04 Jan Remodeling Your House? Here’s How to Stay Married
Relationships are hard. Anyone who’s been married or in a committed relationship can tell you that trying to blend the needs and priorities of two people to create a happy partnership is no easy feat. Throw in kids, careers and in-laws and you’ve got the perfect recipe for conflict.
Finances can be a source of tension among couples too, which should give anyone embarking on a home construction project reason to pause. Building a new home or remodeling your current digs usually comes with a significant price tag that could stir up a host of anxieties and emotions around finances for a couple.
Aside from the obvious money disputes – agreeing on a budget and what you can afford – problems that arise during home construction projects could trigger hot button issues for even the most solid of relationships. Here are a few ways you can avoid letting your home construction lead to the destruction of your relationship:
- Make like Elsa and let it go: When you’re in the throes of construction, every decision seems like it’s make-or-break. Where to put the outlets. Whether to pick a bullnose or beveled edge for your countertop. What window grade to install. Our best advice? Make a decision and move on. Chances are good that a year after the job has been completed you won’t know a bevel from a bullnose, much less remember which one you chose.
- Set a budget and be prepared to go over it: Of course, you both will perform your due diligence and price out your project and get quotes from qualified professionals to perform the work. You’ll look for the lowest prices for appliances and determine how much you can afford to spend and what you’re willing to do without to stick to your budget. But surprises are to be expected and with them, unexpected expenses. Be ready for financial curveballs and try to take them in stride and readjust as needed.
- Eliminate the middleman: Many of your options during construction will come at different price levels. There will be the most expensive and least expensive options and then one somewhere in between, which is the option many of us tend to choose. But a lot of times, bigger and more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better. Sometimes the least expensive choice is both the economic and functional winner. Ask yourself whether the upgrades are really worth it and remember, all those little costs can add up to big overruns on your budget (see above). Be smart with the parts of your budget you can control.
- Silence is not an option: Starting work on your home is never a great time to stop communicating with your partner. In fact, according to a survey of relationship experts, the failure to communicate in a relationship is a far greater cause of the demise of a relationship than infidelity or a dwindling sex life. Set your budget and talk about your goals and how you want to achieve them before construction starts and then check in with your partner throughout the job to make sure you’re still on the same page. Unhappy about something? You’re better off addressing the issue with emotional integrity and making sure both of you has a say in its resolution.
- Construction will not save your marriage: You know how some couples misguidedly believe that a new baby is just what they need to save their marriage, when that could not be further from the truth? The same holds true for building a new house or renovating a home. Just like a new baby, a home construction project only adds to the strains put on a relationship. If you want to save an already troubled relationship, you’d be better off hiring a couple’s therapist rather than an architect to fix what ails you.
- Repeat after me: “It’s only temporary”: Unlike your relationship, your home construction project won’t last forever. When cooking all your meals in a toaster oven down in your basement or sleeping on a couch starts to get old, remind yourself it will all be over soon. Some day, the inconveniences will be a fuzzy memory and the outcome –like your updated kitchen or new master suite – will be what you remember. In the meantime, keep the “only temporary” mantra going and focus on your prize at the end of the construction rainbow.
Ready to start? Contact us today for a free initial consultation for getting the home you want.