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.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Stanton Renaissance and Mike Holmes Team Up To Make It Right

(BTW, if you're wondering why I haven't mentioned Mike's promotion of "Earth Hour" much, it's not because I'm lazy! It's because there seems to be a short video or two released every day starring the crew of Holmes Makes it Right to promote the event, and I'm expecting the grand finale tomorrow. You can expect full and complete coverage of Mike's promotion of the event either tomorrow or Sunday!)

It was announced today in a press release that Mike Holmes' real estate branch Holmes Approved Homes would be teaming up with development company Stanton Renaissance to create the first ever Holmes Approved condominium development. That's right, now condo owners can rest assured that their home not only meets but exceeds the "highest standards of quality, sustainability and craftsmanship." The 27-story high-rise development will seek combine luxury elements with "green" sustainable technology such as "CHP" or combined heat and power (for more information about CHP, see Boyle Renaissance Project To Utilize Energy Efficient Technology or watch this video).

Stanton Renaissance and Mike Holmes Team Up To Make It Right

Canada NewsWire
Partnership Underscores Commitment to Building Beyond Green
TORONTO, March 28, 2014 /CNW/ - Stanton Renaissance President and owner, Louie Santaguida, today announced an official partnership with trusted contractor and popular television host, Mike Holmes and his Holmes Approved Homes program—the real estate branch of The Holmes Group. Together, they will plan to develop upcoming sustainable building initiatives, including the On The Go Mimico project, an exciting first within the luxury condominium market.
Stanton Renaissance is a visionary development company committed to transforming communities through intelligent revitalization. Mike Holmes is a recognized leader in the building industry, respected for his no-nonsense approach to maintaining the highest standards of quality, sustainability and craftsmanship. The partnership with Stanton Renaissance represents the first condominium development endorsed by the Holmes Approved Holmes program and provides added assurance of condominium developments that will not only meet, but far exceed current industry standards for green building technology and exceptional design.
"Going beyond green drives what we do at Stanton Renaissance. When Mike heard about our passionate commitment to combining the highest standards of luxury building with the most innovative green and clean technologies, he contacted us, eager to jump on board," stated Santaguida. "Together, our goal is to provide new condo owners with the confidence and trust that they have bought a quality-built, luxuriously appointed, convenient and healthy home. Mike and I are so committed to the On The Go Mimico project, and what it stands for, that we are personally buying suites in the building."
On The Go Mimico is a 27-storey luxury condominium adjacent to the Mimico GO train station on Royal York Avenue. This building will be the first high-rise condominium in Toronto that will employ an integrated GeoExchange Cogeneration system to provide economical and environmentally responsible "hybrid" heating, cooling and hydro generation.
Typically, boilers in buildings today operate at lifetime efficiencies where 30-40 per cent of a building's generated heat is wasted. At On The Go Mimico, much of the energy will be supplemented by a Ground Source Geothermal system that uses the earth like a car battery, increasing on-site energy savings. The system works with nature by extracting heat from underground and using it to heat residences in the winter. In the summer, heat is transferred from residences to the earth where the cool ground absorbs the excess heat, a process known as a "heat sink", thus lowering cooling costs.
With the addition of a "CHP" or Cogeneration unit, the building will produce its own electricity and has the ability to sell excess power back to the grid. Not only does this ensure the building will have power available when the electrical grid is faulty, but also keep the heat and cooling on during blackouts and brownouts. Waste heat that is normally expelled into the air is recaptured by the system and used to supplement heating provided by the geothermal system, creating a hybrid application that takes condominium building and value to the next level.
On The Go Mimico will mark the first time this Green Globe award-winning system has been used in a high-rise residence, because of its small footprint, compared to townhouses or schools, where it has succeeded extremely well.
"I'm excited to work with Louie and the rest of the team. I see a lot of developments and developers, but nothing like what Stanton Renaissance is doing. They were doing green 30 years ago. They're beyond green," stated Mike Holmes. "If someone would have told me I would be building condos, I would have said, 'No way.' But when I heard what Stanton was doing, this made sense to me. This condominium is state-of-the-art. It's green, sustainable—which means projected lower condo fees—modern, close to transit, and when the lights go out these stay on. It's upgraded living and it saves you money," added Holmes. "It's what housing needs to be."
Taking the goal of transforming communities one step further, the current presentation centre for On The Go Mimico is the re-furbished historic CN railway station – one of only two wooden green and white stations left in Toronto. Stanton Renaissance saved the building from demolition and will donate the building to the city of Toronto as a living rail museum and community centre upon completion of the condominium project.
For more information about On The Go Mimico, please visit: www.onthegomimico.com
ABOUT STANTON RENAISSANCE LTD.
Stanton Renaissance Ltd. is an innovative real estate company that aims to transform communities with projects that enhance local neighbourhoods. The company has a proven track record for selecting an area, considering its possibilities for transformation, then rethinking and rebuilding it. Stanton Renaissance is committed to building well-designed condominiums and mixed-use developments that are visually appealing and in harmony with the local community, and which revitalize and renew neglected land. For all projects, Stanton Renaissance is exploring the implementation of state-of-the art integrated GeoExchange Cogeneration to provide economical and environmentally responsible "hybrid" heating and cooling mechanisms. Stanton Renaissance is headquartered in Toronto and is privately-held. For more information, visit www.stantonrenaissance.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo.
For more information on Stanton Renaissance, please visit: www.stantonrenaissance.com
ABOUT HOLMES APPROVED HOMES
Holmes Approved Holmes is the real estate division of The Holmes Group—an international brand with operations in independent media production, new-home building and home inspection, as well as expansion into product development. The Holmes Approved Homes program integrates proper building practices with cutting-edge products and technology in order to develop customized building specifications that go above and beyond residential standards, from construction to final inspection. Through key partnerships with industry-leading builders who implement these building specifications under the Holmes Approved Homes program, Mike Holmes has taken his mandate in new-home construction and made it available to homeowners across the country.
For more information on Mike Holmes or The Holmes Approved Homes program, please visit makeitright.ca.
SOURCE Stanton Renaissance Ltd.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

