10 Facts About Holmes Makes It Right

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Mike Holmes has been a staple of reality television for more than two decades, releasing numerous series based on construction, remodeling, and renovations. You've likely heard him tout his "Make it right" motto, educate homeowners on renovation and construction basics, or have heard an outburst here and there due to frustrations over shoddy work.

His popular show, "Holmes Makes It Right," is based on poorly done renovations that were not the fault of homeowners. For fans who are familiar with the show, you'll know that the series focuses on re-renovating homes and helping out homeowners who were on the receiving end of poor construction. At the same time, per Holmes' philosophy, homeowners and viewers of the show alike will learn valuable lessons about construction they can apply in the future.

Since Holmes has so many shows under his belt, you may be wondering what sets "Holmes Makes It Right" apart from his other series that are regularly run on HGTV and DIY Network. Below are the top 10 things you need to know about the show, whether you're a newbie or are getting ready to watch some re-runs of this popular, yet short-lived series.

The title includes Mike Holmes' famous motto

If you've ever watched any of Mike Holmes' previous shows, you're likely familiar with his catchphrase "Make it right." He constantly makes this vow to his crew, partners, and clients, as well as directly into the camera for viewers at home. According to his official website, this is more than just a motto — it's a philosophy that has guided his 35+ year career in home renovations. As such, it was only fitting that Holmes would eventually star in a show that directly incorporated his famous slogan.

In an interview with Home in Canada, Holmes revealed that the phrase derived from an attitude passed on to him from his father, who told him as a child: "Mike, if you're going to do something, do it right the first time." Since then, Holmes has adopted this way of thinking into his everyday life, as well as what would become a successful home remodeling and renovating career.

Holmes has even trademarked this catchphrase and written a book with the same name. According to the description on Amazon, the book "walks readers through a renovation from start to finish, from the process of finding a reliable contractor to understanding the legalities of renovation," including helpful pictures, checklists, and more.

Holmes included two of his children in the series

Mike Holmes has three adult children: Amanda, Mike Jr., and Sherry Holmes. In some of Holmes' newer television series, viewers are likely to see a significant presence from both Mike Jr. and Sherry. "Holmes Makes It Right" also included Mike Jr. and Sherry as part of the cast. Both were credited as members of the construction crew, with a total of 12 members with the same title. Mike Jr. was also listed as a construction manager on the show.

According to the Toronto Star, Mike Jr. and Sherry, both in their 30s, learned construction and carpentry skills when they were young. Mike Jr. is said to have joined his father's team at age 14, with Sherry joining at age 21. Those who are curious to see Holmes' adult kids' earlier skills in the trade may be interested to see their work repairing and remodeling the homes featured in this series. The Holmes children have since been on several series with their father, and have most recently joined him on "Holmes Family Rescue."

The duo are also regulars on YouTube, where they answer questions from viewers and enlighten everyday folks on the ins and outs of home repairs. Sherry Holmes also recorded a video with her dad in 2022 that celebrated women in construction. "I love seeing how many more women are getting involved in the trades in general or even in just construction, it's so fabulous," she said (via YouTube).

The show ran for only two seasons

"Holmes Makes It Right" has an 8.2 out of 10-star rating based on over a hundred reviews on IMDb. Despite its popularity, the show only lasted two seasons between 2012 and 2014 with a total of 36 hour-long hour episodes. However, with the long list of Mike Holmes shows, it can be easy to mix up this particular series with one of a similar name, such as "Holmes: Buy It Right," "Holmes and Holmes," "Holmes on Homes," "Holmes Inspection," and "Holmes 911." 

Nonetheless, "Holmes Makes It Right" premiered in 2013 in the U.S. on the DIY Network following its successful premier in Canada in 2012. Perhaps what draws viewers to the series most is both the hope and education Holmes and his team offer. "Holmes shows homeowners how botched jobs should have been completed and educates them on how to be better informed before their next home improvement project," The Futon Critic notes. The show also helped viewers to be prepared should they face similar circumstances in the future by knowing what and what not to do when attempting a job themselves or hiring a contractor.

The highest-rated episode of Season 1 was Labor of Love

While fans of the show certainly have their personal favorite "Holmes Makes It Right" stories, the highest-rated episode of Season 1, according to Episode Ninja, was "Labor of Love." It was the season's 10th episode, premiering in 2013.

What stands out about this episode is the multiple tragedies that led up to the situation Holmes and his team faced. Here, they helped a local high school shop class finish a basement project for the family of a classmate who recently passed away.

While the class and their teacher undoubtedly had good intentions, the project became unmanageable. As they worked together toward a common goal, Holmes was able to offer invaluable construction tips to the students. The episode ended up being a poignant reminder that working together as a team on a creative project can be a healing experience as the class mourned their friend. In addition, the basement project became a class bonding experience that the teens won't ever forget.

The highest-rated episode of Season 2 was Five Alarm Chili

Season 2 of "Holmes Makes It Right" featured other unforgettable lessons and opportunities for empathy. According to Episode Ninja, viewers rated the ninth episode of this season as their favorite. Titled "Five Alarm Chili," the episode premiered in September 2014 and chronicled the story of a woman named Chili who was trying to put the pieces of her home back together after it was burned down by an arsonist.

