With the teams being given their full $250,000 budget up-front, their 12-week schedule in advance, and plumbers and electricians paid for by host Scott Cam, it’s fair to say that season 19 of The Block is very different to previous years.
While some viewers believe the major rules changes have made the show too easy, with 2021 couple Kirsty and Jesse recently commenting that this year’s season is “a walk in the park”, competitors Leah and Ash argue that the builds are much more difficult than they look on TV.
“I’m not saying any year has been easier than the other, but I remember Scotty saying this is going to be the hardest year ever when we first got there,” Ash tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
“And I was like, ‘Oh right, he says that all the time’. But we quickly realised that we were not only building a house, but we were building with the actual Nine In Six Builders [who were building the second storeys] and there were people literally on top of everyone, everywhere.
“Stress levels were high, we have to get this done but they also have to put this steel beam in. You're building a whole second story for the house in three months, and I can tell you now that that in itself is a massive feat in the building industry.”
Leah adds that while it’s definitely a bonus not having to pay for plumbers and electricians themselves, sharing the tradies amongst five teams will soon become an issue.
“As the season progresses you'll start to see that that becomes a bit of a problem because you're waiting for that plumber to be finished with another house before they can get to you and vice versa,” she explains.
“So I think there's pros and cons with every season, for sure.”
'It's not a normal environment'
Ash went on to say that despite the fact he and Leah had plenty of renovation experience before going on The Block, nothing could’ve prepared them for the experience itself.
“A lot of people are like, ‘You know what you're doing, you do this at home!’, and I’m like, ‘Yeah, but it's not to this kind of level’,” he remarks.
“It's definitely hard. There are so many different emotions going on. You've got to make calls on certain rooms within like five minutes where you'd have a whole day, and it’s really hard to design a house within a day.
“The amount of hours you work a day, the amount of painting that you have to do, the decisions that you have to make, it’s not a normal environment.”
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