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Old 04-29-2011, 04:05 PM   #46
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Tizzer, when we re-did our bath, we did not know the extent of how badly damaged the Rock-Lathe was until we started to tear down walls around the shower. Looking at certain areas that you know there are problems you can tell it is bad. Most stuff like pipes, heating, structure, there are ways to tell without destructing to look. Looking from the outside, if you notice the roof line sagging in certain spots, shingles not in good nature, it can tell you that there are roof problems. Brick facade, with cracks in the mortar joints, rusting lintels, other structure problems, along with signs of water damage inside.

It really is not hard to tell. Any home out there, no matter how well it is built, will show signs within five years. Most remodel jobs are done careless, and very much on the cheap, especially with flips.

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Old 04-29-2011, 05:54 PM   #47
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Different doesn't always mean wrong. I don't think that networks would put these shows on the air if they truly gave wrong advice or showed the wrong ways to do things, would they? I've never seen the show, so I don't know.
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:00 PM   #48
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I see a lot of things done wrong like setting natural stones like marble and slate with mastic.
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:06 PM   #49
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Different doesn't always mean wrong. I don't think that networks would put these shows on the air if they truly gave wrong advice or showed the wrong ways to do things, would they? I've never seen the show, so I don't know.
OH YES THEY WOULD - and do.
It is done (wrong) way more than it should be on those TV shows.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:05 PM   #50
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I don't think it's so much ripping it apart (although i'm sure sometimes it could be avoided somewhat on the show) what I find with the holmes show, is that the materials they replace the original with are all top dollar.

I think it's great that he is helping people in need, like I said I think his heart is in the right place.

The issue I see, is that the results of these reno's (often very nice, top dollar) are probably not within the original budget of the homeowner's. I would like to know the difference between the original bid, and the amount of money spent on the holme's reno. I think there is a difference in doing the job "right" and spoiling someone in need. The message this sends is, holmes does it right, however I think there can be a difference between "doing it right" and "having no apparent budget whatsoever" I think it would be great to do every reno this way, however there are few homeowners willing to pay for it.

Would be nice if they had some kind of an apparent budget, and see how they can produce a great quality result within that budget. If people have a limited budget, then maybe do one phase and do the rest when more money is available. I think that is what makes a good contractor, delivering the best possible value and quality on a certain budget. Whether is be a bit low or very flush.
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:39 PM   #51
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I think it's great that he is helping people in need, like I said I think his heart is in the right place.
Yow...with every step he takes to the bank.
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:21 PM   #52
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I watch and enjoy his shows. However, I have seen a few things that I question.
On one program he was using teflon tape on compression fittings?????
Just last night he was building an outdoor deck that looked to be about three foot high at the outside wall attachment. He mounted the ledger board to a brick wall with expansion bolts.
I am in the process of building a deck and from all information I have seen, this is not allowed by code. Maybe it is different in Canada
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:19 PM   #53
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Adding to what ChrisBC said: I get the feeling people write to Mike not only to "make things right", but to also get items they couldn't afford otherwise.
I'd take a lot of that stuff that gets tossed in the dumpster.
When the happy couple arrives home at the ending, it looks like they won the grand prize off the Newlywed Game.
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:07 PM   #54
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I watch these shows all the time. I look for ideas I could use. It really makes me wonder what Mike would have done with my old house. dorf dude...
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Old 05-01-2011, 12:13 AM   #55
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Yow...with every step he takes to the bank.
Actually, it is well known here in Canada that in the second year of the show, he actually worked for nothing. Whenever he goes over budget to "make it right", he first gives up his own salary before asking for donations from sponsors, suppliers, etc. In the second year, he was actually $50,000 in the hole when it came to his salary.

In the few years since, he usually breaks even at the end of a season of shows, but his income comes his books, other shows he does (Canada's worst Handiman, etc), and his other crews that are actually not on the show but doing real construction jobs. Only Damon's crew is on the show.

Yes his jobs are way over done. I've spoken with Mike (came to our Home and Garden Show and spoke a couple yrs ago), and he said yes, he knows he way over does it. But, he says that even though there are times he could do a "fix" to make something work, he'd rather tear the entire job apart and start from scratch to show people how to do it right, from the beginning instead of just putting a bandaid on a problem that "would do the job". But before he says "take it down" on the show, he's done his homework and has supplies and labor provided by sponsors and suppliers so it doesn't cost the home owner.

As far as who pays, the crew's time is paid for by the network and sponsors, the materials are first provided at cost by suppliers until the home owner can't afford any more and then Mike works with suppliers to provide materials for free. Since most home owners spend their budget on the first contractor, they often don't have much money to pay for the repair done by Mike.

As for his sub-contractors, like the spray foam guys, the Bro's (fireplace guys), plumber etc, they donate the majority of their time because their appearance on the show brings the other crews they have, more customers to keep them more than busy. Being on the show allows them to actually have more crews (due to demand) and make more money so they can donate their time to show projects. But, the sponsors and network do pay some of the subs at reduced rates.

As for how they find these homes, people email or mail him their issues and pictures and they choose from them which to do a show on. He receives over 100 a week where people have major issues and are at wits end to fix them. He tries to do new problems each show, or at least do an issue he hasn't done on a show for a few years.

Mike isn't perfect, and he's the first to admit it when you speak with him in person. What he is really after is holding people accountable: contractors, sub-contractors, home inspectors, etc. If you do something wrong, just do what every home owner wants...go back and do it right.

Yes, I don't like how he does structure with screws. He believes that if you can hold two pieces of wood tight together (and screws more often do this better than spiral nails), the shearing won't be an issue in most places. If you watch some of his shows he's done in other areas of the country, he always goes according to local codes, so sometimes he has huricane ties involved, other support brackets, etc. Plus, he is always using construction adhesive when he screws framing, floors, etc together. Adhesive does hold better than either nails or screws.

Yes, I may sound a little biased, and I probably am because I'm a bit of a perfectionist myself. Do it once, do it right. That's what his show is trying to say. Hire the right people, check references, inspect their work daily, and always, always have permits.

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Old 05-01-2011, 12:25 PM   #56
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Jheeeeezh! That was long.

Your story is not at all like the claim in Post # 38, so which is it?

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Whenever he goes over budget to "make it right", he first gives up his own salary before asking for donations
What a crock!

So one week when he was over budget $750,000.00 (Post #40) he just paid it from his own pocket? And another week when he was over budget $500,000.00 he just once again dug deep and paid it from his own pocket?

Some people are just way too gullible.
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Old 05-01-2011, 02:16 PM   #57
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This may be somewhat off topic! i was watching Mike's show this morning and he was responding to a cold room above the garage. the home appeared to be less than 5 years old, so I would think it was built according to code.
I have no criticism of what Mike carried out, but at the end of the show, they panned around, to show the finished product.

What surprised me, was the formal staircase at the front entrance. It was a beautiful job, but had open risers. The gap in the opening appeared to be at least 5".
The stair to the basement, was underneath the formal staircase.
Now its seemes to me that a child could easily slide through the riser opening and fall down into the room below.
I know that the code requires balisters to be close enough that a child cannot fall through, so how come this would be allowed for the risers.
I guess that i thought that being 'all knowing' , Mike would have been aware of this and made some comment?
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:05 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Jheeeeezh! That was long.

Your story is not at all like the claim in Post # 38, so which is it?


What a crock!

So one week when he was over budget $750,000.00 (Post #40) he just paid it from his own pocket? And another week when he was over budget $500,000.00 he just once again dug deep and paid it from his own pocket?

Some people are just way too gullible.
First of all, if you don't like long posts, don't read them. Second, there's a lot of posts by people on here who've seen one or two shows and are making jacka$$ assumptions.

