Sherry And Mike Holmes Jr. Reveal What It's Really Like Working With Their Dad - Exclusive

Going into business with family members can be a wonderful idea — or an absolutely terrible one, depending on your family and your relationships with them. 

While it's typically pretty easy to put up with irritating coworkers or bosses from 9 to 5, all bets are off when that irritating boss is your mom or dad. And, even if you love your kid brother to pieces, he may not have the right skill set or temperament to do his job — but you can't just fire him without risking some serious blowback.

Sherry Holmes and Michael Holmes Jr. know all about the ups and downs of working with family. As second-generation homebuilders mentored by their dad, master contractor and HGTV regular Mike Holmes, they not only learned the secrets of the trade from him but now work beside him on their HGTV show, "Holmes Family Rescue." 

In this exclusive interview with The List, Sherry and Michael Jr. open up about learning from and working with their dad — and how they balance their personal and professional relationships.

Construction wasn't initially part of the Holmes siblings' career plans

If you grow up in the shadow of a master professional, you'll probably want one of two things: to follow in their footsteps or run as far away from that shadow as possible. Sherry Holmes and Michael Holmes Jr. initially chose the latter path. 

"My dad always says he had to bribe me to get into construction," Michael said, "but I always thought I wanted to do something different. I wanted to do something on my own. I wanted to be a firefighter when I was younger." 

Sherry also wanted to go her own way. "I absolutely did not want to work in construction," she said. "I don't think it's so much not wanting to work in construction. It was definitely not wanting to do what my dad wanted me to do." 

She added: "I was more of a nomad. I was traveling. All I wanted to do was work odd jobs to make money so I could go and do anything I wanted."

But, after gentle but persistent coaxing from Dad, both Michael and Sherry discovered that they'd inherited his talent and fondness for building. 

"When I started working for my dad between summers in high school at 14 years old, I loved it," Michael said. "Being able to build something and working hard — sweating to finish a project and doing something different every day — was really satisfying for me." 

Sherry experienced a similar revelation after her father convinced her to try working on his crew. "You get to see what you can do with your bare hands," she said. "And the people you get to help are just phenomenal."

Working together has brought the Holmes family closer

Both Michael Holmes Jr. and Sherry Holmes acknowledge the special interpersonal dynamic that comes with working with family — especially since their professional lives with their dad started just as their family roles began to shift.  

"When you start working for your dad at 14 years old, and then Sherry started at 18, maybe 20, you're still kids, and you're still learning who you are and becoming who you are as an adult," Michael said. "Your parent has to learn that, too. And then you're learning how to work for your parent."

For Sherry, working with family allows a healthy level of transparency. "You're going to argue, you're going to bicker," she said. "But, at the same time, I think it's better because we can be very honest with each other. So, if I don't like the way Michael or my dad are doing something, I can say that and give them my opinion." 

However, both Michael and Sherry agree that working together has brought the family closer. "We are family, so if we don't get along on the job site, you have no choice. You have to get along afterward," she said. "So I think it's been really good for us."

Michael echoes her sentiments. "There are growing pains," he said. "But, now, we're closer than ever."

New episodes of "Holmes Family Rescue" air Saturdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV.