Mike Holmes

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Mike Holmes
Michael James Holmes

(1963-08-03) August 3, 1963 (age 56)
Other names
  • Mike Sr.
  • Big Mike

Michael James Holmes (born August 3, 1963) is a Canadian builder/contractor, businessman, investor, television host, and philanthropist. Beginning with Holmes on Homes and subsequent shows, he rescues Toronto, Ontario, area homeowners from renovations gone wrong. He continued in his successor TV series, Holmes Inspection. He is also a judge on HGTV's show Handyman Superstar Challenge and its American counterpart All American Handyman with Scott McGillivray.


Mike Holmes learned his craft from his father, who started teaching him construction work when he was 6 years old. By the time he was 19, Holmes had started his first contracting company with a crew of 13 employees. At 21, Holmes founded his own renovation company. He has run two companies during his 20-year contracting career. He has three children: Amanda, Sherry, and Mike Jr., who have all appeared and worked on his shows.

In 2006, Holmes started The Holmes Foundation after seeing a renovation that was so poorly done that he felt it was necessary for him to tear the house down and start again rather than try to repair the damage.[1] The purpose of The Holmes Foundation is to encourage young people to enter the building trades as well as to assist those who have been impoverished by bad renovations. Mike is well known for his contribution to the international community through his work with SOS Children's Villages.

In 2006, Mike Holmes was recognized in Canada’s House of Commons for his promotion of skilled trades and for his advocacy for improved building standards. He was acknowledged as an "extraordinary craftsperson" and "an accomplished master builder with a social conscience".[2]

Holmes is the author of two successful books: the national bestseller Home Renovation with Canada’s Most Trusted Contractor (ISBN 978-1-60320-194-0) and Holmes Inspection: Everything you Need to Know Before You Buy or Sell Your Home (ISBN 978-1-60320-929-8), as well as a weekly newspaper column.[3][4]

He is the national spokesperson for Skills/Compétences Canada and for WorldSkills Calgary 2009, and is often invited to speak by professional organizations, such as the Canadian Safety Association of Ontario, the Ontario Building Inspectors Association, and the Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors.

In May 2010, Reader's Digest's second annual survey named Holmes as the second most widely trusted person in Canada behind David Suzuki.[5]

Television series[edit]

Holmes on Homes[edit]

Broadcast on HGTV Canada, Holmes on Homes first started in 2001. Holmes on Homes was first conceived when Holmes approached the producers of the Just Ask Jon Eakes home improvement show on HGTV with the idea for a new kind of home improvement show. Although there were few submissions to the show initially, their number had ballooned by the fourth season. In one fourth-season episode,[episode needed] Holmes stated that he received hundreds of e-mails a week from people asking him for help. As the show evolved, it generally focused on bad renovations and the results of bad contractors.

In Canada, Holmes on Homes airs on HGTV Canada, BBC Canada, and Casa for the French version. It airs in the US on HGTV and DIY Network, in New Zealand on The Living Channel, in Australia on Lifestyle Home, in the United Kingdom on Discovery Shed (formerly Discovery Real Time), in Germany on DMAX, and in South Africa on the Home Channel.

Holmes in New Orleans[edit]

Between the end of Holmes on Homes and the start of Holmes Inspection, Mike Holmes starred in a one-season series, Holmes in New Orleans, on the construction of a new home in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, to replace one destroyed during Hurricane Katrina.[6]

Holmes Inspection[edit]

Holmes began a new series in 2009 called Holmes Inspection that profiles home inspections gone wrong. The series started airing in fall 2009 on HGTV Canada.[7] In the United States, the series debuted on HGTV on Sunday, December 19, 2010.

Best of Holmes on Homes[edit]

Best of Holmes on Homes is a 2012 remix TV series featuring clips from Holmes on Homes, brought together on a common theme, to illustrate home problems. Holmes narrates the show.[8]

Holmes Makes It Right[edit]

Holmes started a new series for 2012 called Holmes Makes It Right, that profiles disaster-stricken homes, and renovates them to make them right. The series focusses on natural disasters and bad home inspections or bad contractor work. The name of the series revolves around Holmes's personal motto, "Make It Right".[9][10][11]

Mike's Ultimate Garage[edit]

For the Fall 2014 TV season, Mike's Ultimate Garage, a mini-series about building a man-cave garage for Mike Holmes Sr. (Big Mike) by son Mike Holmes Jr. and daughter Sherry Holmes aired on HGTV Canada. Mike Holmes Sr. guest stars in the series, while it starred Mike Jr. and Sherry.