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

If you live in the Vancouver, British Columbia area, you can attend the Canadian Tire Home, Auto & Outdoor Show and meet Mike Holmes! Mike will be making a public appearance at the show on April 5, 2014 from 11:15AM to 12 Noon -- that's only 45 minutes, so you better get there early. For more information about the show, you can visit the event's official website, or read this add posted on 604Now.com:

Canadian Tire Home, Auto & Outdoor Show in Vancouver Featuring Olympic Athletes & NHL Alumni




Canadian Tire Home, Auto & Outdoor Show in Vancouver Featuring Olympic Athletes & NHL Alumni
The Canadian Tire Home, Auto & Outdoor Show will be making its way to Vancouver early April—with an impressive lineup of celebrities, Canadian Olympic athletes and NHL alumni.
The event will showcase new and innovative products from Canadian Tire and offer exclusive giveaways. Many celebrity guests will appear on the main stage during selected times throughout the day. The show is taking place on April 5, 2014 from 9am to 4pm at the Vancouver Convention Centre and it is FREE to attend.
Special Guests:
  • Buddy Valastro (3:15pm to 4pm), the star of TLC’s hit TV series The Cake Boss, is taking his passion for baking to new heights by creating a line of bake-ware products.
  • Jillian Harris & Todd Talbot (1:15pm to 2pm), the hosts of Love It or List It Vancouver—this quirky duo help families decide whether they can love their home again or if it’s time to move on and list it.
  • Mike Holmes (11:15am to 12pm), the host of the TV series Holmes Makes It Right and a licensed contractor, Holmes wants to educate people on the importance of proper construction principles that also promote a healthy living environment.
  • Chef Hidekazu Tojo (12:15pm to 1pm), the creator of the “California Roll,” and the Owner and Head Chef of the award-winning Tojo’s restaurant in Vancouver.
Canadian Olympic Athletes (2:15pm to 3pm):
  • Hayley Wickenheiser (Ice Hockey)
  • Meaghan Mikkelson (Ice Hockey)
  • Kaillie Humphries (Bobsleigh)
  • Brad Jacobs (Curling)
NHL Alumni (9:15am to 10am):
  • Trevor Linden
  • Cliff Ronning
  • Dave Babych
  • Kirk McLean
Also in attendance will be: Rob Feenie (Canada’s first Iron Chef America winner and the Executive Chef of Cactus Club Restaurants), Eva Shockey and Cody Robbins (hunting personalities), Mike Varga and Drew Bezanson (BMX riders). For more information on the event visit the website.
- See more at: http://604now.com/2014/03/canadian-tire-home-auto-outdoor-show-in-vancouver-featuring-olympic-athletes-nhl-alumni/#sthash.YutWha2p.dpuf

