Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What's Mike Up To? Rumors and Speculations...

Mike at The Barrymore, Las Vegas
I'm not sure how many people have noticed or cared, but Mike has been spending a lot of time in the US, and I don't think it's strictly because of the weather!

In October, Mike visited the Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona areas as a keynote speaker for Pathways Events, a company that trains people to buy and sell real estate. In November, Mike was in Utah and Las Vegas with the same company. A week after Mike's appearance with Pathways in Las Vegas, Mike was spotted at a local Vegas nightclub, The Barrymore, indicating that Mike made a vacation out of his trip to the City of Sin.
Mike in Miami, FL


This past Saturday, Mike posted pictures of himself having a "mini-vacation" on the beach in Miami, Florida. And today, Mike posted these little tid-bits on Twitter about his recent trip to LA, where he apparently stayed as a guest at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California:

I am in #LosAngeles to meet with some television networks. Wish me luck!

Look what I walked into my room, great people here! Making me feel right at home.















So, what exactly is Mike doing in LA, what is he talking about with the TV networks, and why does he need
us to wish him good luck??? Hmmmm.... this is going to take some serious speculation.

In October, my husband and I made the short trip from Las Vegas to Tempe to see Mike. When my husband told Mike we were from Las Vegas, Mike told my husband that he liked Vegas, but he really liked Phoenix and that he was considering buying a house there. It's no secret that Mike intends to expand his Holmes Approved program to the US, and during his keynote address, Mike mentioned that he'd like to expand into Arizona and perhaps plant an office there. 

Mike speaking at Pathways Events, Las Vegas
In early November, Mike came to Las Vegas with Pathways, and being that I live in Las Vegas, I just had to go! All throughout October and November, I found it curious that Mike was associating himself with a company that does real estate. Not that there's anything wrong with real estate, it's just that Mike seemed like the type to fix houses, not sell them. But during his address in Las Vegas, Mike made a confession that was curious as it was revealing! Mike stated that his next show was going to be about buying right. "Buy It Right" were the words that came out of his mouth.

So let's speculate here... Mike is expanding into the States -- that's a for-sure fact. He's spending a lot of time in Arizona, Nevada, and Florida -- for those who know, these states are known to be very business friendly (and have great weather!). And Mike is currently pitching something to TV executives in LA. So could it be that Mike is pitching a new show about how to buy it right in the US? Now that speculation to the max! It could very well be that Mike is simply on vacation and ducking the cold. Whatever Mike's got up his sleeve, I guess we'll all know soon!

Best of luck in LA, Mike! Knock 'em dead!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mike Holmes: Hope For the Reno Industry

Watching shows like Holmes Makes it Right, Holmes on Homes, and To Catch A Contractor hosted by Adam Carolla and Skip Bedel can leave homeowners with a bad taste in their mouths for contractors. It's true that hiring the wrong guy who doesn't know or care enough can ruin your life, your home, and maybe even your marriage (Mike Holmes calls the debris kicked up during a painful renovation "divorce dust"). But just when it seems that all hope is lost, Mike Holmes reminds us that there's a lot to be positive and hopeful about. It seems that under Ontario's Consumer Protection Act, two more fraudulent contractors are going to jail for not following through with their work. This is great news for homeowners and good contractors alike, because it sends a clear message to all the frauds out there that there are consequences for taking people's money and running. Because of people like Mike and shows like To Catch a Contractor and Holmes Makes it Right, word is getting out that a job in the trades is something to be proud of, and can be very lucrative as well. It's also apparent that homeowners are taking notes and educating themselves so they don't become victims. This is all great news for the renovation industry!



Mike Holmes: There is hope for the reno industry

Two more “contractors” are going to jail, this time convicted of charges under Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act. Their crimes? Not following through on kitchen and bathroom renovations — by far the two most popular renovation projects homeowners undertake.

I’ve been saying it for years: We must have clear consequences for people who take people’s money, disappear — sometimes after destroying a home — only to move onto their next victim.

