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randynavarro

Mike Holmes and Stab-lok

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I have finally seen a few episodes of the newer "Holmes Inspection" show, (thanks to my recently acquired ability to digitally record the show without commercials.)

I'm aware he has been discussed here before and I concur with the sentiments of hogwash and balderdash that his show is all about.

However, in this one particular episode, he and his electrician looked right past the Stab-lok panel in the house.

Are Canadian Stab-loks different in Canada? This panel actually looked quite different from the units I'm familiar with. It was mounted horzontally--which appears to be commonplace in Canada--but the Stab-lok label was clearly visible.

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Mike Holmes routinely looks past safety issues, best practices, and even goes so far as to promote dangerous procedures such as using a heat gun to remove what is clearly lead paint despite such practices being strongly advised against at Health Now (a Canadian consumer protection agency).

He will get himself in trouble eventually, especially as his popularity increases in the US where some of his work practices are actually illegal.

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I've never seen him, but want to DVR his show. What network is it on? Is there a regular time or does it air scattershot?

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I've never seen him, but want to DVR his show. What network is it on? Is there a regular time or does it air scattershot?

Dunno.

We just tell our box to record anything that says "Holmes Inspection" and it automatically seeks, finds, and records.

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I've never seen him, but want to DVR his show. What network is it on? Is there a regular time or does it air scattershot?

Dunno.

We just tell our box to record anything that says "Holmes Inspection" and it automatically seeks, finds, and records.

Your box is brighter than mine. I'd have to check the on-screen schedule and search the three million channels that I pay for but never see. Perhaps I'll try Mr. Google instead . . .

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All one has to do to gauge the depth of Holme's knowledge is to look through his magazine. It's a lot of generic skim info, with almost nothing that's useful information. It's a personality cult with a mountain of 4 color ads.

He makes good TV. TV likes bombast and drama.

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However, in this one particular episode, he and his electrician looked right past the Stab-lok panel in the house.

Are Canadian Stab-loks different in Canada? This panel actually looked quite different from the units I'm familiar with. It was mounted horzontally--which appears to be commonplace in Canada--but the Stab-lok label was clearly visible.

Yes, the newer Canadian Federal Pioneer Stab-Lok panels and breakers are different from the dreaded Federal Pacific panels and breakers which were made in the US.

Horizontal mounting is permitted, but not all that common. In new construction they are generally mounted vertically.

The Canadian Electrical Code differs from the NEC in too many places to mention here. Canadian HI's need to be careful about what they learn from the internet. [:)]

Federal Pioneer panels are still in production in Canada and other countries and are owned by Schneider Electric, who also own the Square D company. FP Stab-Lok panels are very common here possibly because they are a few $ cheaper that Square D. The Stab-Lok breakers may have better tension in the pins, because I remove covers from FP panels several times a week and don't worry about the breakers actually falling out, although they do move around a bit because they pivot on those stabs.

If I come across a Federal Pacific panel, I know it is old (1960'S) and may have loose, unreliable breakers in it. I recommend replacement of those older units.

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Good info.

Different also is the Candian term for the plastic wire nut. I forget what they call them, but it start with an 'm' I think.

That would be "Marr nuts", eh?

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So I watched Holmes' show for the first time, last night. And now I understand why we don't like him.

The Reader's Digest version is that a couple bought a house, and wound up with some cracks in the kitchen walls and ceiling. Holmes goes down to the basement and finds a problem with a beam. The camera doesn't take shots that would interest people like us, and the problem wasn't fully explained, so I'm not sure what was up. Plus, I was doing paperwork and not paying terribly close attention.

Next, though, Holmes fires up his reciprocating saw and pulls down a bunch of drywall. THEN, of course, he found all kinds of problems. He also pried up a couple of cracked tiles in a newly-remodeled bathroom, and found wet framing members because the pan/membrane didn't extend high enough over the lip.

The pisser, though, is that he asked the homeowners if they had an inspection and what it cost. The answer was yes, and the job cost a little over three hundred dollars. Holmes rolled his eyes, as if to say, that guy was nothing but a jerk-off.

It would be senseless to debate what an inspector should or shouldn't have seen, but NO ONE would have found the structural issues without removing drywall. Maybe an IR camera would have found the shower issue. But maybe not.

Even IF the kitchen cracks were visible when the inspector was in the house, what could he say? Tell the buyers to have the sellers remove a ton of drywall so the framing could be looked at?

What a crock . . .

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Meanwhile, back at the raised ranch, thousands of folks who just don't know any better, think this guy is some kind of a hero. We can only hope to see the day he's exposed for what he really is.

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He's a hack. On a recent episode of his other show he used caulk and spray foam to waterproof a ledger attachment because "flashing it could be too hard". He actually said that on camera. He also used an existing retaining wall to support a portion of the same deck.

I suppose if his reno crew continues to do stuff wrong there will be plenty of work for his inspection crew [:-banghea

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Steven, did you understand what was wrong with the beam in the basement? I looked up from what I was doing, and the camera just showed Holmes peering through the joist bays with his flashlight. Unless I missed something, the beam problem was the ONLY one that was visible without removing drywall.

