HVAC Maintenance Checklist [Infographics]

HVAC Maintenance Checklist

 

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

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

Monthly maintenance routine

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

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

Annual maintenance routine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

Common Mistakes HVAC Owners Make

1. Old 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.

2. Playing with the HVAC settings

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.

3. Continuously running your HVAC systems

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.

4. Choosing the wrong temperature for the time of year

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.

5. Forgetting the V in HVAC

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.

6. All HVAC systems are not created equal

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.

7. Forgoing annual HVAC inspections

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.




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

Home Appliance Protection Plan

What exactly is home appliance warranty plan?

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

Watch this video to know the basics of Home Warranty –

Why do I need a home protection plan?

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

How does a home protection plan work?

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

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

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

Before deciding on home warranty plans and policies:

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

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

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

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

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

 




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

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

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

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

Home Warranties

Home Protection Plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Know the basics of home warranty.

Extended Warranties Protect Appliances from Expensive Breakdowns

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

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

Buying Extended Warranties on Appliances

Are Extended Warranties For Expensive Appliances Worth It?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Appliance Service Contracts

Appliance Repair Professional

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

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

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

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

 

Service Contract for Specific Items such as HVAC

HVAC-Fort-Lauderdale

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

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

 

 

Hire a Pro When Something Breaks Down

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

Appliance repair professionals can render the following services amongst others:

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

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




Moved into a new home recently? Congrats! We hope the new home brings you loads of happiness. While you might not have started enjoying your new home yet, we’re sure you’ll settle in quickly. Now, this brings us to the topic at hand – what are the most vital elements for a functional kitchen?

Kitchen Appliances

 

If you are a first-time homeowner, things may seem too much to handle, but believe us, by the end of this article, you’ll know exactly what you’ll need for your kitchen.

Before we begin, let us make it clear that we are going to provide you with a list of things that will make your kitchen “functional” and not completely equipped. Only the most essential things will be described in this list. So, if you are a budding chef, this may not be the list you want ;).

So, in no particular order, here goes-

1.  Stove/Induction Cooker

The very idea of having a kitchen is that you can cook your food, which is hard to achieve without a stove or an induction cook-top. Of late, people have been favoring induction cook-tops owing to their many, many advantages. Primarily because they come in compact sizes, generate less heat and do not require gas to function. It also has the added advantage that it is portable. That said, there are still folks who believe that a stove with a fire in it is essential for four walls to become a home.

Give it some thought and depending on the amount of cooking you plan to do, select which type of and what sized stove/induction cook-top you want.

2. Refrigerator

Can’t do without this one either. Nobody can guarantee that you’ll finish all the food you cook. So unless you are heartless enough to simply throw the excess food away, we recommend that you get a refrigerator. Besides, you’ll need a fridge to store some of your groceries, milk, vegetables, fruits and other basic edibles, as most of them decay quickly unless kept chilled.

Thankfully, refrigerators come in all sizes and power ratings. This means that there are plenty of options available in the market to suit your budget and your refrigeration needs.

3. Microwave Oven

Well, you’ll need to heat up all that food you refrigerated, right? Third on this list is the microwave oven which can also multitask as a cooking, baking and grilling appliance should you choose to buy a high-end model. Microwave ovens became a really popular by the 1980’s and in no time became a household staple.

Microwave ovens too come in various sizes and features making it easy for you to pick the one that suits your needs. Mind you, if you get an oven, you may need to buy some special microwave safe containers too.

4. Water Purifier

Unless you plan to boil liters and liters of water using up copious amounts of gas/electricity, investing in a good water purifier may not be a bad idea. It is strongly advised that you don’t skimp on your water purifier because the quality of water you drink largely decides how healthy you will be. Besides, boiling water may not remove harmful chemicals that could potentially damage your kidneys.

5. Blender/Food Processor

Food processors and blenders help save you tons of cash on canned purees and pastes. Besides, nothing matches the flavor provided by freshly ground purees and pastes. If you think you don’t want to buy an expensive food processor right away, opt for a counter-top mixer instead. The high-end mixers often come with features like a chopper, grinder etc that would help you save time in cooking but could be a little expensive.

Don’t Just Buy Them, Maintain Them!

Keeping any appliance in good working order requires regular, if not frequent, maintenance checks and cleaning. We have a host of articles on how to keep your household appliances well conditioned. We recommend that you begin with a checklist for maintaining your refrigerator. You could also look into our article on the list of appliances that makes a homeowner’s life easier.

 




Home Warranty vs Home builder WarrantyHow is a home builder’s warranty different from a home warranty service plan? If you are concerned about protecting your valuable investment with a home warranty policy, but are uncertain about what to select, read on to discover their unique features.

Many different real estate terms cause confusion as they sound like they are talking about the same thing, but in actuality are talking about very different things. Home warranties and home builder warranty are two of those things. They both offer safety for you and your home, but in very different ways. In fact, if a buyer has a warranty on a house, it can be a benefit in selling a home.

Home warranties are often supplied by builder. Builder warranties give peace of mind to buyers of newly constructed homes. After all, no one wants to have purchased a home riddled with defects. Sellers of existing homes may take in a warranty with the sale to push a would-be buyer into a purchase. In fact, if a buyer has a warranty on a house, it can be an advantage in selling a home since the warranty is movable.

