Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mike Holmes Inspections Expands into Winnipeg

Breaking news from Mike Holmes Inspections! Mike's home inspection company has expanded its service into Manitoba and is now serving Winnipeg and the surrounding areas. As the news release below points out, MHI has expanded rapidly this last year, expanding into Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and Manitoba from its base in Ontario. This announcement comes just in time for peak home buying season in early spring.

From Newswire.ca:

Mike Holmes Inspections expands into Winnipeg

WINNIPEG, April 16, 2014 /CNW/ - Mike Holmes Inspections (MHI) is pleased to announce that it has expanded its service area into Manitoba and is now serving Winnipeg and surrounding areas. MHI has Approved Inspectors currently operating in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
MHI has undergone significant growth over the last year, expanding into Saskatchewan, British Columbia and most recently Manitoba.
"MHI is officially in Winnipeg!" stated Mike Holmes, President of Mike Holmes Inspections. "I've been wanting to get my guys here for a while. But finding the right professionals to deliver our service isn't easy. We need to make sure we do it right."
Winnipeg residents and those living in surrounding areas can book a Mike Holmes Inspection online or by calling their Customer Service division, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
"We wanted to be fully operational in Winnipeg by spring, in order to catch peak home buying season," stated Ashley Shojaie, Director of Mike Holmes Inspections. "We are very excited to be operating in Winnipeg. It's a fantastic market where homeowners understand how the right home inspection can help save them money and make their homes healthier."
All MHI clients currently receive Mike's book, The Holmes Inspection and can take advantage of additional services, such as the first ever Canadian Home History Report for any property.
All Mike Holmes Inspections also include Recall Chek, a service that verifies whether or not a recall has been issued on any home appliances, furnace, air conditioner and/or water heater in the home at the time of inspection. Information is also provided on how to receive full repairs free of charge from the manufacturer.
For more information on Mike Holmes Inspections, please visit: http://www.mikeholmesinspections.com/.
About Mike Holmes Inspections
Mike Holmes Inspections is an independent home inspection service company. Through the integration of advanced technologies with sophisticated industry techniques it provides thorough, fair and educated assessments of building structures and their systems. Mike Holmes Inspections also invests in the development and augmentation of industry standards through collaborations and third-party ventures with educational institutions and industry associations.
SOURCE Mike Holmes Inspections
For further information:
For all media inquiries regarding Mike Holmes Inspections, please contact:
Ashley Shojaie, Director
contactus@mikeholmesinspections.com

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mike Holmes: Be Water Smart

In Southern Nevada USA, where I live, our water district has a little jingle that they use in all of their PSA's: "It's a desert out there, be water smart." Water usage is something that concerns all of us who live in a dry arid climate. The truth is, the earth has the same amount of water that it did 5,000 years ago. Water evaporates into the atmosphere and then is recycled back to the earth's surface by means of rain or snow. Over 70 percent of the earth's surface is covered by water, yet less than one percent of that water is fresh. So, if there is no more or less water on earth now than there will be in 100 years from now, why conserve it? Fresh water supplies such as rivers, lakes, and underground aquifers can be overused, draining the supply faster than it can be replenished by nature, so it's important that we treat our fresh water supply with care. In this article, Mike talks about conserving the elixir of life. Incorporating "grey-water" recovery systems for non-potable water use such as flushing toilets, washing cars, and doing laundry can be a great way conserve natural resources. Another way to save water is to make sure your plumbing is properly maintained to maximize its efficiency and minimize leaks. The great thing about conserving natural resources is that using less of them means your also using less energy, which can mean big savings in your wallet. It's a win-win all the way around.

From the Winnipeg Free Press:

