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The Block NZ for 2017 promises to be another season of highs and lows, but at the end of it all - some spectacular homes will emerge.
As we look back at Fletcher Window and Doors Systems involvement with the show from the very first season through to today, we see 'The Block NZ' TV show has been a fantastic catalyst to showcase many of our new and innovative products over the past 5 years.
Season One | 2012
In season one we showcased a number of products that provided inspiration on what could be done to really open up your home. These included raking windows to allow in more overhead light and Foldback® Bifolds to create unobstructed views and access. But the star of the show was the five metre wide over-wall Eurostacker®. Although this product came with a fair few technical challenges i.e. needing a specially engineered angle to support the nearly half a tonne door unit or rebated floors so the Eurostacker® could sit flush with the internal floor. Technical challenges aside the end result was a social space that truly blurred the lines between the indoors and outdoors.
The star of the show was the five metre wide over-wall Eurostacker®.
Season Two | 2013
Season two was a big step up from season one. The houses got bigger spanning two storeys and the joinery expectations were more ambitious. Season two saw a few clever uses of windows and doors. Feature products included; a five panel bifold window that abutted the kitchen bench creating a seamless servery for entertaining, a structurally glazed coloured glass sliding front door and an impressive corner Eurostacker®.
Season Three | 2014
After a couple of season's under our belt you'd think there'd be a knack to dealing with 'The Block', but as we quickly learnt, there really isn't - every season brought around its own unique circumstances. Whether they were particular product requirements or logistics; from the number of deliveries required or site access. Season three took place with a local daycare on the adjacent street so delivery times were restricted.
There were a number of feature products used on the show including; An oversized graphic printed glass pivot door with the contestants own design, corner cavity Levelstep® stackers and thermally broken joinery more so because of its ability to have a different colour on the inside to the outside, as it allowed the architects to create a bold exterior feature on the corner of the house that contrasted black and white, whilst still maintaining a consistent look from the inside of the room.
The Pacific Thermal Suite has the option of having different coloured frames inside and out.
Season Four | 2015
Season four brought out a new sort of challenge as the villa homes were all circa 1920 to 1940, so consideration to the heritage aesthetic was critical. Throughout the home much of the timber joinery was restored, but 21st century aspects where living configurations and performance capabilities were required Altus Window Systems were used.
Bifold doors were the feature of the show as they appeared on three of the four homes and fit in nicely with the villa aesthetic. A warm white pearl powdercoat colour was used on Atlantic High Performance bifolds, which had a more solid look in keeping with timber. They were also capable of meeting the height and width required from the large openings specified.
The final result was a respectful tribute to the essence of the villa that didn't detract or overshadow its characteristics but rather complement it through a robust look with clean lines.
Season Five | 2016
Season five was an exciting year for us as we were able to showcase our most revolutionary product yet - Smartfit®. The windows and doors arrived on site in cassette form with built in head flashings, cavity closers, end dams and sill support bars. And with its unique face fixing fin removed much of the regular hassle associated with a conventional install. The Smartfit® window installation was so easy even the contestants installed some of them.
Season five took five dilapidated town houses circa 1980, all marred with the leaky building syndrome and in some serious need of a bit of TLC and turned them into modern energy efficient homes. They achieved high Homestar ratings of either 6 or 7 (a quality assurance mark certifying a homes’ health, efficiency and sustainability), and are warm and dry, and easy to heat in winter and cool in summer, thanks in part to the low-E, argon filled, double glazed units.
The Smartfit® window installation was so easy even the contestants installed some of them.
So what's in store for season six... well you'll have to watch season six of The Block NZ: 'Side by Side' to find out.