Renovation superstars from the HGTV network battled it out with their designing and renovation skills in the reality-TV show called “Rock the Block.” Each of them along with their contractors was given the license to do whatever they wanted in identical houses in a new neighborhood, but with a limited amount of money to use. It premiered in October 2019, and immediately developed a loyal fan base. Each season was judged by a slew of professional designers and contractors, who scrutinized every nook and cranny of the spaces that they redesigned. For its third season which started in 2022, they chose a location somewhere near an historic city in the heart of South Carolina.
- 1 Know the rules in “Rock the Block
- 2 “Rock the Block” first two seasons
- 3 All about the Season Three of “Rock the Block”
- 4 “Rock the Block” Season Three new chosen location
Know the rules in “Rock the Block
Renovation has been regarded as a procedure in which a broken or outdated structure is improved. In HGTV’s “Rock the Block,” each of the contestants was given a blank identical canvass in the form of generic houses located on the same street which had been constructed by the same builder.
The contestants would work with the same amount of space, and were provided with the same amount of money to be spent on the project; they could re-use the materials and fixtures they removed from the property, or buy new items. Changing the layout of the rooms was also acceptable. Their work must be finished by the given deadline, which was within four weeks. It didn’t matter whether they chose to rebuild the whole space or just a part of it, but they must complete the work in four weeks, no excuses.
At the end of each season of “Rock the Block,” they must deliver a new look that would upgrade the value of the house. The designer whose house had the highest appraisal value would be the winner of the competition, after a team of real estate experts made an inspection from top to bottom of the newly renovated home.
The winner will get the bragging rights of having created the best design among the HGTV’s professional reno’s, and have his or her name honored as the block’s street name.
“Rock the Block” first two seasons
The sneak previews that HGTV had shown to promote the show in 2019 had viewers excited, and it created a lot of buzz from renovation fans on social media. The idea of having HGTV celebrities as participants in the competition raised the stakes ,as their pride was also on the line.
Season One with the HGTV Queens of Reno
The producers chose the first season of “Rock the Block” to feature all ladies, who have their own successful shows on HGTV; these designers were described as the fiercest women in the home renovation and design industry. The cast of competitors included Alison Victoria of “Windy City Rehab,” Jasmine Roth of “Hidden Potential,” Leanne Ford of “Restored by the Fords,” and Mina Starsiak Hawk of “Good Bones.”
It was hosted by realtor and contractor Drew Scott from the TV show, “Property Brothers.” The houses used were part of a new housing development project in Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, and each week he assigned a specific space or room in the house that they would work on. They were joined by other real estate professionals from the HGTV family over the course of the season, as those experts gave reviews each week on the progress of each project.
An expert would choose a winner for the newly renovated space each week. Leanne won the Master Suite and Bathroom task, Alison was number one in the Kitchen showdown, and Jasmine took home the trophy on the Great Room and Outdoor Living Space challenge. The final week featured the value of the house as a whole, so the designers could change anything they wanted as long as they still had the money to do it.
TUNE IN TONIGHT at 9pm! Rock the Block season 3, episode 4 filmed in Midtown Nexton airs on HGTV and Discovery+! Watch…
After four weeks of hard work, it was Jasmine who was declared the winner in the first season of “Rock the Block”; her renovation project had the highest appraisal value from the experts, rising from the basic $750,000 to more than $1 million. Her strategy was that she saved some money during the Kitchen and the Master Suite challenges, so she could splurge on other parts of the house. Turning the den into another bedroom with a bathroom made all the difference, and she even installed a pool with an outdoor kitchen which added a fancier yet practical ambiance.
Season Two: Renovating with not just four but eight designers
To make the all-star competition even more exciting, producers of “Rock the Block” added four more designers into the mix. However, instead of eight people competing for the bragging rights and street name, they partnered up. The first duo was composed of Alison Victoria who came back to avenge her loss in the first season, and Mike Holmes of “Holmes on Homes.”
The second team was David Bromstad from “My Lottery Dream Home”, along with Tiffany Brookes from “50K Three Ways.” The third team was Brian and Mika Kleinschmidt from “100 Day Dream Home,” and the fourth team was composed of Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent from “Nate and Jeremiah: Save My House.”
Aside from adding more competitors, it was hosted by Primetime Emmy Award winner, Ty Pennington, who gained prominence from “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” The producers added $50,000 more to the renovation budget, so each team had $225,000 in total to spend on the house renovation, and extended the deadline to six weeks instead of four to finish the project. Another change in the second season was that the show built four identical houses instead of looking for generic structures in new communities. They created a new special neighborhood in Paulding County, Georgia.
The houses were somewhat bigger at 4,000 square meters, than the ones used in the first season, and had first and second floors along with a basement.
The big winners of the “Rock the Block” Season Two were Brian and Mika. The difference in appraisal value for the top three houses was only about $6,000, which means that it could have easily gone to either of the two teams except for small but important issues. One of the things that amazed the judges with the winner’s design was the motorized pergola that they set up as their outdoor space. It was interesting that Brian and Mika lost in all the other five challenges. Nate and Jeremiah won the Exteriors and Basement challenges. Alison and Mike went on to win the Kitchen and the Bedroom challenges.
David and Tiffany took the Living Room task with their bold and risky decisions, but the winning couple overall never gave up, fighting to the end, and coming out on top when the houses were appraised in totality. In the end, the appraised value of their renovated house was $635,000, adding about $150,000 to its original value.
All about the Season Three of “Rock the Block”
Just when home renovation fans thought they’d have to wait a little bit longer for a new season, due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, HGTV started airing the third season of “Rock the Block” on 28 February 2022, with new contestants, new judges, and a new location.
Meet the new designers-contestants
It seemed that everything worked so well in the second season that the producers retained its format of having four teams of designers. This time, they chose renovators within the family, as the contestants were a team of siblings, husband and wife, or long-time partners.
