Friday, May 31, 2013

Holmes Works With Meaford Builder

Some new news regarding Holmes Approved Holmes in the Meaford area. Mike Holmes is working with Meaford based builders Third Line Homes to "[build] healthier homes that last." Both Mike and Third Line Homes use Durisol block in the construction of the home, which cuts down on the transmission of sound. "Don't you think they should be used in all condos?" says Mike in an accompanying audio clip in which he touts the benefits of using Durisol block, which has an STC (Sound Transmission Class)  rating of 62. According to the article below, the program will be launching in a few weeks.


Holmes Works with Meaford Builder

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 5:34 AM by Jon Meyer
Third Line homes is partnering with popular TV host on new construction in the area.

MP3 - click to open click to open MP3 version
or click the play button to listen now.
(Meaford) - Canada's most popular contractor is about to "make it right" with local builders Third Line Homes.

Mike Holmes and the Meaford based builders are partnering up to take construction to the next level.

Holmes tells Bayshore Broadcasting News he knew he had to create his own minimum code and team up with similar minded builders to redefine the way homes are built.

That's exactly what Holmes Approved Homes and Third Line Homes plan to do.

He says their builds won't have mould or fall apart because they are using better materials.

His Holmes Inspections company will go through each home a minimum of six times during construction.

Holmes loves the fact that Third Line Homes use the same Durisol block that he does.

Durisol is R21 and is the same material that's used on the side of highways to cut down on noise.

Holmes says they are building healthier homes that last.

The Third Line Holmes Approved Homes program is launching over the next few weeks.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Five Basics You Need to Join the Skilled Trades

So you want to be a tradesman (or tradeswoman). Now what? What are the attributes you need to succeed in the skilled trades? Not too long ago, pretty much all you needed in many people's minds was a warm body and a strong back, but for the last decade Mike Holmes has been working to change that perception. As Mike points out in the article below, everything around you was created by someone in the trades, from the bed you sleep in, to the car that drives you to and from work every day. Shouldn't something so vital to the way we live our lives every day be treated with much more respect? What does it take to join the skilled trades according to Mike Holmes? It takes more than just the ability to swing a hammer, although that is important. If you think you've got what it takes, read the article below about the five basics Mike feels you need to become a successful tradesman or tradeswoman.
 From the Vancouver Sun:

Five basics you need to join the skilled trades

Opinion: We'll be short about one million tradespeople by 2020


We need the right people to do vital skilled trades jobs correctly, says noted home show TV host Mike Holmes.

Skilled trades are important. Not just for me, but for everyone. Why? Because they shape our world. That’s a huge responsibility.
Think about it. How many times a day do you depend on the work of skilled trades? From your roads, cars, house, electricity, plumbing, food, clothes — even your bed! Everything around you was made by someone who works in the trades. When you understand that, you start thinking about the trades a little differently.
If these people are building your world, wouldn’t you want them to be good at what they do? You want them to care. You want them to be passionate about their work. And you want them to not only do a good job, but always do their best. That’s who I want building my house, making my car, my food, taking care of me at the hospital, constructing the bridges I use.
They don’t call them skilled trades for nothing. You need skill to do the job. Not anyone can do this work. But the old idea is that if you can’t do anything else, you get into the trades. And that’s what I’ve been seeing. A lot of people doing important jobs they don’t know how to do — and they don’t want to do. It’s also why we’re in the situation we’re in. We’re going to be short about one million tradespeople by 2020.
We need the right people to do the job right. But that can’t happen if working in the trades isn’t seen as something positive, something to respect and be proud of.
Luckily, that’s changing. The kids I see coming into the trades are proud of what they do. They put in the time to push their skills to the limit. And when the job gets tough, so do they.
If you’re thinking about joining the trades, there are five basic things you need.
One: Passion for what you do. If there’s no passion, there’s no respect. And if there’s no respect, there’s no point.
Two: Drive. Working in the trades isn’t easy. It’s long hours, a lot of training, and sometimes there isn’t room for mistakes. Why? Because some mistakes can kill people.
Let’s say you work in sales and you come up with the wrong sales strategy. The worst that can happen is that you don’t sell anything. But if you rewire an electrical panel the wrong way, people can get hurt. The stakes are high and the real pros respect that. They take their job seriously because people get hurt when they don’t.
Three: You need the right skill. Let me give you an example. My son Mike Jr. has been working with me since he was 14. I remember his first day he stuck a nail through his thumb. He didn’t say anything, just held it in. All I said was, “It hurts, doesn’t it?” Nine years later, he’s a full-time crew member and even supervising jobs. But he’s also in school, getting the proper training. He didn’t have to. He wanted to. He wanted to invest in his skills, his know-how, and his abilities to do a job right the first time.
Four: You need the right attitude. It’s tough work and expectations are high. And it’s tougher for women. Women have to work twice as hard to get the same respect as the guys they work with. Is it fair? No. But it makes them better. I always say women in the trades make the men more honest. They raise the bar and everyone else has to meet it.
If you’re working on a crew or a team, and there’s pressure to get a job done on time, people don’t always have a lot of patience — especially when you’re learning. Don’t be discouraged if you get some flak — or what some like to call “constructive criticism.” You need a thick skin. Don’t take things personally. The best in the industry didn’t start out as the best. It takes time.
Finally, No. 5: You need to be safe. Be aware of your surroundings. Know what equipment you will be using, what environment you’ll be working in, and all the gear you need to stay safe. No job is too small. Remember: It’s not just about making things work. It’s about making them work safely.
The new generation of tradespeople are picking up the slack. They’ve got a big job on their hands. But I think they’re up for the challenge.
‘Olympics’ of skilled trades
• The Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) remains the only event of its kind in Canada. It is the only national, Olympic-style, multi-trade and technology competition for young students and apprentices in the country.
The main goals of this event are to provide competitors with hands-on work experience and to raise awareness for the general population of the value of and challenge in skilled trades and technology careers. The SCNC showcases the talent and the expertise of young competitors from across Canada. It will be held this year in Vancouver at BC Place Stadium from June 5 to 8.
The SCNC is the main step in selecting the members of Team Canada for the WorldSkills Competition that is held every two years. The next WorldSkills Competition was awarded to Leipzig, Germany and will be held this July.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mike Holmes, Skills Canada and Canada's Economic Action Plan

For several years now, Mike Holmes has been an official spokesperson for Skills Canada. Skills Canada is part of WorldSkills International, a world-wide body which promotes vocational education and training to individuals in their perspective countries. Every other year, WorldSkills (formerly known as the "Skill Olympics") holds a competition in which the best and brightest young tradesmen and women gather to showcase their skills in various trades. As the self proclaimed mascot for Team Canada, Mike Holmes is proud to promote the skilled trades to Canada's youth, and has said in the past that he would like to see the WorldSkills competition gain Olympic-like status amongst spectators around the globe.

Today, Canada's Economic Action Plan put out a video featuring Mike Holmes talking about Skills Canada and how it entices young Canadians to enter the trades.

And just for kicks, here's the video in French:

For more information about this video and Skills Canada, visit the Canada's Economic Action Plan website, where Mike's handsome mug is prominently featured, along with a transcript of the video.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Mike Holmes on The Show

There's not a whole lot going on in Holmes land right now. Everyone must be still hung over from the Bryan Baeumler gala on May 23. That was just a joke, no nastygrams please! :) While poking around Google, I stumbled across this older interview from a few years back. It was quite entertaining, I do say. They touched on a few subjects, such as the Wind Walk project, and how there were some issues the residents had concerning water usage (you can read about the Wind Walk water use issue here). Some of the other topics they discussed, sandwiched in between Mike's famous belly laughs, were older home construction, David Suzuki, duct tape, and the fact that Holmes on Homes is equivalent to pornography for a certain segment of the population. Mike, bless his heart, offers a helpful solution to all the men out there, like my husband, who's girlfriends and wives are sprung over him: "Get yourself a pair of overalls." Very good advice, indeed!

Listen to the interview with The Show here:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Baeumler Family Foundation Gala On May 23, 2013

On May 23, Mike Holmes attended the Notte Viola Masquerade Gala in Support of the Baeumler Family Foundation, which is of course Mike's buddy and fellow HGTV superstar Bryan Baeumler's foundation.

The Baeumler Family Foundation is a charity which raises money to renovate homes to be accessible for children in wheelchairs.

The gala, held at the Carlu in Toronto, boasted a slew of HGTV/Shaw Media celebrities, including Mike Holmes:

final celebrity guests

The event featured a silent auction with artwork from renowned artist Stacie Krupa, a rousing performance from Canadian R&B artist Jully Black, and of course some celebrity karaoke, in which guests picked their favorite celebrity to sing a verse or two in return for a donation to the Foundation. From the pictures, it looks like Mike got picked, and had a great time belting out a tune! I wonder what he sang

Pictures from the BFFforKids Twitter account:


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Get Your Mind Out of the Gutter (or Eavestrough)

I just posted how I thought it was funny that Mike used the word "gutters" instead of the more Canadian accepted term "eavestroughs." Before I started watching Canadian home improvement shows, I had never heard gutters being referred to as eavestroughs before. In a live chat with Mike a while back, a fan asked him the question (paraphrased) "Why do Canadians use the word eavestrough instead of gutter?" Mike's response was "I don't know. Why do Americans use the word gutter instead of eavestrough?" LOL. Earlier this morning, while posting the previous entry about checking your attic (What's Hiding In Your Attic?), I thought I was real slick catching the fact that Mike used the word "gutter," a word I've never heard him use before. I even cheekilly called into question whether or not he actually wrote the article! That is, until I checked my Facebook page just now, and saw that HGTV Canada posted a DIY primer video of Damon Bennett do what else but installing gutter screens. *Facepalm* He even mentions at the end of the video that installing such screens will assure that he will never have to clean out his gutters ever again. *Double facepalm* Forgive me, my mind is in the gutter today.

Sick of cleaning out the gutters? Save yourself the time and trouble by installing your own gutter screens:

If the link ceases to work, you can view Damon's DIY primer here. At this moment, there are no geographical restrictions on the video.

What's Hiding In Your Attic?

Attics can be really scary places. After all, that's where the monsters live when they're not hanging out in the closet or under the bed, right? Believe it or not, there's something even scarier than monsters that could be lurking just above your head. Serious problems such as improper insulation, pest problems, and bad wiring could all be hiding in your attic, and when left unchecked, small problems only lead to bigger ones. It is every homeowner's responsibility to visually inspect their attic space at least once a year as part of their home maintenance schedule. What should you look for? First, the temperature in the attic should be roughly the same temperature as the outside. If you live in a snowy climate, you don't want your furnace working overtime due to heat loss caused by improper insulation. Heat loss into your attic can cause snow to melt on your roof and refreeze down by the "gutters."

SIDE NOTE: I think it's funny that the word "gutters" was used instead of the more Canadian accepted word "eavestrough." They both mean the same thing, but I have NEVER EVER heard Mike Holmes use the word "gutter" before, accept when being asked the question if there was a difference between gutters and eavestroughs. Did Mike actually write this article? Who is Margo Goodhand, and if she wrote this, why is Mike's name on the column? Conspiracy....


 Regardless of whether or not Mike actually wrote this article (it certainly sounds like Mike's writing style, minus the use of a word he doesn't typically use), it's important you check your attic space to catch small problems before they turn into bigger ones.

From the Winnipeg Free Press:

MIKE HOLMES: What's hiding in your attic?

Hidden problems can lead to mould, fire

By: Margo Goodhand
Posted: 1:00 AM |

Checking your attic at least once a year is an important part of home maintenance.
Checking your attic at least once a year is an important part of home maintenance.
Have you looked in your attic lately? Any idea what's up there? It always surprises me when I meet homeowners who never inspect their attics -- and that is something you need to do regularly.
Recently I even met a couple who didn't know they had an attic, even though from the street you could see a window into the space. Their attic access had been closed off and covered over by previous owners of the home.

That's a huge red flag to me. Why would you close off one of the most important parts of your home? An attic could be hiding any number of serious problems, such as inadequate insulation and ventilation, bad wiring and vermin intrusion. All of those are visible to the naked eye and if left unchecked, can lead to mould, structural damage and fire hazards.
It might sound contradictory when you hear an attic must be well-insulated and properly ventilated, but it's not. You need to have enough insulation between your living area and the attic above it to prevent heat from escaping. That saves money on your energy bills and helps prevent ice dams. If heated air escapes into your attic in the winter, it will melt the snow on your roof, and the snow will refreeze down by the gutters, causing icicles and dams.
One of the biggest sources of heat in the attic is recessed lighting. I don't like it in ceilings that back into a cold zone such as the attic. You'd be amazed at how much heat recessed lights give off. That heat will collect in the attic, melt snow on the roof ...
If you insist on having recessed lights in the attic, install the correct type. The building code requires all recessed lights in an insulated ceiling to be IC (insulation contact). That's a safety issue. Many handymen and DIYers who don't know better and want to save money will use the wrong kind.
But IC isn't necessarily airtight. There will still be hot air escaping from the fixture. Use LED or CFL lights, which give off less heat and minimize the risk of ice dams.
Your attic should be ventilated so there's plenty of air movement. It should be the same temperature and humidity as the exterior air. Too much humidity encourages mould. Also, if the wood sheathing on your roof (under your shingles) doesn't get enough ventilation, it will rot. The shingles won't last as long as they should and you'll be re-roofing often.
Your attic needs to have enough vents -- whether they are soffit, gable or ridge vents, doesn't matter. And they have to be open, not covered over by insulation. Adding extra insulation to your attic is great, but make sure you use Styrofoam baffles to direct air flow from the soffit to the top of the attic and that the vents are able to do their job.
One problem I'm always finding is old, wooden soffits that have been covered with aluminum during an update or renovation. But no holes were made in the original wood soffit under the new layer of aluminum, which means there is no possible venting. It might look good, but it will lead to trouble over time.
Poorly vented bathroom and kitchen fans contribute to humidity in the attic. It's essential to have extraction fans in these rooms, since they're the source of the most moisture in the home. The fans should be vented directly to the exterior to prevent warm, moist air discharging into the attic.
Bad wiring and exposed junction boxes are also common attic problems. Because the attic is an open, unfinished space, it's easy to run new wires for projects. That can be a good thing gone bad when unqualified or amateur electricians leave junction boxes open -- or hidden, for instance, buried under insulation. That's a fire hazard.
Checking your attic at least once a year is an important part of home maintenance. Just because the attic is out of sight, it shouldn't be out of mind.
-- Postmedia News
Catch Mike Holmes in his new series, Holmes Makes it Right Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on HGTV. For more information, visit For more information on home renovations, visit

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Holmes Referred Services Launched

I found this article on regarding a new services referral program launched by Mike Holmes. As the article kind of pokes fun at, there wasn't much fanfare surrounding the program's release:


Professional painters: Mike Holmes wants you

Celebrity contractor Mike Holmes has quietly (like he does anything quietly) rolled out a referral service that aims to direct business to professional painters, while providing homeowners with a higher quality of painter to quote on their work. The program ( is being managed by Craig Lowe, owner/operator of Lowe’s Painting and a man who has been “on the brush” for some 26 years. For the past 12 years he has been one of Mike Holmes’ go-to painters.
For a fee, to qualifying experienced and high-quality paint contractors, Holmes Referred will provide leads as well as signage and marketing materials. Homeowners who sign onto the program who are looking for professional painters will get three Holmes Referred contractors to quote their jobs.
As the above article states, the contractor referral program can be found at and currently only serves the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), but according to the website, plans to expand in the future. Although a fee is charge to qualifying contractors who wish to receive leads, the program is "free for all customers, including residential and commercial projects."
The program is currently looking for contractors of all stripes, not just painters. According to the website, they are seeking skilled tradesmen in the following categories:
  • Painters
  • General Contractors
  • Decorators
  • Drywall
  • Flooring
  • Finish Carpenters

    For contractors, the mission of the Holmes Referred program is to "[provide] strategic credible leads and promotional support to reputable contractors to help deliver the highest-quality, construction-related services to homeowners and clients." To become a Holmes Referred Contractor, you must meet the following qualifications:
    1. Demonstrated significant skill & expertise in their specific trade
    2. A valid trade license (if applicable)
    3. Liability insurance coverage
    4. WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) coverage (if applicable)
    5. Passed Holmes Referred Contractors onsite inspections

    Once contractors have met the qualification, they are charged an initial start-up fee, and a membership fee of $200-$500 a year, which in my opinion is an absolute steal. As a wedding photographer (a trade in its own right) to be a preferred photographer at some venues in Las Vegas where I operate can cost upwards of $500 a MONTH. Given that the annual membership fee can be recouped in one or two referrals, and given the name and reputation of Mike Holmes, I'm honestly surprised they don't charge more for this service. There's also a very minimal fee to accept a lead, but the amount is trivial (between $15 and $50 depending on the type of lead). Again, as someone who is familiar with paying upwards of $2000 for a booth at a one-day bridal expo (and as a wedding photographer, I make MUCH less than your average contractor), the fees being charged seem more than reasonable to me.

    For those wishing to take advantage of the Holmes Referral program, the program is designed to pre-screen and select qualified contractors. Once a project request is submitted to the program, up to 3 contractors who match the specifications are then sent back to the submitter. Even though the program is designed to match clients with qualified contractors, the website still urges people to "do your homework," and find the right contractor for the project. A "trade-specific preparation checklist" is included with the 3 contractors to aid in selecting the right person for the job.


    Wednesday, May 22, 2013

    Sault College's 2-Year Home Inspection Program Produces Its First Graduates

    In January 2011, Mike Holmes first endorsed Ontario's Sault College when they created the province's first two-year home inspection course. Two years later, the course is graduating its first crop of students.


    Sault College honours graduates in 2013 Convocation

    by mmnationtalk on May 21, 2013
    Sault College News Release
    For immediate release

    Mike Holmes endorsed program’s first graduating class and keynote speakers highlight event
    (Sault Ste. Marie, ON May 21, 2013) Friends and family of Sault College’s newest graduates will come together to celebrate and recognize academic achievements at the annual spring convocation ceremonies. Two ceremonies will take place on Friday, May 24th at the Essar Centre with a total of 1060 students eligible to graduate from Sault College this year. Included in this year’s convocation will be the inaugural graduating class of the Mike Holmes-endorsed Home Inspection Technician program taking place in the afternoon.
    “This is the best day of the year,” states Dr. Ron Common. “Students are the central focus of our College and we do everything we can to help them succeed. When students become the focus of our work and our existence, everything and everyone else benefits including the economy and workforce. By building a new generation of learners who can readily adapt to the challenges and opportunities faced in our rapidly changing economy, we are serving as a critical piece of the local, regional and global economy.”
    The morning ceremony, beginning at 10:00 am, confers graduates in the School of Health, Wellness and Continuing Education and the School of Community Services and Interdisciplinary Studies. Keynote speaker Roxanne Joyal, Co-CEO of ‘Me to We’ and founding member of ‘Free The Children’ will be receiving an honorary diploma in Peace and Conflict Studies from Sault College for her international charity work and empowering youth to achieve their fullest potential as agents of change.

    The afternoon ceremony, beginning at 2:00 pm, confers students from the School of Environment, Technology

    Update 5/22/13

    Mike acknowledged the program and the 2013 graduates on his Facebook page, about 45 minutes ago from this update:

    Very proud to stand behind this program. The first class of the two-year home inspection program Sault College graduates this week! Congrats to all of the students!

    For more information regarding Sault College's 2-Year Home Inspection Program, please refer to previous Holmes Spot blog entry:
    Home Inspection Program at Sault College Gets A Name Change

    Tuesday, May 21, 2013

    Pictures From Last Week's Episode of Holmes Makes It Right

    For all you lucky Canadians out there, it's Tuesday! And you know what that means, right? A brand new episode of Holmes Makes It Right is on tonight. Speaking as someone who can't watch the show just yet, you guys don't know how lucky you really are! I'm chomping at the bit for August when the show premieres in the US.  But just because I can't watch the show doesn't mean I can't follow along. Last week's episode looked like a real mystery. In the episode, Mike and Damon discovered that the century old home they were working on had a hidden 3rd story. After they made entrance through the upper story window, they came to the realization that everything was original plaster and lathe -- a renovators' dream come true! Even the funky linoleum looked old. Damon suggested it looked from the 1960's, but Mike felt it looked a little older than. The original staircase was so small, they speculated that the living space was perhaps for a child. The reason why I bring all this back up is because shortly after the episode airs, HGTV Canada puts out some exclusive photos from the shooting of the episode. The photos give some extra perspective into the before and after of the renovation. Here are the photos of the from last week's episode of Holmes Makes It Right. View them all here.