What’s Covered?

Every homeowner seeks the same thing: peace of mind and the security of knowing that if anything hit in the night, all it will take is one phone call to have it looked after. In an ideal world, there would be one all-complete home warranty to tackle all potential worries; ranging from severe damage brought on by natural disasters to the breakdown of one your favorite household appliances. But the you do not reside in a perfect world. So you have to make a choice and wish for the best.

Two specific types of home warranty services can deal with your needs. You have choices.

The differences between the home builder warranty and the independent home warranty service will deal with two sets of criteria: the main difference is this: a home builder warranty usually provides coverage against major structural defects while the independent home warranty includes plans that cover your household appliances and systems. That said, it’s important to comprehend what that entails. The most important thing you can do ahead of making this investment is to study the terms and conditions of each and carefully understand the significance of their meaning.

Read the Fine Print!

Home Builder Warranty Vs Home WarrantyIf you go through the fine print of most home builder warranties, you will find out that the coverage under the policy is limited to providing protection against key structural defects of the “load bearing” portions of the home. “Non load-bearing” items which are excluded from the coverage include the range from HVAC, certain wall tiles and coverings, appliances, exterior finishing, some plumbing and electrical and others.

When the repair or substitution of an item under the home builder warranty is agreed, matching the repair or replacement to its prior condition will be tried, but there is no guarantee that he item will be returned to like a new condition.

On the other side of the equation is the independent home warranty service. This type of warranty permits the homeowner to select and decide what components they would like to cover, with flexible plan coverage ranging from kitchen and laundry –to home office- to electrical – to-HVAc and others. You can opt for only particular items or select a comprehensive plan that covers all, with the choice of adding individual units as add-ons.

The consumer is usually rewarded for selecting the extensive plan coverage with discounted prices and a lot of many other value-added incentives, like toll-free assistance and advice that is provided 24/7/365. Another trait of the independent home warranty service is found with the service providers who promise like-kind or better replacement. Joining in a plan that makes that promise is recommended.

Keeping Out from Coverage

Taking no blunt approach to upholding your home can prevent lot of problem later on down the road that can charge a bundle. One reason why various home warranty service providers have to include exclusions from coverage into their conditions is to avoid repairing items that wouldn’t be in need of repair if they had been cared for. Fair enough, it is suggested, however, that you carefully take note of any other exclusion from coverage as detailed in the terms and conditions of your warranty policy.

The standard home builder warranty will incorporate a wide listing of exclusions from coverage, far-surpassing the case of owner neglect, which may comprise some of the following conditions:

  1. Water damage, leaking roofs and some plumbing
  2. Recreational facilities, pools, saunas
  3. Home improvements made after the Start date
  4. Any loss or damage not acted on in a timely fashion
  5. Drainage deficiencies not affecting the ‘structural integrity’ of the home
  6. Insect infestation
  7. Oversights on the part of the builder or his agents and subcontractors
  8. All work not completed by the builder
  9. Normal wear and tear
  10. Any defects resulting from natural disaster or accidents
  11. Dampness or condensation resulting from neglecting ventilation maintenance
  12. Any defects caused or aggravated by owner, occupants or guests
  13. Property damage or bodily injury resulting from structural flaws; including plumbing, heating and cooling
  14. Incidental costs acquired by owner vacating premises due to unsafe/unlivable conditions during the time of repair
  15. Chemical contamination from work done at time of construction

With the set home warranty service plan, the list of exclusions from coverage is much smaller – covering the basics, such things as insect infestation, neglect or improper maintenance of appliances and improper set up of appliances and household appliances.

Filing Claims

Reputable home warranty services are intended to provide convenience and reduce the hassle of filing a claim. Ordinarily, there will be a number to call in order to send out specialized trade service expert to your home to come assess and take care of the damage in one shot.

Filing a claim with a home builder warranty provider can offer some interesting predicaments. When filing a claim, the best thing is to proceed with caution. Expect an inspector or multiple inspectors to show up at your home in order to investigate your claim. The more articles you can present as proof of the problem, the better off you will be. These can take in reports, diagrams, reports and photos. When the determination is made for the homeowner, he/she is anticipated to sign a release giving up all rights.

Study the Arbitration Provision of your Home Builder Warranty

If your claim is denied and you cannot resolve it through the dispute resolution process with the home builder warranty providers, you may be asked to sign an arbitration provision. By doing this, you will be waiving your rights to a trial in a court of law and you may have to present your claim to an arbitration company from the home builder warranty provider’s list of listed arbitration companies.

Also, take note of the fact that many of these providers accept reports only from a list of approved construction consultants – encompassing contractors, inspection firms and others.

The Bottom Line

In total, as painful as it can be to read through the fine print of a warranty policy, it is the best way to go about picking the warranty provider who is going to deliver what is promised – and it is the most helpful way to choose either a home builder warranty or an independent home warranty service.

Preserve the quality and craftsmanship of your home and all the adored items within today and it’ll make a world of difference in your world tomorrow!




