Don't Let a Remodeling Project Ruin Your Marriage

Written by Michele Dawson
Updated October 6, 2015
kitchen, renovated kitchen
Learning how to deal with the stress of a remodeling project is important for any couple. (Photo by Elizabeth Starrs)

Remodeling is a stressful undertaking for many families.

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If a major home renovation is on the horizon, perhaps the best remodeling tips to keep in mind are ones that will keep your marriage or relationship intact.

Tackling a major remodel is sure to show the true strength of your partnership. Issues related to money, communication, patience, precision, acceptance, and negotiation, come front and center.

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If you want to have a successful outcome and live happily with your significant other in your remodeled home, then you should vow to understand the many complications that can arise as you make decisions as a couple. As you embark on your remodeling project, there are some key concepts to keep in mind.

Merge Your Sense of Style

One of the most divisive parts of a major remodeling project is when tastes and style preferences collide. If one partner likes a cozy, traditional look and the other favors a contemporary streamlined appearance, a compromise has to be reached.

Fortunately, transitional styles – a combination of both traditional and contemporary – are popular and are perfect fusion for a little of this and a little of that.

Most importantly, the style of your new house should reflect your tastes as a couple or family. One person's preferences shouldn't dominate. Not only will the other person feel slighted or bullied into agreeing to a remodeling project they didn't want, but the renovation could potentially be a constant reminder and source of irritation, leading to deeper troubles in the future.

Hammer Out a Remodeling Budget

As in other aspects of marriage, money is always a hot topic. One partner's spending habits versus the other's saving, prudent nature will only magnify during a big project.

The first thing to do is to get a budget into place. Determine how much will be allocated for each aspect of the project ahead of time.

If you want to splurge on the countertops while your partner would rather spend extra money on custom cabinets, either figure out where else you can trim the budget, or perhaps compromise on both. Your contractor can help you and your partner in figuring out how much money you'll need for those bamboo floors or stainless steel double-oven.

Communication is Key During a Remodel

If communication has been lacking in your relationship, then now's the time to step it up. With a big investment, so many decisions to make, being uprooted from your normal routine, good communication is going to be a necessity.

It's extremely important to take the time needed to talk to your contractor about every step of the process: the daily schedule and what time workers will arrive, which products will be arriving when, which areas of the house will be off limits, and how much noise, dust, and odors to expect.

Then have a discussion with your partner about the logistics of living through the remodel. If a kitchen is going through the renovation, how will you eat? Where will kids do homework if there is a lot of noise? Will there need to be a new family shower routine if a bathroom is being remodeled.

Take a Break from the Stress of a Remodel

When you get into the thick of floors being ripped out, huge boxes of supplies bombarding your house, and TV shows interrupted by jackhammers and power tools, it's important to take a break. Even if it's only for a few hours, a little time away can be beneficial for the whole family.

Go to the park, out to dinner, the house of a friend or relative, the movies, even a walk... anything to get you out of the chaos and allow you to regroup.

If you've ever needed to exercise your patience, now's the time. Always try to think about the big picture and be prepared to collaborate, particularly if you and your partner have different design styles. If you have children this is especially important. If they see you being impatient and stressed out, then you'll have a houseful of anxiety-riddled little ones.

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