It included Dave and Jenny Mars of “Fixer to Fabulous,” Egypt Sherrod and Mike Jackson of “Married to Real Estate,” Evan Thomas and Keith Bynum of “Bargain Block,” and Leslie Davos and Lyndsay Lamb of “Unsellable House.” Expect fireworks as these designers are known for being fierce competitors, and working with family can be tricky, especially when deadlines are involved.
Meet the judges
New and familiar faces joined the panel of judges for the third season of “Rock the Block” renovation projects. Former New Kids on the Block members as well as brothers Jonathan and Jordan Knight would evaluate the Kitchen renovations. Jonathan went on to become a restoration expert, and is currently the host of “Farmhouse Fixer.” Jordan would offer his perspective as a buyer.
Season one winner, Jasmine Roth, would assess the Living Room and Foyer showdown. Alison Victoria was back, and this time would team up with professional realtor Page Turner from “Fix My Flip” to judge the Main Bedroom Suites challenge. Another familiar face from the first season, Mika Starsiak Hawk. along with her daughter Karen Elaine, would grace the show to decide the winner of the Exterior Spaces task. The renovations in the Rooms over the Garage and some Bonus Spaces would be assessed by the designing duo, Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent.
The overall look and value appraisal of the home would be judged by the first season’s host, Drew Scott, along with the reigning champions Brian and Mika Kleinschmidt. The three of them would take the final walk over to all the houses inspecting everything that was changed and putting a monetary value on each of them.
They would add it all up, and decide which design added more value to the house.
The Goal, Budget, and Prize
The ultimate goal remained the same as previous seasons, which was to elevate the appraised value of the house. The designers can do whatever they want, including changing the layout inside, moving walls, using new cabinets, or changing the paint, as long as they stick to the budget of $225,000. Everything that they do to the house should upgrade its value, not downgrade them. The prize remained the same as well, which was being awarded bragging rights of becoming the Lord or the Queen of HGTV’s Renovation Superstars.
First episode brief recap
The Kitchen showdown has always been one of the favorites of home renovation viewers. It’s considered the heart of the house, and when it was announced by Ty to be the first one to be renovated, everyone was excited, especially when the host handed them a cheque for $225,000.
— Pattie Schultz (@EverydayGene) March 24, 2022
The women were quite excited to learn that former pop stars from an old popular boyband, New Kids on the Block, would be the judges for this challenge.
They all made plans on how to change the kitchen area. Unfortunately for Keith, his longtime partner Evan couldn’t make it on time to help on the first task; he was still tied up with his clients back in Detroit, which reminded the viewers that the contestants are successful in-demand designers/contractors. Evan sent help in the form of another realtor/designer, Shea Hicks-Whitfield from “Bargain Block.” From the get-go, the fans immediately could tell that the four teams were quite different from each other, in terms of priorities and style. It was such a great episode in which one could see diversity in design. Some of them took bolder risks by using bricks, and some bought huge expensive slabs of marble as countertops.
Realtors said from previous seasons that there was a thin line between creativity and functionality.
Jordan and Jonathan Knight said that it was torture to choose one design to be the winner, as every team did an amazing job. However, they inspected every nook and cranny of each renovated space, to make sure that they had a list of pros and cons. They offered constructive criticisms on what they felt was too little or too much. Ty said that the best way for them to judge the kitchen was to see which of them added more value to the space. The winners of the Kitchen Showdown were Dave and Jenny Mars; the Knight brothers were amazed at how the couple added a pantry room to give more space for storage. To do this, they removed the powder room, saying that no one wanted to hear someone flushing the toilet while in the kitchen. They only had one major critique, which was that the refrigerator was located some way from the stove.
Other than that, the whole kitchen added so much value to the house. Ty handed down $1000 to the husband and wife designing team as a reward for winning the challenge, to add to their renovation budget.
“Rock the Block” Season Three new chosen location
One of the biggest factors that the competitors needed to consider was the targeted clients of the houses that they would renovate. What attracted the buyers the most? It could be risky if a renovator disregarded the location of the neighborhood. In the third season of the “Rock the Block,” the HGTV producers chose Summerville, South Carolina, as their new location, a small town near Charleston with an estimated population of close to 60,000 residents. The town is known to have many pine trees around, because historically they were the first who passed the law against cutting down trees without permission. The town has an official motto “Sacra Pinus Esto,” which means (The Pine is Sacred).
The show hired a contractor to build four identical houses in the Low Country part of the neighborhood, specifically at the thriving Nexton community in Berkeley County. The four houses have a scenic back view of the water, and each of them has 3,500 square meters with a starting appraised value of $500,000. The houses were built closed to each other, so all the teams would have a front seat view of what’s happening to each of them. However, no team could enter the other houses, only the one assigned to them. The original design and structure of the homes in the Nexton development was done by a local contractor named Hunter Quinn Homes, and owned by Will Herring, a Carolina native. The houses would be available for sale to anyone interested in buying them, but only after all the episodes in the TV series had been aired.
The third season will finish airing in April 2022, and real estate agents in the area know that they have their hands full in managing viewing tour dates of the houses. They’re very confident that the houses will find new owners immediately.
Expect more seasons of “Rock the Block” from HGTV, as Betsy Sanner Ayala, one of the Senior Vice Presidents of the cable network’s programming and development, said that the renovation competition on their channel continued to perform really well with viewership ratings. Having experts competing with each other was a great concept. The network executives were happy that the TV show wasn’t only highly anticipated by fans, but by renovation experts too. They made sure that it was a healthy competition, with everyone having fun working on each project. She said that the network also found a perfect vehicle for their newer talents to get great exposure, by mixing them with TV veterans who already had a huge following.