When bad guys get caught and are penalized for it, the entire industry benefits. And stories like the one about these convictions give me hope. They tell us we’re on the right track. There are other signs, too.

Growing up, I didn’t have things like Skills Canada and WorldSkills, national and global competitions that recognize the trades for what they are — cool, something worth investing in, to be proud of and that you can turn into a great career.

Canada’s tradespeople rank among its best natural resources. Being a contractor, carpenter, mechanic, plumber or electrician means something different than it did when I was growing up. These days, you’re likely to get a date if you are in any one of these professions. That wasn’t always the case in my day.

The word is getting out that these are great careers attached to great paycheques. And that’s attracting some of the best students this country has ever seen — people who care about doing a good job and who are proud to do it.

Take Our Kids to Work Day (held this year on Nov. 5) is another great opportunity that’s helping to improve the trades and educate another generation about them.

The first time my son, Mike Jr., worked on a job site was on Take Our Kids to Work Day. Now he’s in his second year of carpentry earning his Red Seal, and he’s an experienced site supervisor who led the build on my garage.

If I hadn’t taught my kids the trades were legitimate and respectable ways to earn a living and support a family, I don’t think they would have gone into them. So as the bad guys get caught and are held accountable, we’re getting more good guys (and gals) going into the trades.

But what else is changing? The homeowner.

The average homeowner’s knowledge is growing. More people know what a good home-related job is supposed to look like, what a pro sounds like and how to avoid the bad guys.

Do we need more homeowner education? Absolutely. But we’re in much better shape than we were 10, 20 years ago. A lot of that has to do with women getting more involved in decisions that affect a home — from construction and renovation to maintenance, design and systems. They’re asking lots of questions and learning the basics of running a healthy, well-functioning home.

More information also means making better decisions, and that’s why an increasing number of homeowners are interested in energy efficiency, sustainable construction, greywater reuse, solar power, and green products and materials.

You never used to hear homeowners ask about the R-value of insulation, if the windows are argon- or krypton-gas filled, if there’s underlayment on the roof, or whether a home has lo-flow fixtures, high indoor-air quality or better mould-, moisture- and fire resistance.

I’m hearing more people ask the right questions. That tells you something about the market — it’s smarter. More people care about living in a healthy home and the impact on the environment. It’s not just about fancy finishes anymore. It’s about making it right, for you, your family and your future.

Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information visit makeitright.ca.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Radon: The Silent Killer

November is Radon Action Month, which brings about the question - how much do you know about radon? Radon is a silent killer and the only way to know if you have elevated levels of radon in your home is to test for it. When radon - a colorless, odorless gas - gets trapped inside your home, it can lead to all kinds of problems including cancer. The best tactic to battle this silent killer is to educate yourself about it and learn how you can mitigate it if it's a problem in your home. The great news is that if you find out that radon is an issue, getting rid of it is relatively inexpensive.

From the National Post:

Mike Holmes: Radon is our second silent killer — and testing your home is the only solution
|
 
Holmes Group Radon seeps up through porous basement floors and walls — usually in minute amounts. It's impossible to detect without having a test done.
 
