stanley Warranty’s customers seeing refunds is very, very slim. It’s quite likely that this story will end the same way it did for customers of Sensible Home Warranty in 2014 when that company disappeared overnight. But that should not stop consumers willing to do whatever they can to seek justice. Readers who wish to pursue legal action should immediately seek advice from an attorney, preferably one with experience with defunct service contract companies.
If there’s any worthwhile piece of advice we can give to our readers who are shopping for a home warranty company it’s this:
Do your homework! Despite it not always being easy to do, consumers must research companies in the home service contract space before making a purchase. Here’s an example of the kind of detailed reporting available to consumers trying to evaluate the financial health of companies selling home service contracts in the United States. That article by Warranty Week is an excellent resource. Keep in mind that if the home warranty company you choose is using its sales to finance its claims then you can probably count on two things happening. One, the company will do whatever it can to avoid paying your claims. Two, the company will eventually get into hot water and close up quickly in order to try to avoid the owners bearing personal responsibility for the actions of the company.
Be safe out there. And if you are a Stanley Warranty customer who would like to share information with other readers in the same boat as you then please share your story in the comments section below.
There are five types of warranties plans available such as manufacturer warranty, home warranty, seller’s warranty, extended warranty, appliance service contract etc. All the above mentioned terms are basically protection policies of your household appliances. All these warranty contracts are slightly different and we will get into them in just a moment. Please note that we do not cover homeowners insurance here but you can refer to the article that talks about home insurance and home warranty differences
Home warranty is a service contract on your home appliances and it covers repairs and maintenance of household machinery. Home warranty plan takes care of repair and replacement of all your insured appliances by the qualified service provider. This plan is also referred as
One of the basic thing people look for while purchasing any appliance or gadget is the warranty. A warranty is a kind of assurance provided by the manufacturer for the product and if the item does not meet the expectations then the insurance provider is bound to repair or replace the product within the stated warranty period. The standard coverage is generally for the period of one year. A warranty is a legal binding which means if the seller does not stick to their words, then you can legally file lawsuits against them.
These days all the online stores and offline stores are providing manufacturer’s warranty and the original bill along with the purchased product. The products shipped are also completely sealed and as good as what you can get from retail stores. You can extend the warranty for additional years if you desire, although it is not necessary in most cases. Generally, big ticket items such as HVAC units come with 5 years warranty, but the coverage will be limited to parts only from second year onwards. That means you will have to pay for the repair service.
Home appliance warranty companies generally do not cover an equipment when it is under manufacturers warranty.
Seller Warranty is also known as dealer warranty. The warranty is basically provided by the respective seller or the dealer of the products. Most of seller warranties last for the period of 6 months. In case of any sort of defect of malfunction of the product, you have to take the product particularly to the seller from whom you bought it.
You have an option to extend manufacturer’s warranty when it expires. It is recommended only for those appliances that are not covered by home warranty, such as laptop, PC, TV and other electronics.
You can also extend home warranty when your original plan expires. Usually the breakdown period of appliances starts just before or after your warranty expires because of its usability. If you want to avoid such hassles of contacting repair services, extended warranty service just makes things easier
Service contracts are also considered as agreement or protection agreements. Most of these are offered by vendors selling the appliance, a service company, or a third party service provider. Home service contractors are basically local, licensed, and insured team to provide service. The price, terms and coverage choices widely vary as these companies tend to be local service providers. The repair and customer service may also vary depending on the vendor. Make sure you thoroughly understand the contract before you sign it.
Do your homework before buying home warranties, extended warranties, or service contracts for your major appliance. Understand the “Terms and Conditions” of the contract, especially its limitations.
Make sure you know and understand:
Asking the right questions BEFORE PURCHASING will prevent unwelcome surprises.
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HVAC appliances are one of the most vital components in a home. Naturally, unexpected crashes and breakdowns of HVAC units disrupt a peaceful living. And once they crash, boy! They are really expensive to repair (or replace).
Any homeowner, in his right sense would therefore make sure that the heating, cooling and ventilation units are well taken care of and maintained. For all of you who are wondering how to extend the life of your HVAC appliances, this checklist is just the right thing for you!
