Home Warranty Vs. Home Insurance

Home Warranty Vs. Home Insurance

Home Warranty Vs. Home Insurance

It’s easy to confuse a home warranty and home insurance. Both are important to homeowners, but they both cover very different things. It’s important that you understand the difference between the two so you can provide your home with the best coverage and put your mind at ease.

What is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty is not home insurance. A home warranty covers repair work for major appliances like washers, dryers, refrigerators, and even swimming pools. Furnaces, plumbing and electrical work, and air conditioning systems are also covered by home warranties.

Purchasing an appliance protection plan from a home warranty company is a great way to ensure your home is protected. Each plan has a predetermined level of protection and scope of coverages. Basic home warranties cover most appliances within your home. Purchasing a more advanced home warranty can cover more appliances, even those outside your home, like a swimming pool.

When something covered by a home warranty breaks or wears down, the home warranty company sends a contracted service provider to your home to assess the problem. Damage needing minimal repairs can happen on the first visit. More substantial repairs or replacements must be approved by the home warranty company. Home warranties cover the parts needed for repair and replacement if the damage is too great. Each visit by a service provider costs a certain amount that you pay.

Each home warranty contract is different. Your individual contract will specify what is and what isn’t covered. For an item to be covered by a home warranty, it must be within the main foundation of the home, unless specified in the contract (things like septic tanks, wells, and sometimes pools).

Home warranties allow homeowners to save money. Repairing or replacing appliances can easily cost several thousand dollars. With home warranties, homeowners pay the cost of the warranty, plus a service fee for each visit by a repair technician. If repairs or a replacement is needed, the home warranty company provides those at a discounted rate to the homeowner.

Having a home warranty increases the value of your home. If you’re looking to sell your home, getting a home warranty can attract more buyers, because the warranty can be transferred when a home is sold. Home buyers will feel more confident about buying a home with a home warranty because it eliminates the worry of surprise repairs.

For more information on plans and pricing, click here. Also, check our home warranty page to get answers to any other questions you may have.

What is Homeowners Insurance?

A home insurance policy is required by most banks before you can get a mortgage on a home. Homeowners insurance often covers damage from wind, fire, lightning strikes, hail, theft, and vandalism. A homeowner’s insurance policy covers the foundation of your home, protects your personal property from theft, and reduces liability from third party involvement.

A homeowner’s insurance policy is reviewed annually and can cost between $300-$1000. When you need to file a claim for your homeowner’s insurance policy, you pay a deductible and your policy covers the rest.

If you need to take advantage of your home insurance policy, an insurance adjuster will visit your home and fill a repair or replacement claim on the damaged items. When your insurance company approves the claim, they will charge you the deductible cost and pay for the balance of the repairs. The amount you pay for your deductible affects your yearly policy cost. A higher deductible results in a lower annual renewal fee.

 

Why should I have both?

Homeowner’s insurance and home warranties both cover different things. Having a home warranty and home insurance is the best way to ensure maximum protection for you and your home.

Home insurance policies typically cover:

  • The structure and contents of your house
  • Personal property like furniture, clothes, computers, TV, etc.
  • Jewelry coverage varies by plan. It may be itemized at full value, covered up to a certain amount, or not covered at all
  • Theft, lightning, vandalism, fire, windstorm, hail, falling objects such as a tree
  • Living expenses if your home is uninhabitable because of a natural disaster
  • Liability claims if someone is injured on your property and they decide to sue you

Home warranties typically cover:

  • Air conditioning
  • Plumbing
  • Heating and electrical systems
  • Appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, washers, and dryers

More comprehensive plans are available and can be extended to things like:

  • Gas and water leaks
  • Ductwork
  • Sump pumps
  • Sprinkler systems
  • Pool equipment
  • Well pumps

Having a home warranty on top of your existing homeowner’s insurance policy provides more coverage to your home, appliances, and valuables.

Things to Consider

Lifestyle Needs

Purchasing a home warranty and home insurance isn’t as straightforward as we’d like it to be. It’s important to make sure you’re buying the best home warranty or insurance for your needs. Consider your lifestyle, how many people live in your home, and whether or not you have pets are just a few important things to think about before you purchase a home warranty or homeowner’s insurance.