MIKE HOLMES: Be water smart

It's the elixir of life, and you can conserve it

It takes a lot of water to produce much of the power we use every day, such as hydroelectric, nuclear and thermal. We use water to power turbines and generate electricity (sometimes as steam). We use water to cool thermal and nuclear reactors.
The other side of that equation is about eight per cent of all the energy generated worldwide is used to pump, treat and transport water to consumers.
So we're burning the candle at both ends, using water to generate electricity, then using electricity to transport, treat and pump water. Does this really make sense? It might have 50 or 70 years ago, but not anymore.
We need better ways to maintain our homes, because once our water supply starts drying up, it's game over.
I've been saying it for years: Housing has to be sustainable. Future communities have to be sustainable. We don't have a choice. It's that simple.
As a builder and renovator, sustainability has become the name of my game. Every time I approach a reno, a new build, a new community, I'm thinking of how we can make the homes more energy-efficient, which includes smart ways to use water.
As a homeowner, there are plenty of things you can do to help, too. For one, understand that saving energy saves water, and saving water saves energy.
Only about 10 per cent of clean water is used for drinking or cooking. The rest gets used for showers, baths, laundry, watering lawns and gardens and washing cars. Do our cars really need to be washed with drinking-quality water? Or how about our toilets? My dog Charlie might appreciate having drinking-quality water in the throne, but Mother Nature doesn't -- it's a royal flush of good water.
One smart water solution you might want to consider is incorporating a grey-water recovery system in your home.
Grey water is used water that's been treated and filtered, then used for such functions as flushing toilets, watering the lawn, washing the car and doing laundry. It can't be used for drinking, showering or bathing. You can also have a greywater system that collects only rainwater from your gutters and downspouts.
According to Environment Canada, toilets use one-third of a household's total water consumption. That's 33 per cent of the average household's water bill. A grey-water system in a house, used to flush toilets and water lawns, could save about 150 litres of drinking water per day per household. When you start crunching the numbers, that works out to a heck of a lot of water.
Each municipality has different rules when it comes to grey water, so check with your local authorities on where they stand.
Another option is to hire a licensed plumber to fix any leaks in your home's plumbing. The average home can lose 7,500 to 75,000 litres of water just because of leaks.
Or how about adding a green roof or installing a domestic hot-water recovery system?
Green roofs have some type of plants or greenery covering parts of the roof or the entire area. They're environmentally friendly, help manage stormwater runoff, which reduces the amount of pollutants that enter our water systems, and can help homeowners save money on heating and cooling costs because they provide some insulation.
A hot-water recovery system recaptures the heat from hot water that's already been used as it goes down the drain -- for instance from showers, washing dishes and laundry. It then uses this water to preheat water going into the hot-water tank.
Everyone has a role when it comes to taking care of our home and the Earth, and using our water sensibly is one really big way we can all make a difference and make it right.
-- Postmedia Network Inc. 2014
Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information, visit makeitright.ca.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"The Holmes Manual" Coming Soon To A Bookstore Near You!

Mike Holmes is a very busy guy. In between filming his hit TV show Holmes Makes It Right (brand new episodes premiering this fall) and doing personal appearances at practically every trade show across North America, he's also busy writing books so that consumers can better educate themselves about their homes and how to maintain them. According to the Harper Collins Canada and Amazon.ca websites, Mike Holmes will be releasing his 5th book in both hardback and e-book this year. The 384-page hardback book "The Holmes Manual" goes on sale June 5 2014. The e-book version of "The Holmes Manual" can be pre-ordered through the Amazon.ca website for electronic delivery to your Kindle or other e-book reader on May 27 2014.

"The Holmes Manual" (ISBN 9781443422376) book description from Harper Collins Canada:

No-nonsense advice from the star of HGTV’s Holmes Makes It Right and Holmes Inspection

  • Why are my windows fogging up?
  • What can I do about a squeaky floor?
  • Why is my bedroom so much colder than the rest of the house?
  • Are tankless water heaters worth the money?

From top to bottom, outside to inside, Mike answers homeowners’ most common questions and provides solutions for everyday problems. Mike also offers trusted advice on maintenance—including instructions for repairs and projects that homeowners can tackle themselves. Packed with colour photographs, handy tips and sidebars, The Holmes Manual is a must-have guide for every homeowner.

Cover artwork:

 
I'm totally digging the big strong arms, but I'm not sure why they cut off Mike's head in the cover photo. Mike's got a very handsome mug. I guess those world famous biceps are enough to capture people's attention all by themselves. I'm excited to get my hands on this book! Bonus observation -- the background of Mike's new book "The Holmes Manual" matches the color scheme of the Holmes Spot!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

3M Safety Videos Featuring Mike Holmes

Mike Holmes is all about doing it right, and part of doing it right is doing it safely. That's why Mike has teamed up with 3M to provide tips on how to keep safe by using the right safety products. Recently, 3M Safety's YouTube channel has released some videos featuring Mike Holmes demonstrating how to use basic safety equipment, such as ear plugs and safety glasses.

