Categories

Mike Holmes...Good or Bad?

Question Icon
Posted by: from Mississauga
2/15/2009 at 10:40:47 PM

I've heard many opinions on the effect Mike Holmes is having on this industry, particularly the effect it's having on contractors. Some people say he's the greatest thing since sliced bread, while others swear he's actually adding to the problem and making homeowners overly paranoid about home renos.

I see how he's helped so many family recover from the horror of crooked or under-qualified contractors however, everything he does and the products he uses is top of the line and in most cases, financially out of reach for most homeowners.

Just curious to hear the opinions of contractors and homeowners. Mike Holmes...love him, hate him or just don't care?

REPLIES (33)
User Icon
Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time2/16/2009 at 11:27:07 AM

I personally like him and dislike him. It is good that he helps people know what a good or great contractor is. It is bad that people think they can get the jobs he is doing for the prices they ask! At Abba's Service we do the same thing as Mike Holmes we only give customers the best for there money and we try to always give them a little extra. The problem is that by him doing these jobs he doesn't expose the bad contractors out there and that makes it hard for everybody that is good as well as bad. Here is an example we have doing this game for since 1991 we have a great reputation and we travel all over Ontario helping people that wish to pay us what we deserve. If you go to every major search engine Yahoo, Google, MSN, AOL and insert keywords home renovations specialists we are listed in the top 5 on all of them. Try it and you will see. If you only insert home renovations you get everybody with a pick-up truck. A specialist is somebody that doesn't have to try so hard to get work. Mike Holmes is not even listed in the top 5. He is just better looking eye candy for the ladies. We write all kinds of quality articles and have 5 websites and 5 blogs.

So lets think about it! If we are listed so highly why is he not. Don't get me wrong he is a great contractor that really knows his stuff. I am sure he is not licensed to do all the work himself. I am not neither. He puts the tv has put quality contractors around him that all are good but people don't realize is Mike Holmes doesn't pay them a red cent. In fact the contractors use his show for free advertising and it makes a name for them as well.

I know of some contractors that are great contractors and they are not on his show. I also know one contractor that was ask to be on his show and he refused because he would have to do it for free. I never think that tv people will ever be banging my doors down. I am not that pretty! My motto is Done Right! First Time! Every Time!

His is do it right the first time!

Is it hurting the industry yes and no! People need to realize that they can't get work done the way he does it for the price they wish to pay. Double it!

Is he making it better for quality contractors Yes and no! It is hard to say! People want cheap and good. $5000 would not go fare with Mike Holmes and it will not go fare with us either! It should not go fare with any good contractor. If you install top of the line products they are expensive not cheap and what are we supposed to make.

I know that when people wish me there it is not that easy sell because i am ore expensive than the average guy! sometimes thousands more but for good reason remember my motto!

People have to know what they wish for is not cheap! It is they are cheap. I would rather give a hard working man a break than anybody that is contracting things out. I have notice the same names coming up in my email time and time again about renovations on different houses.

They are just price shopping and these are the people that are really hurting the business because they choose cheap every time. Then the people get upset latter. The people that are doing this are people that don't even own a hammer. They are business men. Hesse hurt the business. They are just contracting companies! I email a couple of the companies when things get slow they tell me that I cost to much! all in all it would be up to the individual to decide who is right for them and if they choose us they know they get what they pay for!

User Icon
Date/Time2/16/2009 at 11:45:00 AM

Hi Wanda- Mikes okay from an entertainment point of view, he just has a little bit of a 'God' complex- he's right and everybody else is wrong. You'll also notice on his show that he gets his helpers/subtrades condemning the other contractors involved- because of course THEY have never made mistakes. What I take from his show is that they pick the worst cases, exploit the peoples peril and condemn every contractor out there that is not named Mike Holmes.

You are also right about the products he uses- most are out of reach for the average person- but Mikes a nice guy so he throws a lot of these things in, courtesy of the sponsors. I do not agree with everything he says or does- some of the products he uses I would never use myself because I find them inferior to other products on the market- but I believe he does right by most people. He should tone it down a little- he's to much 'in your face' for my liking, and I do believe very strongly that he makes many folks paranoid about doing renovations thinking they will never find a competent person to do their renos.

Believe it or not, there are a lot of 'good' contractors out there. Unfortunately, with the shape our economy is in, there are going to be a lot of bad ones out there-people need to do their homework when choosing a contractor.

