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Home Warranty

Like everything else in our economy, the cost of simply maintaining your home (not even improving or upgrading it in any way) is becoming more of an investment as the months pass. The cost of fuel has driven prices up across the board. Just in the grocery store, I’ve watched the cost of an item go from $.75 to a $1.00 to $2.00 to $3.50. Maybe you are concerned that your home warranty is going increase in price as well.

Like you, I consider myself a prudent shopper, so before I purchase a big-ticket item like a washing machine, dryer, furnace, car, replacement window, or a new roof …most often I check out the product’s warranty. After all, I’d like to think that once the bill is paid, I’m off the hook for a while. That’s why we purchase the extended warranty when we buy our new vehicles. But even the best warranty from the most reputable company does have some fine print and responsibility that we, the owner, must assume.

Understanding Warranties

Much like our home warranty, our car is warrantied bumper to bumper during the first 100,000 miles –if we see that intervalled service is performed and logged properly . If your oil hasn’t been changed for 20,000 miles, you can’t produce a warranty and expect the dealership to honor your blown engine.

Homeowners buy shingles with a lifetime warranty; but if the shingles are placed over spaced sheeting, not nailed properly, or the valleys and edges are not covered with ice and water shield and flashed properly, or the roof is not vented according to proper specifications, then no shingle company anywhere will take responsibility for the damage done to your grandmother’s antique dining table. If the soffit and fascia or even the interior walls rotted because they were unprotected from ice damming, or the premature cupping of overheated shingles fom lack of proper ventilation, then don’t expect reimbursement from your warranty. Even the bestreplacement window will not keep the wind from blowing in if it’s been measured incorrectly, the voids haven’t been filled or the window was installed over a rotted sill and frame...

The quality of the product offered is important, but the quality of the installation is equally important. Labor skill, experience, and integrity comes with a price. Furthermore, hiring a company or individual whose prices are lower because of being not properly or adequately insured leaves you, the homeowner, at risk.

If you’re tempted to chose who works on your home by price alone, think again. Paying for the same project twice is not cost efficient; neither is being forced to use your own homeowner’s insurance for an injury or a job gone bad. On the other hand, choosing a company because its windows cost twice as much as another does not necessarily mean its window is superior in quality — especially if a bonafide “salesman” is involved. The quality of this window might actually be lesser, but be assured that it does reflect the income the salesman earns over the actual cost of the window.

So folks, remember that the warranty of the product does not cover its installation but that the quality of your project depends on both the installation and the product quality. When choosing a company to maintain and improve your home, consider its track record. Ask how it handles their home warranty issues. Is the company stable and planning on being around? Research the quality of the products being installed. Check out the company’s integrity by networking with other members of your community. Taking enough responsibility before the job will set it up for you to be extremely satisfied with your choice at the end of the project and for many years afterwards.

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