Ease of Submitting a Claim

It’s also important to think to consider the ease of submitting a claim. Be sure to read your policy and warranty thoroughly to make sure you understand everything. You don’t want your repair or replacement to be stuck behind mountains of paperwork and months of cutting through red tape. You want a home warranty and insurance plan that can take care of you as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Cost

Don’t forget to think about costs of purchasing and renewing a home warranty and home insurance. Home warranties generally cost between $300-$500 each year. This cost covers the repair or replacement of your home’s appliances and systems. These warranty plans are renewed annually, and additional coverage for pools, washers, and dryers, and other complex systems can be added for an extra cost.

Homeowner’s insurance coverage varies based on the extent of coverage, location of the property, and according to state codes. Typically homeowner’s insurance can be purchased for between $300-$1000 annually.

Conclusion

Your home is one of your greatest investments. It’s important that you treat it like that, and protect it as well as you can. Having a home warranty in addition to your existing homeowner’s insurance policy is essential to having peace of mind. Having a home warranty will ensure that you and your home will always be taken care of.

How to Create Your Own Window Cleaning Solution

How to Create Your Own Window Cleaning Solution

How to Create Your Own Window Cleaning Solution

Cleaning the windows on and in your home is a difficult and time-consuming task. Doing it right is even harder. Do you ever feel like you’re just pushing the dirt around on your windows? Or that they look worse than when you started? It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all that goes into window cleaning. We’ve put together some helps to take the headache out of washing your windows. If you follow these tips and tricks, we’ll have you cleaning windows like a pro.

The Best Window Cleaning Solution

The best window washing solutions always use vinegar. Why is using vinegar so important to wash windows? Besides being non-toxic and antibacterial, vinegar is slightly acidic. This allows it to quickly break down the film and grime that accumulates on your windows. There are a lot of window cleaning solution recipes out there. Odds are, you’ve tried a lot of them, and none of them work as well as you hoped they would. The recipe we’ve got for you is a great way to clean your windows as quickly and efficiently as possible.

If it’s been a while since you’ve washed your windows, use this recipe:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dish detergent (Dawn works best)

Once you’ve completed your initial wash, it’s recommended that you wash your windows at least twice a year. This recipe is perfect for maintaining the initial wash (though you can use the original recipe as many times as you want):

  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. white vinegar

This mix can be made in bulk (for a bucket), or in a spray bottle. Both methods are effective. If you use a bucket and brush, attach a soft bristled brush or mop to an extended pole. Dip the brush in the solution and scrub the windows. Before the solution has dried, make sure to rinse it off with a hose. Using a fitted nozzle or sprayer attachment is really helpful. This method is best for tall houses, houses with lots of windows, and avoids the need for a ladder.

A lot of people like to make the mix in a spray bottle and clean each window individually. This will take a little more time, but depending on the number of windows you need to clean, and how closely you want to clean them, this method works great. This is also the preferred method for washing windows inside your house. Finding the right wipe to ensure a streak-free window is difficult. Popular methods are coffee filters, newspapers, or microfiber cloths. If you use a cloth, make sure it’s lint free. Paper towels are popular but can leave streaks and paper residue behind.

Other Window Cleaning Tips

  • For large windows, use a strip applicator. These long, thick cloths soak up a lot of water and easily remove dirt without scratching the glass.
  • Using a squeegee takes a little bit of practice, but can really improve your windows. Start in the top left corner of the soapy window and pull in a reverse “S” shape, wiping the blade at the end of each pull. Then, dry off little drips or remnants with a lint-free cloth.
  • If you have a multipaned window, using a large, handheld sponge or bristle brush works really well for washing. You can wipe dry with a lint-free cloth or use a small squeegee.
  • For stubborn spots, use fine 000 steel wool. This is great for targeting hard water stains that normal washing won’t get rid of.
  • Don’t wash windows that are in direct sunlight. Windows heat up quickly when exposed to sunlight. This can cause the water to evaporate before you’ve finished washing the windows and haven’t had a chance to wipe them off.
  • Wash windows on one side left to right. Then wash the other side top to bottom. This will let you see if you’ve missed spots on one side.

