Well Blockheads we are on the other side of the hump, and it’s not like it’s gotten any easier for our teams on this season of The Block.
Now, who else is sick of the drama and really wants to see the teams get cracking at putting their skills to work? Let’s see some hard core renovations am I right? Not more dibber dobbing and complaints. This is The Block after all, not the Bachelor (aka The Badgelor…that’s a much better name, at least for this season!).
Week 7 - Hallway, Laundry, Powder Room Week
A case of the Man Flu swept through The Block this week and took out pretty much every male contestant. Being as this was a short week due to a long weekend coming up (this was filmed around Easter time), all the teams were shocked and surprised when Keith and Dan told them any waterproofing had to be done by Wednesday in order for laundry cabinetry to go in. So if this was filmed in weekly order, the teams heard this news on a Monday morning. That’s not very fair dinkum boys. It would have been a bit fairer if you had let the teams know a week before so that they could plan the build accordingly, not on the day they start executing their plans. Not cool dudes, not cool.
Let’s start with the team that came in last place this week. Hayden and Sara had quite a few hiccups this week, and perhaps they could have handled them a bit better. First the Man Flu comes through, and Sara has no sympathy for Hayden. This is perhaps the first (and quite possibly the last) time I agree with Sara. Maybe I’m married to a mutant or superhuman, but when the flu hits and The Hubby has a site deadline, he’s still working and gets the job done. He also plans builds down to the last nail going in and watches his trades like a hawk, which seemed to be lacking this week. The hallway floor was about 8 millimetres too high. For safety and perhaps for aesthetics, the floor in the hallway needs to be flush with the floors from the other rooms. So the team had to remove the floor back by about 2 metres, and redo it. To add to the mix, Keith threatens to shut the site down because it’s an absolute pigsty, which ensues one of Sara’s now signature tantrums. Just as a side note, Keith isn’t wielding the Blockinator stick here for fun. A messy site is an unsafe site, riddled with potential disasters. The cherry on top for the week was the leak caused by Bianca and Carla’s crew piercing some piping, all just before power tool curfew. It wasn’t a massive disaster and managed to get fixed up and the team moved on to finish the room.
And boy was it Struggletown in apartment 3, and the judges were not impressed at all. The place was filthy, very poorly painted and embarrassingly unfinished, with the vanity not connected to any piping, cabinet doors unhinged and caulking missing. A construction manager’s job is to be part of the build from start to finish, and essentially manage the entire build, labour costs and hire, materials, and timetable, accounting for any mishaps that when they ensue. No matter what the excuses are coming from the team, the simple fact remains that this week was really poorly managed and it showed.
Moving on to Courtney and Hans. While they’re the rookies of this competition, they still managed to present a hallway resembling a clean art gallery, and also have yet again one of the largest spaces on this season at a whopping 17 metres in length. Unfortunately they did have another problem occur, however luckily it wasn’t in their hallway, but in their winning living room. Due to the wet weather water seeped through into their ceiling, creating a bulge of water and bowing the ceiling. That section will have to be ripped out and replaced, but at no expense to the Perth couple. While it was go go go to get everything done, it was relatively smooth sailing for this team, giving them enough time to unnecessarily spread the goss across The Block. While the judges loved the personality Courtney’s artwork choices brought to the space, there wasn’t really much relation between each piece to tie them all together. Anything from a splash of the same colour or pattern would have been enough to have everything relate to each other.
My spirit couple, Norm and Jess had a few troubles this week, enough to put Jess down in the dumps. Not only did the man flu hit, but their plasterers hadn’t told them until the last minute that they were knocking off early for the long weekend, causing complete chaos and Jess to have a tiny meltdown. Hang in there Jess! While I personally would have fired the lot (really who tells a customer at the last minute they’re going to knock off early. Poor form guys!), Jess scrambles to find another plasterer and in the end their current supplier decides to stay for the long haul and get the job done. At least they had a few highs with becoming challenge champions again, bringing in some extra cash in the process.
Norm and Jess’ ceilings are quite high at 4 metres, and so plastering took an incredible effort, enough to get them behind on painting. Norm worked well through the night to get all his paint work done while Jess focussed on the rest to get the three rooms across the line. One unique aspect the Queenslanders tried was off centring their skylights, which angled the light over the paintings rather than flooding the entire area with light. Judges loved this move and said so in their judgement. Along with the lighting, Jess’ homage to The Gatwick with her prints certainly caught Shaynna’s eye. One thing the judges couldn’t stand though was the powder room door opened to the toilet. No one wants to see the dunny when they walk in, and why hide the beautiful vanity you built into the room?
Bianca and Carla are forever in second place, and I think that’s because they are slightly blasé about the whole project. We’ve never really learned why they decided to enter The Block. Is it because they’ve done a few renovations, just wanted to compete in something different? They seem like great mates with their builders, but could this be what’s causing them to consistently come second? Not that being friends with your builder is a bad thing, but as some of the reasons they haven’t won a room lately are due to common building practices that they’ve missed (think air con vent), perhaps they need to bring down the hammer.
On the flip side, having a team you can hang out with and work with does pay off (I would know, the team I work with are fantastic! #OneFamily). As soon as Fore-Dan let the netballers know they needed to rip up the floor as it wasn’t level with the rest of the apartment, their chippies were off ripping it up, removing glue and getting it done. The second their tiler couldn’t make it, their chippie stepped in and got their tiling finished. And when leakgate happened just before power tool curfew, their plumber counted on the chippie to fix it up ASAP. That’s the type of service anyone could hope for in their builder. Give yourself a pat on the back mate…..whoever you are.
While Norm and Jess are my spirit couple, I’m really starting to get the feeling that Kerrie and Spence are my spirit stylists. The judges have bagged them out so hard for their styling but I whole heartedly disagree with half of the opinions the judges have shown us about their rooms (at least the losing ones). What the judges say are exactly that. Opinions. And while they’re experts in their fields, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t some target persona or market out there that will adore that apartment. I do, now if I just had a few mill in my account…
Kerrie and Spence have been there and done that. They’ve renovated a house before and know the ins and outs in terms of managing such a large project. So well Spence forgets to hire a tiler for the week, but we will let that one slide. He looked exhausted and it’s understandable one can forget such things. What did he do? Instead of freaking out or complaining he grabbed a tile saw, got one his knees and started tiling. And man did it pay off! Not a single complaint from the judges! Not one! The tiling was on point, the styling was fantastic, even The Hubby and his uber critical eye loved the result. Well done Kerrie and Spence!
Here's everything they used to make their job easy:
So will we see a triple crown next week, and who will come crashing down? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see. As always, keep your tools sharp and your hard hats on Blockheads!