Now, if you want to watch a really good renovation program, cath 'Real Renos' with Jim Caruk.

User Icon
Tradesmen in Georgetown
Date/Time2/16/2009 at 6:48:40 PM

I have to agree with you Bill. When it comes to my favorite reno guy I have to say Jim Caruk and Neil are the best. Those guys take a beating, usually bite their tongues for the most part and they hardly ever go around kicking another contractor. People who sit around praising Mike Holmes need a reality check first of all and secondly they need to know the real Mike Holmes, the down to earth guy who made many mistakes over the last 10 years or so, the same guy who is not so hot after being under the scope himself. I do believe he has earned his stars and stripes and does do a good job walking behind all the sub trades to make sure there are no major screw ups but a reality check is much needed for his fellow worshipers. To go around believing that if Mikey does not use the product then it must not be a good product is simply nuts however there are a lot of products and contractors we are all aware of that are totally garb. Mike does a good job as far as I know but Real Renos is by far my block of cheese.

Brad

User Icon
Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time2/17/2009 at 2:55:40 PM

agree with both of you on the show to watch. I would watch Real Reno's more than Mike Holmes and you are right that sometimes I do not agree with some of the products he uses either. I have notice the spray foam he uses or the one he gets installed for him and I can tell by the color alone it is not the best stuff. That is just a tip of the berg. I do think he has made some mistakes along the way in his carrier and I am sure even though he is on TV there is still a lot he doesn't know. People need to realize that all info for every product is probably given to him on a silver platter right now! If he is using the product on TV he will get paid for it. I have a few products that send me some samples all the time Maybe my suppliers know something I don't. Have you guy's ever been invited to promote a product for any company. They offer you a lot. The problem is for me is sometimes the products are garbage and i have seen them on TV too. No comment where. Back to mike or Jim = Jim by a country Mile Period.

User Icon
Date/Time2/20/2009 at 10:16:06 AM

this is true if we where to go into a house and tell the owner we have to rip everything out and its going to cost $15.000.00 more then you thought

life would be great for us contractors but we do not have a tv show paying for the reno . but mike is a good guy .

User Icon
Date/Time3/15/2009 at 12:21:00 PM

Hi Wanda,

What most people don't think about is that alot of these people (not all) tried to go cheap on the first reno & thats why Mike's there in the first place.

James

User Icon
Date/Time3/16/2009 at 5:33:52 PM

I'd have to say that's the second reason he's there James.

The first reason is ratings.

User Icon
Tradesmen in Georgetown
Date/Time3/19/2009 at 6:19:03 PM

Yes, the golden spotlight is root of visit mostly.

Brad

User Icon
Julius from Buildtek Group in Etobicoke
Date/Time4/13/2009 at 11:55:19 PM

Hi Wanda,

I think Mike is a good guy, but he should say thank you to other renovators for giving him a job and working for national television. if renovators are all good that would be no job for him to do.

Julius Ines

User Icon
Petersiding in Maple Ridge
Date/Time6/14/2009 at 2:32:21 AM

I enjoy Mike to a point. That project near New Orleans was ridiculous, utterly ridiculous. They built a concrete house strong enough to withstand Judgment Day at a cost of (we'll never know). And that's the problem, how much do Mike's jobs really cost?

I went down to Alabama and Mississippi with 10 other regular guys (elec's plumb's etc.) from my church. We rebuilt 2 homes from the ground up (only the frame, siding, and roof shingles had survived the hurricane/flood), and we did it in 2 weeks for about $25,000 of materials.

The people got their house back, better than it ever was, and we raised all our own money to do it.

I think Mike's crew will still be there in 10 years when the next category 5 hurricane hits the gulf coast.

Can you put a price tag on a person's safety, no, but our pastor gave up his preaching gig in Canada and works full-time rebuilding homes (plural) in southern Alabama and Mississippi as a volunteer, and will probably have 100 homes done, and people moved back in before Mike gets one done.

I did this lady's floor joists one day, a week later her cabinets went in and she moved in a day or two later. She cried rivers of tears in thanks. I preferred those tears to dollars any day.


Mike Holmes...Good or Bad?
User Icon
Construction WORX Ontario ltd. in Kitchener
Date/Time7/7/2009 at 9:38:12 AM

To Wanda and the rest, Mike Holmes Bad for the industry and I'll tell you why, he is doing what he needs to do for the show, I dont agree with it but it is what it is, lets set that aside it's just a show. I've tried to contact his office to discuss this exact topic with him and no reply go figure.

