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  • October 14, 2023

    Purchasing a home warranty after the sale of a home can be a double-edged sword, offering both risks and rewards for homeowners. These warranties, often promoted as a safety net for unexpected repair costs, can provide peace of mind but come with caveats. One of the primary rewards of buying a home warranty after the sale is financial security. Homeowners can safeguard themselves against unexpected and potentially expensive repairs to essential appliances and systems such as HVAC, plumbing, and electrical. In the event of a breakdown, the warranty provider covers the cost of repairs or replacements, reducing the financial burden on the homeowner. This can be especially beneficial for those on a tight budget or first-time homeowners, who might not have the savings to cover large repair bills. However, the rewards of home warranties are accompanied by several risks. First and foremost is the cost. Home warranties come with upfront fees and service call fees for each claim, which can add up over time. In some cases, these fees may outweigh the actual cost of repairs, making the warranty less cost-effective. Another risk is the fine print in warranty contracts. Many warranties have limitations, exclusions, and specific conditions that can be used to deny coverage. Homeowners might find themselves frustrated when they realize that certain components or issues are not covered, or that the warranty provider insists on using their preferred contractors, which may not always be the best option. Moreover, there’s a risk of potential conflicts of interest. Some warranty companies maintain partnerships with service providers, which may lead to biased decisions in favor of repair over replacement, even when replacement would be more cost-effective. Like any financial decision, it’s essential to do thorough research and consider individual circumstances before deciding whether a home warranty is the right choice.

  • October 10, 2023

    The Minnesota Radon Licensing Act (Minnesota Statutes 144.4961) was passed by the legislature and signed into law in May 2015. This act gives Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) the authority to write rules and enforce laws related to the radon industry in the state. Professionals and companies that measure for radon, mitigate for radon or perform radon analysis in the State of Minnesota are required to be licensed and use system tags. I am now good until December 2024. Minnesota Radon Licensing Act 144.4961 Radon Measurement Professional License 4620.7200

  • October 7, 2023

    Just finished renewing my NRPP (National Radon Proficiency Program) certification as a Radon Measurement Professional. I am now current through December 2025. If you have any questions about radon levels in. your home or would like to have the radon levels tested please call or e-mail me. Next up is the state renewal from MDH (MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH). This is a requirement of all contractors that perform this measurement.

  • October 3, 2023

    And West Egg ... installs retaining walls? Well, kind of. The water in the lake the I live on has been drawn down this Fall to address "curly leaf turions and undesirable rough fish". I took this opportunity to use some of the exposed rocks in the lake and build a retaining wall on our lake frontage. Tennessee Ernie Ford's "16 tons" came to mind while I was working. I'm not quite as good as the rock whisperer that did an amazing job in our backyard but my raw materials were free. No need to visit the gym today, this was backbreaking work ... happy that I did my part to help with soil erosion. I'm going to go on record and say this was my last retaining wall made of stone.

  • September 26, 2023

    My wife and I just got back from an extended vacation this past weekend and I started going through my mail on Monday. An e-mail from MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (MDH) informed me that my license for radon measurement is coming due at the end of the year. This prompted me to review the requirements for annual CEUs. I've taken 7 out of the 8 hours of training needed!! I'm in good shape. The state of Minnesota has very rigorous licensing requirements and I remember the initial training and tests that I needed to take and pass. It was no easy feat for me. There are only ~350 licensed radon measurement professionals in MN. Safety was always a focus of mine during my 40 years in corporate America. I have checked the radon levels in my home to ensure the safety and health of my family and I encourage you to do the same. There is a great deal of information to help the homeowner learn more about radon at the MDH website.

  • September 5, 2023

    Today's blog is about asphalt driveways. As promised at the beginning of the summer I've now finished a six part series with great questions to ask contractors that may be working on the following projects at your house: June 28 Exterior Painting July 11 Re-roofing July 24 Seamless gutters August 3 Ceramic Tile Floor August 19 Concrete Driveway September 5 Asphalt Driveway Fly-by-night contractors are common in the asphalt industry, but there are ways to avoid them. First, don’t buy from door-knockers—reputable contractors seldom resort to this technique to get jobs. Then ask your contractor the following questions to get a long-lasting driveway and the most bang from your buck:

  • August 19, 2023

    A concrete driveway is a big investment that will last a long time if it’s done right. But choose your contractor carefully. Poorly installed concrete can crack, buckle and heave, leaving you wishing you’d spent a little extra up front for a first-class job. Here's some questions to ask your contractor before starting.

  • August 3, 2023

    Properly installed tile floors should last decades. But poorly installed floors will start to crack or fall apart in a matter of years, if not months. Here are some questions to ask your tile contractor to ensure a long-lasting job.

  • July 24, 2023

    “Seamless aluminum” gutters are the most common contractor-installed gutters. The quality of these installations can vary widely, so hire a contractor who’s been in business for several years and can show you examples of past work. Then ask these questions to be certain you’re getting the best-quality job.

  • July 11, 2023

    When it’s time to reroof, it pays to make sure the materials and workmanship are first rate. A poorly installed roof can cost you a small fortune if it leaks and fails to protect the structure below. When you get bids from contractors, be sure they’re licensed, bonded and insured and can provide references from past customers. I've included questions to ask your contractor and reference information from the state of MN.

  • June 28, 2023

    Even if you’re an avid DIYer, you’ll eventually need a job done that’s just too big or complex to tackle by yourself. That’s when you hire a contractor. But how do you know you’re getting the best deal? Well, first, make sure you follow all the time-honored advice like asking friends and family to recommend a contractor, making sure you hire someone you’re comfortable with, and verifying that the contractor has been in business for a while and has liability and worker’s compensation insurance. Then when you meet with your contractors to discuss the job, you should ask these questions to be confident that you’re getting the most for your remodeling dollar. This is a new six part series for the summer, starting out with Exterior Painting. Painting the outside of a house is a big and often expensive job. The last thing you want is to face the project again in a few years when poorly applied paint starts to flake and peel. You can greatly improve the odds of getting a job that lasts 8 to 10 years by asking these questions before you hire a painter. Read the entire article below:

  • June 20, 2023

    If you had a home inspection on an older home, your home inspector most likely suggested having a sewer scope inspection completed. The value of a sewer scope is priceless, I mean who wants to wake up and can’t flush the toilet or have some sewage back up into their home? I cringe at the thought of finding something like that in my home and I see plenty of things as an inspector so how do you think you would feel? So let’s jump into it this guide discussing sewer scope inspections. Read entire article below:

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