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Series / Holmes on Homes

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Make It Right!

Holmes on Homes is a Canadian home renovation show following the adventures of Mike Holmes as he rescues homeowners from poor renovations done by third party contractors. A typical episode will feature Mike Holmes and his coveralls visiting a hapless homeowner, shaking his head at the poor job done by the previous contractor, and then ripping the whole thing out and rebuilding it. This will be followed by hugs and tears and a philosophical speech into the camera about how important it is to do the job right the first time.

Succeeded by Holmes Inspection, which in turn has been succeeded by Holmes Makes It Right.


This show provides examples of:

  • The Alleged Expert: The whole point of the show is Mike fixing what these guys did.
  • The Alleged House: Many of the houses fixed on the show, to a varying degree.
  • Beard of Evil: subverted in that all of Mike's crew are very professional and great people, but Dan Rapa and Frank Cozzolino both sport goatees.
    • During one episode when Frank found numerous live wires buried in the kitchen floor and walls, he probably was thinking of turning evil on the supposedly accredited electrician.
  • The Can Kicked Him: This was one of the possible outcomes prevented by Mike when he inspected a house with a badly installed septic system. Methane gas was building up in one of the basement pipes and could have exploded, killing people. Mike safely vented the gas and fixed the plumbing to avoid this in the future.
  • Captain Obvious: Some of his comments on the badly done work and the contractors that ran off are in this territory.
  • Catchphrase: "Make it right!"
    • "If you're gonna do it, do it right the first time."
    • Advertisement:
    • "Unacceptable."
  • Caustic Critic: Mike usually tries to avoid being this, but some jobs just rile him up.
  • Construction Is Awesome: And HOW!
  • Crooked Contractor: Not always, but there are a few of these evident. Holmes makes the point that most screwups are from otherwise good contractors who tried something that was outside of their field of expertise, but you do get some who run the gamut from "bad at their job and unwilling to take responsibility" to "lying sack of shit".
  • Curse Cut Short: Mike Holmes, astounded by the bad job a house builder had done, starts making a comment, and then cuts to Damon while he was in the middle of a sentence.
    Mike: Holy shi- (cut)
    Damon: ...ims missing from around the door like the shims missing from the window.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mike tends to snark when he finds something really dangerous.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: If you're a fan of Damon Bennett but haven't seen any of the first four seasons, you'll be surprised to see that he's not even a part of the team until midway though season four. Shawn Morren, who left after season five, was the original construction supervisor. Bennett is introduced to the series — by Morren — near the end of season four episode "Window Well to Hell."
  • Failed a Spot Check: This is Mike's most common complaint against home inspectors.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • By later seasons, (and in the spinoffs), whenever Mike, Damon, or the crew finds out there's something with the house that involves a finished basement and/or a garage, they expect to be gutting it. In fact, they're pleasantly surprised when they don't have to tear everything down.
    • Also shown by homeowners in later seasons. In some episodes the homeowner has been the one stopping the prior (bad) renovation work or spotting the problems because more people know what to look for in terms of warning signs thanks to the show.
  • Hard-Work Montage: Almost always used in the scene just before the reveal. Usually combined with Time-Compression Montage.
  • House Inspection: Every episode!
    • The spinoff Holmes: Buy It Right was nothing but home inspections. In each episode, the client provides a shortlist of three houses they're considering buying, and Mike goes through each of them pointing out what needs to be replaced/repaired immediately, what should be worked on within a few years, and what both lists would cost.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Frank the electrician mutters this from time to time after seeing some of the wiring he's asked to inspect and fix.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The trademarked coveralls.
  • Nice Guy: Mike. A Reader's Digest survey even named him the second most trusted man in Canada (behind David Suzuki).
  • Oh, Crap!: Damn near every show. There's the problem they've been asked to fix. And then there's the problems that come up as a result of the problem they were asked to fix. Or entirely different problems that need fixed because there's no point in fixing Problem A if Problem B isn't fixed as well.
  • Pipe Maze: Many of the plumbing and heating jobs that Mike and his crew need to fix are horrifyingly amusing examples of this.
  • Plumber's Crack: Before the show's first season, Mike used a picture of Frank showcasing his, which was printed on flyers as a way to get homeowners to be on the show.
  • Sarcasm Failure: On occasion Mike, one of his crew, or one of his regular trusted subcontractors, come across something a previous contractor or builder did that is simply so absurd, ridiculous, dangerous, or just plain bad that they're rendered speechless.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Mike's devotion to making it right has led to him extending jobs by weeks or even months, even though it means he has to pay for it out of his own pocket. Mike has said that helping people feels better than getting paid.
  • Serial Escalation: It's very fun to watch some homes get torn up to hell just for the homeowners, but the amount of work performed can get absolutely crazy. A 50+ year-old home in Holmes Inspection needed to be remade because everything was either wrong with the house or not up to modern standards.
    Holmes: (asking on basement) So, what are your thoughts on this?
    Inspector: Creative.
  • Spin-Off: Two of them.
  • Wrench Wench: Mike Holmes has made a point of supporting women going into construction trades on his shows Holmes On Homes and its sequels. He hired Corin "Pinky" Ames on air after she completed an internship with him, and Kate Campbell and Mike's daughter Sherry are regular members of his crew.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: A frequent reaction to some of the things they discover, especially on the part of electricians.