Kirsty Wynn is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

The Block houses open to view

Loz Heaphy with fans queueing. Photo / Doug Sherring
Loz Heaphy with fans queueing. Photo / Doug Sherring

As fans of The Block flocked in for their first look inside the newly renovated houses yesterday, the contestants moved back to their real homes to await the auction.

Some fans began queuing at 5.30am for a sneak peek of the four renovated homes on the corner of Lake and Eversleigh Rds, on Auckland's North Shore.

TV3 spokeswoman Rachel Lorimer said everything went smoothly. "It was a lovely day, there were lots of families who obviously thought ahead and took public transport."

The homes will be open again today between 10am and 2pm.

They will be auctioned live on the October 30 finale and each couple will keep any profit. The team whose house sells for the highest amount over reserve will also receive $80,000.

The show continues on TV3 tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday. In the meantime, the Herald on Sunday called on each couple to ask: how's life off The Block?

Caleb and Alice Pearson - House 1

The married couple, both 26, have renovated their fair share of homes but reckon their two-bedroom bungalow in Mt Wellington has given the most satisfaction. "We love it because when you put your own sweat and effort into it it feels better," Caleb said. "We put in a new kitchen and polished the floors. We love it here. "

Caleb and Alice said they loved their time on the show and were looking forward to future possibilities and opportunities.

Youth worker Alice was keeping an open mind on a career path in a creative field. "She loves what she does as a youth worker helping people but she would be open to something with the creative side."

Alisa Keall-Grant and Koan Vette - House 2

With the biggest house on The Block, Alisa and Koan worked for 70 hours straight to get through to reveal day. "It was really tough but so worth it," Alisa said. "We adored our house on The Block - I wish it was our house now."

Leaving the big bungalow and returning to their half-renovated Mt Wellington villa had been tough. "Coming back home, the scale of our renovation is so different from the one we did on The Block and we don't have the budget or the help of the team, so it seems a bit lacklustre.

Alisa said after 10 weeks of full-on renovating she and Koan spent their weekends relaxing rather than renovating. "I've been really lazy.

Pete and Andy Walker - House 3

As soon as brothers Pete and Andy arrived home in Bulls, Pete took one look at his curtains and decided they were wrong for the house.

Since buying the ex-navy house Pete had started renovating but said there was still a lot to do. "Let's say we have learned so much we started to question the colour choices of my own house," Pete said. "Looking at my curtains, they don't match the wall colour very well."

The pair also learned how much they could achieve when pushed. "At one stage, we worked for 51 hours in a row but it's not sustainable. You end up burning out," Pete said.

The brothers laughed off suggestions they have their own building show after becoming a favourite with the fans.

"If it was the right kind of show we could take it on, but we would be careful it would be hard to beat the high of The Block."

Pete had also been approached to enter the Cleo Bachelor of the Year quest but had politely declined.

"They asked me if I was interested but I turned it down. I'm not into that sort of thing," he said. "I'll leave it up to the posers. I wouldn't like that sort of attention."

Loz and Tom Heaphy - House 4

The married couple are renting their Port Hills home in Nelson but have plans to buy. "The house we rent has fantastic views but our goal in coming on The Block was to buy our own house," Tom said.

"We have a lot to learn about character homes but we will probably buy a character home and put a lot of love into it."

The pair said tough time had strengthened their relationship. After a hard start, they cemented themselves as a couple with great design flair and won many of the room reveals. Tom said they hated it when they first saw themselves on the show but now enjoyed watching. "Loz cringes at herself when she is in tears. But it was understandable. She got upset and picked herself up."

- Herald on Sunday

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