Friday, February 28, 2014

Mike Holmes: Protect Your Home From Rain and Snow

The entire eastern half of the US and Canada have taken quite the beating this winter. The thaw is just around the corner as spring looms on the horizon, and when all that snow and ice melts, it's important for people to be prepared to deal with the inevitable flooding. As Mike Holmes states in the article below, flooding can happen during any season, so it's mandatory for homeowners to take appropriate steps to avoid property damage as the seasons begin to shift. Steps such as hiring licenced plumbers to check drains, keeping gutters clear of debris, and shoveling snow away from foundation walls are small things people can do to protect their homes from rain and snow. Mike also advises people to be observant. Monitor how the water is draining through your yard. Is it draining towards your home or away from it? Are big puddles forming? These can be signs of drainage or sloping issues. Lastly, we can't stop the weather, but we can be smart and think ahead to avoid damage caused by snow and rain before it starts.
From the Montreal Gazette:

Mike Holmes: Protecting your home from rain & snow

Think ahead and take pre-emptive steps

Rain and melting snow can make homes more prone to basement flooding. Homeowners can help by cleaning gutters, hiring a licensed plumber to check drains and sump pumps and removing snow from foundation walls.

Everybody thinks that we have to worry about flooding only in the spring and summer but a flood can happen any season. A water main can burst in the street, sewers can back up into your basement, a pipe can burst in your home — even your sump pump can give out.
But the weather can also take an unexpected turn.
Near the end of winter, when temperatures hover just above freezing, we can get a good rainfall when there’s still plenty of snow on the ground. Sometimes this snow covers street drains, and it doesn’t melt fast enough to let all the water drain. When that happens the risk of flooding doubles. Not only is there rainfall that potentially can’t drain but also melting snow. So now we have all this extra water — an entire season’s worth — with nowhere to go.
The last place you want it ending up is in your home. So as we move from winter to spring, here are a few tips to help prepare for the extra precipitation that should be heading our way:

Watch your property. Monitor how water is draining on your front lawn, backyard and around your home. The best way to stop problems is to prevent them and sometimes we’re lucky and get warnings. Big puddles are a warning. They tell you that you might have a grading or drainage issue — and the sooner you fix it the less likely you will have water in your basement.
If it’s a grading issue, you will need to have a professional landscaper re-grade your property — a project that will have to wait until at least the spring. Take some pictures for reference — the puddles will be long gone by the time the landscaper arrives. But a pro can help you protect your property in the meantime. For example, they can strategically place tarps around your home that can help minimize the amount of water reaching your foundation.

Remove snow away from your home’s foundation. Snow stacked up along the side of your house is another warning — shovel it away, especially around basement windows. Think about it: All that snow is water just waiting to happen. And all it takes is the temperature to rise and it isn’t long before it starts to seep into the ground and down the side of your home’s foundation. The first place it will melt is along the side of your home as heat escapes. One tiny crack and it’s in your basement.

Clean your eavestroughs. It might seem small but it makes a big difference when it comes to protecting your home from water damage. Removing debris from your eavestroughs long before winter is best. This helps prevent ice damming and water from backing up underneath your shingles and getting into your roof’s structure. But if it’s a real issue now a roofing contractor can check your eavestroughs, safely remove debris and use a de-icer, if necessary.
And make sure your downspouts are directing any water coming off your roof at least three-to-four-feet (.9-to-1.2-metres) away from your foundation.

All rise. If you know a big storm is headed your way and you’re expecting heavy rain, it’s a safe bet to move any valuables out of the basement to a higher level in your home. Having the furnace and hot water heater elevated off the basement floor is another good precaution. Also, if you know your basement is susceptible to flooding and your electrical panel seems too low call a licensed electrician to have it moved higher. Dealing with water and moisture damage is one thing — and it’s serious — but dealing with a damaged furnace and/or electrical panel is another can of worms, very serious, too.

Check the sump pump. Your sump pump pumps out any water that has made its way below your basement into the sump pit or basin. Once water reaches a certain level in the basin, the sump pump kicks into action and starts to pump it out, as long as it’s working properly. Most homeowners don’t know there’s a problem with the sump pump until there’s water coming up into the basement. But you can have a licensed plumber come in before a major storm and check it out to make sure it’s working properly.
You could also have them install a sump-pump alarm with battery back up. So if water reaches a certain level in the sump pit and the pump doesn’t start working, the alarm goes off and you can immediately call your plumber. There are also some sump- pump alarms that can send you a text message in case there’s a problem and you’re not home.

We can’t prevent storms but we can prevent some of the damage they cause. Think ahead, be smart and take the right steps to protect your home.

Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information visit

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

L&I Commercial Featuring Mike Holmes Returning to TV

L&I and contractor Mike Holmes returning to your TV screens

Remember L&I’s TV commercials featuring
contractor and cable TV personality Mike Holmes?
Mike Holmes
The ads first ran last spring, and now they’re running again. It’s the relaunch of our media campaign to drive traffic to, where homeowners can learn how to hire a registered contractor.
Holmes is a residential home improvement contractor in Canada. He’s had several cable TV shows, including Holmes on Homes, which also is broadcast in the United States. In that show, he repairs home improvement disasters caused by bad contractors. He regularly makes the top 3 in the annual Readers Digest poll of most-trusted Canadians.
Holmes donated his time last year to appear in a 30-second commercial for L&I. “It’s buyer beware when you hire a contractor to work on your home because there’s so many bad ones out there,” he says in part. “You need to hire smart. Ask to see their registration, check their references and never, ever pay in full until the job is done.”
The ads will air for several days at a time around the state through mid-April. For instance, ads are running on regular broadcast TV channels in the Tri-Cities through mid-March and on Comcast cable TV channels in the Puget Sound region through Feb. 23.
Besides the Holmes’ spot, you might also see what’s called a “taggable.” That’s a 10-second ad that’s tagged onto the end of a longer commercial for shows like “Love It or List It” or “Holmes Inspection.” These shorter ads show the icon as an announcer urges viewers to go to the website before hiring a contractor.
Can’t wait to see the Holmes’ ad on TV? Watch it at

Monday, February 24, 2014


Today, the odometer rolled over on Mike's Facebook page... well, not really. It did hit 100,000 "likes" though, which is a huge milestone for any public figure Facebook page. A "like" on Facebook is of course when a person shows interest and/or support for a particular topic, person, item, or idea. Each like represents a person, and in Mike's case, each like represents a fan. To celebrate this milestone, Mike created a short video to show his love for his fans and their support.

For a little perspective on the growth of Mike's Facebook page, which more or less represents Mike's growth as a public figure, when I first discovered Mike on Facebook in November 2011, the page had 30,000 likes. A few months later in mid-2012, the page hit 50,000 likes. Less than a year later, the page has literally doubled in size. I see 1,000,000 fans in the near future!

Watch Mike's video:

Post by Mike Holmes.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mike Holmes for CertainTeed at IBS in Las Vegas, Nevada -- Video

On February 5, 2014, Mike Holmes attended the International Builders Show in Las Vegas, Nevada as the special celebrity guest of CertainTeed. Recently, CertainTeed put out a short video recap of their experience at IBS. Having attended the show, I spotted myself more than once in the crowd. In the last portion of the video, they focus on Mike's meet and greet with his fans at the booth. Check it out!

Update 2/23: Correct video posted!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Simple Repairs Around the Home May Be Your Ticket To Romance

So yes, Valentines Day 2014 is officially over, but the romance continues on... if you know how to complete some simple basic tasks around the home. Nothing shows that special man or woman in your life that you love them quite like completing a honey-do list. Painting a bedroom or changing out some fixtures or trim could be just the ticket to your special someone's heart. In this article from the Montreal Gazette, Mike talks about "lipstick and mascara" touches, such as a little paint, hanging up some photos, and upgrading bathroom fixtures. Even basic fixes such as these can require a little know-how and a lot of common sense. Mike cautions that all the lipstick and mascara in the world can't hide a real problem if one exists. For instance, you wouldn't want to fix a leaky toilet with new caulk. Doing so would only hide the problem for a little while. If you were to change out the shower head in the bathroom, you'd want to be aware of your home's water pressure. Some shower fixtures are designed for higher psi. If your home's psi is lower, you'll want to choose a shower head made for lower water pressure. Last but not least, when it doubt, call the pros. Even seemingly simple tasks such as putting up crown molding can be a rather complicated task to get just right. Unless you have years of experience in woodworking, you might want to hire a good licenced carpenter.
From the Montreal Gazette:

Mike Holmes: Please your partner with simple repairs

Repainting the bedroom or replacing the shower head could lead to romance

After a decade, Mike Holmes still cares because he knows the work he, his crew and others do makes a real difference to the people they help.

