A visit to the set of the DIY show reveals the pressures of life on reality TV.
They drop in four times a week - their dreams, schemes, joys and sorrows entering our lives from TV sets glowing in the falling dusk.
By then The Block NZ film crews are home, too; likewise the tradies helping four couples build a house in little time under the gaze of many.
On the Pt Chevalier chunk of land hosting the DIY reality show, the work goes on. Darkness has fallen and Muriwai couple Alex and Corban Walls are painting, again.
"There's no putting your feet up around here. We work until all hours of the morning," Alex tells the Herald on Sunday. Like their fellow contestants, they're sleep deprived and skinny. "Corban's just fading away. He's got to use a shoelace to keep his jeans up."
The pressure can be a fuse shortener, she says. "You need to stop and go, 'Okay am I tired, am I hungry or is this a real problem'?"
Sleep deprivation, weight loss and ill-feeling; but also camaraderie, lovely fans and four flash new houses - oh, and a baby.
Welcome to life on The Block NZ; the TV show where four Kiwi couples are battling for DIY supremacy.
Each team will keep any profit from the auction of their property in the series' finale, the couple whose home sells for the most over reserve receiving an additional $80,000.
Father of one Damo Neal, competing with wife Jo, is experiencing the toughest task of his life. He's 10kg lighter, despite a vege-free diet of barbecues and takeaways.
"I've done military training, gone through police college, won a national title for boxing which meant I was training every day, shift work, and kids, but nothing compares."
Spats are dealt with in true DIY-style. "Rather than sleep in different rooms we paint in different rooms," Damo says. They get over it, much like everyone has over tactical voting they indulged in with fellow contestants Ben and Quinn Alexandre.
The Alexandres brows furrowed when they gave all three couples lower scores in the "dinner wars" challenge, while both couples conspired to win a room competition - something they "immediately regretted", Jo said.
"We were like, 'What have we done'? but we couldn't find Ben and Quinn to tell them [before voting]."
Damo is more pragmatic. It was no different from "putting your hands in the ruck and stealing the ball". "You don't want to walk away from The Block thinking, 'If I had done that it would've had a different outcome'. They're a young couple and here's the opportunity."
And "dinner wars" was blown out of proportion anyway, Ben says. "We scored what we thought was fair. We didn't know what everyone was scoring. Our consciences are clear."
They cope with sometimes eight hours sleep a week together, he says.
"When one person seems to be getting down we just try to raise each other's spirits." They need it. Backlash against the young Christchurch couple prompted Quinn to delete her Facebook page and has upset fellow contestants.
Alex describes the couple as "lovely" and undeserving of attack.
"This is a game. It's not a show about neighbours being all friendly and loving towards each other. We have no problem."
Over the fence, Maree Wright says while she was "over it the next day" she and partner James Steele will not vote tactically. "Our families would be right on the phone telling us off, our mums. We're almost 30 years old and still get told off by our families."
Money changes some, but not them, she says. "At the end of it there's still life after The Block."
James has dropped 6kg in 10 weeks. "James' pants are falling off him. There's been moments where we have to hide his bum crack."
Baby names next challenge
On The Block NZ, he's their nemesis. But could expectant parents and Block contestants Quinn and Ben Alexandre name their firstborn after site foreman Peter "Wolf" Wolfkamp?
Unlikely, but not outside the realms of possibility, based on the couple's previous baby name discussions.
The Christian name Wolf had already been suggested by some, Quinn said.
"It's funny because we said ages ago that we like the name Wolfgang."
But that was probably where it would end, the 18-weeks-pregnant home renovator said. "We've got a couple of other names lined up."
It was hard thinking about names when they didn't know the baby's sex, but if he had to chose a fellow Block contestant to honour it would probably be Corban Walls, Ben said.
"If all Corbans are as smart as Corban, then Corban would be a good name."
Corban's wife, Alex, wasn't surprised by Ben's choice. "He said something funny the other day, that 'When I have a son I'm going to make sure he's a mechanical engineer because I want him to be like Corban, because he's basically Superman."
Corban had his own take on the potential honour. "Oh man, you don't get much of a higher honour than that, other than being knighted or given a Nobel Peace Prize."
Meanwhile, life was easier for Quinn since her pregnancy passed the 12-week mark, she said. Morning sickness while sharing a bathroom with the contestants wasn't fun, although Ben said Quinn rarely made it to the bathroom.
"You were spewing behind the Bunnings shed most of the time." The pregnancy was secret to few, he said. "I think the whole neighbourhood knew."