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Home Maintenance

Are Home Appliances and System Insurance (Warranties) Worthwhile?

Homeowners have the opportunity to buy home appliance and system warranties that are also known as Appliance and System Insurance. But, these “warranties” are not insurance policies. They are service contracts that cover your home appliances and systems such as heating ventilation, air-conditioning, hot water, electrical and plumbing systems. There is a great deal of debate among financial advisors and consumer advocates as to whether or not the service contracts make sense. Frankly, the decision is highly personal depending on many factors the most important one being, how risk averse are you?

What Isn’t Covered

These service contracts do not replace homeowners insurance and will not protect you against fire, a tree crashing through your roof or other perils covered by your homeowners insurance policy. Service contracts do not give you any liability coverage in the event that someone is harmed on your property.

Most service contracts require that in order for an item to be covered it must be properly maintained. This means for items such as your furnace and hot water heater you may be asked to produce maintenance records should the system need major repair or replacement.

What is Covered

Homeowners can choose levels of coverage.

Level I may only cover major appliances such as refrigerators and stones.

Level II may offer more protection by covering appliances and heating ventilation and air-conditioning systems.

Level III may provide the most extensive insurance by covering all the items in level II as well as homeowner’s entire electrical system and plumbing system.

When Does a Home Appliance and System Warranty Make Sense?

First let’s discuss when a service contract doesn’t make sense.

Renters never need a service contract

Buyers of new homes where major appliances have warrantees and the structure is covered by a builder’sguarantee do not need to obtain a service contract at this time.

If you’re a homeowner who doesn’t fall into either of the two categories above you may want to consider purchasing a home appliance and system warranty. Assuming you get a full warranty, that is a level III contract, you can expect to pay between $350-$500 per year. If you have a service call you will also pay in the neighborhood of $70 as your deductible. So, if you’re $1600 stainless steel gourmet stove stops working the warranty company will fix it, and if they cannot fix it they will replace it, for a total cost to you of $70 (and of course whatever your premium for the year is).

The warranty company is betting that homeowners will not have major repairs or replacements of appliances or home systems. The homeowner of course is betting that they will. As with all gambling bets one party has the advantage, and in this case it is the home warranty company. Basically the homeowner is protecting himself from a catastrophic loss. The protective nature of the warranty program is often confused with a typical homeowner’s insurance program, again it is not.

Folks who don’t like risk may find comfort with a home warranty program. Homeowners who are not handy may also find peace of mind by obtaining a service contract for appliances and major home systems. Folks in older homes with older appliances have at least an even chance of having to use a home warranty.

If you decide you want to buy a home warranty remember:

It does not replace homeowners insurance

Shopping around is a must

Once you have narrowed your search to a few companies call and ask for references you can speak to–reviews of most home warranty companies are very mixed. If you have questions as to whether your homeowners policy covers certain risks that are duplicated by purchasing a home warranty speak to your independent insurance agent before you make any changes in your comprehensive home insurance policy.…