Photograph by: Alex Schuldt/The Holmes Group, Postmedia News

Did Valentine’s Day put you in the doghouse last week? Well, I have good news: You might be able to fix your way out of it.
Sometimes a little lipstick and mascara of the home reno kind — like hanging up those photos or fixtures you’ve been meaning to or painting the bedroom — can go a long way with partners.
But remember, these are just finishing touches: they make the surface look good. If you have bigger problems beneath the surface, you need to fix those first.
For example, if your toilet is leaking, not flushing properly or is just old and needs replacing, caulking isn’t going to do much. Call a professional and get a proper repair or have the toilet replaced (go with low-flow if you do!).
Caulking cure
If a little caulking around the tub or shower is all you need — and your partner has been asking you to do it for the last few weeks or months — then by all means, caulk away. When you do, make sure you get caulking specifically for kitchens and bathrooms. These products resist mould and mildew.
Here’s another trick of the trade: tooling, or smoothing out the caulking. Most people will use their finger to smooth it out, but that can look sloppy.
Instead, take a tool — something like a piece of wood with a rounded tip — dip it in soap and water and run it along the caulking. The soap and water makes the tool slippery, so it won’t grab the caulking. Pros will usually have a container with them that has soap and water, especially if they are doing bigger jobs, like caulking windows.
Shower solution
Another thing you could do to make up for a less-than-perfect Valentine’s Day is upgrade the shower head — especially to one your partner (and you) will enjoy, like a rain shower head. On a recent job we installed a square rain shower head by American Standard, and the homeowners loved it.
There are also low-flow shower head options, including the rain variety. Some people don’t like low-flow when it comes to their shower heads because they feel like it takes longer to rinse off soap and shampoo. But there are low-flow, water-saving options that are also high pressure. A pro can help you choose the right one.
Something you might not know is that in Canada, shower heads can’t have flow rates higher than 9.46 litres (or 2.5 U.S. gallons) per minute at a standardized pressure of 80 pounds-per-square inch (psi). But not every home has water pressure this high. Some have lower, averaging around 60 psi. When you install high-pressure fixtures, like shower heads, in homes with low water pressure, you get dribbles instead of a strong, powerful stream of water. If your home has low water pressure, look for a shower head made specifically for low water pressure.
All the trimmings
If the kitchen is the way back into your partner’s heart, fixing or adding trim are simple additions that can make a big impact.
If you have space or a gap above your kitchen cabinets, add trim or crown moulding. This can boost the overall look of your cabinets without replacing them. But please, hire a professional to do it. If it’s not perfect, your eye will notice every flaw.
Trim seems like an easy job, but you need to be very precise. It takes years of training to perfect, so you’re better off hiring a trim carpenter, who specializes in all kinds of trim work.
Simple fixes and upgrades around the house can be your ticket out of the doghouse. But if done wrong, they could be your ticket into it. You are usually better off hiring a pro.
Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information visit

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Go West Young Man

This just in... Mike Holmes Inspections, which is of course Mike Holmes' company which conducts residential home inspections, is expanding west, all the way to British Columbia! Pretty exciting news for homeowners who wish to have a Mike Holmes-trained expert inspect their potential home before purchasing it. For more information about Mike Holmes Inspections, the Holmes Spot has covered numerous stories about its expansion across Canada.
February 19, 2014 11:00 AM

Mike Holmes Inspections expands into British Columbia

TORONTO, Feb. 19, 2014 /CNW/ - Mike Holmes Inspections is pleased to announce it has expanded its service area into British Columbia, including Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Richmond and Surrey.
Mike Holmes Inspections is now serving areas in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
"We're going across the country," stated Mike Holmes, President of Mike Holmes Inspections. "Everyone deserves a proper home inspection—one that protects their home and their investment. My guys are trained to do it right."
Residents of Vancouver and surrounding areas can book a Mike Holmes Inspection online or by calling their Customer Service division, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
"Expanding into BC was the next logical step," stated Ashley Shojaie, Director of Mike Holmes Inspections. Mike Holmes' contractor referral service, Holmes Referred Contractors also recently launched in Vancouver.
"Demand for our service in BC has grown every year," added Shojaie. "But before moving in we needed to make sure we had the necessary resources in place to effectively serve clients and maintain our level of service. We expanded our internal services, restructured our booking system and increased our number of trained Inspectors."
Clients receive a copy of Mike's book, The Holmes Inspection and can take advantage of additional services, such as the first ever Canadian Home History Report for any property.
All Mike Holmes Inspections also include RecallChek, a service verifying if recalls have been issued on any appliances in the home at the time of inspection, including the furnace, air conditioner and/or water heater. If a recall has been issued, information is provided on how to receive full repairs free of charge.
For more information on Mike Holmes Inspections, please visit:
About Mike Holmes Inspections
Mike Holmes Inspections is an independent home inspection service company. Through the integration of advanced technologies and sophisticated industry techniques it provides thorough, fair and educated assessments of building structures and their related systems. Mike Holmes Inspections also invests in the development and augmentation of industry standards through collaborations and third-party ventures with educational institutions and industry associations.
SOURCE Mike Holmes Inspections
For further information: For all queries regarding Mike Holmes Inspections, please contact:
Ashley Shojaie, Director

Monday, February 17, 2014

Pardon my French

Canada is a unique country that embraces two official languages, English and French. In Quebec, a province that embraces their French side a little more than their English (that might be a bit of an understatement), they have what I can only describe as a French language version of HGTV called CASA. CASA runs some shows which typically air on HGTV, such as Holmes on Homes and Holmes Makes It Right (see Holmes Le Fait Bien for more information). On February 7 of this year, Mike Holmes attended a home show in Montreal, the ExpoHabitation de Montréal, where he meeted and greeted his fans. CASA TV was also in attendance and took a moment to ask Mike about his book.

I can't understand a word of French, so I used Google translate to interpret the CASA website for me. Below is the "translated" blurb from

By CASA February 14, 2014

Two of the headliners of the chain CASA, Mike Holmes and Karyne Beauregard, were present at the ExpoHabitation show, which was held from 6 to 9 February at Olympic Stadium. Chloé Bergeron went to meet them.