Like many homeowners who go through a disaster, Chili's insurance company took advantage and tried to pressure her into making decisions that were not in her best interest. For example, as HGTV notes: "The contractor's solution is to paint over all the soot and damage." Painting over soot and damage after a house fire can be highly dangerous and ill-advised. By covering up the visible effects of fire, such as soot, smoke stains, and structural deterioration, without proper remediation, the underlying issues may worsen over time.

At this point, Chili decided to contact Mike Holmes and his team to help her put the pieces of her home back together again. It's also worth noting that Chili's story has a part two in episode 10, where Holmes helped to ensure her home was completely safe.

The show was primarily filmed in Canada

Not only did "Holmes Makes It Right" initially premier in Canada, but it was also primarily filmed there, with homes from the Ontario area featured in the bulk of the show. This is not a huge surprise, as Holmes and his family are from Toronto, but American-based fans looking to have Holmes and his team help with their restoration project may be disappointed. However, as most home renovation shows in North America are limited to the United States, it's a win for Canada to have successful home renovation shows hosted by their own Canadian experts. As of publication, the official Mike Holmes website, Make It Right, also features a casting call for future shows targeting people who live in the Greater Toronto Area.

Nevertheless, viewers outside of Toronto and beyond will appreciate the lessons from this show. The homeowners featured on "Holmes Makes It Right" were undoubtedly taken advantage of by previous contractors who were unprofessional and/or unqualified. Other property owners featured on the show also resonated with audiences at home as they tried to save money by carrying out work by themselves without the necessary experience or knowledge. Such situations undoubtedly have global appeal.

The lead supervisor and host quit the show in the middle of Season 2

Fans of Mike Holmes' television shows were surprised when Damon Bennett, who worked with Holmes for more than a decade, decided to leave "Holmes Makes It Right" in the middle of Season 2. In fact, IMDb lists Bennett as the first cast member before Holmes himself — this is due to the fact that Bennett was in 29 out of 36 episodes as the construction supervisor. He also was the show's lead host, often having a larger presence than Holmes himself.

According to Canadian Contractor, like Holmes, Bennett has been involved in construction and renovations since he was young and always strived to assist and enlighten property owners on how to maintain safe and stylish homes. As such, Bennett saw his career in reality television as more of a means to an end and never planned on staying long-term.

However, viewers will be happy to know that there are no hard feelings between Bennett and Holmes. For Bennett, exiting "Holmes Makes It Right" was motivated by his desire to run his own contracting business. Today, Bennett specializes in general project management, as well as carpentry. Additionally, he is a military advocate and has been known to hire veterans and help them find work after their service.

Most of the costs of the repairs are covered for the homeowners

One of the top questions asked about "Holmes Makes It Right" has to do with price, and whether homeowners have to pay anything. According to Mike Holmes Jr. (via the Make It Right website), most of the costs are covered for homeowners. Depending on the project, this may be a combination of partners, sponsors, and the production company. Some product partners may also help offset some of the costs by donating supplies. At the end of the day though, some homeowners may still have to pay for a portion of the costs associated with their renovation project.

Sherry Holmes also confirmed this breakdown of the repair costs on their series, adding that "it comes from us sometimes." In a YouTube she explains that the team first gets "a budget from the network that goes towards filming our shows," but they often exceed this budget. They frequently go over budget, and when this happens, the extra costs may be covered by partners, the family's company, or even Mike Holmes himself. "We just want to make sure we do the best work we can possibly do and give [the families] everything they deserve," she adds. This philosophy also speaks to the nature of the "Holmes Makes It Right" show, where the Holmes crew does everything in their power to make sure families don't have to pay even more money than they might have previously spent toward bad repair work.

The show led to a retooled sequel series on DIY Network

Fans who loved the original "Holmes Makes It Right" series can check out its sequel of sorts called "Holmes Makes It Right: Retooled." Rather than being an entirely separate show, the "Retooled" series included never-before-seen footage from the original program. Also, fans who were disappointed that they didn't see Mike Holmes himself in the original series will be delighted to hear more commentary from him as he goes more in-depth into the problems that his team fixed on "Holmes Makes It Right." As the official Make It Right website states: "Mike takes a deeper dive into construction issues with his characteristic no nonsense attitude and unrivalled skill set."

The "Retooled" series premiered in 2019 on the DIY Network and ran for one season with 12 episodes total. According to IMDb, the series had an 8.8 out of 10 rating — just slightly better than the original show. This may suggest that viewers appreciated the larger presence from Holmes in the series along with his opinions and mission to educate homeowners.

You can watch re-runs and stream it

Despite the show's end in 2014, fans still have the opportunity to watch "Holmes Makes It Right" on regular cable television as well as on streaming platforms. First, HGTV lists all 36 episodes of the popular program as re-runs that are occasionally aired. Secondly, viewers have the option to rewatch the renovation show via streaming apps. 

Amazon's Prime Video lists a few available videos to watch while Discovery+ lists other Mike Holmes shows on the platform — which may suggest that "Holmes Makes It Right" could be included at some point in the future. You may also catch episodes on the free Canadian streaming platform Homeful.

In the meantime, consider checking out Holmes' most recent show "Holmes Family Rescue." Having premiered in 2021, this is another show Holmes filmed with his kids Mike Holmes Jr. and Sherry Holmes, with new episodes that aired in June 2023.