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Dealing with roof leaks and repairs

Big or small, a leak in the roof can cause some serious damage. Whether you have a gaping hole in the roof or a subtle leak, you need to get roof repair as soon as possible. Here is how to conquer roof leaks from the roofers at Dealing with roof leaks and repairs appeared first on RenovationFind Blog.

Metal roofing: why copper should be a top contender   

If you’re looking for a roof that is long-lasting, durable, and undeniably beautiful, there’s no better choice than copper. Metal roofing has some fantastic benefits, and copper is superior roofing material.

Here are the reasons why a new copper roof should be among your top choices:

The post Metal roofing: why copper should be a top contender    appeared first on RenovationFind Blog.

Why early spring is the best time to tackle your AC

  

Spring is on its way, which means summer isn’t far away either. When the days get hot, you’ll want to know your AC will do its job. That’s why early spring is the best time to tackle any maintenance, repairs or even replacements!

The post Why early spring is the best time to tackle your AC appeared first on RenovationFind Blog.

What Is a Home Warranty?

Farmhouse at Emerson Green exterior shot | William Geddes

A home warranty can prevent you from paying expensive costs on repairs and replacements to major home systems and appliances. Keep reading to learn more.

A home warranty, also known as a home protection plan, is an annual service contract that covers repairs and replacements to major home systems and appliances that break down due to normal wear and tear. Unlike homeowner’s insurance, which covers liability, property loss, and short-term housing costs, a home warranty covers the systems and appliances in your home.

Keep reading to learn about the benefits of a home warranty, what exactly one covers, and how to purchase the right plan.

Benefits of a Home Warranty

A home warranty can save homeowners money on expensive repair and replacement costs. Additionally, it provides an easy way for homeowners to tackle repairs promptly. Instead of having to call around and find a trusted technician to complete the repairs for you, a warranty company will send a local expert to address your problem and get your system or appliance back into working condition. Some home warranty companies even let you choose a technician of your choice to complete repairs.

Another benefit of a home warranty is that it can be a valuable incentive if you’re selling your house. By mentioning that your home is protected by a home warranty plan and including it in the sale, potential homebuyers could be more likely to close the deal knowing that they’ll have additional protection on their home.

What Does a Home Warranty Cover?

Home warranty plans cover your home’s major systems and appliances. There are primarily three types of home warranty coverage: systems plans, appliance plans, and combination plans. Systems plans will cover whole-home systems like your air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems; appliance plans will cover appliances like your refrigerator, dishwasher, and oven. Combination plans cover both. Some home warranty companies will also allow you to customize your plan and pick and choose the items you want covered.

Below is a list of the most commonly covered home systems and appliances:

Most companies will also provide optional coverage for miscellaneous items like your pool, hot tub, spa, or second refrigerator. Customers can tack on these items to their plan for an additional cost every month.

How Much Does a Home Warranty Cost?

On average, a home warranty costs between $300–$600 for an annual plan. Basic plans that cover only systems or only appliances may fall on the low end of that spectrum, while more comprehensive plans that include systems, appliances, and add-ons will fall toward the higher end.

In addition to a monthly premium, customers will have to pay a service call fee every time a technician comes to your house to assess the covered item in question. Most service fees cost between $75–$125, but some companies offer service fees as low as $60.

Before buying a home warranty plan, ask the company if any current promotions or discounts are going on. Some companies, like Select Home Warranty, offer promotions where customers get two months free when signing up.

air conditioningiStock

How Does a Home Warranty Work?

After purchasing a home warranty, coverage typically kicks in 30 days after your first payment. If a covered item breaks down under warranty, you can file a claim or service request with your company and get the issue addressed.

If you’re in the process of purchasing a home, you may be able to roll your home warranty into your mortgage payments. Talk to your mortgage lender and confirm with your home warranty company if this is possible.

In general, here’s what the process looks like:

  1. A covered appliance or system breaks down due to normal wear and tear.
  2. You call your home warranty provider to file a claim or you can submit a claim online.
  3. Once the service request has been processed, the company will send a technician to address the broken item typically within 48 hours.
  4. At your home, the technician takes a look at the system or appliance and recommends a repair or replacement. At this time, you would pay the set service fee.
  5. If the repair is minor enough and the contractor has the necessary parts, they can make the repair right away. If a replacement is needed, they’ll have to schedule a follow-up appointment to complete the replacement.
  6. After the repair or replacement is complete, you can enjoy your newly functioning system or appliance.

How to Buy a Home Warranty

Before purchasing a home warranty, there are a few factors you should consider to ensure you’re getting the best protection plan for your home.

  • Type of plan—Some companies will organize their plans based on the number of items covered under each plan while others will divide coverage by the type of item (systems vs. appliances, for example). Take note of the items you have in your home and weigh your coverage options before buying a plan.
  • Coverage caps—Sometimes, a home warranty provider will place coverage caps on certain appliances or systems. This limited amount will typically cover repair costs, but if a replacement needs to be made, it might not cover the entire thing. For example, if there’s a $2,000 coverage cap on your electrical system, you would be responsible for paying any amount past that limit.
  • Pricing—If you’re on a budget, there are plans below $50 a month that will suit your preferences. Most companies will let you pay on a monthly basis as opposed to an annual fee to make plans slightly more affordable for those who can’t pay a big fee upfront.
  • Customer service—In the event that an item breaks down in your home, you’ll want a responsive and helpful customer service team to help you get it fixed. The best home warranty companies offer 24/7 customer service and have an online portal or app where you can file claims.
  • Reputation—In a saturated warranty industry, it can be difficult to determine which company is legitimate. When searching for a provider, look for one that has at least a B rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and read third-party customer reviews to get a good idea of what it’s like to work with the company.