These tips and tricks will definitely improve your window cleaning abilities. Hopefully, this will take away some of the pain and trouble you’ve had in the past from cleaning windows. Now when you hear that voice inside your head telling you to clean your windows, you’ll be better prepared to take on the task.

50 Tips And Tricks On Water Conservation

50 Tips And Tricks On Water Conservation

With all the droughts and natural disasters happening around the world, water conservation is becoming more and more important. The supply of available water can’t keep with the demands we place on it. Here are a few useful tips and tricks to help you monitor and conserve your water use.

  1. Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. You can save almost 150 gallons of water each month when you turn the water off.
  2. Take shorter showers. Shaving a few minutes off your shower time will greatly reduce the amount of water used.
  3. Fix leaks and leaky appliances. Whether you do it yourself or hire a plumber, fixing leaks will save lots of water.
  4. Monitor your water bill. If your bill goes up one month, check for leaks and extra unnecessary usage.
  5. Buy water efficient appliances like sinks, showers, and washing machines. The more efficient the machine, the less water they use.
  6. Flush less water. Older toilets use a lot of water. Fill a half gallon jug with water and put it in the toilet tank to use less water when you flush.
  7. Turn off the tap while you scrub your hands. Keeping water from running while you wash your hands will save several gallons each month.
  8. Wash only full loads of laundry. Doing fewer large loads of laundry can save a lot of water.
  9. Run your dishwasher only when it’s full for the same reason as with the washing machine.
  10. Using a dishwasher is more efficient than washing dishes by hand.
  11. Insulating your pipes will keep them from freezing in the winter and will also help your water heat up faster.
  12. Don’t use water to defrost food. This popular method of defrosting uses a lot of water.
  13. Avoid flushing the toilet for little things. Doing this can save 5-6 gallons per flush.
  14. When you wash dishes by hand, fill up the sink instead of letting the water run while you scrub.
  15. Carefully water your lawn. Place sprinklers to avoid overlap and watering things that don’t need watering (like sidewalks and the road).
  16. Water your lawn only when it needs to be watered.
  17. Using less electricity can also save water. Power plants are cooled on thousands of gallons of water. By using less electricity, you help save water.
  18. Harvesting rainwater is becoming more popular. There are a lot of things you can do with it.
  19. Keep a pitcher with water in the fridge, or use a water bottle instead of turning on the tap when you need a drink.
  20. Teach your kids how to save water. Every little bit helps.
  21. Learn where the emergency water shut off for your home is and how to use it.
  22. Have your plumbing and pipes inspected regularly? This can prevent major problems from happening.
  23. Clean your sidewalks and driveways with brooms instead of the hose.
  24. Use mulch in your garden and flower beds to help keep water in the soil longer.
  25. Adding clay into the dirt in your garden and flower bed helps water move through the soil more slowly.
  26. Water your plants and grass in the early morning to avoid losing water to evaporation
  27. Evaluate your use of water for lawn decorations like birdbaths and water fountains.
  28. Reduce the amount of grass and plants in your yard. Xeriscaping is becoming a popular, water saving way to decorate your yard.
  29. Wash your car in a car wash, not at home. Car washes recycle the water they use, which is something you can’t do at home.
  30. Save the water you cook pasta in to water your plants. Just make sure it’s cool first.
  31. Cook food in as little water as possible.
  32. Washing clothes in cooler water reduces water usage and energy
  33. Check to see if city or county codes will let you cycle your used washing machine water to water your plants.
  34. When filling the bathtub, plug the tub as soon as the water starts, then adjust the temperature as the tub fills.
  35. Plug the sink when you shave instead of running water to rinse your razor.
  36. Taking a shower instead of a bath saves several gallons of water.
  37. Make sure to check for leaks in your faucets. If your faucets drip once a second, that can total up to five gallons each day.
  38. Mow your lawn between 1.5 to 2 inches. Taller grass shades the roots and helps prevent water from evaporating.
  39. Aerating your lawn will help water reach the roots of the grass more quickly.
  40. Fertilizing your lawn increases the need for water. Only use as much fertilizer as you need.
  41. Make sure to weed regularly. Weeds compete with grass and plants for water and nutrients.
  42. If you have a swimming pool, use a pool cover to reduce evaporation and maintain pool chemistry.
  43. Don’t overfill your pool. Lower water levels reduce spilling and keep water from splashing out.
  44. If you have the option, join a community rec center and use their pool.
  45. Winterize outdoor spigots to keep pipes from freezing or bursting in the winter.
  46. Wash your pets on parts of your lawn that need water.
  47. Don’t throw out your pet’s old drinking water. Use it to water trees or plants.
  48. Install an instant water heater by your kitchen sink. This way, the water doesn’t need to run to heat up.
  49. Put leftover ice cubes in potted plants instead of throwing them out.
  50. Reusing your towels is a great way to save water.

