After over 10 years on HGTV Canada, Mike Holmes shows no signs of slowing down in his efforts to change an industry and make-it-right. I got to sit down with him to chat about the new episodes of Holmes Makes it Right, which kicks off tonight at 9pm. But, in the Q&A below, Mike also shared his advice for people devastated by the Calgary flood, and what plans he might have for the future.
Q&A with Mike Holmes:
Tina: Looking back over the last season of Holmes Makes it Right, what have you been most proud?
Mike Holmes: Actually my team.The guys are really the best team I have had in all these years. And finding the right talent was really hard to do, and it's not so much onscreen. It's funny because people will say, "Did you purposely pick a stunning group of characters?" Like all the women, when they see the whole crew, are like, "Oh my god, I want to marry that guy." But it's who they are, it's how much they love their job - that is the best thing for me.
T: What is the biggest surprise you have encountered doing this series?
MH: Timelines. Trying to stay on time in the show. It's been no different than all the years I've been doing this, and being so good at efficiency, especially after all the years, you'd think that I'd still be on time. But, we're catching up from the beginning of this… and getting caught up is everything, but all that means is working almost 7 days a week.
T: So what do you do when you're faced with a timeline you find hard to meet? Because you don't stop..
MH: No, there's no stopping. The guys don't get breaks, we just keep going. And that's what we have to do. And I tell them, look it, you're going to get Christmas off, and I'll try and find some down days, you can go away on Friday, and you can do this, I can't, but you know I'll try and fit it in that they can. Because I love them. I don't want to kill them all just from working too much. And you can really see it, the fatigue in some of their faces, it really takes a toll on them. So I'll say, ok you got next week off. But we need the man…to meet the timelines.
T: It's hard to help everyone, so do you have any advice for those people who've lost hope?
MH: Man, no matter what happens, it's all about slowing down and remembering, why are we here? Our kids, our lives, what is more important. Filming in Calgary right now is really big, because there's so many families that are begging for my help. But what's happening is, all this no patience is causing a huge effect. And they don't realize this. They're closing up their houses that are soaking wet. Imagine your basement's full, okay, so what do they do? They come in, they suck all that water out, they rip everything down. But what you're not really realizing is, one: the contaminated soil. And, two: the hydronics pressure that is against the foundation of your home; if the land is saturated with water, and so is your basement, everything's balanced out, if you look at it that way. But as soon as you pull that water out of the basement, now you have so much pressure against the foundation that foundations are caving in, their pushing in. So, again, moving too fast is a really bad thing.
To the other people that have water above the first floor and their home’s devastated, it’s coming down, they don't know what to do. They've got mortgage payments, they've got rental payments, whether or not they live in a trailer, they live at mom and dads, or they’re moving to somewhere else - There's been a storm heavily after the storm. And this is going to continue. This isn't just one storm, it's going to be bankruptcy, it's going to be total devastation where it comes to family spirit, you know, I call it divorce dust. You're going to see a lot of divorces after this. And then the aftermath of all this, a year from now, is going to be the people that moved in the wrong direction, that closed up their houses, are going to have nothing but problems. And they're not going to be able to sell their homes. This is going to be a massive problem in years to come. And again, why? Because everyone's running in the wrong direction.
T: So patience is key…
MH: Yes, I can't say it enough. If you don't have patience, you're going to have a problem.
T: You've been going now on HGTV Canada for over 10 years, but we don't see signs of slowing down, do you have plans?
MH: I do have some new plans. And there's no way to slow this down. And one thing I'm getting is, all the networks around the world want more shows. That's what their #1 thing is, we want more shows. So it's like, do I keep doing this, or should I change it? What makes sense. Because I'm downstairs talking on The Morning Show, and here I am talking to someone, I've been here so many times, and they just gutted their house, it's [from] 1938, and right away I say, “Did you get an air test? Did you check to see if there was asbestos in the plaster?” So I realize every time I seem to be talking on a show, there's things that people miss. So maybe I need to film something that I can do more of, and educate even more. And I've got some ideas on that, in other words the networks can have more shows, and the people will win by that. So that is something that I'm toying with right now and thinking of, and I don't even think they know it. But that's okay, that's what I've done for years. It's no different than Holmes on Holmes going to Holmes Inspection. I knew where I was going, and then moving to Holmes in New Orleans then Holmes Makes it Right. It's just an inevitable change I see that is necessary. But there's just no stopping this train, because what am I trying to do? I'm trying to change the industry. So that's a big accomplishment.
Watch Holmes Makes it Right – Tuesdays at 9.