American Water Resources And Orlando Utilities Commission Jointly Launch Home Warranty Plans

On April 20th, 2015, Orlando Utilities Commission(OUC), one of the largest municipal utilities in the country along with American Water, a leading water and wastewater utility company, announced that they will be teaming up to sell home protection plans. The plans will be available to customers in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of Orange and Osceola counties.

Through this, American Water hopes that they will be able to educate homeowners on their duties about sewer lines and exterior water while providing protection to their home’s plumbing issues and electrical failures.

home warranty plans

Roseann Harrington, the Vice President of Marketing for OUC, is extremely proud of the reputation that OUC has built. She also added that for the last 92 years OUC has provided pure water and reliable energy to their customers and that OUC hopes that their customers will utilise their new home protection plans to add an extra layer of security against unprecedented repair services.

American Water too has expressed their exhilaration in partnering with OUC to provide home protection plans. Malcolm Conner, President of American Water Resources Florida has said that American Water believes that OUC and they share the same kind of commitment to reliability, customer service and community. He also added that American Water expects customers to buy the protection plans they offer to protect themselves against financial demands due to unexpected breakdowns.

Home Protection Plans To Be Offered Jointly

Orlando Utilities Commission had previously requested Proposals for Home Warranty Plans from qualified providers in 2014. Post this, American Water Resources of Florida was granted the contract to offer home warranty services in the territory of OUC.

The protection plans sold jointly by the two companies are said to be a solution for the repairs which are neither the utility’s responsibility nor covered under Homeowner’s Insurance. The protection plans will be managed by American Water Resources which includes functions like setting up a contractor network, providing customer service (in multiple languages) and educating homeowners about their responsibilities.

Details Of Protection Plans

The protection plans offered by OUC and American Water include the following-

  • In-house plumbing protection
  • Interior electric line protection
  • Water line protection
  • Power surge protection
  • Sewer line protection

All customers will receive 24/7 customer support access and one year warranty on all items that are covered. No deductibles will be charged for the services.

For further information about these protection programs, visit the official websites of American Water Resources or Orlando Utilities Commision. In addition to this, if you are an eligible customer, details of how to enroll and other relevant matters will be emailed to you. You can also call to 1-877-320-4624 to get more information.

About Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC)

Orlando Utilities Commission was chartered in 1923 and is a municipally owned public utility which provides electric services and water to residents of Orlando, Florida and adjacent regions. OUC is the second largest municipality in Florida and 14th largest in the country.

OUC is also responsible for the area’s first Solar Farm which installed over 150 vehicle charging stations, thereby implementing a comprehensive recycling program and also encouraging customers to practise wise use of resources.

About American Water Resources of Florida

American Water Resources of Florida is a subsidiary of American Water and has been a provider of home protection plans in 43 states across U.S for the past 14 years. The company has over 1.5 million customers and they hold an A+ rating with the BBB and a customer satisfaction rate of 97%.






air conditioning system

It’s actually not difficult to tell if your air conditioning system is in need of repairs, but sometimes inexpert and inexperienced homeowners might wonder whether the air conditioner is really not working or it is all in their head. Other homeowners might feel that though their air conditioning system is showing signs that it needs repairs, it is better to look after the problem before it gets worse or before their air conditioning system stops working completely.

When summer heat strikes, the best way to fight back is to turn on your air conditioner. Air conditioning keeps you cool over the summer, and with usual maintenance, your air conditioner ought to perform efficiently even during the hottest months. In case your air conditioner is not functioning as it should, it may be in need of expert attention. You should always call a qualified repair professional as soon as you decide that your air conditioner is not working properly. To know more about home appliances check out our Home Appliance Warranty section.

An Expert Diagnostic Air Conditioning Repair includes:air conditioning repair

  1. Visual inspection of all A/C components
  2. Full system performance test
  3. State of charge and system control tests
  4. Leak test, using an approved-leak detector
  5. Dye detection test (if a slow leak is difficult to detect)

Scheduling an air conditioning repair to ensure your AC system is working at maximum efficiency is always a good idea when facing the hot final weeks of summer.

6 Signs Your Air Conditioner Needs Repairs

Some of the signs are fairly obvious, while others are more subtle. Knowing the warning signs will help you search for professional service before the problems gets out of control.

1. No Cool Air

At some point, you may find that your air conditioning system simply isn’t doing its job. Even at full blast, the air coming from your vents just isn’t as cold as it used to be – or isn’t cold at all. This could be a sign that your system is need of serious repair. For instance, lack of cool air could mean that your system’s compressor has failed. It could also mean that you’re your system’s Freon levels are too low. When that time comes, you might have to to replace the unit.

2. Poor Air Flow

If you are noticing weak or little air flow through your AC vents, the unit’s compressor may be failing. In case your areas or rooms in your home are getting cold air while others are not, then the trouble might be with your duct work and it’s a sign that your AC system needs urgent repair.

Over time, debris can get stuck in your air conditioning vents. Not only this obstructs airflow, but it also presents a health risk to you and your family. Having your air conditioner’s ducts cleaned is a great way to restore airflow and ensure that your AC system is working well when you need it most.

3. Thermostat Problems

At times the trouble is not with the air conditioning unit, but with the thermostat itself. One way to tell if your thermostat is a problem is if one part of your house is very cold while another part remains at the same temperature.

4. Moisture Where It Shouldn’t Be

water leaking from the furnace section of your AC unit.Moisture or leakage around or near your system can be an indication of problems. When you see leaks from your air conditioning system, it can mainly because of two reasons.

In the most serious cases, the leak could be refrigerant. Refrigerant leaks can cause serious health risks to you and your family and need to be repaired at once. You must call an air conditioning repair expert right away.

Water pools adjacent to your air conditioner might show that the drain tube which disposes of the air conditioner condensation is either blocked or broken. This is not as serious an issue, but should be tackled quickly to avoid less important problems like mold growth.

5. Strange Sounds

Squealing, grating, grinding sounds from your air conditioner might be a sign that you need a replacement unit. These noises imply that something is wrong inside the unit. Failure to service the unit could result in a pricey breakdown.

A squealing noise means that the belt has slipped out of place. It may also indicate that a metal component in your air conditioner requires more lubrication. A grinding sound may mean that your motor’s bearings are broken.

6. Strange Odors

Pungent or foul smells from your air conditioning vents normally means that your conditioner’s wire insulation has burned out. Musty smells generally indicates that there is mold inside your unit or ductwork which must be taken care of without delay.

In order to keep away from these issues, it is important to maintain your air conditioning system habitually. It is a costly appliance and must be cared for to add to its lifespan and lessen the need for pricey repairs.

Even if your unit doesn’t need replacement, getting it repaired or serviced can boost up its efficiency and save you money.

Most repairs on air conditioners are quite simple, but homeowners frequently avoid calling a technician as they fear a large bill. In case your AC unit is new, you may find that the repair is covered under a manufacturer’s warranty. Even if it is not, it is good to fix a small problem quickly than to delay and let it grow into a larger problem.




Home protection plans, commonly known as a Home Warranty or appliance protection plan is a service contract that agrees to offer discounted repairs and replacements of your household appliances. It means that if any of your covered appliances breaks, the home warranty company shall provide you with a qualified technician who will repair your device and cover the cost of repair as well.

Home Protection Plans

Ideally, appliance protection plans are best suited for people who have appliances that are fairly used and above 4 years in age, as this is the time where most of the functional issues arise. It is highly recommended that you purchase a home service contract if any of the following are or all are true.

  • Your appliances are over 4 years
  • You don’t have a trusted service vendor
  • You don’t have time for DIY repairs
  • You are a first time homeowner
  • You can’t afford frequent repairs and replacements

If you were to ask if these plans are worth the money, then we would have to admit that there is no straightforward answer to that. There are quite a lot of happy customers out there who swear that purchasing home warranty was the best decision they ever made and yet there are people who think otherwise. It is up to you to decide if you will benefit from a home protection plan.  If you are in need of more guidance, please read the Home warranty buyer’s guide.

This is how a home warranty works

You purchase the appliance protection plan from a home warranty company for a certain amount of coverage. This coverage could be vast and cover almost all the outside and inside appliances or it could be the basic version. If a device covered by the plan fails to operate properly, you simply place a call to your home service contract provider. They will then call up a service vendor with who they have contracted and tell them about your issue. Service vendor then collects your contact information and contacts you to fix an appointment.

He/she then comes to your home to take a look at the damaged gadget. If the repairs needed are minor, they will oftentimes be fixed on the spot. Major repairs and part replacements need approval from the home warranty company. If parts are to be replaced, the home warranty company shall procure them for you and get the appliance fixed. Sometimes, if the technician determines that the device can’t be repaired, depending on your coverage, the home warranty company may replace your device.

Hence, one can say that the benefits of Home warranty are the following:

  • Discounted repairs and replacements of household appliances
  • Qualified and experienced technicians at your doorstep
  • Protection of your budget against expensive repairs
  • Peace of mind
  • Covers all major appliances and systems.
  • Additional coverage can always be purchased
  • Affordable
  • Covers damages resulting from wear and tear

As mentioned before, there still exists a school of thought that home warranty plans are not worth the money. Hence, we must discuss the drawbacks of these plans.

  • Not free of cost. In addition to the annual premium that ranges anywhere between $250 to $1000, you will have to pay a service call fee each time you raise an issue. The amount is typically nominal, around $50
  • Home warranty companies will almost always try to repair and not replace the damaged gadget.
  • Some may feel that there is no flexibility. You usually cannot select a service vendor of your choice and sometimes conflicts may arise on the diagnosis provided by the vendor.
  • Claims can be denied on vague grounds or by stating fine print from the contract.
  • Pre-existing conditions quite often are not covered

Because of these reasons, we suggest that folks who fall under the following categories, don’t purchase a home warranty. This is only a suggestion, if you believe that you shall benefit from a home warranty plan, you should go ahead with it.

  • Your appliances are fairly new and are still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
  • You have a trusted repair vendor.
  • You have time and skill for DIY repairs
  • You have money for frequent repairs

You can consider an extended warranty to protect your new devices. You can read about the differences between home warranty and extended warranty to clear your doubts.

If your devices are new, chances are low that they may need repairs often. Also if they are still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, any damage will be covered by them, provided it is not an excluded case. And all of this is unnecessary if you are a repair vendor yourself!

The bottom-line

Home warranties can be a great way to protect your budget and your appliances. As mentioned before, if you fall into the former category where your devices are old and so on, we highly recommend that you purchase a home warranty. Otherwise, you can do without one.

A lot of unpleasant instances occur due to lack of understanding of the working of the plan. Hence, we urge you to read the policy booklet and the offer document carefully before you make a commitment. These documents are highly significant and have to be studied and preserved carefully.  If you are certain that you want to purchase appliance warranty, please go through our reviews section to choose the best provider out there. Good luck!




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

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

Do I need extended warranty?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buying Extended WarrantySource: CBS News

Extended Warranty vs. Home Warranty

extended warranty vs home warranty

Things to keep in mind

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

  • Contract Terms and Conditions

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

  • Term of coverage

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

  • Extra charges

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

  • Comparison shopping

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

  • Credit card benefits

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

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




When fixing up your home, the kitchen is a great place to start. This is because the area is one of the busiest rooms of the house – it is the place where meals are cooked, dishes are prepared and sometimes food is also shared. Improving the kitchen area can help you bring about change in other parts of your life, like sticking to a better diet or resolving to be neater in other rooms.

Improve your Kitchen

 

Complete remodeling may not be the perfect solution always as it requires complete renovation and a decent budget too. However, the kitchen can simply be improved by employing few decorating techniques.

Here are a few ways to change the way your kitchen is treating you.

  1. Organize and enhance storage areas: The kitchen is a room where clutter tends o build up. Minimize chaos even in the smallest spaces. Pay for baskets or decorative storage bins to hide rarely used items above cabinets and free up cabinet space. Keep countertops clear, especially if counter space is limited and reflect on wall storage options instead. Shelving comes in different styles – including brackets that can be set up on angled walls. Don’t overlook backside of doors, corners as potential storage areas. Glance through websites for ideas and products to get solutions to the most hard-to-solve organizational troubles.
  2. Do some decorative painting: Decorative Painting Ideas On Kitchen WallsLook through and recognize areas that need spicing up. Don’t undervalue the impact of adding color in unexpected places. Paint the walls of the kitchen in relaxing or light colors. Light and bright colors shall make the room appear large and shall breathe in life to the room. Darker shades are to be avoided as they are known to make the room appear compact.
  3. Get rid of boring backsplashes: A portion of colorful wall next to countertop can brighten up the entire kitchen if painted in a contrasting color. Or, attempt applying textured vinyl-coated wallpaper. There are several other products obtainable to give homeowners the ability to upgrade such as peel-n-stick metal tiles, as well as DIY kits for setting up glass mosaic tile. In case there is an existing monotone backsplash, there are a variety of tile to pick from to create a new look reasonably.
  4. Refinish or paint old wood cabinets: Kitchen CabinetsIf you have old wood cabinets with a dull finish then think about refinishing or painting them. Add attractive trip to plain cabinet doors, or buy new door fonts. Paint or change old, worn hinges and hardware. Put in new hardware back plates – they are functional and will showcase new hardware while hiding defects and holes.
  5. Expand without gutting: Checking with a contractor is a great way to come up with ideas and implement changes to an inefficient, claustrophobic floor plan and is more inexpensive than most homeowners expect. Completely or partially removing a wall, or stealing space from an adjacent room, can make a great difference in the way a kitchen feels and is not nearly as expensive or inconvenient as demolishing the entire kitchen and starting from scratch.