    Monday, May 20, 2013

    Making It Right For Holmes Magazine Subscribers

    After the week that the Holmes Spot has had, when I saw this news story pop up in my Google alerts, I nearly had a fit!

    What happened with the Holmes magazine and how it went defunct is not new news, in fact its been well over a year since the debacle went down. This story from's business section was published today, May 20, 2013, and was seemingly prompted by the Mike Holmes 10th Anniversary special edition magazine that went on news stands April 22, 2013. The one-off magazine published in honor of Mike's 10th anniversary on television might have a few more editions coming down the pipeline, as indicated by the story below, and is serving the Holmes Group as a toe tester to judge how hot or cold the public is to having a new publication after the old one ended so abruptly.

    I've been rather constructively critical of how the Holmes Group has handled certain issues this past week. Maybe now it's my turn to stand up for the Holmes Group and defend them on this issue that's been quite divisive amongst fans.

    I think this whole situation with the Holmes Magazine has been both privately and publicly embarrassing to the Holmes Group. Their subscribers were left high and dry, out the subscription fee with no magazine to show for it. When it comes to pointing fingers and assigning blame, how do we the fans go about this and still be fair? First of all, it's important to realize that what's done is done, and there's no going back. How the situation was handled, for better or for worse, has already happened, so really it's a question of how to move forward from this PR "cluster f---." I've seen a lot of very angry fans lash out on Facebook as a result of this. A lot of them hold Mike Holmes and the Holmes Group solely responsible for both the loss of the magazine and the loss of the subscription money. Mike had the most to gain and lose from this situation, and sadly his reputation took a tremendous body slam through all of this. But is it really fair to assign all the blame for this fiasco to Mike Holmes and the Holmes Group? From what I've read, the magazine went under and shortly thereafter the publisher, Dauphin Media, went out of business. As anybody who's ever made a bad business decision knows, when a company goes belly up, the money goes belly up right along with it. You can't squeeze blood from a stone, and you can't get money out of a company that no longer exists. So what is the Holmes Group to do? Some people think that Mike Holmes should personally refund every subscriber what he or she is out. The problem with that is that the Holmes Group never received any of that money, and any refunds would be at their expense. The question that every fan must ask him or herself is, is it fair to expect the Holmes Group to refund money they didn't take? I'm sure for some the answer is yes, but the Holmes Group has taken the position that they too are victims in this, and to attempt to refund the money to their subscribers would be prohibitive to them and the viability of their organization.

    In my eyes, the Holmes Group is stuck between a rock and a hard place, and they're learning that sometimes there's no way to make the situation right, no matter how much they'd like to. I think as good fans of Mike Holmes and what he does, we owe it to Mike and to ourselves to move on from this. Everyone is entitled to make a mistake, as long as we learn from those mistakes and become better. I'm looking forward to the prospect of a new publication, and I'm completely willing to give the Holmes Group another chance. I have full confidence that the mistakes they made in the past concerning their previous magazine won't be repeated, and that if they do proceed forward, they will proceed more cautiously than before. I also believe they are currently absorbing more of the blame than they should be, and I don't think it's fair or reasonable to lay the entire matter at their feet just because it's convenient to do so. That's not to say that the Holmes Group is completely blameless in this situation, as I think they owed it to their subscribers to take necessary steps to assure the viability of the magazine. I also think they could have done a better job at communicating to those fans who lost subscription fees. But like I said, what's done is done, and there's no turning back. A matter such as this requires people to be reasonable and thoughtful, and perhaps show a little compassion to a group who's been so compassionate to others in the past. That's just my take on the situation.

    From The

    TV host and contractor Mike Holmes can’t make things right for subscribers: Roseman

    Holmes made his name by criticizing contractors on TV, but he stumbled on his venture into magazine publishing.
    TV host and contractor Mike Holmes can’t make things right for subscribers: Roseman
    Mike Holmes made his name by criticizing contractors on TV, but he stumbled on his venture into magazine publishing.
    Mike Holmes calls himself “the most trusted contractor in the business.” But he’s no hero to those who subscribed to his magazine and found the plug was pulled prematurely, leaving them without refunds.
    Holmes: The Magazine to Make It Right was suspended in November 2011 after two years. The publisher, Dauphin Media Group of Toronto, said it intended to fulfill its obligations to subscribers.
    But those who paid for a three-year subscription didn’t get their money back. Nor did they get another magazine for the balance, which often happens when their chosen publication goes under.
    Holmes did not respond to phone calls asking for comment.
    Bernice Hurtubise paid $40 for 30 issues, but received just five issues before they stopped coming. She was angry not to receive any replies to her emails and calls.
    “I have not heard anything from this company and Mike Holmes has not said anything about it. I want you to Make Things Right by getting Mike Holmes to give us back our money,” she said.
    “My daughter got her money back on her subscription to Wish magazine when it went out of business.”
    Christine Newman wrote to me, saying she was “incredibly disappointed” after the magazine folded shortly after she bought a one-year subscription.
    “Mike Holmes’ empire accepts no responsibility and does not respond to emails. It’s a shame because I trusted Mike Holmes and he must have put a lot of effort into building his brand, only to have it shattered in a moment.”
    Liza Drozdov, vice-president of the Holmes Group, said the company controlled the editorial content and left the business side to the publisher. (Dauphin went out of business in April 2012.)
    Left without any subscribers’ lists, the Holmes Group had to ask the fulfillment firms that mailed the magazines for names and addresses.
    “Once we have those lists, we’ll be in a better position to communicate with the subscribers who’ve been left high and dry,” Drozdov said last fall.
    “I do have a promising meeting scheduled with a prospective new publisher and hope to be able to relaunch a magazine again in 2013. We intend to work together to somehow provide a solution that will offer the subscribers some satisfaction.”
    Recently, a new magazine, Make It Right, 10 Years of Mike Holmes On TV, appeared on newsstands, featuring a cover photo of the handyman in his trademark overalls. His photo appears on almost every inside page, too.
    At last, I thought. The promise has been kept. Then, I noticed the magazine, published by Transcontinental Media in Toronto, cost $9.99 for 98 pages.
    Was this a special interest publication? Yes, said Drozdov. There were plans to publish a few others to see if there was any public desire to return to a regularly published magazine.
    And while the Holmes Group did manage to purchase a subscribers’ list from the U.S. distributor, it had no plans to send them the new magazine or give back their money.
    “Mike never did receive the revenue from those subscriptions, so we’re not in a position to reimburse those subscribers. The cost is prohibitive,” Drozdov said.
    “My hope is that we could successfully launch a regular digital publication of the magazine, so we could at least offer that to subscribers. But sadly, we are a long way off from that being more than an idea.”
    So, here’s the bottom line: Don’t buy long-term subscriptions to magazines that are fairly new and may not survive. Stick to those with a track record and published by companies with a diverse list of properties.
    As Holmes found, it’s hard to make things right when you lack control of your projects and rely on others to do the heavy lifting.

