Posts By: hellocovered

Warranties for New vs. Old Homes

Warranties for New vs. Old Homes

Whether you’re a first-time buyer looking at a fixer-upper, or a multiple home-owner considering a brand new property, there are benefits to having a home warranty. Of course, if your home is older and there are more things to repair, then generally speaking, you’ll get more out of a home warranty. But there are many different types and categories of warranties to cater to homeowners across the spectrum. So, here are some differences between and advantages of warranties for new vs. old homes.

Warranties for New Homes

When you’re working with a new home, nobody has been living in it long enough to wear anything out. Therefore, we’re primarily concerned about defects rather than breakdowns. There are several ways this can come to life, but the most common way is called a builder’s warranty.

The general idea is that a builder’s warranty will cover the big stuff. That’s major structural elements. Windows, doors, drywall, etc. Their scope and duration vary somewhat. With some warranties covering smaller elements for just six months. Most roof warranties approach 10 years.

Warranties for Older Homes

Once your home ages from newer home to an older home, there are a lot more factors to consider when you’re looking for a home warranty. Three of the biggest are: its age, its sophistication, and the climate/location that it’s in.

Is your home located in a storm-prone area with multiple seasons? Does it stand through both high heat and freezing temperatures? Maybe it includes upscale features which offer convenience but cause risk factors for malfunction. Many of the homes we find most charming and full of character are older properties that can fall victim to simply wearing down over time.

Which Warranty is Right for Me and My Home?

This decision is pretty easy for some of you and can get a little more complicated for the rest. If you’re a new homeowner, you should talk to your builder about the builder’s warranty they offer. Most do, but it’s important for you to hash out the details of what is actually covered (and for how long). If your home is less-than-new, then you’ve got some things to consider.

This is where Hello Covered can really help you. Whichever way you go — whatever protection you need — Hello Covered has a home protection plan that can fit your needs perfectly. We craft custom plans that cover it all when basic home coverages and warranties miss the mark or leave things out of the deal. Contact us and one of our agents will walk you through step-by-step to find the warranty that fits your life and protects what you care about most.

When to Re-Evaluate Your Coverage

One of the hardest parts of owning and protecting your home is answering your own question of: “Um, am I doing this right?” We can’t answer every question for homeowners here, but we’re going to answer a big one: when should you re-evaluate your home warranty coverage? The short answer: it’s not just a one-and-done thing! As your life (and possessions) shift and change over time, so should your home warranty. Here are a few instances where such a re-evaluation might be necessary.

Major Life Events

When big changes happen, it’s always a good idea to take a step back and assess the new landscape. If you move, if you get married, or anything that changes the fundamental pieces of how you live happen — it should trigger a re-evaluation of your coverage. You don’t want to be over- (or under-) covered if the unexpected strikes.

Decade Milestones

If nothing else pops up, just to keep your ducks in a row, we recommend re-assessing your needs once every ten years of homeownership; starting with when you make your first purchase. You can attach this decade-long-to-do to other tasks to make sure you check all your boxes off. On years that end in a zero, you can reliably refinish the exterior of your house, have your roof inspected, and consider replacing or repairing appliances or rooms that are high wear. Think the bathroom, the water heater, or the HVAC system.

Major Purchases or Improvements

Got a new TV? Maybe a whole new TV room? Big upgrades demand a new view of your valuables. When you upgrade your home (or the things in it), it can change what you need to cover with a home warranty. This is especially true if you are undergoing major renovations. Adding a bathroom? You can use a home inventory system to quickly take stock of your new space and find out what needs to be protected within it. It only takes a few minutes.

If there’s ever a question, you can always try one last thing. It’s super easy, takes only a few minutes, and we guarantee you’ll have an accurate view of what you need, and what to do about it. Contact our team at Hello Covered! You can call, chat, or email us, and our talented, attentive team can walk you through getting the exact coverage you need.

How to Avoid the Costliest Home Repairs

Fix it and save

Every homeowner knows that home repairs can result in hidden expenses. You have to expect the unexpected. But, when the really unexpected hits, a really expensive home repair can completely tank a home budget. We’re here to help you avoid these financial icebergs with this list of the costliest home repairs (and how to avoid them).