Recommended Home Warranty Providers

If you’re ready to buy a home warranty, consider the following companies. We recommend getting a quote from all three providers so you can compare your options and negotiate better deals, finding a price that’s right for you.

American Home Shield: Best Coverage

With more than 45 years of experience, American Home Shield (AHS) is one of the most trusted companies in the business. Known for providing generous coverage caps and allowing customers to build their own plans, AHS also lets customers choose between a $75, $100, and $125 service fee. AHS may not be the right choice for you if you want to select your own contractor to complete the repairs or replacements.

Get a free AHS quote customized to your zip code.

Choice Home Warranty: Best Repair Guarantee

Choice Home Warranty (CHW) is great for homeowners who have older systems or appliances, as the company doesn’t deny coverage based on the age of your home or the age of your systems or appliances. Additionally, the company doesn’t require a home inspection before getting coverage. CHW gives customers the option of choosing between a basic plan or comprehensive plan for $36–$44 per month. It may not be the right choice for you if you live in California, Oklahoma, or Washington, as these states aren’t covered by the company.

Get a free CHW quote customized to your zip code.

First American Home Warranty: Best Value

First American Home Warranty (FAHW) is different from other companies in that it offers a First Class Upgrade, which covers systems and items even if they were improperly installed, modified, or maintained. It also has a risk-free, 30-day money-back guarantee and provides 24/7 customer service. FAHW may not be a good choice for you if you want protection specifically for your air conditioning.

Get a free FAHW quote customized to your zip code.

Home Warranty FAQ

Are home warranties worth the cost?

If you have systems and appliances that are about to be on the fritz or just want to have peace of mind that major items in your home are covered, then a home warranty may be a good option.

Let’s say your HVAC system breaks down and you don’t have a home warranty. It could cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to repair or replace your system. A $300 home warranty offsets that expense and saves you from paying those expensive, out-of-pocket costs.

How long do home warranties last?

Most home warranties last for a year, though some companies will allow you to enroll in a multi-year plan if you pay upfront.

How can I renew my home warranty?

To renew your home warranty, contact your provider to begin the renewal process. Some companies will auto-renew the policy for you.

Who pays for a home warranty?

If you’re in the process of buying or selling a home, who pays for a warranty may differ. For example, if you’re a homeowner selling your house and already have a policy, you can transfer the policy to the new homeowners without a fee. However, those new homeowners will have to pay for the home warranty once the length of the current contract expires.

Additionally, real estate agents may pay for a home warranty if the seller doesn’t have one. This would make the sale more enticing to prospective buyers.

When can I buy a home warranty?

Whether you’ve lived in your home for years and decided to just now get protection or you’re buying a home and want to ensure it’s protected the second you sign, you can purchase a home warranty at any time.

Is a home warranty different from home insurance?

Yes, a home warranty is different from home insurance in that it covers major home systems and appliances whereas home insurance typically covers damage to your home due to natural disasters or theft.

Our Review Process

The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparency and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. With that in mind, we spent time creating an objective rating system to score each home warranty company. Here’s what that process looked like:

  • We called every home warranty provider, talking to sales agents and company representatives. We got quotes, asked questions to fully understand the protection plan offerings, and evaluated the customer service.
  • We analyzed the sample contracts from each brand we reviewed. This allowed us to break down the industry jargon and see what was covered and not covered so we can give readers that information.

With all of that data, we created a rating system to score each home warranty company. Our rating system is a weighted, 100-point scale on the following factors:

  • Plan options: Every home and every family needs the right home warranty plan for them. Providers with more options and more flexibility were rated higher than those without.
  • Coverage specifics*: What does each plan and each provider cover? The more covered by the provider in their basic plans the higher the score.
  • Pricing*: Pricing, both the monthly fee and the service fee, plans an important role in the selection process.
  • Trustworthiness*: There are a number of home warranty companies out there which are not reputable and do not follow through on their agreements. We gauged trustworthiness based on customer feedback from multiple sources.
  • State availability: Where you live plays a role in the options you have for a home warranty. Companies scored higher if they had more states covered than competitors.
  • Customer service: This factor is scored based on our own research from calling providers as well as their guarantees for responding to claims.
  • Additional benefits: Some home warranty companies offer special promotions or will cover items that are usually optional coverage. Home warranty companies that offer these types of benefits were scored higher than competitors which do not.

*Criteria weight doubled

Basics of Home Warranty Roof Leak Coverage

Tom Silva on Roof | Heath Racela

Are roof leaks covered under a home warranty? Keep reading to learn about home warranty roof coverage and how to protect your roof over the long-term.

Most roof leaks aren’t covered by home insurance, but there are some home warranty plans and providers that do cover roof leaks and repairs.

Are Roof Leaks Covered Under a Home Warranty?

If you’re unfamiliar with a home warranty, this is an annual service contract that covers repairs or replacements on major home systems and appliances like your clothes washer, water heater, air conditioning, and plumbing system. In addition to protecting these items, a home warranty covers optional items like swimming pools, well pumps, and roofs.

While there are some home warranty companies that cover roof leaks, this type of coverage is usually optional or listed as an add-on that you must pay extra for when you sign up for a policy.