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Damon Bennett: "Getting Ready To Host His First Solo Renovation Show" Featuring Military Vets

In December of this year it was officially announced that Damon Bennett and the Holmes Group would be parting ways. Damon was one of main staples on Mike's shows, so the announcement was pretty shocking to say the least (see Damon Bennett and Mike Holmes/Holmes Group Part Ways for more information). If you're a fan of Damon Bennett, there's good news. In an article from the Saskatoon's paNOW.com, it seems to indicate quite strongly that Damon will hosting his own show very soon! The article also talks about his work with veterans and what he's doing to provide good jobs for vets when they return home from duty. In fact, since leaving the show, Damon has been busy running a construction company that specifically hires vets looking for work. His new show will presumably revolve around the construction company he founded and the veterans he's hired to work within that company. What a great concept, I'm looking forward to seeing the show if it airs in the States!


From paNOW.com:

Damon Bennett brings veteran work program word to Saskatoon

By Lasia Kretzel

paNOW Staff

When he's not getting ready to host his first solo renovation show, contractor and HGTV network star Damon Bennett is working to create job opportunities for Canada's working veterans.
The construction celebrity, famous for being the right hand man of Mike Holmes, was in Saskatoon Saturday to discuss his new project.
"Our last troops have come back (from Afghanistan) and there's a huge work force that needs to get to work,” Bennett said. “Part of dealing with PTSD is getting back to work."
The project, which is just starting up in Ontario, involves working with local government agencies to get veterans the training and employment they need. One example is a website where trades employers can search a list of unemployed veterans.
Bennett also runs a construction company that specifically hires veterans. He said veterans ranging from ages 20 to 60 are looking for work.
“Senior officers are going to find work, they’re educated. But the grunts on the ground, they’re probably educated too, but they’re going to have a harder time finding work. There’s no specific work base they can put on a resume.”
Bennett said a construction site is a great environment for veterans.
“They’re coming from a group dynamic where everyone has each other’s backs. They all of the sudden come into a construction industry where you’re also in a group dynamic where you have to have each other’s backs,” he said.
“These men and women aren’t afraid of hard work. They’re sleeping in the ground half the time, they’re working their butts off in the field.”
Once his show gets up and running, Bennett said he would like to have a rotating group of veterans come on and help with his projects.
Advanced Education minister Rob Norris said with a government reported 15,800 available jobs, the province will consider every option to plug the labour shortage and get veterans back to work.
“We’re certainly willing to roll up our sleeves and look at just about any option we can to help our returning veterans,” Norris said, adding the province does provide at $5,000 scholarship of honour to Saskatchewan veterans for post secondary education.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hashtag Mike Holmes

We all know what they say about all work and no play. One thing's for sure, there's plenty of play to go around on Mike's jobsite, judging from the dozen or so short videos that have come out in the past month on Mike's official YouTube channel. In this video featuring Glen and MJ, with Sherry laughing and snorting in the background, Mike and his crew talk in social media "hashtag" speak. #waytoocute


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

All New MAKEITRIGHT.ca Website Launched

Some pretty big news today about Mike's website... MAKEITRIGHT.ca has been redesigned and new content has been added. I've spent a good 10 or 15 minutes navigating the new page, and I've got to say, the improvements made were greatly needed! The new website is sleeker and functions much smoother. Accessing the website on a mobile device such as an iPhone has improved, which is a major plus. I have vocalized my criticism of Mike's website in the past. I felt (and still do feel) that a public figure of Mike's caliber ought to have a website that reflects his status and professionalism. I think the new website is a step in the right direction. Mike announced the relaunch of his new website on Facebook a few hours ago:








I have big news! For the past year my team has been working on the new Make It Right site. It's finally launched!

You can find our broadcast calendar, resources, construction info, news and more. It's also my one-stop shop for all my projects.

Check it out and let me know what you think!