I did not say he paid for the entire amount he goes over budget. Don't put words in my mouth. I said he first gives up his salary for the show whenever he goes over. (If you knew this man or followed his career, you'd know that he doesn't live in an extravagent home -- rather small -- he usually breaks even at the end of the year on his salary versus freebies, and his Holmes Foundation does some incredible work). If you read my post, before he goes over, he makes sure he has the overexpenditure paid for by either sponsors, or suppleirs, and volunteer labor. The majority of Mike's income comes from his other shows he does, his books, and the other crews he has that do normal work off the show. The show brings more work for his overall company than they can handle. This show has become the basis and building block for his Holmes Foundation and the work it does.

Before you start slagging the guy, why don't you do some research on the people he's helped on the show or speak with them. They will tell you who paid for everything, how much Mike paid for himself in order to make it right, and how many hours he spends canvasing suppliers for free supplies, labor, etc to help families out. Like the family he helped in my community first hand.

If you find and watch the biography show that was done on him, you'll see just how this entire show and Holmes Foundation came to be. I think you'd find it interesting. Too bad more contractors didn't care as much as he does instead of making a buck. But even Mike admits he in no way could ever afford to do a show like this without the money from sponsors, free labor and supplies at cost or donated.

Yes, he was $750,000 and $500,000 over "budget" on those two shows, which were shows where once they opened up walls and tore away the bandaid from the previous contractor, they found major structural issues with both foundation and framing of both homes. They basically gutted the house (I think one was due to termites, and the other just foundation issues), supported the house and poured all new foundation, plus framing structure. Both needed aspestos removal also. Those things were not in the "budget" when they structured the shows because they couldn't see the issues until they opened things up, but I'm sure even you Mr. Cline, would not just put another bandaid over the issue just to stick to a budget and overcharge the customer. Or would you?

It's not gullible if you follow follow his career, have spoken to the man, watched his biography, and spoken first hand to people he's helped. But it is ignorant to stick your head in the sand and say "What a crock!" just because you can't admit someone out there is a step above the typical contactor. Is he perfect? Far from it. But what sets him aside is that he does sincerely care. Perhaps, Bud, you should find a home that is like the ones he fixes on the show, and invite Mike and his show down to help (he did volunteer his and his teams' entire time for 4 mths to help rebuild a home after Katrina in New Orleans). Then you could see first hand if I'm being gullible!!!

Sorry for the long post, but sometimes you just have to break it down slowly for people.

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Old 05-01-2011, 09:27 PM   #59
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Kool-Aid is great!
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Old 05-02-2011, 01:49 AM   #60
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The other thing I don't like about the show is that it gives people an idea of the "typical contractor"

One has to realize this is one segment he is concentrating on. I know a lot of people who have had great success in hiring contractors.

I have seen a lot of jobs done by people, taken apart a lot of homes that have been worked on several times throughout the years, and I have to say: while I have seen some less than ideal stuff, i've never seen one that came close to some of the ones he finds. He finds the absolute bottom of the barrell, while not highlighting decent work done by everyday hardworking contractors. I understand this is the point of the show, however I believe it gives the wrong idea.

In my opinion, the harsh hack jobs you see were a result of hiring practices as well. I'm not defending these guys, i'm saying they are small percentage of contractors, probably those working for cash at a bargain price, for they obviously cannot be established contractors in the community.

Just saying that after watching the show, some people will eventually come to think that the "typical" contractor are those he follows behind to fix their work, and he is the one who knows what he's doing. This is not reality.

I do think he does good for people, however he still makes a pretty penny at it, don't think he's giving the shirt off his back for people. I don't think that what "sets him aside" is that he cares more for people than other contractors, what "sets him aside" is he has a TV show sponsored back budget to go with. I do my best for people I work for, I work on their homes with the same care I do my own, and produce quality work. However I am always working within their budget constraints. Holmes isn't, thats what sets him apart. He's a reality tv show.


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