"Quality pays for itself."

I was told a story when I was quite a bit younger.  My grandpa had his house plastered when it was new back in the 50s.  He told the guys that he wanted it done right.  He didn’t want to see a crack in the plaster for as long as he owned the house. 

I went around the house after he died looking at walls.  Now I have to say, I’m not the sort of guy that examines walls, but for some reason the story came to mind and I figured that was my only shot at looking at them.  There’s no real surprise - I didn’t find a single crack in the plaster. 

One of the great lessons he taught me was “Quality pays for itself.“  Get the best you can afford and don’t cheap out in the short term.  Quality goods and workmanship will always outlast the cheapest available. 

I’m not much of a fan of the Walmart mentality.  Price isn’t the driving factor in the long term, you have to balance price with quality. 

I am a big fan of Mike Holmes.  He’s a quality guy, he really cares and he genuinely wants to fix things.  More than just houses, more than just lives.  I truly get the feeling he wants to leave the world better. 

Last Saturday, Charlie Major and Mike Holmes came to Calgary for Lean on Me Day.  It was a fund-raising event to provide scholarships for students learning a skilled trade. 

It’s a great fit.  I’m met Charlie before and he’s a great guy to work with.  The two didn’t know each other before the fundraiser, but they certainly carried themselves well and worked together very well.

There’s magic when Mike’s ripping into some poorly constructed project and realizes it’s so badly that it has to be entirely taken down and started over.  “Take it all down.  Start over!  Do it right the first time!”

Mike is working on something very special with his foundation.  He’s trying to fix something bigger than a house.  He’s fixing the system.  He spoke about how for years we have discouraged our kids from taking up a career in the trades.  Be a doctor, be a lawyer, but don’t be a tradesman.  The hours are long, the work is hard.

I’ll bet Mike Holes is a guy that thrives on long hours and hard work.  He takes a lot of pride in what he does.  He wants to teach our kids to learn to do things right the first time.  Again, not a surprise, he talks about it all the time.  He’s wonderfully consistent, wonderfully sincere.  The kind of person I feel honoured to meet and shake hands.

The other part that impresses me with Mike is that he wants to educate homeowners how to get things done right.  One of the things I try to do is to teach my clients how to care for their computers.  I’m not going to replace myself - I’m still available for the big jobs, but everyone should know they need to patch their computer, they need an Anti-virus program for Windows, watch out for spyware, be careful about opening attachments in email.  Anyone can - and should - understand the basics.  I too want people to have a better understanding of their computer system, Mike wants people to have a better understanding of their homes.  That’s very cool.

I support what Mike is trying to accomplish.  I applaud Charlie for pitching in and helping with the cause.  You can get Charlie’s latest disk from the Holmes on Homes store and $5.00 from each disk will go to The Holmes Foundation.  That’s fully 13 of the price - that’s not a token donation, Charlie’s serious about helping out as well.

These are quality people doing quality work.  Quality pays for itself, quality people are worth their weight in gold.