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

Deck After & Before Maintenance

After & Before Maintenance

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

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

Is Deck Maintenance Obligatory?

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

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

What kind of Maintenance is Recommended?

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

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

High-Quality Deck Maintenance

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

1. Examine and Prepare the Deck

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

2. Clean the Deck

Deck Maintenance

Power Wash

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

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

3. Seal the Deck

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

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

Substitutes to Traditional Decking Materials

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

 

Want to Read More About Home Maintenance?

Then you should check out our home maintenance section!





Life throws many unforeseen things at all of us. As we can’t stop these things from happening, we can choose to give our lives a bit of protection. Insurance is meant to grant us some measure of financial protection, when a disaster occurs. There is plethora of insurance options available and it is suggested by many financial experts to have these insurance policies in place. Yet, with so many choices, it can be difficult to decide what kind of insurance you need to get.

Life Insurance Policy

Buying the right insurance is always decided based on your specific situation. There are however, four insurances that are suggested by most financial experts namely life, health, auto and long-term disability. Each of these covers up a definite feature of your life and is vital to your financial future.

Do I Really Need Life Insurance, and if So How Much?

The greatest aspect in having life insurance is providing for those who depart. This is really important when your family is dependent on your salary. Experts recommend that life insurance policy should cover “ten times your yearly income”. This amount would give a sufficient amount of money to cover funeral expenses, existing expenses and provide your family a financial cushion which will assist them re-group after your demise.

When estimating the amount of life insurance coverage you want, keep in mind to factor in not only funeral expenses, but also mortgage payments and living expenses such as credit cards, taxes, loans, child care and future college costs.

Life insurance is something that will be required by everybody at some point. Unless you work in the insurance industry or are familiar to somebody that does, what do you really know about the life insurance types that are accessible to you? The answer to that question probably is ‘not a lot’, and why you be supposed to?

Types of Life Insurance

Many of us think that there is a common life policy for insurance that everybody procures but this is actually not the case and there is a variety of life insurance that can be bought. Each of the types has its own precise features and benefits that may be of concern to the consumers.

Below is the brief explanation as to what these different kinds of life insurance are in order that you can be familiar with the difference between them.

Life insurance comes in several sizes and shapes, but they generally fall into two categories namely Term Life Insurance and Permanent Life Insurance.

 

Term Life Insurance Policy

This is the most affordable life insurance and coverage in this type is bought for a definite price for a specific period of time. After the demise of the insured, the recipient will receive the death benefit. It makes the death benefit longer only for a definite period and if the insured doesn’t die within the term of the policy, he gets nothing in return.

This kind of life insurance makes logic if you have monetary needs that will reduce over time, such as a child’s tuition or a home mortgage.

Types of Term Life Insurance

  1. Guaranteed Level Term Life Insurance: This is the most common type and is well-liked for the reason of the very low cost and long term coverage it provides. These kinds of life insurance policies have premiums that are intended to remain level for a period of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or even 30 years.
  2. Return of Premium Term Life Insurance: This is a type of life insurance policy that gives a definite refund of the life insurance premiums when the term period expires, assuming the insured is still living. This policy is a bit more expensive but the premiums are planned to remain level. Significantly less expensive than permanent types of life insurance, this life insurance policy still may give cash surrender values if the insured doesn’t die. Return of premium term life insurance policies can be availed in 15, 20 or 30 year terms.
  3. Annually Renewable Term Life Insurance: This type of term life insurance policy has growing premiums. The premiums rise each year to reveal the possibility of your death in any given year.  Annually Renewable Term Life Insurance is not popular and is only procured when the coverage is required for one year or less which happens most frequently in business deals.

 

Permanent Life Insurance Policy

Permanent life insurance by definition is a policy that provides lifelong protection. The policy never ends as long as the premiums are paid. In addition, this type of policy provides a savings element that builds cash value over a long period of time.

Types of Permanent Life Insurance

  • Whole Life Insurance:  This is a type of permanent life insurance which is intended to provide coverage for an individual’s whole life rather than a specified term. It is apt to needs that do not decrease over time such as paying estate settlement taxes and costs. Usually, the life insurance rate for this policy remains unchanged throughout the life of the insured. For the early years of life insurance policy, premiums are much higher and these life insurance policies build up cash values which can be accessed by the by the owner of the policy through surrenders or policy loans.
  • Universal Life Insurance: This policy is different from whole life insurance in the fact that this type itemizes and distinguishes the protection element, cash values and the expense element. By sorting out the three elements, the insurance company can put up more flexibility into the life insurance policy which permits the policy owner to amend the face amount or the premium in response to changing circumstances and needs.
  • To age 100 level guaranteed life insurance: This type offers an assured level premium to age 100. In addition, it also provides guaranteed level death benefit to age 100. Most frequently, it is carried out within a Universal Life policy, with an additional feature known as a “no lapse rider”. Some of these plans also incorporate an “extension of maturity” feature, which provides that if the policy owner lives to age 100, having paid “no lapse” premium each year, the complete face amount of coverage will carry on an assured basis at no charge thereafter.
  • Survivorship or 2nd-to-die life insurance: A survivorship policy is a type of coverage that is usually provided either as whole life or universal and pays a death benefit at the later death of generally a husband and wife. It is widely accepted among wealthy individuals since the mid 1980’s as a method of discounting their expected future estate tax liabilities which can take away an amount to over half of family’s entire net worth!A “2nd-to-die” life insurance policy permits the insurance firm to delay the payment of the death benefit until the second insured’s demise, thus creating the necessary dollars to pay the taxes just when they are required! This type of coverage is extensively used as it is less expensive than individual permanent life insurance coverage on either partner.