Yes, all HVAC appliances will do well if you give them some basic cleaning every month. Ensure that you do the following two steps at least once a month.
The U.S. Dept. of energy advises homeowners to carry out a maintenance routine at least twice a year. This ensures that the power consumption is optimized and hazards are avoided. Here are the steps that you should carry out yearly to ensure healthy running of your HVAC appliances/ systems.
If you think that these tasks are difficult and that your warranty plan will save you, here’s some incentive for you to get going in the right direction.
Home Warranty Companies usually DO NOT cover damages caused due to lack of maintenance. Which means that if your system stops working and the technician diagnosis says that the damage was caused due to lack of maintenance, your claim may be denied.
If that is not compelling enough, here are some more things that will happen if you are careless about HVAC maintenance
Appliances and systems in our home and around us help us lead a happy and easy life. So it is only fair that we do for them at least a fraction of what they do for us. Take good care of your appliances, don’t use them roughly and above all, purchase a home warranty plan to protect your budget against unexpected appliance crashes.
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Real estate transactions are always approached with caution. They often involve large amounts of money so being careful is a wise step. Having a skilled real estate agent may help you a lot in achieving a deal that’s perfect for you, especially if you are new to real estate dealings. But the questions is, how do you choose a real estate agent that suits your needs?
Irrespective of whether you are a buyer or a seller, there are certain things that you can do to ensure that your real estate agent is quite good. You can ask your friends and relatives in case if they have used the services of a real estate agent before for referrals.
But before you decide about an agent, understand why exactly do you need an agent. There are many benefits of hiring a real estate agent.
So our checklist for picking the right real estate agent involves doing the following things-
Some say that like doctors, real estate agents too have specializations. A certified real estate agent often belongs to any of the three categories-
Also, if an agent calls himself a Realtor, it could mean that he/she is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Based on what your requirement is – buying, selling or renting, pick an agent with the right credential.
Check with your state’s regulatory body to find out whether the agent you have in mind has a license to be a real estate agent or not. Most states have a board from whom practicing real estate agents are expected to obtain a license. This board also oversees the discipline of such agents. Such a regulatory body would be the best place to find out if there are any existing complaints, disciplinary actions or lawsuits against a certain real estate agent or not. This information could be available online.
This information can be obtained from the regulatory board in your state. The state licensing authority often gives more precise answers than the agents themselves. As you want someone who’s on top of their game, an agent who has not been active in the last few years may not be a good choice.
Keep in mind that you want someone who is familiar with your target location and price range. Someone with a bad market presence may not be a good choice.
These days most agents have a website through which they invite in potential clients and also display their current listings. If you are a seller, you should be ware that most buyers begin with the Internet. So you want someone who makes use of the Internet effectively, as being web savvy definitely has its advantages.
If the real estate agent’s website has a database of current listings and its details, it is definitely a good sign.
If a real estate agent is good, he/she would’ve closed many deals and would have many clients who recommend them strongly. The greater the number of closings, greater is the agent’s experience. Make sure that you call up most of the references provided by the real estate agent. Clients are often the best people to give you feedback.
While we have given you really cool tips, we strongly suggest that you do ample research before you pick an agent. Ideally, meet several real estate agents and shortlist the ones that meet all the above mentioned pointers. You can then pick one from that list. If you are a seller, we would also like to remind you that offering a home warranty with your home may increase the sales price of your property. And if you are a buyer, if a property comes with home warranty, it could mean that your budget could stay protected if major appliances and systems require repairs.
We hope you found this article useful. Do let us know what you think. Cheers!
An offshoot of Home Warranty, Structural Warranty is a legal agreement between the builder of the home and you – the owner. Structural Warranty functions basically in the case of new homes, wherein the builder assures that the home he has built will have no structural defects for a period of ten years after its construction. His claim is covered by the company which offers him warranty coverage for the building, at times additionally including workmanship and internal systems.
The system functions just like Insurance, but covers defects which may occur due to age and wear and tear, not natural disasters or unforeseen circumstances. Like the Home Warranty covers the items in a home – its appliances, wiring and plumbing systems, interiors etc. – Structural Warranty covers elements like the foundation, girders and beams, roofing, and flooring.
