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Holmes Inspection


We are Independent Surveyors and Structural Engineers who take great pride in our survey work and are very proud of the high standards we achieve in our building surveys. As well as Building Surveys, also known as Structural Surveys, if you want to know what the property is worth we can also offer Independent Valuations, Engineers Reports, Specific Defects Reports and Homebuyers Reports. If you need help and advice with regard to building surveys, structural surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects reports, dilapidations or any other property matters please free phone 0800 298 5424

As Independent Surveyors we note that there are many television programmes covering the property market aired on terrestrial and satellite television stations which we review in this section of our website. Our television review is our light hearted opinion of the television programme and may get you talking and thinking about what you see. In no way are we advertising the television programme or receiving remuneration for promoting it on our website we hope you find it of interest.

Holmes Inspection

Holmes Inspection is a Canadian property television series which airs in the UK on the Discovery Channel. Mike Holmes features homeowners who have taken on properties whereby their home survey misled them or completely missed out property issues which have left the homeowners with large bills and living in dangerous conditions. The series features homeowners with a variety of property issues with Mike Holmes and his crew helping to correct problem areas and bring the home back in order.

Holmes Inspection's presenter and project manager for each episode has also several other property television series to his name for example Holmes on Homes, Holmes Makes it Right and Holmes in New Orleans. Mike Holmes has created The Holmes Foundation which is a charity that focuses on making sure the skills are present in order for renovation work to be carried out competently and provides training for young people to learn building skills.

Holmes inspection

Holmes Inspection and the property with roof, chimney, foundation and plumbing issues

Holmes Inspection in the episode we are featuring in our article has a list of issues that were not brought to the attention of the young couple who purchased the property as their first home. Mike Holmes emphasises how important it is to have a professional carry out a structural survey on your property prior to you committing to purchase to outline any property issues. Unfortunately, the survey that was carried out on the young couple's property was carried out in haste and missed several important and costly property problems.

Holmes inspection

We, as Independent Surveyors, always recommend that potential buyers have a full structural survey of the property they are interested in purchasing as this will highlight any areas of concern prior to their committing to purchase. When investing in property and a home it is imperative that purchasers are aware of any property issues and how costly they may be and indeed how dangerous too.

The young couple on Holmes Inspection fell in love with their first property with its solid wood flooring and new kitchen but were unaware of the property issues the house had when their survey did not highlight the problems.

Please see our surveying articles on

What is an Independent Survey?

Structural Surveys

Structural Survey, what does a Surveyor do?

Specific Defects Reports

Holmes inspection

Holmes Inspection's Mike Holmes walks around the house with the couple and immediately can see the property has several costly and dangerous issues. The couple only realised that there was a problem with the porch roof when a satellite engineer came to install their satellite dish only to tell them that he would not be able to install the dish as their roof was completely rotten. Holmes Inspection's Mike Holmes confirms that the front porch roof is rotten and has been re-roofed with four layers of roofing felt but with rotten timber below.

Holmes inspection

The property has an extension at the rear with a flat roof which has not been completed and is not therefore watertight. In addition to this the main roof has a chimney which has poor pointing and flashing that is coming away and again this is not watertight.

When Holmes Inspection's Mike Holmes takes a look at the basement of the property more structural issues are highlighted with the couple being so desperate that they have had to block up the doorway as rainwater has been getting into the area.

The plumbing Holmes Inspection's Mike Holmes also explains is not carried out correctly and there are no vents for allowing air to get into the property.

The Holmes Inspection crew are on hand to help rectify the property issues and get set to work with the list that Mike Holmes has drawn up; the problems are costly and some are dangerous but the Holmes Inspection crew are experts and are on a mission to correct the property issues.

Holmes inspection

Felt Roof

The front porch roof is a felt roof and has had layer upon layer of felt added rather than have the layer removed and then a new layer added. Consequently there are now four layers of felt which means that the roof is heavily laden and cannot breathe as well as in time this extra weight will mean that the roof structure will not be able to carry the weight and eventually it will collapse. Once the layers of felt are removed underneath the timber is rotten and needs to be replaced.

As Independent Surveyors we are frequently asked to help with felt roof issues such as how to improve insulation on a flat felt roof.

Holmes inspection

Flat roof with no insulation


In the basement area the worst structural issues can be found with the foundations literally crumbling and new support and new blockwork necessary to correct this area. The steps to the basement area are in wood which is a material not usually suitable for basement steps as the nature of the area is that during rainfall the area will become wet and the wood will rot. The basement area is re-built and the entrance blocked with a waterproof membrane and the whole area brought up to the correct building standards.

When, as Independent Surveyors, we carry out residential structural building surveys we will always comment on the foundations of a property.

For example a stepped brick foundation

Holmes inspection

Stepped brick foundation

Chimney re-pointing and flashings replaced

The chimney to the property is brick built but the flashings are not watertight and the pointing is coming away which means that the chimney is allowing dampness to get into the structure. Re-pointing work is carried out and a new flashing installed to correct the property issues in this area.

When as Independent Surveyors we provide our written structural surveys we will always include drawings and definitions to explain fully any areas of concern such as with chimney flashings and re-pointing work.

Holmes inspection

Lead flashings are always best for chimneys

Flashings Defined

Flashings prevent dampness from entering the property, usually at junctions where materials change. Such a junction is the one between the chimney and the roof.

Re-Pointing Defined

Re-pointing is carried out where the existing mortar has failed and broken away to stop damp penetration and further deterioration. The mortar should be raked out to approximately 20mm and then replaced with a mortar of a similar type, therefore, stopping damp occurring.

Holmes inspection

Cement pointing and dampness

Drainage and plumbing

Holmes Inspection's Mike Holmes has highlighted how the drainage is incorrect and that the plumbing has not been carried out professionally. The basement floor is concrete and has to be broken up to lay new drainage pipes and in the bathroom and kitchen the plumbing is corrected with vents added.

Holmes Inspection Reveal

Mike Holmes meets with his crew to check that all the work has been carried out and then invites the homeowners back into their home to see all the corrective work that has been carried out. The young couple are relieved to find that the Holmes Inspection crew have corrected all the property issues that they had been unaware of at the time of purchasing their first home. The lesson surely is always to have a professional structural survey carried out before committing to purchase to highlight property issues.

Holmes inspection

Holmes Inspection In summary

The series Holmes Inspection highlights property issues from roofs to foundations and in large properties to small ones with homeowners distressed at the property issues that they had been unaware of at time of purchasing their homes. Holmes Inspection is informative with Mike Holmes giving expert help and advice and with the professional Holmes Inspection crew carrying out corrective work to bring the homes back into a good condition.

Mike Holmes is a property expert with books such as Mike Holmes Attics and Basements and Mike Holmes Kitchens and Bathrooms and a magazine Holmes: The Magazine to Make it Right and even an app To Make it Right.

Holmes inspection

Please see our property television reviews

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Help! My House is Falling Down


Cowboy Builders



Independent Surveyors

If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from an Independent Surveyor with regard to building surveys, structural surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects report, dilapidations or any other property matters please contact 0800 298 5424 for an Independent Surveyor to give you a call back.

Commercial property surveyors

If you have a commercial property, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site .

We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

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