The chance to win a copy of the Holmes Inspection (in English only) book, autographed by Mike Holmes!

To participate in the draw, nothing simpler! Correctly fill in the form below. To increase your chances of winning, enter every day! Only one entry per 24 hours is permitted.
Good luck!
[THE HOLMES SPOT EDITORIAL: To watch the video, which couldn't be embedded, visit the CASA link. Mike's segment begins at around the 2:25 mark]

(Apparently "MAKE IT RIGHT" is "MAKE IT RIGHT" in any language, as long as Mike Holmes says it!)


Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Family That Builds Together

When Mike Holmes started doing Holmes on Homes some 10+ years ago, I'm sure he would have never guessed two things that are very evident today. First, that the show would be a huge success and catapult this seemingly ordinary contractor into legendary status along the likes of Bob Villa and Tim the Tool Man Taylor. Secondly, I doubt Mike could have ever dreamed that the empire he was building would one day become a family affair. With all three of his children, his uncle, and his son-in-law all working along side of him, there's bound to be some drama and a whole lot of love on every job site. As this article from The Province reveals, Mike Jr. and Sherry never thought they'd be following in their dad's footsteps so closely. Growing up, they had other plans, but once the bug bit, there was no going back. With their "make it right" ethos that was undoubtedly drilled into them from early on, there's no doubt they make their father proud every single day.

For more information on Mike and Sherry and their appearance at the BC Home and Garden show this February, see Mike Holmes, Jr. and Sherry Holmes to Appear at the B.C. Home and Garden Show.


The family that builds together
Close to Holmes: Mike Jr. and Sherry follow in famous dad's construction footsteps

Joanne Sasvari
Special To The Province

One thing both Mike Jr. and Sherry Holmes knew growing up: They weren't going to go into construction. Sure, their father was the famous Mike Holmes, the respected residential contractor and star of television's Holmes on Homes. But they had other plans.
"For me, I wanted to get into firefighting," Mike Jr. says. And Sherry didn't want a career at all - she just wanted to make enough money to travel. "It was always something random," she says. "I can't do just one thing because I get bored."
But then Mike Jr., now 22, took a summer job with his dad when he was 14 just to make some money. "I fell in love with it, and now I've been doing it for eight years," he says.
And Sherry, now 26, found herself at loose ends in 2008 and joined the family on a project with actor Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation to build a home in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, which had been devastated by Hurricane Katrina. She had no construction experience, and conditions were brutal - long days in punishing heat and humidity - but to her surprise, she loved every minute of it.
"It was phenomenal," she says. "I would do it again in a heartbeat."
Now both siblings are hammering and sawing alongside their dad on HGTV's Holmes Makes It Right. And they'll be here in Vancouver, offering tips, advice and anecdotes at the BC Home + Garden Show, Feb. 19 to 23 at BC Place Stadium (
Their dad couldn't be more proud of how his kids have followed in his work boots. (His oldest daughter Amanda also works for the family business, but behind the scenes. "She refuses to get the attention," Sherry says.) "They've both done so much, and they're just at the start of their careers," Mike Sr. says. "Sherry is already a tiling pro - she's better
than other guys that have been tiling for years. And she's creative. She likes trying different colours, patterns, different types of tiles, products and learning new tricks, different ways to make the job easier, better."
As for his son, who is now a site supervisor on the show and will one day take over the family business, Mike Sr. says: "Look at him - he's 6'3", looks like a model, and he's my son, but he's humble, he helps anyone he can and he has a good heart. I'm proud of the man he's become. I love working with my kids, watching them build on what they know and get better every day."
Not that it's always easy working as a family.
"My dad is a perfectionist. He is who he is on TV, outside TV," Mike Jr. says. "He's an old-school kind of guy. 'Do it right the first time.' 'Don't take sick days.' 'Work it off.' " And yes, there has been the occasional disagreement on the job.
"Of course, of course," Sherry says with a laugh. "It's the family aspect of the business."
"But he means well," Mike Jr. says. "And he's taught me well."
We wanted to know...
We had just a few more questions to ask Mike Jr. and Sherry Holmes, who star alongside dad Mike Holmes in HGTV's Holmes Makes it Right.
Q: What was your career highlight? Mike: "I just finished building my dad's garage and that's something I'm extremely proud of."
Sherry: "Mine would definitely be the New Orleans build."
Do you have a favourite tool or gadget? Sherry: "My stiletto hammer is my favourite tool ever. I love it to death." Mike: "My cordless Paslode nail gun. It's my baby. I'm not even kidding."
What's your best tip for DIY-ers? Mike: "Like my dad says, check your contractors' references and make sure you do background checks."
Sherry: "I'm going to say do your homework. Try to do some research and come up with some ideas so you can present something to your contractor. They're not going to know what you want if you don't."
What was you most embarrassing moment on set? Sherry: "Oh, there's a lot. The guys used to love scaring the hell out of me." But perhaps hitting herself in the face with a chunk of drywall - on camera - was the worst."
Mike: "I was talking to some people on set and I stepped on a rake and it smacked me in the face. It wasn't painful. It was embarrassing."
What's the best advice your dad ever gave you? Mike: "Treat people how you want to be treated. It goes to every aspect of life. It creates a better environment." Sherry: "His best advice to me is happiness is a choice. And that applies to everything. If you make yourself happy, you'll love coming to work."

