Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

Where is the Mike Holmes TV show on dentists? Teachers? Cops?

Canadian Contractor

Watching Mike Holmes on TV, you'd think that contractors, as a group, had the highest-percentage of scumbags and criminals of any profession on Earth. So, to balance the equation, can we please have a Mike Holmes TV show on dentists, teachers and cops? Anyone?

Where is the Mike Holmes for dentists, teachers and cops? Why are contractors so easy to pick on?

A few years ago, a dentist had me come back ten times (I swear) to fix up a badly-infected, butchered root canal. Butchered undeniably by him. I sweated through my clothes all ten visits: brutal pain. Total bill for all of this? Zero. “Don’t worry about it,” he said, when he sent me to someone else for dentist visit # 11. (Translation: “Please don’t sue me!”)

OK, so dentistry is a profession, you say. So there’s no need for a dental Mike Holmes? Well, I could have used one. And don’t even get me started on incompetent teachers and bad cops. Every line of work has its percentage of duds. (Q: What do you call the person who graduates 187th, dead last, in his class of 187 students at medical school? A: “Doctor”!)

So, why are there no reality TV shows about any of these professions?


First, I want to see a show where some big ego guy in brown overalls goes around as a traveling dentist, looking into people’s mouths to see why they are in such terrible pain.

“Hi, I’m Doctor Holmes, please sit in the chair, Mr. Jones. Can you open wide? It hurts like hell? Well, let’s see why. Just going to shine my little dentist light in here… Oh, I can’t believe what I’m seeing! Who did this to you?  Half your teeth have been broken off with pliers. Why didn’t you ask to see his license? Look at this… he’s left a snapped off drill bit in the back of your tongue. You paid cash? That was your first mistake right there. Did you used to have gold fillings? I thought so, Mr. Jones. But he’s pried out all the gold and filled the holes with lead. Yeah, lead. I can’t believe this guy can sleep at night. Your whole mouth is rotted. We’re gonna have to rip everything out and take you back to bare gums. You’re going to be eating Jello for a while… If you’d only called Dr. Holmes in the first place. Doing Dental Right.

Why are there no shows like this? Are contractors the only people in the world of work who screw up? I guess they are.



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10 Comments » for Where is the Mike Holmes TV show on dentists? Teachers? Cops?
  1. Jeff Maude says:

    I like this guy!!

  2. John Wickens says:


  3. Sebastian Assenza says:

    I can’t believe all the stuff your tooth inspector missed.

  4. Joe McCool says:

    Dentists are sworn to only tell the tooth……………………….

  5. george gallai says:

    Mike Holmes, whether he meant to or not, has made contractors seem like public enemy number one (because of the program Holmes on homes). When I visit a client first contact to do an estimate or consultation, I’m often treated as “guilty until proven innocent.” Every client that owns a television set thinks that renovation contractors are the lowest form of criminals. I wish someone would make a TV show about the real truth that contractors work long hours with difficult and often hazardous work, and that we are honest folks who go out of our way to “make it right” for our clients.

  6. chris says:

    Very true george g. Why oh why can’t part of his shows ever focus on how the homeowners greed (not always but mostly) landed them with the scam general contractors. The only naiveté most of the series homeowners had was in their disbelief that you could NOT get a full house reno for under $100,000 or that they could NOT get a beautiful, state of the art kitchen for $6000. Of course the cheap butt homeowners want to believe that the other prices they got from what were really the GOOD contractors that were triple the amount of the guy they signed with, were CROOKS, cause look, this guy says he can do it for peanuts, he’s the HONEST ONE. The other 3 were pulling a money grab scam:)
    Occasionally Holmes half heartedly mentions that 10,000 would not be enough for their basement reno but it’s just a mention, goes over the TV audiences heads. He says he is all about new kids coming into the trades but when he doesn’t point out on the shows that true trades people COST, he’s actually doing damage.
    I would have love a show that focuses on ALL the reasons the reno’s went wrong, including the clients thinking that blue collar equals working for almost nothing and that at the end of the job, we throw in 60″ flat screen TV’s or a free powder room:)
    As for bad contractors being picked on… well, though there are any number of bad people in professions out there (I have a stock broker in mind right now:) because most have at least had to go to school for their profession and have had to pass tests to prove their abilities before they could put out their sign and go into business, there is at least SOME measures of control. Yep, the bad guys can still get through the cracks but it’s at least something. With General contractors, any yahoo can pay a fee to the city for a license and hang up a sign saying Contractor. There is no training nor experience required. Most trades require apprenticeship, schooling and testing/licensing. Not so for the Generals so, of course there are more idiots driving around in a pickup calling themselves JOE’S RENOVATIONS then in any other occupation out there. It must certainly be hard to be the good guy, the guy/gurl, with knowledge, who must compete with all the nuts with a hammer out there who will do the job for beer money.