Below is a list of some more efficient techniques to assist you improving your kitchen:

  • Rather than storing food items and other ingredients in the package they come, stock up them in containers or jars. Obtain different types of containers for storing different items. For example, you may choose transparent jars but with different lids or prints.
  • Put in new lighting to produce a fresh dramatic effect in the room. Try to put in different types of lighting in different areas of the kitchen rather than a single bright light. Ascent lights, pendant lights, task lights, under counter halogen are some well-liked options.
  • Add a mirror to the kitchen. Mirrors are wonderful decoration items and generate the illusion of larger space. You may hang the mirror or any idle wall of the kitchen, together with the wall above the stove.
  • Set up hooks or hangers on one of the walls of the kitchen. They can be used for hanging pots and pans, serving spoons and kitchen cloth. Hooks are a sensible option as they shall free up the cabinet space.
  • Buy a kitchen island for your kitchen. Kitchen Island CabinetsIt shall provide an additional work surface to the kitchen. It is suggested to buy collapsible or portable kitchen islands so that they can be removed or folded when not needed.

There are a dozen kitchen improvement ideas which when followed to the latter bring the change you have been wishing for in your kitchen. When settling on which one to begin you should give consideration to the value that it will add to your home. To know more about this check out our Home Maintenance guide.

No matter where you live, kitchens are often one of the most used spaces in a house. Whether you are chef, someone who loves to cook, or the one liable for family meals, having an intuitive, practical kitchen space makes being in that space more enjoyable.

Kitchen area is very important in the house and the health of your family is also lined up so ensure to keep the whole area clean, comfortable and beautiful all the time. Well it is certainly great to work in an area where you feel most comfortable in, so the ways mentioned above can ultimately improve your cooking for the whole family which is a great thing. In case you are planning to renovate your kitchen, you might well reflect on the tips mentioned.




The thing is, we at HomeWarrantyReviews.com are so delighted for your continued support in providing useful reviews of the home warranties, along with using our outstanding free get quote tool for comparing various companies and its policies. We bet that the insights gained will continue to grow and remain invaluable, like always.

Home is where the heart is – everybody needs to delve deeper into their comfort zones. What’s going to aide us in this constant search? Technology. slowly, but surely technology is going to overhaul your way of life. You have to wait, til the cows come back home, ain’t it?

Modern Technologies To Homeowners

Trimming The Clutter Down

It takes constant effort and dedication to keep a home well-managed. (How else could you create that suave impression on your visitors?) You can run through our Ultimate Home Cleaning Hacks for some much needed inspiration. Keeping your home organized in easy steps is also a saver!

Get this into your head, make a habit out of each and every individual of your family. See to it that these handy tips are followed regularly and you’ll thank us later. It’ll be such an invigorating experience for sure.

Making Edges Way Smoother

The information seen here is the impending future, hopefully being materialized at a local store near you, within a couple of years.

Let’s see them all one-by-one over the next couple of engaging minutes-

Solar Paint

Imagine the paint on a car self-powering a battery, how cool is that for the automotive industry? Paints on a sidewall of a home silently swindling energy to power lights on your front door, you read it right!

Using thin solar films loaded with minuscule photo-voltaic cells, these solar paints can be sprayed to achieve a superior finish. Look how this mind boggling technology is generating power and maintaining the beautiful aesthetics of a home too!

With due technological advancements, the solar paint is able to generate around 8.1% to 10% of solar energy whereas the traditional solar panel harnesses around 18% to 20% of sunlight into useful solar energy. Isn’t this revolutionizing our current trend? Wouldn’t you love to be a part of this remarkable move?

Solar Transparent Panel

Yet another technological breakthrough was seen in the form of completely transparent solar panels. When a normal window pane back home could potentially generate solar energy, undoubtedly skyscrapers can act as a potential source to harness unlimited power of the sun. Further, cities can work on a more self-sustaining energy consumption model. Even our mobile phone screens can be equipped with these transparent panels and according to researchers, these transparent solar panels can reach 50% more efficiency than the traditional solar panels being widely used world-over. Imagine the energy boost you’ll all get and how economically beneficial it can get in the long run! Not to forget the clutter you’d get rid off your rooftops. Ain’t that a charm for any homeowner?

Smart Homes Using Internet-of-Things

This is a huge and promising topic having the most applications under one umbrella. These technological features can relatively be convenient for any homeowner to access and this category gives the kind of satisfaction of comfort, at a deeper level.

Being able to take precautions with the help of a Weather Detection System, you could easily minimize the wrath of nature’s fury. (Probably it’s a good idea for homeowners down south to know which are the best home warranty companies in Florida, for it witnesses the most hurricanes in a calendar year!)

Next comes the state of the art home security systems which manages alarms for break-in, informing the police department to take immediate action at your location. Active surveillance cameras sense body motions and send movement alerts across your smartphones. Smart locks reading your fingerprints can trigger actions which either lock or unlock your front door. Lights can be turned on and off from a remote location, portraying the perspective that the home is not left unattended, even though you’re enjoying a holiday overseas.

The modern kitchen these days are a heaven, since the advent of the IoT, your appliances are more versatile, the age old plain looking front of the refrigerator can now smartly connect online and play your favorite show right on the refrigerator door itself. Yes, imagination can run high and you could potentially see appliances doing more than what they were originally meant to do.

Not only that, the lighting in the living space can be dimmed, music can be played with a flick of the wrist, and the heating and cooling systems can be activated just by the mere presence of a person. Moreover, even the water in your bathtub could be set to a temperature you fancy with nothing but hand gestures. And Light Fidelity (Li-Fi) is going to redefine the meaning of super-fast, crossing a whopping 200 gigs per second!

Conclusion

Imagine how wonderful self cleaning clothes sound, just run it with plain potable water! Visualize your home looking new and fresh every time a rain showers down at your place. Exciting, isn’t it! From rooftop tiles, paints on the walls and to the clothes you wear, newer disruptive technologies are making a significant impact and bringing in more types of appliances to the local store near you. And in due course of time, all appliances fail under certain circumstances. Hence, it’s always a good idea to cover for unexpected costs due to failure. So here’s a fair idea on how much you can annually save from a home warranty and as the technological barriers are brought down and implemented on a large scale, so does the price of the product becomes affordable. Since savings is a word not to be ignored in this fragile economic condition, we strongly advise you to protect your budget with home warranties. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst, eh Cap’n?




When it comes to acquiring plumbing skills, there’s no time like the present. The idea has crossed your mind before, but you did not make the time to do it. Study the great advice in this article, and you will be happy that you finally took the time to do so, if you ever have plumbing issues.Fix Home Plumbing Problems

Learning how to put off plumbing problems such as bursting pipes, leaks, and clogged drains is simple with the right tools. Old and new homes similarly require year-round attention to plumbing details, so watching for the signs of plumbing troubles is a must.

Plumbing services can be pricey. Most homeowner want to do what they can to reduce how many time they have to call for help with their drains, pipes and other plumbing features. There are a few easy tips that you can pursue on a usual basis to lessen the need to use plumbing services in your home.

Always explore plumbers thoroughly before you make a decision to use their services. Sometimes plumbers will not be very good at their job, and can even make problems worse than they are. Ensure to look at online reviews, or ask for a referral from a family member or friend. To know more about these things check out our Home Maintenance guide.

If you pack a little knowledge and a few actions of the plumbing trade into your home care toolbox, you will be able to keep away from the kind of plumbing problems that can literally soak you.

