BASF: Making It Better Mike Holmes - Make it Right

The industry:
The challenge:
Rebuild a home from
the ground up with an
eco-friendly design
that is built to last
The solution:
WALLTITE® polyurethane
insulation products
BASF: Making It Better
Mike Holmes
When a home renovation goes completely wrong in the hands of another
contractor, Mike Holmes is left with no choice but to rebuild the house
from the ground up. This provides an opportunity to make a statement
about the value of eco-friendly structures and their durability. And he
chooses WALLTITE or WALLTITE ECO from BASF for the job.
The Customer
Few home renovation television personalities
have garnered the respect and credibility of
Mike Holmes. Watched in seven countries,
his Holmes on Homes™ television program is
proof of his Make it Right™ philosophy. His team
addresses and corrects poor workmanship and
renovations gone wrong, replacing uninhabitable
living spaces with safe, built-to-last homes.
The Challenge
When homeowners Christina and Joe turned to
Mike Holmes for help on their house – rendered
uninhabitable by an unsafe and flawed renovation
– he knew he had to help. “I’ve never ever seen
a job so bad in my life,” says Holmes. While he
is known for redoing renovations gone wrong,
this was the first case where it was more prudent
for his team to tear down the entire house and
rebuild from the ground up rather than try to
fix each individual problem.
“Not only were doors hung upside down
and windows hung on their sides, there were
irreparable structural problems,” recalls Holmes.
“The footings under the addition were poorly done
or, worse, non-existent. The point loads weren’t
properly supported. There was a huge weight of
masonry resting on inadequate and incorrect
framing. The list goes on and on.”
The First Steps
But, from challenge also springs opportunity.
Rather than simply rebuild the home as it was
before the renovation, Holmes proposed creating
the kind of home he would ideally like to build:
energy efficient, environmentally sensitive,
resistant to fire, water and mould, and
designed to last.
Christina and Joe agreed with the plan. And
Holmes found volunteers, donors and corporate
sponsors to get the project underway.
The Solution
Creating an energy-efficient home his way,
Holmes knew, would require the use of innovative
top-grade products. As an advocate of eco-friendly
construction, he’d used many of these products
in previous projects. Christina and Joe’s new
home would be a chance to pull all these ideas
and products together into one structure.
“ It was very clear, after
using WALLTITE a couple
of times, that it was the
best possible insulation on
As for insulation, Holmes’ eco-efficient, durable
solution was WALLTITE® from BASF. Holmes
started using WALLTITE products 5 years ago
and has been impressed ever since. “It was very
clear, after using WALLTITE a couple of times,
that it was the best possible insulation on the
market – no question.”
Beyond the thermal performance, Holmes sees
a lot to like about the insulation. “Homeowners
should think about the overall effectiveness of the
product,” he says. “As a spray foam, WALLTITE
covers everything, so there is no potential for
cold spots, gaps, voids or settling. It’s a complete
thermal break between inside and outside
temperatures and it allows for no air movement.”
Homeowners who use WALLTITE products also
benefit economically down the road, because of
its insulation value. “Consider the long-term
savings in energy efficiency and longevity,”
Holmes says.
The Implementation
Christina and Joe’s completed house included
the features that Holmes expects in a truly
eco-friendly home. It uses a system of photovoltaic
cells and hot water panels to absorb sunlight and
covert it into usable electricity. These are situated
on a roof that includes an eco-roofing system
that helps manage rainwater and helps cool the
house. Rainwater is also collected in a cistern and
treated for laundry, toilets and exterior irrigation.
B A S F : M a k in g it B e tt e r M I K E H O L M E S
The air system and interior building materials
were selected to improve air quality. These
features include paints that contain a minimum
of solvents, non-allergenic carpets, hardwood
flooring and tile, plus two furnaces, each with
dual-filtration systems.
the market – no question.
For durability and heat conservation, concrete
made up the complete substructure of the house.
This also enabled the crew to install radiant
in-floor heating that comfortably and evenly
distributes warmth throughout the house. And,
of course, WALLTITE envelopes the house.
Sound architectural practices, like recessed,
south-facing windows, a vaulted ceiling and the
use of LED lighting, helped further maximize the
energy efficiency of the house.
The Results
Well over 3 years after they moved out of
their house, Christina, Joe and their daughter,
Julianna, are now happily and comfortably living
in their new home.
“The learning curve has been painful,” says
Holmes. “But this is research and development.
We put all the theories into one project and
designed a prototype that’s totally different and
that no one’s ever built. And now we can do
it even better.”
Holmes is planning to develop a number
of eco-friendly communities based on this
prototype. And, WALLTITE products, which
now carry the “Holmes Mark,” identifying them
as Mike Holmes-approved products, will be
part of the mix.
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“To my mind,” Holmes says, “the perfect
eco-friendly house would have an on-demand
tankless hot water heater, in-floor radiant
heating, solar-assist electricity and hot water
heating, a living roof, a grey water-recycling
system, light emitting diode (LED) lighting and
geothermal heating.” Many of these features
would find their way into the new home.