The Block 2015: Outdoor entertainment features and costs

As The Block 2015 wraps up, see how the contestants fared for the outdoor terrace reveals.

Dean and Shay won the terrace room reveal this week.

After nine shattering weeks of gruelling renovation, the Blockheads near their final reveal for the terrace and “re-do” room as nominated by the judges. The recruits have renovated a total of 15 bathrooms, countless bedrooms, and pulled that many all-nighters meticulously rolling paint up and down walls.

As the exterior scaffold unfolds from the Blocktagon, it no longer stands as the “ugly duckling” of South Yarra.

With foremen, Keith and Dan, “dancing around” to strike up emotional conversations with the contestants regarding their “rollercoaster rides”, things are starting to unwind on the Blocktagon front.

Despite things wrapping up, last minute dramas still surface. Concerned that their 1.1m BBQ unit won’t meet code as it’s too high, Suzi and Voni came up with a creative resolution of their own, while fish-out-of-water couple Andrew and Whitney rummaged up just enough cash to pay their builder up until 4pm on the final day. Pressures continue until the very last minute.

Featuring orange trees, a vertical garden feature wall, a hybrid daybed and bar, marble benchtops (featuring stiletto heels on the side) and “humble pie”, the recruits dressed their outdoor areas for their final chance to win over the hearts and minds of the judging panel.

Find out how much it costs to renovate an outdoor entertaining area

Outdoor entertaining features & estimated costs

Depending on how far you can stretch your budget, the following terrace features were “hero” elements as far as the The Block judges are concerned, so you may want to consider these for your next landscape renovation.

  • Outdoor heating: When dining outside, outdoor heating is a practical choice to ensure the comfort of your family and guests. The judges were thrilled with Luke and Ebony’s outdoor heating which they thought created a warm and welcoming vibe.
  • Creative plants: From Dean and Shay’s orange tree to their vertical garden bed, the contestants encompassed lush plants and greenery to create a calming ambience for their terraces.
  • Barbeque (BBQ): The focal point of any outdoor entertaining area, a BBQ can range from $300 - $1,200. If your budget permits, you may also want to consider an outdoor pizza oven or inbuilt kitchen benchtop.
  • Bar fridge: Whether it’s stacked with beers, wine, or another beverage of your choice, a bar fridge is a great addition to an outdoor terrace or entertaining area. Just remember to factor in refrigeration any other running costs associated with keeping your drinks nice and cool. A stainless steel, single-door bar fridge could set you back $699.
  • Lounge/seating: Although Luke and Ebony’s “transformer” bar and daybed was an impressive piece of furniture, the judges warn that you shouldn’t use technology “for the sake of it”. While it may provide versatility and practicality in terms of storage, only use innovative elements if you can justify its use.
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Terrace and “re-do” room reveal

As they face their final night shift of frantic painting, planting and cleaning, Scott Cam whistles the final “tools down”, marking The New Block graduation day.

This time the winner gets the $10,000 and safe to offer with their apartment on auction day, as an incentive to ensure paddles are waved at auction.

So who delivered the most impressive terrace and re-do room?


Total score:28.5/30 (winners)

Dean and Shay’s controversial decision to swap their kitchen with their living room provided them with a few setbacks, however it seems that as the judges swallowed “humble pie”, the decision paid off.

With their hero pieces- the vertical garden feature wall and herringbone tiles- the judges were impressed with Dean and Shay’s terrace area.

“These guys could do a master class in how to style The Block, they could show everybody else how it's done” , Darren said.

Neale was optimistic about their execution as he believed it was the appropriate crescendo for their apartment and they were “bang on” trend with their sustainable outdoor garden: “This is giving me the emotion that I’ve wanted to feel all day, this is the grand finale, this is the new definition of luxury”, he said.

Although Darren thought the dining table could have been at kitchen bench height to make more of the view, the judges agreed that the terrace would emotionally draw in buyers.

For their living room as the “re-do” room, the judges were satisfied with Dean and Shay’s risky decision to switch their living room and the kitchen.

“This is one of those moments on The Block when you think to yourself, were we too harsh?”, Neale asked.

Shaynna remarked “Humble pie is tasting pretty good.”