Once you know the type of protection applicable to you and would like to procure, you can get online rates for the policy you wish. With the help of online life insurance quotes, you are able to examine and compare insurance quotes from various insurance companies.




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

Insurance Claims

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

Here is the excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Review filed under: National Home Protection
Author: Donald Walker

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

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

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

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

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


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




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!

Recommended Articles




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

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

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

What is Structural Warranty?

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

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

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

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

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

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

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

A Middleman

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

Value of the Home

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

How Structural Warranty Works

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

What Structural Warranty Covers

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

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

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

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

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

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

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

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

The Cost

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

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




Do you possess a home warranty program? Chances are, if you are a new homeowner, you likely do. But after you have been in your home for a year, you are likely speculating if you should renew your home warranty or not. So many families get themselves in the same situation and expectantly this article will be able to offer you some help.

Renew Your Home WarrantyIn all possibility, when you bought your home you obtained a home warranty covering a range of items in your home, i.e. roof, air conditioner, appliances, heating and plumbing systems, possibly your spa/pool etc. If you had a great Realtor he or she can get the seller to pay for the warranty. So here you are approaching date and questioning if you should renew it or not.

Consider Your Options

Firstly all you should ensure that you inspect your situation properly. This means that you must be careful not to purchase too much insurance or procure coverage for items that you don’t have. So many times, people buy coverage for things like home telephone wiring when they don’t even have a home phone or landline any longer.

How much peace of mind do you require?

For some people, they do not have sufficient money in their savings to pay for a major system repair like a HVAC system. That’s the same thing as a heating or cooling system. You also require making sure that you only purchase coverage for your heating and cooling system if you don’t need for your kitchen items and refrigerator covered as well. Or in case you are not bothered about the AC going out, you may only require coverage for your other major systems and appliances.

Should you renew your home warranty program?

Majority of first time home buyers get to the end of that first year and feel like they want to take the chance on not having a system to be unsuccessful. And the reality is, many of them won’t. But for some people anything that can happen will happen if luck is involved. So for them making the choice to renew is a no brainer.

Things to Consider When Renewing

Consider Several Factors for RenewalWe all are familiar in these economic times coming up with $350 to $600 is a lot of money for most of us. If you certainly did not have to pay for the initial coverage, then there is a doubt that you paid much attention to the cost of your home warranty. No doubt, you had to pay the $50 – $55 service call if you had one and that likely felt like a fine deal, particularly if you had something major go wrong like your hot water heater going bad. Maybe you didn’t have any service calls at all and now you are faced with this renewal expense and there’s a good chance you’re saying “I don’t think so”.

For people who reside in older house, age is definitely a factor to consider. How old are your appliances, your AC and heat pump, the filter motor for your pool, hot water heater, your roof, garage door opener and some of many other things that a home warranty can cover.

You must also factor in the additional costs of the service calls; they have a means of adding up if you have 3 – 4 of them in a year. These certainly are costs over and above the cost of the warranty itself. Study the fine print of your policy before you renew to be sure the items that you may be worried about are really covered. Some of the items you desire to be covered are not in the standard policy but are considered “optional coverage and have supplementary fees. You may have more than one surprise and can be very disappointed if you find out the warranty did not cover “that specific” item.

The additional thing, as a homeowner, you must know that if you don’t have an existing home warranty you can always acquire one. These companies don’t just cater to the new home buyer of a resale home. You can procure a home warranty any time, but you recognize that there will be a 30 day waiting period for it to go into effect.

So how do you approach the renewal question if you are about to purchase a new home warranty?

One way to deal with the query of your right to renew is to just ask the contractor you work with, whether it’s a real estate professional or a home warranty company. If the home warranty that is being offered to you for consideration does not permit you to renew without the company’s consent then you must compare that service contract to others which would allow you to renew freely. It is never a benefit to have a home warranty contract that does not guarantee your right to renew. Actually you risk a lapse in service coverage if you purchase a home warranty that does not guarantee you the permission to renew. Your next home warranty might not provide you instantaneous coverage after buying it, which would leave you with a period which any repairs required, would be 100% out of pocket.

It might appear like you are getting ahead of yourself by distressing about the renewal of contract you might not be interested in renewing. Although you just give yourself the choice of renewing you are better off than being refused or canceled renewal. Never let your policy lapse.  You can continue renewing your policy for the period of time in which you own your home, except if you have had lapses in coverage.




Texas AG Greg Abbott filed a suit against a New York-based Home Warranty company for unlawfully doing business in Texas. The state’s enforcement action seeks to prevent National Home Protection, Inc. from doing business in Texas until it is licensed by the state and complies with requirements of the Texas Occupations Code.