I'll have to check it out a bit more thoroughly, but from what I can see, so far so good. I'm digging the new content and resources. One thing that I think is still missing... a public appearance calendar. Every public figure should announce in advance where they will be making their public appearances so that people can come out to appropriate venues to say hi, as opposed to bugging Mike while he's trying to eat his dinner. Perhaps this feature can be added later, but bravo to the web crew for the new site! It looks great!
 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mike Holmes: How to Hire the Right Plumber For the Job

March 11 was World Plumbing Day. Did you forget to thank your plumber? Chances are, unless you're married to one, you did. Plumbers are some of the unsung heroes in this world that make civilized living possible. Indoor plumbing allows us to bring clean water into our homes and take the dirty water away. Could you imagine what life would be like if you couldn't take a shower or flush a toilet? Plumbers literally make the difference between living in the first world versus the third world. This is all the more reason to be selective when hiring one to do work in your home. So how do you hire a good plumber? Most of us aren't plumbing experts and wouldn't know how to spot a good job or a bad job even if we were looking right at it. First things first, Mike Holmes states that a good plumber pays attention to detail. When examining a job, look to see if the job is done neat. Look for sloppy or dripping glue from the ABS joints. Is the soldering on copper pipes clean and neat? If it's not, then you should probably move on. Talk to your potential plumber and ask him questions, and don't be afraid to ask for examples of his work, because as Mike always says, a good tradesman is proud to show off his work. Lastly, always make sure that if you're moving lines, you get a permit, because a good plumber will always get all necessary permits for the job. Follow Mike's advice, and you'll be sure to avoid disaster down the line.
 
From the Montreal Gazette:

 Mike Holmes: What to look for when hiring a plumber

Be proactive, don't wait for a disaster


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

World Plumbing Day was on March 11 — a day those of us who know a good, licensed plumber should take a moment to thank our lucky stars.
Don’t know one? To avoid a bad hire, add a licensed plumber to your contact list long before you need one. Don’t wait for disaster to strike when you have an emergency. It’s these kinds of situations that can lead you to hire the wrong person — someone that could make an even bigger mess of your plumbing.
If you are new to a neighbourhood or plan to move soon, check out local plumbers and talk to past clients. Ask them how happy they were with their service and work. And how fast was the plumber on the scene when they needed them?
Here are some other tips to help you find the right plumber:
No. 1: Check their insurance. A licensed plumber does not need to carry insurance, but the company he works for does. The minimum liability coverage for most plumbing companies is $2 million, but the pros I work with carry $5 million.
Companies that take on bigger jobs will need more coverage, but more liability coverage also gives homeowners more peace of mind and security because they know they’re covered if something goes wrong that was the plumber’s fault.
Regardless of the amount, always call the insurance company to verify the coverage and make sure the company’s insurance hasn’t expired.
No. 2: Always do a background check and look at their work history. This applies not just to the jobs they do for the company they work for, but side jobs as well. Look at recent jobs, jobs they finished a month ago, a year ago, five years ago. Older jobs tell you the durability, quality and longevity of their work.
Ask them about the different kinds of jobs they do, and how many they personally (not just their company) do each year. A full-house plumbing reno can take a week to two weeks. If the plumber you’re checking out does these types of jobs, they shouldn’t be doing more than 25 a year.
Most homeowners will check out their general contractor, and go see their past jobs, but they won’t vet a potential plumber they’re thinking of hiring. It might be that they think plumbing isn’t something you need to go see. Or maybe they wouldn’t know how to judge the work of a good plumber; here are some clues:
A good plumber pays attention to details, so you should too! You can judge the technical knowledge and skills a plumber has by looking at the details of her work.
For example, look at the strapping on the pipes, and how the pipes are supported. Are they strapped nicely and level? Straps and supports cost money, so it’s an area where a plumber can go cheap.
Is the glue around the ABS joints clean? Is there any glue dripping? Also, look at the quality of the soldering around copper pipes. It should be clean and neat.
What about the slope of the pipes? Pros will slope their pipes to prevent water from sitting in the pipe and possibly freezing — which we know isn’t good.
And we can’t forget permits. You don’t need one for plumbing repairs, but you do if you are moving fixtures — and a good plumber won’t do the job without a permit.
Just like any other good contractors, good plumbers are proud of their work, so ask to see some examples.
Thanks to smartphones, plumbers can take photos of their work as soon as it’s done, giving them more references (all my service guys take pictures of their workmanship).
The last thing to remember is that good plumbers explain their work. When they meet potential clients, they are clean and presentable, and can explain the job in great detail and in a way you can understand (layman’s terms).
But if a plumber says, “Ya, don’t worry, I can do the job. It will cost you this much,” and they don’t explain what they’re actually going to do — for example, how they plan to reroute plumbing lines — then they’re not the right plumber and it’s time to move on.
Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information visit makeitright.ca.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mike's Earth Hour Challenge

