Friday, February 27, 2015

Make It Right Construction - Video

Raise your hand if you want to live in a house Mike Holmes built! I know I do. From the time I was a very young child, I loved walking through open houses and model homes. Looking at the beautiful furnishings and fixtures made my mouth water back then, just as it does now. Today, Mike Holmes published this video highlighting some of the beautiful homes his company has had a hand in constructing. Not only are these beautiful homes built to last, they're built beautifully and with all the right products to ensure that whoever is lucky enough to actually live in these homes lives comfortably and efficiently.

To learn more about Make It Right construction, visit MakeItRightConstruction.ca.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mike Holmes Partners up with Mason Homes

Mike Holmes Approved Homes has a new builder to add to its growing list. Today it was announced that Mason Homes has become a Holmes Approved builder. In this short video, Mike explains why this Ontario builder meets and exceeds his standards for quality craftsmanship in home building by building better healthier homes built right from the ground up.




Pictures:



Monday, February 23, 2015

Mike Holmes Using AirRenew Drywall from CertainTeed Gypsum - Video

It's not often that Mike Holmes go full-on gaga over a product. I can think of maybe a handful of products that Mike Holmes uses and loves enough to associate his name and reputation with. CertainTeed AirRenew Drywall is one of those products. Why does Mike Holmes love this product so much? Because it's cool, that's why. And it's an incredibly smart and innovative product that not only absorbs and neutralizes VOCs in indoor air, but does so for years. Best yet, you'll never even know it's there or think about it, because it's drywall. AirRenew Drywall actually pulls VOCs such a formaldehyde out of the air and neutralizes them in its core, and do so even with 25 coats of paint or wallpaper. Pretty impressive if you ask me. But why listen to me when you have Mike Holmes to explain it to you!



Pictures:






Friday, February 20, 2015

Mike Holmes In the Bedroom (It's Not What You Think!)

Last week was Valentines Day, also known by some as Single's Awareness Day, or my favorite day of the year, the day before grocery stores sell really cheap candy! Any way you want to look at it, Valentines Day is a day known for love, and love often leads to the most intimate place in the home: the bedroom. Most people probably spend more time in their bedrooms than any other room in the house, and regardless of what you do in your bedroom, we all want them to be peaceful places to relax and play. When it comes to renovating the bedroom, there are nearly endless options to choose from. Accent walls are a great way to make a room pop, as well as getting creative with lighting and lighting fixtures. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you take the time to do it right. If you plan on selling your home anytime in the near future, make sure to keep your upgrades versatile enough to be changed by the next homeowner. In the article below, Mike gives the example of a "living wall," or a wall covered by plants as an accent, as an option for homeowner to consider and reconsider. It might look great to you, but the next homeowner might not want to invest the time it takes to maintain a giant wall full of live foliage.
Image result for indoor living wall
Example of a "living wall"

One upgrade Mike never recommends? Mirrors...on the ceiling. What may look great in a cheap motel could spell big time disaster if tried in your own home. Just don't do it. Mirrors belong on the wall, not hanging precariously over our heads.


From the National Post:

Mike Holmes: Here’s how to try something new in the bedroom

Mike Holmes | February 14, 2015

Typically, when people renovate their kitchen or bathroom they’re overwhelmed by their options; they have to choose backsplashes, tiles, sinks, showers, countertops, fixtures, appliances and cabinets. But when it comes to the bedroom, most people draw a blank. They usually just stick to changing paint and flooring, and maybe add some crown moulding.

Lately I’ve been seeing all kinds of different things that can be done to a bedroom, such as creating an accent wall, or adding custom lighting and automated features. Even my crew has been getting creative.

But there’s a right and wrong way of doing creative design work in a home. So if you are looking to spice things up in the bedroom, be sure to do it right.

ACCENT WALLS

There are a lot of options when it comes to creating an accent wall, including paint, textured and paintable wallpaper, stone, cork or even a “living wall” — a wall covered in small plants. An accent wall can even be built out to add such features as a recessed television or fireplace.

Some accent walls are more of a commitment than others, and what you think is a great feature might not be desirable to a potential homebuyer. For example, paint colours can be changed easily, but adding a feature like a stone wall or a living wall would require more work and expense to change.

Know your own level of commitment to a feature before making a major change in your home. And if you’re thinking of selling, keep that change simple. Some homebuyers might not like plants all over their walls as much as you do.

