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 Holmes on Homes

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DJ Chris
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Date d'inscription : 27/10/2007

MessageSujet: Holmes on Homes   Mar 27 Mai 2008 - 19:41

Holmes on Homes (Pro à la Rescousse in french) is a Canadian television series airing on Home & Garden Television in Canada, and also on several other Alliance Atlantis networks in Canada (including BBC Canada and Slice), as well as in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and on Discovery Home in the United States. It has been consistently the highest-rated show on the Canadian HGTV (HGTV having once claimed that an episode had received its highest-ever ratings), with shows airing upwards of 20 times a week at the peak of its popularity. It has won the Gemini viewers' choice award, a testament to the popularity of the show in Canada.

Originally, Holmes on Homes ran as a series of 30-minute episodes (with one one-hour special Whole House Disaster), but moved to a one-hour format midway through the third season due to popular demand. Several longer specials have aired: the one-hour season finale to the first season Whole House Disaster, the one-hour Holmes for the Holidays at the end of the third season, the two-hour House to Home season finale for the fourth season, the two-hour specials Out of the Ashes and Holmes Inspection in the fifth season, the two-hour sixth-season episode Pasadena 911, and the two-hour Lien on Me in the final season. To date, only the first six seasons are available outside Canada, although the latest episode is available for viewing on HGTV's website. As of the fall of 2007, the show is in its seventh season. In Canada, the first four seasons of half-hour and hour long episodes are also available on DVD.


The show's premise revolves around general contractor Mike Holmes visiting homeowners (initially in the Greater Toronto Area in the earlier seasons, but also to various locales across Canada and the United States, starting with the seventh season) who are in need of help, mainly due to unsatisfactory home renovations performed by hired contractors. A typical episode has homeowners describing their experiences with the previous contractor, including what had caused the original contractor to leave the work incomplete or with substandard work (often under Ontario building codes). Holmes would also go into detail to explain why the work he sees is substandard and needs to be replaced during the repair process. The original contractors are never named on the shows, although an episode of CBC Television's Marketplace has done investigative journalism behind a sixth-season episode and exposed the contractor alleged to have been at fault.

Typically, after beginning the repair work, Holmes and his crew of contractors often find that their small repair project has escalated into a larger one due to surprises that they find and are forced to fix; only on rare occasions have the show's crew not been forced to tear everything down and start over. However, in the end, Holmes presents the homeowners with a completely finished place, often with a few extra surprises. Throughout the rebuilding process, Holmes often comments on the professionalism of the people hired for the job or lets other contractors talk about how to build things correctly - on some occasions Holmes has vented out his frustrations with previous contractors' substandard work in front of the camera.

Several episodes have deviated from this formula: a fourth-season episode explored the issue of mold in the household, and Holmes was brought in to investigate the matter after the homeowner had done some investigative work on their own; a fifth-season episode saw Holmes and crew build a common fence for 52 households, while a sixth-season episode saw Holmes and crew clean up and restore a house that had been rented out by the homeowner and, without the knowledge of the homeowner, turned it into a marijuana grow-op. The sixth-season Pasadena 911 two-hour episode also saw Mike and senior contractor Damon Bennett travel to Los Angeles to help out a couple in need after Holmes' own appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Because of the show being a television series, costs for the homeowners, who are likely to be strapped for cash due to the previous contractors' mistakes and/or frauds, are kept to a minimum (often half of the regular cost of repair). Some contractors hired on the show have even donated time, materials, and labor to help homeowners in need.


Holmes originally was hired on Just ask Jon Eakes, a home improvement show (also on HGTV and formerly in the US on Discovery Home's competitor network DIY Network) hosted by Jon Eakes, for some behind-the-scenes work. Mike Holmes approached the show's producers Scott Clark McNeil and Michael Quast with an idea for a new kind of home improvement show. Although submissions to be on the show were initially few and far between, with Holmes doing work on small botched jobs early on in the series, the number of submissions quickly ballooned by the show's fourth season.

As a result of the show's popularity, Holmes has been able to start up the Holmes Foundation, a charity organization which helps raise awareness of skilled trades.

Construction crew

Although Holmes serves as the show's host, he brings with him several other equally skilled contractors who are regulars on the series (although not all appear in all seasons):

Current Crew

The current construction crew in the seventh season is as follows:

* Damon Bennett - Damon was introduced in the fourth season of the series, and, with the departure of Shawn, Damon became the senior contractor starting in the sixth season. He is also the only series regular other than Mike himself to be part of Pasadena 911. His specialty is carpentry, though he started in bricklaying (having come from a long line of bricklayers) and roofing. * Adam Belanger - Adam is another senior contractor who joined Mike in the fifth season. His specialty is in landscape and concrete work.
* Corin Ames - Corin, known affectionately as "Pinky", was the first female labourer on the show, starting in the fifth season. She had joined the Holmes Crew as an intern, and was famously hired on-air in her first appearance after finishing her required hours.
* Mike Holmes Jr. - Mike's son has been seen in parts of the first four seasons, and, after graduating from high school some time between the fourth and fifth seasons (his previous appearances having been part of a co-op term in high school), joined the Holmes Crew as a series regular.
* Matt Antonacci - Matt, known affectionately as "Hammy", joined the Holmes Crew sparodically in the fifth season, and joined full-time in the sixth season.
* Carl Pavlovic - Carl, sometimes known as "Carlito", became a series regular in the sixth season.
* Kate Campbell - Kate is introduced late in the sixth season.
* Peter Lundy - Peter is introduced late in the sixth season.
* Billy Bell - "Uncle Bill", Mike's uncle, is the truck driver for the Holmes tool truck (itself introduced in the fifth season to replace a series of trailers).

Former Crew

The following is a list of past crew members who have appeared in earlier seasons:

* Shawn Morren - Shawn was the site supervisor from the first five seasons of the series. He left after the fifth season.
* Benjamin Green - Benjamin ("Bengi") was Mike's senior contractor for the first four seasons of the series. Mike and Ben have known each other for much of their careers.
* Desmond Hamlyn - Desmond was another contractor who appeared in the first four seasons of the series.
* Don Carter - Don, a tile specialist, appeared for the first two seasons of the series (the first as a hired specialist), as well as Holmes for the Holidays.
* Micah Morren - Micah, younger brother to Shawn, appears in the fifth season of the series.
* Brennan Cavendish - Brennan briefly appeared in the fifth season of the series.
* Dan Rapa - Dan, a plumber, was introduced in the fourth season as a hired specialist, and became a series regular in the fifth. He has left the series to continue operating his own business.

Several other tradespersons running their own companies also make regular appearances on the series.

Home renovation expert Jon Eakes has also appeared as a guest in one episode, and the winners of Handyman Superstar Challenge are invited to make a guest appearance on the show (Jordan MacNab in season 6 and Kevin Howe in season 7).

List of episodes

Season One

1. Additional Grief
2. Soggy Sorority
3. Botched Basement
4. Attica! Attica / Crappy Capping
5. Cold Comfort
6. Flimsy Floor
7. Kitchen Catastrophe
8. Window Pain
9. Faulty Showers
10. Tiles and Tribulations
11. Site Unseen
12. Sweet Home Abandoned
13. Whole House Disaster (1-hour)

Season Two

1. Terrible Terrace
2. Drafty Ducting
3. Ramp Revamp
4. Flooded Foundation
5. Garage Grievance
6. Lamin-Ain't
7. Roof Goof
8. Floor Fiasco
9. Doozy Jacuzzi
10. No Grout About It
11. Access Denied
12. Jacking the Box
13. Hell's Kitchen

Season Three

The third season saw a move from a 30-minute format to a full-hour format partway through the season.

1. Shower Stalled
2. Cabinet Chaos
3. Cold Feet
4. Exit Wound
5. All Decked Out
6. Step By Step
7. Smoke and Mirrors
8. Wall of Shame

1. Drain Disdain
2. Twice Bitten
3. Honeymoon Ensuite
4. Semi-Dilemma
5. Wash & Weep
6. Holmes for the Holidays

Note: Holmes for the Holidays was filmed during the second production season, but is considered as part of the third airing season, although it is not included in HGTV's rotation due to it being a Christmas special.
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DJ Chris
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Date d'inscription : 27/10/2007

MessageSujet: Re: Holmes on Homes   Mar 27 Mai 2008 - 19:41

Season Four

1. Bungled Bungalow
2. Kitchen Coleslaw
3. Bar None
4. Two Steps Back
5. Window Well to Hell
6. A River Ran Through It
7. Best Laid Plan
8. Sunnyside Down
9. This Mould House
10. Hullaba Loo - A woman hires a bathroom specialist company to renovate her bathroom. She finds the work is sub-standard and, when she withholds final payment pending completion of the work, the company sues her for the balance.
11. Unfinished Business - A family acts as their own contractor in order to build a second floor addition to their house. Everything goes well until they hire the final contractor to do the insulation and finishing work.
12. House to Home (Two 1-hour parts)

Season Five

The fifth season saw an overall change in look, due to increased production values (the filming crew, unlike the first four seasons, were equipped with widescreen high-definition cameras, although the show continues to air in standard-definition on HGTV). The season also saw the Holmes crew expand from a few experienced contractors to encompassing younger apprentices as well.

