When Canadian contractor Mike Holmes first appeared on his breakthrough TV series Holmes on Homes over 11 years ago, unscrupulous contractors everywhere started shaking in their steel-toe boots.
Holmes reminded skeptical homeowners what a building industry with integrity looked like, and it wasn’t long before he was determined to do the same for the home inspection industry.
“Working on Holmes on Homes, I was seeing a lot of problems that a home inspection should have caught — I’m talking major red flags,” says Holmes.
“When homeowners would tell me that they did get a home inspection [before buying], that really bothered me.”
Holmes didn’t like what he was seeing, especially when homebuyers tried to do their due diligence by getting a home inspection, then didn’t get the information they needed to make informed decisions about a prospective home.
“I’d look at a report and it wasn’t even worth the paper it was written on. And I was seeing this happen, over and over again. Couples would look at a house, get a home inspection, and then not even a year later — sometimes the same day they move in — the problems would start to show up. A leak here, mould there, dangerous electrical. These are not cheap fixes. Before you know it, the homeowners would practically go bankrupt just trying to make their home safe. That’s unacceptable.”
His plan was simple: ensure home inspections did what they were meant to do —protect the homeowner.
“I wanted a service that helped people make better choices for their health, their family and their future,” says Holmes. “You should be able to buy a home and have a pretty good idea of what it’s going to be worth five years down the road, 10 years. You should know if it has knob-and-tube wiring; if it’s losing heat; if the windows need to be upgraded or the roof replaced. To do that, you need good home inspectors: professionals who know what they’re doing and who know how to use the right tools. Because everything you see on the surface is the eye candy. What’s behind everything, that’s reality.”
So Holmes started a home inspection company, Mike Holmes Inspections, which brought heightened standards to the job.
“Buying a home isn’t small potatoes,” he says. “It’s one of the biggest investments most people will ever make, and you’re leaving that up to chance? You need to know what you’re buying before you buy it. It’s like going to the grocery store and buying cans of food with no labels — you have no idea what you’re getting. And some people gamble their entire future that way. Not smart.”
Mike recruited top inspectors with the right credentials. This included everything from carrying liability insurance and having a background in home construction to being an accredited level 1 thermographer.
“It was important to me to set a standard that separated the professionals from the cowboys. You don’t want someone who was flipping burgers or balancing books last year to be checking out your house. You want a pro who understands how a home works, and who can spot the red flags; someone who knows how to use a thermal imaging camera and moisture meter to find the issues. That’s experience, plain and simple. You need someone who has experience — years of experience — working with homes.”
Once again, Holmes is changing the industry from the inside out, helping people who just want a home that is safe, healthy, and that lasts. And he’s doing it one home at a time thanks to a fleet of professionals across Canada —and soon in the United States — that share his determination to give homeowners what they deserve.
“This isn’t about saying that this guy’s good or this guy’s bad,” adds Holmes. “This is about doing what’s right.”
For more information, visit mikeholmesinspections.com.
This content was provided by Mike Holmes Inspections for commercial purposes. Postmedia had no involvement in the creation of this content.
Source: Special to National Post | August 1, 2015 | Last Updated: Aug 1 7:00 AM ET