© The Province 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mike Holmes, Jr. and Sherry Holmes to Appear at the B.C. Home and Garden Show

For all those fans of Mike Holmes, Jr. and Sherry Holmes, the brother and sister duo will be appearing at the B.C. Home and Garden Show which will take place from February 19-23.



Mike Holmes Jr.

“I want to do it the right way and work my way up to the top with respect.”

– Mike Holmes Jr.

A dependable, determined and honest contractor, Mike Holmes Jr. is all grown up and making his famous namesake proud. After launching his career in the building business at the tender age of 14, Mike Jr. cut his teeth on the set of HGTV’s Holmes on Homes and never looked back. Currently working on his Red Seal in Carpentry and with nearly a decade of experience under his work belt, Mike Jr. is dedicated to bringing out the professional that is in his blood.

Sherry Holmes

“There’s plenty I want to try. You never really stop learning. I want to try everything at some point.”

-Sherry Holmes

Daughter to HGTV star and renovation expert Mike Holmes, Sherry Holmes got her first taste of the joys of building in 2008, travelling from Toronto to New Orleans to help construct a hurricane-and flood-resistant home for a victim of Hurricane Katrina. Since then, Sherry has been a permanent member of her dad’s crew, first on the set of Holmes Inspection and now on Holmes Makes It Right, cultivating her skills as a framing and tiling pro. On and off the jobsite, Sherry continues to change the face of Canada’s skilled trades workforce, demonstrating that women are strengthening the construction industry from the ground up.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Fix in Time Saves Nine

For some people, home maintenance is a fun and exciting prospect, usually accompanied by a ceremonious trip to Home Depot and a Saturday afternoon of tinkering. For other people, it can be a rather frightening (and expensive) concept. Regardless of how much or how little joy you get out of doing simple fixes around the house, the truth is that neglecting small repairs can lead to costly problems down the road. If you happen to live in a house with brickwork, it might surprise some people to think that a loose brick or two can lead to water seeping behind the bricks and doing damage to the framing of the house. Repairing brick and mortar can be a labor intensive job, which means the longer you wait, the more damage will need to be repaired and the more expensive the job is going to be. It's better to identify small issues and address them before they become costly problems. It's the same thing with cracked grout. If you have tile in a wet zone such as a bathroom or a kitchen, cracked grout can lead to water seeping underneath the tiles and not only damaging the tiles themselves, but also the subfloor. It's much simpler (and cheaper) to address cracked grout than to rip out the subfloor because you've got mold. Home maintenance is a fact of life, and ignoring a problem will not make it go away. It's better to maintain things as you go than to put maintenance off and have to replace.
From the Montreal Gazette:   

Mike Holmes: A fix in time saves nine

Simple repairs ward off costly problems Simple repairs ward off costly problems Simple repairs ward off costly problems Simple repairs ward off costly problems

Replacing bad windows in your home can help save on monthly energy bills, and prevent future water damage.

Over the years I’ve seen a few fixes a lot of homeowners tend to ignore and that lead to bigger problems down the road. Some of these fixes are easier and less expensive than others, but every single one of them will save you money in the long run, no exception.

Cracked or crumbling grout.

I don’t care if it’s in your shower, on the bathroom floor or in the kitchen: cracked grout or grout that is starting to crumble lets water and moisture get in behind tiles. It also downgrades the look and value of your home.

As soon as grout starts to fail, call the contractor who installed your tiles and find out exactly how your tiles were installed. Then find out what the grout and tile manufacturer recommends for proper installation. Did the contractor follow the right protocols? Was the grout sealed? It shouldn’t be. Grout needs to breathe so if any moisture gets in behind your tile it can escape.

Crumbling mortar.
The mortar between exterior bricks needs maintenance. Crumbling mortar can cause bricks to come loose, causing a huge safety hazard. Water can make its way behind the bricks, possibly damaging wood framing and sheathing, and leading to complications such as mould and poor indoor air quality. In some cases, crumbling mortar can allow toxic gases — like CO emissions — to seep in.

The fix for crumbling mortar is called pointing, or tuck-pointing. That means scraping out the old mortar and replacing it with new mortar. The new mortar going in should seal the gaps between the bricks. Water should never sit on top of exposed brick because it will seep in and cause bricks to flake or spall, and that reduces bricks’ lifespan.

The cost of tuck-pointing is labour, not materials, so the longer you wait, the tougher — and more expensive — the job is.