If you follow these points, you’ll be sure to save lots of water.

Do I Need a Home Warranty?

Do I Need a Home Warranty?

Every year, many American families need to replace one of the appliances or systems in their home. This can cause frustration and add unnecessary stress. Home warranties are a great way for homeowners to have greater peace of mind.

What Is a Home Warranty?

A common misconception is that a home warranty is the same thing as homeowners insurance. A home warranty is not homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance often covers damage from fire, lightning strikes, wind, hail, and vandalism. Typically, damage caused by floods and earthquakes isn’t covered by most homeowners insurance policies. If a homeowner loses their furnace in a fire, their homeowner’s insurance policy should cover the replacement. If the furnace gets old and wears out, a home warranty can cover it.

Home warranties are a repair contract between the homeowner and a home warranty company. These warranty companies contract repair work for major appliances like refrigerators, washers, dryers, and swimming pools. They also cover furnaces, air conditioning systems, as well as plumbing and electrical work.

If a homeowner wishes to have a home warranty, they would purchase an appliance protection plan through a home warranty company. This plan offers coverage based on a preselected level of protection. Home warranties can range in scope and level of protection. Homeowners can choose a basic protection plan or a more comprehensive plan that covers most inside and outside appliances. When something covered under a home warranty breaks, a contracted service provider comes to inspect the damage. If the damage is minimal, repairs can happen on the first visit. Any major replacement or repairs must be approved by the home warranty company. The home warranty company provides parts for repairs, and if the damage is beyond repair, the warranty company may replace the device.

Home warranties cover many major appliances and systems within a home, as specified in the individual contract. Items covered must be located within the main foundation of the home, with a few exceptions (well, septic tank, etc.).

More information on plans and pricing can be found here.

Do I Need a Home Warranty? 

For most new and first-time homeowners, manufacturer warranties will cover major appliances for about the first year of use. After that, the responsibility of maintenance falls to the homeowner. Homeowners that have older appliances, a home more than five years old, insufficient funds to cover the repair or replacement of a major appliance, lack of time to complete the repair, or first time home buyers buying an older home should consider purchasing a home warranty.

Home warranties not only cover the cost of broken or damaged appliances not covered by homeowner’s insurance, they also help reduce the cost of maintenance and repairs. Instead of waiting until a major appliance breaks, home warranties help provide regular maintenance to appliances and major home systems. Homeowner’s insurance can’t provide that kind of service.

How Much Does a Home Warranty Cost? 

The price of a home warranty is typically a few hundred dollars. If the warranty company offers payment plans, this amount can be paid month to month. If a payment plan is not an option, the cost is paid in full at the beginning the warranty contract. This cost will likely range between $300-$500. The cost also depends on the property type and the comprehensiveness of the plan. In most cases, a home’s age and size will not affect the price, unless the house is new or over 5,000 square feet.

Home warranty companies also charge a service fee, or deductible, per house call. These service fees typically cost between $50-$125. If multiple visits are required, the homeowner is responsible to pay a service fee for each visit.

Having a home warranty does not eliminate all repair costs for the homeowner. Not all problems are covered by a home warranty.  Additionally, a home warranty does not help if the homeowner failed to purchase the warranty in time because warranty maintenance cannot be done retroactively on existing problems. Improper maintenance (on the part of the homeowner) can also lead a warranty company to refuse coverage.

If you are interested in a home warranty, click here to get a quote.

What Are The Benefits of a Home Warranty?

