Review: The Holmes Inspection

The Holmes Inspection: The Essential Guide for Every Homeowner, Buyer and Seller, is a book written by Mike Holmes. This author is both a contractor and the host of a couple HGTV series. He also runs a home inspection and certification company. Ultimately Mike is well qualified to write this no-nonsense book outlining what to look for when purchasing a home. Although the text appears thorough and complete with checklists, the author is clear – this isn’t a do it yourself guide. Doing your own inspection is like operating on yourself, or representing yourself in court. Yes, you can do it. But should you? According to Mike, you should not. Buying a home is emotion filled. Even building pros should hire an inspector when buying. This book is intended as a guide to ensure you’re getting the most from the qualified inspectors you hire. It also helps answer questions once you own the home and wonder if something isn’t quite right.

The Good: The author presents technical information while writing for the average homeowner. A reasonable amount of drawings and images support the text. A thorough discussion of each building system, from foundations to HVAC is included. As are cost spreadsheets and to-do checklists.

The Bad: Perhaps this book’s bad is that it reveals the unpredictable nature of the inspections industry. After a funny opening image of Mike as a young teen with his dad. The introduction discusses the values Mike learned from his dad like: Never cheat others, always do the job right, don’t cut corners and be conscientious. Just before he goes into a diatribe about how inspectors these days are sloppy and don’t spot the red flags of bad construction.

The Bottom Line: Buildwise highly recommends this book for homeowners and building pros in the process of buying and selling a home. Even thought this book covers most of the topics an inspector will review. Please hire a qualified inspector, they’re worth the cost.

Full Citation: Holmes, Mike.
The Holmes Inspection: The Essential Guide for Every Homeowner, Buyer and Seller. 
New York: Time Home Entertainment Inc., 2012. Paperback
341 pages, 8.5×10.5 size, many relevant color photos and 3D technical images. Includes checklists and tables.

The Holmes Inspection

The Holmes Inspection

Relevant Subject


For Pros


For Homeowners





  • Well written
  • Thorough
  • Personable
  • Accurate


  • Not many negatives

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