Cost of Roof Repairs

The cost to repair a roof will depend on the size of the area that needs repair, the steepness of the roof, the roofing material, and the severity of the repairs needed. Roof repairs can be one of the most expensive home repair costs. Depending on the size of your house, they can cost a few thousand dollars without a warranty or protection plan.

Which Home Warranty Companies Provide Roof Coverage?

Choice Home Warranty, Select Home Warranty, The Home Service Club, and 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty all offer roof leak coverage to customers. Below you’ll find roof leak coverage specifics for the companies that provide this type of home warranty coverage.

  • Choice Home Warranty: Best Repair Guarantee—In Choice’s sample contract, it explains that repairs of shake, shingle, and composition roof leaks for single-family homes are covered, but foam roofs, tar and gravel roofs, Masonite shingles, gutters, and partial roof replacement are not covered.
  • Select Home Warranty: Lowest Deductible—With Select, roof leaks on single-family homes are covered, but patios, metal roofs, shingles, and structural leaks aren’t covered. Select also doesn’t cover repairs that require a partial or complete roof replacement.
  • The Home Service Club: Quickest Coverage—The Home Service Club covers leaks that result from rain or normal wear and tear. It does not cover foam roofs, structural leaks, or improper installations. Note: The Home Service Club will pay up to $1,000 per contract term for roof leak repairs.
  • 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty: Best Coverage for Home Builders—Similar to The Home Service Club, 2-10 HBW covers roof leaks that are from the result of rain or normal wear and tear. Gutters, chimneys, and leaks due to people standing on the roof or construction aren’t covered. 2-10 HBW also has a $1,000 limit for roof leaks per contract term.

We recommend getting a quote from at least three of the above providers so you can compare your options, negotiate better deals, and find a home warranty plan that fits within your budget.

Roofing, Fixing a RoofiStock
Roofing, Fixing a Roof

How to Maintain Your Roof

Since your home warranty will cover only normal wear and tear damage on your roof, it’s important to take care of your roof year-round. Below are just a few tips to help you keep your roof in good shape:

  • Clean your gutters at least twice a year—once in the spring and once in the fall. Leaves, dirt, and other debris can build up in your gutters and prevent rainwater from draining properly. If your gutters get too backed up, it could lead to water damage around your roof and cause your gutters to burst.
  • Avoid walking on your roof, as this could damage shingles, and use a ladder instead.
  • Trim tree branches near your home to prevent them from hitting your roof.
  • Clean roof shingles once a year and remove any moss or mold you find. Use a moss removal solution and a soft-bristled brush instead of using a pressure washer, which can lift up the shingles and damage your roof further.

FAQs: Home Warranties and Roof Coverage

Is home warranty roof protection worth it?

If you want to have extra protection for your roof and don’t want to pay expensive repair costs, having roof coverage is definitely worth it. Many homeowners find that making a monthly payment of $30 to $80 is far more predictable than facing much larger expenses unexpectedly.

How long does home warranty roof coverage last?

Home warranty roof coverage lasts as long as the home warranty policy lasts, which is typically a year. If you have a multi-year plan, roof coverage will last until the policy expires.

Can you buy roof warranty coverage at any time?

Yes, you can add on roof coverage when you sign up for a home warranty or you can choose to add it on later.

How do I request service on my roof with a home warranty?

If you have a home warranty and notice your roof is leaking, and the cause is from normal wear and tear, file a claim with your home warranty provider. The company should get a contractor out to you within 48 hours to assess the damage. When the contractor arrives at your house, you’ll be required to pay a service call fee, which is an amount set by your provider when you purchase a policy. This fee typically ranges between $75–$125.

What does home warranty roof coverage include?

Roof coverage will cover leaks that have occurred due to normal wear and tear. Any leaks that are caused by construction, poor maintenance, people standing on the roof, or natural disasters will generally not be covered. Read your home warranty contract before filing a claim to figure out what is and isn’t covered.

Does homeowners insurance cover roof leaks?

Homeowners insurance may cover roof leaks and other roof damage if the cause is due to fire, wind, or hail damage.

All The Bedding Combos EHD is Coveting (And Some Products We Have And LOVE)

As I sit on my bed writing this, I am reminded how fortunate I am to have this space that acts as my own personal oasis. Quarantine, if nothing else, has opened my eyes to how much peace a bedroom can bring. Now more than ever comfortability and security have been top of mind and what is more comforting than a bed?? I can’t summon a better comparison (though my boyfriend will argue that’s because I love sleep more than the average adult human. OKAY FINE. Sue me). But nevertheless, I know I am not alone because today EHD is all on board to talk about the best and most fun part about designing a bedroom. These are our dream bedding combos and I would gladly cuddle up in every one of them.

But first, if you’ve ever wanted to know Emily’s everyday bed styling techniques (I know I have) this video will give you the inside scoop:

Emily

  1. Channel Switch Velvet Quilt | 2. Logan Pillow | 3. Luxe Core Sheet Set in Graphite Grid | 4. Soft Down Pillow | 5. Luxe Duvet Cover | 6. Pinstripe Blanket

I love my bed and bedding, so I’m just going to recommend what I have up here at the mountain house. The pillows and duvet are my favorites in weight and fluff (they are fluffy but really squishy so they look big and full but really aren’t). Brian likes pillows that are like 4 years old and lumpy…. So we don’t need to talk about them. I love this quilt, it’s so soft and that punch of color makes me really, really happy. I definitely pull it up in the middle of the night when I get chilly. And lastly, if we are talking about bedding we might as well talk about pajamas too. You guys know I love a pajama set and this one is my absolute favorite (so thin but not see-through, drapes really well, easy to layer, doesn’t cut-in and so cozy. I wear it year-round).