We turned the clocks back an hour last weekend — it’s also a good time to change the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors (since batteries need to be changed twice a year, doing it when the clocks change makes it easy to remember). If you haven’t done it yet, do it now.
But it’s also time to think about another silent killer in every home — radon.
November is Radon Action Month, aimed at boosting awareness of the gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. If you’re a smoker and have elevated radon levels in your home, over time your chances of developing lung cancer is one in three. It’s estimated that radon causes 3,200 lung cancer deaths a year in Canada.
What really gets me is that these deaths could be avoided.
First, what’s radon?
Radon is a colourless, odourless, radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium, which is found in rocks, soil or water. When diffused into the outdoors, radon isn’t dangerous. It becomes a problem when it gets trapped and accumulates, like in a home.
Most homes nowadays are more tightly sealed — which is great for energy-efficiency, but not if you have a radon problem.
Because radon is a gas, it seeps into homes very easily, through small cracks in the floor slab, foundation, crawl spaces, the sump pump, and openings for venting and plumbing. It can even get in through the water supply.
How much radon is safe?
Every home has some radon in it, depending on geography. The question is how much? The only way to know is through testing.
Health Canada recommends that radon in indoor air should not exceed 200 becquerel per cubic metre (Bq/m3; becquerel is an international standard unit of radioactivity). I recently saw a house that had more than eight times that amount. Think that’s bad? I’ve heard of homes having over 2,300 Bq/m3. One home in Quebec had 20,653 Bq/m3, while the house next door had only 125 Bq/m3 — and it had a crawl space with a dirt floor.
There’s no telling if a home has a radon problem, and that’s why testing is so important.
There are short- and long-term radon tests. You can also buy radon test kits, but testing isn’t so simple. Do it wrong and you compromise the results. For example, you have to place the device a certain distance away from walls, the ceiling, floor and other objects, and it can’t be near any venting, either.
You also have to keep all your windows and doors shut during the entire testing period, which is typically between three to five days for short-term testing and a minimum of three months for long-term testing. The best time to test is during winter, when we keep our windows and doors shut the most.
To test your home, hire a pro who is certified by the Canadian-National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP). You can find these pros on the C-nrpp.ca website. They’ll bring and place the device in the proper position, pick it up when testing is over, send it to the lab and deliver the results.
If your home has elevated radon levels, they can also help you take the necessary steps to make it right and find a certified radon mitigation contractor. And the good news is that fixing the problem is relatively inexpensive.
Get your home tested for radon. It could save a life.
Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information visit makeitright.ca.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Hammering Home the Message About Radon

Radon gas. It's colorless, it's odorless, and it's a really big deal. Pretty much every home has radon in it to some degree, but some have higher levels than others. Worst yet, it can cause illness and even cancer. What is radon and where does it come from? Radon gas is a natural radio active gas (take a peek at the periodic table of elements if you get the change) that is off-gassed as uranium breaks down from inside the earth. The gas seeps up from the ground and inside homes and the only way to know if your house has toxic levels of radon in it is to test for it. The month of November is official lung month across Canada, and Mike Holmes has teamed up with several lung and health agencies in Canada to promote radon gas awareness and encourage homeowners to get their homes tested.


From the Canadian Lung Association Website:

Mike Holmes Hammers Home the Message on Radon. November is Lung Month: protect your lungs, get your home tested

October 31st, 2014

Toronto, ON – “Get your home tested for radon . . . it could save your life.”

That’s the no-nonsense message from Canada’s most trusted contractor, Mike Holmes, in a new media campaign warning Canadians about the dangers of household radon contamination.

The star of the HGTV series Holmes Makes It Right has teamed up with The Lung Association, Health Canada and the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists to produce television and radio public service announcements that will be broadcast nationwide starting in November during national Lung Month.

Exposure to colourless, odourless radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in the ground. It can seep into homes, workplaces and other buildings through cracks in the walls or foundation. Virtually every house in Canada contains some radon.

“The only way to know if your home has a radon problem is to test for it,” says Mike Holmes, whose home inspection company, Mike Holmes Inspections, conducts radon testing. “One house can have radon levels next to zero while the house next door can be off the charts.”

If the radon level in your house is high it is not hard to fix. “A certified radon mitigation technician can reduce radon levels in most homes by more than 80 per cent for about the same cost as other common home repairs, such as replacing the furnace or air conditioner,” says Connie Choy, air quality coordinator with the Ontario Lung Association. “A radon mitigation professional who has been certified under the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP) can help you find the best way to reduce the radon level in your home.”

To order a radon test kit or to find a C-NRPP certified contractor in your region, go to www.TakeActionOnRadon.ca.

For more information about how radon affects your lung health, visit lung.ca/radon or, call us toll-free at 1 888-566-5864. In Quebec, call 1 888-POUMON-9. In British Columbia, call 1 800-665-LUNG (5864).

