Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mike Holmes: Looking Back 10 Years

Ten years ago today, Holmes on Homes debuted on HGTV in Canada, the shockwaves of which would eventually be felt all over the world! The show quickly became the most watched show on HGTV in both Canada and later in the US. Holmes on Homes also became a hit in a bajillion other countries, making Mike with his signature overalls and crew cut a very recognizable figure. Success couldn't have happened to a nicer, more deserving person, as Mike Holmes has dedicated his career to not only cleaning up the messes others leave behind, but also to education and philanthropy. In a world where fads come and go and celebrities fade into obscurity, the seemingly effortless ability to capture the attention of so many people for an entire decade is a real accomplishment and a testament to Mike's tremendous personality. The Holmes Spot congratulates Mike Holmes and his crew, on and off the camera, for a job well done. You all have profoundly changed my life, and I'm sure the lives of many more around the globe. I'm proud to be a Holmes fan -- a fan of the shows, a fan of the brand, and a fan of the man behind the overalls who started it all. Here's to the next ten years and beyond. My sincerest love and thanks for all that you do.

Please don't forget about the petition that the Holmes Spot has started petitioning HGTV/US to air Mike's latest show Holmes Makes It Right. Check out the PETITION here.

From the Ottawa Citizen:

Mike Holmes looks back at the last 10 years on TV


Over the last 10 years, Mike Holmes has focused on educating homeowners about proper renovation and building methods in order to avoid expensive problems in the future. The Holmes Group

It’s official. It’s been 10 years since Holmes on Homes first aired across Canada. Where did the time go? Fixing a lot of crap, I can tell you that much.
You can learn a lot in a decade, too.
When the idea of me hosting my own show first came up, I didn’t want it. The world of television didn’t interest me: I’m a contractor. Plus, I thought television was part of the problem.
I was seeing too many people end up in a world of trouble because they were “inspired” by something they saw on TV. They would watch home improvement shows that made renovating a bathroom or finishing a basement seem easy. Next thing you know, they would spend thousands of dollars on fixtures and finishes that need to be ripped out not even six months later.
The shows I was seeing were only about the eye candy — granite countertops, crown moulding, hardwood floors, pot lights, ceramic tiles, fancy bathroom fixtures — the lipstick and mascara. But they never focused on the really important issues. Things like proper building code, preventing mould, making a house airtight, controlling moisture or knowing if removing a wall will screw up structure.
The worst part was that homeowners were getting the idea that a good job can be done fast — a new kitchen in one week or a new bathroom in three days. People would see a renovation on TV, then hire the first person that said they could do it for the least amount of money and time. Two months later the homeowners would be broke with a half-demoed house. They had the right intention but the wrong idea.
But television is a tool. And any tool can do a lot of good and a lot of bad; it all depends on who’s holding it. So I thought if I could show people what a job done right is supposed to look like — using television — I could help save thousands of people from huge disasters. And that’s what the next 10 years became about: educating homeowners on how to do things right so they can avoid expensive problems in the future.
Most of the problems I’ve dealt with over the years could have been avoided, such as hiring the wrong person for the wrong job. Or sometimes homeowners think they can handle doing something themselves but then it snowballs into a situation that’s too big for them to manage. The problem is that at this stage in the game the homeowners are most likely strapped for cash, otherwise they would have probably hired someone else to do the job in the first place. And if they’ve messed around with the plumbing, electrical or structure, fixing the problem can come with a huge price tag.
Remember that simple things go a long way, like regular maintenance. But for homeowners interested in renovating their home, the first thing I always say is slow down.
This relates to everything from hiring the right contractor to choosing the right materials and products. Do your research — don’t assume other people will do it for you. Because at the end of the day you’re the one stuck holding the bag — and we all know what’s in the bag. If you want to make it right you need to plan it right — and planning a renovation takes longer than doing the renovation, so take your time.

It’s also about spending smart. Focus on making your home safe, durable, efficient and strong instead of just making it look good. It’s like that saying: Why spend money you don’t have, to buy things you don’t want to impress people you don’t like?

Because who really cares about granite countertops, custom cabinetry and fancy appliances if your roof has a leak? Anyone who does, doesn’t have you and your family’s best interest in mind.
I thought I’d be doing television for two years, tops. Boy, was I wrong. But like I said, you can learn a lot in 10 years. You can also teach a lot. That’s been the main focus of the work I do. And I’m no psychic, but I think I’ll be doing that for the next 10 years, too.
Watch Mike’s 10th Anniversary Special, Behind the Overalls, premiering Tuesday, April 9, at 9 p.m. on HGTV. For more information, visit For more information on home renovations, visit

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