With two challenge wins and one week of competition left, Alison Victoria lines up her shot in the backyard with a putting green in the fifth episode of “Rock the Block.”
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
In last week’s episode, the four teams of designers tackled the basement. While Victoria and partner Mike Holmes added another bedroom and full bathroom to their home, their design failed to wow judge Tamara Day of “Bargain Mansions.” Instead, Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent of “Nate and Jeremiah: Save My House” snagged a challenge win with their European farmhouse-inspired design that added value as an in-laws suite or rental unit.
In addition to Victoria and Holmes’ two wins and Berkus and Brent’s one win, David Bromstad of “My Lottery Dream Home” and Tiffany Brooks from the upcoming show “50K Three Ways” have also landed one challenge win. Brian and Mika Kleinschmidt of “100 Day Dream Home” have failed to score a challenge win so far, even with their basement bowling alley.
In this week’s episode, the designers headed outside to finish the exteriors and add curbside appeal. Carmine Sabatella and Mike Pyle of “Inside Out” joined them as this week’s judge.
The exterior design actually started back in episode one, so the designers had a head start. Victoria and Holmes chose gray siding to wrap around the home and installed beige stones around the front door and porch as well as the garage.
Victoria kept the front yard “serene” so she and Holmes could put more effort into the backyard, where they added a retaining wall and built a small putting green in front of the basement patio. In addition, they designed a custom outdoor grilling station — an idea partially shared by the Kleinschmidts.
“Our strategy is to maximize the value in the backyard since that’s where we think the potential buyers are gonna be hanging out,” Holmes explained.
“If we win this week,” Victoria said, “we’ve got a real shot at winning the whole competition.”
Their overall design plan hit a minor speed bump when Victoria saw the cypress trees for the front walkway and instantly hated them. Unfortunately, they couldn’t be returned, but she insisted the landscapers get rid of them and replaced them with magnolia trees.
“I’m really not trying to be difficult,” Victoria said. “I just, I know what I like, and that is not it.”
Their loss became Bromstad and Brooks’ gain, as the landscaper offered them up for free to the duo. They planted the trees in front of their “storybook” home, a Tudor-inspired design with a vegetable garden out front.
Over at Berkus and Brents’ home, the front porch became a screened-in affair (but left the bottom railing unscreened), which turned it into a three-season room. They also extended the black and white marble tile from the front room.
To complete their own full outdoor kitchen, the Kleinschmidts built a fire pit and a staircase to connect the patio and deck in the backyard. They also added a pergola to the upper deck.
When Sabatella and Pyle arrived at Victoria and Holmes’ home, they noticed the beauty of the rock work, but overall, they thought the design was pretty understated out front.
In the backyard, the design impressed the judges, but for the non-golfer Sabatella, the putting green added little value. Both agreed though that at least having the retaining wall, putting green or not, added usable outdoor space.
In the end, Berkus and Brent won the exterior challenge. The judges loved the three-season porch and the close attention to detail of the designers’ work.