You never hear him talk about the original arrangement that customer and the contractor had made like James said it could have been a customer looking for a $50,000 job with a $3000 budget. Cheeper is never better. Michael, this is the stage for company advertising, sometimes to much glotting gives the wrong impression as well. The other thing as commented by some of the others, if Mr. Holmes is going to preach the good word of good contracting then he needs to tell everyone what it costs to get good work done. He comments on the minimum code is not good enough, well like others have commented, when you have an unlimited budget and unrealitic circumstances then it looks bad. He also for the sake of the show removes to much just to see what else is behind the wall, not to say thats a bad thing, what customer is going to agree to pay for that. Its not always the contractor. Wanda to sum it up for you, if your looking to pay almost nothing for work or dont have the budget to do the work then dont do it. If you get a contractor that is going to agree to do work for almost nothing then thats his problem, but I can guarantee that your going to get ripped off, to a certain point it becomes a buyer beware situation as well. Stick a camera in someones face, and you'll hear it all! Do your homework on the contractor get more then one price. Look at it like this get 4 prices and properly explain the scope of work so you dont see surprises, (we can't be expected to forcast things we cant see) if 3 of them are within 10% of each other then the 4th is 50% lower, that 4th price is the one that has had corners cut and that is typically done because they dont have any work or they have ripped off a few people in the past and have to resort to that to get work. You know what its just a show!

Tony Bruno

Construction WORX Ltd.

519-820-0899

User Icon
Mindy in North York
Date/Time3/23/2011 at 2:30:11 PM

If Mike Holmes is watching all the other contractors, I'd like to know who's watching Mike Holmes. OOOPs, I forgot, he's somehow been entrusted with the sole responsibility of watching and monitoring ALL contractors.

Well, look a bit deeper people. Mike Holmes created his very own Home Inspection company...now what better way to capture the market share and create a successful company than to oust out all the competition by presenting them all as BAD. In his eyes, only Mike Holmes does it right. Well I've got news for you people, Mike Holmes has an alterioir motive for bashing all other contractors - he wants the work for his company. Hello. Doesn't take a scientist to figure that out.

Mike Holmes is coniving, deceptive business man who will stop at nothing to get rid of his competition.

User Icon
Calgary in Calgary
Date/Time4/21/2011 at 12:50:31 AM

Mike Holmes himself might be good (I don't have direct experience), but the new inspection company that bears his name needs a little work in my opinion. I decided to call Mike Holmes Inspections to see if they offer a service that inspects homes while they are under construction. This service is not listed on their website, but in my mind this type of service makes sense...it is much easier to spot certain issues before everything is covered up and complete. After having to contact the company twice (maybe they didn't get my first message?), I received a call from a lady that informed me that they did not provide this service. When I inquired as to why, I was told that their inspectors are not qualified to perform that type of inspection. Is the set of qualifications substantially different for inspecting a house that is under construction vs. a house that is complete? Shouldn't the inspectors have a good working knowledge of general building practices, and be able to inspect plumbing, electrical, etc. even if it is not "covered"? When I inquired further, the lady then mentioned that "well, the builders don't like us on site anyway, so we don't like to be present when the builder is present...we prefer to come when no one is around". Again, this didn't make much sense to me. When subsequently quoted a price for a pre-delivery inspection (which would presumably be completed "after" delivery, since they don't want to be present when the builder is present), I commented that this price was a fair amount higher than other quotes I had received. The lady simply replied: "Yep".

Is this the same Mike Holmes that goes out of his way to identify and fix issues with home construction? Definitely not a good experience...count one customer lost.

User Icon
Nic in Caronport
Date/Time8/18/2011 at 8:09:54 PM

I would be thrilled to have Mike Holmes show up to fix the mess left behind by a flyby night I hired. A huge expensive mistake by another "Mike"

User Icon
Tim in Windsor
Date/Time8/29/2011 at 12:27:48 PM

Hi, Calgary.

To answer your question of "is there a substantial difference between inspecting a home under construction and a home already built" The answer is: Absolutely!

I am a former Home Inspector with 4500 home inspections under my belt. Inspecting a home under construction requires you to be BCQ, or Building Code Qualified. BCQ gives you the qualification to evaluate whether a new home is being constructed in compliance with the Building Code, which, by the way, is an absolute bare minimum standard for building a home. A builder cannot legally build below this minimum standard. You should also know that, in many jurisdictions the building code is written and updated by a committee largely made up of, you guessed it.....Builders. (Can you say 'conflict of interest'?)

