Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mike Holmes - “I’m Not Done Yet, I’m Just Beginning”

This is a great little article from the Calgary Herald. Mike's never been known for taking shortcuts, and on his new series, which premiered on October 16 in Canada, he's going bigger than ever. He's not just helping homeowners when things go wrong, he's fixing whole communities. In a world full of good, bad, and the ugliest of contractors, Mike Holmes is taking on the ugly in Holmes Makes It Right. Read on...

Mike Holmes is making it right again on new TV series

Mike Holmes is making it right again on new TV series

Mike Holmes on the set of his new HGTV Canada show, Holmes Makes it Right.

Photograph by: Courtesy HGTV Canada , Handout

Mike Holmes is back, and he’s bigger than ever.
The larger-than-life overalled contractor premieres his newest TV show, Holmes Makes it Right, on Tuesday on HGTV Canada, and this time, the problems are “unimaginable,” according to the network that launched Holmes’s TV career more than a decade ago.
Not, of course, that “quick fix” has ever been part of Holmes’s vocabulary.
From Holmes on Homes to Holmes Inspection, on location from Canmore to New Orleans, his shows have always been about homes gone wrong — unfinished or failed renovations, or ineffective home inspections. So what’s different this time?
“It’s the storylines that are driving the show,” says Holmes in a recent phone interview. “What you’re going to see is such a diversity of stories.”
Like the second episode, which shows a community rebuilding the castle playground in Toronto’s High Park after an arsonist burned it to the ground.
“It was great to see not only the whole community, but the fire department, the government, the police, volunteer carpenters coming together,” Holmes says. “Just like New Orleans, it takes something really bad to make something good. Here was a story about a simple castle in a playground (that) was burned . . . the good that comes out of it far outweighs the bad. Hopefully it will never happen again.”
The new show is part of a three-year exclusive contract that Holmes has signed with HGTV Canada, with 54 episodes on their way. In the first season, however, the traditional 13 episodes has become nine, thanks to the scope of the jobs, from an $80,000 reno disaster to building an accessible outdoor deck and dining area for a teacher who was paralyzed in a hit and run accident. Holme says a construction timeline measured in months and a television production schedule measured in weeks didn’t always come together.
“Each and every story is massive and it’s already pushed us on our deadlines,” he says. “The majority of these are half a million dollar jobs . . . that pushes everyone beyond their limits. It’s a story itself just seeing that, how working until midnight every night just beats up the crew.”
The shows include interviews with homeowners and crew members, touching on what’s challenging them and how the job is going, offering a more intimate look inside the rebuilding process. Fans will be happy to hear that Holmes is putting on his toolbelt, taking an active role in fixing the problem, along with the returning crew, including his right-hand man Damon, and two of his kids, Sherry and Mike Holmes Jr.
First up is a bad roof that a family has been dealing with for 40 years. When Holmes and his crew take a look, they discover attic mould, virtually no insulation, and a major heat loss. It takes re-engineering a truss roof into a custom roof to protect the house.
“There are all kinds of different stories — it’s not just about the bad contractor or the bad inspector. In the first episode, they’re such characters, the homeowners. I think people are going to love it, just getting to know them like I did.”
Holmes says the crew is currently working on fixing a kitchen reno in which a husband-and-wife contractor team took money and then failed to do the job — doing the same thing to some 70 other families.
“I call it the good, the bad and the ugly of contractors. That’s the ugly. The bad I can deal with, they need to learn. The ugly, they need to go to jail, point blank,” he says.
He’s heading to court to help those homeowners, but has some advice for anyone considering hiring a contractor for a home reno: investigate the contractors first. Ignore the excitement of the reno planning process, and focus instead on gaining knowledge.
“Good guys want you to check them out — they’ll bring their list of references with them. Bad guys don’t. They don’t bring it in the door.”
Locally, Holmes says his Wind Walk community development near Okotoks finally has the green light. He plans to break ground in the spring using a mix of old and tested techniques along with new technology to create an integrated approach to sustainable living.
“It’s about time — I’m looking forward to Canada seeing its greenest community,” he says. “It’s 100 per cent self sustainable. The proof’s in the pudding — watch me show you.
“I’m not done yet, I’m just beginning.”

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