By BILL HARRIS
Special to The Lede
When your dad is celebrity contractor Mike Holmes, there must have been some unique experiences growing up.
Sherry Holmes, Mike’s daughter, confirmed as much, while discussing her new series HOLMES 911, which debuts Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on CTV Life Channel. In HOLMES 911, Sherry and her brother, Mike Jr., join Mike Sr., in a team effort to rescue homeowners from unscrupulous contractors, unhealthy homes, and D.I.Y projects gone horribly wrong.
But we just had to ask Sherry: Have you ever seen the Bill Murray movie, Scrooged?
“Yes, I did,” said Sherry, wondering where this was going.
Well, there’s a scene in Scrooged where Murray, as TV executive Frank Cross, gets increasingly agitated on a loud TV set, exclaiming repeatedly, “WOULD YOU PLEASE … HALT ...THE HAMMERING?” So Sherry, does that pretty much sum up your entire childhood?
“You know what? I wouldn't say you're wrong,” Sherry said with a big laugh. “It’s basically my life for real.”
Speaking of things getting real, the homeowners featured in HOLMES 911 certainly have experienced a little too much reality lately, with serious issues in their houses.
“There are five homes over the course of 12 episodes, and we kind of go back and forth,” Sherry explained. “Some projects took longer than others.”
That’s one of the elements that gives HOLMES 911 an authentic feel. When the team gets smacked with an unexpected complication that temporarily halts work on one job site, the logical step is to move to another site, rather than wasting hours.
“We find different things behind the walls, and sometimes they take longer to fix, unfortunately,” Sherry said. “You see different construction shows on television, and sometimes I guess it can be misleading. You think it's going a lot faster than it is. But to do the job properly, it does take time.”
In fact, viewers of HOLMES 911 occasionally might be left to think, there is so much wrong with a particular house, wouldn’t it be more efficient to bulldoze it and build a new one?
“There has definitely been at least one job out of the entire ‘Holmes everything’ (various TV projects) that I wish we would have bulldozed, because we literally took down exterior walls and everything, it was ridiculous,” Sherry recalled. “But in some cases, homeowners just want to keep their house. They couldn't imagine bulldozing and building another one. They just want to fix their problems. And there can be a big difference in pricing, that's for sure. So they have to consider sentimental value, finances, and definitely the timeline. Building a house is no small feat, either.”
As for the wider industry, Sherry does a lot of work trying to get more women into the skilled trades.
“We are making progress,” Sherry said. “The biggest thing that impedes getting women and youth into the trades is they don't know what's available to them. It's also nerves, especially for women. When I was younger, the idea of pursuing it in school scared me so much, because I was the only girl in class. But the options are endless. We have a severe shortage. If you're good, there will always be a lineup of people waiting to use your services. It is a very lucrative and promising career.”
Even if Bill Murray is complaining about the hammering.
“Honestly, we grew up on a construction site,” Sherry said. “So you’re right, that’s my biography.”