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Steven, did you understand what was wrong with the beam in the basement? I looked up from what I was doing, and the camera just showed Holmes peering through the joist bays with his flashlight. Unless I missed something, the beam problem was the ONLY one that was visible without removing drywall.

If it is the part I am thinking of, he was concerned that there was a post supporting a beam under the second floor deck that was transferring a load down to the first floor deck and not onto the foundation or a properly designed beam.

This could only be seen and evaluated if the wall finishes were taken off and it is way beyond what should be expected of a home inspector.

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There's the "home inspection" part of the show but then there are the fixes. . .

There doesn't seem to be much of a budget for repair work. I can see some of these jobs costing $80-100k or more with not only the repair of the actual defect, but many more add-ons. . . just cuz.

It appears that the sky is almost the limit.

Anyone see the episode with the absestos-wrapped boiler pipes in the basement ceiling?

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I didn't realize I was supposed to disassemble the house during an inspection. It's amazing I'm still in business. I better get busy changing my game plan to meet the expectations of the folks who watch the show.

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I guess it would be silly to even wonder if ASHI would launch a campaign against Holmes for all the misinformation that he's spewing out about out industry. We are taking a hit, you know. We'll have to correct all the misunderstandings later. I've already fielded a question involving his practices from a student in a homebuyers class a while back.

Marc

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I have been approached for 2 TV series both on HGTV. Unfortunately this was before I had become an inspector. The gist of these shows are all about trying to create "drama" where there isn't any. "How can we make this interesting?" and "how can we spin this?" are questions brought up during interviews with the shows producers.

This show is set up from the beginning. I bet Mike Holmes doesn't even do the preliminary inspection himself. Why doesn't he bring the clients along during the inspection? They leave and he complains about what was missed. It's all scripted. All he has done is go from attacking contractors to attacking inspectors now.

Now if I can inspect a house with a sledge hammer,a sawzall and a crew of renovators to rebuild everything after me... ;)

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I guess it would be silly to even wonder if ASHI would launch a campaign against Holmes for all the misinformation that he's spewing out about out industry. We are taking a hit, you know. We'll have to correct all the misunderstandings later. I've already fielded a question involving his practices from a student in a homebuyers class a while back.

Marc

Last year's ASHI president met with Holmes and/or his team toward the end of last year. Have no idea what the meeting was about or any result thereof.

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randynavarro said:

Good info.

Different also is the Candian term for the plastic wire nut. I forget what they call them, but it start with an 'm' I think.

Marrette - It's a brand name.

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I guess it would be silly to even wonder if ASHI would launch a campaign against Holmes for all the misinformation that he's spewing out about out industry. We are taking a hit, you know. We'll have to correct all the misunderstandings later. I've already fielded a question involving his practices from a student in a homebuyers class a while back.

Marc

Last year's ASHI president met with Holmes and/or his team toward the end of last year. Have no idea what the meeting was about or any result thereof.

The Holmes Inspection Company is actively seeking inspectors in Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver with plans to expand further until it explodes with pompous self-righteousness.

Just kidding, there, Big Mike. [:)]

Raising the standards is not a bad thing. The good, professional home inspectors have little to fear. But we do need to be clear about the limitations of a visual inspection.

As I posted elsewhere, if you want your new house to appear on Mike Holmes's TV show, you don't want me to inspect it. Hire one of the new Holmes inspectors.

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Hi Guys,

There's not much point in going on about it. These aren't real home inspections. These are houses that are hand picked from applicants who send in inspector horror stories to the show's production staff. When the producers think they've found one that will make a juicy story, they pick it and then Holmes and his so-called inspectors get to come in and tear it apart. In exchange, the people that own the house get it essentially rebuilt.

I'll bet that this works the same way that the Extreme Home Makeover show works. Once the producers have narrowed down a list of candidates, someone from the production staff and a few of Holmes' construction minions look the candidates over and pick one. Then they spend weeks planning how the show's sequences will go and preparing a script. Naturally, that script must cast us (real home inspectors) in the worst possible light and make Holmes look like some kind of hero.

Kurt hit it on the head; it's bombast and drama.

Anyone wanna bet that if you turned Holmes loose alone on a pre-sale house under the same limitations that we labor under that he wouldn't find any more or any less - and possibly quite a bit less - than the rest of us?

There's a particular horses ass of an inspector in Missouri that challenged Holmes to an inspection contest a few years ago. Holmes turned him down. He probably knows that he'd get shown up on an actual inspection; even by that guy.

Still, anything that can draw attention to this profession and the need for its improvement, which most of us will acknowledge is necessary, can't be all bad. I for one am all for the idea of college programs teaching this profession to young people. It's about time that persons entered this program earlier in life than middle age and view it as a lifelong career and a vocation and not just a means to tide them over between their last career and when they decide to finally pull the plug and sit on the porch.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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