Category Archives: AMS

Christmas Lighting Safety Tips

Christmas Lighting Festival in Leavenworth WA

Image courtesy of Bing: Sparkling Holiday Lights Leavenworth, WA

Christmas decorations and lights really get us in the holiday spirit.  Before you get too far along, check out these safety tips for hanging Christmas lights:

•Only use lights that conform with safety standards and have been tested by a recognized testing laboratory.

•Check each strand of lights for damaged sockets or wires and loose connections.  I best to toss damaged strands and buy new.

•Don’t overload extension cords and outlets!  Only link 3 standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.

•If you must have a metallic tree, don’t decorate it with electric lights.  Electrocution may result.

•Outdoors lights must have exterior use labels.

•Fasten outdoor lights securely.  Use insulated staples or rain gutter hooks. 

•Plug all outdoor lights into ground fault interrupters circuits to avoid potential shocks and blown fuses.

•Unplug lights when going to sleep or leaving your home.

Home Warranties: Piece of Mind or Worth Every Dollar?

I inspected a house last week for the purpose of a home warranty. It was a new construction with a 1-year warranty that would soon expire. The owner wanted us to make sure everything was still in good shape and operating in favorable condition. The owner’s home was in great condition and having AMS out to inspect the property gave him piece of mind that he had chosen a great contractor and property for his investment. Read my info below to see if you should consider home warranties during your next purchase.

Many new construction homes come with a 1-year builder warranty. Before signing the closing documents read the warranty in its entirety. Make sure you understand what is covered, for how long and by whom…the builder or a third-party? Read the exclusions, liability and limitations carefully and ask questions. Just before your 1-year expiration, give us a call to inspect your home for any imperfections that would be covered under your warranty. It’s very important to watch your deadline and schedule a home warranty inspection. The best outcome would be one in which we don’t find anything wrong, but if we do you can talk with the builder and have them fix the problem without rolling out your own dollars.

For those purchasing any other home, existing home warranties are also available to the buyer. For about $350-600 the buyer can purchase coverage for 1 year. For example, you purchase a home and hire home inspector before closing. The report shows a few maintenance issues, but no red flags. After 4 months your dishwasher and clothes dryer both quit working. In your initial inspection report the appliances worked fine, but your inspector noted the increasing age of them. Here is a situation where a home warranty could definitely save you some money and the hassles of new home ownership. You call up the warranty provider and deal with the problem immediately. And remember, choose your warranty carefully and make certain that everything you want covered is in the contract. For more info about choosing a warranty, start here.