Here's a video of Mike demonstrating how to properly use a respirator.



For more videos of Mike demonstrating safety products, see Mike Holmes Provides Tips to Make it Right with 3M Safety Products.

Mike Holmes in Winnipeg for Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: The Yards at Fort Rouge

On September 21, 2013, Mike Holmes spoke for about 10 minutes at the ribbon cutting ceremony at The Yards at Fort Rouge Grand Opening Sales Event. The Yards and Fort Rouge is a town house/condo project that was somewhat controversial due to residents' concerns about added traffic to already congested roads, as well as Mike's mingling with Gem Equities, a builder which has accrued many complaints and lawsuits in its lifetime. Today, The Yards Winnipeg YouTube channel uploaded footage of Mike addressing the crowd last September. Mike spoke to the crowd at the sales event, explaining why he was excited about this project, and how he looked forward to building these Holmes Approved Homes as affordable as the "piece of crap across the street." Mike then answered some questions about the development and his involvement with the project.



For more information about this building project, please see previous Holmes Spot blog entries:
"The Yards at Fort Rouge" Building Project In Winnipeg
Mike Holmes in Winnipeg
The Yards at Fort Rouge Development -- Update
Fort Rouge Controversy Rages On
The Yards at Fort Rouge - Some Humorous Criticism

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mike Holmes in Vancouver for the Canadian Tire Home, Auto & Outdoor Show

On April 5, Mike Holmes made an appearance at the Canadian Tire Home, Auto & Outdoor Show in Vancouver, British Columbia (see Mike Holmes to attend the Canadian Tire Home, Auto & Outdoor Show in Vancouver for more information). Mike documented his visit by posting a couple of photos on April 4, the day before the show via his Facebook page.
 
(Remember that on April 3, Mike was in Edmonton, Alberta for the Pathways 2014 Conference, in which he addressed aboriginal youth in Canada. While still in Edmonton, Mike received some special treatment and had a special steak dinner at his favorite steak house.)


 
Mike stated on his Facebook page, "LUX Steakhouse + Bar has a steak knife with my name they keep in a special box for when I visit. Way to make me feel like a king!" To that I have to say, when you do so much for other people and give so much of yourself, you deserve to be treated like a king every once in a while!
 
Mike arrived in Vancouver on April 4, and was picked up in a very unusual ride. Instead of the usual town car, someone sent a Mercedes Limobook Sprinter to pick him up from the airport so he could ride in style. In case you don't know what a Limobrook Sprinter looks like, they look like this, and they are top of the line:
 
 
Mike posted this picture on his Facebook page, stating, "Arrived in #Vancouver. Instead of your typical town car this Mercedes Limobook Sprinter showed up to pick me up. The driver said it was sent as a thank you.Talk about riding in style!"


Later, Mike made a stop to buy some new clothes. Perhaps he was still feeling classy from the ride. Or perhaps Mike likes to pack light and needed a sport coat. Either way, Mike posted several photos from his shopping trip:

 
 
 
I normally balk at the thought of celebrities getting special treatment, but as I said before, Mike gives so much of himself to others that it's hard for people not to want to treat him extra special when he arrives. I know if I owned a restaurant, Mike could come in any time he wanted and sit at the best table. Mike's generosity makes others want to reciprocate, so when he sat down for dinner at  YEW seafood + bar, the chef treated Mike like a VIP. Pretty snazzy for just a contractor! Mike wrote, "Tonight I had the pleasure of going to YEW seafood + bar. Chef Ned Bell is an old friend and not only did he cook for me but he served me personally. An absolute honour. By far the best seafood flavours I've ever tasted!!"



The next day, Mike was doing what he does best, meeting and greeting his fans at the Canadian Tire Home, Auto & Outdoor Show as a special guest of 3M Filtrete brand air filters. He posted a few photos on his Facebook page, stating "Did I mention I have the best fans?" I hope you mean it Mike, because you do have the best fans in the world! We love you because of who you are, so keep being you!




Saturday, April 5, 2014

Video: Mike Holmes Delivers Career Message to Aboriginal Youth

On April 3, Mike Holmes was in Edmonton addressing a group of Aboriginal youth at the Pathways 2014 conference. For more information on Mike's participation in this even and his work with Aboriginal youth in Canada, see Mike Holmes: Pathways 2014 National Conference.