According to state investigators, National Home Protection continued selling “residential service contracts” to Texas homeowners even after the company was specifically informed about licensure and other requirements. The defendant ignored the Texas Real Estate Commission’s demand that it stop offering Texas home warranty plans and return any money received from Texans. Meanwhile, Texas customers continued to complain that the company refused to repair or replace various home systems.

The state’s enforcement action charges National Home Protection with violating the Texas Occupations Code by failing to obtain a license, maintain a funded reserve against their liabilities and file annual reports with the state. The company also is charged with violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) by operating without a license in Texas.

For more information, Texas homeowners can call a toll-free complaint hotline at (800) 252-8011 or go online to www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.




Home warranty is a service contract that offers discounted repairs and replacements for your household appliances. If you have an appliance protection plan, and if one of your covered appliances breaks down, the home warranty company will repair it for you at a very nominal price.

Home Warranty Plan

In general, such plans are considered a wise purchase for those

  • Who have fairly old appliances, ie 4+ years.
  • Have no time for DIY repairs.
  • No budget for expensive repairs and replacements.
  • Do not have a trusted contractor.
  • Is a first time home owner.

If any of the above mentioned conditions are true, it will be a good idea to purchase an appliance protection plan. Folks who fall into any one of the categories stated above stand a high chance of encountering frequent damages leaving their pocket empty.

Several types of appliance protection plans are available in the market today. Most of them differ with the extent of coverage. Most of the first tier or basic plans cover only major systems and appliances in your home. This usually excludes outdoor appliances and systems and second sets of devices. Eg spa and pool units, sprinklers are common things excluded from coverage. Also second air conditioning unit, second cooler etc are also omitted. However, the best part about these plans are that their coverage can always be extended. Accordingly the annual premium you pay will be higher.

How Does the Plan Work?

If an appliance crashes while the warranty plan is still valid, all you have to do is to inform the company about the damage. Once you give them all the necessary details, they will call up a service vendor with whom they maintain business ties. The vendor then contacts you to fix an appointment and on the agreed time he arrives to take a look at your appliance. If the damage is minor, the technician will fix it right away.

However, major damages or part replacements may need approval from the home service contract company. Any parts that require replacement will be procured for you by the company.

Advantages of a Home Warranty Plan

  • It offers some amount of protection for your budget.
  • It is the closest thing you can find to peace of mind.
  • You get the service of experienced and qualified technicians.
  • You don’t have to look for a service vendor, they will be sent to your doorstep.
  • Flexible coverage. You can purchase as little or as extensive coverage as you need.
  • Affordable. Most plans have annual premiums that range anywhere between $250 to $600.

Disadvantages

  • It is not a free of cost arrangement. In addition to the annual premium, you will also be paying a service call fee each time you raise an issue. The fee is nominal, usually around $50.
  • You cannot raise multiple issues in a single claim.
  • Claims are sometimes rejected based on vague and unclear grounds and often stating fine print from the contract which customers usually overlook.
  • Conflicts may arise on the diagnosis given by the technician.
  • The home warranty company will always try to repair and not replace your damaged appliance.

Final word

Home Warranty plans are a great way to insure your household appliances if they are old or aging. However, people often tend to confuse this with homeowner’s insurance, which is quite a big mistake. Homeowner’s insurance can never be replaced with a home service contract or vice versa. Though they both offer protection for your appliances, their grounds for placing a claim are totally different.

May it be reminded again that the policy booklet and contracts are vital documents and should be studied and preserved carefully. If you have decided to go ahead with a home warranty, check out Top Home Warranty Companies listed on our site.




Adding to a long list of home warranty companies which have entered the home service contract space only to quickly exit, Stanley Warranty announced recently that the company is immediately terminating its services.  Visitors to Stanley’s website see this message:

Stanley Warranty

The company’s closing may come as little surprise to those who are aware of last year’s announcement of an investigation into the new company’s business practices.  In June 2015 New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs announced that it had filed a complaint against Stanley Warranty, LLC, alleging that the company had committed acts contrary to its contractual commitments to its customers.  Among the state’s specific complaints against the company were alleged offenses that specifically involved Stanley’s home service contract customers.  Stanley also operated a business unit which provided consumers with extended service agreements for motor vehicles, commonly called auto warranties.

Here’s a quick analysis that we can provide to readers seeking more information about Stanley Warranty’s abrupt closure and the precedences set by other companies that pulled this same move in recent years. Come back to HomeWarrantyReviews.com for updates as we learn more about the fallout from Stanley Warranty’s announcement.

This Isn’t The First Time That A Home Warranty Company Has Gone Belly Up

Like Sensible Home Warranty did in 2014 when it closed shop, Stanley provided no apparent warning to their customers that pre-paid services would not be provided, though at this time it’s still unclear to HomeWarrantyReviews.com whether the company contacted customers via telephone or postal mail prior to closing its doors.  It’s also not known yet whether Stanley’s failure to uphold its commitment to any pre-paid customers will compound the company’s problems with New Jersey’s consumer agency.

