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Why Builders Hate The Block

Why Builders Hate The Block

Ok, so hate is certainly a strong word, and perhaps not every builder hates The Block, but we sure do in our house. While I enjoy occasionally watching the show to keep up to date with the conversations my friends are having, it is not something we watch really at all. Here are a few reasons why.

Why Builders Hate The Block


The Time Constraints

I do not have enough fingers and toes to count how many times clients have assumed things happen as quickly as the do on the Block. It is simply NOT POSSIBLE to get a bathroom done in a week, not possible at all. It takes a day or two just for the waterproofing to dry, then the tiler will need to screed (or set a concrete base for the tiles) which will also take at least a day to dry, then tiling, hello several days, before finally grouting. Oh and there is plumbing, carpentry and electrical as well. Clearly not possible to be done in a week.

The single biggest issue I have with The Block is the unrealistic expectations it creates for homeowners. This only serves as a negative for them. When their tradespeople are unable to complete a task in even close to what is resembled on t.v, the homeowner is the one left feeling let down.

Quality of Workmanship

While I am all for a bit of DIY, and most certainly supportive and encouraging of anyone and everyone giving some renovation jobs a try, I have a real issue with the quality of workmanship presented often on The Block. Our team of tradespeople have spent 4 years learning their trade, and then further years gaining on the job experience refining their skills, I feel it is an insult that their work is bypassed in favour of poor quality workmanship, all for a rushed job.

I actually know of a few people who have worked on these type of shows, and the corners that are cut in order for jobs to be completed “on time” are terrifying to all tradies alike. There are just so many corners that should never be cut.


Relationships Between The Onscreen Trades and Contestants

I can tell you, that there are a few of the current contestants that I would never work for. Further than that, I can promise that the poor way in which they communicate with their tradies would garuntee they will not be getting the best out them either. Building and renovating is a two way street, as a client, you get as much as you put in. Now by this I mean, if you take the time to communicate correctly with your client you will be far more likely to recieve a better quality service, and isn’t that better for everyone?

It doesn’t take much to be clear and consise, and common manners are a must!


The budgets on The Block do my head in. They are always far to short, and set up unrealistic expectations for potential clients. Please let me make one thing very, very clear. Tradespeople do NOT work for free. In fact I do not know anyone that works for free. Those days you see the builder or the tradesperson working on TV shows for free, I can personally guarentee that they are either being paid by someone OR the exposure they are receiving on the show will pay for the time they spend working for free.

In summary, shows like The Block while “reality TV” are also dramas. They are not real life. This is not how it works. As a client, you would be sorely disappointed if this is what you expected, both in the quality of the project and the realities you would face. We work in an industry that manages client expectations, when they come to us with expectations based on TV shows, we know they are in for disappointment.

Are you a fan of The Block? Do you like reality TV? Would you purchase on of The Blocks apartments?

Nicole xxx

All images sourced via The Block website.




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  1. I was watching it yesterday and they had to do their outdoor areas. A couple of the teams had hardly any money left but what they were hoping to achieve didn’t seem doable. I think there’s a lot of brand promo in that show and I completely agree with you that it’s setting a dangerous precedent.

    1. YES!! there is heaps of brand promo, and I am sure not too much if any of it would be vetted for quality either. As always, money talks. xx

  2. I like watching the block but totally take it with a grain of salt. Like most reality shows it’s not reality at all

    1. Very true Sarah. x

  3. Having done a few renovations myself, the block annoys me for exactly the reasons you mention. I would not buy one, but I assume tradespeople come in and tidy up the messy bits for selling.

    1. I am told they do somewhat, but not to the standard we would expect!

  4. I can only imagine. I watch the shows and get really frustrated and wonder how much work they actually do or whether the bulk is being done by the builders with them really just painting.

    Given a very tiny bathroom and a decent size deck with a roof cost us around $50k their budgets are absolutely ridiculous! I wonder why any builder would ever want to take it on!!!

    1. That is a great question! It’s not something we would ever consider. x

  5. I would never purchase any of The Block’s apartments due to the poor finishes and short cuts they take. With contestants doing a lot of the work themselves instead of qualified builders the work cannot compare to using professionals! Thus although I occasionally do watch The Block I do so more for the drama of the show than anything else!

    1. It really is a drama show now. I still enjoy the inspiration, but tend to look at it on blogs rather than watch the show.

  6. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am so over all these DIY shows. Reality TV has just gotten so out of hand. I hardly watch any free to air TV anymore.

    1. Yes, yes and YES!! I totally agree!!

  7. My hub had a kitchen cabinet business and he cannot stand the way the show is unrealistic either. I think the way in which it is presented is always about the ratings and getting the advertisers value for money. That said, this lot have nothing to complain about really …games and fun galore!!

    1. Yes, I am yet to meet a tradie who likes the show. Unrealistic from beginning to end.

  8. I love watching the Block but I often wonder about the hours the trades are doing …. working through the night to get the job done in time. I think of their families and wonder if they get paid extra for such long ridiculous hours. Keith always seemed like he was keeping an eye on the build being a quality job to me and getting floors and ceilings ripped out etc if they are done wrong. But I am not a builder so would have no idea so it is interesting to hear a “builders wife” perspective. I would have said, if I had the cash to throw around buying one of the Block apartments might be fun ….. now I am not so sure…

    1. The quality of workmanship is my biggest issue. Keith does a great job on the show, it’s the bits we don’t see that are the real issue. You are right, and very considerate for the poor tradies working such horrible hours to get the job done. No fun at all for a family.

  9. I’ve never seen the block but I stick to the idea that most reality shows damage a perception, not help it!!

    1. I totally agree!!

  10. I’m not a huge fan of The Block. I kind of feel there’s too much unneeded pressure and stress in that show. And you’ve brought up some very valid points, especially regarding the communication between the contestants and tradies and unrealistic budgets. It’s crazy how many people watch the show then decide they can do something similar only to be sorely disappointed (and in some cases, broke!)

    1. The quality of workmanship is one of my biggest concerns. I only hope homeowners who attempt these kinds of things, consult a professional before they begin.

  11. Pardon the pun however you’ve hit the nail on the head. As a carpenter/builder myself it also frustrates me watching the trades rush and struggle and in my opinion this is not how a masterpiece is created.
    I actually have a first hand experience with the mess that is the block. My sister purchased a unit in Roscoe st Bondi which happens to be the old block.
    Never have I seen workmanship this appalling! I’m not just talking about poor painting and bad styling but dangerous wiring and electrical which was far from Australia standards, structural supports missing from wall removals. I simply cannot explain, even 10 years later it still baffles me how they can get away with it.

    1. It is really quite terrifying that this can happen, I mean if we were to create such a mess, the governing bodies would be there to sort it out asap!

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