Holmes is where the heart is

Holmes Inspection crew gathers for a quick snapshot at the Megaspeed Car Show held at the International Centre in Mississauga over the March 9-12 weekend: l-r Rob Brown , Sherry Holmes, Damon Bennett, Mike Holmes, Mike Holmes Jr., Nichole Faucher, Carlito Pavlovic, Uncle Billy (Bell) and Evan Jatou.

The set of hit television show, Holmes Inspection, gets pretty chaotic sometimes. The home is full of drilling, hammering and discussions of building plans. But amid the construction, a father watches his children grow as his family and as his employees.

“I believe in having a business that the whole business is our family…that everyone gets treated like we’re related,” Mike Holmes said. “Having my kids here is just an extra added bonus.”

Mike Holmes, 49, has successfully created a business phenomenon in the construction industry over the past decade. While the company grew, his three children: Michael, 22, Sherry, 24, and Amanda, 26, got the opportunity to work one summer and the family business was born.

When he started working construction at 15, Mike Holmes Jr. discovered that he shared his father’s passion for helping people.

“We do change peoples lives,” Mike Holmes Jr. said. “(My dad) isn’t just saying it. He believes it…That’s why the company is a success. And that’s why I do it too.”

“We’re all very dedicated in what we do,” his sister, Amanda Holmes, said.

Mike Holmes has expectations of his children, not only as their father, but as their boss. He expects a good performance and attitude from his employees; he expects that his family will be respectful and make good decisions. The children also feel the weight of being “the boss’s kid.”

“There’s the stigma of being the boss’s child. It’s just something you can’t shake,” Amanda Holmes said. “You have to work harder to be respected.”

“A lot is expected of me because I’m Mike’s kid,” Mike Holmes Jr. said. “When people see me, they expect me to know a lot as well and fill his shoes a bit…and I’m doing the best I can at that. It’s pretty nerve-racking sometimes.”

Mike Holmes said that one of the hardest issues is maintaining a balanced system between co-workers and his children, but he believes he has accomplished that.

He said mistakes are allowed on set, but the rule is that no mistake is made twice, and his children don’t receive preferential treatment. On a past roofing job in L.A., Mike Holmes asked his crew not to touch the structure until he returned to lead the construction. At the time, the crew lacked experience in pitching frames for roofs; that’s why Holmes felt he needed to be present. Without his consent, the crew finished the frames improperly, and what was a planned surprise ended up being a costly mistake.

“They’re all employees and I’m not going to treat anyone different and I think that’s why my kids respect me,” Mike Holmes said.

“We’re all treated as a team,” Mike Holmes Jr. said, “When I was younger, I established that I didn’t want to be treated different than anyone else otherwise I wouldn’t be able to gain anyone’s respect. (It’s) frustrating sometimes but it’s good.”

Carl Pavlovic, 38, is a member of Mike Holmes’s contracting crew and has worked with Mike Holmes and his children since 2005.

“I find myself being with people that actually care about me,” Pavlovic said. “We’re learning together. Their whole family always encourages me (and) always accepted me. I don’t ever feel out of place here.”

Mike Holmes and his three children all say, there are moments when they bump heads like any family, but the importance lies in their dedication to the business. Mike Holmes Jr., recalled a moment when he said he entered his father’s office to kindly ask for a raise.

“I basically told him…I’m not here to get a raise because I’m your son, I’m here to get a raise because I deserve one,” Holmes Jr. said.

His father’s reaction was positive.

“I had a frog in my throat and that’s when I realized my son was becoming an adult and that he loves doing it,” Holmes Sr. said. “It showed me that I have a smart son; I have a good son and I have a son that is proud of his dad and is working hard.”

Holmes Sr. says he hopes his children will one day take over the franchise.

“They are going to have to stick together and follow their father’s dreams and add to their father’s dreams of this corporation,” Pavlovic said. “I want to see them grow in the company.”

Regardless of future plans, mistakes, arguments and expectations, Mike Holmes says there is one thing that will always remain true for the family business he created.

“No matter what, I’m dad and there’s no changing that,” Mike Holmes said.


About this article

By: Rebecca Steckham
Posted: Mar 15 2012 6:46 pm
Filed under: Arts & Life Features