    Ellen Roseman writes about personal finance and consumer issues. You can reach her at or

    Sunday, May 19, 2013

    Holmes Logo on Greg Biffle's No. 16 Filtrete Car

    Mike Holmes has had a relationship with 3M for quite some time. Last year, the big thing was Mike's line of 3M Tekk workwear, which included a line of stylish, comfortable safety glasses. Why would safety glasses need to be stylish? Because according to Mike Holmes, if safety wear looks good, it increases the possibility that people will actually use it. When I did my flooring project, I bought one pair of Holmes safety glasses, and one pair of cheap plastic ones. The cheap plastic ones broke during day 2, and my husband and I fought over the Holmes pair. They were the most comfortable pair of safety eye wear I had ever worn, and they fit and looked like a nice pair of sunglasses, sans the tint. The cheap ones that broke looked like a pair of goggles they give you during chemistry class in high school. Both did the job, but one did it better, and Mike Holmes is all about doing the job better, which makes him the perfect representative of the 3M brand.

    One of the perks Mike has received while representing 3M and being Canada's and America's most trusted contractor is having his logo represented on the 3M Filtrete Car driven by Greg Biffle.

    From Mike's Facebook:

    Did anyone recognize any familiar logos on Greg Biffle's No. 16 Filtrete car at yesterday's Sprint All-Star Race? #MakeItRight 3M Racing

    In case you're having problems spotting it, the Holmes logo is on the rear back quarter panel in between the red 3M logo and the American Red Cross logo.

    Found this random photo taken somewhere at the races. In the background you can see Mike on the blue banner reading "Accept no substitute. Mike Holmes, America's Most Trusted Contractor"


    A Getty Images Photo:

    Saturday, May 18, 2013

    Someone Got the Memo...

    I'm not going to say that this is because of anything I wrote, but it appears to me that someone up the chain finally got the memo...

    From the various Holmes Facebook pages (emphasis added):
    Happy Saturday! We're happy to announce that Holmes on Homes Season 6 & 7 and our Holmes in New Orleans special are now available on iTunes in Canada. We were hoping for a simultaneous launch in the USA - but have run into some unforeseen FCC hurdles. We are working with iTunes and hope to have the episodes available in the USA in the near future. We will keep you all posted! Thanks for your support!
     Now, the reason I'm going to say that this was NOT because of anything I wrote is because this above was the right thing to do and the right thing to say. Any reasonable fan would say this sucks, damn FCC, can't wait for it to come out in the US and move on. I'm going to give the Holmes Group the full benefit of the doubt that this was the way they were going to handle this situation from the beginning, and that they were just a little late out the starting gate. So...minus 1 for being late, but bonus for finally making this announcement to your US fans.

    iTunesgate is officially over, and the Holmes Spot blog has called off further investigation into the matter. (LOL)

    Friday, May 17, 2013

    New Filtrete Commercial Featuring Mike Holmes

    Let's see, in the past week I've called Mike's pants ugly and said he has stinky PR and needs PR-oderant. Perhaps today I'll post something a little more light hearted and positive.

    Here is the latest Filtrete brand air filters commercial featuring Mike Holmes. The very first time I saw it was at the National Hardware Show a week and a half ago, and since then I've seen it air several times on several different TV stations. The commercial stars a woman by the name of Christy Bonstell, whom The Holmes Spot had the pleasure of interviewing this past February. Enjoy!

    Thursday, May 16, 2013

    Come to Jesus, Mike!

    Uncross your eyes, this has nothing to do with religion. In common parlance, a "come to Jesus meeting" is an intervention of sorts -- a sit down with friends where certain behaviors are called out onto the carpet and discussed without interruption. I guess a different way of putting it would be to take someone out to the woodshed for a good lecture.

    I was really upset yesterday, and I felt very disrespected as a loyal supporter of Mike Holmes. This was not just because of iTunes, but because Mike's US fans were summarily dismissed -- deemed non-existent -- by the way the iTunes thing was announced on both, and in the e-newsletter, of which there is a separate US and Canadian version. The announcement failed to mention that a large segment of Mike's fanbase would be ineligible to participate. It seemed that we didn't matter, and that the website, the shows, and even Mike himself were not for us, even though we the US fans make up probably half of Mike's fanbase. It's funny they didn't announce the iTunes thing on Mike's Facebook page, or even the Holmes on Homes Facebook page. Could it be that if they had, they'd be inundated with pages and pages upon pages of complaints, and they just didn't want to deal with it? But that's just my own speculation.

    Mike is all about making things right, and yet ironically for some reason, the communication/interaction that "Mike Holmes, Inc." has with his fans -- ALL of them, not just the ones who happen to live in the GTA -- is in need of great repair. If I could have a fantasy sit down, a "Come to Jesus Meeting" if you don't mind me saying, with Mike Holmes and the powers that be in the Holmes Group, this is what I would say, speaking as a careful and studious outside observer...

    #1 - Mike Holmes, you ARE a celebrity. Yes, you are a contractor, nobody doubts your mad contracting skills. But just as you can be both a father and a son, you can also be both a celebrity AND a contractor, at the same time. One does not exclude the other, nor is there any shame in admitting you are indeed a celebrity. I don't know who told you that you weren't one, but whoever did is wrong and needs to be fired. The sooner you come to grips with and embrace your celebrity status, the sooner we can move on to point 2.

    #2 - You are NOT a Canadian celebrity -- you USED to be, pre-2006 or 2009 or whenever it was that Holmes on Homes first aired internationally. No, you are now and forever will be henceforth from this point forward an INTERNATIONAL celebrity FROM Canada, in the same vein as Michael J. Fox and Wayne Gretzky. OK, maybe not quite in the same vein, but close. You see, there are a million and one reasons people around the world love you -- your charm, your skills, your integrity, and the list goes on. Pretty damn low on that list for most people is the fact you were born in Canada. Maybe it's higher for some, but typically being born on Canadian soil is sort of a neutral thing, much like being born in Mexico, or Africa, or ANY country for that matter. And yes, I am aware that Africa is not a country. It's not like you were born in England and have a cute accent like Gordon Ramsay. Perhaps if you were the first baby born in outer space or on the surface of the moon, we could talk, but sorry buddy, Canada (God keep her glorious and free) isn't as big a part of your TV persona as you might think. We, your international fans, acknowledge your Canadianism, we embrace it, we love you because of or in spite of it, but really, we see you as JUST Mike, who happened to be born in Canada and who loves and represents his country well.

