3 Things DIY TV Doesn’t Tell You

By Mike Holmes

Mike’s Advice / Buying & Selling Your Home

Tuesday, March 5th, 2024 @ 4:29pm

Magazines and television shows inspire people to renovate. Home-improvement stores are full of great products, offer financing and seminars for homeowners. No wonder everyone wants to improve their home.

The alarming thing is: when I ask people how they are planning their renovation, many say from watching YouTube videos or TV shows about DIY projects. Although I am also in the TV business, I need to tell you folks-DIY videos and shows do NOT show the full story. Here are 3 things DIY TV shows don’t tell you:

Projects take MUCH longer than you would think

You may see us swing a hammer a couple of times in dramatic fashion, and then when the camera pans back, the walls are torn down. But in reality, demolitions take many, many hours. Your construction materials don’t show up on site, beautifully and strategically placed. There is an entire team that works hard to research products and companies before anything ends up on our construction site. Then we have to haul them to site and load them off the trucks. Then there is the clean-up that you usually don’t see on TV. A work site should always be kept clean and free of debris.



What you often don’t see is us cleaning up on camera.

Being part of a construction crew also means that we have great resources and industry connections and support. That means if something goes wrong on site, we have the support to resolve them. You won’t necessarily have that support when you are tackling a renovation job on your own. The sales staff at your local hardware store may offer some help, but it is up to you to plan out your job before you start.

Projects COST more than you think

I’ve been very passionate about helping homeowners since the start of my career. When we make shows, it’s our goal to do more than just help the homeowner in that episode. We also want to teach you, the viewer why we do what we do. You have seen my son and I go through potential properties when we are looking to renovate a house and uncover problems with mold, asbestos and moisture intrusion. These scenes are meant to educate the homeowner, and we hope that they bring awareness to home maintenance issues for the people watching the shows as well. But what we typically don’t show is the cost associated with fixing the problem.

I’ve seen DIYers worry about picking out the right countertops and tiles, but they don’t budget for issues with the bones of the house. There are many sites where we had to work on the structure of the house, which adds to the overall budget. Get a home inspection before you start your reno!

Demoing the old deck, as seen on Holmes Family Rescue, Season 2.


It’s not all fun and games on site

You’ve seen my son Mike Jr. play pranks on site and joke around with the Holmes crew. I’ve played my share of pranks on site as well, and although none of that is preplanned, the final episodes may show a balance between fun and work.



That’s not true. There is a LOT more work involved and long hours on the construction site. No matter how well you have planned a construction job out, the timelines are always aggressive and ambitious. There are weather delays, issues with subcontractors, all sorts of things that come up.

If you think you and your spouse will be laughing and joking on site during your renovation-don’t count on it! Renovations are stressful.

Ready to tackle your next renovation project? I have the 8 HOME RENOVATIONS that will add the most value to your home on my blog.


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