When installing different materials (like stone or cork) on a bedroom wall, the rule always is to follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Every product is different. Some interior stone can be installed with just an adhesive or glue. Sometimes the adhesive works only if you’re dealing with a painted wall (the glue might need to dissolve the paint for proper adhesion). If the wall is unpainted it might need to be primed.

Other interior stone comes in panels that are screwed to the wall, ideally into the framing. If it’s attached to only drywall the panels can come loose — especially if they’re heavy — which puts more pressure on all the panels lower down. Eventually, they can separate from the wall completely.

Sometimes it’s tough (or impossible) to make sure every panel hits framing. One option is to remove the drywall, replace it with plywood and then install the stone panels over top. Yes, it will cost more but you will know for sure the panels have been secured properly.

LIGHTING

You can change lighting in your bedroom and make its colour warmer by switching to a lower wattage. You can also put your lights, including LEDs, on a dimmer.

There are also LED candles. Some of them are so lightweight you can hang them on the wall with just the sticky stuff you use to hang pictures.

Stay away from recessed lighting if it means cutting into attic space; this can lead to major heat loss.

… And because I know everyone’s thinking it …

MIRRORS ON THE CEILING

Don’t do it. That’s large, heavy glass over your head. If something happens and it comes loose, you’re in big trouble. Plus, if you have a popcorn ceiling — and most homes do — you’ll need to sand it down. It’s a lot of work.

Some people might tell you installing a mirror on the ceiling can be done with just glue. I’d want something more secure, like framing around the mirror so it can be screwed to the roof joists or rafters. I’d rather be safe than sorry. Keep the mirrors on the wall, not your ceiling.

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



Sunday, February 8, 2015

Mike's Ultimate Garage - US Premiere

On September 1 of last year, all of Canada got a glimpse of what it's like to be one of Mike Holmes' cars when HGTV Canada aired the two-part two hour special Mike's Ultimate Garage, documenting the construction of Mike Holmes' mega man space completely overseen by his son Mike Jr. Unfortunately for fans in the US, neither HGTV US nor its sister network DIY Network sought fit to air the special at the same time that it aired on their Canadian counterpart. That is, until now.

The Holmes Spot is happy to announce that the US premiere of Mike's Ultimate Garage will be on DIY Network on February 17 at 9PM, with encores playing throughout February and March. For the complete schedule, please see DIY Network.com.

For more information about the special Mike's Ultimate Garage, please see previous Holmes Spot Blog entries:

Mike's Ultimate Garage -- September 1 on HGTV
Mike's Ultimate Garage - Wrap Up




Thursday, February 5, 2015

Mike Holmes With CertainTeed at IBSVegas 2015

Mike Holmes loves high tech innovative products, which is why he's partnered up with CertainTeed, the company responsible for AirRenew drywall which is one of Mike's favorite products. During this year's International Builders' Show, which took place January 20-22 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Mike Holmes was a special guest expert at the CertainTeed booth where he meeted and greeted with a steady stream of eager fans. Did I mention I happened to attend this year's IBS? Read all about my adventures at IBSVegas 2015 here.

For all those who weren't lucky enough to attend the show and meet Mike in person, CertainTeed was kind enough to produce this video, which not only highlighted the various amazing products the company offers, but also serves as a great instructional video on how to take a proper selfie using available light to attain that youthful glow. Check it out!


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Mike Holmes: Homeowners Are At Fault For Hiring A Bad Contractor

Mike Holmes has helped a lot of people throughout his decade-long television career, and has consistently been a voice a warning for homeowners who are far too eager to renovate. With ten years of shows and bestselling books for use as resources, one would think that the word would have gotten out by now how to hire a good contractor, but unfortunately that's not the case. It's very rare that Mike Holmes helps a family who did their due diligence and still got screwed. The hard reality is, more times than not when a homeowner gets taken by an unscrupulous contractor, the homeowner is at least partly at fault for the situation he finds himself in. What are some mistakes homeowners often make when hiring a contractor? The first and probably most common pitfall nowadays is trusting online reviews. Even if a contract has a thousand good reviews online, nothing beats seeing his work with your own two eyes and talking with actual former clients. Get references, and lots of them - a good contractor will always be proud to show off his work. Another common red flag that you might be getting screwed is when a contractor asks for too much money upfront. To Mike, this may indicate that the contract is in need of quick revenue. By Mike's standard, a good contractor will never ask for much more than 10% upfront during the demo stage of a project. Long story short, the homeowner and the homeowner alone is the one responsible for finding and vetting a good contractor, not a referral website. Do your homework, and do it well, or you might find yourself in need of Mike's services.