Another company in the home warranty space that closed its doors in 2014, Colonial Home Warranty, sought bankruptcy protection.  Through bankruptcy, the company appears to have been able to escape financial responsibility for unfulfilled service contracts and repair bills from their contractors.  Whether or not Stanley Warranty will seek similar protection is not clear at this time.

The Signs Were All Over The Place That Stanley Warranty Was Trouble

Reviews for Stanley Warranty, also known as Stanley Safe Club, here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are almost entirely negative.  The reviews reflect an apparent trend of the company not honoring its promises to customers or contractors who performed repairs on its behalf.  Many of the worst reviews mention repair contractors pursuing payments from the homeowners after Stanley Warranty failed to fulfill its duty to make those payments in a timely manner.

On its Better Business Bureau page, Stanley Warranty already had an F rating prior to the announcement of its cessation of services to its customers.  On Yelp, a recent review includes a comment about a refund check from the company to the customer, who had canceled services ahead of the expiration of the contract period, being denied due to insufficient funds.  That review was created in December of 2015, leading to the obvious question whether or not Stanley was insolvent well before it closed its doors in 2016.  Interestingly, reading past reviews on Yelp leads you to at least one claim in 2014 that Stanley Warranty had announced on its company website that it was closing.  And no matter how far back in time a reader travels on Yelp, the story seems to be consistently poor, one unhappy customer after another.

Perhaps the most insulting element of this story is that Stanley Warranty sold its service contracts with a promise of zero service fees.  Anyone familiar with the home service contract industry knows that most companies charge a fee, paid by the customer to the service provider, at the time of a service call.  For a company to offer competitive rates with no service fees is a pretty compelling deal for consumers.  And many of the consumers lured in by that deal are now left with every required repair being paid entirely out of their own pockets, despite having paid well in advance for home service contracts from this company.

What Happens Next May Not Be Good For Stanley Warranty’s Pre-Paid Customers

The home warranty industry has a history of companies like Stanley Warranty popping in and out of the space and taking loads of customers’ money out the door when the companies fold or burning up the money received from customers through mismanagement and unhedged risks.  Consumers who have been buying home warranties for years probably recognize some of the company names, ones like Arkidus, Sensible Home Warranty, Colonial Home Warranty, and  Certified Warranties Corporation.  All of these companies have something in common.  They sold home service contracts right up until the day they shut the office lights off and locked the doors.  

This may be the single biggest black eye that the home warranty industry has received in the last decade, and it just keeps happening.  As if companies being able to enter an industry that is so much like insurance, often undetected by the state agencies that regulate their industry, improperly funded, and perhaps even criminally intent on defrauding their customers is not enough, the end result of the companies is consumers left with financial losses sometimes amounting to thousands of dollars in service contract fees paid in advance.  All too often the regulators in the states where the customers live are powerless to retrieve those customers’ funds, and even when bankruptcy courts are involved the individual consumer is usually out of luck when liquidated assets are divided up among registered claimants.

In a nutshell, the chance of Stanley Warranty’s customers seeing refunds is very, very slim.  It’s quite likely that this story will end the same way it did for customers of Sensible Home Warranty in 2014 when that company disappeared overnight.  But that should not stop consumers willing to do whatever they can to seek justice.  Readers who wish to pursue legal action should immediately seek advice from an attorney, preferably one with experience with defunct service contract companies.

What’s A Nice Homeowner To Do?

If there’s any worthwhile piece of advice we can give to our readers who are shopping for a home warranty company it’s this:

Do your homework!  Despite it not always being easy to do, consumers must research companies in the home service contract space before making a purchase.  Here’s an example of the kind of detailed reporting available to consumers trying to evaluate the financial health of companies selling home service contracts in the United States.  That article by Warranty Week is an excellent resource.  Keep in mind that if the home warranty company you choose is using its sales to finance its claims then you can probably count on two things happening.  One, the company will do whatever it can to avoid paying your claims.  Two, the company will eventually get into hot water and close up quickly in order to try to avoid the owners bearing personal responsibility for the actions of the company.

Be safe out there.  And if you are a Stanley Warranty customer who would like to share information with other readers in the same boat as you then please share your story in the comments section below.




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.




In the past year, over 32 real estate agents have helped consumers with more than 13 residential home sales in Houston, Texas. The oil slump can’t hold back Houston’s top realtors as the Houston’s housing market is performing extremely well. Sales have ranged in price from $99,000 to $697,500. Now, homes are available for a variety of price ranges – from about $300,000 near downtown to around $2 million in the best neighborhoods along the city’s Energy Corridor.

Best-Realtors-and-agents-of-Houston

Below is the list of Houston’s leading realtors based on their gross sales volume in dollar amounts, the number of transactions and the average price of homes sold-

Paige Martin

Houston-Realtor

A Houston-area native, Paige is a proficient and successful partner in any residential real estate transaction. Armed with an in-depth knowledge of Houston real estate market, her skills have marked her as one of the most preferred agents in Houston. With a customer-focused approach, Paige is dedicated to providing brilliant service. After graduation from Baylor University, Paige started her career as a marketing consultant, developing individually-tailored marketing techniques for her customers. She now employs those cutting-edge skills to aid her customers to buy and sell their homes with the least amount of stress. She monitors clients through every aspect of learning about Houston, relocating to Houston and ensuring hassle-free real estate transaction.