Holmes and Holmes[edit]

For the Fall 2016 TV season, Holmes and Holmes premiered. In this series, Mike Holmes stars with his son Mike Holmes Jr. (MJ). The show premiered on HGTV Canada, produced by Make It Right Productions.[12][13]

Holmes: Buy It Right[edit]

For the Fall 2016 TV season, Holmes: Buy It Right premiered. In this series Mike Holmes stars as an advisor to new home buyers, showing them how to choose a house. The series premiered on DIY Network (USA).[14]

Holmes Makes It Right: Retooled[edit]

Retooled premiered during the Spring 2019 TV season on DIY Network. Mike Holmes takes the show to a whole new level by revisiting fan-favorite Holmes Makes It Right (2012) episodes that have been "retooled". He takes a deeper dive into construction issues, and provides viewers with even more valuable and pragmatic takeaways, as well as never-before-seen footage.[15]

Move to Bell Media[edit]

In June 2019, Bell Media announced a new development deal with Holmes, ending his relationship with HGTV Canada. His library programming will air on Gusto (being rebranded in September as CTV Life Channel), and two new series were announced, including Holmes 911, and the upcoming Holmes Family Rescue for CTV in 2020.[16]

TV judging and hosting[edit]

Handyman Challenge franchise[edit]

Holmes was a judge on all seasons of Handyman Superstar Challenge.[17] He was also a judge on All American Handyman.[18] He was a judge on season 1 of Canada's Handyman Challenge.[19][20]

Home Free[edit]

In late April 2015, Fox announced a new eight episode Holmes-hosted show entitled Home Free, which premiered on Wednesday, July 22. The show featured nine couples who spend each week renovating a different dilapidated home. At the end of the week, the couple with the worst handiwork is eliminated, until the final two teams compete for their dream home. Unknown to the contestants as they were competing, each eliminated couple was awarded the home that they were working on in the episode they were eliminated in.[21]

Eight-episode unscripted competition series Home Free premiered Wednesday, July 22, 2015, 9p et/pt on Fox. "A home is way more than brick and mortar," says Home Free host Mike Holmes. "So being part of this new series and partnering with Fox is truly exciting for me. I’m ready to break ground with these couples." "We’re thrilled to have host Mike Holmes, the most legit name in renovation," says producer and Relativity Television CEO Tom Forman (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition).[22]

Guest star appearances[edit]

Mike Holmes was a guest builder on Home to Win. Guest builders designed and built a room of a renovated home that would be won by a worthy Canadian family who was selected by the show's producers from entries submitted.[23]

Mike Holmes was a guest on Ellen twice. The first instance led to a two part episode on Holmes on Homes to fix a shoddy renovation in the Los Angeles area, and the second guest spot.[24][25]

He also made a guest appearance on an episode of the Canadian series Corner Gas as Wanda's ex-boyfriend.


The Holmes Group[edit]

The Holmes Group is the conglomerate and holding company for Mike Holmes' companies.

Make It Right Construction[edit]

Mike Holmes runs a construction company, which does home renovations and new home construction. His three children have worked with him at the company. The company supplies the work crews for his renovation TV shows.[26]

Mike Holmes Inspections[edit]

In 2009 Holmes launched Mike Holmes Inspections, a residential home inspection company. His "Holmes Approved" Home Inspectors are currently inspecting houses across Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Nova Scotia.[27]

Holmes Approved Homes[edit]

Mike Holmes has partnered with several home builders and renovators across Canada and the United States to develop the Holmes Approved Homes program. The program ensures that homeowners get a high-quality, durable home that is built to exceed industry standards. The goal of the program is to raise the bar for home building to above minimum industry standards. Each home is inspected by Mike Holmes Inspections several times during the building process.

Mike Holmes Approved Products[edit]

Mike Holmes has licensed his name and logo for various products, including tools, appliances and work clothes in his Holmes Approved Products.

