Master contractor Jim Caruk (Handyman Superstar Challenge, Real Renos) is back with an even edgier, faster-paced and uncensored look at the manic and unpredictable world of home renovation. Jim’s contracting business is booming to the point where he is now forced to let go of the reins with tremendous trepidation, and expand his staff and construction crew.
However, Jim’s a tough nut to crack, and is resisting his Business Manager and nephew Jeff’s suggestions on how to take the business to the next level. Jeff’s high-energy, no-nonsense approach is in complete contrast to Jim’s laid-back and cool demeanor. But, don’t mistake Jim for being passive – he’s a ‘Type Triple A’ control freak who likes things done his way, and is having problems letting go and delegating to Jeff.
Jim Caruk, owner and operator of The Caruk Group builds a 5,000 square foot Georgian-style mansion, designed to the nines! From the demolition of an old bungalow in this upper class neighbourhood right to the very end of this stunning project, Jim and his team face the ups and downs of an upper class build.
Jim takes on a ‘Buddy Build’ (a build for a friend) and no one is happy about it. A century old house in a resort town intended to be a live/work space presents one challenge after another; Jim faces everything from knob and tube wiring to balloon framing, no insulation and rotten siding… a real pain! But if truth be told, Jim loves the challenge!
The Caruk Group has been hired to gut and rebuild an entire home after a heartbreaking fire. Clients Christine and Vito have a limited budget from the insurance settlement and very specific ideas on how they want their home to not only be rebuilt but also upgraded. Jim knows from the start that they’re going to go over budget and is concerned that this job is going to go up in flames – only this time financially!
As a contractor, Jim works with a lot of designers. Designer Jo Matovich has worked with Jim before and they know what to expect from each other. With only three short months to renovate a kitchen, family room and powder room in a posh ‘uptown’ house the pressure is on. Will Jim and Jo finish on time and with their designer/contractor relationship still intact?
Jim has built just about everything but this one is unique – a bunker that is 20 feet UNDERGROUND. It’s to house a golf simulator and a kids’ playroom all topped off with an elaborate outdoor living space that includes an outdoor kitchen and pergola. Problems mount as the dig slows; the hole fills with snow, then water. It’s no wonder Jim never commits to time lines until the project is out of the ground, but wait ….this one is ALL underground!
The Caruk Group’s newest member of the team, Richard, goes rogue and – without Jim’s knowledge – brings on an unfinished and problematic outdoor project This Charleston style, two-story porch and landscaped garden present every challenge imaginable; a hoarding homeowner, flood and erosion, flawed construction drawings and a big change on Jim’s team.
Jim knows a contractor should never take on a job for family, but Jeff Caruk, Jim’s nephew and business partner, and Jeff’s wife and kids need more room, so Jim is on the spot. But with Jeff in the driver’s seat the project grows by the second, turning into a full reno; new siding, windows, bathrooms, a mudroom and laundry room and re-landscaping the front yard! Will Jeff and Jim still be speaking at the end of this project?
Jeff asks Jim to take on a half finished project; the home owners are in desperate need with no kitchen, a roughed-in fireplace and unfinished walls and floors. While the project is not huge, the problems are, as Jim struggles to find the right trades people and artisans that can accomplish the finishing work in this traditional home.
No electrical, no plumbing, no driveway – all part of building a home in a remote location. But this is also a Log Home and if one log is out of place; nothing will fit! The home owner is on site every day providing meals but the team is working away from home and the stress is building. To top it off, Jim leaves to have shoulder surgery. This is going to really test the team…. will frayed nerves get the better of the Caruk Group?
Jim is called in to finish the basement of a home that he built 5 years ago. Given free rein by the home owner, a wine cellar, a media room and a gym are all going to be fun for Jim to design and build. Jim is spending a lot of time on this project and having a lot of fun but he is needed on other projects. Business partner and nephew, Jeff steps in and hires a designer without Jim’s knowledge!
Return clients are a big compliment for Jim. This time the clients want the master bedroom suite of their dreams, going all out with leading edge design, complicated fixtures and walls build from glass…but ‘out of the box’ builds lead to out-of-this-world expenses and timelines. With dreams of boutique hotel chic the home owners keep their eye on the prize as Jim pushes the project to a stunning finish.
A coach house that once housed a horse carriage is ‘grandfathered’ by city by-law. The home owners have called Jim in to bring the coach house into the 21st century, providing a loft-like living space, a modern garage and landscaped garden. Follow along as Jim and his team work to bring green design into this century old coach house, as the space and the location present problems that could jeopardize the ‘grandfathered’ status.
This is a BIG project, made bigger because the home owners change their minds at least once a week!!! Jim adds 2000 square feet to this plantation style home. The family is living with their boys in a carriage house on the property and things are getting tight. If this project is not finished soon the kids are going to start calling Jim “uncle” and Jim’s real life nephew and partner Jeff might pack it in!