After appearing on four seasons of The Block in Melbourne, including three times as a team's builder, Matthew Menichelli from Elevate Building Group was excited for the show's tree change to regional Victoria.
In fact, the move to Gisborne was a big part of his decision to sign up for a fifth time on the show.
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"It was a welcome change… Large properties, and rural landscape brings a completely difference aspect to the project," he told 9Entertainment.
Matt, who has worked on two winning Block houses in the past, started the 2022 season as Joel and Elle's builder but when they quit, he ended up working with Sydney parents Rachel and Ryan.
"I feel we made a great team! Rachel and Ryan are both really level headed, and passionate about their vision," he said.
"Working for people who know what they want, and are like-minded in terms quality of finish means we can all work towards the end goal without too much back and forth."
After becoming such a familiar face on The Block, we thought it was about time to get to know Matt better. So he sat down with 9Entertainment to answer some questions.
2015: Kingi and Caro, 2017: Josh and Elyse, 2019: Tess and Luke and 2022: Rachel and Ryan and appeared in 2021 as the hipages tradesman.
I still feel the biggest accomplishment was 2017 landscape week with Dave Franklin where we dug, formed, poured and delivered an insitu pool in six days. This was just one element out of a beautiful winning landscape. Massive effort from all.
It's a tough choice, each year is different, and each team dynamic varies. We've been fortunate to have great couples, and great success. And been able to create four beautiful homes, so to pick a favourite would be too tough!
READ MORE: Matt gives his top DIY tips and three things you need to consider before starting a renovation
It's the challenge that gets thrown at you each week. I tend to just put my head down, swallow the task and deliver a room to the best standard possible, given the time and budget constraints. The best thing is looking back at the end of the 12 weeks and taking in all the hard work and shear scale of what has been completed.
It's the mental toll it takes on you. Everyone is tired, worn out, and highly strung, so trying to keep good morale and a tight-knit team is always priority. Everyone has good and bad days out there, it's just a matter of setting your eyes on the end goal, taking a breath and pushing to achieve the vision.
READ MORE: Get to know the Cursio brothers, The Block's most in-demand tilers and fan-favourite tradies
Nothing compares to The Block! The fact that we have outrageous timelines and tight budgets means we have to adapt our usual build sequence and practices to deliver the rooms each week.
I always keep firm grasp on standards of finishes and quality of work to make sure that we're proud of what is produced. At the end of the day, the home is on display for everyone to see, so cutting corners isn't an option in my eyes.
The entire season with Kingi and Caro! The builds were smaller back then so teams were smaller and there was a lot more time to enjoy ourselves. Myself, Kingi and Caro hit it off from day one and managed to have a laugh, and have fun the whole way through! It seemed to be less intense and less pressure back then!
It's the challenge, growth and fulfilment we get after completing each season. Both personal and from a team perspective. We're fortunate to have had good success of over the years, so business has grown and subsequently doors have opened.
That the timelines are legitimate. People at home might think its smoke and mirrors, but I've had countless all nighters just for the sake of getting the job done and delivering a room ready for reveal.
I've learned what really can be achieved with a good team. When everyone's on the same page, and we make some calculated decisions and a considered approach to the design, we're able to create a beautiful home. These are $4,000,000 properties – pretty crazy to think they were constructed in under four months.
The Block airs Sunday at 7.00pm and Monday to Wednesday at 7.30pm on Nine. Catch up on all the latest episodes on 9Now.
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