From the National Post:

Mike Holmes: It’s your own fault if the contractor you hire is a dud
Mike Holmes, Postmedia News | January 27, 2015

I recently heard about a contractor who left a trail of half-demoed homes because his renovation company went belly up. His clients are mad, as are his crew and the sub trades. Unfortunately, this type of situation isn't new.

What’s different about this case is the contractor was featured on a referral site — a website listing different service providers and accompanied by customer reviews.

Everyone wants to blame the contractor, the website and the positive reviews. Some people are even claiming the good reviews were fake. Did each one of those factors contribute to dozens of homeowners making bad decisions? Absolutely. But homeowners are responsible, too. They played the biggest part because they hired the guy, and if they had done just a little bit of digging they would have seen red flags.

For example, when a contractor asks for 30% of the total cost upfront, alarm bells should ring. No good contractor needs more than 10% to start a job, especially if all they’re doing is demo.


When you sign a contract with your contractor, it should have estimates of all the different materials and sub trades they will be using. But the only thing that first payment should be paying for is your contractor’s time, their crew’s time (labour) for demoing, and whatever else they might need for demo, such as disposal bins or special machinery.

If a demo gets underway and it turns out your home has hazardous material, such as asbestos or mould, which needs to be handled in a special way to remove it, that will cost extra. In that case, both you and your contractor sign off on it, and it’s clear as day why you’re paying more.

Any contractor that needs more than 10% of the job upfront needs cash fast. You have to ask yourself why a contractor would need a huge chunk of cash for work they haven’t started. Ask the contractor. It’s your money. You have every right to know what it’s buying.

Some contractors might tell you they need to order materials or do special custom work and that’s why they need 20% or 30% of the total cost upfront. Guess what?

Most good contractors won’t order materials until after demo because what you discover during demo can change everything.

The homeowners should have researched the referral site as well to determine how service providers get on there. Are they recommended by other pros in the industry? Does the website do background checks on them; inspect their work; speak to references; make sure they have a good track record, including financially? Who writes the reviews?

I don’t trust what I read. I trust what I see.

Referral sites can be good tools, but they are just a small part of the research. And I don’t care if a contractor has a million stellar reviews. The only ones I’ll believe are the ones for which I picked up the phone and spoke to the client myself, asked them 101 questions, and went to see their work.

One thing to keep in mind is that good, experienced contractors don’t need referrals. Maybe they do when they’re first starting out, but even then all they really need are a few good jobs under their belt, insurance, integrity and a network of pros they know and trust, and word gets around. Before they know it, they’re booked (at least) six months in advance.

We all want the easy way out, with quick fixes. But there are no short cuts to hiring the right professional, whether it’s a contractor, bricklayer, dentist or surgeon.

You have to do your homework. You can’t hand it off to anyone else, and especially not to a website. You are responsible because you’re the one on the hook if it all goes down the crapper.

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

Friday, January 30, 2015

Mike Holmes Buys Home in New Meaford Development

All the way back in May of 2013, Mike Holmes announced that he would be working with a Meaford, Ontario developer to develop a line of homes that would not only look good on the outside, but be good on the inside. A year and a half later, it was announced that Mike Holmes has purchased the first home in the Third Line Homes community of TerraceWood, a "healthy home" community built without toxic materials. In the article below, it describes Mike's relationship with Holmes Approved builder Third Line Homes and their commitment to building better, healthier, sustainable homes.

For more information about Mike's involvement with Third Line Homes, see the following Holmes Spot blog entries:
Holmes Works With Meaford Builder
Holmes Approved Homes: Third Line Homes


From the Meaford Independent:

First Home in New Meaford Development Sold to Television Personality Mike Holmes
Thursday, 29 January 2015 12:32

Third Line Homes has announced that contractor and popular television personality Mike Holmes has purchased the first home in TerraceWood – Meaford’s new boutique healthy home community.

“Together we’re raising the standards,” says Holmes. “This is about taking residential construction to the very next level – redefining the way homes are built.”

Third Line Homes is a Holmes Approved Builder. Last year the two companies worked together to build a 'healthy home' four-plex in Atikameksheng Anishnawbek – a First Nation Community west of Sudbury.