Sara

  1. Hearth & Hand Striped Lumbar Pillow | 2. Nublado Round Pillow | 3. Quilt in Coal | 4. Organic Crinkled Sheets | 5. Airy Gauze Throw Blanket | 6. Cloud Cotton Duvet Cover Set

I was super excited for this assignment, mainly because I love bedding. But I didn’t really know where to start, so I started combing through my recent bedroom pins to see if there were any trends I was subconsciously into. Turns out that trend is neutral bedding – are we surprised? NOT REALLY. But one thing that did surprise me was that a few of those pins had a trendy new color popping up – rust. So I used that as much starting point. Bring in a rust piece, and build around it with softer neutrals. I call this look the muted graphic. I personally abhor stonewashed linen on my bed – I’ve had it before and it’s so heavy and stiff. And I need my bedding to be soft and instantly warm, so I went with soft wrinkle friendly cottons, and warm gauzy materials in my dream bedding board.

Veronica

  1. Microfiber Sheet Set | 2. Shelly Round Velvet Pillow | 3. Line Art Wink Throw Pillow | 4. Rumi Shag Body Pillow | 5. Faye Braided Throw Pillow | 6. Diamond Tuft Throw Blanket | 7. Buffy Breeze Comforter | 8. Waffle Kit Fringed Throw Blanket

Ok after seeing all that, you are probably thinking “whyyyy so much white?” and it’s because my room is literally a black hole (not literally, but you get it. It is very dark in there most of the time and my roommate jokes that “we live in darkness”), and I would love nothing more than to give it more life and light with a brighter color palette. I have no windows in my room, only one door out to the balcony, and it can get a little doom and gloom sometimes, ya feel me?? The reason I picked this color combination/inspiration is because I am super into the Boho style of rooms and my current room is the exact opposite (I mean how cute is that winky pillow?! It’s giving me major Parisian Cafe vibes. And the orange fringe blanket?! Come onnnn). Even though I am a very warm sleeper as I’ve discussed before, I still love to cuddle up with blankets when called for; Hence, why I have two very fun options! My color pallet right now is pretty dark and I think it’s time to change that! The Boho style is super vibrant and cute, and I need something that’s going to add some sunshine to my day the second I wake up to get me going. And yes, I do plan on getting hanging plants to bring in even more life 🙂

Jess

  1. Italian Velvet Pillow Cover | 2. Embroidered Cushion Cover | 3. Toddle Pillow | 4. Linen Dijon Sheet Set | 5. Vintage Wash Solid Sheet Set | 6. Linen Duvet Cover Set | 7. Channeled Cotton Quilt | 8. Crinkle Stripe Throw

I know that my inspo pic doesn’t look a ton like my actual combo. To be honest, I don’t particularly love a lot of the pieces in the photo itself. However, I love how I feel when I look at it, which sometimes is just as much of an inspiration starting point as what your inspiration literally looks like. Fun fact: I actually pinned this photo years ago and still have the same feeling every time I look at it. What feeling is that? Happiness. I loved the array of colors, the unexpected mix of styles and overall personality. Plus I really love that mustard comforter. So for my combo, I kept the mustard color but toned down the other colors to make it feel more modern. I wanted it to feel layered, cozy and not too serious (but still cool). I also made sure to play with pattern scale so it had a balanced visual dimension. I think my favorite piece is that burgundy and blue throw because it’s basically a large scale gird (a pattern that I am very much still in love with:)).

Julie

1.Cultiver Linen Duvet Cover Set in Bluestone | 2. Printed Cotton Percale Sheet Set | 3.Urban Outfitters Slip Eye Mask in Caramel | 4. Rory Tufted Throw Pillow |5. La Duna Lumbar Pillow | 6. Round Velvet Cushion | 7 .Slowdown Studio Arthur Throw | 8. Waffle Black and White Throw

After I finished picking everything out I realized that this bedding combo is VERY similar to the one I already own but like someone turned up the saturation. So I guess we all know for sure now that when it comes to bedding I love some green, mixed with a graphic throw and a neutral lumbar pillow. Hey, at least I added that pop of yellow and burnt orange in the throw pillows (see it’s “new” Jess, so don’t make me re-do it cause it’ll probably be just a crazier variation of this one). When I start to design I don’t really like to begin with an overall inspiration photo of a room. I will get too stuck on the details of that space comparing it to my own and then get disappointed if I can’t find something as cool (because of budget) or don’t have the room. Like my own bedroom design, I like to start with an individual piece for the inspiration and in this case, I bet you can tell which object I gravitated towards first. If you guessed that amazing graphic throw from Slowdown studio then you just won a virtual hug from me. 

Ryann

  1. Linen Duvet Cover Set | 2. Lumbar Pillow Cover 3. Woven Waffle Bed Blanket | 4. Round Hand Crochet Throw Pillow | 5. Textured Kadin Throw Blanket | 6. Supima Classic Hemstitch Sheet Set

As I was scrolling through my Pinterest board looking for bedding inspiration, sitting amongst way too many all-white and neutral bedding combos (am I really THAT boring??) was this rustic Spanish room. This was the only photo I could find that felt calm, cozy, but also full of life which is exactly what I want in a bedroom. I am extremely attracted to the lazy yet sophisticated look of it. The color palette + how the sheets are wrinkled and the pillows are not perfectly arranged makes me so happy. Someone LIVES in this room and gives it the love it deserves. Needless to say I want my bedroom to look and feel exactly like this, so I did my best to create a bedding combo that accentuated what I love about this room. I needed pops of color with whites and neutrals sprinkled in for that added layer of coziness. I also chose products with different fabrics and textures so it would feel natural and “lived in”.

