Category: Home Warranty

It is no small decision or investment to purchase a home. Whether you’re a seasoned home buyer or you’re venturing forth on your first quest to acquire a property, understanding the benefits to buying a home warranty after purchasing a home is extremely important. Even when you think you understand everything about the house you are purchasing, there are many events that are out of your control. To be protected from unexpected breakdowns, save money on repairs and replacements, and for general peace of mind, a home warranty is invaluable.

Get Protection for Unexpected Breakdowns

Unless you happen to be an appliance whiz, it can be difficult to tell exactly what sort of condition the built-in appliances are in for the home you are purchasing. Depending on the terms of the sale, once the transaction closes and you have the keys in hand, the seller of the home is not necessarily responsible for anything that goes wrong from that point forward. Unless specific problems are known well beforehand, it is difficult to predict when breakdowns and other issues will occur. Purchasing a warranty for your new home is a simple way to protect yourself from the unexpected. If appliances do start breaking down or other issues covered under the warranty start to crop up, you have a policy in place to help you out.

Save Money

When appliances, electronics, and specific areas of your home require repairs or complete replacement, the costs add up quickly. The purchase of a new range or refrigerator alone can cost thousands of dollars. Without a warranty, new homeowners are left to cover these costs themselves or go without the use of a stove, oven, or cold food storage. When you’ve just closed on a home, you’re not likely to have a lot of extra cash floating around for a little while. Home warranties can cost only hundreds of dollars a year and save you thousands when you need repairs or replacements.

Get Peace of Mind

The greatest benefit to a home warranty is simply the knowledge that if something does go wrong, the warranty is there to help you. You’re not left to deal with the problem on your own. Depending on your policy, you might not even have to stress about finding a technician for repairs or a locksmith to get you in the door. The company that holds your warranty can usually help with all of that to make your life easier.

Consider It an Investment

A home warranty is one of those items that you hope you don’t have to use, but it sure is convenient to have when things go to pot. If you’re looking into purchasing a home, check to see if the seller is offering a warranty with it. For continued protection, don’t forget about renewal if your home is currently under warranty.

As the Valley heats up, protecting ourselves in the summer heat is a big concern. While your home’s A/C may be one way you stay cool this summer, we want to also take a moment to look at your personal protection in the heat beyond your home. Dehydration is no small subject here in Arizona, and several local incidents have called it to our attention around our office.

How hydration helps the body
Remaining hydrated is critical to a healthy body and mind. Staying hydrated helps prevent headaches, heartburn and indigestion. It also regulates elimination, reduces your appetite, lubricates your joints and maintains youthful skin. And, drinking plenty of water helps boost your morning energy levels and sustain your energy throughout the day.

How much fluid do you need?
Common medical recommendations use a simple equation: 0.5 ounces x Body Weight in Pounds = Daily Fluid Requirement in ounces. Check in with your doctor about your body’s specific needs.

What is dehydration?
Having your fluid level down by a liter is mild dehydration. Many times this manifests in a headache or other symptoms as your blood thickens. You may notice that you are not urinating regularly (every two hours) or that your urine is dark.
Severe dehydration can happen in less than an hour in extreme heat. When your internal temperature rises, heart rate increases, blood flow slows down and organ begins to shut down resulting in death. This is what has happened to many young, healthy people crossing our deserts in the extreme heat without enough water and too much exposure.

How can you rehydrate your body?
Mild dehydration is relatively easy to correct but should not be ignored. To rehydrate your body, drink water, and avoid caffeinated beverages or sodas. Drink 4-6 ounces at a time about every 15-20 minutes. Continue until you’re peeing regularly and your urine is relatively clear. Keep in mind that most water is absorbed through in the small intestine, and there’s a time lapse before the water you drink is absorbed into your bloodstream.
To help replenish your electrolytes, eat a snack containing salt and calcium (such as trail mix or crackers and cheese). Sources of potassium, magnesium and protein are encouraged as well.

Keep time of day in mind
As you plan your activities this summer, be sure to consider the time of day. While it may seem simple, choosing to engage in outdoor activities in the morning hours can be much easier on your body and lessen the likelihood of dehydration. Use the morning hours for activities like yard work, cycling, hiking, running and walking. Drink plenty of water as you do so.