1. House Arrest - A planned 3-month renovation becomes a year-and-a-half nightmare. Mike and crew come to the rescue.
2. O-fence-ive - A fencing contractor rips off 52 families in a new housing development. Mike and crew bring the neighborhood together.
3. Falling Flat - A photographer's backyard studio is plagued with a leaking flat roof after a prolonged build.
4. Bargain Basement - Mike and crew discover major flaws in a remodeled basement, tear it all out, and make it right.
5. For Annie
6. Ceiling the Deal
7. Out of the Ashes (Two 1-hour parts) A previous contractor hired by the homeowners insurance company to repair the home after an electrical fire leaves behind incomplete and substandard work. Mike and crew arrive and, after completely gutting the home, find they must remove asbestos insulation from the basement and do a full toxic-waste remediation caused by leakage from a heating-oil tank left buried in the back yard.
8. Taking a Bath
9. Showing the Cracks
10. Wall of Sound
11. What a Mesh
12. Holmes Inspection (Two 1-hour parts)

Season Six

Note: the last four episodes of the fifth production season were aired as part of the sixth airing season on HGTV Canada.

1. Shaky Foundation - In the sixth season debut, Mike and crew arrive at a new home at which the homeowners had discovered that the foundation concrete was woefully weak - as little as one-third of the minimum code requirement - and which had slipped past the building inspectors, who had only compared the weak foundation wall concrete to that of the foundation floor (without considering that the floor may have also been weak as well).
2. Let's Rejoist - In this episode, featuring guest crew member Jordan MacNab, the winner of the first Handyman Superstar Challenge (for which Mike was a judge), Mike comes to the assistance of a homeowner who had discovered a small water stain in their ceiling below an upstairs balcony. After the homeowner hired a roofer to investigate, the roofer discovered that the joists holding the balcony up had completely rotted through, and was forced to abort any roof repair. Finding no other local contractors willing to undertake the challenge of replacing these joists in addition to fixing the original problem, Mike and his crew step up to the plate and make things right.
3. Completely Incomplete - Mike Holmes arrives to a second-story addition that was claimed by the original contractor to be "99% complete", and had liened the property when the homeowners refused to pay in full before the project was complete. However, what he discovers is that the "99% complete" assertion was more like a 99% fabrication.
4. Stone Walled - Mike Holmes arrives to a home in which the homeowners had removed a retaining wall in their backyard because it needed replacement. Unfortunately, the original contractor had left much of the material ordered unused, and had done a subpar job in building the new wall from cinderblocks meant for the foundation of a house - which was completely inappropriate given the size of the wall needed. As the original contractor stopped showing up at the home and became difficult to reach, the concerned homeowners even inquired as to whether the contractor had been injured at another site, and only realized that they had been victimized when a bill for the unused material had shown up at their door.
5. Gone to Pot - Mike Holmes comes to the aid of a homeowner who had rented out a house to tenants - only for the Ontario Provincial Police to inform her that her house had been transformed into a marijuana grow-op. Mike enters the picture after the police had left, and is faced with restoring the damage done to the home (largely due to mold) and turning it back into a comfortable living space again.
6. Pasadena 911 - In this two-hour special episode, Mike Holmes, after appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, learns of the plight of two homeowners whose "dream house" renovation had gone horribly wrong (having spent 90% of their money but only having 30% of the work done before the original contractor had apparently abandoned the job), travels to Pasadena, California to make it right. The renovation effort is spearheaded by Los Angeles-area general contractor James Cowan and foreman Christopher Chico instead of the regular crew (who were in the process of filming the remaining episodes of the season), and only Holmes and senior contractor Damon Benett (both of whom had to fly regularly between Toronto and Los Angeles) from the regular crew appear in this episode.
7. Lack of Truss - In this episode, which was also featured on Marketplace six months before it first aired, Mike and his crew visit homeowners who had asked for an additional bedroom, and were convinced by the original contractor that it could be done within the space of their attic. Yet, to do so, the original contractor had removed much of the structural support in the attic, forcing Mike and crew to remove the roof entirely to rebuild the bedroom, raising the height of the house in the process.
8. Clean Slate - Mike and crew arrive at a century-old house whose bathroom had recently undergone an expensive renovation (complete with slate tiles), but had problems with water seeping through the grout and the fact that the shower did not drain properly. Upon taking the bathroom apart, he discovers the extent of the damage: leaking water had pooled two inches deep under the shower.
9. Due Date - Mike and crew help out a family whose basement renovation (the first step in a long line of house remodeling jobs) was carefully planned around expecting the birth of a child, but had been delayed by the original contractor for almost a year. With the basement nowhere near completion despite a massive cost overrun and in the middle of a time crunch (due to the baby), the homeowners turn to Mike to help them complete their basement.
10. Frozen Assets - Mike and crew arrive at a new home development that has been plagued with heating and plumbing issues caused by faulty design, leading to the front porch collapsing. They discover that (design issues aside) while the builders had tried to make the home safe and livable, several glaring mistakes had ultimately caused these problems.
11. Country Kitchen - Mike and crew arrive at a 25-year old townhouse, where the homeowners had undertaken a kitchen renovation, but ended up with a very small and virtually unusable kitchen. Country singer Charlie Major, a family friend of the homeowners, guest stars.
12. Third Time Lucky - Mike and crew visit the home of a wheelchair-using woman, who had been living without a bathroom in her apartment for the better part of two years. The homeowner had hired two previous contractors - the first was dismissed because of a lack of skill, the second because communications had broken down. The Holmes crew not only try to make her now-gutted bathroom wheelchair-accessible, but also, after seeing the various injuries she had from bumping around on her wheelchair in her apartment, attempted to remodel the rest of her apartment for wheelchair accessibility.