Bad windows.

Bad windows also lead to major heating and cooling losses, which you pay for every month. Multiply that by however long you plan on living in your home and you can see how replacing bad windows pays for itself.

Not planning on staying put? Well, replacing bad windows can boost your home’s resale value.


Water stains on walls or the ceiling must be addressed immediately. The stains mean water is penetrating the interior structure of your home — and there’s enough there that it’s starting to seep through the drywall. Again, moisture boosts the chance that mould will grow, and once you’ve got mould, you’ve got a serious problem.

 Flickering lights.

They usually signal bigger, more dangerous electrical trouble and potential fire hazards, such as faulty wiring and short circuits. If you have flickering lights in your home call a licensed electrical contractor. An electrical fix could save your home and your life.

Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information visit

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

Monday, February 10, 2014

Congrats Carlito!

I love weddings! I'm a girl, so how could I not? I've also done quite a bit of wedding photography in my day, and even after attending several dozen strangers' weddings, I'm still pretty fond of them. Mike announced today that he and the cast of Holmes Makes It Right would be traveling to Costa Rica to attend Carlito Pavlovic's wedding! Congratulations, Carl!

From Mike's Facebook page:

 Heading south to Costa Rica with the Holmes Makes It Right Crew for Carl's wedding!

Packed the Advil...extra strength.

Photo: Heading south to Costa Rica with the Holmes Makes It Right Crew for Carl's wedding! 

Packed the Advil...extra strength.

I'm not completely sure what he means by the "Advil Extra Strength" comment, but I can only assume Mike is referring to the last time he went to Costa Rica, in November 2012. See Feel Better Soon, Mike... for more information. It was indicated to me by at least three different sources that Mike was rather seriously ill after returning home, in and out of the hospital, and incapacitated for quite some time afterwards. Mike revealed that he had neglected to get all the appropriate shots and vaccines that are routine for North Americans to take before traveling down south. "I’ve never been so sick in my life!" he stated on Facebook. I'm sure that was a lesson learned the hard way for Mike, and a mistake he won't soon repeat. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

New Commercial on the Horizon for Mike Holmes (?)

I don't think there's a Holmes fan alive who didn't absolutely love the Filtrete commercial featuring Mike Holmes, a lovely redhead (not me, unfortunately) and an adorable little baby.
This commercial aired in February 2013 and branded Mike "America's Favorite Contractor." Quite a feat for a dyed-in-the-wool Canadian, but nevertheless true. (For more information about this Filtrete commercial, see Holmes Spot Exclusive: Interview With Christy Bonstell). Well oops, this part-time babysitter did again, or so it appears.
From Mike's Facebook page February 4:
Yesterday I spent the morning working on some exciting stuff with the Filtrete 3M folks!
Check out the behind the scene picture:

So yes, it does appear that another Filtrete brand filter commercial is on the horizon for Mike Holmes! Can't wait to see what Mike has up his sleeve this time!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

International Builders' Show 2014 Rundown

Yesterday, February 5, I attended the International Builders' Show and the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, which both took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I've been to quite a few trade shows before, but this one was an absolute hoot. It seems the more of these I attend, the more and more I enjoy them! The first stop on my list that I had to make was to see Mark and Theresa's MyFixitUpLife, which is my all time favorite home improvement radio show and podcast. These guys are the real deal, and they get the big names in the industry to stop by and talk with them. Plus, they're really good people! What can I say, redheads got to stick together!

Steve "Million Dollar Contractor" Fanuka dropped by and had a chat, along with Ty Pennington! Unfortunately Mike was booked solid during the convention and couldn't make it! Steve Fanuka loved my "MAKE IT RIGHT" shirt and told me to "tell Holmes Fanuka says cheers!"

 The reason why I love attending trade shows is because they are so jammed full of information. Creative displays encourage visitors to drop by and see what the exhibitor has to offer. There are a lot of new products on the market that are simply changing the way people build. Some of them even carried Mike's stamp of approval.