Stay safe this summer
Wherever your plans take you this summer, be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks in your car or bag. Having these essentials at your fingertips can help you stay hydrated or correct any dehydration that you may experience. Along with carefully choosing the time of day for outdoor activities and consciously drinking plenty of water, you can keep yourself protected in the summer heat.

With triple digit temperatures on the horizon, it’s the ideal time to make sure your sprinklers and valves are running efficiently.

Checking sprinkler valves

It’s important to check all of your sprinkler valves to make sure they are functioning well.  The easiest way to check your system is to run your sprinklers on manual from the sprinkler box.

Run the entire system one zone at a time.

Glance around all valves, looking for leaks. If there are any leaks, try to locate the source and determine whether the entire valve needs replacement.

Check sprinkler heads to make sure they are getting sufficient water.  If not, this could be another sign that you have a bad valve. If only one valve has a problem and other valves are getting enough water, you can likely rule out problems at the main water line. If a valve isn’t working at all, there is likely a wiring issue within the valve.

Make sure to also check any easily overlooked item — the sprinkler furthest from the sprinkler valve. If it has standing water or is leaking, it’s time to replace the valve.

 Checking other sprinkler operations

Check all sprinklers to make sure they are not spraying sidewalks, driveways or walls.

Check sprinklers for leaks or clogs. It may be time to replace the sprinkler head.

If using a drip system, check to make sure the drip is in the right place since the plant has grown since last year

Finally, if you have a controller with a battery back up, replace the battery once a year.

Installing a rain sensor

To save water and money, you may want to install a rain sensor. Rain sensors shut off sprinkler systems when the rainfall reaches a certain amount, preventing sprinklers from running when they aren’t needed. Once the moisture recedes, the sensor allows the sprinkler system to resume the normal watering schedule. This can be particularly helpful during monsoon season when unexpected rains roll in.

You may be used to doing regular check ups to keep your car running smoothly, but did you know your appliances can benefit from regular maintenance too?

Your refrigerator is a prime example. The average replacement cost in the US for a refrigerator is $1,088 and the average repair cost is $209. To save money and prevent repair and replacement needs, here are a few maintenance tips:

door-seal1.Check your door seals
Clean the seals of your refrigerator door twice a year.  A combination of baking soda, water and a clean toothbrush works best for this task.  Clean the seals lightly, and dry thoroughly. This can help boost your seals’ ability to keep the cold air in and warm air out. This saves your fridge from having to work harder to maintain the desired temperature of 37-40 degrees Fahrenheit and 0 degrees in the freezer.


coils2. Clean your coils

Mark you calendars for this task twice a year.  After you clean the door seals, lightly vacuum around the coils.  It’s up to your whether you want to tackle this task yourself or hire someone to do it.  Either way it is money or time well spent.

And, for a little extra dose of fridge facts—did you know a fridge runs better when it is full?  Science calls it thermal mass. If you have an empty refrigerator, adding bottles of water can provide the necessary mass to help it run better.

If you’re looking for even more protection for your refrigerator, be sure to opt for refrigerator coverage within your home warranty plan. This will help offset wear and tear expenses.

As a homeowner, there are few things more frustrating than a clogged pipe. Clogs are difficult to assess, hard to unclog and may even require the assistance of a plumber to restore proper flow through pipes. And, in the worst of cases, clogged plumbing can lead to major backups that cause costly damage. Plumbing maintenance is important and by taking care of your pipes each day you can prevent clogs from ever occurring in the first place. Follow the tips below to keep your plumbing in top shape and avoid frustrating clogs. And, an additional way to have peace of mind when it comes to plumbing issues is to purchase a home warranty to protect yourself in case an emergency does arise.

Skip the Chemicals

Chemical-filled drain cleaning products are not necessary when it comes to maintaining your plumbing. Common household items can be used to keep your pipes clean and clear rather than chemical products that are more likely to damage pipes than do any good. All you will need is baking soda and vinegar. First, pour 1/4 cup of baking soda down the drain. Next, pour 1 cup of white vinegar down the drain and allow it to sit in the drain for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rinse the drain with boiling water. The baking soda and vinegar will loosen things that are stuck in the drain and allow them to be rinsed away rather than cause clogs from buildup.