This year, Earth hour takes place on Saturday March 29 from 8:30 - 9:30 PM. It's a time when participants sacrifice one hour of technology and turn out the lights to conserve power and resources. Mike Holmes announced that he is teaming up with Pure Energies to support the solar energy movement. Solar is of course something near and dear to my own heart, as I proudly work for the largest residential solar company in the US (and by the way, 1BOG is one of our channel partners). I know all about the enormous financial and environmental benefits of going solar. I've seen energy bills slashed by 80% to 100% or MORE. Betcha can't imagine the utility company paying YOU for electricity! With solar, that's entirely possible. Perhaps the survivalist in you wants to go completely off the grid. With a battery backup, you can store your excess power and use it during times when the sun isn't shining. It's really as amazing and exciting as it sounds (do I sound excited?)

In an effort to spread the word about cleaner, greener energy, Mike is challenging 5000 people sign up at makeitright.ca/earthhour. If they hit their target, Mike will donate $5000 to the World Wildlife Fund. Now that's a bright way to make it right, go green, and maybe put a little of that green back in your own pocket!


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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mike Holmes Partners with Rinaldi Homes

The family of Holmes-Approved services and home builders grew this week as Mike Holmes announced that he would be partnering up with Rinaldi Homes. "The construction in these homes goes above and beyond code," Mike stated. What can a person expect when buying a Holmes Approved Home? For one, you can expect quality from the foundation up. You can expect products used that not only meet but exceed the minimum code, making the home mold, water, and pest resistant. "They shouldn't be optional, they should be the standard," said Mike when speaking about these above-code features. With a Holmes-Approved Home, you can have a home that's build to Mike's standard.





If you have some time on your hands, you can also watch this 20 minute video, which sandwiches segments of Mike demonstrating some of the quality features of a Rinaldi home in between some informative slides narrated by a lovely mechanized voice with a British accent.

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From the Rinaldi Homes Website:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MIKE HOLMES PARTNERS WITH RINALDI HOMES
Toronto, ON (March 7, 2014)


—Trusted contractor and popular television host, Mike Holmes welcomes Rinaldi Homes into his Holmes Approved Homes program as a Partner Builder.

The Holmes Approved Homes program launched in 2011 as a way to implement Mike Holmes’ mandate in new-home construction and sustainable building. It currently has Partner Builders in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

To ensure homes are built right from the ground up, the Holmes Approved Homes program includes only the best homebuilders in the industry. To date, only a handful of Ontario builders have been invited to participate in the exclusive program.
All Holmes Approved Homes are built with specific building products, installation methods and building practices to ensure enhanced durability, energy-efficiency, fire- moisture- and mould-resistance, sound protection and higher indoor air quality.

"I partnered with Rinaldi Homes because they understand real craftsmanship," stated Mike Holmes, President of The Holmes Group. "They know what it means to build homes that last for generations—the way we used to build. And they’re a family business. That tells me they care. Because at the end of the day, it’s their name on these homes, too. When it’s your name on the line you stand behind it," added Holmes.

"We take pride in the homes we build. We believe in building homes right the first time—that’s why we are very excited to partner with Mike Holmes on our upcoming Coyle Creek Townhome project in Welland," stated Jerry Rinaldi, President of Rinaldi Homes. "With the Holmes Approved Homes stamp of approval, it will give new homeowners peace of mind that they have bought a long-lasting and healthy home."

Rinaldi Homes’ award-winning home designs incorporate innovative and practical construction features that support healthy lifestyles. Their excellence in home building and design has been recognized at the highest level—locally by the Niagara Home Builders’ Association, provincially by the Ontario Home Builders’ Association, and nationally by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association. Rinaldi Homes is also a recipient of the Tarion Award of Excellence for customer service.

