The most experienced renovating team on The Block this year, Tania (39) and Rodney (38) are classic childhood sweethearts. They went to school in Tasmania and met in year nine when Tania was just 14. “We broke up when we were still in our teens and I thought it was all over, but a year later Rodney sent me a ticket to come back to him.” They’ve been together ever since and have two strapping sons aged 19 and 16. “Things just keep getting better,” says Tania. “The only thing we ever argue over is the footy.”
As a family they’ve worked hard and renovated every property they’ve owned. “When we started we were still kids really, and paupers, trying to get on our feet with a baby as well,” says Rodney. Their renovating highlight was putting the finishing touches on a 50-square house they built from the ground up, complete with tennis court and pool. They did most of it themselves. They have just sold their previous family home and are ready for The Block challenge.
“Our dream is to one day make our living from buying and flipping houses. That’s why we are so right for this,” says Tania.
Their friends were stunned when the couple said they were trying out for The Block. “They asked why we would want to do even more work. Because of the challenge,” Tania said. They wanted to put their experience to a real test. Rod reckons he knows a thing or two about renovating and wants to see how he measures up on The Block. “Watching the show in the past, I’ve seen things done properly and things done not exactly how I would have. I want to see just how hard it is in front of the cameras.”
Together they run Rod’s sheetmetal business in Warragul, Victoria. Rodney handles the metal while Tania takes care of the accounts. But when it comes to designing and decorating their homes it’s Tania who takes charge. “I’m a huge fan of all the renovation shows,” she says. Rodney likes to tease her about how addicted she is to TV. “For as long as I can remember we have had more than one TV. Now she has a flat-screen in every room. Sometimes I come home and find all the TVs running.”
Rodney is happy to let Tania take control. “I’m not naturally a take-charge kind of guy but over the years circumstances have forced me to step into the leader’s shoes. I love it when Tania takes over. I can sit back, relax, do as I’m told and just get on with my work.”