Be Careful What You Put Down the Drain

Just because it can fit in the drain does not mean it should go in the drain. Only biodegradable things should go in the drain and even then, not all biodegradable things should go in the drain. In the bathroom, avoid letting things like debris and hair enter plumbing because over time they will build up and cause clogs. Suddenly, you will notice a slow drain and that is the first symptom of a larger, growing problem. In the kitchen, the worst thing you can do is pour cooking grease down the drain. Cooking grease while hot is in a liquid form but once it cools, it will solidify. As it solidifies, it will latch onto debris in the plumbing and form problematic clogs. Egg shells and citrus peels are good to put down the drain as they act like little scouring agents to help keep the blades clean. Be sure to run the garbage disposal in order to chop up the pieces small enough as to not pose a problem for plumbing. Avoid things that are fibrous because they will lead to clogs as well. Always run the garbage disposal with cold water, rather than hot, because it will help everything stay solidified and get chopped up smaller and then rinsed down the drain. When at all possible, try to only put water down the drain and it will help keeps things running as smooth as possible.

Clean Drain and Trap Immediately

If you see a slow drain, do not ignore it. The problem will not magically go away, it will only get worse. Be sure to contact your home warranty company right away so they can send a qualified technician out to help clear the line before you end up with a costly backup.

What does HOME mean to you?

We heard from you…  For clients, the Batson’s – home means so much…  And we’re proud to say, it means so much to us also!

“When we sell a home, we always make sure our buyers have a home warranty program and we maintain one from Platinum Home Warranty on our own home.”

Tired of staring at the same old boring bathroom, day in and day out?  Over time, things like fixtures go out of style and as technology and trends shift, there are new ways to design a bathroom that are more functional, stylish and luxurious.  When beginning any bathroom remodel, it is important to think first about how you need and want the space to function.  If you love to take baths, you probably want a large soaker tub.  If you really want to turn your bathroom into a luxurious spa-like experience, there are many high-end features to consider adding.  After considering function, consider your “wants.”  Depending on your budget, these do not have to be purely utilitarian, if you are going to undertake a remodel you might as well get exactly what you want out o fit.  Now is the time to go for it and really declare what you want from your bathroom design.  Lastly, it is important to consider what is stylish and on trend.  While you probably do not want to design your bathroom solely around trends, it is always a good idea to keep your home current so that your home looks nice for guests and if you do decide to sell, it will be desirable to potential buyers.  Below are current trends in bathroom design.

1. Technology

When you think of bathrooms, you do not necessarily think of technology. But, when it comes to home remodels, everyone is opting for increasing home technology and the bathroom is no exception. Many people are choosing to make their bathroom the ultimate escape and sanctuary by adding technology features like a television. A television can be mounted on the wall and there are now mirrors and showers that can be installed with televisions already in them. There are digital showers available that allow you to create individual shower settings and preferences and save them so that when you shower, it knows exactly what you like and when someone else showers they can have their own settings as well. Also available are touchless faucets as well as digital and automated toilets. There is technology for everything and you can deck your newly remodeled bathroom with as much technology as your heart desires.

2. High End Upgrades

As many people continue to focus on turning their home into a sanctuary, they are considering every detail, including the bathroom. Not only do they want high-end finishes in the kitchen but they want to enjoy every inch of their home and one way to do so is to install high-end features in their bathroom that create a spa-like experience. Simple light fixtures go by the wayside in favor of a stylish chandelier and beautiful vanity fixture. Upgraded fixtures that are long lasting but also stylish stay trendy. Installing a steam shower rather than a basic shower will instantly transport you to the spa and away from your troubles. When you add high-end features, your bathroom will feel more like escaping to a resort than spending time in your own home.

3. Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is one trend that seems to have staying power. Low flow toilets and shower heads reduce how much water is used. Energy efficient light fixtures and bulbs also help reduce energy consumption. This will not only help you stay “green” but it will also help you keep your utility bills low because you will be using less water.