The Rinaldi Homes Model Home is located at 493 Gaiser Road, Welland, ON. Model Home hours are Monday to Thursday from noon until 5:00 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00pm.

Additional details can be found at www.rinaldihomes.com and on Facebook by searching Rinaldi Homes.

For more information on the Holmes Approved Homes Program, please visit www.holmesapprovedhomes.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Danielle Rinaldi
Rinaldi Homes
daniellerinaldi@rinaldihomes.com
905-688-1283


Amanda Heath
The Holmes Group
amandaheath@makeitright.ca
647 253 0300 ext. 410

ABOUT RINALDI HOMES
As one of the most trusted and respected homebuilders in the Niagara area, Rinaldi Homes has made its mark throughout the region with high quality and innovative homes. Rinaldi Homes currently builds in St.Catharines, Welland and Niagara-on-the-lake.

For more information on Rinaldi Homes, please visit
www.rinaldihomes.com.

ABOUT THE HOLMES GROUP
The Holmes Group is an international brand with operations in independent media production, new-home building and home inspection, as well as expansion into product development. The Holmes Group is entirely owned by Mike Holmes and responsible for developing and managing all HOLMES branded entities, including Make It Right Productions Inc., HOLMES Communities, HOLMES Approved Homes, MIKE HOLMES Inspections, HOLMES Referred Contractors, HOLMES Products, HOLMES Workwear and The Holmes Foundation.

For more information on Mike Holmes or The Holmes Group, please visit
makeitright.ca.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Welcome to Facebook MJ and Sherry!

If you're on Facebook, there's two more friends to add to your list. Mike Holmes Jr. and Sherry Holmes now have public figure pages! Visit MJ's and Sherry's page and show your love! And by the way, the brother-sister duo will be making a live guest appearance at the Greater Hamilton Home & Garden Show tomorrow, March 8. For more information, visit thehomeshow.ca.


 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Mike Holmes: Women in the Trades Inspire Change

March 8 is International Women's Day, and although he's definitely not a woman, Mike Holmes is celebrating. Why? Because in his eyes, women (who make up a measly 6% of those employed in the skilled trades in Canada) work hard and inspire their male counterparts to be honest. When it comes to employing women in the trades, Mike doesn't just talk the talk, he actually practices what he preaches and puts women in key positions on his crew, including his daughter Sherry who is a skilled tile layer. Mike makes a great point when he says "the truth is [the skilled trades] was never a man’s world. The world of trades belongs to everyone — it always has, and that’s the bigger point." Mike is spot on -- there is absolutely nothing about being a master plumber or electrician that makes these jobs inaccessible to women. Jobs in the skilled trades are not only lucrative, but are becoming increasingly in demand as people in Mike's generation begin to retire. With a labor shortage on the horizon, Mike continues to bang the drum, encouraging both men and women to consider the skilled trades as a viable career opportunity.
 
From the Ottawa Citizen:

Women inspire change

Let's make the trades accessible for everyone

 
 
 

 

Sherry Holmes works on her father’s construction site as a member of his Make It Right Crew, and she inspires others to consider non-traditional careers.

