Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mike Holmes on Celebrating Earth Day

Today is Earth Day, and as a leading voice for building cleaner and greener, Mike is all about making small decisions that add up to big change. What does it mean to build green? According to Mike, going green is more than choosing so-called green products. A product can claim to be environmentally friendly, but if it doesn't work, it usually ends up in the waste bin. Building with the environment in mind is more about choosing products wisely, and choosing products that will last and don't have to be replaced in a couple of years. It's also about choosing products that will save energy and cut down on heating and cooling costs. Using energy efficient windows and strategically placed awnings not only look great and increase the value and aesthetics of your home, they also save big bucks off your utility bills by reducing the amount of energy you consume. It's a win-win for everybody and a big win for the environment.

From the National Post:

Mike Holmes: Celebrate Earth Day year-round with good building practices


Earth Day is April 22, and it’s a good reminder for all of us to make greener choices to help save energy (which means more money in your pocket), reduce waste and have better, healthier homes. Because that’s what it’s about — going green but being smart about it.
I’ve seen many so-called “green” products that end up creating extra waste because they don’t work. But I’ve also seen many great, durable products that protect our homes, so we don’t waste materials but do increase our comfort.
One example is Schluter’s Ditra-Heat floor-warming system. It protects the integrity of your tiles, so they don’t crack and need to be replaced, protects your floor against moisture and mould, and has heating cables so your feet feel warm and toasty in the morning, using minimal energy — all pluses.
Ensuring a home is built with better construction is thinking green. When we improve the building envelope — windows, insulation, roof, foundation and exterior siding — we make our homes more weather resistant and energy efficient. When things last longer and we don’t have to throw them away and replace them with new materials, we keep garbage out of landfills and save the energy that’d be used having a new product manufactured and shipped.
There are plenty of changes that most homeowners can do to make their homes more green, for example, switching to LED lights and using solar-powered outdoor lights.
If you’re replacing your roof, you can recycle the old asphalt shingles and, if you can afford it, go with a metal roof. A metal roof will last a minimum of 50 years; it’s fire-resistant, helps you save loads in heating costs and looks good, too. (Some metal-roof products look like regular asphalt shingles.)
You can also use landscaping to help block out heat in the summer and cold in the winter. You can install awnings, which act like visors for your home. In some environments they can reduce heat gain by 55 to 77 per cent and save homeowners as much as 25 per cent on energy bills. Then there’s the big stuff all homes are eventually moving toward, such as using geothermal energy — the earth’s natural temperature — to help heat our homes and domestic water. We could also use greywater or rainwater to wash cars and water lawns, use solar energy to power our homes and solar lights to light them, or add a green roof to help manage storm water and increase insulation.
But these bigger changes that affect the structure and the mechanics of the home, and require incorporating new innovative systems, are more difficult for homeowners to do today, either because they’re beyond their budget or it’s too difficult to modify their homes to accommodate those changes.
That’s why bigger, greener changes need to come from the top down — from the industry (whether it’s a builder, renovator, architect or contractor) to the homeowner.
That might mean more builders offering “green” home packages, where everything that makes the house more durable and energy efficient is planned out and developed before the first shovel hits the dirt. Renovators can specialize in “green” renovations, where they take a house that might have been built 30 or 50 years ago and update it with all the latest systems so it uses minimal energy.
This is where energy-efficiency home inspections can also really make a difference, because they can help identify all the spots in your home that are losing energy — and money. These types of inspections include tests like the blower door test or thermal imaging to find heat loss.
Most homeowners I talk to want a home that’s energy efficient and healthy. If you told them they could power their home with a reliable and clean source of energy for just a fraction of what it costs them now, they would be on board.
But these changes have to make sense financially, environmentally and construction wise. And they need to be accessible to the average homeowner if we want to really make a change, make it right and make it count.
Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information visit makeitright.ca.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mike Holmes: The Caulking King

When Mike was young, Mike caulked a lot of bathroom fixtures. So much so, that he earned a nick name from the guys at the hardware store who noticed Mike with caulk wiped all over his pants: The Caulking King. Caulking windows and fixtures is definitely a DIY project that Mike encourages homeowners to do, but just like any project, practice makes perfect. If you want to be a more proficient caulker, watch Mike's tips on how to caulk right.

You can watch Mike's web exclusive video on the HGTV Canada website.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Heartfelt Thanks

Today, Mike Holmes took the time to post an unsolicited heartfelt thanks to all of his fans on Facebook for supporting him and passing along the "Make It Right" attitude. For as much good as Mike has done in the world for other people, the thought that Mike would take the time to thank his fans is truly a display of his big heart.
Just want to say thanks to all my fans out there. Your support over the years has been unbelievable. You've helped encourage me and my guys to continue our work, helping others to ‪#‎makeitright‬.


 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New Mike Holmes Workwear - Coming Soon

There can only be one Mike Holmes. Well, technically there's two, but one is Junior and one is Senior, and they're both featured in this downright manly (and kind of sexy, if you don't mind me saying) video promoting the Holmes Workwear brand. The video shows both Mike Jr. and Sr. "modeling" an all-new line of Holmes brand Workwear, which is coming soon to an internet store near you! No one can be Mike Holmes (except Mike), but maybe you can look like him while you work!