Season Seven

In a change from previous seasons, Mike travels across Canada to help homeowners in other parts of the country, although a number remain within Ontario. Season seven is also notable for the formation of The Holmes Foundation, a charity organization affiliated with the show that promotes awareness of skilled trades (both to homeowners looking to hire them for renovations and to youth as a career choice), and its first project, the episode Lien on Me. Season seven will also have a special "behind-the-scenes" episode.

1. Hit the Deck - Mike and crew travel to Saint John, New Brunswick to help a homeowner whose second-story deck had recently collapsed, injuring the homeowner and several friends. Mike discovers the problem behind the collapse, and builds a replacement for the homeowner. Kevin Howe, the winner of the second Handyman Superstar Challenge also has a small guest appearance in this episode.
2. Rocky Reno - The Holmes crew travel to Canmore, Alberta to fix a front porch and entranceway that was part of an addition. The homeowners became wary of the original contractor after their product started to substantially differ from the plans, and the contractor demanded the completion payment well before the job was complete.
3. Paradise Island - In Northern Ontario, Mike comes to the aid of a homeowner who had a serious injury in her cottage on an island, prompting the need of a bathroom renovation with shower bars to help her move in and out of her shower. However, the original contractor, though meaning well, had also taken the opportunity to treat the job as if it were a vacation, taking six months to do a four-day job, while leaving serious water issues untouched. Mike comes to the rescue by helping her relocate a hot water heater originally in the exterior of the cottage, while redoing the bathroom and the entrance ramp, as he discovers that the rails are installed on the wrong side (and the more dangerous side remains exposed) - all while noting that, because of their location on an island, any missing supplies will take 30 minutes to recover from their truck at shore, and a trip to the store could take up to three hours.
4. Lien on Me - In this two-hour special episode, Mike deals with a couple who had a "friend" do an addition. Although the work was originally estimated to cost just over $200,000, the "friend" later put a lien on the house for more than $500,000 and took the owners of the house to court. Mike and the crew take the house down brick by brick and stud by stud to save the family from shoddy work done under the previous contract. This episode is notable for employing over 100 companies and 30 months of construction work (the construction having started sometime in season 5) - to date the most extensive work on the show, in terms of materials, manpower, and time.
5. Brick-A-Brack - When Mike seemingly comes on the job for exterior work only (later found to have been caused by a humidifier which had been running continuously), they discover that the homeowners' possessions, which were piled from floor to ceiling, are preventing them from doing a full basement inspection. The Holmes crew not only repairs the exterior issue, but also helps the homeowners to sort and throw out their unnecessary possessions.
6. Re-Inventing - The Holmes Crew inspects a house that has had intermittent heating issues in the six years since it was built, yet had gone unaddressed by the builder or Ontario's New Home Warranty Program (due to a series of bureaucratic issues and "band-aid" remedies). The problem was discovered to have been caused in part by alterations to the design of the house having been done without necessary matching alterations to the HVAC system, thus forcing Holmes and his crew to completely replace the HVAC, hot water, and electrical systems.
7. Behind the Scenes - In this special episode, the Holmes crew (both construction and production) reveal the behind the scenes work during the filming from the seventh season, including the process from viewer submission to filming, how three or four episodes are produced at the same time, and the logistical issues with having a camera crew and a construction crew trying to work over each other. The episode includes behind-the-scenes footage from Additional Grief, Country Kitchen, Paradise Island, Lien on Me, and an upcoming episode titled Blind Faith, as well as a Maxwell House commercial and Mike's interview on 20/20. It also explores the origins of the series and how the Holmes Foundation was founded, as well as providing some insight into the Holmes family (all three of Mike's children work on the show in some capacity).
8. Blind Faith - After winning a $15,000 bathroom renovation from a church auction, the homeowners discover that the contractor behind the renovation prize had spent another $15,000 with only a rough-in to show for the $30,000 worth of work. The Holmes Crew arrives to fix the bathroom.
9. Pane in the Glass - The homeowners call in the Holmes Crew to fix a bay window. The original contractor's work, involving replacing a regular window with a bay window without supporting structure, were captured on tape by a neighbor's home security system cameras.

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