To view the video, visit our Youtube channel at: http://ow.ly/DArJt

About The Lung Association
Established in 1900, The Lung Association is one of Canada’s oldest and most respected health charities, and the leading national organization for science-based information, research, education, support programs and advocacy on lung heath issues.

Media contact:

John Chenery
Provincial Manager, Communications
Ontario Lung Association
416-864-9911 ext. 292
jchenery@on.lung.ca

Photo: Canada’s most trusted contractor, Mike Holmes, confers with Niagara Falls homeowners Michael and Jana Katz after a routine radon test found serious radon contamination in their home. Radon, a radioactive gas, is the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths in Canada.

Page Last Updated: 31/10/2014



Friday, October 31, 2014

Holmes Inspection on Netflix (US)

Tonight while scrolling through the "Recently Added" category of Netflix (US), I discovered that a whole lot of HGTV shows were now in the line-up. I said out loud that it's too bad that they don't have Holmes on Homes or any of Mike's shows on Netflix. When all of a sudden, I spotted this:


For anyone who wants to watch Mike's show on the go, Netflix (US) is currently featuring 25 episodes of Holmes Inspection in HD. The episodes are from the last season of the show (2011). I'm not sure if Canadian Netflix (which I've heard through the grapevine is rather lacking compared to the US version) has the show or any of Mike's shows.

It's a little surprising to me that this was not announced anywhere on Mike's official website or on any of his social network sites. This is BIG news for Mike's US fans (especially for those who don't get HGTV). 

Mike Holmes' Holmes Inspection is on Netflix in the US. If you subscribe, you can support Mike's ranking in Netflix by watching the show via the service. And don't forget to rate it 5 stars!





Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from the Holmes Spot! We all saw what Mike dressed up as for Halloween this year:


If you think that's scary, just look at this throwback pic Mike posted the other day on his social media accounts:


YIKES! It's not a witch, it's not a monster, but it's certainly very scary!!!

To celebrate the Halloween this year, Mike hosted a contest asking people to submit photos of themselves dressed up like Mike. A fun contest, yes, but there were some very specific directions about how to get that famous Mike Holmes stance down pat. Watch very carefully:




Did you get that? Watch one more time:



Sunday, October 26, 2014

Make It Right Halloween Bash

As you might guess, Mike and his office staff love to party hearty around the holidays. Halloween is definitely no exception! Last night, the Make it Right crew, staff, and friends got together for their annual Halloween bash.






So what did Mike dress up as?  Mike dressed up as a Pan Am pilot, complete with golden blond wig. And what would a Pan Am pilot be without his girls? Come fly the friendly skies with these guys...



Joe Frangella and John McLennon as "Frank and Mike," complete with overalls, bling, and epic uni-brow.

 
 
Mike's son Mike Jr. dressed up as the Tom Hanks character from Castaway. Where's Wilson? Oh, there she is...


 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mike Holmes: Finally, Someone Gets Zapped For Fraudulent Electrical Work

Suppose you're one of those DIY handyguys or gals, and you decide you're going to do some work on your house. First you install some new sinks and shower fixtures. Next, you rip up the old vinyl and lay down some lovely marble tile. Lastly, you do a little unpermitted electrical work and upgrade your main panel. You look around your house and spot puddles in the bathroom -- you know you did the plumbing wrong. You look down and spot cracked grout and loose tiles -- you know you didn't install the tile correctly. Lastly, you flip a light switch, and the lights come on like magic. At least you did the electrical work right, right? The truth is, when you screw up plumbing, you know right away because there's water on the floor. If you screw up electrical work on the other hand, the lights may still come on when you hit the switch, but who knows what's going on behind the walls? You may not know you have bad electrical work in your home until there's a fire, and by then it's too late. Shoddy electrical work is downright dangerous, and potentially deadly. In Ontario, a man is facing jail time for doing electrical work without a licence, and Mike Holmes thinks this is a great thing. It's the first time an offender has been given this kind of sentence for this kind of offence, and Mike feels it send the right kind of message to would-be crooks out there lying to unsuspecting homeowners. Bottom line: permits are not expensive, and they're an important safeguard to make sure the work is done right. Make sure you hire the right people and that all work done on your home is permitted appropriately.


