Home Inspection or Home Warranty?

Written by Wallace J. Conway

Homebuyers are a curious lot. They routinely ask thought-provoking questions. A common question is, "If I get a home inspection, should I still get a home warranty?" Then there's always this question, "If I get a home warranty, do I still need a home inspection?"

The choice between having a home inspection and purchasing a home warranty is a question that I frankly do not understand. Each is intended to serve a separate purpose and ideally work together to protect and reducerepparttar risk of homeownership.

Maybe an analogy will makerepparttar 100122 matter clear. An individual has just had a complete and through physical exam. The results ofrepparttar 100123 exam and all associated lab tests are thatrepparttar 100124 individual appears to free of all disease or illness. They are presentlyrepparttar 100125 picture of health!

Would it be prudent or responsible forrepparttar 100126 doctor then to recommend torepparttar 100127 patient, due to their fine physical condition, that it is a waste of money to continue to pay for health insurance? Of course not!

None among us would considerrepparttar 100128 doctor even sane, let alone responsible to make such a recommendation. But, is that notrepparttar 100129 same situation to someone feeling that they need not purchase a home warranty because they just had a home inspection?


Written by Kim Keefer


A.YES. Natural stone is a terrific (not to mention beautiful) material to use in all areas of your home. Knowingrepparttar different types of stone, their finishes and applications will help you to make an informed decision on which stone isrepparttar 100121 best for your project.


A.There are many finishes and options available. Here arerepparttar 100122 most widely used:

Polished – A high gloss surface. Honed – Smooth with squared edges and without a polished surface. Tumbled – Lightly tumbled to achieve rounded edges and a surface that is not as smooth as honed. Antique Tumbled – Medium tumble edges and surface to achieve a slight rustic look. Cobbled or Distressed – Heavily tumbled edges and surface to achieve an aged or ancient look. Brushed – Acid washed and wire brushed for a smooth textured surface. Flamed – Blow torched for a rough textured surface.


A.YES. All natural stone can stain and etch (a dull spot in a polished or honed surface), including GRANITES. Sealers DO NOT prevent staining as they are a moisture barrier only, yet they will help to give you a small amount of time to wipe up spills. It is nearly impossible to prevent staining or etching, but serious stains can be almost completely removed and any etching can be resurfaced if either is truly bothersome to you. To help keep a perspective on choosing to use natural stone, rememberrepparttar 100123 following:

1.For centuries, many European countries have used natural stone from floor to ceiling, inside and out. The stone becomes stained, cracked, pitted…and that is why we love it! These characteristics only make it that much more beautiful. (Only we Americans get uptight about such things!) 2.Because stone is quarried fromrepparttar 100124 earth and not "man" made, it is improbable to ever find two exact matching tiles or matching slabs for that matter. One slab may even look different from each end of itself. That is alsorepparttar 100125 beauty because each piece is different, but when pieces are put together as a whole it is a masterpiece! (Be sure to purchase enough to complete your project as you may not be able to get more fromrepparttar 100126 same lot.) 3.Stone is timeless. It does not get dated likerepparttar 100127 70's Avocado Green and Harvest Gold décor did. 4.Stone will last longer than any of us will. There are centuries old castles, made of 100% stone and still standing today! 5.It is a natural resource that will never run out. 6.The more it is used,repparttar 100128 faster a "Patina" (light sheen on repparttar 100129 surface) will develop. The "Patina" will also aid to prevent staining to a lesser degree.


A.It is really a matter of choice andrepparttar 100130 look you want to achieve. These are questions to ask yourself when making your decision: Is it beautiful to you? Do you love it? Could you live with it for years? The best advice that I can ever give to anyone choosing stone is: Go with what you are drawn to fromrepparttar 100131 beginning. First, because you will only spend a lot of time and become confused when laboring over repparttar 100132 "right" decision by looking at many different stones and colors; secondly, you will probably not be happy with your selection if you have to settle on something else. Reviewingrepparttar 100133 following most used stone types will help when you are ready to make your choice.

GRANITES – Granites usually have a "spattered" or "swirled" grain and can contain many colors (minerals). Generally, granites have a polished finished and have a "busy" look, but to keep up with current trends, more manufacturers are producing honed (smooth & unpolished) and flamed (rough textured) surfaces. Granites may be purchased in slab and dimensional tile form and can be used in almost any application. It has become ever popular as it is being used frequently in newly built tract housing, apartment/condominium complexes and commercial buildings. Granites are imported from many countries and have just as many colors and sizes to choose from. A note in using polished granite is to know that it can be slippery to walk on until a patina builds on it. As with any other commodity, stone is also graded for quality standards. Be wary if it is extremely inexpensive…(less than $7.00 per square foot unless you are buying a large quantity.) The price ranges in granites can be anywhere in between $8.00 to $90.00 per square foot, depending onrepparttar 100134 color, rarity and whererepparttar 100135 stone comes from. The "blue" stones, containing minerals/gems such as sodalite are usually inrepparttar 100136 higher priced ranges.

LIMESTONES – There are many types of limestone available and vary to many degrees, depending upon where it comes from. Unpopular to belief, limestone is also a perfectly suitable stone to use in all areas of your home. Most limestones have softer earth tone colors; may contain a "swirl" veining movement throughout; can contain fossils; or may have a light speckled grain. Limestones, just like granite or any other natural stone can stain, etch or get scratched, but again, you should not use natural stone if this will bother you. Limestone also is widely available in dimensional tile and slab form. This stone is used most frequently in higher-end homes, architectural designs and commercial applications as it is easy to work with,repparttar 100137 colors are muted compared to granites, it is available in as many finishes and textures as granite and it is still relatively new torepparttar 100138 market. It is still considered to be a "custom" choice, as it has not reachedrepparttar 100139 overuse level of granite. Some limestones from countries such as France and Portugal can be somewhat porous but are perfect for flooring, backsplashes, fireplace surrounds and outdoor uses. Limestone from countries such asrepparttar 100140 US and Israel (Jerusalem Stone) are generally heavier and usually as dense as granite, which makes it suitable for almost every application.

SLATES – Slate used to be used mainly for chalkboard, billiard tables, science lab areas and roof tiles. However, in recent years it has become more popular for residential use in most applications, withrepparttar 100141 exception of fabricated counter tops. Slate tiles are generally rough in surface texture, withrepparttar 100142 exception ofrepparttar 100143 tumbled version. Most slates are available in a wide variety of sizes in dimensional tiles; a few in slab form and most can be gotten in crates of random pieces like flagstone. It is a perfect stone for water areas such as showers & spas, patio/driveway areas, pool surrounds and roofing applications. Most slates contain a huge variation of color, even withinrepparttar 100144 same lot and some will even look to have been stained from spills of red wine, which is notrepparttar 100145 case. This is caused from earth minerals such as iron and only adds torepparttar 100146 beauty ofrepparttar 100147 stone. Slate holds onto heat well, which is another reason besides being fire proof; it is widely used as roofing material. (Use light colors in outdoor areas where you may be walking barefoot!) Since slates have a softer property, be aware that it can shale offrepparttar 100148 surface more easily. This will not harm it per se, but may cause you concern if you are not aware that it happens. One ofrepparttar 100149 difficulties of slate is that it is varied in thickness. Because ofrepparttar 100150 shale properties, it is very difficult to cut evenly. Generally, manufacturers will cut them with a "gauged" thickness or "sawn back" treatment, leaving one side smoother. Because ofrepparttar 100151 varied thickness between each piece of tile, specific sized installations may be more of a challenge, so expect your installer costs to be a bit higher. Slate itself is generally a less costlier stone. Expect anywhere from $4.00 - $8.00 per square foot, dependent uponrepparttar 100152 grade and country of origin. Again, beware of any extremely inexpensive prices and be sure to checkrepparttar 100153 quality ofrepparttar 100154 slate to be sure that it has not been filled with dyes. Test by holding a piece under running water for a few minutes and also by putting a few tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice on it and wiping off. If any color comes off, return it immediately! Just a note: I only recommend using any acidic solution on stone in this instance for testing purposes only.

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