    #3 - Get a dedicated web team! If you already have one, they're not doing their job. Your website looks like amateurs made it using professional software that they bought at Costco. An international celebrity like yourself should not only have a website that loads properly on all devices - PC, Mac, and mobile - but it should also be current and up to date. The first and primary source for information shouldn't be someone's crappy blog, it should be your website, and you have failed to properly utilize this powerful tool. You owe it to yourself to put the best face possible on the empire you have built, and a large part of that face is your online presence. This includes having one of your team members taking photos and/or video at EVERY event you attend -- speaking engagements, ATV excursions, trade shows, etc. Fans should not be scouring the internet for someone's shaky cell phone video or blurry pictures taken 1000 feet away and posted to Facebook to get an accurate recount of your day. I'm talking PROFESSIONAL day, not private. You are of course entitled to your privacy, but what you do as Mike Holmes the international celebrity should be documented for your fans, because those are the kinds of things your fans want to know about.

    #4 - COMMUNICATION. This is my biggest complaint and what I feel is in need of the greatest amount of maintenance. Facebook and Twitter are not cutting it when it comes to communication with your fans. An example of poor communication... when you attend an event anywhere in the world, it should be announced in advance, and 24 hours does NOT count as advanced notice. Let me tell you how it works. Trust me, I have experience in this department. When people watch your show, they get to know you, and they become fans, and some of those fans want to meet you. You become part of people's lives, and it becomes rather important for these people to know where and when they can come and say hi in an appropriate venue, such as a trade show or a book signing, as opposed to pestering when you're out with your family eating dinner. Your fans must know in advance of your coming in order to make arrangements, such as taking time off from work, getting child care, or perhaps even to make travel arrangements if they're really serious about meeting you. All of this of course goes out the window when you and your web team fail to communicate with your fans. Your public appearance schedule should be posted on your website well in advance so that loyal supporters can make the basic adjustments to their lives in order to come out and see you. And while you're there, your web team should be taking photos, video, and otherwise documenting your visit to share it with those who couldn't make it out for whatever reason.

    #5 - Your PR stinks. You need some PR-oderant. Case in point, yesterday's iTunes debacle, henceforth referred to by The Holmes Spot blog as iTunesgate. iTunesgate was a perfect example of how not to relate to your public. iTunesgate made quite a few American fans feel very alienated for no good reason. Some good old fashioned PR and a little bit of communication would have prevented, or at the very least softened the blow of iTunesgate. Another example might be how the Holmes Magazine went down. As the old adage goes, you can't always make everyone happy, but I think there is room for improvement when it comes down to managing your public image. Sh*t happens, but it's how you deal with the sh*t that makes or breaks you. It's a good PR person's job to shovel the sh*t so you end up smelling like a rose. At this point, it would be helpful to refer back to points 1, 2, 3, and 4 for a better perspective on how I think you could better handle the relations you have with your adoring public. Wash, rinse, and repeat.

    I hope my criticism can be seen for what it is... a constructive albeit opinionated rant. The last thing I would say to Mike Holmes if I had him in the room with me is that I adore and admire him, and he's a huge inspiration to me. Nothing would make me a happier and more satisfied fan than to be able to watch ALL of his shows and specials on TV, and to be able to come by and say hi when he's doing a book signing or a garden show within 500 miles (driving distance) of my home. A little more consideration for fans at home and abroad would be very much appreciated.

    Wednesday, May 15, 2013

    Holmes on Homes Launched on iTunes - UNAVAILABLE TO US FANS

    In an August 22, 2012 live chat with fans, Mike Holmes announced that the Holmes Group was in the process of putting Holmes on Homes and Holmes Inspection out on iTunes in the coming months. This was very exciting news for me, as I tend to buy a lot of movies and TV shows on iTunes for convenience and portability. This morning as I checked my email, I was happy to see an announcement made on the e-newsletter (the US version of the e-newsletter, mind you) that Holmes on Homes was FINALLY out on iTunes. I was so excited... for a little while. As I began clicking on the links I soon came to the realization that it did not seem to be available for purchase in the US. WHAT??? My elation is now sadness, frustration, and a little anger, too. I understand Mike's a proud Canadian, but this is just bull****. US fans, as loyal and supportive as we have been, have been thrown over board on more than one occasion, and this is one of those times. At the very least, there should have been a disclaimer on the announcement informing US/abroad fans that they would NOT be able to purchase the downloads -- it would have been the respectful thing to do. Perhaps Mike's webteam forgot or just didn't care that the announcement as written would not apply to a large segment of Mike's fans.  Either way, I find it more than a bit ironic that in the press release given out by the Holmes Group, Holmes on Homes was described as an "internationally acclaimed series." Well apparently not so much, eh?

    At first I wondered why they didn't post this announcement on Mike's Facebook page. They did post something today about last night's episode of Holmes Makes It Right, but failed to mention this. Gee... I wonder why? I guess they didn't want to be inundated, raked over the coals, tarred and feathered, bull whipped and crucified in page after page of Facebook comments they would have undoubtedly received for once again completely disregarding fans outside of Canada.

    When I started the Holmes Spot, I vowed I'd keep doing it as long as I enjoyed it, and when it was no longer fun anymore, I'd stop. Simple as that. I'm not a glutton for punishment. I feel like taking a long break from everything Holmes for a while, including this blog.

    See you tomorrow...?

    With great sadness,


    Holmes Makes It Right and the Mystery of the Hidden Staircase

    ...Spooooky!!! Sounds like something out of  a Goosebumps novel!

    Yesterday, a brand new episode of Holmes Makes It Right aired on HGTV/Canada. The episode was entitled "Mystery Staircase," and although I have yet to see the episode, it looks pretty creepy -- in a fun sort of way!

    A description of the episode from HGTV/Canada:

    Mystery Staircase Tuesday, May 14 9:00 PM PDT
    Mike is called to a house when the new owners of a century home find out they have a third floor they didn’t know about. Mike and his crew tackle the restoration project and discover why the finished attic was sealed up and forgotten about.

     Mystery Staircase

    Not to get too tangential, but I love old houses and old construction, which is a kind of weird thing to say since I live in Las Vegas, an area of the world whose official motto is practically out with the old and in with the new. We have very little old construction in Las Vegas that isn't dilapidated or forgotten. We implode historic hotels on a regular basis and build lavish resorts on their rubble. It's a culture that many Las Vegas natives like myself cringe at. (I even have a friend from high school who runs a website documenting old Las Vegas as we lose it through demolition.) OK, now I'm really off topic! What I'm trying to say is, there really is something special about the way things use to be done versus the way things are done today. It's not all bad -- we don't use asbestos anymore, and we got rid of knob and tube wiring. We use PVC instead of copper pipes in many cases, making for easier (and cheaper) install and repair. Just imagine what we could build if we combined the superior craftsmanship of the past with the technology of today... why, golly gee, we'd have a Holmes Home! Although I don't witness century-old construction where I currently live, I have witnessed it in other parts of the country, and just as Mike and his crew learned on this latest episode of Holmes Makes It Right, old construction can be rather baffling at times. You wonder why in the world they would have build a room a certain way, because it doesn't make sense by modern standards. This was the case when Mike and crew discovered a hidden third story in a century-old home they helped renovate. Here's a video clip, documenting their spooooooky find...

    Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Interview With Mike Holmes, Part 9

    I do believe this is the last segment in an interview that did with Mike Holmes, and boy is it a doozie!

    Here's the video:

    This was a great segment, and Mike really exposes himself for who he really is. The interview starts off referring back to segment 8 of the interview, in which Mike Holmes talks about educating the client as to the good, better, and best way to do the project. Once the client is educated, he or she should be able to make an informed decision based on the information and not just on price. Makes sense, right? Not always. Unfortunately some clients are unreasonable and are willing to compromise the job for a better price. Mike Holmes has made it clear, not only in this interview but throughout the years, that he will not work with these types of clients.

    It's at this point where the interview begins with the host asking Mike, what do I do when I've already educated the client and he or she still insists on cheaping out, and there's a contractor down the street willing to swoop in and do it for half the price? Mike's answer is simple and straightforward, "Then don't work for that client." The host shoots back defensively, "Then I'm out of business." Taking a long deep breath, Mike continues. "Do you bend differently than who you are? Or do you just do what makes sense?" Mike then explains how being a contractor to him means having the integrity to do the job right or not at all, and he can't justify taking someone's money and not doing the job the way the job needs to be done. "I can never change who I am, and if the homeowner doesn't want to do it right, I'm not interested in doing the job." The host responded, "It sounds like you're saying, you do it the way that you must do it or you don't do it at just have to ignore the challenges at each end." At this point in the interview, I couldn't believe my ears. Did I really just hear the host defend accepting money from a client to do sub par work? (Perhaps the host was playing devil's advocate or attempting to give a contrasting argument?) As Mike explained earlier in the interview, there's a minimum standard that every contractor should establish -- the cheapest way to do the job right. In Mike's opinion, a responsible contractor should not be willing to do the job wrong, even if it's what the client wants. "I was brought up with tough love. My dad was a tough son of a bitch, and he said to me, 'Mike, if you're going to do it, you do it right the first time or you don't do it.'" Those words, familiar to any Holmes fan, pretty much sum it up. In Mike's eyes, there is no justification for doing the job wrong, not to get the job, not to put food on the table, not even to stay in business as a contractor. "It it doesn't work for me, I'll change my career." The interview ends there with the two men shaking hands cordially, perhaps agreeing to disagree.

    This interview series started out with Mike on the defensive, having to defend certain comments he made in a Reader's Digest article in which he stated that the majority of contractors were "bad." Throughout this interview, which has been released in short video segments over the past few months, Mike has not only stood by his words, but also defended his reputation, and even took a few lumps when he was called out for not having all the proper licences that he demands other contractors have. Minus a few disingenuous statements made by the host in a post-interview video end cap, I'd say this interview series was well balanced for the most part. Mike was allowed to make his points, and his opinions were generally given respect. Mike, in turn, was also respectful of the differing philosophies expressed by host Rob Koci. All in all, the interview with Mike Holmes gets the coveted Holmes Spot Seal of Approval. Job well done.

    Monday, May 13, 2013

    Up Against The Wall

    When I was growing up, I had a neighborhood friend who lived next door to my grandparents' home. Inside, they had a giant staircase, right in the middle of their downstairs living area. It served as a divider which separated the kitchen and the living room. One day, my friend's dad got the bright idea to open things up a bit by demolishing the staircase. Apparently my friend's dad was not a structural engineer, because as it turns out, that staircase was doubling as a load bearing wall and down came the upstairs bathroom. No joke. The impending fiasco resulted in them losing their home, filing for bankruptcy, and moving across country. That's a pretty extreme example of what can happy when you mess with the structure of your home. In this article, Mike Holmes discusses the challenges of working with and changing structure. Adding windows or moving interior/exterior walls are becoming popular projects for many homeowners, but that doesn't mean that anyone who's seen a reno reality TV program is fit to do it. Changing structure requires permits, and whole lot of expertise to know how the weight of the home is supported by the foundation. And as my friend's dad found out the hard way, knocking down the wrong wall can end in disaster!

    From the National Post:

    Mike Holmes: Up against the wall

    The Holmes GroupMoving or adding windows and doors to your home changes the structure of the house, making it a job for professionals only.

    Knocking down interior walls and cutting into exterior walls to add more windows or make doors wider are not easy jobs. But they sure look easy on TV, don’t they? That’s part of the problem.

    People get these great ideas for their homes after watching a design show. They’re inspired, excited, can’t wait to have it. Then they hire someone to do it. Before they know it, they have a demoed home, no money and no options. I’ve seen it happen a thousand times! Don’t fall into this trap. Learn what it takes to do it right.

    For example, you need a permit to move windows and doors, or to make them bigger. Not many people know it, but any time you change structure you need a permit. If you’re cutting new openings for windows and doors, guess what? You’re changing structure.

    Moving, adding or changing windows and doors are becoming popular projects. For instance, now that baby boomers are getting older, doorways will need to get wider so wheelchairs can get through. And moving windows or making them wider increase natural light coming into your home. Plus, if the windows are of good quality, installed and insulated properly, it can also reduce your energy bill.

    But, like I said, these aren’t easy jobs. You can’t just move a door. You have to think about the structure — above and below it.

    Each side of a door carries a point load, which is weight that is focused at a specific point in a structure. So when you move a door, you move the point loads.

    It is crucial that both point loads are properly supported. To do that you need to bring in a pro who can look at what’s holding up either side of the door. They should be able to tell what needs to be done so that the door can be moved without compromising structure.

    What you want is for the weight to be properly transferred to the foundation. But if moving the door moves one of the point loads over an area that can’t support the weight of the point load, you’re in trouble.

    Recently, I was working on a house that was of brick and block construction. It had two sets of doors — one on the first floor and one on the second floor. They were stacked one on top of the other, so both sides of the doors lined up with each other. That meant the door headers were supported by block.

    The homeowners were renovating the second floor and part of the renovation was moving the doors on the second floor. They hired a contractor who did it wrong. They moved the door not thinking about structure. Now only one of the point loads was supported by block; the other one was supported by the glass of the door below. Can you imagine all that weight held up by just glass? Talk about showing the cracks of poor construction.

    When you bring in someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, all they do is contaminate your home and screw things up. Knocking down one wall the wrong way — not to mention the wrong wall — can open up a can of worms.

    The way the laws are set up, it would take years and boatloads of cash to go after poor contractors and tradespeople.

    Save yourself the time, trouble and money. Do your homework — even if it takes months — to make sure you hire the right pros. No exceptions, no excuses.

    Catch Mike Holmes in his new series, Holmes Makes It Right Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on HGTV. For more information, visit For more information on home renovations, visit

    Sunday, May 12, 2013

    Holmes Spot Sunday Light Edition

    It appears that the Blogger website is going through some technical difficulties right now, as I'm finding formatting extremely difficult. So, today I'm posting a Holmes Spot light edition, in hopes that by tomorrow, everything will be back up and running the way it should be.