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Remodeling

The Costs of Neglecting Your Septic Tank and System

You always hope you won’t ever have to contact a drainage company to help you replace the septic tank system within your house yet it might happen at some time if you’re not careful. The cost for rectifying your situation and replacing the system is really high and this is not just in terms of money. Look at the cost below and you will find out why it is a good idea to take good care of your system.
It is going to present a danger to one’s wellbeing. When your dilemma has gotten to where the unit has been damaged, the waste products will leak into your home’s ground. You must speak to your local health department because they will need to check out the problem and show you exactly what needs to be done. Waste matter which is not carefully treated could come out of your damaged system that can result in serious illnesses. Hepatitis and dysentery are only 2 examples of those disorders that may be brought about by waste products that are untreated. If you’ve been making use of chemical products for cleaning which are in the tank, these agents also can get into the environment. These kinds of compounds could be very hazardous to animals, people, and also wildlife in the region.
It can cause the waste materials to seep in your home. This is another huge expenditure. You will have certain detrimental waste material that is making its way straight into your drainage area. This can even back up into the house. Just visualize what it will be like and smell like when that waste is coming back up the lines. Cleaning this up would be really bothersome and also a big job. Till the job is completed, you will not be able to make use of your septic system. Just think the inconvenience that it could give. Sure you’ve got neighbors who might permit you to use their toilet but what will happen if you want to go in the middle of the night or if there is an emergency? Not fun!
You’ll likely need to have the system pumped, and this is quite expensive. This should help with keeping the condition from getting more serious simply because it will reduce the waste amount within the tank. This way it can help stop the overflow and thus prevent it from spreading into the area and perhaps your property.
All of the costs which are stated here might have been avoided had the system been able to address the waste it was collecting. The reasons for backup are many, but one really preventable and frequent concern is insufficient bacteria. Those bacteria eat solid waste, transforming it to the form that can be released into the soil harmlessly. Additive treatments for septic systems are on the market so that you can reintroduce the bacteria to the septic system for the conversion of the waste products.
A lot of people think of the monetary cost of the replacement of a septic tank. But it goes beyond that. It could really be harmful to everyone and everything in the place. You never know what a neglected septic system and tank can do until you become ill or perhaps lose a beloved pet to illness.…

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Renovation Costs

The 4 Most Common Septic System Problems

Septic systems are designed to process human waste and decompose it anaerobically over time. Most of the time they function perfectly, but much like any system with some amount of complexity, they are prone to some problems. Here we discuss the common septic systems problems.

Functioning Septic Systems

Septic systems break human and organic waste down into their constituent parts. The bacterial decomposition results in the formation of solids, liquids and gases. The solid part of it settles to the bottom of the tank, where it remains until it is removed by a septic tank pumper (which should be every 1 to 3 years). The gases and liquids are regularly released from the tank vents and pipes.

Almost every household has used their septic system as a dumping ground for non-organic waste. From plastic objects to tampons, people flush a wide variety of objects down the toilet, which the septic process was never designed to handle. These objects, if they do not block the pipes, make it to the septic tank and just sit there taking up space. These objects are non-biodegradable the bacteria cannot decompose them and they can only be removed by pumping the tank out.

Four of the most common problems with septic tanks are as follows:

Excess water being sent to the septic tank. Excess water is never good for a septic tank because it makes the solids overflow through the vents and pipes, which then blocks them. The blockage can completely stop the system from working and cause a backup into your house.

Sending paint thinners and solvents into the septic tank. These are toxic substances which are not good for the soil of the system, where they will finally find home because they are non-biodegradable too.

Using too many household detergents. These detergents contain phosphates, which are helpful in algae growth. Algae can block pipes and then make the septic tank overflow.

Flushing non-biodegradable products down the toilet (mentioned earlier). Non-biodegradable substances need to be regularly pumped out of the tank just because bacteria cannot decompose them.

How to solve common septic system problems:

Use a lesser amount of water than you do normally to solve the problem the excess water problem. There are various solutions to easily reduce water consumption. You can find some examples at your local hardware store.

Do not dispose of non-biodegradable waste into the septic system. At all. Ever.

Do not use the common detergents; instead use liquid soaps and gel soaps which do not contain phosphates.

Do not dispose of toxic substances like paint thinners and solvents into the septic system.