That is all we have for you today. Now we all want to hear from you. Do you love pulling together fantasy bedding combos as much as we do or are we complete interior design nerds who have nothing better to do? What other fantasy pairings would you like to see from us in the future? Meet us in the comments and let’s talk all the best cozy bedding. xx

The post All The Bedding Combos EHD is Coveting (And Some Products We Have And LOVE) appeared first on Emily Henderson.

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed | This Old House: Live

Ask This Old House landscape contractor Jenn Nawada demonstrates how to build a raised garden bed in her backyard as part of This Old House: Live—an initiative providing daily programming and opportunities to connect with our experts during these challenging times.

Steps for Building a Raised Garden Bed:

  1. Attach the support brackets to the center of the cedar boards using the drill driver and screws. There should be two boards of the same length stacked one on top of the other to reach the 15” height.
  2. Insert the sides into the corner brackets. Secure them with the drill driver.
  3. Insert the plastic cover into all four corners.
  4. Prep the location in the yard for the garden bed. Be sure the area gets plenty of sunlight. Cut away any grass and rake out the soil to ensure a smooth, even base.
  5. Put the frame of the bed in place and check it for level. Fill in any low spots with soil until the bed is level.
  6. Put a layer of landscape fabric along the bottom of the inside of the garden bed to keep out weeds.
  7. Pour the soil into the garden bed on top of the landscape fabric. Even it out with a rake.
  8. When the weather is warm enough, plant the seedlings in the bed.

To learn more about This Old House: Live and view upcoming programming and events, click here.


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7 Best Home Warranty Companies of 2020

Jamestown Home, Season 40 | Anthony Tieuli

A home warranty provides coverage for major home systems and appliances and prevents you from paying expensive repair and replacement costs. If you’re unsure which home warranty is best for you, read our comprehensive guide detailing our top home warranty picks for 2020 and tips for buying the best home warranty.

The best home warranty plan will cover expensive repair and replacement costs when a major system or appliance, such as an air conditioning or refrigerator, breaks down due to normal wear and tear. Because there are a variety of home warranty providers to choose from, this guide will allow you to compare different home warranty companies and help you find the right home protection plan.

7 Best Home Warranty Companies of 2020

Top Three “Medal Winners”

  • American Home Shield: Best Coverage
  • Choice Home Warranty: Best Repair Guarantee
  • First American Home Warranty: Best Value

Four Others Worth a “Closer Look”

  • Select Home Warranty: Lowest Deductible
  • America’s First Choice Home Club: Best Customization
  • The Home Service Club: Quickest Coverage
  • 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty: Best Coverage for Home Builders

American Home Shield: Best Coverage

  • Provides four plans, optional add-ons, and the ability to customize coverage
  • Efficient claims process
  • Generous coverage caps on certain systems and appliances

Why We Chose American Home Shield

American Home Shield (AHS) is a veteran in the home warranty industry. The company has been in operation for almost 50 years, making it one of the most trusted home warranties available. AHS has four plans, including a Build-Your-Own plan where customers can customize their coverage, and allows customers to choose the service fee—$75, $100, or $125—they want to pay (note: a higher service fee will likely come with a lower monthly premium and vice versa).

While there are more than 45 active home warranty companies, almost one in two customers buys an American Home Shield policy—AHS is far and away the most popular provider available.

Choice Home Warranty: Best Repair Guarantee

  • Guaranteed response time within 48 hours
  • Doesn’t deny coverage based on the age of your home or the age of systems and appliances
  • Customers can cancel for free within 30 days

Why We Chose Choice Home Warranty

Choice Home Warranty (CHW) offers two plans—Basic and Total—that provide comprehensive coverage for both appliances and systems. CHW doesn’t restrict coverage based on the age of your home or its appliances, as long as you’ve properly maintained them, and it offers a generous 90-day repair guarantee.

First American Home Warranty: Best Value

  • Provides 24/7 customer service
  • No coverage cap on heating, cooling, or ductwork
  • Covers systems if they were improperly installed, modified, or maintained

Why We Chose First American Home Warranty

First American Home Warranty (FAHW) offers two easy-to-understand plans with solid coverage and flexible payment options for customers. What makes First American Home Warranty a stand-out is its optional First Class Upgrade, which protects systems and appliances that were improperly maintained, modified or installed—a rarity in the home warranty business.

Select Home Warranty: Lowest Deductible

  • Provides optional septic system coverage and free roof leak coverage
  • Gives customers two free months of coverage when they sign up
  • B rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Why We Chose Select Home Warranty

Select Home Warranty is a great option for people looking for an affordable home warranty. This company offers plan premiums at around $36–$38 a month, whereas the median cost in the industry is $50 per month. Select also provides two free months of coverage to customers who sign up for a plan along with free roof leak coverage, which isn’t typically offered by companies.

America’s First Choice Home Club: Best for Customization

  • Customers can choose their own technician to perform repairs or replacements
  • Has an in-house service team
  • Provides four coverage plans

Why We Chose America’s First Choice Home Club

America’s First Choice Home Club (AFC Home Club) is one of the best home warranty providers for customizable coverage and comprehensive plans. It allows customers to choose their own service technician and has the longest work guarantee in the industry (guaranteeing parts and labor for as long as you’re a member). Additionally, they offer benefits like emergency alert network services, free credit monitoring, and discounts on maintenance-related supplies.