Make It Right Productions[edit]

Make It Right Productions is Mike Holmes's television production company. It has had a hand in the production of all his renovations shows.

His company is developing "Wind Walk", the first Holmes Community, in southwest Alberta,[28] a community of eco-friendly and sustainable homes with high standards for residential construction and design.[29]

Several magazines branded with Mike Holmes brand and image have appeared on newsstands. Holmes: The Magazine to Make It Right ran for two years, and ended after a dispute between the publisher Dauphin Media Group and the Holmes Group. It had run from 2009 to 2011. Make it Right magazine, a collaboration between publisher TC Media and the Holmes Group saw the light of day in 2013.[30]


Holmes Foundation[edit]

Mike Holmes founded the Holmes Foundation to improve the education of tradespeople, to prevent shoddy work from lack of knowledge. The foundation grants scholarships and bursaries to students in residential construction studies.[31]

Awards and accolades[edit]



  1. ^ "Make It Right". The Holmes Foundation. Retrieved April 14, 2011.
  2. ^ "Official Report * Number 072 (Official Version)". Canadian Parliament. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  3. ^ "Make it Right-Inside". holmesonhomes.com. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  4. ^ "Holmes Products". holmesonhomes.com. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  5. ^ "Mike Holmes: Making it Right". Reader's Digest Canada. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  6. ^ "Holmes in New Orleans". The Holmes Foundation.
  7. ^ "Mike Holmes Online". holmesonhomes.com. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  8. ^ "Best of Holmes on Homes". HGTV Canada. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  9. ^ "HGTV's Holmes will now fix broken lives". Calgary Herald. February 28, 2012. Archived from the original on May 3, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  10. ^ "Casting Call". HGTV Canada. March 2012. Archived from the original on April 5, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2012. (NOTE: This reference link expires when casting ends)
  11. ^ "Casting Call". Make It Right Foundation. March 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2012. (NOTE: This reference link expires when casting ends)
  12. ^ Richard Middleton (March 31, 2016). "Holmes and Holmes gets Proper deal". C21Media.
  13. ^ "HGTV Canada - Holmes And Holmes". Corus Entertainment. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  14. ^ Damian Holbrook (November 8, 2016). "What's Up, Holmes?! DIY's Mike Holmes on How to Buy It Right". TV Insider.
  15. ^ https://makeitright.ca/tv-shows/holmes-makes-it-right-retooled/
  16. ^ "Mike Holmes moves to Bell Media". Realscreen. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  17. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge. Season 1. Episode 1.
  18. ^ All American Handyman. Season 1. Episode 1.
  19. ^ "Canada's Handyman Challenge". HGTV Canada.
  20. ^ Canada's Handyman Challenge. Season 1. Episode 1.
  21. ^ Kristen Osborne (April 29, 2015). "Hot from Fox... All-New competition Series "Home Free" Breaks Ground Wednesday, July 22, on Fox". Fox Flash.
  22. ^ Gabrielle Pantera. "Fox Home Free, Mike Holmes Hosts, Couples Win Homes". HollywoodDailyStar.com. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  23. ^ "Mike Holmes". Home to Win. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  24. ^ "Pasadena 911 (Part 2)". Holmes on Homes. Season 6. Episode 8.
  25. ^ "Pasadena 911 (Part 1)". Holmes on Homes. Season 6. Episode 7.
  26. ^ Holmes on Homes
  27. ^ "Quality Home Inspections". Mike Holmes Inspections. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  28. ^ "Holmes Homes: Quality Sustainable Homes & Communities". Windwalk. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  29. ^ "Holmes Homes: Quality Sustainable Homes & Communities". Holmes Communities. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  30. ^ Marc Weisblott (April 17, 2013). "Mike Holmes tries to get his magazine idea right". Canada.com.
  31. ^ "The Holmes Foundation". Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  32. ^ "Viewer's Choice Award, 19th Gemini Awards (2004)". Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. August 29, 2009. Archived from the original on May 7, 2010. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  33. ^ "BCIT to award Mike Holmes an Honorary Doctor of Technology degree" (Press release). BCIT. February 23, 2008. Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  34. ^ "Mike Receives Diamond Jubilee Medal". Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  35. ^ Mike Holmes Named Patron of The Royal Canadian Regiment

External links[edit]

See also[edit]