House Rules – grand finalists revealed

It’s a double whammy judgement day as our homeowners and judges return for the teams’ second garden reveal. With a place in the grand final on the line, who will top the leaderboard?



  1. I really liked what the dancer teachers did in the front garden (impractically-placed huge tree notwithstanding). The garden was lovely, the awning and swing was very sweet, and they even left Tim and his wife with a nice front lawn. I liked the paint (orange is my favourite colour as well. I’m not sure I’d ever be brave enough to have an orange door, on my own house, but the homeowners liked it, so that’s what matters). I thought the gargoyle was a whimsical, interesting touch … and the rusty sculpture? Normally I hate that kind of stuff, but in the corner, nestled into the garden? I actually thought it looked amazing. Particularly once the plants grow around it, I imagine it’ll look really good.

    The back yard, OTOH? The outdoor kitchen was okay (far too exposed to the elements, though), but it did seem a bit far from the house. Also, the bench was absurdly high — wouldn’t the teams have noticed just how impractical that was when they were fitting the damn thing in? But again, they left some lawn.

    The fire pit was just horrible. That whole section was just sharp tiles (yeah, that’s practical for a toddler running around), but the fire pit was ghastly. I’d be interested to know, what was the drainage situation, there? Because it really looked like, one good storm, and that *would* have become the small pool that it appeared to be.

    Next episodes, we’re back on the Sunny Coast for Shayn and Carly’s house. These episodes were filmed up here at the end of April/start of May, for those keeping score.

    Interestingly, the Sunshine Coast has had it’s wettest winter in decades (it started raining back in April and honestly, it hasn’t really stopped). Which is going to make me wonder, what’s become of any outdoor lounge room that the teams design, over the next few episodes.

    • Do you know if the ‘Melbourne’ house is actually in Geelong? Because Jamie Geelong said Geelong was built on bluestone. Then went on to say Melbourne too. I live in Geelong so curious.

  2. I mostly agree, Windsong, with a few little exceptions. The front garden was OK, and probably deserved the 8-9s. I find it strange that the judges say they want to reward risk-taking, and yet the charcoal facade and the orange door are very “on trend” which I translate as “everyone’s doing it, and it is close to becoming boring”. Not a brave colour choice, and I wonder if Tim realises that his house now supports GWS Giants? I also thought the gargoyle was tasteless and not relevant to the house.

    I personally would not have a rusty sculpture in my yard, but if they had to, then that was the place to put it. But where is the parking, the driveway. Sad for Tim’s wife if she has to haul a toddler out of the car multiple times a day, out on the street. Also, the property has no outdoor storage, nowhere for tools, lawnmower etc. Where do they store their bins, and hang their washing?

    I thought the judge’s comments on the back zones were pretty spot on, but it was a pity that they didn’t match the scores to the comments. 8’s for Andy & Lisa? Obviously designed to make sure that the competition stays even. Thank goodness Tim and Matt were honest in giving a 5. Tim talked about fencing the firepit area, but I think he will take it all out, sell the excess pavers, then grass it with cubby in the corner and maybe a garden shed. Shayn and Carly’s zone was good, but I thought the dining area a little underdone with styling. The table needed to be set nicely with coloured crockery. The drinking bench was high, but I presumed that it was designed to be leant on like a bar, not sat at. Also, the same trees as the front were a waste (and unattractive). Too much raving over a pointless beer tap.

    Who chooses these plants anyway? It doesn’t look like the teams do. The front plants were a massive fail for “cottage garden” (not noted by the judges), and in all the whole place was overplanted and crowded. Tim and his wife will be thinning out a lot over the next year or so. And so many of the straggly big screening plants (pittosporums?). If you want to talk about Melbourne “vibe”, those plants are it. I rarely see them in NSW, yet they were in nearly every garden when I lived in Melb decades ago.

    Again, the re-do room was scored to keep A&L in the running. LLB contradicted himself, almost within the same sentence, by saying he would reward teams putting their own stamp on zones, and then congratulating them for just ticking off the boxes (conveniently ignoring the bedside tables that he hated). I thought the room looked marginally better, mainly because they introduced the teal colour to brighten the bland look. The ceiling looked worse, imo, and they should have kept the money for the tables. Otherwise, yes, I would give it a fail. It was sad to see Lisa’s tears, though, when the boys gave their opinions. But the boys rose in my estimation by not being afraid to do what was necessary in the scoring.

    But the fire pit was the biggest downfall of the week. It wasn’t in the rules, it didn’t meet any rules, and it was poorly executed. Even with timber seating it would have been wrong. Teams really need to focus on the users of the space and not just what they think will earn points.

    • “Where do they store their bins, and hang their washing?”

      We didn’t see the narrow sides of the house, so I imagine that’s where they keep the bins. As for the washing line, I noticed a hills hoist in the back yard *before* the renovation, but I didn’t see it anywhere in the after-shots. I actually caught myself wondering that too. Maybe they put a smaller clothes-line on the side of the house instead?

      Completely with you on the firepit.

      I still liked the gargoyle, though. Maybe because it was just so bizarre and out-of-place that it actually worked, for me.