Roofs are expensive to install and expensive to repair, but they are also one of the most important facets of a home. A damaged shingle here or there is pretty easy and affordable to fix and some can even be DIY. But for more extensive repairs — especially those that affect the structure of your home — costs can be as high as $10,000.

Prevent It: Keep an eye out for leaks or loose shingles. Get a professional inspector to take a look at your roof periodically.


Sliding a couple feet down from the roof, we have another crucial piece of your homestead called siding. This isn’t the structural element of the wall, but the protective or decorative covering over it. This tough exterior can be made of a variety of materials from wood to metal, and therefore has a variety of maintenance possibilities. Major repairs of your siding can cost up to $17,000.

Prevent It: In addition to regular visual inspections you can make yourself, periodically hire a professional to inspect your siding for wear and tear to prevent major damages.


Now, we are down to the literal cornerstones of your home. The foundation is the, well, foundation on which the entire rest of your home rests. And, therefore, these are repairs and maintenance that you do not want to take lightly. Small fixes can be handled quickly and affordably, but if things get out of control, the price tag skyrockets. When the foundation is rocky, other aspects of your home can be greatly affected. These repairs can reach up to $12,000.

Prevent It: Keep an eye for sloping floors, doors that don’t fit their frame, cracks in the foundation, or pooling water. It’s also a good idea to schedule regular inspections on all levels of your home.

Water Heater

You wake up, you’re late, you turn on the shower and jump in. That’s when you realize, your water heater is broken. there’s nothing worse than that cold water waking you up to the fact that you may be in for a costly home repair. Water heaters can be either electric or gas and depending on the model can cost upwards of $2,000 to replace. It’s super important to stay ahead of this and catch problems that are repairable before replacement is necessary.

Prevent It: Regularly check your water heater (and the area around it) for anything suspicious such as loose parts or leaks.


Chomp! Chomp! Chomp! Little termites can be a big problem for homeowners, especially if the problem goes unnoticed for a long time. Small in stature, these pests can create a huge budget problem if you don’t catch them before they cause structural damage. The range of costs for these little buggers varies wildly from a few hundred dollars… up to several thousand.

Prevent It: Keep any wood and moisture away from your foundation. Think furniture and stacks of firewood. You can also have your home preventatively treated with termiticide.


Your heating, air conditioning, and ventilation system is the airway of your home. HVAC as professionals refer to it, can be a complicated and costly system to repair. And there’s nothing worse than waking up on a cold winter morning or a sweltering summer day to find that your climate control is well, out of control. Repairs to these systems can sometimes be affordable. A few hundred bucks. But if a lot goes wrong, costs can rise to the height of $10,000.

Prevent It: Just before heating season, hire an HVAC specialist to inspect your system for any required maintenance.

One of the best ways to stay ahead of repairs before they become larger, more expensive issues is by getting the right home warranty. Hello Covered can help you build your own custom plan so that you tackle small issues when they arise and take advantage of inspections to avoid larger issues.

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Hello Covered Home Maintenance Checklist

Preventative Maintenance Checklist

Part of living in your home is maintaining it. Home maintenance is one of the truest forms of the old proverb: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Following along month-by-month with these crucial home care checkups can save you massive headaches down the road. Many of these tips can be done any time of the year, so think of this as a guide, not a rulebook.

January — Wintertime Wall Work

New year, new you! And new walls, too. Take the time you spend inside hiding from the chill of January weather to fix up the inside of your home. Repair any interior wall damage you might have incurred throughout the year. Some places you should check are: around window sills, around your door, places where furniture is close to the walls, or any place with running water (check for moisture damage or mold). Also: check your smoke detector batteries! You’ll do it again in July.

February — Taking on Tiles

Start with a sweep, add a mop, and get a good look at all your tile surfaces as you inspect them for damage or leaks. A note of caution here: for most tile types don’t scrub with steel wool or you could damage the tiles! If you find any damage, make sure to re-grout the tiles and apply silicone sealer.

March — Airflow Checkup

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) are the systems that keep your home climate comfortable. And March is our pick for getting your furnace and ductwork inspected and serviced (if necessary). You need to check and replace your air filters every month, but you should also check all your vents for obstructions, and test that thermostat to make sure it’s humming like you need it to.

April — Keeping Up Appearances

As the weather warms up, and the flowers start to spruce up the landscape, you might want to take a look at your home’s facade. Do a 360-degree walkaround checking your siding for cracks, leaks, and damage. Note any damaged areas, and wash the rest with a hose for a new spring look to up your home’s curb appeal. You may need to repaint or refinish the damaged areas. Or, if it is severe, you may even have to replace a section of your siding.

May — Hit the Decks

At the beginning of the best season for porch-sitting, you’ll want to give your deck space a once-over to make sure everything is up to snuff. First, check for any loose nails or screws and hammer or screw them back into place. Take sandpaper around and smooth over any splinters or rough edges. And finally, you may want to add another layer of paint or sealant to any areas of your deck where the wood is showing its age. Then, all you need is a cold beverage to go with your deck chair.

June — Bugging Out

June is the month to wage war on the pests! Depending on the pest, the fix could be anything from a spray can to something more serious like animal control. First, assess the situation: do a lap inside your home and outside. Look for ant trails or small holes chewed into walls or siding. Double check your eaves, your vents, and any cracks or crevices. Termites, roaches, ants, bed bugs, and rodents can all compromise the integrity or value of your home. And it’s ideal to nip these problems in the bud before they get out of control.

July — Burn Prevention

Fire season is on the horizon, and there’s some smart preparation that every homeowner should undertake. Look around your home and clear any debris that could be a fire hazard. Dead leaves, branches, or even debris. After you’ve cleared the outside, head inside. Check all the batteries in your smoke detectors throughout your house. And, sticking with the theme, this is a good time to check the expirations on your fire extinguishers.

August — From the Ground Up

This month, you want to get on the ground level and check the condition of the bedrock of your home. This means the foundation, along with the interior floors and exterior driveway/walkways. Check your interior floors for scuffs, scrapes, and holes. For the exterior and foundation, you’re mainly checking for cracks or damage. You can seal small problems yourself, but you should contact a professional for larger jobs.

September — Avoid Dryer Fires

Did you know: dryers cause around 2,900 fires a year. And it’s because a lot of people don’t know or forget about proper dryer maintenance. To avoid fires, there are two main things you can do. The first you should do weekly: clean the lint trap. But the other, you can do in September. And that’s to clean your dryer vent! You can do it yourself if you have some help to move the dryer. But you can always hire a professional vent cleaner as well. And, while they’re visiting, this is the perfect time to have them check your furnace before you really need it through the colder months of the year.

October — Cut it Out

Pruning (which is removing dead stuff) and trimming (which is removing overgrown stuff) are both critical to maintaining your exterior landscape for both looks and safety. Vines and climbing plants can damage your home. Unchecked tree branches can be blown off and cause damage as well. Both can be home to a variety of pests and insects, too, so when October rolls around: cut them back! And, while you’re a few feet off the ground, October is our favorite month to check and clean your gutters before winter storms fill them.

November — Winter Storm Warning

Winter storms are getting more severe in more places. Which means that preparing for a severe winter storm is more important than ever. What’s that mean? It may depend on your location — storms in Alaska differ from the hurricanes in Florida. But some things are a good idea no matter where you are: check weatherstripping on windows/doors, prepare an emergency kit with first aid and non-perishable food for a few days, and review your property insurance to make sure you’re covered. This can also be a good time to consider larger, structural changes. As storms increase in intensity, consider upgrading your windows or even adding storm shutters.

December — A+ Attic

Whether you’re hiding presents or putting away your Thanksgiving decorations, the attic is an over-used but often neglected area in your home when it comes to maintenance. Keep it clean for Santa by taking December to head to the attic, check it for pests, check the insulation for leaks or drafts, and check any wiring to make sure it’s not been exposed. Just don’t get trapped up there!

Take these steps to maintain a healthier, happier, tidier, longer-lasting home. And, of course, in the event that something does go wrong (it always does), our monthly home performance plans have you covered. They combine rapid-response maintenance with the protection of a home warranty. Protecting you so you can home happy.

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