Home Inspectors, good ones, at least, are trained in Building Envelope, Structure, Heating, Cooling, Electrical, Plumbing, Defect Recognition, Report Writing, Communications as baseline accreditation points. Inspectors are commonly referred to as something along the lines of " Associate Inspector" until they have performed a minimum of 250 fee paid inspections and they undergo further evaluation and scrutiny to attain their "Registered Home Inspector" or equivalent designation, depending on jurisdiction.

The Holmes lady does have a point in saying that builders do NOT like us around and they are quite effective at making a thorough inspection difficult, if not impossible, while they still have title to the property, even though builders are now required to allow independent home inspectors on site. The Builder controls the Pre-Delivery inspection and just insists that the inspector must be in the same room as the buyer during the pdi. The problem is that the buyer is much more interested in the shiny kitchen than the furnace or the foundation, so the builder scoots them through these areas in about 5 minutes while languishing in the kitchen for 30 to 40 minutes. That doesn't work for a good home inspection.

Hope that helps.

Tim

User Icon
Patrick in Black Point
Date/Time12/27/2011 at 6:36:21 PM

Mike holmes is Great. I love how all of you other so called contractors come on here bad mouthing him for making you look bad. Maybe if you did a decent job and learned how to quote real quotes and build something that would last longer than 10 years without drywall cracking, floors going wavy or wall falling down then I don't think mike would have to come in a fix your crap.

And for the "handy guy" who said he put in floor joists for a lady.....Mikes house will still be there after 100 or 200 years while yours will be gone after about 5 years from not knowing what you are doing.

It's awesome how the minimum code has been getting worse and worse over the years. I live in a 60 year old house, with 2x10 floor joists which actually measure 2x10 to 1.5 x 9.5. The foundation walls are a full 1 an a half feet thick with granite rock throughout the foundation. The floors are still straight as an arrow and not a crack in any of the walls. Now can any of you contractors say the same about any of the houses you built? No. Because you are cheap contractors who have no regard for pride in your work, all you're looking for is a good pay day with no regard that other people are putting trust in you and are actually PAYING you to do it right.

It's sad to come online here and see that people are bad mouthing someone who actually goes out of his way to make things perfect for other people without asking anything else in return. This is why contractors have a bad reputation. Because you are bad people who take advantage of people who don't know things. It's not entirely your fault, it's just how the world works nowadays. It's whoever can screw over the most people will get ahead in the world and the good people get trampled on.

User Icon
John in Drayton Valley
Date/Time2/13/2012 at 2:33:18 PM

We're fortunate here we have a good honest do it right guy here but he is expensive and not everyone can afford him. We have several jacks of all trades as well and I have fired a couple in the middle of the job. They wound up costing me extra in the end cause I had to get that do it right guy in here to complete the job.

User Icon
Jonny in Toronto
Date/Time6/7/2012 at 3:37:10 PM

I agree with mostly all of the other previous posts in saying that I have no doubt what so ever that Mike Holmes is a good man, means well and does a good job for people in need!.

The real truth though that everyone has to remember is that it is just a show after all (most likely with some odd tales of fiction in some of these stories or as previously mentioned just home owners wanting more than their money is worth and "shockingly" not getting a proper finished job).

This Patrick makes me laugh with his intense love of this man Holmes and how he thinks all other contractors are swindlers just robbing everyone!, talking about his 60 year old home and how perfectly its built and not falling apart, good on ya for your great house purchase I guess bud lol!! But did you build that house 60 years ago? Did Mike Holmes? NOOOOO probably not, it was most likely one of those "jerk" contractors you had no problem bashing in your previous post.

If you wanna stop most of the shitty, rushed building of houses than we have to as a country get out of mass production of these homes.. We pump these cookie cutter homes out now a days faster than they ever built homes 60 years ago and the renos are the same. In the end time is money, people need money to live. Im not saying all contractors should be entitled to rip off clients because of that or that they are good, but there are definitely professional ones that aren't Mike Holmes. Shop Around, use the technology of today and search the name of the company and read blogs/posts of previous clients, and most importantly save the proper amount of money for whatever size of reno to be done. Do your homework!