“Mike Holmes epitomizes quality and innovation,” says Paul Osborn, president and CEO of Third Line Homes, “and we’re thrilled that Mike endorses our approach to building.”

The company says that TerraceWood homes strive to be physically, socially, and environmentally restorative. They are designed and constructed to support health and wellness, to optimize energy efficiency and to minimize their carbon footprint. “These homes are toxin-free, mould- and fire-resistant, sound- and termite-proof, accessible, super energy efficient and feature superior indoor air quality.”

All Third Line homes are built with Durisol - insulated concrete forms (ICF) that do not use foam or polystyrene but instead use a proprietary wood concrete material that creates a 'breathable wall', explained Tim Singbeil of Third Line Homes

VP of Production and Innovation, Singbeil discovered Durisol in his search for truly healthy building materials. He and his team have built more Durisol homes than any other builder in Ontario.

TerraceWood is a small development on a ravine not far from the town of Meaford, trails, and the harbour. The boutique neighbourhood reflects a new sensibility, incorporating great design, simplicity, and health. The original designs were created by blackLAB Architects to reflect "small town Ontario with a modern twist”.


“We are working hard to deliver sustainable, healthy, and beautiful homes,” says Jan Singbeil, VP of Strategic Planning and Design. “Third Line's mission is to continually innovate and find new ways to perfect the art and science of building, with the clear objective that everyone has the opportunity to live in a healthy home.”



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

International Builders' Show 2015 Rundown

I've been a busy girl these past couple of days? Why? Because I was an attendee at the 2015 International Builders' Show, or IBS for short (I know, terrible acronym). The show took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, which happens to be my hometown... How very convenient! The show is a building/renovation geek's dream come true, with literally millions of square feet of the industry's best and newest innovations, products, and vendors. It's also a great place to meet your favorite HGTV and DIY Network superstars, like Scott McGillivray Norm Abram from This Old House, and (guess who?) Mike Holmes!

After a trip to the Phoenix and the Grand Canyon, Mike drove 12 hours from Arizona to Las Vegas to attend the show. Being a life long resident of the Southwest, I'm not entirely sure how it takes 12 hours to make that drive (unless you're driving 30 MPH or you get lost) but I'm sure Mike and Anna took made a great vacation out of it. Here are some photos from Mike's Arizona trip:










IBS 2015 was an absolute blast, and I met some really cool people that I hadn't met before during previous trade shows, but the crowning jewel of the show for me was getting to see Mike (again for probably the 5th or 6th time). I don't care how many times I get to meet Mike, it's still a great honor each and every time. Mike was stationed at the CertainTeed booth. CertainTeed is a really great and innovative company whose products Mike Holmes not only endorses, but also uses. He especially loves their AirRenew drywall, which can actually absorb and neutralize VOC's in the air, improving indoor air quality.

While addressing the audience before meeting and greeting with fans, Mike Holmes tipped his hand as to his next TV project. Although he wasn't allowed to say exactly what he's up to, he definitely said that he would be filming again, soon, and in the US! He indicated that he would be doing something totally different and BIG! Just a few months ago, Mike was in LA talking with some big wig TV execs about something very important and asked all his fans to wish him luck! It sounded to me that whatever was being negotiated got the green light! Wow, can't wait to see what he's doing, although I do have some ideas as to what he's got planned for all of us (You can check out my rumors and completely unfounded speculations here). Here are some super exclusive photos from Mike's appearance at the CertainTeed booth today:






 
And here's my photo with Mike, to add to my collection. Our conversation went something like this (not joking):
 
"Have we met before?"
"A couple of times."
"Like 4 or 5 times."
"Yes, a couple of times."
 
 

Friday, January 16, 2015

200K!

Who doesn't have a Facebook account? Pretty much everyone on the planet uses Facebook in some capacity, and it's a huge accomplishment to have a ton of people following your account if you have a public figure page. Last year in February, Mike's Facebook page hit 100,000 "Likes" signifying that 100,000 fans were following his posts and updates (see 100K! for more information). Less than a year later, Mike's Facebook presence has literally doubled to 200K! It's a milestone that Mike marked with a short video featuring himself and his buddy and fellow HGTV star Scott McGillivray. Congrats Mike, here's to the next 100,000!

PS - not to brag, but the Holmes Spot hit its own milestone yesterday when it hit the 1,000,000 page views mark! Yay us!