    • I agree the gargoyle was completely out of place on that house. And so was the rusty sculpture. Both belong to homes of vastly diffetent eras.
      The grey and orange colour scheme has been done to death for some years now, perhaps not on exteriors… but if the house is in Geelong, see my reply to Windsong, there is a local team that wears GWS colours.
      And I am so over these back yards that are full of man made structures. I love outdoor living, but outdoors needs to feel like it. So much structure just boxes everything as if you are inside the house. Amd for kids the need space to run a mok and use their imagination.
      That little yard will be a sauna in summer.

  3. Someone last night, Andy I think, said that everyone wants a fire pit in their yard. I was screaming at the TV “No I don’t ever ever want any type of fire related thing in my yard!” I assume since it’s on tv they’ve had approval from fire safety.

    Outdoor kitchen means wheel the barbie out of the shed. Shed, hills hoist and outside toilet are the most important things in the yard, along with lots of grass in a nice large area that is easy to mow. Where do their trampolines go?

    Do they all have garages? I hope they have them and we just don’t see them, in a pinch you can store your tools and mower and smelly chemicals in the garage if it’s big enough. But even the home owner have to walk in from the street instead of pulling into their driveway.

    • I don’t think firepits need any sort of approval. We have two – an antique outside fireplace, and a half drum. We use them frequently, but I agree that they are not everyone’s choice, just as a bar is a waste of space to me.

      I agree with your priorities in a yard, and I don’t see how they could fit any practical stuff down the sides of that house. I read elsewhere that Tim’s house is in an area where almost no-one has off street parking, and his doesn’t. That would be a big plus for a team to add it, as it would raise the value of the house immensely.

  4. Last night’s ep just affirmed the dancers overweening sense of entitlement. In both previous gardens they have got the zone they wanted, yet still felt they “deserved” to do a fairy garden (another waste of space). Then having had the good fortune to do two little girl’s rooms, and got bonus points from them, they considered that good reason to take the re-do room. I am so glad A&L decided the other way, not because it was “strategic” but because it is fair for everyone to have one, and for the dancers to not be given an extra room to turn into a pink boudoir.

    Please, next season, can we have teams with lots of little boys? I am drowning in the pink stereotypes.

  5. Maybe I’ve just had a long day … but OMG Lisa. She’s just, she’s just very loud, isn’t she? And being loud by itself isn’t a bad thing, but she’s loud, like, 200% of the time.

    • She may be quite sweet, but yes, very tiring to be around. I admire Andy, as he seems to be a good compliment to her.

      The nice girl turned human in this ep, and blatantly lied when caught out stealing the plants. Not a hanging offence, but we did see a different Lisa then.

  6. By chance, I saw the last half hour of this ep twice, so I noticed more detail, and it seems impossible to me that the scores could be high after the mess that is left when the buzzer went. And yet, the promo for Sunday implies good feedback and exceptional scores.

    I felt sad after seeing these changes. Shayn has lost his play area with the girls, and there is nowhere else to ride bikes and skateboards within the fence. Once again there are about four times too many plants. (It was unexpected that Joh explained that a bulk order for plants is made in advance, which means that last week’s failure of cottage plants was not P&C’s fault, although they could have got more). The boy’s zone looks a mess, with too many different colours, odd layout, and a sign on the wall with bad language (in a family home). I suspect the backyard will be the best, but still too cluttered with tat. P&C once again have imposed their taste by painting the door purple, and we have two different house colours (grey and blue). I hope S&C are brave enough to call out the faults and score accordingly, but I know if they do there will be howls about ingratitude and strategy.

    The theme continues of arranging the show so that the team scores are kept level. This week it was time to pick on the boys, just in case they did too well, and to bring the others level. I doubt their re-do room will pass, even though it looks like a pass based on what we could see, if they use the same criteria as the past weeks. However, they will want to knock the boy’s score down, so that they can have a “miraculous comeback” next week.

    Next week, it will be Shayn and Carly’s turn to be the whipping boys, and they will get poor scores but maybe not enough to miss the GF. All the other teams have been given a bad week so far.

    I would like the GF to be T&M and S&C, but I am not holding hope for that as I think the show wants P&C and A&L. At the risk of favouring another set of brothers, I think Tim and Matt are the most consistent and deserving team to win the show.

    • I think Tim and Matt are my favourite team.

      I don’t think it’s been a particularly great season, in terms of epic renovations and stylish design. Most of it has seemed cheap and tacky, and everybody’s extended family is one or two daughters under the age of 6. Most of the outdoor and garden renovations have been dreadful.

      Someone on FB pointed out that Tim and Matt really got screwed. Tim’s house was one of the worst, and his garden ended up looking pretty horrible too. Despite that, the two boys have done some of the best work all over.

      • Agreed. And Shayn and Carly have had the good fortune of being a later house (always a better result, as the judges work themselves up to 10s, and the teams start to get a clue of what will score well), and the second last garden, which at this stage looks reasonable. I was groaning to see Tim’s garden fences all black, as it was the black inside that was so terrible. I feel sorry for him, and particularly his wife. I also think that Tim’s house rules were designed to mislead, and create confusion.

        None of this (order of reno’s etc) is the teams’ faults – they are pawns in so many of the decisions – order of renovations, choice of zone,what to wear, setting of the rules (which I believe are just loosely based on their preferences), judges knowing who does the zones, and this season, the choice of plants.

        The renos haven’t been wonderful (except for Alex and Katie’s extension) but at least this season we have been spared a villianous team. The producers tried very hard to create one, but failed due to the innate niceness of them all.

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