If you cook with any regularity, your range and oven are  probably your most used appliances in your home.  They  are incredibly handy appliances that allow you to feed yourself and your family delicious meals so that you do not have to spend money on expensive take-out food every night.  With so much use comes the wear and tear that can really take a toll on an appliance over time, especially during the holidays. With so much use, it is important these appliances be maintained regularly in order to function properly.  If you notice problems with your oven or range that seem to be beyond your abilities or simple cleaning, it is wise to call your home warranty company and allow professionals to repair your range.  The best way to prevent major problems from occurring is to regularly maintain your oven or range.  Below are the top 3 ways to achieve this maintenance this.

1. Clean the Surfaces

Cooking is, inevitably, messy.  Things splatter and spill and all of that mess with so much heat tends to get caked on and tough to clean very quickly.  The best thing you can do for your oven and range is to immediately clean any spills or splatters that you see.   Often, it is best to use soap and water with a rag to clean up spills and use cleaning products only for the toughest of spills.  For smooth cooktops, there are cleaning products specifically designed to clean cooktops with cleaning pads that will not scratch or leave marks.

2. Deep Clean

Depending on how often you use your oven, it is best to use the self-clean function once or twice per year.  Your oven will get very hot so it is a good idea to be home.  Many people prefer to run the self-clean function over night with the windows open because once the oven gets very hot it tends to emit an unpleasant odor.  An additional way to loosen up caked on food particles is to put a bowl of boiling water with vinegar in the oven (while the oven is completely cooled down and off), close the door and let it sit for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, open the door and wipe down the inside of the oven.

3. Prevent Food Accumulation

When baking a dish that could potentially bubble over, consider putting a baking sheet or drip pan on the bottom rack of your oven.  With the sheet or pan there to catch any bubble-over, it will help prevent food from falling and accumulating on the hot cooking elements at the bottom.  Do not line the bottom of your oven with tin foil because if the foil is too close to the cooking elements, or touching the cooking elements, it could potentially catch fire.

home

Nice temperatures call for spending lots of time outdoors.  But, if you have a drab yard that is either uninviting or just plain boring, you may not want to spend a lot of time outdoors.  Just because your outdoor space is not ideal it does not mean it needs to stay that way.  DIY is all the rage right now and with many easy to use products available today, you can easily upgrade your outdoor space and start enjoying spending time outdoors in your yard again.

Upgrading your outdoor space does not need to be a daunting and overwhelming task.  There are many fun ways to increase the how enjoyable your yard is as well as the luxury and value of your home.  The first way you can make your outdoor space more exciting is with patio pavers.  Pavers can be used to extend patios, create new patios or make pathways through your yard.  Patio pavers come in a variety of styles, sizes, patterns and colors and can be arranged in a wide range of patterns to fit any needs.

You can create a new seating area with your brand new patio and you will have a new place to hang out in the yard.  With pathways, you make walking through your yard easier and it adds a touch of class and luxury that your yard may have been lacking before.  While you are adding those patio pavers, you may think about adding a fire pit.  Everyone can enjoy the fire pit, whether relaxing by the warm fire or toasting marshmallows for s’mores. There are many ways you can create a fire pit for any style or design aesthetic and having a fire pit right in your own backyard will be a nice touch that you can enjoy but will also add value to your home.

Next, you can add new furniture to create a living room feel while enjoying a cool breeze.  Add a comfy couch, some throw pillows or some chairs to your patio for a comfortable seating area.  Create a dining space with a table and lighting for a special touch.  There is outdoor furniture to fit every need and style and nothing is more enjoyable than dining al fresco with some food fresh off the barbecue.
Also, nobody wants to spend time outside if they cannot see anything.  Do not sit outside in the dark, add some lighting.  While there are many electrical outdoor lighting options, there are many lighting options that are solar powered and very simple to install.  Not only are they eco-friendly but, after the initial investment, they will not cost you anything because they derive their power from the sun, not electricity.  Spruce up your view with some newly potted plants which is an easy way to add color and variety to your outdoor space.

With a beautiful and comfortable place to hang out and enjoy the weather, you may want to host some friends or family.  If you want to have a lot of gatherings with guests, one way to make entertaining easy is with an outdoor bar.  You can purchase a bar cart or with some basic supplies from the hardware store you can build a bar area very easily.  Rather than having to constantly run inside to get a drink, you can serve delicious drinks up to your guests without ever having to leave the party.

Pick and choose from these options or do them all, either way, you will add luxury and comfort which will upgrade your outdoor space and make spending time outside fun and enjoyable.