Paige Martin, a Broker Associate with Keller Williams Realty and owner of HoustonProperties.com is ranked as one of the top residential real estate agents across the world. Her website HoustonProperties.com features more than 1,200 pages of Houston real estate information on over 40,000 properties for sale in addition to a large number of resources for home sellers. Paige has successfully sold over $250million of homes and is listed among the Top 25 Residential Realtors in Houston for the second consecutive year in terms of individual gross sales and transactions. She has also been featured on TV and in several publications including:

  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Fortune Magazine, Reuters
  • Fox News in the Morning
  • Money Magazine
  • Houston Business Journal
  • The Houston Chronicle
  • Downtown Houston Magazine
  • Texas Monthly Magazine

Paige has been a consistent top producing agent and has won over 198 awards since 2003 for excellence in customer satisfaction. Her recent awards include:

  • 2016: One of the Top 25 Residential Realtors in Houston, Houston Business Journal
  • 2016: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly
  • 2016: One of America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
  • 2015 Q3: #9 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Worldwide (of 125,000 agents)
  • 2015: #2 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Texas
  • 2015: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Southwest Texas (Houston, Woodlands, Katy, San Antonio)
  • 2015: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Houston
  • 2015: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2015: One of America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
  • 2015: One of the Top 25 Residential Realtors in Houston, Houston Business Journal
  • 2015: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly Magazine
  • 2014: One of America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
  • 2014: One of the Top 40 Real Estate Agents in Houston, Houston Chronicle
  • 2014: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2014: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly Magazine
  • 2013: Top 50 Houston Realtors by the Houston Chronicle
  • 2013: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2013: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly Magazine
  • 2012: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2012: Top 5 Ranked Individual Agent in the Houston Area with Keller Williams
  • 2011: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2011: Top 10 Ranked Individual Agent in the Houston Area with Keller Williams
  • 2010: #1 Ranked Individual Agent in the Keller Williams Memorial Office
  • 2010: Top 10 Ranked Individual Agent in the Houston Area with Keller Williams

James Krueger

Houston-RealtorWhether you are buying or selling a home, James Krueger can help you win at real estate! He is the owner of Kruger Real Estate which was founded on a corporate philosophy of devoted commitment to quality service. Upon graduating from Texas A&M University as an All-American archer and economics major, Kruger worked as a business analyst for Reliant and then a consultant for an executive compensation firm. He believes that excellent real estate service begins with personalization – with one agent who listens, learns your goals and helps you accomplish them. Krueger Real Estate agents are backed by a team that keeps you informed through every step of the home buying or selling process while giving you unmatched customer service. As a former litigation, Kruger understands legal contracts and also knows how to value a property to get you the best possible deal.

Krueger Real Estate mainly serves the Greater Houston Area and surrounding areas including Katy, Cypress, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, Spring, and Tomball. Krueger is pioneering an exclusive model to improve agent retention and client satisfaction. Unlike many traditional brokerage firms, Krueger Real Estate pays attention to duties that a realtor at other brokerages is responsible for. It provides a distinct advantage in maximizing the exposure of their listing through online, print, and social media outlets. The local experts assure you of professional photographs, proficient staging and presentation guidance, an online marketing blitz campaign and thorough listing descriptions that will make your home noticeable from the rest. “If I can create an amazing place to work, I can attract super high-quality agents who attract high-quality clients,” said Krueger, broker and owner of Krueger Real Estate.

Krueger Real Estate employs a client relation management system to keep an eye on its clients and has a call center that tries to answer all new client queries within 3 minutes. Krueger’s client focused approach seems to be working and has helped him grow his company. In 2013, Krueger started with 8 agents who made $27 million in home sales and the following year he grew his company to 15 agents who brokered $46 million in home transactions. In 2015, with 45 agents, Krueger’s firm collectively made $65 million in closed and pending sales. Krueger aims to crack $100 million in sales in 2016 and has a dream to grow his company to 250 agents, expand to the four major Texas markets and break the $1 billion home sales mark by 2020.

“I always wanted a fun, cool place to work, so when I started my company, I wanted to make it an enjoyable place to work,” Krueger said. “A company isn’t anything without the people you have on board.”

Krueger has been named the Top Producer by the Houston Association of Realtors for 2012 and 2013. He is a certified negotiation expert (CNE) and has the following Professional Real Estate Memberships:

  • Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®)
  • Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR®)

Lance Loken

Realtor-Houston

Founder of The Loken Group, Lance Loken strives to be the excellent real estate service provider in all 9 countries in the Greater Houston Area. The group is backed by a team of specialists out of the Keller Williams Realty Signature office who serves real estate buyers, sellers, and investors to make your home buying and selling experience pleasant. By employing the newest technologies, business tactics, and market research, the agents are able to list your home strategically and effectively. Most importantly, the agents listen and find solutions that are tailored to you.

