The first all-female Block NZ team gets a baptism of fire when the new season premieres on Tuesday.
Contestants will be seen reeling when host Mark Richardson tells them there is no first day challenge like previous years - and within 20 minutes they will begin renovating.
Hamilton sisters Sarah and Minanne Kong were left close to tears when they struggled to find any tradies to even get started.
"The first day was a nightmare, a real emotional roller-coaster for us," Minanne told the Herald on Sunday. "Our dad is a builder and if we need anything done we usually just call him.
"But suddenly we were told to just get on with it and we had to find our own tradies from thin air, and who could start immediately.
"Most of the builders we phoned just laughed or snorted and one bloke said he could start in eight months.
"It was a very difficult beginning for us but everyone was thrown straight in at the deep end."
The Block NZ: Villa Wars sees four teams of two compete to renovate four villas in the Auckland suburb of Sandringham.
Each team will receive any post-reserve auction profits. The duo with the highest profit will be crowned champions and pocket a further $100,000.
Minanne, 19, a student, is the youngest ever contestant on The Block. Sarah, 24, has a masters degree in industrial design.
Neither sister has any previous experience of renovating and said they were stunned at ruthlessness of the other contestants from the get-go.
"The other teams started telling Mark Richardson lies," Minanne said. "They were really playing the game and it was very unnerving. I hope that doesn't set the tone for the series.
"But everything has consequences and we just couldn't tell lies to get ahead. It was our first taste of just how competitive the show is."
Things go from bad to worse for the girls when they lose a coin toss important to their future then spend a sleepless first night in their cold villa.
"There was hail that afternoon and our house had a roof but no exterior wall," Sarah said. "We had four or five layers of clothes on but were still freezing and hardly slept a wink.
"Things can only get better for us. We might have lost a battle but we can still win the war."
The Kong sisters are up against former Auckland police officer Hayden Campbell and his sales-rep fiancee Jamie Johns, Taranaki team Cat Glass and Jeremy Hill plus Christchurch couple Brooke Thompson and Mitch Davies.
* The Block NZ: Villa Wars starts on TV3 at 7.30pm on Tuesday. The second episode is screened at the same time on Wednesday.