Early 2018, we received a phone call that would change our life.
Down in Melbourne, a 1000 kms south of the Central Coast, the hit reality tv series, The Block, was getting underway. It was only early days down there, but problems had already started to develop.
Contestants Hans & Courtney were in early stages of the competition and had their builder (and eventually the tiler) walk off the job. Leaving them completely vulnerable, in-the-dark and not to sure how things were going to pan out.
Their new builder (through his son’s mutual friends) eventually got a hold of the us.
The question was simple… “we need a tiler, in Melbourne, YESTERDAY”. There was no time for discussion, can you come, yes or no? Of course, we said yes!
So in the space of 12 hours, after making sure we could logistically keep our projects on the Coast rolling, we were on a plane to Melbourne with NO TOOLS, no contacts, straight into a busy commercial construction site.
As we sat on the plane, we were unsure of what the next 48-72 hours were going to look like.
Arriving at the site it was game on, cameras straight in our faces, producers asking odd questions, Keith in our ear about all sorts of things… it was next level.
Once inducted to the site we needed to find tools. Thankfully the builder lent us his car and we were on our way to a tiling shop I’d heard about.
We had a moment of peace in the car and started to wonder if we could pull this off! I mean, we’d been literally ripped out of normal day-to-day and thrown into a basket case of a scenario (and that is an understatement).
Of course, the opportunity is once in a lifetime, but what if it didn’t work out and couldn’t produce our normal high-quality work? It would be on national TV and (probably) magnified to build story around the failure.
For 10 years we’ve watched The Block and it was our time to shine. We wanted this in our portfolio and we had to make it work.
After finding a brilliant supplier in Melbourne who provided us with everything we needed and headed back to site.
We thought we’d head back and get straight into it but we were confronted with some unfavorable news…
The bathroom was 48 hours away from us being even able to start work!!!
So we sat…
I didn’t get it, they rushed us down here and then we couldn’t even start work? It didn’t matter, we were there, we were ready. However, with time getting away, and the room reveal looming, I knew we were in for a ride. And I knew we wouldn’t let the contestants down.
Fast forward 2 days and We. Are. Into. IT!!!
Conventional methods were out the window (waterproof, tile floor, tile walls, grout), we had to get creative, make it work and literally not stop. We worked around the clock, totalling 36 hrs by the time we finished.
With the combined effort of the builder, contestants and the M & B team, we finished our bathroom (and finished at our usual high standard) and we were sent on our merry way.
After getting back home to the wife and kids, sore, tired and hungry, I sat down on the couch and pulled my phone out and saw that I’d missed a call from the contestants.
Why did they call? I know we did a good job? I had to call them back.
I call them. It rings…
It nearly rings out…
“WE WON” she cheered…
Wow. 7 days ago, the M & B Napier Tiling team was going about it’s business as usual and now we are winning tilers on one of the biggest stages you could possibly be on.
If you had said to me in 2018 you’ll win a bathroom on The Block, I would of laughed.
But it didn’t stop there…
As a result of our efforts we were invited back an additional 3 times to work on 4 more projects within the competition, and for different contestants.
Out of the 5 projects we worked on, we won 2 rooms and got a couple over the line that were in dire straits.
Overall I feel lucky that we got the opportunity to work on the block and grateful that we were called back multiple times.
It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m glad we said yes.
Our problem solving skills were tested (and strengthened) and we now believe that anything is possible. It’s definitely transformed the team for the better.