Magazine for professional home renovators.

I have no idea where the idea that Mike Holmes trashes good contractors comes from

Here’s a post from Deborah – not a contractor but a Canadian Contractor reader – about Mike Holmes.

(Deborah, we’ve never said that Mike Holmes trashes “good contractors.” What Mike Holmes said, in Readers Digest two years ago, was that 70 per cent of contractors are “bad” and 10 per cent of them are “ugly.” We disagree very much with his numbers.)

“I’ve been watching Mike Holmes’ show for a few weeks now. I have no idea where the idea that Mike trashes “good contractors” comes from. From what I have seen, the work that he and his crews have done is (to fix) the work of contractors who didn’t care at all. I mean, really, less then a year later and there’s mold in the shower? And no insulation behind the walls? An electrical wire laced through the framing of a “new” wall going up???? Are you kidding me? I am not a contractor, but I have helped in remodels and demo work and believe me… even I know this is not proper work!! Yes, it’s not realistic. In real life the charges for what he does would be astronomical. But, tell me…how do these contractors who have done work like that, sleep at night?”

“Of course, I don’t believe it’s 70 or 80 per cent of contractors that are bad… But this type of work is just not caring.”

Someone posted. “You get what you pay for.”  I have to laugh. Is the above-mentioned work what should be “expected” when you pay $15,000 for a bathroom remodel? Only in your corrupt dreams. People work hard for the money they pay. Whether they go for the lesser quote or not doesn’t mean they should get work that looks like my two-year-old grandson did it.”

Posted by
Steve Payne is the editor of Canadian Contractor magazine
14 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Yes Deborah I am a contractor for over 30 years and I don’t think 70% are bad but a good 25% are no good most of the time is the one are ender the table and last there jobs in factory and now they are renovator
    The till you you get what you pay they are looser with no money and well never have no money
    Is the customer stupidity to trust someone with their house they should do the home work before hiring a renovator a I am proud of what I do and I do it well I never advertised and doing very well and same customers for over 25 years

  2. It is easy to produce statistics based on personal experience. Mike Holmes generally gets to see the horror stories, not the success stories, so his experiences will be skewed to the negative. As a subcontractor with significant experience in other fields, you know that there will be bad apples in every sector of human activity. Generally I assume the 80/20 rule to be in effect – 80% good, 20% with varying degrees of bad. In mathematics, Games Theory suggests that equilibrium exists when 86% of people play fair and about 14% conscientiously cheat. That of course does not take into account the unconscious incompetents who don’t realize how bad their work is.

  3. Most people forget when they watch Mike Holmes that it is a TV show and that a lot of what is said should be taken with a grain of salt. Some of this is only for television. I am a contractor but also someone who has watched Mike Holmes for years. I don’t always agree with what is said and at times things are said that are incorrect. But at least it helps consumers realize that they should get references first before considering taking on a contractor. Many feel that it is always necessary to get two or three quotes for work being done on their house. I have always felt this is be unnecessary. If you are looking for work to be done on your home look at their work, talk to people who have used them, and then if needed get a couple of quotes even if just for comparison sake. I recently put up a fence. I watched a number of fences being installed in our neighbour and looked at the quality of work done. If you don’t know quality work then ask for references.

    • The renovation, construction and service industry does not have the best reputation so Holmes just fuels the fire, some people know that it’s just a show and many think it’s real. Don’t give people as a collective too much credit, we aren’t that bright. J. Goebbels was able to convince the German people that Jews were second class sub humans, there”s the intellect of the average person.

      • That’s pretty much it, Bob, and it’s also why him and his shows have left me offended and betrayed. We do our best not to talk each other down in this industry, yet, this guy intentionally decided to make a big media career out doing just that. Pretty slimey and not much of a legacy to leave for others.

  4. Deborah is watching TV, it’s not real. Many of these so-called bad contractors are do-it-yourself homeowners, or family/friends that want to help the homeowner save money. Then there are the homeowners that want a $150,000 reno for $5000. (I’m done….lol)

  5. I think Dave has nailed it !
    Im with you Dave.

  6. Two years ago I did a major home repair to the North wall of a 7 year old additions.
    During the project I’ found that the framers, stone masons, flooring, painters and all other trades that worked on the addition did a fine job. Except for the roofing company who failed to prevent water from entering the house resulting in major damage. The most important contractor failed in his work and as a result cost the home owner much money. At times I felt like the bad guy explaining the damage and needed repairs.
    I still do repair jobs for them because I did it right
    I’ve also worked on repairs from do-it-yourself homeowner and they keep me busy.
    I like to think that most contractors are above average with a few very bad ones.
    The bad are the ones that I would call as crooks.

  7. I too am a contractor for 31 years. And i agree home owners won’t take responsibility for their own crappy job. I was asked to price : to install the interior doors and trim off the windows and doors. Within a few weeks it was told i built their house by several people.I never even did any work there.
    If you watched the episode of mike holmes behind the scenes. They went looking for the worst house they could find . they also hinted they make it just a little bit worse for good television. Makes for better ratings. He also says that the only good contractors are the ones that work for him . That would leave all the rest of us as bad.
    My customers i have worked for,for years . I also suggest they get other prices Any new customers i show them pictures of my work and a list of names and locations if they want to look at my work. I do not advertise either. I also live in a small town, bad news travels fast. If your work is as bad as the tv show then It would be we’ll known, Don’t hire that contractor his work is bad.

  8. Holmes is a blow hard, simple as that.

    He has made a lot of money off his show trashing every contractor that he has no affiliation with, if you want to see some garbage reviews about his favourite contractors visit homestars for your viewing.

    Does Holmes even hold a license in any trade?

  9. no he doesn’t or should i say he didn’t have any.

    watch the canadian contractor mike holmes interview 1 to 9
    you won’t find # 8 as it has been pulled , I cannot find it anyway.

    Thats probably the best one.

  10. I,ve done lots of work for clients as a renovator and let me tell you when there are sub-contractors or anybody on my job site involved,i personally verify there work habits and method of professional standards.They would never cut corners with me around just for the sake of my clients hard earned investment.

  11. Great comments. Nice to see that we’re finally putting old Mikey on the shelf. No need to stress about his tasteless showboating, anymore. He’s made enough money off the back of this industry.

  12. In my opinion it probably came from his first shows, they were all pretty harsh towards contractors, I would expect that the makers of the show had some say as well, they needed to sell advertising, which means you need people to watch. Not to defend Mike, but if you notice the shows of late are “tamer”.
    I’ve learned to believe those who talk about how great they are, have nothing on those that let their work speak for them, Mike talks a lot! I would like to see what he could do, on his own, without all the help and sponsor money to pay for the repairs and fancy stuff that is shown, let see real “reality” TV!

Submit your comment

Comments posted here, may also appear in the print version of Canadian Contractor Magazine.

Please enter your name

Your name is required

Please enter a valid email address

An email address is required

Please enter your message