Mike Holmes is the father of renovation TV shows. He’s also the father of his namesake, Mike Holmes Jr.
Now, the duo is about to tackle another project on HGTV Canada: Season 2 of Holmes + Holmes.
While Mike Sr. has led nine Canadian-original series and specials, including fan-favourite series Holmes on Homes, Best of Holmes on Homes, Holmes Inspection, Holmes Makes It Right, and Holmes + Holmes, Mike Jr. has been learning along the way.
In fact, construction wasn’t always his goal. He wanted to be a firefighter. But the lessons Mike Jr. gleaned from his pops, led to some breakthrough insights.
Especially important in his lessons, is his father’s mantra: “make it right.” A mantra and value that the junior of Mikes has embraced and, now, has taken to the next level.
We sat down with Mike Jr. to get the scoop on how he’s making it right — and, of course, we had to find out some inside deets on his dad, behind-the-scenes action, his first year of marriage with Lisa, and the most pressing question: If Mike Jr. has a son, will he be named Mike too (or three)?
I sat down with your sister. And one of the things she said about you: “My brother (Mike Jr.) is the second Mike Holmes. So, I’m the first Sherry Holmes.” And I must add, Sherry said that with just the right amount of sass. So, do you have a witty brotherly retort for that?
If I think of something witty for that I will tell you.
She also said “It’s really funny. I had absolutely zero interest in working construction.” How about you? And you don’t need a witty brotherly retort for that.
I didn’t have an interest in getting into trades when I was younger. I actually wanted to get into firefighting.
It was all inspired by 9/11. I just wanted to help people. Pull the people from burning buildings and change their lives. I just wanted to help people. Be a superhero. That superhero thing didn’t work out. But then came construction. My dad said to me, “How would you like to work construction this summer?”
And so I thought I’d make money for school and such.
And I got to work with my hands.
And on top of that, we were helping people.
But it’s my hands that really drew me into this trade.
Your identity is closely tied with your father’s — so much so that you share the same name. You clearly work along the same ethics. But what’s it been like forging your own identity given that dynamic?
That’s a really good question.
It’s been finding out what works for me. Although we both share common goals and passions, we both have different ways of going about it.
I’m kinda the new generation of Mike Holmes … Gosh, I don’t want to say that.
But I want to take what he’s done and take that to the next level by applying more environmentally-friendly, sustainable building practices.
A good example is how we’re building homes right now. They’re all being built to minimum code. Minimum code is one step away from failure.
We have building sciences, technology, renewable energy — at our fingertips — but we’re not using it because it costs more money.
I’m hoping to get people to move more towards these things because we’re killing the planet. I mean, we have only one planet.
What have you taught your dad about sustainable energy?
I’m sure I could say a lot of things we’ve taught each other.
I’ve heard from him the biggest thing I’ve taught him, in general, is the life-work balance.
I have a wife at home who I want to spend time with … Who I want to live my life with. And that’s more valuable to me than anything.
Tell us something that happened behind the scenes that we may not get to see on TV — but that you’d like to see.
I’d love to see … Well, we always talk about how many bloopers we have.
We probably have an equal amount of blooper footage to real footage. All the people on site, we have so much fun together shooting Holmes + Holmes.
What’s your blooperiest thing? (Is ‘blooperiest’ a word? Well, I guess it is now.)
There are some bloopers that make the cut at the end of the episodes.
Well, here’s one … We had a water balloon fight, but they weren’t water balloons. They were a bit thicker. So, I threw one at my buddy Robbie’s head and instead of breaking it kinda of bounced off his head. And let’s just say, he wasn’t too happy with me.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your dad?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned from my dad, it might sound corny cliché, but to make it right.
That applies to everything in my life: my marriage, my work, my cooking … To do it to the best of your ability and to do it right the first time.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your first year of marriage with Lisa?
We built our relationship on a few pillars.
One being communication and honesty. We tell things to one another. Whether or not it will upset someone. We talk. We communicate.
To have fun. Even if we’re walking the dog. We always make it fun.
To be each others’ best friends. We love each other — and like each — other at the end of the day.
Since you’ve brought up cooking a couple of times, and since you say you like working with your hands, what’s your signature supper?
My wife is a far better cook.
I like to think I make a really good vegetable pasta. Stone-ground kale and green pea noodles. Grill up some vegetables and mix it together. And it tastes like the best mac and cheese you’ve ever had.
We eat like a 99 per cent plant-based diet. So we get creative in the kitchen.
If you have a son … Are you naming him Mike?
I’m naming him anything but Mike. Like Julio or Esteban or Steven … Anything but Mike.
Your dad seems to be able to do everything right. Obviously, he makes it right. What can’t he do that may surprise us?
I will say he’s not as good of a cook as he claims to be — at least it’s just not my style of food.
I have to say, this conversation is one-on-one between you and me, but you’ve made it a lot about family, friends, everyone but yourself …
Well, they’re my world. My life wouldn’t be fun without them. So that’s my world.
The season 2 premiere of Holmes + Holmes starts October 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada, as the father and son duo venture into business together and take on their biggest challenge yet: buying, renovating, and selling three houses for profit.