FIVE couples – including a husband and wife duo from the Gold Coast – will this year battle it out on Australia’s favourite reality renovation program, The Block, when it returns next week (Sunday, July 27).
This year’s Block contestants will have to convert a 1980s three-storey, 3540 square-metre Glasshouse office building into five split-level atrium apartments, complete with two-car lock-up underground garages and 70 square-metre lock-up storage units.
Gold Coasters Michael and Carlene are in their seventh year of marriage with two children and will take on four other couples from New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania in the mega-challenge.
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The Block Glasshouse will restore the mammoth building to its former light-industrial glory, showcasing the spectacular ceiling heights, great structural bones and cool, old-school, metal-framed windows – with a twist.
Contestants will be made to deliver larger rooms on the same budget of $100,000 and sponsor vouchers as previous contestants, but will this year vote on each others’ rooms, with the weekly winners topping up their reno budget with an extra $5000 in goods and cash.
Also, nearly every couple in this series has at least one partner who is a tradie or experienced in renovating – a plumber, a painter, a chippy, building student and kitchen installer.
Sounds like a huge advantage, but no one has taken on a build of this magnitude before, and it doesn’t take long for the cracks to show.
Last home to communication technology company Vixtel, the building will undergo façade changes to complement the new internal layout, including converting the ground floor to retail and commercial space totalling 254 square metres.
It won’t be without its challenges, as the sheer scale of the building must be carefully carved up to create individual apartments with private terraces, voids, a multi-storey atrium and common area that gives a real sense of arrival.
Gold Logie winner and host Scott Cam is back for the ninth season and said that this year’s Block was the most challenging yet.
“We thought Sky High was the biggest, but this blows Sky High out of the water,” he said.
“We have so much on going structurally, with our demo work and over 100 guys on site every day. It’s definitely the toughest job for our contestants.
“We broke records last series, but I think buyers are going to go even more ballistic for these apartments.”
Returning to join Scott are challenge master Shelley Craft, judges Neale Whitaker, Shaynna Blaze and Darren Palmer, and “The Blockinator” foreman, Keith Schleiger.
Since it began in 2003, The Block has been a ratings juggernaut.
The grand finale of The Block Fan v Faves was watched by a massive average national audience of more than three million viewers earlier this year and a record amount of $2,426,500 was given away at the auction of the Dux House apartments, taking the total series prizemoney since The Block began to $8.1 million.
– The Block Glasshouse premieres on Sunday, July 27 at 6.30pm on Channel Nine –
[signoff icon=”icon-pin”]THE BLOCK GLASSHOUSE COUPLES
- Michael & Carlene (both 31), from the Gold Coast, QLD: Together for 12 years and married for seven, with a son Paddy (5) and daughter Stella (3). Michael is a Project Manager/Chippy and Carlene is a Communications Officer at a university.
- Chris (24) & Jenna (26), from Campbelltown, NSW: Have known each other for seven years, married for four. Chris is a Cabinet Maker and Jenna is a Video Editor, both self-employed.
- Maxine (24) & Karstan (26), from Newcastle, NSW: Together for eight years, engaged for two. Maxine is an Events Manager and Karstan is a Coal Miner.
- Shannon (35) & Simon (28), born in Lichfield, TAS, raised in Coffs Harbour, NSW: Brothers. Shannon is a Painter and Simon is a Plumber.
- Darren (32) & Deanne (44), from Melbourne, VIC: Married 10 years with two daughters, Scarlett (7) and Lily (5). Darren is an ex-AFL Footballer studying to be a builder and Deanne is a former Fashion Designer.[/signoff]