Here are 8 tips for spotting and avoiding plumbing problems before they cause serious damage.

1. Leaky toilet. Leaky ToiletToilet repairs are one of the most common plumbing problems. While the toilets themselves don’t tire out, the working parts inside them can. Leaks are a frequent result, and one leaky toilet can waste around 78,000 gallons of water a year, sufficient to fill up a backyard swimming pool!

In case you inspect a leak, test out your theory by pouring a bit of food coloring into the toilet’s tank and waiting overnight. In case the dye shows up in the bowl the next morning, you have got a leak and it’s time to put back the flush valve, an simple job that requires only a few dollars’ investment and a little of your time.

2. Clogging shower, tub or bathroom sink drain.  Bathroom drains can get clogged quickly with hair and soap residue, which is not only a plumbing problem, but a cluttered one as well. Before you find yourself with a flooding backup, clear the way with a dry or wet vacuum, a useful trick of the trade that definitely beats time-consuming extraction with an auger.

3. Kitchen sink backup.  Grease, cooking oil and other fats can literally gunk up the pipes in your kitchen sink, causing serious plumbing problems. In its place, be smart about waste disposal and outfit sinks with strainers to catch errant items and keep them clean. Occasionally flush the drain with a few gallons of boiling water to soften accumulated soap and grease. Applications of products like Roto Rooter’s Pipe Shield can also stop kitchen clogs.

4. Main shutoff valve.  Water shut off valveYour home’s plumbing system can have hundreds of different valves, but knowing the position of just one can avoid thousands of dollars in damage to a home. The main water valve regulates the flow of all water into your home and should work properly to prevent disaster.

To keep away from severe flooding if a plumbing problem were to occur, find the main water valve, which is generally located at the lowest level of your home near the street, then test the valve to ensure it turns off properly. Suspend a large tag labeled main valve from the valve handle to make sure all members of your household can find it before the flood sets in. In case the home will be vacant for a prolonged period of time; it’s smart to shut off this valve before leaving so as to avoid a plumbing problem when you return.

5. Laundry connection.  Another important plumbing point that can be a possible problem is the set of rubber connection hoses on your washing machine, which can be a hazardously weak link in the system. These hoses can dry out, burst and allow thousands of gallons of water to rush into your home. In order to avoid this plumbing problem, check the hoses frequently for blisters and cracks, and be sure to turn off the water supply valves to the washer before leaving home for an extended period of time. Better yet, put back the hoses with steel models, and consider about installing an easy-to-reach, single-lever shutoff valve just for the washer.

6. Outdoor faucets. Keep an eye on outdoor faucets year-round to make sure they are not watering the property without your knowledge, and make repairs and replacements as needed. Once the freezing season begins, turn off all faucets and drain them for winter by loosening the brass cap on the side of each faucet’s valve.

7. Water heater.  Leaking Water heaterWater heaters have quite long life expectancies, but when one leaks, bursts or otherwise breaks down, you can be in for a waterlogged disaster. Check your water heater regularly for signs of rusting or leakage at tank fittings, and if you spot potential problem, call in a certified plumber for a more thorough check to decide whether repair or replacement is in order.

8. Old pipes.  Based on the age of your home and the water lines running to it, pipes made from bygone materials can be main sources for leaks and clogs. Old terra cotta waste lines can be broken and invaded by roots, and steel pipes are apt to internal rusting that can create quite a buildup, ultimately bursting or reducing water pressure to intolerable levels.

Broken-down waste piping can be treated with two methods:

  • Relining, where damaged pipes are left in place but lined with a fiberglass reinforced epoxy, and
  • Pipe bursting, in which a specially designed machine pulls a replacement pipe through the old pipe, dividing the old pipe separately to make room for the new.

As for steel plumbing pipes, take every chance to substitute them with up to date materials. The main horizontal pipes running through the crawl space, running from your home to the street, and pipes leading to bathrooms should be at the top of your substitution list, and sectional upgrades can be done anytime you’re making a home repair that involves opening walls or floors.

Learning a bit about plumbing can be a priceless tool to have in your possession. With the right awareness about plumbing problems and the appliances that they involve, plumbing problem prevention is easy. It can even minimize the need to call a professional for repair services.




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

Insure a Building

Buildings and risk management

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

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

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

Building insurance basics

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

The shopping around needs to include:

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

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




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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American Home Shield is one of the most widely acclaimed and also the biggest player in the home warranty industry. With over 40 years of experience in caring for its patrons, AHS has established itself as a leading home protection plan company. While the company is highly reputable, there have been cases where lawsuits were filed against the company and some of them have resulted in AHS agreeing for settlements. One such lawsuit against American Home Shield resulted in a settlement, even though the company did not admit any illegal behavior or liability in the settlement.

Did AHS Really Violate RESPA Act?

During the settlement of two lawsuits against AHS in which the company was accused of paying kickbacks to real estate brokers to promote their service plans, the company was allegedly trying to protect the brokers and agents from any legal responsibilities.

On that subject, American Home Shield, the nation’s largest provider of home warranties, has stated that the payments they made to real estate brokers to market its products, did not violate the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, or RESPA.

The company admitted to no wrongdoing but has currently agreed to pay up to $26 million to determine allegations that the payments violated RESPA.

AHS put an optimistic spin on the settlement and released brokers and agents involved from any form of liability. This supported the company’s position as its current broker compensation program; ProConnect is in accordance with RESPA guidelines and regulations.

About 500,000 homebuyers and sellers who procured warranties between May 27, 2008, and March 4, 2011, may be qualified to collect an average of $52 each under the terms of the settlement.

 

Edleson Class Action Suit

Edleson v. American Home Shield filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court in San Diego in July 2007. The California court declined a proposed settlement of Edleson v. American Home Shield, which would have formed a review desk for homeowners to resubmit earlier denied claims.

The court hearing the Edleson case expressed concern that AHS would have the right to readjudicate claims, and the consumers included in the settlement would be giving up “possible” and “realistic” rights in exchange for the hope that a defendant that has supposedly not acted on good faith” before”, would do so.

After the proposed Edleson settlement was declined, American Home Shield reached tentative settlement in Faught v. American Home Shield, which also called for a review desk for consumers to resubmit claims.

The proposed Faught settlement was opposed by 24 homeowners and by the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

Faught Class Action Suit

The settlement was the outcome of a class-action lawsuit filed by Laura and Steven Faught against AHS in support of people in the US who procured or were issued a home service contract from AHS on July 24, 2001 throughout October 19, 2009. As part of the agreement, AHS decided to set up a review desk to reflect on claims from settlement class members whose claims were declined during the class period.

The Faught lawsuit suspected that American Home Shield engaged in a pattern and practice of failing to accomplish its contractual responsibilities to its customers. This includes declining to provide repair and replacement services to which its customers were entitled and also inappropriately denying claims in the first year of a customer’s home service contracts for “lack of maintenance” (from the Notice of Class Action and Settlement; faughtclassaction.com).

In spite of entering into a settlement, AHS has denied any misconduct or any legal responsibility. However even this claim no of wrongdoing has not prevented a different lawsuit against them. This lawsuit also alleges that American Home Shield was unsuccessful in paying for its customers’ claims.

Guadet Lawsuit

The complaint, filed by Brigette and William Guadet, on June 23, 2011 according to The Louisiana Record (June 30, 2011) alleges AHS of denying claims made by class members under grounds of “lack of maintenance, pre-existing condition, or failure to clean, in spite of not examining the appliances when policies are issued.”
In addition to this, the lawsuit alleges that AHS denies claims because of negligible uncleanness, even if external factors were the cause of the appliance’s breakdown. Plaintiffs allege that contractors were given an additional benefit for declining legal claims. The lawsuit claims violation of agreement and fake misrepresentation. Plaintiffs seek damages in excess of $75,000.
In the meantime, consumers of other home warranty companies have filed lawsuits of their own or may be looking into possible lawsuits, suspecting that their claims were denied improperly.

Abney Class Action Suit

The 2008 Abney v. American Home Shield lawsuit alleged that the company violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act through its compensation of real estate brokers with regard to the sale and marketing of home warranties.

American Home Shield strongly denied the allegations made in the lawsuit and chose to resolve the suit due to the potential costs in defending the case. Details on the resolution of this case are available at www.abneyclassaction.com.

The Bottom Line
According to D. Frank Davis, a lead attorney for consumers in both the Abney and Faught cases, the Faught settlements is more favorable to all the class members in a lot of important ways.

Under Faught, individuals whose rejected claim incurred in the first year of their contract and involved a heating or air conditioning unit are likely to have their claim paid on reconsideration because of specific language in the settlement about the standards to be used by the review desk. All the other claims resubmitted are also likely to be paid this time because of the negotiated penalty provisions.




Here at HomeWarrantyReviews.com we deliver thousands of new, free-to-read, customer reviews and ratings of home warranty companies each year, along with several Complaints.  Best of all, we don’t charge companies or our website users anything for those reviews and ratings!  Our service is still free after nearly a decade online, and we’re proud of that.  Our readers have come to know us as a place where a home warranty shopper or customer can find what they need on the internet.  Our reviews are objective, and though we do edit them to ensure that fake reviews or ones which lack value for readers don’t clutter up the website, we never make it possible for a home warranty company that is not keeping its promises to customers to cover that up by paying to have negative reviews hidden or removed.

CRP- How it Works!

 

We keep things real here, and our readers can tell by the mix of positive and negative reviews for each company.  And whether you’re posting a review in order to have your voice heard or shopping for a reliable home warranty company, the work we do here and the value we provide through our free service is immediately impacting tens of thousands of homeowners.  Reviews are only part of the way in which we help our readers and the home warranty companies who keep the industry alive and growing. That’s what keeps us doing what we do.

One of our lesser known services is our Complaint Resolution Program, and it not only serves customers in need of a way to resolve their negative experiences but also helps companies manage their online reputation, ensuring that the occasional mistake by one of their employees or contractors doesn’t result in a lost customer.

The Complaint Resolution Program is extremely simple for both sides of the relationship between the home warranty company and the customer.  There is absolutely no charge to use it, and there’s no obligation on the part of the company or the customer to use it.  It’s the best of both worlds.  But how does the Complaint Resolution Program, or CRP as it’s also called, work?

Making the problem known to someone who can help is how CRP works.

If you’ve visited many reviews websites online today then you are probably already aware of the trend toward companies posting responses to customer complaints.  Sometimes these responses appear to have a real, positive effect on the customer’s level of satisfaction.  A company might not have been fully aware of the problems the customer encountered with a home warranty claim or another service.  The company might have had a bad apple that poorly represented them to the customer or mismanaged the claim process.  Anything can happen after all.  So responses from companies sometimes lead to meaningful reactions between the parties, and problems get solved.  But other times a response from a company feels more like a defensive maneuver.  You’ve probably seen some of these yourself.  The company posts the same response under every negative review, and there seems to be no sign of resolution among any of the reviews.

CRP Process Flow

When a customer takes the time to post a complaint on an internet reviews website, the party posting the review typically has probably traveled through the company’s various routes of complaint resolution, but not always.  At times, a negative experience begins and ends with one person on the company’s team or their repair contractor.  And those situations might be resolved in many cases with action from people at the company who are higher up in the decision-making processes.  This is where the CRP process can really help the company and the customer.

When a user posts a review on HomeWarrantyReviews.com that has a low rating, the website prompts the author of the review to decide if he or she would like to have another chance at seeking resolution of the problem.  This very simple and free, and most of all optional, offer to the consumer is where the CRP process starts.  If the customer decides that it’s worth trying once more to resolve the problem then simply selecting to participate in the CRP is a single click away.  Once opted into the program, the customer will be able to correspond through private emails, hosted by HomeWarrantyReviews.com, with the company.  And the company representative assigned to handle CRP cases will be able to help the customer, sometimes with greater problem escalation abilities than the average customer service representative.

While this process is going on, the negative review is not visible on the website.  And this part is important to both parties.  Sometimes when we’re upset we make hasty remarks.  Later we regret those same remarks.  So for the customer and the company CRP presents a cooling off opportunity in which the consumer has the chance to have a problem solved before the review is out there for others to read.  If the problem is resolved then the party who wrote it may choose to not have it posted on the website.  In that case, the company’s reputation is saved a blemish, and the customer is afforded a chance to successfully resolve a problem.  Both parties win, and neither are out an additional dollar for the service.

Building a team of problem solvers can lead to a better company reputation.

Companies that use the CRP are not just solving one-off problems for their customers.  In some cases, they’re opening a new, cost-efficient, window to customer feedback.  Any company which pays for customer satisfaction surveys or other third party consultative services related to reputation management knows how costly these services can be.  What if a company could find a way to get the same kind of feedback without an additional expense?  Now they can.

Building the CRP was all about giving our reviewers and the companies they review a more productive experience and ensuring that the good companies don’t wind up looking bad, simply because of mistakes or unidentified problems that the company should be working to resolve for future customers as well as current ones.  We set out to build something that would help all the people we serve, the companies and customers alike.  And in the process, we aimed to help even more people, particularly the ones who will have a better customer service experience as a result of companies taking an active role in learning from their customers’ complaints.

HomeWarrantyReviews.com didn’t invent the concept of complaint escalation or creating specialized teams at companies that specialize in helping the most unhappy customers.  But we did bring the missing piece to the reviews process on our website, and we believe it makes all the difference.  Once you create a forum where unhappy customers can receive help from the most specialized customer service representatives at home warranty companies then the next step is for the companies to seize the opportunity to use that forum to its full potential.  We believe that companies that use the CRP the best are ones that empower their teams to react to the complaints received through the CRP in a way that satisfies reasonable customers who have honest and fair objections to the way they were treated by the company or those the company allowed to represent them, repair contractors included.

Companies that use the CRP are in a unique position in which they can not only reduce the number of bad reviews they collect on our website but also increase customer retention.  And keeping customers is something that companies that post a boilerplate response to complaints online probably are not doing.

Participating in the Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) is easy.