According to Mike's official YouTube channel:

"Responding to the modern workforce, Holmes Workwear has developed a fully functional work wear collection designed to help you get the job done right."



Pictures:





Monday, April 13, 2015

3rd Annual Baeumler Family Foundation Celebrity Karaoke Gala - Video Preview

For the past couple of years, HGTV star Bryan Baeumler and his wife have hosted a black tie event that brings out the biggest and brightest names in HGTV and beyond, all for a good cause. The 3rd Annual Baeumler Family Foundation Celebrity Karaoke Gala, slated to be held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Toronto on May 21, 2015 will no doubt be a blast for all those in attendance. You can buy a ticket to the charity event at the BFF website, but you better hurry because they will sell out. Mike Holmes has been a celebrity guest for the past two years, and although the website doesn't list him as an attendee this year, I'm betting that he'll make an appearance or support the organization in some way.



A video montage was released today on the YouTube channel belonging to the photographer for last year's (and presumably this year's) event. The video really gives you a good feel for the affair, and features Mike and his date Anna (wearing the green dress) in multiple spots.



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mike Holmes' Appearance on This Hour Has 22 Minutes - 3/31/2015

Mike Holmes made an appearance on a segment of the CBC political satire show This Hour Has 22 Minutes, in which he and the host bantered back and forth about the very expensive Parliament building renovation project. The segment aired tonight at 8:30 PM Eastern time on the CBC.





Pictures:




Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mike Holmes in Brantford with Empire Communities

Earlier this month, Mike Holmes announced his partnership with Ontario home builder Empire Communities (for more information, see Empire Communities Partners with Mike Holmes for HOLMES Approved Homes Program). Today, Mike did a meet and greet with fans at the Empire/Holmes Partnership Event in Brantford.

From the Empire Communities Facebook page:
"Great turnout today at our ‪#‎EMPIREHOLMES‬ Partnership Event at Wyndfield by Empire Communities in Brantford. Paul Golini, Mike Holmes and local dignitaries spoke about their passion and dedication towards building higher quality homes for our our kids and future generations. Followed by a Mike Holmes photo frenzy which included kids and folks who came out from all over the GTA and Southwestern Ontario to celebrate and learn more about this new partnership."

You can view the Empire Communities event photo album here. Here are some of my favorite pics from the album:




 
Check out these videos featuring some very bold kids asking Mike some very poignant questions and Mike responding back with some very frank answers!
 
 





Monday, March 23, 2015

Mike Holmes Partners with Duvanco Homes

The Holmes Approved Homes program has a new partner to add to its growing list of industry leading builders. Mike Holmes Approved Homes has has partnered with Duvanco Homes due to their commitment to excellence in both building homes right from the ground up, and building homes with that "wow" factor that makes homeowners love living in them.

For more information about Mike's partnership with Duvanco Homes, visit the Duvanco Homes website.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Maintenance - It's About Priorities!

Spring is in the air, and even if there's still a layer of snow on the ground where you live, you can almost smell that warmer weather is just around the corner. Many people want to get out of the house and jump right into their pet projects and fixing up the yard, but Mike Holmes warns homeowners to stop for a moment and prioritize what's really important when it comes to renovating. Mike highly suggests that people work from the inside out, meaning focus on all the things you don't readily see that make your home more comfortable and weather resistant. Start with inspecting the roof and foundation and make sure that the caulking around the windows held through the winter. Mike also recommends that people maintain a 5% slope away from the house to protect the foundation from spring's rain and next winter's snow. When it comes to spring maintenance, prioritize your projects and renovate smart and you won't go wrong.

From the National Post:

Mike Holmes: It’s finally spring — so start preparing your house for next winter


We’re finally at the beginning of spring. That means spring maintenance — the stuff we do to get our homes in tip-top shape for next winter. It also means renovation season is just around the corner.

If you have a renovation or construction project you want completed before next winter, get on it now. It’s going to take at least a couple of months to find the right professional, so you better start looking and doing your homework fast; otherwise, you might have to put it off until next year.

When it comes to home repairs and maintenance, spring is about re-roofing, upgrading or replacing windows or regrading.

Most people want to jump right into creating their dream backyard in time for summer, renovating the kitchen or a bathroom, or finishing the basement. But you have to think smart. What’s the point of getting the perfect backyard if it’s just going to get trampled over and ruined if you have to fix a crack in the foundation, replace the windows or regrade your property to prevent a leak or flood?


These fixes make such a difference in your home, but a lot of homeowners lose perspective as the temperatures get warmer — they get spring fever. That’s when you forget about what’s important, such as upgrading insulation, making sure your attic is well-ventilated and insulated, or making sure the roof is strong and there’s a system that directs water away from your house and its foundation.

Instead, many people go with the impulse buys — the stuff we all want, like that awesome deck or man cave, modern kitchen or hot tub. But we should work from the outside in, looking at the building envelope first so that anything we do on the inside is protected and therefore lasts.