Finally, have your septic system pumped every few years. One to three years is the duration advised by the experts as an acceptable amount of time between pumpings.…

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Remodel Kitchen

Caring For Your Septic System – Safe Products and Habits

Many people have experienced all too expensive septic problems. Maintenance can be painful for the pocketbook and can also greatly affect the way your family functions in order to keep the septic tank from having future problems. But what about using products that help your septic function, and do not have the harmful effects of other products? Let’s look at some simple products that can prevent back up and problems with your septic system.
While the most commonly suggested maintenance product is Rid-X there are actually items that even powerhouse products are incapable of processing and breaking down. Some products that should never be flushed, washed down a sink or bathtub, or in anyway transmitted to the septic system are: cat litter, used cooking oil, paint and thinners, bleach, cigarette butts, coffee grounds, tampons or panty liners, paper towels or tissues, and pool chemicals or pool water. For some sensitive septic systems even toilet paper can cause costly clogs. What makes these products so dangerous to your system is that many homeowners don’t even realize how harmful they really are.
On top of scheduling regular maintenance, there are products available you can use that can be greatly beneficial. One example of a product swap you can make is a simple change in laundry detergent. Whatever detergent you choose should be a liquid with little or no phosphates. Some potential brand choices are: Amway S-A-8, Arm & Hammer, Boraxo, Cheer, Dash, Equator, Fresh Start, Oxydol and Seventh Generation. These detergents are even biodegradable and have less harmful effects on the environment than other choices.
As for the cleaning products you use in your home, avoid items with ammonia and chlorine, and make sure the products are biodegradable and non-toxic. Never use powder products, liquids are always the choice to make whether it is a laundry detergent or toilet cleaner. Even using liquid dishwasher detergent is suggested by some professionals. Ironically, cheap toilet paper is better for the septic system as the thinner sheets are much more easily broken down in the system. More expensive brands that boast ultra plush toilet papers have additives mixed in and that slow down natural processes.
By buying biodegradable and “green” products you may actually save yourself lots of money by keeping your septic system functioning and clean. As previously mentioned, no product will eliminate the need to have regular maintenance on your septic, but using products that are environmentally friendly can keep your system cleaner and prevent clogging or back ups.…

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Bathroom Renovations

Ensure Your Family’s Safety With The Proper Home Security System

Do you want to protect your family and your home? You are doing the right thing because when it comes to your home, you cannot be too cautious. To make sure your home is always safe, you need to do your part. Keep reading to learn more about home security.

Your dog can keep your spare house key for you. This really only works if you’ve got an outdoor dog or if you’ve got a pet door. You can purchase a special collar that will hold your spare key, so when you forget your keys your dog can let you in.

Buy fire resistant flooring, roofing and ceiling. This is a good way to protect your home against fires, for instance if you live near power lines or in a dry area. Preventing a fire is important since it can cause a lot of damage.

Do not post on your social media accounts regarding when you will be away on vacation. While you may want to shout it from the rooftops, you’re letting everyone know that your home will be vacant and easy to rob.

Be sure to secure your attached garage. There is a way to stop thieves from entering your home from the garage. If your garage door happens to lift on a track, using a C-clamp can help. the C-clamp prevents the door from opening if it’s tightened on the track close to the roller.

Check with your local law enforcement agency about home protection plans. Many police departments will offer expert advice, arrange inspections, sponsor neighborhood watches, and help you mark and register your valuables. Call the local police department and inquire as to what programs they offer.

Remember to have an annual inspection of your home security system. Have a worker from the security company take a look at it. Mother Nature and wild animals can also cause issues with your home security system. You may not even know there is a problem if it is not visible.

Walls are great for hiding things. Concealing small valuables in your walls is an easy and highly effective way to protect them. Just use an unwired electric plug, light switch or phone box. If you’re using all your outlets, you can install phony ones.

Use your wall spaces to hide your valuables. You do not have to cut pieces out of the walls to do this. Your home should have a few pre-cut areas that can be used. How about unwiring your electric socket and using that as an area to stash your jewelry?

The alarm system you choose should protect more than just the doors to your home. Windows are all potential entry points for burglars. Have alarms installed for each window and any other entry point. This can keep your family much safer.

Sadly, there is no such thing as a 100% safe home. There are things you can do to make your home as safe as you possible. The piece above has provided you with useful home security tips. Make good use of them in order to make certain your home is protected.…