In a huge coup for the small village of Candelo, Toad Heffernan and Mandy Stone claimed the House Rules 2018 crown on Monday night.
The Bega Valley couple scored 24/30 from the judges for their final night makeover, just one point ahead of Queenslanders Mel and Dave.
Dairy farmer Toad was overcome by emotion about the life-changing $355,000 prize, thanking their families, other teams and fellow competitors Mel and Dave.
When host Johanna Griggs asked what they would do with the prize, Mandy said: “We are probably going to get married first.”
Although not winning the cash, a grateful Mel and Dave still walked away with a fully renovated home inside and out.
“We’re happy to be standing here. We are proud of how far we’ve come too,” Dave said.
“Congratulations Toad and Mandy.”
- The Bega District News has an interview lined up with the winning couple on Tuesday. Stay tuned
Grand final renovation swap
In the House Rules grand final, Toad and Mandy and Mel and Dave faced one final challenge in the battle for $355,000.
While the series whittled down teams based on their interior renovations and design decision, the grand finalists were tasked with making over each other’s front yard in just four days, guided by five all-important House Rules.
“I don’t think we could have done another thing babe,” Toad said to Mandy after finishing the four-day build.
Mel was in tears after the renovation.
“No matter what happens, we are so proud to have achieved that in just four days for Toad and Mandy’s forever home.”
“We’ve done as much as we can do, we can’t do any more,” Dave added.
As host Johanna Griggs welcomed the grand final teams into the studio, Toad admitted trying not to cry.
“Being away from our kids, our family and our jobs for such a long time, I don’t think there’s any point half doing something so we just wanted to push on.”
Mel and Dave were also emotional.
“Dave’s worked away for 10 years, we’ve been together for 15, we have two little men now and we want to give them the time they deserve with Dave,” Mel said.
Of his competitors, Dave said: “We couldn’t be standing next to two better people tonight.”
As well as revealing the series winners, Griggs revealed new valuations for both homes.
Before House Rules, Mel and Dave’s home was worth $625,000. Now it’s worth an estimated $1,070,000
Mel: “We are standing here winners already.”
Dave: “We could walk away happy either way today.”
Toad and Mandy’s Candelo farmhouse was worth an estimated $850,000 before its televised renovation, now it comes in at $1,100,000.
“This is exactly what we wanted, bring her back to her former glory,” Toad said.
“This where you’ll find me [the sunset bar]…this is awesome…they are smashing the rules.
“At the end of the day we’ve got a brand-new house.
“Thanks Mel and Dave they’ve done such an awesome job… it’s hard to take it all in.
“On that first day you start with nothing and end up with that, it’s massive.”