P.S. to Patrick:

something you might also wanna remember is that with no known problems to you in your house how will you ever have the opportunity to have your man crush over to your house to smash out some walls and bash other contractors? hahaha jk

Conclusion:

Mike Holmes = both good and bad

He helps home owners see the reality in the danger of doing renos stupid cheap, but spends abit too much time hating on other contractors in general. Name dropping of the contractors that do wrong might help out, for all we know most of the episode problems are from the same 10 contractors per province.

User Icon
William in
Date/Time6/23/2012 at 4:22:45 AM

Seen all of the episodes produced since the pilot as well as the holmes inspection and it would seem to me that he's pretty good.

You got alot of people here talking about ragging on other contractors...it would seem to me that he is completely justified in this nearly every episode he comes on scene and the work he sees that was paid for isn't even done up to standard code, talk all you want but if work done isn't even up to standard code then that's a problem and why do people keep saying name drop these bad contractors?

I'm pretty sure by Canadian law he can be sued for slander. Another problem with assumptions in this thread is people talking about price...he says many times in many episodes where a defined price is talked about that it was insane that they would try to do this work at that price he has on record talked about bathroom jobs, kitchen jobs, renovated attics and basements turned into rooms about how the price paid was insane no one could do it for that much and do it right.

@Peter helmus

and your homes built will flood and blow down in a category 2 hurricane...Mikes which was funded by him and the make it right foundation put together by brad pitt so as to rebuild homes in New Orleans and other places affected by the hurricane using green methods and methods to ensure they would survive another hurricane will be there in 200 years and after 50 category 5 hurricanes...

@johnny

I'm pretty sure hes talking about a 60 year old home that is 60 year old original I.E no renovations that have screwed it up, he's highlighting the fact and it is a fact that usually If you find an older home in good condition it stayed in good condition and will do so because go back far enough and people actually gave a damn about construction now its flipping houses left and right to make a quick buck, and complete ignorance of codes and permits requirements or completely ignoring of those codes and permit requires to make a quick buck and the laws aren't in place to protect any one.

User Icon
Jennifer in Calgary
Date/Time8/13/2012 at 6:09:53 PM

Good afternoon Chris & Steven!

I watch your show everyday and I have almost created my daily routine around the time that you are on so I don't miss out on anything.

I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have done for me during one of your episodes with Mike Holmes. Mike Holmes was talking about types of molds that maybe inside your home and you don't even know that it exists until it effects you in certain ways and when it becomes a series of problems to your health. I am an Interior Designer and I am always interested in the education he provides in the construction field. As a designer I am very careful when the home owners, contractors and myself are doing a renovation and the home may have a chance of have issues like mold so I leave it to contractors to deal with properly.

I haven't been working due to having a baby and being on maternity leave leaving me at home most of the time but I have been sick since my baby was about 2 months old. It has now been 2 years and still have the same symptoms that I have had regarding sinus, chest pain, tiredness, coughing, sneezing and have I seen 15 - 20 doctors who all told me that either I have allergies or just have a virus. I spent a lot of money sometimes (One hundred dollars) of various prescriptions and absolutely nothing worked. I always wondered why my daughter never had a problem during all this time and why she was so healthy when I was so sick sometimes.

Anyway, what sparked my interest with what he was saying were symptoms that one may have and affect your health and if so then you want to go to your doctor and have blood tests and chest x-rays done to make sure everything is okay health wise. Oh My God! I jumped of the sofa and ran to the medical clinic and ordered the doctor there to give me the forms needed for these tests - believe it or not he didn't want to give them to me until I demanded - and from there I ran to do the blood tests and chest x-ray that day. That night my husband and I went through the house looking for any signs of mold or anything unusual. I know the house we rent is about 15 years old or older but looked after by the original owner however, there is still a chance this might happen so we pay more attention now if there is something unusual.

One week after the test results came back the doctor brought me into his office to explain to me that the chest x-ray was fine. On the other hand the blood tests were not looking as they should and therefore told me they look a little low but he didn't know how to read them! He had given me the papers from the file on the blood results and asked me I could Google it to find out more on what the blood work was showing. He told me that it looks like the white blood cells or bone marrow might be a problem and that if this gets worse it may result in cancer. I cried and cried all the way home. I told myself we trust our doctors with ours lives and our families lives and they take advantage of it. I wanted to see if I could find another doctor who could explain these test results to me because I was devastated and couldn't give up. I went to a Chinese doctor specializing in healing with natural products who took the time to go over the test results. He couldn't believe that I was the one who demanded to take these tests. He told me that if I had waited any longer without any change then I would be in greater harm and then soon end up in the hospital.