March 8 is International Women’s Day. I’m not a woman, but I’m a dad of two daughters, have one granddaughter, and I work with women on the job site — one of my daughters included. So it’s important to me that women get the respect they deserve and the support they need.
Every year International Women’s Day has a different theme. For example, last year it was to end violence against women; the year before that was about ending hunger and poverty. This year’s theme is inspiring change and, as someone who knows a thing or two about women in the trades, I know that they inspire change every day.
But unfortunately, only 6.4 per cent of Canadian skilled trades workers were women in 2009; only one in 10 apprentices are women. Women are usually in the top 10 per cent of their class, but they’re still the last to get hired, and when they do, men are twice as likely to get a better job offer.
I hire women, and it’s not just for TV appeal. I believe them to be better workers — they keep the men honest.
Anyone who works in the trades is already a hero to me — girls, boys, young, old — because the work isn’t easy; it’s underappreciated, undervalued and, bottom line, it’s tough work that requires even tougher skin. But every time I go to a trade show or trade school and I see more and more women there, interested, engaged and dedicated to doing the best at what they do, I’m hopeful about where this industry is headed.
They say the trades are still a “man’s world,” but that is starting to change. The truth is it was never a man’s world. The world of trades belongs to everyone — it always has, and that’s the bigger point.
It was a woman who invented the first electric water heater — Ida Forbes. Women were also responsible for giving us the first circular saw used in a sawmill, windshield wipers, the dishwasher and Kevlar, the stuff used to make bulletproof vests.
And who knows how many other inventions women had a hand in creating or developing that we will never know about? Remember, there was a time when women couldn’t own property, and that included patents. If a woman wanted a patent, it belonged to her father or husband.
Women might not have always received the credit they deserve, but they have definitely influenced the skilled trades and continue to do so.
Inspiring change starts with people brave enough to step off the “traditional” path to do what they love — for real. But it’s not just women on the front lines; it’s also the institutions that support them, employers who will hire them, colleagues who will work with them, and educators who train them.
I know women are ready. But is everyone else? Are we welcoming change, or resisting it and making it harder for anyone who dares to be more than what we expect them to be?
My daughter Sherry brought up a great point: “You can have a powerful opinion, but it’s only powerful if you do something about it.” And for her, equality in power is not having to explain herself. If everyone can do what they want to do, why should she have to explain herself just because what she is doing isn’t traditional, for her. “I’m just going to do it,” is what she says.
I can’t agree with her more.
I’d like to see the day when a woman working as a plumber, electrician or carpenter isn’t something out of the ordinary, when she can walk into any trade, on any campus and in any classroom and not worry about being treated differently because of her gender — because, yes, it still happens — and more importantly, not have to explain herself for the choices she’s made.
Women working in the trades today are doing more than just their job. They are changing the world and the future — not just of other women, but for everyone.
Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information, visit makeitright.ca.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mike Holmes on the Todd Shapiro Show - March 4, 2014

This morning, Mike Holmes appeared on the Todd Shapiro Show which airs live on SiriusXM Radio. During the show, Todd wasn't shy one bit about his very obvious man-crush on Mike, whom he met on an airplane a couple of weeks ago as the two were flying to Costa Rica. Amongst other topics, Mike spoke about his near brush with death last year while vacationing in Costa Rica in late 2012. He explained that during an ATV excursion with good friend and go-to electrician Frank Cozzolino, he got dust in his eyes, which he later washed out using the local water from a sink. Later that night, he came down with a severe case of E. coli. The illness left him clinging to life (and presumably to the side of a toilet bowl) for nearly 36 hours (see Feel Better Soon, Mike... for more information). They also discussed Mike's work ethic and dedication to the trades, as well as his "amazing dance moves" in the club.

To listen to the segment, which begins around the 10:30 mark, visit TheToddShapiroShow.com/ and click "Listen Now" or download the March 4 podcast on iTunes.

Pictures:

 



Sunday, March 2, 2014

Charlie Major Speaks of His Experience on Holmes on Homes

Yesterday, March 1, country music artist Charlie Major performed in the city of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Why is this relevant? Because as most Holmes fans know, Charlie Major and Mike Holmes go way back. In 2007, Charlie Major made an unforgettable appearance on Holmes on Homes in the episode "Country Kitchen." On this episode, Major wrote and performed a special song with Mike and his crew. There was even a music video made in support of the Holmes Foundation (see Mike Holmes and Charlie Major Make It Right for more information). Mike then returned the favor and appeared with Major at the Canadian Country Music Awards, clad in overalls. In an interview with the Nanaimo News Bulletin, Charlie spoke of his friendship with North America's Most Trusted Contractor and talked about his experience on Holmes on Homes. He describes Mike as "nice" and "busy." I won't post the whole article, which can be read here, but here's what Charlie had to say:


Charlie Major performs in Nanaimo
Charlie Major performs on Saturday (March 1) at the Queens with Nanaimo
Charlie Major performs on Saturday (March 1) at the Queens with Nanaimo's Jayden Holman.
— image credit: Photo Contributed
...

In 2006, Major was on the HGTV show Holmes on Homes.
"It was fun actually," he said. "I got on the show through some people I knew. I got to meet Mike [Holmes] and it's funny it was Mike's birthday right around the time I was suppose to be on the show. So I wrote a song for him for the show and so he ended up using it for the show."
Since then Holmes and Major have become friends.
"He's a real nice guy, and a busy guy. It was a great experience and a lot of fun," Major said.