  7. Michael says:

    Hi Everyone,
    I am waiting for the day Mike Holmes mentions real costs to the viewers,WSIB,HST&the discount for cash the hackers offer versus a Business person who operates above board.In my business (flooring) this amounts to 30% on labor charges.It is up to us to unite in reporting anyone who is not playing by the governments rules.

  8. Tye says:

    I like your comments, George and Chris. This is a conversation had too rarely, at the expense of so many other conversations about bad contractors. Lets face it–contracting is an odd duck. For better or worse, it is like a vestige of the wild west in an otherwise fairly modern and regulated world. It many ways, it is hugely unregulated, and yet an area of business that does deals with HUGE sums of money, multi-disciplinary teams, all sorts of risk and hazards and liability, and in a modern society where selling a vegetable can be seen as more regulated. To be fair, you DO need a license, but as you have noted, George, it isn’t worth the paper its written on.

    I think most will admit that a huge proportion of the work that takes place does so without any regulation whatsoever, but lets be honest about the fact that is does so at the will of all involved: the trades, the contractor, the homeowner, the blindness of the government and other regulatory bodies be it intentional or not, etc, etc.

    But lets put blame where blame is due: everywhere. If an industry exists that makes it so easy for bad behaviour/bad business practices to exist, is it always the fault of the those drawn into it? Not entirely. Asking folks to self-regulate–which lets be honest, is what we’re doing–can be a slippery slope. Widespread change is required if we decide we are tired of the way it is. A few folks like Mike Holmes putting on a cape and being a champion of how things should be done, though of some value in creating awareness of the problem, isn’t going to FIX it. If for one am growing tired of listening to contractors be a scapegoat for bad practice in which they play only a part. We need to own the blame that is ours, but not everyone else’s as well.

  9. Glenn says:

    I agree with what most of you are saying…

    I would really like Holmes to illustrate what his reno/repairs actually cost the homeowner as well (but I assume the show pays for most of it). But I think the point that most of you are missing is the reason he started doing his show. It wasn’t to get down on contractors, it was to educate homeowners on how to select and find good qualified contractors.

    We could easily have the used car salesman version of his show. Some are great and stand behind their vehicles and once you find him you’ll never buy a used car from anyone else. But there are a lot of these used car guys who will rip you off and send you driving off the lot laughing at how gullible and stupid you are. To avoid that we try to educate ourselves on what a car of that make/model/year and km is worth. We usually have a good idea what we want and are willing to pay before we hit the lot.

    When it comes to our homes, people have a tendency not to shop around, to not educate themselves about what they want and what it’s worth, and how it should be done. If they did our jobs as contractors would be so much easier. Homeowners would be wary of the low-ball price guys, they would be able to talk intelligently about their upcoming reno and not have the contractor confuse them with talk of things they can or can’t do because he’s too lazy or doesn’t know how.

    So I think Holmes is good for the industry from that standpoint. I love going into a homeowners house who is willing to waterproof their shower and floor because they want it done right and I don’t have to educate them on that and have them feel I’m up-selling them.

    Can Holmes do a better job showing costs? Absolutely, as long as they are accurate costs, not costs without labour. Can he speak more about good contractors? Of course… too much time is spent on the bad guys, but the bad guys are the reason he is at that house.

    Unfortunately, homeowners have a tendency to learn the hard way. They need to be burned before they realize they have to pay a fair price to receive quality work. I just had a guy who wanted his entire main floor renovated. I gave him my price and a 2 week turnaround. He went with a “retired guy who was a third of your price.” Fine. I’m not lowering the cost of what I do. Well this guy called me up 9 months later asking me to come back and fix half of what the retired guy had done, and finish what he hadn’t got to yet. 9 months later and a kitchen, living room and bathroom are still not done! Crazy. This guy had to learn the hard way that you get what you pay for.

    I agree that casting Holmes as a superhero is ridiculous. But I think it is too easy to blame him for contractors having a bad reputation and being viewed with suspicion. It is our responsibility as contractors, General or otherwise, to uphold the quality and integrity of the industry. Be a better contractor and you will get better clients. Produce only quality work at a decent price and more work will automatically come your way. If you aren’t willing to be that type of contractor then get out! Find something that you are better suited for like used car sales or something.

    • Robert Koci says:

      Glen: you make some valid points. If contractors had a good reputation in the first place, Holmes would not exist. But I wonder if he really is encouraging homeowners to be more educated on renovations, or just encouraging them to follow him and his “Holmes approved” renovators. That’s what the superhero marketing implies.

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Where is the Mike Holmes TV show on dentists? Teachers? Cops?"
  1. […] with a few very funny comments, but Glen (don’t know his last name) responded to another Holmes post more thoughtfully on some of the good Mike Holmes has done for us. We decided it deserved a post of […]

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