So I currently am taking the vitamins and that he advised and asked me to follow through with asking for the specific blood tests every month and we should see a change. I am praying that everything is going to be fine and my health will be back to normal within a short period of time because I don't feel like myself.

So once again I have to thank you for everything you have done even though you may not even realized it. My mom passed away five years ago from cancer and all I could imagine was my daughter and how much I love her.

User Icon
Carl in Calgary
Date/Time1/3/2013 at 6:26:18 PM

I personally like what Mike Holmes is doing, I am a contractor and take pride in my work, the problem isn't Mike Holmes is the rash of very poor contractors out there now. I don't have to cut my rates, I work on word of mouth and reputation and I feel that once we get rid of all these dead weights out here in the trades industry the better it will be for everyone. I think there should be HUGE fines issued to poor developers and contractors that source right back to their personal assets and may include jail time, that would definately improve things.

I have dealt with very picky people and have made little or no profit from the work I did for them but they are the ones that have praised me and increased my buisness.

The industry is full of these developers and contractors who sublet the work out to idiots, seriously how hard is it to use a square, level or tape measure and if you don't know how then ask.

What is really funny is how many of these contractors I've met at places like Rona, Home Depot and Lowes and I have to step in and explain to them how to actually do the task they are about to start, sad that they just wing it on their own to put more in their pockets, I step in because I do care.

Almost 90% of the homes I've renoed or repaired are because of poor 3rd party workers and very poor management from prime contractors.

User Icon
Kathy in Lorignal
Date/Time4/19/2013 at 7:15:59 PM

Everyone says how honest Mike Holmes is. I'm a senior citizen, a disabled lady. I've been trying to get my unrefunded money back from him or his company since his magazine Holmes On Homes stopped publishing in 2011. I've written to his web site, his magazine site, the site of his (at that time) magazine publisher Dauphin Publishing for almost 2 years now and still have not received my money back for the issues I did not receive, or even a reply from anyone.

I sent complete details about my subscription, and any information that was specified to send way back in 2011 on his magazine site (which said his magazine had suddenly stopped publishing and referred subscribers to his publisher's site Dauphin Publishing). I also sent any and all information that was asked for on the Dauphin Publishing site (my subscriber number, issues not received, etc.).

I also recently emailed HGTV (Home Garden TV) because he has a new show on there, and I figured they would know how to contact Mr. Holmes. HGTV told me to contact Mr. Holmes' new web site makeitright.ca which I did and again got no response. I also emailed Reader's Digest because they have had several articles recently stating how honest Mr. Holmes is, and I figured they would have a suggestion as to how I could contact Mr. Holmes. No luck there either, they didn't reply.

I'm on a small disability income, and would like to have my approx. $30 refunded (perhap with interest since it is now almost 2 years gone by). I'm sure there are other subscribers out there in the same situation as I'm in.

How can we publicize this, with the hope that Mr. Holmes will then contact me/us.

Can someone please help me?

User Icon
Roger in Ca
Date/Time5/9/2013 at 7:45:32 AM

Some of your responses are ridiculous. Mike is only trying to expose terrible contractors. If you are not one of those, then what threat does he pose to you? None whatsoever. Do your work, then back it up. That is all anyone asks.

User Icon
Roger in Ca
Date/Time5/9/2013 at 7:53:16 AM

Kathy, your first sentence tells me that you expect his help. That is your mistake. Wish for it, but if you expect or demand it, no one will take your seriously. Don't blame him, blame the person who screwed you over.

User Icon
Ron in Windsor
Date/Time5/15/2013 at 6:00:46 AM

Mike is great entertainment. I watch the show all the time. Unfortunately, it's just entertainment, not reality. As far as his generosity is concerned, he is top-notch. He has "saved" countless families from unscrupulous builders or previous owners.

It must be nice to walk into a job and within 5 minutes be able to utter the words, "take it all down" and then to have a squadron of minions rush in and rip everything down to the studs so that I could start with a clean slate and "do it right". Then I would call in electricians, who would automatically replace the panel and re-wire the whole house, next call in a plumber who scopes the drains, breaks up the basement floor and re-runs new abs throughout, then the spray in insulation, the granite experts, roofers, siding, stone masons, and on and on.

But bear in mind that the homeowner is under duress, and therefore all these expenses are "on Mike" and "on HGTV" and the appropriate sponsors.