    Yesterday, while scouring the internet for photos or info from the ATV ride, I stumbled upon these rare gems. I'm not sure why Mike is dressed in white clam diggers, it's certainly a BOLD fashion statement to say the least. Perhaps he has chicken legs that he's trying to hide? Or perhaps he's going panning for gold and he doesn't want to get the bottoms of his pants wet? Either way, great choice, I think I had a pair of pants like that when I was in high school. And let's not mention that shirt. Of course, I've heard it said before that Mike Holmes loves to wear Hawaiian shirts. Some guys can rock the flowery patterns better than others I suppose. Yes, like most normal dudes, Mike Holmes doesn't have a stylist. But he does have a woman in his life. I'm not sure if I'd let my husband out of the house dressed like this...

    One last statement before I end this entry... Mike Holmes in white clam diggers, a flowery shirt, and slippers is still sexier than Brad Pitt in my eyes. Eat your heart out, ladies :)

    Saturday, May 11, 2013

    Let's Go Riding!

    Today is the 7th Annual ATV Ride in Support of the Holmes Foundation. There's not a lot of internet chatter about this event right now. Last year, the event was very publicized, but this year it's been rather quiet. I did find this photo on an ATV enthusiast webpage:

    There's also this short snippet from the Midland Freepress:

    Want to ATV with Mike Holmes?

    Mike Holmes
    Mike Holmes

    The annual ATV Ride in support of the Holmes Foundation will return to Springwater Township this year, with a portion of the entry fee going to support the foundation’s goal of ensuring residential construction is “done right the first time.”
    The ride, which is organized by the Ontario Federation of All Terrain Vehicles (OFATV), will take place on Saturday, May 11 and will launch at 9 a.m. from the Township Administration Centre at 2231 Nursery Rd. Participants will have the opportunity to meet the foundation’s namesake, professional contractor and TV personality Mike Holmes, before heading out on a guided ride through the trails and forests of Springwater Township.
    The Township of Springwater is excited to host the annual event for a second time, showcasing Springwater’s amazing trail network. The ride promotes the Holmes Foundation and its partnerships with schools, businesses and governments to raise the reputation of skilled trades in Canada.
    Lunch will be served trail-side and the day will wrap up with an after-ride reception at Horseshoe Resort.
    For registration information and rules and regulations, visit the OFATV website,, or call Rhonda Broderick, president of the Central Ontario ATV Club at 705-429-3822 or email:

    I'm sure there will be some more information about today's events, as well as pictures and video in days to come! Hope the weather's nice for everyone. Stay safe and get dirty!

    For more information about this event, please refer to previous Holmes Spot blog entry:
    Magazines, ATV's, And Radon Gas

    UDATE 5/12/13

    From Mike's Facebook yesterday:

    What a day! Thanks to everyone who came out today for the ATV Ride in Support of The Holmes Foundation at Horseshoe Resort. Also thanks to all of the sponsors who helped to make this weekend happen! More photos to come!

    More photos to come? I'll take you up on that offer, Mike!

    UPDATE 5/19/13

    Found this video on Mike's Facebook page of an unknown person riding with "Uncle Bill" Billy Bell.

    Friday, May 10, 2013

    My Letter To HGTV... Answered! (Well, Sort Of.)

    In February of this year, I wrote a letter to HGTV/US regarding Mike's latest show Holmes Makes It Right, inquiring about an air date. I published the letter as my February 8, 2013 blog entry. Since the show's premiere on HGTV/Canada in October 2012, US fans have been chomping at the bit to know when the show was going to air on US airwaves. I honestly didn't expect to receive an answer, it was more of a jest to let HGTV/US know that American fans were waiting in anticipation for Mike's new show. Well, I just got a response back, with a definite answer. The answer they gave only confirms what the Holmes Spot has been reporting for months now, that Holmes Makes It Right will be premiering in the US in late summer 2013:

    "Hi Raquel, 

    We apologize for the delay in response time, as we are adjusting our processes to better serve your needs. We appreciate your support and apologize for any inconvenience.

    You will be pleased to know that Holmes Makes It Right is scheduled to come to DIY late summer and HGTV within the next 6-12 months.  Please continue to check our websites for updates.  Thanks for watching and have a great day!

    Best regards, 

    Scripps Networks Interactive Customer Service"

    So there you go. Again, Holmes Makes It Right premieres on DIY in August 2013. It's no longer speculation or hearsay, it's 100% official. Interview With Mike Holmes - Part 8

    Over the last couple of months, has put out a series of video clips from an interview they did with Mike Holmes. The Holmes Spot has been reviewing them one by one as they come out, and I'm happy to report that as the series has progressed, the videos have become less and less vitriolic in nature, knock on wood. I love to see Mike shed his TV star persona and put on his contractor boots, which is exactly what this interview series was designed to do. The further we get into this interview, it seems, the more more technical the questions and answers get, and I love it!

    Here's the video, the 8th part in the series:

    This portion of the interview was right up Mike's ally: education. Mike has "Make It Right" tattooed on one arm, he really should get "Educate the Consumer" on the other. As the host points out within the first few of seconds of the interview, Mike puts the onus of educating the customer directly on the contractor's shoulders. Mike explains how too often he sees a contractor go into a home, listen to what the customer wants and then simply quote them a price, with no explanation as to why. This becomes a problem when the homeowner gets several quotes from several different contractors. What are you going to do with 10 pieces of paper with 10 different figures on it? How do you choose the best guy for the job based only on a price tag? And as we've all learned by watching Holmes on Homes, choosing the highest bidder doesn't always assure the client he or she is getting the best contractor for the job, nor does choosing the lowest bidder, or any bidder in between! The way to fill in that gap is for the contractor to educate the customer about the "why" of the job. It's also about getting to know each other, as the contractor-client relationship is often more complicated than a dating relationship. I found it pretty funny when Mike said if he didn't want to work with a client, he'd simply give him the most excessively high quote he'd ever seen. The reason it was so funny to me is because in my business, I've done the exact same thing. As a wedding photographer, if I felt the clients were going to be more trouble than they were worth, I'd simply tell them that the particular weekend they were getting married was a very busy weekend for me, and that I wouldn't be able to do their wedding without an 8-hour minimum at $400 an hour (more than double my going rate), plus an album and extras. I've never had anyone take me up on that offer.
    The crux of the video in my eyes was when Mike explained how it's important for the contractor to explain the good, the better, and the best way to do the job to the client. Mike thinks it's important for the contractor to establish a line, "what's the cheapest way that they're willing to do the job."  For Mike, it's about the integrity of the job, and telling the customer that you're not willing to do substandard work with substandard materials because it's the cheapest way it can be done. "Then you've done your job," states Mike. "If the homeowner hasn't picked you, it's probably for a very good reason. It has nothing to do with you. It's because all they care about is the money." The interview ends there. Pretty good interview. I really enjoyed it, and I think what Mike had to say made a lot of sense.