Chiara & David, WA
Stay-at-home mum and hairdresser Chiara, 32, describes her marriage to fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) worker hubby David, 38, as “explosive.” “I dare say there will be ups and downs,” she said. The couple, who have three kids, Seth, 8, Taya, 6, and Ellie Mae, 3, are ready for a change in their “old, run-down” brick home. “[The] bathroom is falling apart, [the] kitchen is so small and there is no room at all in this house,” David said.
Kim & Michelle, NSW
At 59 years old, sales assistant Kim worries that her age could be a disadvantage. “I am the oldest in the competition,” she said. But, her daughter and teammate Michelle, 27, doesn’t think so. When asked what her strength will be, Michelle replied, “My Mum.” Michelle, mum to daughters Bella, 7, and Aaliyah, 6, is more worried about the work. “I am going to struggle with the lack of sleep and the physical tasks.”
Mel & Dave, QLD
Married couple Mel and Dave, who have been together for 15 years, both know who wears the pants in their relationship: Mel. “With Dave working away [as a FIFO driller on a coal-seam gas site] for the majority of our relationship, I have become too independent and take on everything on my own,” she said. This could ultimately be their undoing in the competition: not! Mel believes her “biggest challenge [in House Rules] will be to let go of sole responsibility of problems and allow Dave to help me.” The couple, who are parents of sons Westin, 5, and Billy, 3, do have one thing on their side: they’re both extremely determined. “I am very competitive,” Dave said. “I can make a game out of anything. Growing up with two brothers, everything was a competition.”
Kristie & Leigh, VIC
Melbourne-based couple Kristie, 36, and Leigh, 34, have a slight advantage in the competition. “My husband is a chippy,” said Kristie. “And we have built before. We’ve also helped our sister-in-law and brother-in-law build, too.” A stay-at-home mum to Kobe, 6, and Billie, 3, Kristie thinks that their relationship won’t be affected by the stress of House Rules. “Our marriage is very strong and always will be,” she said. “We understand the pressure the show puts on you but can see past that.” The couple, who enjoy surfing in their downtime, are sure to stir up some trouble. “We’re competitive, very competitive,” Kristie said. Leigh adds: “We’re here to do whatever it takes to win.”
Mandy & Toad, NSW
Dairy farmer Toad, 32, and his beauty-therapist fiancée, Mandy, 28, are confident that House Rules won’t strain their relationship. “We came as a team and we will leave as a team,” Toad said. For Mandy, leaving their 1-year-olds, Lenny and Layla, will be the toughest part. “We haven’t spent any time away from our twins in the past year, so this will be challenging for us,” she said.
Josh & Brandon, QLD
Born just 18 months apart, brothers Josh, 23, (bottom left) and Brandon, 21, are also best friends. The boys, who hail from country Queensland, are excited about having their home renovated by the other teams. “This will be the biggest thing to hit Maryborough since sliced bread!” Josh said. While both Josh and Brandon are carpenters, they aren’t completely confident in their styling skills. “We have absolutely no decorating or styling experience,” said Brandon. “To be honest, I’ve never even bought a piece of furniture before.”
Jess & Jared, SA
Teacher Jess, 25, refuses to move in with her former professional AFL player boyfriend, Jared, 28, until his “lad pad” is renovated. “Each room has its issues from mould to leaking ceilings,” she said. “The bathroom is beyond repair with cracked shower screens, blocked drains and no toilet door!” Jared is more concerned about leaving his pet pooch. “I think I will struggle being away from my dog,” he said.