Your Questions About Holmes Shows Answered (Behind The Scenes)

By Mike Holmes

Mike’s Advice / Home Safety & Maintenance

Thursday, October 15th, 2020 @ 10:46am

I love reading some of the comments and questions people send in after watching our TV shows. I picked a handful of them to answer here.

Is there a script for your shows?

There’s no script. Our shows are unscripted. Sometimes there is a rough beat sheet we’ll create just to try and keep everyone on the production crew and the construction crew on the same page but no script. We talk pretty freely on site when cameras are rolling.

How long does the renovation really take on a Mike Holmes show? 

It can take anywhere from a month to six months to complete a job, depending on the size of the renovation. Some of our shows, like Holmes Next Generation features jobs with smaller scope of work.

Like any construction job, we do face unexpected delays such as material or shipping delays and permit delays. In one of the seasons of Holmes And Holmes, we discovered bones in the basement. We had to shut down construction so the site could be investigated. It turned out to be animal bones (not human), but obviously that caused a delay.

Sometimes we uncover issues such as asbestos or mold, so we have to allocate extra time to have those issues resolved before moving on to the next phase.


Don’t rely on DIY videos and Construction TV shows to do your planning for your home reno project. DIY videos and shows do NOT show the full story.
Here are 3 things TV shows don’t tell you.

Who pays for all the materials when you help people out? Who pays for repairs on Holmes Makes It Right and Holmes and Holmes?

This is a question we get a lot, and the answer varies from show to show and even from project to project. Sometimes the network helps cover some of the costs through their sponsorships. 

Sometimes our wonderful trades and suppliers and product partners step up to donate materials, products and even their own time. 

When we renovated a home for Jake, a teenager with a critical illness and mobility issues, EVERY single product we sourced was donated. We didn’t even ask for a donation. When we communicated the story to our network, everyone willingly contributed free of charge. We are lucky to have a village of people eager to help out deserving families.

Our own production company also pays a portion of some of the jobs. For some projects, the homeowner is also responsible for contributing to the job financially. 

Do you work on and shoot one house at a time or multiple projects at once?

We usually try and do a few projects at the same time because sometimes we’ll be laying flooring on one job and have a subcontractor in there and our crew can go in another one and start framing. 

We try and keep everything rolling smoothly with a few jobs going at once to get everything done as soon as possible. This is also the reason why we film a few projects in the same city.

How long usually is the homeowner out of their home?

It depends on the size and scope of the job. It could be a month, or a couple of weeks. We don’t really know what’s behind the walls when we take on a project, so sometimes the job becomes bigger than anticipated. 

We don’t skip steps. We do radon testing on all of our sites, and if the levels come back elevated, we do radon mitigation as an example. We try getting the homeowners back in as soon as possible though. 

I always wondered if Mike Holmes wears makeup on air?

My dad really dislikes makeup. I mean it’s just makeup and it helps us look better if you are into it but he does NOT like it. Actually, none of us wear makeup on our shows. What you see if what you get. 

Do the homeowners get to keep all the stuff from the reveal?

Most times, yes they do. Sometimes we bring in staging companies. Most of the times, especially if the family is in dire need, we end up covering the cost to help give everything the homeowner has in the house. Our goal is to help people, and helping them furnish their homes is also a part of that experience.

How difficult is it to do the renovations with the camera person trying to get the shots that are needed? I’ve always wondered about how hard it must be to fit the workers and camera crew in a space like a bathroom.

Yes, we have had some tight bathrooms or tight shots. It can be difficult to work and shoot at the same time. It’s a dance we’ve done for quite a while now. If you’re working in another room that the camera crew is not filming in you have to keep the noise down.

A tight space is challenging because our production crew has a lot of people. We also need to ensure everyone is safe on site.


My dad, Mike Holmes, never wanted to be on TV. How he got into the TV business is an interesting story. Read The Beginning of Holmes on Homes.

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