I have to say, having attended other shows in the past, this show was very celebrity driven. Scripps Networks Interactive, the powerhouse behind DIY and HGTV, were very involved in the promotion of the IBS and KBIS, and therefore, there was an HGTV celebrity pretty much around every corner. Including this guy, who was very nice and surprisingly classy despite a lot of very rude people making rather tasteless remarks. Word to your mother.
Another person I was absolutely thrilled beyond words to meet was Scott McGillivray, who was hanging tight at the Roxul booth. I absolutely love this guy. And of course, Scott and Mike are buddies. He asked me how I was enjoying the show, and I told him that it was like Disneyland! He asked me what I did, and I told him I work for a solar company. Lastly, he asked me if I knew Mike was at the show, and I told him you betcha, at the CertainTeed booth from 3-4PM! 
Later that day I ran into this guy, David Bromstad, who totally complimented my outfit. "I love the pink!" A professional designer thinks I have good taste... it doesn't get any better than that!
So around 2PM I made my way to the CertainTeed booth where I knew Mike was going to do his meet and greet. Being in the solar industry, I noticed the huge solar panel display, and I kept hearing the name of the company that I work for being bantered around. I started up a conversation with one of the guys in the booth, and he informed me that CertainTeed is affiliated with the company I work for! That was pretty exciting to me! About 30 minutes before Mike was set to come out, a line started to form and snake its way around the general area. It's no surprise to me that Mike can draw a big crowd. By the time that Mike came out, there were at least 100 in line or milling around waiting to meet him. Having seen the HGTV stars that I did that day, I can honestly say there was nothing like this! Mike is definitely a popular guy. He started by walking out and greeting everyone. He then gave a 5 minute biographical speech where he basically explained how he got into television and asked everyone if they are fans of the show and if they've seen the new show Holmes Makes It Right. Everyone cheered of course. I filmed most of Mike's speech, until my phone ran out of memory. Fortunately, I've seen other versions of this on YouTube.
I guess I could go on and on about how great it was to see Mike and how everyone was excited to see him. I could probably write an essay about what was going on in my head. After all, Mike is my hero, and he's so familiar to me, and I'm just another face in the crowd to him. That doesn't bother me, I'm happy to be one of his many cheerleaders! Words just don't cut it, so here's the picture. Hopefully you can see how absolutely joyful I am.
(PS -- I snuck a hug AND a peck on the cheek. I'm sorry, I just couldn't help myself! But I have a feeling Mike wasn't offended!)
And that was my short but sweet rundown of the International Builders' Show! Here's some video I took of Mike speaking. Unfortunately I didn't get the whole thing, but you'll get the gist...

To Be Continued...

International Builders' Show recap to come! To be continued...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I'm in HGTV Heaven!

I'm here at the International Builders' Show, and its almost lunch time! I spent the morning watching a live episode of my all time favorite home improvement podcast MyFixitUpLife with Mark and Theresa. They had some very interesting guests, including Steven Fanuka the Million Dollar Contractor! Super nice guy, and I got a completely unsolicited kiss on the cheek! Ty Pennington also dropped by. So far, I've had a really great time! Can't wait to see Mike Holmes later today at the CertainTeed booth! I also met Scott McGillivray at Roxul booth! More pictures to come!

I've Arrived!

Monday, February 3, 2014

HGTV and DIY Network Pack a Punch at "Design & Construction Week"

On Wednesday, February 5 I will be happily blogging live from the International Builders' Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. In fact, I may be skipping down the isles meeting all my favorite HGTV and DIY stars, including Scott McGillivray, The Property Brothers, and of course the big man himself Mike Holmes. I am stoked! Today, I found this news release, talking about how the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show and the International Builder' Show will be combining forces under the same roof (the Las Vegas Convention Center is HUGE, I think they can handle it). HGTV and the DIY Network are sister networks and will have quite a presence at the convention. It's going to be a reno-reality start studded event, and did I mention I'm going to be there??? I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it!

From the Wall Street Journal Online:

HGTV and DIY Network Pack a Punch at "Design & Construction Week"

Scripps Networks Interactive lifestyle leaders bring network stars, home products and audition opportunities to mega-event
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--February 03, 2014-- 
HGTV and DIY Network, leaders in home and renovation lifestyle media, will command a presence at the 2014 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) and the International Builders' Show (IBS), which are combined under one roof for the first time Feb. 4-6 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
David Bromstad, host of HGTV's "Color Splash," will meet attendees of the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show and the International Builders Show, Feb. 4-6 in Las Vegas. (Photo: Business Wire)
HGTV and DIY Network are the only television programmers to attend the shows with the objective of developing marketing relationships and solutions that help home product manufacturers and retailers grow their businesses.
"We are a trusted resource for home owners, designers and builders like those at KBIS and IBS," said Donna Stephens, senior vice president of national ad sales for Scripps Networks Interactive. "We understand the latest trends and cement our partnerships with passionate industry professionals by offering them insight into our brands and audiences."
Known for A-list television personalities, as well as home and renovation experts, the cable networks will bring to the show such talent as David Bromstad, host of HGTV's Color Splash; and Alison Victoria, host of DIY Network's Kitchen Crashers. Carley Knobloch, digital stylist for HGTV, will emcee the show's Center Stage events in partnership with the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). Other network talent on hand include Jonathan Scott (Property Brothers), Mike Holmes (Holmes on Homes), Hillary Farr (Love It or List It), Stephen Fanuka (Million Dollar Contractor) and Rob "Vanilla Ice" Van Winkle (Vanilla Ice Goes Amish).
Calling all fervent fans, renovation experts, design pros and do-it-yourselfers, HGTV and DIY Network talent scouts look to discover a new network star in the crowd. Show attendees with airtime ambitions can participate in the nets' open casting call and auditions, which will be held each day in the Center Stage area of the NKBA booth.
The cable programmers' digital division will host the HGTV Professionals Network, encouraging home design professionals to show off their portfolio of work with the opportunity to have it published on the Scripps family of leading home websites.
Additionally, popular DIY Network hosts James Young (I Hate My Kitchen) and Jeff Devlin (I Hate My Bathroom) will be onsite filming specials from the show floor. Hot List: Baths will feature the newest bath goods, while Hot List: Kitchens will spotlight the hottest kitchen products. And producers will search the mega-show for the year's standout products and trends for the kitchen and bath to be included in future episodes of DIY Network's I Want That.
Show attendees are invited to take photos of products, people, designs and trends during the show, upload them to Instagram with the hashtag #lovedesign and then pick up the printed photos at the HGTV and DIY Network space near Center Stage at KBIS.
"With hundreds of exhibitors, thousands of buyers and tens of thousands of home enthusiasts all in one place, the KBIS and IBS event is our home away from home in bringing the best of design and renovation to the industry," Stephens said.
HGTV and DIY Network will share a space with NKBA at booth number N2163.
About Scripps Networks Interactive
Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI) is one of the leading developers of engaging lifestyle content in the home, food and travel categories for television, the Internet and emerging platforms. The company's lifestyle media portfolio comprises popular television and Internet brands HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country, which collectively reach more than 170 million consumers each month. Companion websites complement on-air programming with video and social media that inform and inspire. Scripps global networks reach millions of consumers across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. For more information, please visit
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:
    CONTACT: Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. 
Lee Hall, 865-560-3853

