House Rules Launch Recap

From the makers of MasterChef came The Renovators. We all know how that turned out. Now, from the makers of My Kitchen Rules comes this- House Rules. I don’t know about you, but the finished renovations aren’t the only results I’ll be looking for in this new series.

We begin in Melbourne. Six teams of two come together for the very first time. Many of them new to the renovation scene. We have a team of brothers and the rest of couples. All of them own a home in need of a renovation.

The couples walk into a very swanky looking building. It’s like Kitchen HQ meets a warehouse meets the Big Brother house. Waiting inside for them is Johanna Griggs. She welcomes them all to House Rules. They’re all about to compete in a state vs. state competition that will change their lives. Their homes are about to receive a complete transformation…from the other teams! SA’s Carly & Leighton seem very surprised, like the rest of them. They will all have one week to complete the task. Nick & Chris think this is impossible.

They are currently standing in Home Base, as Johanna points out. She tells them that after each renovation, they will receive scores from judges and the homeowners. They will have to work together and against each other if they want to win.

The winners of House Rules will have their entire mortgage paid for good. The contestants are clearly emotional.

The first house to be transformed will be WA’s Jemma and Ben’s house. Cue the couple’s intro video. Their house looks OK, but it looks out dated and bland. The teams head to Perth. Jemma and Ben get ready for the onslaught of contestants. The other five teams turn up and are shocked to see the state of the unfinished front yard. Amy & Sean from QLD would be scared if they were Jemma and Ben.

Johanna meets the team and asks them to hand their key over. Jemma and Ben want one thing only- for the teams to move their bathroom. With that, Jemma and Ben leave. Johanna now invites the other contestants to tour the house and get to grips with Jemma and Ben’s personal taste. Removalists will soon move in to clear all remaining furniture and personal items away.

Inside they see a lot of bland furniture and a spray tan tent! NSW’s Michelle & Steve are surprised to see a laundry so close to the front door! During this time, we also find out a lot about the other couples- but not their homes.

After the tour, Johanna gathers them all for a briefing. Here, she introduces the clock- which currently advises that there are seven days remaining. She also shows them a blueprint of the house divided up into five zones, one for each team. Each zone has a set budget. We see some suave graphics to describe each zone. Zone 1 is the spare bedroom and lounge area. Zone 2 is the master bedroom and ensuite. Zone 3 is a ‘wet zone’ with a bathroom and a laundry. Another contains the hallways and a ‘beauty room’ with the spray-tanner. This is zone 4. The kitchen and dining area make up zone five.

NSW’s Michelle and Steve will work on Zone 1 (lounge and spare bedroom). Zone 2 will be renovated by SA’s Carly & Leighton. Zone 3 will be renovated by Jane & Plinio from Tasmania. Zone 4 will be renovated by QLD’s Amy & Sean. Nick & Chris from VIC are left with Zone five.

It’s now time to get down to the ‘House Rules’- set guidelines each couple must abide by during renovations. They will be crucial to the success of the renovation. The House Rules ask for a house that feels ‘now’ with an edge, a kitchen and dining area they can party in, a beauty room fit for a princess, no bright or annoying colours and leather with chandeliers.

The teams now use the final hour before removalists to take as much as they can that they can use in their renovations. These include antique photos, books and other decorations. Michelle & Steve find a piggy bank with money that they decide to use on some furniture.

With that, day 1 is over. The next day, it’s time to renovate, and to help them, they get their own cars! They also get their own tool set. Their first task will be to tailor the walls in the house to incorporate the space each zone needs. This could cause conflict if one team wants more space than another team can give them. Both Michelle & Steve and Amy & Sean are after bigger spaces. Leighton loves the extra pressure.

Nick & Chris are working with the kitchen. They are consulting with a kitchen architect straight away to get all the design elements down pat. By this stage, all zone sizing has been finalized and Amy is not happy with the size of the beauty room she has been given. She doesn’t complain much as she’s too busy asking questions as she doesn’t know much about renovating.

Carly & Leighton are the first team to shop. After 20 minutes, their ensuite has been entirely sorted. Jane & Plinio are a little more confused when they go shopping. They seem like the team employed to be the comical relief. Meanwhile, Chris and Nick get their kitchen plans in and they’re not happy with the positioning with the sink. Can they fix it? The people they are trying to contact are not picking up to begin with, but luckily when they do get in contact, their sink can be moved!

Jane wants to fit the brief of having a chandelier by putting one in their bathroom! Plinio doesn’t agree, but Jane really wants one. Who will win the argument?

House Rules experts Carolyn Burns-McCrave and Chester Drife arrive on site to keep things in check. Their main message is to not sacrifice quality for speed. Chester also gets hands on to help some of the contestants.

The brothers have hit a snag. One brother is busy doing a lot of paper work. Nick is annoyed that he’s the only one doing hard work. They have a spat. Chris seems to win this one but younger brother Nick is concerned that Chris doesn’t have enough renovation experience and will leave Nick to burn himself out.

Now, remember how Carly & Leighton speedily bought all their stuff for their ensuite? Well, they forgot to bring back the measurements. Now, they have to spend time getting them. They’re now behind!

Luckily, Carly is speedy in bringing back the measurements. With that done, the couple can now do the plumbing. Carly finds it hard to keep up with Leighton’s instructions, but she just hopes he doesn’t lose his cool.

We now move on to Michelle & Steve’s problems. They argue over the simple things- like sending emails. They’re working with Nick & Chris as their zones will have the same floors. Chris & Nick pick out the type of flooring- wood- and Michelle & Steve pick out the colour. Can their ideas mesh?

Amy & Sean, despite being the least experience, seem to be having the most fun right now. They’re not scared of a challenge.

Meanwhile, Plinio is holding off on finalising his plans until Jane is finished doing whatever she’s doing. This is holding up the plumbers. There’s not much he can do about it.

Jane shows up finally and they can give the plumber their dimensions. With that sorted, the demolitions are now in full swing. Carolyn asks the brothers to show her their floor-plan. Despite Nick wanting the sink near the oven, Carolyn calls it a no-no. She doesn’t know why they decided to do that. Hopefully their counters haven’t been cut already. Luckily, they haven’t so they can get it changed back to the original plans.

The brothers now argue on whose fault it was to change the plan in the first place.

We then head to ‘Retreat’ where Jemma and Ben stay as their house gets renovated. Back at the house, Chris is having a go being a ‘tradie’ and he’s failing.

Meanwhile, inside, Sean finds that the foundation of their zone is simply screed on sand. This is unsuitable for their flooring plans (floorboards) and they will now have to lay a fresh foundation under it before they can begin on their floor.

This is going to be expensive and time consuming. But will they be the only couple affected? No, Carly and Leighton also have no foundation. Chris & Nick and Jane & Plinio also have a problem. We go back to Sean and Amy to find out if their beauty room is affected as well. If it is, production will have to stop and the foundation will have to be laid. And as the episode closes- they find…more sand!