Before the purchase of a home, it is advised for either the new owner, seller or realtor to purchase Home Warranty, in order to establish a relationship of trust and confidence in both parties involved. Just as a Home Warranty leaves the new owner knowing that his home and all that is in it is secure for at least a year after its purchase, Structural Warranty establishes the same sense of security in the buyer of a new home straight from a builder.
It is rather simple – all structural defects are now to be fixed by the company that the Warranty has been purchased from or by the builder offering the warranty himself, and as long as the terms and conditions are met, neither the builder nor the new owner is liable.
We see before our eyes appliances, electrical systems and plumbing leaks occur every once in awhile – but most of the time structural damage is noticeable only after it is too late. Given that large parts of the US are known to have soil that expands with seasonal changes, statistics show that more than 25% of all buildings in the country experience some kind of structural damage during the first decade of their life, almost 10% of this being major and often irreversible.
It isn’t always about how reputable the builder is, in fact, the more reliable the builder the higher the chances are of them investing in warranty for the homes they have built. Years after a deal is signed, sealed and delivered, a matter like soil expansion that is out of the hands of both the parties can spring up, making Structural Warranty the only way to guard against massive expenditure out of your own pocket in the future. Studies show that the warranty is most often claimed 4 to 7 years after a home is built to completion.
The chances of an individual investing a sum as large as the cost of a home in anything else in his or her lifetime is very slim, making this purchase one that could develop complications if not done right. Builder’s offering Structural Warranty for the home they have built can not only assure the buyer of their expertise but also give them a legal document to go back to in case frivolous lawsuits or complaints are lodged. Like in the case of any two-way agreement, responsibilities, terms, and conditions are clearly outlined.
If a third party company is used to establish a warranty, then any complaints, disputes or discussions will be handled by them – until the point of reconciliation. This saves time and discomfort for both parties involved, especially the builder.
If you happen to be a builder with larger holdings or varied properties and houses, then the value of each building is sure to increase if Structural Warranty is added to the mix. Use it as a marketing strategy, one that is true to every word and will help you build lasting relationships with your clients.
Structural Warranty functions according to the guidelines of the Housing and Urban Development department of the US, which stipulates particular criteria within which a company must cover damages. Larger builders may choose to provide their own Structural Warranty schemes to the buyer, while builders without a department to handle such claims or smaller building agencies may choose to use third-party warranty companies. Even more so than Home Warranty claims and structures, Structural Warranty coverage and insurance backing vary drastically from builder to builder and company to company. If you happen to be a part of the decision making of who to choose, make sure you do your research and pick a coverage that is extensive and appropriate to your home.
If you go through a Structural Warranty contract or guide, you will notice one important point – the extremely specific and near legal language used to describe what that particular company or builder covers. Structural Warranty owes this specificity to regulations set by the Housing and Urban Development Department of the US, as well as to the builders’ need to protect themselves from futile claims and lawsuits.
Due to each Structural Warranty being unique (much like Home Warranties state-wise laws), we will get into what the warranty covers in general. Know that this isn’t ironclad, and you have to cross check the terms and conditions with your builder.
As a whole, third-party companies offer two kinds of warranty, one which accounts for any damage to the structure of the building from the moment the deal is closed between the builder and buyer. The second stipulates that the company will only begin to cover damage to the home 3 to 4 years post the sale, implying that any structural damage before then is up to the builder to fix.
Each company usually has a base plan and other additional perks that you can choose to opt for.
The basic coverage usually covers the following:
The last of these, load bearing partitions, are often accompanied by the additional coverage of non-load bearing partitions. These claims are almost purely cosmetic, and certain Structural Warranty companies do assure the fixing of these, keeping in mind the original material integrity of the home.
Integral to any warranty and insurance difference, Structural Warranty doesn’t cover any damage due to natural disaster, accidents or unforeseen circumstances; anything that is covered under insurance, basically.
Lastly, any structures added to the original home – an extension, outhouse and detached garage space for examples – would not be covered. If the need is felt, the builder could then purchase a separate Structural Home Improvement Warranty.
Individual state laws in the US tackle Structural Warranty in different ways, making the cost different in each state as well. On an average, if the basic warranty is purchased, then it shouldn’t cost more than 1% of the purchase cost of the home. In most states which are positioned in low-risk areas (minimal soil expansion, etc.), the price is only about half a percent of the home’s price, whereas in high-risk zones the price can go up to 1.5% to 2%.