Maybe you want to learn more about the CRP – Q & A and how it works to your benefit. But if you’re already sold on the idea then here’s what you need to do.

If you are a company representative then you can send us an email at [email protected], to address your queries for CRP enrollment and we’ll help you get started with the quick setup process.  Your company will need to designate an email address to receive the CRP case notifications and new customer correspondence notices at.  And you’ll need to make sure that you have team members checking that email inbox very regularly.

If you are a customer who has had a bad experience with your home service contract or home warranty, and you’d like help resolving the problem then please use the search box below to find the company you want to be contacted by.  If that company is not participating in the CRP then you can email us at [email protected], and we will forward your request for help to the company representative we have on file.  We will also let them know that it would have been great if they’d been participating in the CRP, so your problem could have been dealt with more quickly today.

 



Home warranty coupons and deals:
02/17/14 Update

As of now, many of these coupons have expired. However you can still get a price quote for home warranty on our website. This will be a free quote and there is no obligation to buy

10/11/08 Update

Choice Home Warranty is offering 25% discount on premium and $15 off of service call fee. Use the code “HOLIDAY25” here – http://choicehomewarranty.com/quote-start.php

Coupon expires on 12/26/2008

Check out our reviews section for Choice home warranty reviews

11/18/08 Update

Choice Home Warranty is offering 15% discount on premium and $15 off of service call fee. Use the code “15OFF” here – http://choicehomewarranty.com/quote-start.php
Check out our reviews section for Choice home warranty reviews

10/17/08 Update :

We found this discount deal on deal catcher forums – National Home Protection is offering 20% off, and $50 Gift card

Sign up for a new home warranty and get 20% off your monthly bill, $45 service calls (usually $60) & a free $50 Home Depot Gift card. Offer expires 10/31.

Use Promotional Code SAVE20 Check out our reviews section for National Home Protection home warranty reviews




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

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

HVAC Maintenance Plan

Plumber at Work

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

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

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

What plan do I purchase?

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

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

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

Now let’s take a look at the advantages separately

Advantage of HVAC maintenance plans:

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

Advantages of Home Warranty plans:

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

Who needs an HVAC maintenance plan?

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

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

Who needs a Home Warranty?

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

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

Still undecided?

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

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

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

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




Are there scams in the home warranty industry?

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

Home Warranty Scams

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

“The Emperor’s New Clothes”

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

 

“The Ponzi Scheme”

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

 

“The Disguise”

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

 

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

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

 

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

 




2-10 Home Buyers Warranty is in the process of launching Green Advantage Warranty as part of protection assurance programs for new and upcoming green building initiatives.

Green Advantage Warranty

The 2-10 home appliance warranty company offers Green Advantage Warranty to builders who meet eco-friendly standards. Builders need to build homes that fulfill the requisites of Energy Star, National Green Building Standard (NGBS), or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

Green Advantage Warranty includes repairs and replacement of Energy Star certified products and appliances. Coverage includes the replacement of green labeled items, engineered wood products, sustainably harvest lumber, low or no emission finishes and recycled products with accordance of applicable national certification standard.

Scott Cromie, Chairman and Chief Executive officer states that “With one in four homes now certified by green building standards, it is clear that home buyers want a more eco-friendly home, and that offering warranty protection that targets these values offers builders a clear competitive edge,” and also reports “Our new Green Advantage Warranty represents 2-10 Home Buyers’s Warranty commitment to greener business practices, and celebrates the home builders and home buyers who want a greener home and lifestyle. We’re proud to offer a product that meets these standards, while continuing to provide the same leading, trusted protection our company stands behind.”

Builders interested in participating are encouraged to call 877.777.1344 for more information. You can register to 2-10 HBW Green Advantage Warranty, just by adding up a minimal additional fee over the existing standard rate. It is as simple as checking a box next to the certification standard on 2-10 HBW’s Home Enrollment Application.

Green Advantage Warranty is an added policy to the company’s existing home warranty package, including one, two and ten years of coverage offering for new construction home builders. Company’s 10 years warranty covers structural warranty defect. Under the policy of 1-2-10 warranty one year of surety coverage of workmanship and materials. Two years of warranty also covers on systems.

About the company

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty® is in market for more than 30 years, now the company has offered customers and their homeowners the most comprehensive warranty program available. Whether you’re building, selling or buying a home, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty offers a complete line of warranty, service contracts and risk management products. Since 1980, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has provided warranties and service contracts for more than 5.5 million new and pre-owned homes.




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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With over 185,300 active Realtors in Los Angeles, selecting the right one to assist you with the sale or purchase of your home can be daunting. You will want to find someone who is proficient in buying or selling homes in your surrounding area in L.A as well as in your price range.

Best Realtors in Los Angeles

Below is the list of the top 5 Realtors in Los Angeles by their gross sales volume in dollar amounts and some other relevant information so you can feel confident when making decisions about buying or selling your home.

Brad Korb

Top Realtor Brad Korb

For more than three decades, Brad has focused his attention on helping families attain their goals of buying or selling a home in North Hollywood, Studio City, Burbank, Glendale, Tujunga, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Valley Village, West Hollywood, Van Nuys, and the wonderful and diverse surrounding areas. He listens to his clients’ needs patiently and then puts together the best strategies for reaching the results they want. He believes that true success comes from making objectives for what matters most in life. Whether he is with his family or assisting his real estate clients, Brad enjoys positive results owing to his unique ability to visualize a goal and make an effort for achieving it. This determination is what continues to take his career as a realtor to new levels of success. With over three decades of experience, Brad is an unmatched resource for all things from the real estate market to community services.

An alumnus from California State University-Northridge, Brad’s specialties include home sellers, home buyers, 1031 tax deferred exchanges, short sales, investment properties, first time home buyers, bank foreclosures, multi- residential homes, single family residences, condominiums, townhomes, downsizing, and relocation. The owner of The Brad Korb Real Estate Group, Brad and his team of  realtors have attained an incredible success for clients by offering services that go well beyond the average realtor. “We are very excited to have been endorsed by real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran, from Shark Tank, and also being ranked #1 locally by Wall Street Journal.” He believes that relationships with clients are based on accountability, dedication, loyalty, and clear understanding of client needs. There are three teams within the Brad Korb Real Estate Group. The listing team members concentrate fully on marketing client’s homes on every available marketing podium such as Internet, TV, and Radio. The buyer’s team is elite coached and sell up to 10 times as many homes yearly compared to an average realtor. The concierge team manages internet inquiries and phone calls along with the chat service on the website. Besides, Brad is also an owner of RE/MAX In Action and Civic & Social Organization Professional. He has received the following real estate industry awards:

  • #1 Realtor in the Valley (RE/MAX) Top 10 Realtor for California for 6 years (RE/MAX)
  • 2010 Best of Business Award (SBCA)
  • 2015 Best of Burbank Realtor
  • 2015 Best of Burbank Reader’s Choice
  • 2014, 2015  REAL Trends Best Real Estate Agents Award
  • 2014 Best of Trulia Top Agent Award
  • #37 in the country in 2010 (RE/MAX)
  • #1 Team in Burbank (RE/MAX)
  • Top 100 Team 2003 (RE/MAX)
  • Top 100 Team 2004 (RE/MAX)

Additionally, Brad is also proud to hold the following certifications sponsored by the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) – the highest designation awarded to sales associates, recognizing professional accomplishments in both understanding and education
  • Certified Distressed Property Expert® (CDPE) – Brad has an in-depth understanding of complex issues in today’s dynamic real estate industry and understanding of foreclosure avoidance options available to homeowners. He can provide solutions, specifically short sales, for homeowners facing market hardships.
  • e-PRO – Brad is dedicated to making the most of today’s technology to help with your real estate needs

Brad’s interests include spending time with family, fishing, reading, Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball, Los Angeles Lakers Basketball, traveling, reading, concerts, and working out.