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Mike Holmes Jr. and Sherry Holmes Promote Vocational Training in Schools

On January 31, Mike Holmes Jr. and Sherry Holmes served as guest speakers at the 2014 Ontario Vocational Schools Conference. From a very early age, both Mike Jr. "MJ" and Sherry have worked in the skilled trades and have shared their dad's vision to promote the trades a legitimate, honorable, and potentially lucrative career opportunity. Both are working hard to break the stereotypes that society has of skilled laborers as less intelligent than their white collar counterparts, and encourage youth to consider a career as a welder, carpenter, mechanic, or a contractor. "It’s not a bad thing to get your hands dirty," MJ remarked to the crowd of vocational educators and participants. A very good point, no doubt picked up from his dad. Don't forget to check out the video of Sherry speaking at the conference which was posted on Mike's Facebook page (see below).

From the Caledon Enterprise:
Teachers share their occupation with vocational education

Speaking about a vocation Photo by George S Beshiri
Former Peel District School Board director and principal Judith Nyman returned to the Brampton high school that bears her name to speak at the 2014 Ontario Vocational Schools Conference.
Brampton Guardian
By Roger Belgrave

BRAMPTON— Mike Holmes Jr. started working in the trades when he was 16-years-old and bought his first house at age 19.

The son of Mike Holmes, a professional contractor and the host and creator of the hit TV series Holmes on Homes, Holmes Inspection and Holmes Makes It Right, spoke at the 2014 Ontario Vocational Schools Conference.

Event organizers and participants came together to discuss ways of strengthening vocational education in Ontario’s public schools. The conference also managed to spotlight the real human value in vocational programs.

Activities were hosted at Brampton’s Judith Nyman Secondary School, a vocational school offering hands-on technical programs that help students learn a trade, enter apprenticeships, go into the workforce or graduate to college.

More than 200 teachers, administrators and teaching assistants from vocational schools all over southern Ontario attended to discuss programs, share best practices, take part in workshops and network.

Holmes Jr. and sister Sherry, who appear on the HGTV series Holmes Makes It Right, were among conference speakers that also included a representative from the Ministry of Education, Peel District School Board Associate Director Scott Moreash and former Peel board director and principal Judith Nyman.

“We support everything that you’re doing,” Holmes told the auditorium filled with educators.

He recalled wanting to be a firefighter until being introduced to the trades and lamented attending a high school that didn’t have a vocational course option.

“Not enough students have that opportunity,” he said. “I think it’s important that we give them that option, that pathway.”

There is still a societal stigma that lingers around vocational schools. Students are often stereotyped as unintelligent.

Many parents also place more educational value in math and science courses and push children to pursue white-collar careers that are perceived to be more distinguished and lucrative callings than work in the trades.

Holmes pointed out he has a lot of successful friends and colleagues who work as tradespeople.

“You can be successful if you do it and it’s not a bad thing to get your hands dirty,” he remarked.

Many vocational students become the business operators, technicians, contractors and labourers who build homes, fix automobiles, service appliances, repair city infrastructure and perform other work that have an impact on the daily lives of others.

They “make up the fabric of our society,” Nyman suggested.

A vocational school like Judith Nyman is less about the brick and mortar and all about the climate of learning, added Moreash.

Both Nyman and Moreash, former principals at the Brampton high school, said there are students who come to the school struggling academically and adrift in life. They have watched the program and the teachers put those students on a path to success in both areas.
“You help them to find success on their own terms,” Nyman told conference goers.

From Mike's Facebook page:
(If you can't see the video, here's the link)