From the National Post:

Mike Holmes: Finally, someone gets zapped for fraudulent electrical workA man in Ontario is facing 30 days in jail because he was doing electrical work without the proper licence. According to the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), this is the first time in Ontario anyone has been given a jail sentence for an offence like this. What do I think? I think it’s about time.
This guy was also found guilty of using a fake certificate, failing to get inspections and leaving unsafe electrical conditions at four homes. Not to mention, he was a repeat offender. As part of his sentencing, he was placed on two years’ probation.
I wager there are dozens more people out there doing the same thing. The problem is, you fine them, they pay the fine, and because they’re making more money than the fine costs, they move on and do it again.
The media has been abuzz with this story. Is the sentence too severe? Did he deserve this? Some people are saying the problem is the system — permits are too expensive.
Let me tell you something — permits aren’t that expensive.
An electrical permit on a small job is about $30. We recently did a big job on a house that required just over $6,000 in electrical work. The electrical permit was $130. For $6,000 in electrical work, $130 to check that it’s safe and up to code is OK in my books.
Is jail time too severe? Absolutely not, because it sends the message loud and clear: We’re not taking this anymore. This has to stop now.
Wiring is not a hobby. If you screw up the electrical, that’s a fire waiting to happen.
Just because the lights turn on doesn’t mean they’re safe. How many of us have ignored flickering lights, which are red flags for dangerous electrical situations and potential fire?
Too many homeowners think it’s OK to hire someone on the side, pay them cash, not pull any permits or get an inspection, and then seal up the work behind drywall. The thinking is that if there is a problem, insurance will take care of it. But let me fill you in on a little secret: Insurance companies are getting fed up.
They will investigate and bring in as many people as needed to figure out why they should give a homeowner hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair their home. If they find out you didn’t follow the rules and hired the wrong person just to save a few bucks, you won’t see a cent.
Always hire licensed professionals. Unfortunately in this case, the homeowners thought they did.
Every province has its own regulations for contractors and trades — and some are controlled at the municipal level. But the bottom line is that whoever is in charge — province or city — has to take a clear stand on what can and can’t be done, and if it means sending people to jail, they should do it. Unsafe work that puts families at risk is unacceptable.
It’s time we see more authorities take these kinds of measures to stop these crooks, because that’s what they are. They’re not contractors. These are people that go out there with one purpose: To screw over anyone they can in order to make money. To me, that’s criminal.
It’s a serious problem, and I’m happy to see people finally smartening up and not letting them get away with it.
Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information visit makeitright.ca.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mike Holmes: Pathway Events 2014 in Tempe, Arizona

Guess what I did this weekend? I usually don't talk about myself too much, but I'll give you a little hint:


Yup, this weekend I drove up to Tempe, Arizona to show my support for Mike as he made a short presentation for Pathway Events. It was a fun trip, well worth the four hour drive. Here are some more photos:









Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mike Holmes Discusses Lexis Homes and Holmes Approved Homes

In May of this year, Mike Holmes was in Saskatoon, helping to promote the 2014 Kinsmen Riverview Lottery Home. For more information about the Kinsmen Riverview Lottery Home, see Mike Holmes At The 2014 Kinsmen Riverview Lottery Home and Mike Holmes Touring the Kinsmen Lottery Home in Saskatoon - Video.

On October 10, videos from Mike's tour of the home were released. In the videos, Mike speaks about Lexis Homes, the builder, and the Holmes Approved model for building better homes. Check out the videos (embedding was disabled, so please click on the links to view the videos):


Mike interviews a Lexi Homes client




Mike discusses winning a Holmes Approved Home




Mike discusses Lexis Homes












Mike discusses the trades pride