When you and your family are set to make the important decision to move, contact Brad Korb who is always focused on What Matters to You.

 

Jesse Weinberg

Best Realtor in Los Angeles

Jesse Weinberg is widely acknowledged as one of the Los Angeles’ leading realtors, focusing on the highly competitive Westside neighborhoods. With over a decade of experience in Playa Vista, Marina Del Rey, Playa Del Rey, and Venice, Jesse is a well-recognized member of Southern California’s brokerage community. He analyzes 20-30 new properties in person each week and can locate just the right home to match any search standards or set a precise value for a sale. His background in Business Administration and a decade of sales experience results in innovative strategies that make the most of his clients’ opportunities and aid them to reach their financial goals.

Jesse’s track record is unrivaled – he has sold more properties in Marina del Rey than any other agent for the last 5 years in a row! He believes that every client and every property is different, yet his goal remains the same: to surpass expectations in the course of a transaction as he works toward a preferred price and time frame. A Licensed Real Estate Agent at Keller Williams Realty, Jesse and his skilled team of realtors have built a thriving real estate empire. Jesse Weinberg & Associates delivers impeccable service and has effectively sold and leased more than 600 properties in the last decade with a very high customer service rating. The team has represented over 700 sales and 300 lease transactions – directly benefiting their clients by saving them time and money.  The seasoned real estate experts provide a robust database of skilled buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants to the clients, resulting in a seamless offer-to-close process, shorter listing periods, and access to off-market opportunities. Jesse’s passion for real estate has earned him the following:

  • #1 Sales Team Nationwide for 2013 & 2014 by Keller Williams Realty, out of nearly 100,000 agents
  • #1 Sales Agent for (All Brokerages) in Marina del Rey in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015
  • #1 Sales Agent for Marina Pointe Drive in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015
  • Ranked Top 200 Agents Nationwide by Wall Street Journal and Real Trends (Top half of 1% of 1 million agents nationwide)
  • Named one of America’s Best Real Estate Agents by Real Trends in recognition of incredible results in 2013, 2014 & 2015
  • Top Los Angeles Seller’s Agent, ranking in the top 1% of 31,459 agents
  • A Condo Expert, ranking #7 of 31,459 agents
  • A Townhouse Expert, ranking in the top 3% of 31,459 agents.
  • A Single Family Home Expert, ranking in the top 19% of 31,459 agents

His specialties include Buyer’s Agent, Listing Agent, and Property Management. His loyalty and amiable attitude have led to a network of repeat and referral business. He is well-read and keeps up with the latest market trends and economic news. His transaction volume each and every year surpasses the last!

 

Danny Mahelka

Experienced Realtor in Los Angeles

Danny brings over two decades of experience to every transaction, where he focuses in the Greater Los Angeles area from Downtown to the beaches, North Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and everything in-between. As a motivated Realtor and Associate Manager, his proficiency has led to a lucrative and productive sales career with special emphasis on single family and condominium sales. Danny and his team always look out for clients’ best interest and deliver exceptional customer service in all areas such as marketing, escrow, and inspections. A consistent leader and a top sales producer, Danny is in the top 2% of all Coldwell Banker agents countrywide. Before moving to Coldwell Banker, he held a position as a commercial real estate agent with Silverstone Development Group, focusing on sales and leasing of commercial properties.

Danny accomplishes his goals by ensuring each property has a separate Business Plan on how, why, and to whom he is going to sell to. “It is specific, targeted and deliberate. Our specialization and full Business Plan marketing approach to selling property is a dedicated approach that is effective and relevant in today’s real estate market. We consistently win recognition from our peers and earn accolades from our Clients,” says Danny. His specialties include Representing Buyers, Representing Sellers, First-Time Buyers, Short Sales, Foreclosures, Relocations, Luxury Properties, Commercial Real Estate, Rentals, Condos, Resorts and Second Homes, Lease-to-Owns, Investment Properties, and Appraisals. His sprawling network, unmatched client service, outstanding sales production, and proven marketing tactics have made him recognized by Coldwell Banker from 1996-2012.

An Alumnus from Santa Monica College, Danny’s interests include reading and jogging. His professional appearance, integrity, communication and negotiating skills would ensure you a smooth and stress-free sale or purchase. “Relationships are about connecting, and I invite you to contact me about your real estate needs”.

 

Fredy Rodriguez

Awesome Realtor in Los Angeles

Selecting a right real estate agent is the first step in purchasing or selling a home. Fredy Rodriguez has been a licensed real estate agent in California for 15 years and is present with Fanthom Realty. Fredy’s coverage area includes Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indio, Palm Desert, Coachella, Garnet, Palm Springs, and Thousand Palms. A top real estate agent listing website ranks Fredy as one of the top 2% of agents in Cathedral City for effectively selling homes and as one of the top 8% of agents for single family homes. “From suggesting mortgage lenders to explaining signing papers, I am here to make this normally daunting experience a smooth and successful transaction. My goal is to assist you in finding that perfect home.” Whether you want a big backyard or a 3-car garage, Fredy and his team find you that special property.

One of Fanthom Realty’s leading realtors, Fredy is recognized as a hardworking and trustworthy individual whose passion is to assist his clients in real estate transactions from inception to conclusion. Through his hard work and willingness to learn, he continues to beat his own records, year after year. His specialties include short sales, foreclosure, buyer’s agent, first-time buyers, and investors; financial (loans), and life insurance. Equipped with sufficient knowledge and expertise, he has received several awards and recognition such as:

  • Diamond Club No.1 Top Producer for 2015
  • Multi-Million Dollar Producer for 2014 and
  • Worked as a District Director of Fathom Realty from 2013 to January 2016

Fredy’s credentials and certifications include the following:

  • Council Of Real Estate Services (CRS)
  • Graduate Realtors Institute (GRI)
  • Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource (SFR)
  • Resort & Second-Home Property Specialist (RSPS)
  • Certified Broker Price Specialist (CBPS)
  • Five Star Institute, REO Certified
  • Five Star Institute, Short Sale Certified
  • Five Star Institute, Lease To Own Certified
  • Federation of REO Certified Expert (FORCE)
  • e-PRO Certified
  • Green Certification
  • Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA) Certified
  • Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist (CPRES)
  • National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) member
  • Life and Health Insurance Licensee
  • RES.NET Certified

An alumnus of Palm Desert Community College, he is interested in networking with other realtors and seeking clients to assist them in the home buying and selling process. Fredy runs by his slogan “Under Promise and Under Delivery”. His only purpose is to earn referrals which are the life of his business. Contact Fredy Rodriguez if you have any questions or concerns about financing options, current listings, or the market in general.

