When you’ve been making it right for homeowners on television for over 15 years (not to mention my career as a contractor long before I stepped in front of the camera), it’s tough to narrow down your favourite renovation project. At the end of the day, they were all really special to me and I couldn’t pick just one. So, here are nine of my favourite projects I’ve ever taken on.
Hit the Deck
Holmes on Homes, Season 7, Episode 1
This story broke my heart. When I heard about Marlene and her friend’s tragic fall due to her deck collapse, I knew I had to step in to help. Her deck used to be her happy place, but after the accident, she couldn’t even look at the space where it used to be. It’s not often we take jobs outside of the Greater Toronto Area, but this was a major exception. The crew and I packed up and went to New Brunswick to build her a deck that was safe and strong. She was so grateful. We hear from her to this day. She even still calls me her stallion!
Mike Jr. and Lisa’s House
There’s nothing better than watching your kids grow up. When my son told me that he wanted to propose to his girlfriend Lisa and update his bachelor pad into a family home, I could not have been prouder. And this build was something to be proud of too! It has solar panels, a metal roof, a radon mitigation system and many more smart building choices. He’s been listening to me!
The River House
Once I stepped foot onto that Thousand Islands’ property, I fell in love with the view. We can’t reveal the finished project just yet (you’ll have to keep watching), but believe me, it’s worth the wait! The entire property is built around the beautiful view, from large windows to an outdoor patio.
A Case of Shingles
This project stands out because of the couple involved. Brian and Claire needed a new roof; and when I took Claire up to show her the damage, she still had her heels on (don’t do this at home)! She was a real firecracker. Brian undertook a lot of the home’s electrical work on his own and it almost gave my electrician Frank a heart attack (don’t do this at home either). At the end of the day, we made it right for them.
My Dream Garage
Mike’s Ultimate Garage
This was Mike Holmes Jr.’s first step up to bat as project foreman – and boy did he deliver! He built the garage of my dreams, incorporating solar technology, a green roof, and of course, plenty of room for my favourite toys and tools. The garage is my happy place and he nailed it!
After the castle playground at High Park was burned down by an arsonist, we stepped in to build a kingdom any kid would be proud to play in. Thanks to some support from the community, we rebuilt King Arthur’s Castle and even included the sword in the stone! If that’s not enough, this project stands out for our family because it was where my daughter Sherry met her fiancé Blake.
Lien on Me
Holmes on Homes, special
The year we did this project, we’d received 65,000 submissions for help from desperate homeowners. But once I got Christina and Joe’s letter, I knew we needed help. After a contractor put a lien on their home of over $300,000 (and that’s not including the $200,000 renovation costs), we stepped in to make it right. This home was a year in the making, but at the end of the day, it was worth it: we tore this house down and rebuilt it from the ground up, incorporating the latest and greatest sustainable and energy efficiency technology that was out there.
If the Shoe Fits
We stepped in to build an accessible backyard oasis for a young high school teacher. After being struck in a hit and run, his recovery included having to learn how to walk again. For a guy who was so active before the accident, our heart went out to him and we wanted to make the road to recovery just a little bit easier. We even built him a shoe room to hold his monster collection.
A Lift Up
During this project we met Maya, a sweet little girl born with cerebral palsy. After a previous contractor installed a wheelchair lift that didn’t work, we came in to make it right for Maya, to help give her back her independence. We don’t do things halfway, so we also upgraded her bedroom and bathroom. Maya was always smiling. It was contagious for the entire crew!