AFC Home Club also provides twice as many plans as most home warranty companies do, allowing customers to choose from four plan options instead of two.

The Home Service Club: Quickest Coverage

  • Provides coverage on items regardless of age, make, or model
  • Has a high coverage cap on systems and appliances
  • Will replace items if repairs can’t be made

Why We Chose The Home Service Club

The Home Service Club (HSC) provides some of the fastest coverage on home warranty claims (within 24 hours) and has a coverage waiting period of only 10 days—much shorter than the industry standard of 30 days. Additionally, HSC offers plan discounts and the ability to choose your own technician for repair work.

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty: Best Coverage for Home Builders

  • Has an A rating from the BBB
  • Provides after hours and emergency services
  • Has a low cancellation fee ($25) compared to other companies that charge upward of $75

Why We Chose 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty (2-10 HBW) has over 37 years of industry experience and has covered over six million homes across the United States. As one of the veterans in the home warranty industry, 2-10 HBW provides a variety of plans to home buyers, sellers, and home builders at affordable prices. Not to mention, it’s one of the only companies that offers structural warranties to customers.

How to Find the Best Home Warranty

Before purchasing a home warranty, you want to make sure you’re considering all the necessary factors to get the best plan for you and your home. Here are just a few questions you should keep in mind during the home warranty buying process.

1. What type of home warranty plan do I need?

Most home warranty companies offer three different levels of coverage: systems plans, appliance plans, and combination plans. Systems plans cover major home systems such as your air conditioning, electrical, and plumbing system, while appliance plans protect important items like your refrigerator, dishwasher, and oven. Combo plans protect both systems and appliances.

In addition to these plans, home warranty companies will generally offer coverage for optional add-ons, such as a swimming pool or spa, second refrigerator, well pump, septic system, and roof leaks.

2. How much can I afford to spend every month?

On average, a home warranty costs $25–$50 every month, or $300–$600 a year. You may be able to bring that cost down slightly if you enroll in a multi-year plan upfront or if you get quotes from multiple companies and ask for price matching.

Additionally, customers will have to pay a service call fee, a one-time fee that is paid every time a contractor comes to your home to assess the broken item and make a repair or replacement. Service fees typically range between $75–$125, but there are some companies, like Choice Home Warranty, that have service fees as low as $60.

While a home warranty does have its costs, know that a lower monthly premium may be more affordable than unexpectedly paying for a $400 air conditioning repair or a complete system replacement, which could cost thousands of dollars.

Note: We consistently see that home warranty companies adjust their pricing depending on the size of your home and where you live, so use our general cost estimates as a guide, but confirm them with each provider based on your actual address and square footage. The price of your home warranty will depend on where you live, the type of plan you choose, how many add-ons you include on your plan, and the home warranty company you select.

We recommend getting at least three quotes, then asking your favorite company to match the best offer you received—in doing so, you may save one to two months off your overall payment.

3. How does the claims process work?

When you file a claim with your home warranty company, they should get a technician out to you within 48 hours. While this is a guarantee for most companies, some don’t promise work within this timeframe and will instead send a technician within 72 hours—and sometimes even later.

Companies like American Home Shield and Choice Home Warranty guarantee a technician will come to assess your covered item within 48 hours of you making a service request. We recommend going with one of these companies so you’re not stuck at home with a broken system or appliance.

Get a free AHS quote customized to your zip code.

4. Are there limitations in the service contract?

Before you buy a home warranty, it’s a good idea to read the company’s sample contract. In this contract, you’ll be able to see if there are any coverage caps (these are coverage limits placed on certain items that tell you how much the company will pay before you have to pay any dollar amount out of pocket). You’ll also find information about a company’s item replacement policy and if a home inspection is required before home warranty coverage begins.

Are Home Warranties Worth It?

Not only do home warranties protect you in the event that a major item breaks down due to normal wear and tear, they also save you hundreds of dollars on home repairs or replacements. Additionally, home warranties offer peace of mind that if something were to break, a trusted expert will be at your door within a few days to fix the problem.

Jamestown Home, Season 40Anthony Tieuli
Jamestown Home, Season 40

Frequently Asked Questions About Home Warranties

What is a home warranty?

A home warranty is an annual service contract that protects systems and appliances in the home when they break down or malfunction due to normal wear and tear.

What’s the difference between a home warranty and homeowners insurance?

A home warranty is different from homeowners insurance in that it covers damage on systems and appliances only, whereas homeowners insurance covers structural damage on your home due to theft, natural disasters, or fire.

How long do home warranties last?

Home warranties typically last for a year, but some companies allow customers to enroll in three- or five-year plans for a more affordable price.

What does a home warranty cover?

A home warranty typically covers both systems and appliances, however, some companies split their coverage options into systems plans, appliance plans, and combination plans. The most common systems and appliances covered under a home warranty include air conditioning, heating, electrical, plumbing, ductwork, refrigerators, water heaters, built-in microwaves, dishwashers, ovens, clothes washers, clothes dryers, and garbage disposals.

How much does a home warranty cost?

A home warranty costs around $300–$600 per year and comes with service fee deductibles that range between $65–$125.

How does a home warranty work?

When a home system or appliance breaks down due to normal wear and tear, you can call your home warranty company to file a claim or submit a service request online. Your company will send a trusted technician to your home within 48 hours or allow you to choose an approved contractor of your choice. In your home, the contractor will assess the issue and recommend a repair or replacement. Before they leave, you’ll pay the service fee set by your company.