Prior to entering real estate, Loken worked as a C-Level executive for firms like The Wood Group Renewable Energy Service, Francesca’s Collections Inc., and C.D. Johnson Companies which helped him shape the way he approaches real estate. “My goal is to always be your real estate SOLUTION – whether that means helping you buy, sell, invest or rent,” Loken said. Loken is an Accredited Luxury Home Specialist (ALHS) and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS).

From paperwork to marketing, The Loken Group stand by you in every step of the way, replying to your questions and offering exceptional customer service. They were recently named:

  • #3 out of all Real Estate Teams in Houston (Ranked by Number of 2014 Closed Transactions – 662 by the “Houston Business Journal”)
  • #20 out of all Real Estate Teams in The United States (Teams by Transaction Sides in 2014 – 658 – by REAL TRENDS (“Wall Street Journal”))
  • #3 in all Keller Williams agents worldwide (based on units closed in 2015)
  • #1 Best Place to Work in Houston (Medium Companies, 2015, “Houston Business Journal”)
  • #79 (Teams by Sales Volume in 2014 – $137.3 mil) in America by REAL TRENDS (Wall Street Journal)
  • #303 in the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies

The team of specialists at The Loken Group manages clients in all price ranges. Their luxury division is backed by proficient luxury experts who help clients in more than $650,000 price range.

Alfonso Parodi

Realtor-Houston

Alfonso Parodi obtained a Business Administration degree with a Minor in Marketing from University of Lima, Peru. Thereafter, he moved to Houston and lived there for 9 years where he had the opportunity to attain extensive experience and training in Sales including residential lending, real estate, retail, networking, recruiting, marketing and primarily customer service. Parodi is competitive and goal-oriented with a passion for delivering outstanding customer service. In just 3 years, Parodi has become a top agent at Realty Associates in Houston which is home to more than 1800 agents.

Alfonso founded Team Parodi in 2013 whose focus is to bring the best group of agents together with a support team of award winning interior designers, experienced inspectors, proficient photographers and all other experts to help customers buy and sell their homes in areas such as Cypress, Houston, Humble, Katy, Tomball and more. Team Parodi at Real Associates is proud of each purchase or sale that aids clients to attain their dream home!

The technology savvy agents employ the cutting-edge tools and programs to give their clients an advantage in the fast moving and super competitive market for a successful transaction. Currently, Team Parodi is backed by 6 key members and will be adding more agents to be better prepared for a very busy future market. Whether buying or selling a home, Team Prodi is ready to be your trusted resource.

Owing to his excellent communication skills and expertise, Parodi is selected and recommended time and again by his clients. He has been awarded in the top 1% Buyer Agents among 25,000 agents and also:

  • recognized by Houston Association of Realtors in 2012, 2013 and 2014
  • awarded the esteemed 20 Rising Stars under Age 40 by Next Generation of Realtors (Houston Association of Realtors)
  • named 2015 Top 250 Latino Agents in the US by NAHREP

With professional accomplishments in both experience and education, Parodi maintains the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Designee. Presently, less than 3% of 1 million agents carry this designation. Besides, he has the following Professional Real Estate Memberships:

  • Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®)
  • Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI®)
  • Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR®)
  • Texas Realtors Leadership Program (TRLP)

Angela Pipes

Realtor-Houston

Angela Pipes is a Licensed Real Estate Agent at Redfin Corporation with 17+ years in the Houston Real Estate market representing both sellers and buyers. She is passionate about the relationship with her clients which helps her adapt to their needs and receive referrals. Whether you are a first-time buyer or an accomplished seller, Pipes would guide you through the entire process. A member of the Houston Association of REALTORS, Pipes has established a reputation for being proficient in handling land sales, new construction, investment properties and resales including historic homes in the Heights, Montrose and other neighborhoods such as Katy, Memorial, Spring Branch, Clear Lake, and Galveston.

Pipes mainly works in the urban communities of Houston and keeps abreast of real estate developments and attending community events. She is an advocate for those interested in building better practices, smart growth and energy efficiency. Pipes works closely with her clients to make sure every sale closes without a hitch. She is always accessible, prompt, and thorough with her clients’ requests and her quick response time with emails is appreciated as well.

Angela Pipes has been qualified as a Top Production REALTOR based on 2016 second quarter listing side number of MLS sales transactions of the Houston Association of REALTORS. This certification is given to those who aim to maintain the highest ethical standards and whose production ranks among the highest number transactions within HAR’s 25,000 brokers and agents. As a Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) and Accredited Luxury Homes Specialist (ALHS), Pipes has proven to be a valuable asset to Redfin and to her clients.




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

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

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

What is Structural Warranty?

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

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

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

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

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

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

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

A Middleman

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

Value of the Home

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

How Structural Warranty Works

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

What Structural Warranty Covers

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

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

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

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

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

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

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

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

The Cost

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

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




Here’s 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.

Best Home Warranty Companies In Utah

Utah – Best Appliance Warranty Provider

 

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 –

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

Let’s take a look at each company in more detail, shall we?

1. American Home Shield

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.

2. The Home Service Club

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.

3. Select Home Warranty

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.

4. Landmark Home Warranty

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.

5. HSA Home Warranty

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.

Do Your Research

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!