House Rules – 2016 grand final

So, is it the twins or Claire and Hagan? The House Rules grand final is tonight.
Tomorrow night Channel 7 has programmed Guardians of the Galaxy to fill the House Rules timeslot, while the following night it’s Laugh Out Loud – one of those dreadful puppy YouTube clip shows that rates its socks off.

Joh Griggs is in the studio in a body con dress in House Rules red and her high hair has been styled by whoever normally does Manu’s do. She crosses to the homes of each grand finalist – Claire and Hagan’s kids look like they need to be in bed and it looks weird to see the Dalby brothers in suits.
Joh puts the boys on the spot by asking if they are still single, and Luke says “sorry Australia”, he’s got a girlfriend.
We’re reminded half of the scores come from the judges, the rest from viewer votes. So the boys will have to screw up big time to not win this.

Flashback to when each team started their final four-day challenge, at each others’ houses.

Rules for the Dalby house
1 Create the look of an Outback billabong [there’s no way the boys asked for a drowning hazard on their block – hopefully they’ll just use reed-like plants]
2 Incorporate a spa and pergola
3 Use stone to beef up the bush setting
4 Feature native plants and grasses

Rules for the Mornington Peninsula House
1 Create the look of a coastal cabana
2 Incorporate a spa and pergola [where is this stuff meant to fit on that teeny block?]
3 Get inspired by our local beach boxes
4 Use coastal plants and weathered timbers

The boys are disadvantaged by the small space – they’ll have to rip stuff out. They decide to move the outdoor shower to make way for a spa.
Claire wants an inground spa to look like a billabong but Hagan is not keen on digging a hole. Surely burying it in dirt would wreck the electricals?
Claire swears at Hagan that he doesn’t care and as he goes off in a huff she mutters “goo-goo-ga-ga”. Charming.
Eventually she agrees to an above-ground spa with plants and rocks around it, with a railway sleeper-inspired pergola above it. At least it has a glass safety fence around it. Shame the budget could not stretch to an actual pool, which surely would be more handy in a place like Dalby.
If I was Claire and Hagan I’d be ripping out any spa put in by the boys no matter how great – I’d be paranoid about the young kids around water, especially as the yard is the only play space.

The boys stock up on decorations for their pergola area and pity the poor artist who created the driftwood frame that they had to saw in half to fit in the boot of their car. Then we’re treating to yet another shot of the boys from behind, pretending to run in to the back yard.
Back in the studio Joh is chatting to Fil and Joe, so it’s the perfect time to heat up leftovers.

In Vic, the boys are stocking up on teak furniture for the already overcrowded back yard, while in Dalby there’s drama with the pool fence being too gappy and not meeting code.
The blue and white “bathing box” look the boys are going for looks good – until one of them spills a tray of paint all over the deck.
Fencing hassles sorted, C and H chuck plants in the ground while the boys reassemble the sawn-in-half artwork and a feature surfboard. They realise their furniture won’t fit so make plants the priority instead.

Time’s up! The brothers say beaut things about how much they love each other. H tears up when he talks about “doing it for the kids”.
In the studio, Joh tells Rob he was “fiercely competitive”. That’s an understatement.
Then we get footage of all the other couples showing friends and family around their renovated homes, talking about how awesome the show was. Nancy says the couples are all friends for life. Really? Even Rob.

Spa reveal
[Honestly, who even wants a spa at their house? I don’t get the appeal.]
The boys get to see their back yard and it looks fine, for a big plastic box of bubbling water. Luke and Cody, as upbeat and gracious as ever, say they love it.
C and H peer through the mountain of furniture to the massive spa and express their delight – it sounds a bit flat so perhaps it was a reshoot. Once they strip out half the clutter put there by other teams it will look much better.

In the studio, Joh checks in with Michelle about whether she knew her hubby would be such an emotional wreck. “Very dusty renos, they were,” Brooke counters.
Ooh, this is interesting: An ad for Selling Houses Australia coming to Seven. It’s my favourite reno show. I wonder how old the repeats will be?

The judges arrive
And for once Joe Snell is not wearing coloured pants. What a disappointment. He says the billabong feeling has been achieved. Wendy likes the planting but Joe wishes they’d screened out the back fence properly.
Thirty seconds later, they’re at the other spa and – phew – Joe is now wearing maroon pants. Joe says they’ve picked the perfect spot and he likes the driftwood art. They like the surfboard light but Wendy thinks they could have chosen another board.