From CBC.ca:




Can't see the video? Click here.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Mike Holmes: Pathways 2014 National Conference

Today, April 3, Canada's Indigenous youth gathered in Edmonton, Alberta Canada for day three of the three day Pathways 2014 National Conference on career training, education, and the trades. The keynote speaker was none other than Mike Holmes, who has a long history of working with Canada's Aboriginal population in areas of affordable housing and promotion of the skilled trades. Don't believe me? Just check out these previous Holmes Spot blog entries chronicling Mike's work with the First Nations:

Mike Holmes and the First Nations
Stop Building Junk On Reserves, Says Mike Holmes
2012 World Indigenous Housing Conference - UPDATE
Mike Holmes: "We Need More Aboriginal People In Construction"
Mike Holmes to Speak at the 2012 World Indigenous Housing Conference

Mike is always excited to speak to youth about the value of choosing a career in the trades, but speaking to aboriginal youth seems to hold a special place with him. He Facebooked about his experience at Pathways 2014:

Speaking to indigenous youth, elders and trades college leaders about skilled trades at the Pathways 2014 National Conference.




















Pathways also tweeted this photo of Mike at the conference:






































CBC news also covered the event, making note that Mike has been working with aboriginal youth for years, encouraging them to take advantage of the growing job opportunities and choose careers in the skilled trades.

From the CBC News website:

Mike Holmes delivers career message to aboriginal youth
Celebrity home builder says there is work to be had for those with training

Posted: Apr 03, 2014 7:18 PM MT Last Updated: Apr 03, 2014 7:18 PM MT


Celebrity contractor Mike Holmes urged aboriginal youth to consider a career in the construction trades at Pathways 2014 in Edmonton on Thursday.

Mike Holmes, Canada's most famous contractor, is urging native youth to get training to take advantage of growing job opportunities in the building trades.

Holmes was the keynote speaker Thursday at the 2014 Pathways event, Gathering Our Nations’ Youth for Trades.

Young aboriginals from across northern Alberta were on hand as Holmes laid out the career path open to them.

"We built this country," he told the gathering. "We need to keep fixing this country, and we need to continue this."

Holmes, who has worked with aboriginal youth in Canada for years, wants them to know a well-paying career is possible, though it might not come easily.

"The challenges that I've seen are really how to get in — how can I afford it?" Holmes said. "I say it's simple. If you want to do this, you can get in."

Welders, in particular, are in high demand in Alberta, and that's what drew Thalia Nelderis to learn the skill.

"I think it's a good career path to go down," Nelderis told CBC News, "and you can always fall back on your ticket."

Nelderis said she was inspired to learn the skill by an aunt who welds, adding schools too often push academic studies over trades.

Business owners say they need young skilled workers, and that work fairs like Pathways will bring in a new generation of aboriginal tradespeople.

"We have a huge resource of young people right now who are coming into the workforce, who are doing good in the workforce," one businessman said.

Nelderis hopes to weld someday beside an aboriginal woman at a construction site.

"I would love to see more aboriginal youth get into the trades," she said. "It would be a beautiful sight to see."

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

#momentofdarkness Video Outtakes

If you haven't taken to the time to watch all of the short (and very humorous) videos from the #momentofdarkness series of short video clips posted on Mike Holmes' official YouTube channel, please do! You can watch them all and learn about Mike's support for Earth Hour which took place on March 29 this year here. With videos come the outtakes, and oftentimes the outtakes are better than the actual videos themselves! If you enjoyed what made the cut, you'll absolutely love what didn't!



It's very obvious that Mike's crew love what they do, and have a great time making it right! Cheers!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mike Holmes on Earth Hour

Yesterday on March 29, Earth Hour was officially observed by people across the US and Canada. In Las Vegas, where I live, they even dimmed the lights on the Las Vegas Strip. The purpose of Earth Hour, which is organized by the World Wildlife Fund, is to "encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the last Saturday in March, as a symbol for their commitment to the planet." Regardless of your personal thoughts and leanings on "global warming" or "climate change," conservation and the responsible use of our resources not only makes good sense, but also saves good cents. Hopefully, this symbolic gesture of turning out the lights for an hour will encourage conservation year round.