Prioritizing spring fixes

1. The most important thing is to regrade your property. Grading with at least a five-degree slope away from the foundation (that’s a one-inch slope for every horizontal foot) can help protect against basement flooding and leaks. This is the time of year you’ll start to notice if your property has sunk away from your foundation; build it up, and divert water away.

2. Look for puddling around the yard. Spring brings many showers, and with all the melting snow it’s no wonder basement flooding is common during this season. If you’re concerned, bring in a contractor you trust as soon as possible. They might be able to give you a temporary solution so that permanent repairs can be made during summer.

3. Inspect caulking around windows and doors. If it’s cracked, replace it. There’s a lot of good caulking on the market, but educate yourself so you know what you’re buying. A rubberized exterior caulking moves with the window framing so the seal doesn’t break as it expands and contracts with changing temperatures.

If there has been a lot of condensation or mould on your windowsills, or cold drafts around them, bring in a window pro. It might be time to replace and upgrade your windows.

4. And of course, check your roof. From the ground, look for missing, torn, buckling or curling shingles, or shingles with missing granules. These, along with asphalt granules in eavestroughs (you have to clean your eavestroughs, too!), are telltale signs your roof needs attention.

If you work from the outside in and keep up with regular seasonal maintenance, your home and future renovations will be protected — not to mention, your family will be, too.

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

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Mike Holmes on Home Water Filtration

Good whole-house water quality is something that every person should be concerned with. Having access to clean water for drinking, cleaning, and bathing is pretty much what separates a first world country from a third world country. I for one live in a desert environment where water quantity and quality are of huge concern. The water where I live is some of the poorest quality water in the entire country, with a hardness rating of over 100 in some neighborhoods. This means without a good quality water softener, every water using appliance in the house is covered in a thick scummy coat of limestone, calcium, and magnesium. Hard water is not just inconvenient, it kills water using appliances such as washing machines, dish washers, and water heaters in a matter of a few short years. Long story short, having hard water sucks. Water hardness is not the only factor to consider with water quality. Chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and VOC's can be present in the local water supply, making a good quality water filter a must for many people. A water filter and a water softener are two entirely different products - filtered water is NOT soft water, and soft water can still contain many contaminants that are harmful to drink. In my region, I utilize a water softener for whole house water treatment to soften water and prolong the life of water using appliances. I also use a reverse osmosis water filtration system located at the kitchen sink for drinking and cooking. Reverse osmosis systems have their pros and cons, but the biggest "pro" includes bottle-quality water on tap. The type of water filtration system you will need depends largely on the region in which you live. A good plumber should be able to give you a recommendation for the best type of water filtration system for your region. In the article below, Mike Holmes talks about water quality and water filters, and how to find the best system for your home.


From the National Post:
Mike Holmes: Which water filter is best for your family?

With World Plumbing Day on March 11 just gone, it seems like a good time to talk about water filters.

As a homeowner, it can be difficult to know exactly where to start. Do you call a plumber? Should you get the standard pitcher-style countertop filter? Would that be enough? How often do you need to change the filter? How much is it going to cost you? And, is it worth it?

When most people think of water filters they think of the typical water filter pitcher (also called a carafe filter) that is stored in the fridge. But water filters come in different shapes and sizes. There are carafe, faucet-mounted, under-sink and whole-house filters, among others.

Some reduce water flow. Some wear out fast and need to be replaced often, while others don’t need to be replaced at all. Some replacement filters are fairly inexpensive, but others might cost in the hundreds. Some filters require changing plumbing, while others just attach to the tap.


The right water filter depends a lot on where you live and your lifestyle.

For example, in some municipalities the local water supply is so hard (which basically means it has a lot of minerals in it) that builders will automatically install a water softener into every new home they build. In other regions there is concern about such chemicals and bacteria as radon (yes!) or E. coli getting into our water supply, rather than, say, lead or arsenic.

And whatever is more convenient and cost-efficient for you might not be for your neighbour — a lot of it has to do with how many people live in your home and how much water you use. A carafe filter might be enough for two people but not for a family of four.

And different filters eliminate different contaminants. For example, a water softener removes minerals — mainly calcium and magnesium — from water. But you’ll need a different water filter to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chloroform, radon or bacteria.

So choosing the right filter starts with knowing what’s in your water. The only way to do that is to get your tap water tested.

Every city has its own local authority for testing water — and in most cases (if not all) it is free.

The next step is to take those results to the right pros. You have two choices: a licensed plumber or a water filtration expert. The latter will usually have a store that sells all kinds of water filters, water filtration systems and softeners, and they’ll have their own service guys who will install the system for you.

But you can also ask a licensed plumber you trust for a consultation. Some plumbers have more experience in water filtration systems than others. For example, a plumber that works in a rural area might know more about water filters than a city-based pro because water filtration is more of an issue in rural areas.

A licensed plumber will typically take your water’s test results to a water filtration supplier, ask for at least three water filters that will get rid of the contaminants in your water, and then recommend a proper water filtration system based on the plumbing in your home, number of fixtures, layout and consumption.

Of course, it will cost you. But if it means getting the right system that will help protect your health and safety, there is no better investment.

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