Is a home warranty necessary?

A home warranty isn’t mandatory to have, but we recommend getting coverage as an extra layer of protection on your important home systems and appliances. For example, if you have completely new appliances that are all under manufacturer’s warranties, you may not need a home warranty. However, when those manufacturer’s warranties run out, having home warranty coverage could protect you if one of your systems or appliances breaks down.

How can I cancel my home warranty?

Typically, you can cancel your policy and receive a full refund within the first 30 days of coverage. After the first 30 days, you may still be able to cancel, but you’ll likely receive a prorated amount based on how much of your contract you have remaining. Check your policy to figure out what the cancellation process looks like.

Comparison of Top Home Warranty Companies

Though we would recommend any of the seven home warranty companies in this article, here are our top three suggestions. We encourage you to get quotes from all three providers to help you compare coverage, negotiate a price that works for you, and secure the best home warranty for you and your home.

Our Conclusion

The home warranties listed in this article are some of the best home warranties in the industry. Excellent customer service, comprehensive coverage, and affordable pricing are all qualities that these companies exhibit. Though we recommend American Home Shield, Choice Home Warranty, and First American Home Warranty as top picks, we think any of the seven companies in this article merit attention.

This Old House plans to publish detailed reviews of these—and other prominent home warranty companies—in the next month, so keep checking this review as we roll out new details!

Jamestown Home, Season 40Anthony Tieuli
Jamestown Home, Season 40

Our Rating Methodology

The This Old House Reviews team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparency and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. With that in mind, we spent time creating an objective rating system to score each home warranty company. Here’s what that review process looks like:

  • We call every home warranty provider, talking to sales agents and company representatives. We get quotes, ask questions, and fully understand the protection plan offerings.
  • We test the customer service, including factors such as wait times, friendliness, and problem-solving ability.
  • We analyze the sample contracts from each brand we review. This allows us to break down the industry jargon and see what is and isn’t covered so we can give readers straightforward information.
  • We update all of this information on a continuous basis, storing it in a proprietary database that allows us to compare dozens of home warranty companies against each other.

With all of that data, we created a rating system to score each home warranty company. Our rating system is a weighted, 100-point scale on the following factors:

  • Plan options (25): Every home and every family needs the right home warranty plan for them. Providers with more options and more flexibility were rated higher than those without.
  • Coverage specifics (5): What does each plan and each provider cover? The more covered by the provider in their basic plans, the higher the score.
  • Pricing (25): Both the monthly fee and the service fee play an important role in the selection process.
  • Trustworthiness (25): There are a number of home warranty companies that aren’t reputable and don’t follow through on their agreements. We gauged trustworthiness based on customer feedback from the BBB.
  • State availability (5): Where you live plays a role in the options you have for a home warranty. Companies scored higher if they covered more states than their competitors.
  • Customer service (10): This factor is based on our own research from calling providers, as well as their guarantees for responding to claims.
  • Additional benefits (5): Some home warranty companies offer special promotions or will cover items in their plans that are usually considered optional coverage for most companies. Home warranty companies that offer these types of benefits were scored higher than competitors that didn’t.

In summary, the This Old House Review Team reviewed 45 companies to select this list of the seven best home warranty providers. To keep our ratings and data current, we have a full-time researcher who collects (and regularly updates) more than 100 specific data points from each company to help us compare them on key factors such as coverage, cost, service, and dependability.

Affiliate Disclosure

This Old House’s Review Team is committed to delivering honest, objective, and independent reviews on home products and services. Our mission is to help consumers make better decisions and we have committed to providing our content to consumers at no cost. To support this business model, This Old House may be compensated if you purchase through the links on our website. These partnerships may influence which services or products we review but do not influence our ratings or recommendations which are the result of many hours of research and guidance from independent experts. The compensation we receive from the companies reviewed provides a source of funding that enables us to deliver better digital content and tools to our audience.

Caitlin’s Minimalist Maximalist Makeover Takeover Style Intro – Things Are About To Get COLORFUL

design by black lacquer design

We are getting WEIRD and BRIGHT today, folks. It’s the introduction to my MOTO and an overview of my interior style, which I’ve hereby deemed “Minimalist Maximalist.” Also if you don’t know what a MOTO is, it’s short for MakeOver TakeOver. The basic gist is that each member of the EHD team gets to design their homes and show them to you on the blog. It’s truly the coolest. Now back to me explaining my style:)

Minimalist maximalist isn’t sparse, but it’s not cluttered, either. What it lacks in stuff, it makes up for in color, shape, and texture. It’s clean and bright — a little space age and a little 80s, with some geometric and biomorphic shapes, peppered in for good measure. 

I’m going to walk you through what makes the minimalist maximalist style work, how I’m planning to implement it into my own home, and why you should hop on the color lover train with me 🙂

But before we get into all that goodness, I want to take a second to transport you to my childhood bedroom in Wilmington, Delaware.

paint design by me | styling by my mom, brenda

Yup, here she is — painted in 2004 and lived in through 2009. This is my stylistic rosetta stone. Don’t adjust your monitors — that is, in fact, a chartreuse wall that has been paired with pink and orange stripes. And guys — this was the COMPROMISE. (I can’t even begin to describe what my original paint plan was!) 

If you’re thinking, “wow, that definitely wasn’t even a little bit cool back in 2004,” you’re definitely right. If you’re thinking, “WOW, Caitlin’s mother is an earthbound saint for not painting over that immediately when Caitlin moved out 11 years ago,” you are RIGHT AGAIN.