In support of the World Wildlife Fund, and to raise awareness of cleaner and renewable energy sources, Mike Holmes has been working very hard these last couple of weeks to promote Earth Hour. He's teamed up with solar company Pure Energies to encourage people to learn more about going solar, even stating that if 5000 people signed up to learn more, he would donate $5000 to the WWF (see Mike's Earth Hour Challenge for more details). Mike (with a little bit of help from his Holmes Makes It Right crew) has also put out a series of short videos which could be collectively nicknamed "What to do during Earth Hour," or perhaps "Fun With the Lights Off." The videos portray the crew telling contractor horror stories, toasting marshmallows, and playing hide-and-seek, all in the dark. The point was to encourage people to make the most out of the darkness and have a little fun at the same time. Take a look at these "#momentofdarkness" videos:






















Also, check out this great article Mike wrote for the Montreal Gazette:

Mike Holmes: Earth Hour – here comes the light

 By Mike Holmes, For Postmedia News March 28, 2014

After a decade, Mike Holmes still cares because he knows the work he, his crew and others do makes a real difference to the people they help.

Photograph by: Alex Schuldt/The Holmes Group, Postmedia News

This year, Earth Hour is on March 29. I know I’ll be flicking off, and I’m counting on millions of Canadians to flick off, too!
With every passing year, Earth Hour gets bigger — more organizations and countries participate, more people get involved and the stakes get higher. This is great because it means we’re taking bigger steps toward building a sustainable future.
Earth Hour has become the largest mass participation event in history. What does that tell you? That people care about the planet and climate change and that they’re willing to do something about it.
A lot of us want to build a sustainable future, and thankfully, it’s not just people stepping up to the plate. Governments are, too. Proper programs are being developed that support homeowners as they try to make their homes more green and energy efficient. For example, solar leasing is a good way to start weaning homes off non-renewable energy. Using solar energy to power your home is smart, but the initial investment is beyond what most households can afford — solar electric systems aren’t cheap. Upfront costs include solar panels, installation and any changes or upgrades that need to be made to the home so these systems can be properly (and safely) installed.
Once everything is said and done, the total cost of adding a solar electric system to your home can be anywhere from $30,000 to $40,000.
Instead of putting this money in yourself, out of pocket, a solar leasing program can cover the cost of installation, operation and maintenance of the solar power system for you. This is done through companies or organizations, such as Pure Energies, that work with local governments to make it financially easier for homeowners to install solar energy systems.
The way that most solar leasing programs work is that the energy generated by the solar panels on a home feed into the electric grid, and the homeowner gets a credit for that energy. So any time the household uses electricity, it doesn’t pay for the amount of energy that the panels have already contributed to the power grid.
The great thing about solar leasing is the security. Homeowners never have to worry about not having enough electricity. Solar panels can’t generate electricity when it’s cloudy or at night. But with solar leasing, households pull energy from the power grid while feeding it with solar power.
Solar leasing also saves homeowners the trouble of maintaining or repairing the system — solar experts check and monitor the system for them. Plus some companies, such as Pure Energies will also monitor other systems in the home that affect energy efficiency. For example, they will check a home’s HVAC system to make sure it’s working efficiently, given the weather conditions and temperature.
Another great initiative is financing for energy-efficient home renovations or retrofits. This helps homeowners replace bad windows, add insulation or replace an old inefficient furnace.
Toronto recently launched a new pilot project called the Home Energy Loan Program, which means 1,000 homes will be retrofitted over the next three years to make them more energy and water efficient. Homeowners will still need to pay the loan back — in instalments on their tax bill — but they will be saving money monthly, thanks to lower energy bills, and helping reduce their carbon footprint.
Programs such as HELP have another big impact: They educate. They get homeowners to start thinking about the long term — the stuff that will make their homes last longer, save energy, save water, save money, and ultimately, save the planet.
They put the focus back on making homes better — not just better looking, which often just creates more waste. It motivates people to care about things like a subfloor system that will keep their basement warm and dry, rather than just worry about the flooring that goes on top; or the best kind of insulation instead of getting the cheapest.
These programs change peoples’ thinking, which changes the future. I hear a lot of moaning and groaning about the costs of green initiatives but that’s short-term thinking. Building and renovating right is not just about today — it’s about tomorrow and the things you’re willing to do to make it right.
Earth Hour might be an hour of darkness but it brings a lot of light when it comes to building a sustainable future.
Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information visit makeitright.ca.