So what we have in reality is a 150-200K home with 200K worth of improvements!!!! Does that sound like reality to you??????? What homeowner in their right minds would undertake such an expense, not to mention that if they needed financing for such an project would be laughed out of the bank.

Unfortunately, in the real world, where I live, most homeowners have a very fixed budget and most homeowners want a 30K kitchen reno for 5K. That's when THEY start to cut corners, not only on materials, but also on builders-and that's how the jobs end up on TV. They hire someone who hasn't a clue as to pricing a job, quickly find out they're over their heads or working for free and disaster strikes. I'm not defending these cowboys at all - just explaining how these things happen.

I have personally encountered homeowners who simply don't care about doing the job correctly - they just want it done cheap because they are selling the house. So, to them, less now is more later. I will not take these jobs even though the money would be good. However, I'm sure there are legions of cowboys out there who LOVE these kinds of jobs.

So, before you condemn all builders, realize that there may be more to these situations than meets the eye. My experience tells me that previous (and in some cases present) homeowners are more often to blame than unscrupulous builders. You get what you pay for.

User Icon
Dieter in Mississauga
Date/Time8/23/2013 at 4:54:10 PM

I've known Mike for 10 years. Met him when he first started & (full disclosure) was first & longest serving unpaid chief moderator for the Mike Holmes Fan Forum until it closed down last fall.

I think I can safely say that I know Mike better than any of the people who posted here. It's interesting that the vast majority of posters on any website dealing with contractors have a negative & often quite vicious & mostly wrong comments.

I've commented on this before but it needs repeating:

1.. Mike has never said that ALL contractors are bad. He acknowledges that there are good ones, bad ones and that meant so-called bad ones are not so much crooked but rather inexperienced & prone to take on jobs that are beyond their knowledge & experience.

2. He doesn't mention the names of bad or crooked contractors (provided he even knows who they are) because it would accomplish nothing. Those contractor can simply change their or their company's name & continue as before. In Ontario, contractor Illegal or unethical behavior is considered a civil matter & not criminal conduct. The only option would be to sue in small claims court which could cost thousands of dollars & take years. Even if you would win, collecting would be another problem. Most shady contractors have very few assets, usually in their wives' name.

3. I don't understand why so many posters complain about that Mike goes over the top when he fixes a property. If he can afford to do it what is wrong with that? And why is it wrong for Mike to use donated material as well as donated work by sub-contractors? This sort of thing goes on all the time because it benefits the donors or they wouldn't do it. Does anybody think when Oprah gave away 200 cars on one of her shows that she paid for them. The car company did & they got more exposure than if they had placed a commercial.

4. Why all this animosity towards him simply because he became successful?

According to Forbes, his net worth is estimated at $ 25 million dollars. If any of these contractors throwing darts at him had the opportunity to become that successful, would they have turned it down? I doubt it.

Sounds more like sour grapes

When Mike is on the show he's playing a part to some degree. When he deals with people, he is totally different. He is warm & friendly, listens to their problems & tries to offer advice.

User Icon
Jim in Toronto
Date/Time10/29/2013 at 11:35:00 PM

My story began with booking a Pre-Purchase Extended Inspection that was scheduled for Saturday, July 2013. I have decided to hire Mike Holmes Inspection based on the TV Show and the credit ability it exhibited and Projected to do Things Right. As advertised "Mike Holmes Inspections - High Quality Home Inspections You Can Trust". It is important in the construction industry to hire The Right Professionals (and boy have we learned !!!)

In addition we wanted to ensure we receive the best Professional High Quality Advise we can buy. Therefore we Purchased an Extended Inspection that included Thermography. In order to be effective and detect Serious Problems - As advertised on your website.

Based on the Concluded Inspection it appeared the property did not have any major damage. Upon completion of the purchase and receiving possession of the house, we were excited to move in to our first property with full confident that we received a professional, expert opinion ensuring the property is in a good condition.

As part of the moving process, we decided to give the place a fresh coat of paint. When we started with the basement, it was apparent that there is something Visibly wrong but we did not know what it was. We decided to bring a contractor to provide us with a professional opinion and it was determined that we had Moisture And mould due to water leak. We were extremely shocked and surprised that after an Extended Inspection with Thermography imaging, and trusting a Mike Holmes inspector that we find Ourselves in a very difficult position, questioning the very fact about the quality and the professional opinion we received.

It took us by surprise to learn the inspector failed to mention any moisture problems in the basement while he had the Thermography camera. We Paid for a Top Quality as the TV Show advertise all about doing things right, and having the right people do the job, yet with a great disappointment we find Ourselves facing a $15,000 repair that we have to do.