The score are revealed
Luke and Cody get 8 from Joe; 9 from Wendy.
Claire and Hagan get 9 from Joe; and 10 from Wendy.

Time to pad everything out with a look back at highlights from the series. Yeah, the boys are from the country and they’re not used to traffic. They’re good at DIY. Luke tears up more easily than Cody. They worked hard. They played fair. And they’re the first all-male team to make it to the grand final.
Claire, Hagan, two kids and a big dog were crammed into a shoebox. During the comp they missed their kids and got the shits with each other – a lot. Yadda yadda. Their house looked awesome once it had the second storey on it. Hagan cries more than Claire.

Time for the winner to be announced
But first, it’s time to repeat questions like “What would it mean to you? How much do you want to win?”.
The votes have been combined with the judges’ scores and the 2016 House Rules winners, who gets the mortgage paid off are (after a pause by Joe): Luke and Cody (well, Luke because it’s his house).
No surprise. Well done, lads.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Is there really much doubt on this one? Claire and Hagan have their moments … but honestly, it’s gotta be the twins. Doesn’t it?

all happening

I hope it is the boys.


Why would Claire & Hagan want / need a spa & pergola in their minuscule backyard?


Fingers crossed for the Dalby twins.

all happening

Oh nooooooo! not looking good. I hope my vote worked.


One would expect the Qld boys to get heaps more votes than Claire & Hagan.


I didn’t actually vote, but I was reasonably sure the boys would pull through, so all’s well that ends well.

Luke is cute, but he’s not a cute crier. They really should’ve cut away, there.


I knew the boys would win, they just made it seem as if Clare and Hagan had a chance with the way the judges voted, but I’m sure they knew all along just how popular the boys were with the Australian public.
Well deserved win, I would still put a proper roof over that spa, it needs to be protected from rain, and there is a definite need for shade from the sun.

brain dead dave

The glass fences around the spas seem impractical. Birds, pets and drunk people are going to find them a challenge , I think. Bird droppings, accidents etc.

Congrats to those boys. Nice mullet, Johanna. Jack Farnham would be so jealous of that.

Thanks for the recap, Juz.


I’d love to have a spa. If I was C&H I’d get rid of the outdoor kitchen to get more space.

The boys are fabulous but while I found Luke’s sobbing sweet and amusing to start with, it got embarassing quickly. And he was totally unintelligible after that. I wish that Cody had taken over the speaking at that point.

Note that they carefully avoided showing R&R in their house, now that the rumour is that they have moved to Qld.

After the excruciating slowness of the previous week, the pacing of last night’s show was quite good. I did feel sorry for Joh as she asked questions that should have prompted some reasonably interesting answers, but instead were met with incoherent cliches from the two couples. What is it about these shows that turn ordinary people into competition show clones? Presumably they go on the show resolving not to sound so idiotic, but something happens along the way.

Thanks everyone for sharing ‘the journey’ – it has been a fun season.


Yeah, Luke’s incoherent sobbing was adorable for a few seconds, then it was just like, seriously Cody, step up here. Poor Luke looked like he was having an epileptic fit or something. I did like the little hug where Cody kissed the side of Luke’s head. It was a lovely moment of platonic affection between two best friends, and I thought it was sweet.

Having said that, I feel like neither property needed a spa (Luke and Cody’s backyard looked nice with all that grass. As said upthread, a pool would’ve been far more practical in outback Queensland, but I don’t know what water restrictions are like in drought-prone areas. And Claire and Hagan just did not have the room for one in that postage-stamp-sized backyard), and honestly, I’d wait a few months and then get rid of them both. But all the home-owners seemed happy with the end results, so all’s well that ends well.

Oh well. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of Luke and Cody. Until next year :).

all happening

Fijane, they did do a segment of R&R in their home with family and friends.

brain dead dave

You mean they’ve got “friends” ?



How did I miss that? I thought I saw everything. But I didn’t have control of the remote, so maybe we lingered on something else a bit long.


Well deserved win. Congrats to Luke & Cody! As for the spa, not a necessity and looks cramped in C & H yard. However, I think they will all enjoy it. C & H should get rid of the caravan and L & C should get rid of the lawn billiards.


I agree, the caravan just makes the yard look cluttered to me. Maybe they could ‘temporarily’ park it in the vacant lot next door, and make it a special treat to go visit it occasionally. Or it would make a bit of money on ebay.