The Beginning of Holmes on Homes: My Life as a Renovation Television Personality

By Mike Holmes

Mike’s Advice / Lifestyle

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019 @ 9:02am

I never wanted to be on TV, I am a contractor. It’s a funny story about how I got on TV. It all started with me and my big mouth.

I was on a job site and started ranting about how many jobs I had been fixing that the contractor just didn’t care to do right. These poor homeowners were stuck paying to fix something that should have been done right the first time. That still drives me crazy, even today!. Well, someone overhead my “diarrhea of the mouth” and approached me about hosting my own TV show. I laughed and declined.

Not only did this idea of being on TV sound ridiculous, but I also didn’t want to work under constraints like filming schedules and scripts. It took a LOT of convincing, but I finally gave it a shot. That was the beginning of Holmes on Homes.

There have been many times over the course of my career that I have wanted to quit filming. Then I think of all the homeowners who are looking for education and awareness, and I feel a sense of responsibility towards them. When I get a message from a mother telling me she had her tiles tested for asbestos after watching an episode of my show-that makes me feel good. Or when Frank’s rant on an electrical DIY job gets people thinking twice about attempting their own electrical work, I know our message is getting across.

Recently I have had many people tell me they got their homes tested for radon after Holmes+Holmes, and that’s exactly why I do what I do. It’s about educating people on the four phases of homeownership: Buying it Right, Owning it Right, Protecting it Right, and Selling it Right.

Life Outside a Holmes Show

On and off-camera, my goals are simple:

  1. Educate homeowners about buying a home, but also how to maintain it
  2. Encourage the industry as a whole to build better
  3. Encourage more people to enter the trades.

My team eventually convinced me that TV was the platform to do it. But I have also been given the opportunity to work with great partners in the industry that share my goals. These are companies committed to energy efficiency, to healthier indoor air quality, to making sure our construction practices are sustainable. It’s one thing to educate homeowners on what to look for, it’s another to pull up the industry as a whole so we’re building homes to better standards. Eventually – to help bridge that gap, I founded my Holmes Approved Homes and my Mike Holmes Inspections divisions.

The Holmes Approved Homes Program

It is a big challenge to educate homebuyers about the need to more pay attention to what is going on behind their walls. Your home is much more than the appliances and its finishes.


Here is the issue: not only do we need to re-establish trust lost by builders only building to minimum standards, but we also need to establish a set of guardrails and protocols and work with the builders who ARE committed to building it right the first time.

My goal is to re-establish trust with homebuyers through a transparent and documented process, during and after the construction of a new home. As a contractor, it is rewarding to fix homes for homeowners. But you know what’s better? BUILDING RIGHT THE FIRST TIME.

It’s time for homeowners to believe the quality of the workmanship in their homes and rest assured that what’s behind the walls is done right. My staff is devoutly committed to working with our homebuilding partners who continuously develop the best building practices, employ the use of only high-quality sustainable products, seek improved inspection methodologies, and increase satisfaction for happier homeowners.

Together and leading through example, these relationships are setting a new standard of excellence that clearly exceeds industry standards and increases durability, energy efficiency, healthy home benefits and promotes sustainable building practices.

Mike Holmes Inspections

A house is the biggest investment most people ever make in their lives—and it doesn’t come with a money-back guarantee. I’ve met many homeowners who either decided to not get a home inspection or didn’t hire the right home inspector. I founded my Mike Holmes Inspections company to provide experts to go through a home to make sure it’s safe, it’s solid, and it’s worth every penny you’re paying for it.

The Next Generation

What’s next for me? Well, it’s a very proud moment for a parent when their kid decides to follow in their footsteps. My son, Mike Jr. wanted to be a firefighter when he was growing up. At 14 years old he decided to give the skilled trades a shot (okay, I had to bribe him a little). Since then he has become a licensed contractor and went to school for carpentry. I am proud to have him on site with me, supervising jobs and making business decisions alongside me.

My daughter Sherry fell in love with the trades when she joined me in New Orleans when we flew down to help in the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.

My kids have been working hard to encourage more youth and women to join the skilled trades. The skilled trades shortage is a real issue, and I am proud of the efforts of my kids in encouraging the youth to try the trades as a career.

I’m nowhere close to retirement, yet. For now, both my kids are joining me in our latest production for CTV. Stay tuned for more info!


Your Questions About Behind The Scenes on Holmes Shows Answered

Make It Right®