The new owner of atownhouse in Northcote that featured on The Block NZ has been quoted $7500 for tiling fixes to make three of its four bathrooms useable.
The Auckland property, which was completed in 2017 on season six of the reality television series by twins Ali and Julia Heaney, has had one owner since then. It became a $1200 per week rental at the beginning of last year.
The man who bought the four-bedroom house at auction for $1.52 million last fortnight said a builder’s report had identified the sealant in the family and guest bathrooms as a significant defect but he didnt realise the extent of the damage until he brought a tiler round.
The first quote the new owner has been given for the repairs needed for three of the four bathrooms is $7500.
I appreciate that houses are bought as is, but you would expect a house that is only four years old not to have tiles falling off and paint or wallpaper that is peeling away in every room, said the man, who did not wish to be named because he has a public-facing job.
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The winners of The Block are crowned in controversial circumstances.
The Heaneys did not win The Block NZ in 2017 (the four-bedroom house was sold for $1.242m, which was $13,000 above the reserve price). However, they won the prize for best kitchen and dining area, and a room reveal for the family bathroom and the roof terrace.
The builders report ahead of the houses recent sale noted that some sealant around the shower, baths and vanities was missing, or had deteriorated so much that it needed replacement to prevent leaks.
Moisture ingress into building components is generally caused by deteriorated, inadequate or missing sealants, leaking plumbing pipes or fixtures. In extreme cases, structural damage may develop due to prolonged water leaks, the report said.
Mould has become an issue in two of the bathrooms.
The new owner had a tiler come to inspect the four bathrooms after he bought the house and said he was a wee bit shocked to see that lots of shortcuts appeared to have been taken by contractors.
He believed some of the work may have been rushed.
It was only when I used the bathroom that I realised just how many of the tiles were loose or falling out, he said.
The Block NZ judges Jason Bonham and Bernadette Morrison had praised the bathrooms.
The bathroom on the bottom floor was finished quite well, but the sealant on the sides wasn’t up to standard, the new owner said.
He said the tiling in a separate toilet and first floor bathroom was holding up, but those rooms looked relatively unused compared with the master and guest en suites.
The drain in one of the en suites is not flush against the wall, meaning water flows into the gap.
There was trouble with one of the showers where the drain had been laid against the wall but was not flush.
Any water that hits the wall falls down and goes into an unknown gap, he said.
The new owner plans to repair and replace the tile work as much as possible, because ripping the tiles in three bathrooms out completely and starting over is a much more expensive option.
The grouting will need to be done again.
Paul-Weber De Vries of Groutpro gave the new owner a $7500 quote for cleaning, re-grouting and silicone work in the three bathrooms and two showers. That figure doesn’t include a plumber fixing the en suite shower drain.
Re-tiling will cost less than it would cost to redo one full bathroom, De Vries said.
The tiler was a bit shocked at how most of the work was done, the buyer said. It looked to all be rushed.
The house came with all the furniture and artwork from the show.
Since 2017, it had been lived in for a few months by one set of tenants, then rented to a diplomat.
It’s thought most of the work in the house was done by contractors, not the Heaneys themselves.
Twins Julia and Ali Heaney provided plenty of laid-back entertainment while they worked on the townhouse as contestants on The Block NZ.
The girls just had to paint, as far as I’m aware, the buyer said. There is some patchy work in almost every room.
They did wallpapering so they didn’t have to paint, but on the areas they have painted, pretty much all of it is flaking away.”
He wondered ifThe Block NZ houses should come with some form of guarantee or warranty like new builds do when they’re bought off the plans.
The wallpaper and paint is peeling in patches in almost every room of the house.
The contractors are on a very quick deadline. The painter I brought in said the house looks like it’s 30 years old, not four years old.
A spokesperson for Discovery NZ commented: All Block NZ houses comply with required council and building regulations and are issued a full code of compliance certificate upon completion.
Site foreman Peter The Wolf Wolfkamp declined to comment.
The twins used wallpaper in some rooms to save time.
But the house was by no means all bad. Other than the issues with the tiles and paint, it was very nice, the new owner said.
It is probably one of the better houses out of the four [from that The Block NZ series], in terms of how it is laid out. It is very well insulated, and I love the rooftop garden, he added.
Julia and Ali Heaney’s guest suite as it was revealed on the show.
The season finale of The Block NZ in 2017 saw low winnings all round at auction. One set of contestants Christchurch-based Ling and Zing (Levi and Zach Inglis) sold their completed house for $1.3m, giving them just $1000 profit.
At the start of the series, Ali Heaney said: To be honest we didn’t come here just to win. We came in here to have a great time and learn. Winning stuff is great, but we won’t be disappointed if we don’t win.
But after the show finished, the pair opened up about how tough it was: It was much harder than we expected, Ali said, adding that confinement to the site and the time pressure were the most challenging aspects of the competition.
You couldn’t leave [the site] whenever you wanted. When you go in there, all you’re thinking about is building a house, but you don’t think about the cameras and the time for interviews and reshooting scenes.
Potter Ave in Northcote, on Aucklands North Shore, was the site of the 2017 season of The Block NZ.

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