The biggest benefit of a home warranty is the peace of mind it provides. It allows homeowners to relax and not stress over costly home repairs. For homeowners who don’t have the funds for an emergency repair set aside or those who want to protect their savings account, home warranties can provide a buffer between the cost of the repair and the homeowner’s bank account.

Instead of spending time calling different contractors for quotes, homeowners make a single phone call to the warranty company. There is no need to wait for normal business hours since warranty claims can be made over the phone or online anytime. The warranty company will provide trusted and qualified repair technicians, which is another big help to the homeowner.

Home warranties will also allow homeowners to save money. Appliance repairs and replacements can easily cost several thousand dollars. With a home warranty, homeowners pay the cost of the warranty, plus a service fee for each visit. If repairs or a replacement is needed, the home warranty company will provide those at a discounted rate to the homeowner.

Homeowners are able to purchase protection plans that fit their individual needs. Standard plans cover things like air conditioning, plumbing, heating and electrical systems, and appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, washers, and dryers. More comprehensive plans are available and can be extended to things like gas and water leaks, ductwork, and sump pumps. Additional coverage add-ons for sprinkler systems, pool equipment, and well pumps can also be purchased. Home warranties are also renewable from year to year, and homeowners can choose to purchase additional coverage whenever they want.

For those looking to sell their homes, having a home warranty increases the value of a home because the warranty can be transferred when a home is sold. Many home buyers, will feel more confident about buying a home with a home warranty because it eliminates the worry of surprise repairs.

Conclusion

For many, buying a home warranty is a smart decision. However, before purchasing a home warranty, homeowners should read the terms of service and the contract carefully. Any questions should be directed to their home warranty service company. Home warranties can provide peace of mind and security for anyone worried about having costly repairs for their home, those with older homes, and for anyone who wants to save money and increase the value of their home.

Removing Carpet Stains with Homemade Cleaner

Removing Carpet Stains with Homemade Cleaner

Everyone makes a mess sometimes and it’s usually not a big deal.  But that’s never the case for carpet related messes. Carpet quickly absorbs dirt and color and is not easily cleaned or replaced.

Some go to professional carpet cleaners which can charge a lot in order to clean carpet with industrial chemicals and heavy duty machinery. Others try to save some money by making their own homemade carpet stain removers.

Here are three homemade carpet stain removers you can make in your own home before calling the professionals.

Homemade Carpet Stain Remover 1 – Hydrogen Peroxide

The first cleaner requires hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, and baking soda. The portions are pretty simple. You combine 2 ounces of hydrogen peroxide with 1 ounce of dish soap and 2 tablespoons of baking soda.

With a little math, you can make as much or as little cleaner as you need.

To use this mix, simply put it in a spray bottle, saturate the stained carpet with solution, scrub, dry and vacuum.

Homemade Carpet Stain Remover 2 – Ammonia

The second cleaner requires one part ammonia and one part hot water but you will also need some color safe towels, a spray bottle, and an iron.

Combine both liquids in a spray bottle while heating up the iron near the carpet stain. Spray the diluted ammonia onto the carpet stain. After properly spraying the stain, lay one color safe towel over the stain. Use the hot iron to iron the carpet through the towel. Be careful not to burn the carpet by moving back and forth slowly across the towel.

After a few minutes, you can lift up a towel corner to check if most of the stain has transferred from the carpet to the towel. If it is, you know it’s working.

Repeat these steps until the stain is completely gone.

Homemade Carpet Stain Remover 3 – Baking Soda

The third cleaner requires baking soda and vinegar.

All you do is sprinkle baking soda over the stain. You don’t need a pile of baking soda, but make sure the stain is properly covered. After that, pour vinegar over the baking soda and let it steep in the carpet. Combining baking soda and vinegar creates a chemical reaction and that’s what cleans the carpet’s stain. Wait until you no longer see any signs of a chemical reaction. Use a towel to gently blot up the rest of the liquid and vacuum any excess baking soda out of your carpet.

Conclusion

Hopefully, these three simple homemade carpet stain removers will save you time and money getting rid of those pesky carpet stains. Try them today before you spend a lot of money on professional cleaning services.