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10 novice renovator tips from The Block

10 novice renovator tips from The Block
10 novice renovator tips from The Block
  1. Functional and stylish – don’t forget both elements

    There’s no point making something beautiful if it can’t be used in the way intended. Renovators should consider how a room is used as well as how it looks.

    Storage, access and use are just as crucial as giving something a contemporary, high end and luxury look.

  2. Be firm with your suppliers

    Many couples in The Block Glasshouse were faced great difficulty trying to get materials, such as cabinetry, from their suppliers, leaving some installing it 45 minutes before completion time.

    Some strict words did assist with speeding up the process. It’s crucial to let your suppliers know your expectations. Leave plenty of time as a buffer for any delays.

  3. Budget

    While many of the teams do well with budgeting, in The Block Glasshouse's office episode Carlene managed to max out their credit card earlier on in the piece by overspending on pricey fabric and making other extravagant purchases.

    Budget ahead of time, know where the bang for your buck items are. Think smartly about your spending choices. Some DIY furniture saved Michael and Carline in the end, using timber that was on site, however it could have worked out far worse.

  4. Find a focal point

    The couples that did the best knew to focus on a “wow” factor, and focus the room around that point. Those that missed out dressed either all of their room too much (such as Chris and Jenna with too many plants) or not enough.

    Think of the point of difference – a clever skylight, or a canopy bed – and enhance this with your styling.

  5. Teamwork

    Communication and strong team work are crucial when you’re suffering from lack of sleep, structural issues and a short time period. Many couples were unable to make decisions between them, or to trust each other to make choices. It’s crucial to stay in touch, to know whose is responsible for which task and to choose who will do what.

  6. Fitout may fade, but aspect is forever.

    While Steve and Chantelle’s renovating skills in The Block Fans v Faves may have left a lot to be desired at times, their street-fronting apartment had that all-important north facing aspect. With windows all along their western wall and huge arched windows at the north, their apartment was flooded with light. Should they wish to, changing the apartment’s furnishings will cost the buyers relatively little.

  7. Use the building’s natural features.

    Contestants in The Block Fans v Faves were lucky enough to makeover one of the most interesting buildings in Albert Park, the former Dux Picture Theatre. With townhouses and apartments in the suburb already in high demand, the rarity of The Block’s warehouse conversions were a huge pull for buyers and audiences. All four teams took advantage of this fact, playing up the industrial elements of their properties with complimentary timber work and exposed red brick.

  8. Location matters, even in TV land

    The Block
    ’s producers have an impressive track record now of picking buildings in blue chip inner city suburbs, where demand runs hot and residences are hard to come by. As buyers’ advocate Frank Valentic noted, the couple who purchased the winning apartment this series had been seeking a home in Melbourne’s inner south for some time. With The Block Glasshouse taking part in Prahran, it's clear they have continued this trend.

  9. Treat your tradies well

    Trouble with tradies is a running theme across many of The Block seasons, as is those with the best tradie-relationships securing the best results. Poor planning meant that teams at times had to re-do their work with different tradespeople, while disputes in The Block Fans v Faves sees Alisa and Lysandra ditch one of their employees.

  10. Reno smart, sell smarter

    With the least experience and the least money, The Block Fans v Faves' Steve and Chantelle relied on strategy, channelling their energies into the kitchen and living spaces and their master bedroom, two of the most valuable areas for buyers. But it was their clever choice to go last in the auction proceedings that was the couple’s best play, with high demand and low supply the perfect ingredients for a winning price.

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