When Someone such as Mike Holmes in the construction business talks About quality and ensuring you do it right, come to face the very reality that his own company failed to "do it right" . When Trust is Lost and Credibility is shattered where do we go from here. Do not trust the Mike Holmes Inspection Promise of Quality.

User Icon
Brian in Hamilton
Date/Time1/3/2014 at 5:49:31 PM

I believe what Mike is doing isn't exactly kicking all other contractors down. I think the people that he showcases on the shows are primarily people that have been taken for a ride. A lot of people take a contractor's word as the truth and pay what is asked of them, only to discover that the contractor cannot deliver.

I understand that some people want something for nothing, but others pay what they have been led to believe is the going rate by shopping several contractors. Let's face it, there are a lot of crappy contractors out there spoiling it for good, reputable ones. But I don't see Mike looking for contractors to dump on. The work you see performed tends to be shoddy. Materials are a matter of experience and opinion. I think his comments are fair. I'm sure he's not perfect, but who is?

He says, all the time that there are good contractors out there, but you need to do your research, plain and simple. People need to get estimates. They need to get references. Lots of them. Any good contractor will have 10 or 15 without trying too hard. People need to do the research and know how much to give a contractor up front and when to give more and pay them out. If its a $90,000.00 job, you don't write him the whole thing without results!

Anyone who gets a cleanup by Mike Holmes shows has basically won the lottery. He goes above and beyond the cleanup of the previous contractors work. He can do that because of sponsors and free labour, but I don't think anyone believes for a second that contractors out there trying to make a living are going to turn into Santa Claus.

What I get from Mike Holmes is the following:

1. Do some research

2. Gets multiple estimates

3. Get lots of references

4. Check the BBB for complaints

5. Establish benchmarks or milestones to pay your contractor and don't pay it all until the job is done .

6. Listen to your gut. If the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

User Icon
Date/Time4/22/2014 at 6:00:47 PM

Based on watching reality reno shows for the past approx 10 yrs, I believe he acts as a superman, (dreamer) and doesn't charge for his services rendered, Jim carrick is a realist, he shows you the fundamentals of home construction, and the ups and downs that come along with it.

Mike projects, are probably all the unrealistic clients I walk away from, because there budget was less than my cost.

They eventually found some underground guy, who doesn't realize what it actually costs him to carry out the work,

Did the following:

"Least amount of work for the most amount of money"

Because that's exactly what the clients wanted,

" most work for the least amount of money"

This legal perspective of this business stinks, why isn't our lien rights worth anything,

The local mechanic that changes tires down the street has more rights than the guy who builds a house from scratch???.? He can come repo your vehicle and sell it off to recover his money, and you can't do a thing about it.

Us contractors carry responsibility to build it correct and within budget, and then have to beg for our money from dishonest clients, who rather have granite countertops than good karma.

Good luck!

Joe Q

Clearwater Construction

User Icon
Jean-Marc in Dartmouth
Date/Time1/14/2015 at 12:18:16 AM

Ron from windsor said it best! Amen ...Holmes should get that money back to the lady for that subscription she paid for.....watch his early shows ....um not so perfect...his team has alot to do with his image nowadays.

User Icon
Jean-Marc in Dartmouth
Date/Time1/14/2015 at 12:36:39 AM

Joe you said it brother..it's a tough go as a contractor, some clients are worse than the contractors exposed on Mikes show. I CHOOSE GOOD KARMA!

User Icon
Vic in Edmonton
Date/Time4/9/2015 at 11:30:32 AM

Sorry folks. I liked him at first but I don't like his condescending, snarky attitude. Plus he only helps rich people with huge homes on TV. How about helping out some low income folks with their houses?

User Icon
Earl in Norman's Cove Nl
Date/Time3/20/2016 at 2:53:33 PM

What drives me is the minimum code statements. No such thing as minimum code. The code is the code is the code. Many years of engineering, testing etc have gone in to developing a national code. Yes, we can build our bridges from titanium rather than from regular steel but to what avail? Most of us do not have unlimited budgets [read tv ] yes 4 inches of concrete is better than 3 but someone has to pay for it. With respect.

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

 
Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.
Categories

It appears you may be located in the US

TrustedPros is designed to deliver results targeted to your location.

Get Free Estimates

Post your project and compare offers from top-rated pros.


x