When looked at it in terms of a median example, while Structural Warranty would cost anywhere between $500 and $1500 for ten years, the repair in case of structural damage could be between $50,000 and $100,000; Structural Warranty being about one percent of the estimated repair budget.
Here’s an article to give you a clue about the best home warranty companies in Utah. The state that is defined by vast expanses of deserts and the Wasatch mountain ranges. Utah needs no further introduction. Its capital city, Salt City Lake, attracts many swimmers to its buoyant waters.
If you are a resident of this beautiful state or if you are planning to move to this state, then glancing at a list of the finest home warranty companies operating there is a must! This is what we intend to provide you through this article.
As you may know, we rate companies on the basis of user feedback received from actual customers. So in the order of ratings, here is a list of top warranty providers in Utah –
Let’s take a look at each company in more detail, shall we?
Also called as AHS, American Home Shield is one of the most popular home warranty providers in America. They are also the founders of the home warranty industry which means that there are few companies out there that have more experience than AHS. Over the years, they’ve developed plans and products which cater to the needs of buyers, sellers, homeowners and real estate agents alike.
The company offers a wide range of plans suited for most homeowners. All plans are reasonably priced and the annual premiums often range between $249 – $500+ and the deductible per service visit ranges between $65 – $125. The fact that the company is not just backed by experience but also by immensely positive user feedback, makes it one of the top competitors in Utah and the rest of America.
Considered as an innovator and people friendly company, The Home Service Club (HSC) is yet another popular choice among Utah residents for their home warranty needs. They serve 48 states across the country and have been in business for a very long time. HSC claims that the constant surveys and feedback they collect from customers helps them improve their products and services for the better.
Standard plans offered by HSC are designed to cover major household appliances and systems and are priced competitively. Customers are also free to customize their plans and add items from a list of pre-selected add-ons, enabling them to extend coverage as per their wish. Plans are priced around $400 on average and the deductibles are charged between $65 – $125.
With plans designed to prevent any homeowner from losing hair over unexpected repair and replacement costs, Select Home Warranty (SHW), has been a strong player in the home warranty scene of Utah for quite a bit of time. SHW also has a nationwide footprint so their services are not limited for Utah alone. All warranty products offered by SHW are highly praised by their customers and this has led to them being a popular choice among Utah residents.
SHW offers three main plans to their customers each based on different levels of coverage. Annual premiums range between $299 – $499 and all plans have a deductible of $45. Like most other companies on the list, SHW too has a round the clock customer service facility and also an online claims submission feature. All of this along with many, many positive reviews makes SHW a strong choice for home warranty products in Utah.
Landmark Home Warranty (LHW) is a company which has services in the states of Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon and Texas. Customers have often praised their services to be extremely user friendly. The primary goal of LHW is to provide exceptionally good services to all its customers.
LHW has 4 main plans to offer to their customers, each priced differently and having different levels of coverage. All plans come at a service call fee of $65 charged for each service visit. LHW also offers support to real estate agents to help with their clients. Apart from home warranty services, LHW offers re-keying and heater tune-up services too. The strong feedback from customers and their compelling plans makes Landmark a very sound choice for your home warranty needs.
HSA is a company with over 30 years experience in the home warranty industry. Headquartered in Wisconsin, HSA has quite an extensive coverage across USA. The company has claimed that their primary focus is on nothing other than providing great services to their customers. This is a company that has a wide range of products to offer. From agent programs, E&O insurance policies to live tools like seminars, HSA has more than home warranty plans to sell.
HSA’s primary product, home warranty plan comes in two variants, where the primary difference lies in the extend of coverage offered. Annual premiums range between $589 – $619 and the deductibles are charged between $75 – $100. HSA also has an online claims facility in addition to the 24/7 customer service wing which takes complaints no matter what time it is.
What we have provided you is a list of companies based on user reviews on our site. We urge our readers to go through some of the reviews and even take a list of Award Winning Home Warranty Companies. It is advisable that you do some extensive research on our website before making a choice.
Should you have any concerns, feel free to holler at us. Cheers!