The Block 2019: Do contestants get bargain tradies?

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Matt from Elevate Building Group provides behind the scenes intel on The Block.

A budget of $250,000 for a mammoth three-storey build on The Block this year is providing challenges for the contestants.

With about half that budget already spent by most contestants and more than half of the house, including the kitchen, still to go, there could be strife ahead.

Tess and Luke’s Hipages builder Matt Menichelli from Elevate Building Group said the whole environment on The Block was “tight budgets and tight deadlines”.

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Behind the scenes with tradie favourite Matt from Elevate Building Group

Matt from Elevate Building Group in Tess and Luke’s winning bathroom.

“There was not a lot of cash to go around so we were working at a reduced rate,” Matt said.

“That was my choice, it was a trade off as it puts us front and centre and gives us a bit of exposure.”

Matt said this was purely his decision and did not know if other tradies were doing the same.

He was thrilled Tess and Luke won main bathroom week.

“They were pretty stoked to get their first win and catch up to everyone else in terms of recognition,” he said.

“They were rapt and I was as well. If you are getting slammed each week it builds up so it is good to get positive reinforcement here and there.”

The winning bathroom.

Luke and Tess were thrilled to win.

However, Tess and Luke did have a hiccup after the win when one of their plasterers was sacked for removing a safety rail to expedite the delivery of Gyprock to the site.

Matt said he was running the team and “dropped the ball” in that case.

“With The Block environment it is impossible to get material up as access is pretty restricted,” he said.

“Once we carted the material up the rail was reinstated but there is zero tolerance.

“The individual was dismissed and removed from site, it was pretty disappointing from my point of view. I dropped the ball and admit fault.”

He added at the end of the day it was a pretty hectic environment and you had to make sure everyone’s best interests were a priority.

The Oslo Hotel is being transformed into five homes. Picture: Nicole Cleary

Matt from Elevate said it was great to catch up with Elyse and Josh during the All-stars week. He was their builder on The Block in 2017. Picture: David Crosling

And he did reveal every time Keith and Dan came into Tess and Luke’s house they had a sneaky suspicion they were looking for something to call them out on.

“You always got those butterflies every time they start snooping around,” he said.

“If you play by the rules they do respect you.”

However, he is only learning of the problems other contestants are having with Keith and Dan as the show goes to air.

Matt said when they were on site you were caught up in your own little bubble.

“It’s amusing to watch and a bit refreshing learning we weren’t the only ones,” he said.

MORE: Behind the scenes of tradies’ ‘full on’ first week

Episode 18 recap: what Tess and Luke’s tradie did to get sacked

Episode 17 recap: Powder rooms controversy sinks two teams

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