 

Lynette Williams

Most sought after Realtor in Los Angeles

Lynette Williams has been a full-time real estate expert since 1997. As a practicing attorney, she specializes in real estate sales, development, and construction. Her other areas of practice include estate planning, contracts, and business structures. Her previous experience as a financial analyst, an insurance agent, and marketing coordinator gives her the talent to assess your real estate needs including financial analysis, tax strategies, legal ramifications, insurance requirements, and marketing strategies. She has also served as an officer in the United States Army. A graduate of the University of Florida and the University of Florida College of Law, Lynette’s goal is to offer the first-class service and build long-standing relationships with her clients. She works meticulously with the highest standards of professionalism to serve her clients’ needs. By implementing new tools and techniques and incorporating innovative concepts, she assists her clients to get the most of their home in the minimum possible time.

Lynette’s real estate record epitomizes her commitment to her clients. She has a record of selling more than 97% of all her listings with them being on the market an average of 19 days. 51% of all her sales have come from listings. She is equally dedicated to working with first-time buyers and buyers moving from their present homes. She especially comprehends the needs of the first-time homebuyers and is focused on their long-term real estate dreams. While most realtors look for new business from the general public, Lynette focuses her time on her existing clients and referrals. She has obtained the following designations and certifications:

  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
  • Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR)
  • Graduate, Realtor Institute (GRI)
  • Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR)
  • NAR’s e-PRO

Lynette lives in the Los Angeles and loves going to movies, flying airplanes, real estate investing, rehabbing properties, reading photography, concerts, plays, and dining out. She is a member of the Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors, Los Angeles Bar Association, Toastmasters Int’l, and the California State Bar Association. Lynette is also involved with the 99s Club and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

Skeptical about home warranty? Leading home warranty review, rating, and comparison website, HomeWarrantyReviews.com has introduced Home Maintenance Calculator which allows customers to estimate costs involved in maintaining a typical American Household. The tool is absolutely free of cost and hence fascinates many potential home warranty customers. Also, there is a widget code (<iframe src=”https://www.homewarrantyreviews.com/home-maintenance-widget”></iframe>) for the home maintenance calculator tool to put in your website or blog post.




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

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

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

What is Structural Warranty?

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

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

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

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

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

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

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

A Middleman

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

Value of the Home

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

How Structural Warranty Works

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

What Structural Warranty Covers

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

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

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

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

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

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

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

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

The Cost

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

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

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Texas is the second largest state in America, regarding the number of people living in it. That means a great number of households that need protection and maintenance. Also, statistics concerning the trends of population evolution are pointing towards growth in the future. Soon, new residences will have to be built to accommodate the growing no. of people. In a state with so many homes, a Home Warranty should be a must. Anything can go wrong and get broken, leaving you with the inability of doing your everyday tasks. Yes, there are companies that take care of these matters, but considering the high number of households that might need their assistance, you may have to wait for a while. As an advice to homeowners, here are five of the most reliable Home Warranty companies in Texas, as of June 2015.

1. The Home Service Club

The most important appliances in your home, in case they malfunction and regardless of their age, will be repaired and handled by the Home Service Club. And in case your appliance cannot be repaired, their solution also foresees a replacement of the malfunctioning device. The company has an extensive network of sub-contractors, meaning that interventions at the client’s house will be done in a short time frame. Customer service is available around the clock, in any day of the week, so you can call them any time you need assistance. Besides phone calling, any customer can access their website in case they need any of the services they provide.

The company is getting great reviews from former clients. They appreciated the short period of solving the matter and the professionalism of technicians. Customers expressed their contentment and stated that company is reliable and trustworthy.

They have two available plans for their services. The Standard plan, which cover some of the most significant appliances and systems within a home. And the Comprehensive plan, which includes almost anything needed in a house, regarding devices and household appliances.

Home Warranty Companies in Texas

2. American Home Shield

A large number of technicians and contractors who compose the American Home Shield team, are ready all the time to take care of any systems or appliances that might get broken in your home. They have built quite a reputation in their extended activity in this branch, earning thousands of satisfied customers, who got their appliances running in the shortest notice.

Customers are happy with the services received from the company, pointing out promptitude, respect and well-trained technicians on the field. Most of them did not wait longer than 24 hours to get their appliances working again, which is extremely important for every homeowner.

Regarding their plans, the company has quite a diversity. The most preferred by clients is the Combo plan, destined to take care of the majority of appliances and systems a house may have, at a very low price. They also offer a customizable Build Your Own Plan, which allows the homeowner to designate his priorities. Shield-Essential takes care of the devices that are most costly to buy and repair. Shield-Plus works the same way as the previous plan, but having a few extras. And Shield-Complete that gathers all the benefits of both of the previous plans, plus a couple of other advantages.

3. Complete Appliance Protection

As the company claims, everything that comes with an outer metal case and gets plugged in, will be covered by their services. They also have a customer service available regardless of day or hours, and there are no fees for calling in each time you have a problem.

Reviews show that customers appreciate the company, some of them using their services for more than 10 years. They appreciate the availability of the customer service, the professionalism with which their issues are treated and the quality of the services.

The Complete Appliance Protection has four plans to offer to their clients. They have the Kitchen and Laundry plan and the Heating and Cooking plan, which both state what their cover in their names. They also have the Full House and Full House Plus plans, with extended covering regarding the type of appliances.

4. Landmark Home Warranty

The services offered by this company regard both homeowners and real estate agents as well. They can take care of any appliance or system that refuses to work properly. Besides the traditional customer service, a client can also visit their website to find out information about plans, services or to become a member. There will also be a call fee of $65, regardless of the plan you chose.

Customers seem to be impressed by the services they receive. They appreciate the high quality of the repairs, fast solving of the matter and reliability at each call for a problem. Being there for the customers and offering the best support is the success recipe for this company.

The company offers four types of plans. Standard, Premier Plus, Value and Deluxe, each having specific coverage and price. From all these, Deluxe is the plan that offers the most coverage and solves most of your issues regarding appliances.

5. Select Home Warranty

Repairs or replacements should never be a worry with the services provided by this company. It doesn’t matter what type of home you have or what appliance gets broken, as long as the terms mentioned in the contract are met, Select Home Warranty will repair it for you. Their network of technicians and contractors is rather large so that they can be at your place in no time.

Customers are quite happy with the services and promptitude, claiming their issues were solved in a relatively short period. Also, they mentioned that the quality of the services is also reliable. Still, there were some customers wishing for some more coverage in the company’s plans.

They have three types of plans available. Bronze Care, Gold Care and Platinum Care, and each plan has a specified coverage and a payment plan. If you wish to get maximum coverage, then you will have to opt for the Platinum care. Also, do remember that there is a service call fee for all customers, regardless of the plan.

To view a complete list of top rated home warranty companies use the link below: