About Inspecting

Why Inspect?

We have never inspected a perfect house, and we never will.  Every house has its problems, and every house has its perks.  If you're looking to turn a house into a home it has to be safe and reliable.  When buying a home you are making a sizable financial and emotional investment, which is reason enough to book an inspection.  What are some other reasons?A trained inspector will: 

  • Tell you what is wrong with your home
  • Tell you what is right with your home
  • Educate you in all aspects of home maintenance
  • Identify specific things to know in an emergency

When you consider the cost of a home inspection to the cost of the investment you are about to make, do not hesitate, call a professional home inspector.  Many companies will advertise their experience in the construction field.  Homeward Bound has 100+ combined years of experience doing full-service home inspections.   Since 1986 we have been the most trusted Home Inspection company in Southeast Michigan.  We are referred by past clients and more quality realtors than anyone else in the area. When it comes to hiring your home inspection company, hire the company with the most experience, the one that’s been around, the one that will be around for all your present and future inspection needs.  We are honored to help you find your way home.

Types of Inspections

Homeward Bound is pleased to offer 7 different inspection types.  We strongly encourage our client to attend the inspection, and sincerely wish you do not delegate this responsibility to others. However, in the event the square footage of the building is such where the inspection may exceed four hours, attendance is only expected at the beginning of the inspection. Almost all of our clients find accompanying the inspector an invaluable learning experience. As a result, most are better able to understand and maintain their property and its value. No destructive testing of any kind will be performed. Respect will always be given to the property rights of the building owner. At the conclusion of every inspection, a full report will be issued to the client.


Residential Standard Inspection: A residential home inspection is designed to point out problem areas of a homeHomeward Bound currently offers two types of residential inspections; a Standard Inspection, and an Abbreviated Inspection. Both inspections are visual in nature and may shed some light on the risk of purchasing a home, but cannot eliminate it completely. Inspections are intended to communicate the perspective of one who is trained in problem recognition and knowledgeable in repair, and also to warn our client of major problems and unsafe conditions.Lifting of carpeting, removal of ceiling panels, insulation, vapor barriers and the like is not done. During a standard inspection, the inspector will start on the outside of the home. We will take a close look at the following systems:

  • The drainage and grade of the yard 
  • Electrical service
  • Exterior walls
  • Trim
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Porches and decks
  • Crawl spaces (when safe)
  • Foundation and garage. 
  • The inspector will also go on the roof (when safe) and check the chimney, gutter and downspout systems, as well as the condition of the roof itself.

We then go inside of the home and check:

  • All ceilings, floors, and walls
  • The electrical system
  • Light switches, plugs, and fixtures
  • Hot water tank
  • Heating system. 
  • The inspector will go in the attic and check the ventilation and insulation, and also check the foundation.

In total, there are more than 300 different systems that are checked on an inspection. An inspection normally takes anywhere from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours to complete.  


Residential Abbreviated Inspections: An abbreviated inspection only covers the major systems of the home. For example, the roof, heating and cooling systems, the plumbing system, electrical system, grade of the yard, and the hot water tank are the only items that are inspected. An abbreviated inspection takes 1 to 1 ½ hours to complete.  


Commercial Inspections: Commercial inspections can be performed on any type of building other than a residential home. It is also the intent of a commercial inspection to point out problem areas of a building.This inspection is intended to communicate the perspective of one who is trained in problem recognition and knowledgeable in repair. It is also to warn our client of major problems and unsafe conditions.No destructive testing of any kind will be performed. A narrative report documenting the inspectors findings will then be assembled and mailed to our client as soon as time permits.


Radon Testing: Radon comes from the natural breakdown (radioactive decay) of uranium. Radon can be found in high concentrations in soils and rocks containing uranium, granite, shale, phosphate, and pitchblende. Radon may also be found in soils contaminated with certain types of industrial wastes, such as the byproducts from uranium or phosphate mining.In outdoor air, radon is diluted to such low concentrations that it is usually nothing to worry about. However, once inside an enclosed space (such as a home) radon can accumulate. Indoor levels depend both on a building’s construction and the concentration of radon in the underlying soil. Radon enters a home through dirt floors, cracks in concrete floors and walls, floor drains, sumps, joints, and tiny cracks or pores in hollow-block walls. Since you cannot see or smell radon, special equipment is needed to detect it. Homeward Bound Home Inspection offers a full service radon test to help keep your home safe. 


Our full service test utilizes a Femto-Tech Continuous Radon Machine. The CRM-510 is a complete data acquisition system based on an internal microcomputer. A representative from Homeward Bound Inspection Services will place the CRM in the home, and then return to the home 2 days later to retrieve the unit. The unit should be left in the home for at least 48 hours and should be placed in the lowest livable level in the home, at least 20 inches from the ground. When the CRM is downloaded, the results are printed on a table. This table shows the real time radon measurements, barometric pressure, temperature and relative humidity for every hour the machine was exposed. The results of the test are faxed immediately to our client. 


Re-Inspections: At Homeward Bound Home Inspection, we know that at some point during your home ownership, you may encounter difficult decisions regarding improvements, repair, or replacement of one or more systems in your home. Let our unbiased professional help make your “difficult” decision an “informed” decision. Just contact our office and your original inspector will come out and re-inspect 4 items of your choice. 


Well / Water and Septic Inspections: A septic system disposes of wastewater underground, and has two basic parts- a septic tank and an underground disposal field. The septic tank removes most solid wastes from the water. The heavier solids settle to the bottom of the tank where bacteria break down into sludge. Lighter wastes form a scum layer on top of the water. Cleaner water between the two layers flows into the disposal field. The disposal field filters and treats the wastewater by distributing it over a large underground area of coarse soil.When doing a septic inspection, our inspector will check the working level of the septic tank, as well as the size and condition of the tank. The condition of the siphon elbow, inlet line, disposal field and drainage in the house is also inspected.A well is an underground device that enables underground water to be pulled up and diverted into the home. A well analysis will cover the type of water system, the distance from the septic system, and the basic working condition of the well. Water samples are taken and analyzed by an independent laboratory.  

  • The Basic Water Test tests for total coliform, E. coli, nitrates, and nitrites.
  • The City Water Tests tests for lead, copper, fluoride, and chlorine.
  • The Comprehensive Water Test tests for total coliform, E. coli, nitrates, nitrites, arsenic, lead, sodium, and turbidity.
  • Septic Inspections are conduction in conjunction with D&H Environmental.

Coverage Area

Homeward Bound Inspections is Michigan’s largest home inspection company covering an eight county area in Southeastern Michigan.  For home inspections in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, Washtenaw, Genesee, Monroe or Lapeer Counties, Homeward Bound is the home inspection company to call.  

Maintenance

HOME IMPROVEMENT COST ESTIMATES AND LIFE EXPECTANCIES The following costs are intended as ball park estimates for repairs and/or improvements to a typical three bedroom home. The costs are based on information obtained in this area. In other areas, these figures may differ. The life expectancy of some components will vary with the severity of weather in the region from season to season. The design, quality of installation, and level of maintenance can also drastically affect life expectancy. Our experience has shown that actual contractor quotes can vary by as much as 300%. Naturally, the quality of workmanship and materials will influence costs. The complexity of the job, accessibility, and even economic conditions can also alter actual costs.

Sample Report

You will find the Homeward Bound Home Inspection report to be convenient and easy to follow.   This is a printer-friendly file.