But despite my questionable (read: horrible) execution, a lot of these stylistic elements still ring true for me: I love brights (and I’m about to show you the adult version of this color palette), I love simple basics (hello, classic 90s wicker bedroom set), and I love timeless patterns (stripes and florals, though I now aspire to mix them in a way that won’t make you grimace when you see it — time will tell). I am nothing if not consistent.

Enough about me. LET’S GET INSPIRED. 

Minimalist Maximalist

photo by jeff mindell | via design sponge

Here it is: my OG inspiration. The photo that launched a thousand pins. Recognize that color palate? It’s almost like what I could have achieved if I had any stylistic inclinations when I was 14. I’ve consistently revisited this house tour over the past 3 years and it’s ignited a DEEP LOVE of low, chunky furniture and burl case goods.

The surfaces are clean (a dream to dust!) and there’s a ton of consistency in the choice to use solid velvets across all of the seating. If you reimagined this space in all neutrals and pale beechwood, it’d be an 80s-inspired Scandi hideaway, but the super-modern color palate bumps this straight into maximalist territory.

photo by james stokes

Historically, my number one mistake has always been shoving TOO MUCH furniture into my space. That’s what I love about these pieces: they’re so special that you don’t need to crowd them. (They’re also so inherently weird that they also lend themselves to easy risks — who knew I’d love an off-centered rug so much?)

My true MOTO challenge: figuring out how to capture this vibe on a regular person’s budget. (Because despite my deepest wishes, rugs and chairs like that do not just show up on Craigslist or at the flea market.)

design by studiopepe| photo by tekla evelina severin| via sight unseen

When you start a MOTO at EHD, you pin wildly and haphazardly until you start to identify some key trends and repeating elements. A truly shocking repeating element for me? PINK CARPET. I’ve spent my whole life thinking I’m a hardwood girl — I was wrong. Who knew?

But here, we have another minimalist space that’s also doing THE MOST. The velvet chairs, the geometric lamps, the cylindrical table legs — I love seeing basic shapes combining in a way that’s fresh and new.

Bold Color

design by bhdm design | via shoreline hotel waikiki

You knew it was coming — we established our baseline for “Minimalist Maximalist,” so we’re amping up the saturation now. (Side note: there’s another pink rug, y’all! The true value of pinning is picking up on these weird nuances in your tastes, I swear.)

Something I totally love: bold color without pattern. We’re getting enough texture from the coffee tables (ugh, even the books are color-blocked, swoon) and the shutters that it doesn’t feel totally one-note. I’m working on something similar to this for my bedroom (but maybe toned down, a little, because…sleeping).

home of aelfie oudghiri| photo by melanie rieders | via apartment therapy

I love this apartment because it feels the most achievable, especially when I consider the pieces I already have. Everything in this shot has breathing room (remember, that’s my struggle) and the home just looks fun. The end tables aren’t crowded, it looks like swiffering would be a breeze — it’s special and comfortable and maintainable, which is my true goal.

The key to playing with color like this is sticking with things that are similarly saturated — if you’re going bold, stay bold. If you’re going dusty or pastel (like the room 2 photos above), try and keep the rest of your large pieces in that same family.

Weird, Whimsy, and Biomorphic Shapes

home of ellen van dusen | photo by max burkhalter| via clever

Minimalist maximalist isn’t ALL just open space, bright colors, and geometric furniture — it’s also the special extra pieces that give a room life.

There are a lot of things that could have been paired with this bookcase, like a gallery wall or a collection of plants. I love the choice to keep it simple — the sole piece of hanging art balances out the shelves below and gives room for the giant tulip to shine.

photo by nicolas millet | via cote maison

This one is a GOODIE. The color palette is a little more refined (a welcome reprieve for all of you who are like, “wow, I can’t believe I’m looking at THIS MUCH NEON before 8 AM”) but BOY, I’d be lying if I said my heart didn’t stop any time I see a special chair.

Plus, as the resident of a classic LA 1930s art deco building (moulding and a non-working fireplace for DAYS, y’all!), it’s nice to see how such modern pieces can play with some timeless architecture.

design by kelly wearstler | photo by stephan julliard| via architectural digest mexico

And now for a tonal version of minimalist maximalist, featuring a jaw-dropping light fixture. This room is already STUNNING, but now imagine it with a more standard mid-century globe chandelier — it wouldn’t be nearly as special. These biomorphic pieces just finish the space.

…and Accent Ceilings?

And now that you’ve seen my childhood room and my inspiration, it’s not surprise that I’m a sucker for a striped accent ceiling. (“Stripes? For Caitlin? Groundbreaking” – me, to myself, as Miranda Priestly.)

The photo on the left is a little more traditional maximalist and the photo on the right is a little more earthy, but WOW, what an impact. My living room wasn’t built with any overhead lighting, so it’s basically like I have to paint an accent ceiling, right?

THAT’S IT, FOLKS. Welcome to the crazy world of minimalist maximalist interior decor. Over the past few years, I’ve slowly but surely collected some key furniture pieces that have begun to transform my apartment into the grownup version of Toontown. I can’t wait to show you how it looks in a regular person’s house (especially after being assembled on a regular budget).

But now, I’m curious — what are your thoughts? Is this TOO much color for you? (Or, conversely, do you wish there was more stuff a la traditional maximalists?) Did these spaces brighten up your morning? Let’s chat!

The post Caitlin’s Minimalist Maximalist Makeover Takeover Style Intro – Things Are About To Get COLORFUL appeared first on Emily Henderson.