Total score:27/30 (second)

As Kingi and Caro have taken out win after win, they were confident that they would win one last time however it seems that they didn’t quite make the cut this week.

All judges loved the benchtop and Neale went as far to say: “It’s luxury, it's raw luxury, I love it….I’ve moved in.”

Shaynna thought buyers will immediately see themselves moving in and she liked that they kept it simple: “They think about how people will live..I really commend them for that, and they’ve not tried to be too fancy and take away from what this apartment is, and it’s an entertainer’s apartment with an incredible view”, she said.

For their “re-do” living room, Darren felt that Kingi and Caro had only half-fixed the problem: “Colour-wise it's a better choice, layout-wise it’s a better choice, but the orientation of the room is still away from the windows…”, he said.


Total score:24/30 (equal third)

The fish-out-of-water couple, Andrew and Whitney, have had the steepest learning curve of any couple on The Block, and failing to finish the master bedroom back in week 3 was the wake-up call they needed to survive the rest of the competition.

Upon stepping out into the terrace, Shaynna wasn’t impressed: “It’s not very inspiring is it? When you run out of money, you’ve got to make smart decisions of where you use it, and unfortunately that’s [the seating and fish pond] not needed because when you walk out here, it's actually about the view, and putting a setting like that it's quite confronting”, she said.

Darren also thought the view was blocked by the setting and orientation.

“To get at the very end and to be so resource’s obvious these guys have run out of steam and run out of money, but they’ve finished the space”, he said.

Despite this, the judges felt that the dining area was well laid out and the built-in speakers and wine fridge were good features.

For their “re-do” master bedroom, Shaynna thought that it captured the ambience of a boutique hotel.

“This is their strongest room as far as I’m concerned, this is the most confident and resolved room that they’ve delivered by far”, Neale said.


Total score:24/30 (equal third)

Ebony’s addiction to art-deco was their downfall with the judges throughout the competition. After finally dropping their Gatsby get-up, things turned around for Luke and Ebony.

When stepping out to their terrace, the judges thought the above heater was a strategic choice: “That feels incredible...having this turned on when a buyer comes in on a day like this is perfect”, Shaynna said.

Their hero piece- Luke’s customised bar that transforms into a daybed- was not as well received by the judges.

“It’s very clever, but sometimes clever for clever’s sake isn’t necessary”, Shaynna said. Although the judges thought that some buyers may love the flexibility of this, they felt that many buyers wouldn’t use it.

For their “re-do” master bedroom, Shaynna and Darren thought that the colour scheme worked much better.

Overall, the judges felt that Luke and Ebony have achieved a successful and liveable apartment.


Total score:21/30

While judges may not have always been on board with Suzi and Voni’s glitz and glam, the contestants decided to stick to their style choices as they believe it will appeal to a certain type of buyer.

After the dilemma about whether or not their marble-topped BBQ unit will meet code, the girls decided to leave three pairs of stilettos next to the BBQ.

In response, Shaynna remarked “A sense of humour doesn’t go astray”.

On a more serious note, Shaynna loved their choice of tiles and stools, but she felt that the plants blocked the layout: “If they remove the plants, then the whole area is fixable”, she said.

The judges selected both the dining and living rooms as “re-do” rooms due to the unpopular items including the large wine fridge and the fireplace.

However, due to the positive feedback from the buyer’s agents, Suzi and Voni didn’t make any drastic changes to these rooms and instead focused on the quality of their finishes.

As Darren noted: “I find it interesting that they’re hedging their bets because they’ve been given advice that it will sell, so it’s actually smart”, he said.

The final room reveal may be officially done and dusted, but the punching gloves won’t be put to bed just yet. The contestants still have a final challenge: they will be collectively taking on the apartment beneath Caro and Kingi’s and each team will allocate themselves two rooms to renovate.

While also renovating the final apartment, the teams will be sprucing up the rooftop.

The area judged best will win $15,000, second; $10,000 and third; $5,000, and the contestants will be given the choice to either use the cash to perfect their apartment for the big day, or to slash the amount from their reserve.

The next episode of The New Block airs Sunday 15 November at 7:00pm on Nine.

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Belinda Punshon

Belinda is a journalist here at Specialising in the home loans and property sections, she is passionate about helping Australians improve their financial wellbeing.

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