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The Remodel Challenge

How to Keep your Marriage Together During a Remodeling Project


Photo: Andrzej Tokarski / iStockphoto
Photo: Andrzej Tokarski / iStockphoto
Your marriage will suffer if you try to cope with the dust, mess, financial issues, unmet expectations, disappointments, time delays, different wants, and disruption of your lives without communicating well with one another.

Think Twice

Are the two of you considering remodeling a room in your home? Think twice. The remodeling experience of many couples could be a horrible one if they don't share their expectations with each other.
  • You may spend more money than you planned.
  • Your remodeling project may take longer than you thought it would.
  • You may find yourselves disagreeing on everything from the color of the floor tiles to the style of ceiling lighting to purchase.
  • You may find yourselves living in chaos during the remodeling.
  • You could end up not being happy with the results of the remodel job.
  • Small or petty disagreements loom larger in your marriage relationship.

A remodeling project requires that the two of you are able to talk about money, hopes, dreams, expectations and dealing with mistakes.

Handy Hints for the Handy Couple

  • If your relationship has communication problems or other unresolved issues, don't start a remodeling project.
  • Have realistic expectations.
  • Prepare yourselves for disruption of your daily routine by the noise, clutter, dirt and inconvenience of the project.
  • Keep part of your house untouched, clean, and quiet.
  • Talk about your expectations.
  • Discuss how you will make decisions that involve different tastes and viewpoints.
  • Do your homework, research, shop, and have concrete plans before you spend any money.
  • Develop a budget. Discuss what your options are if your remodel project appears to be costing more than you planned.
  • Be honest with one another about what you can handle and what you will or won't do on the project. For instanc, if one of you absolutely will not go up on the roof, that needs to be shared.
  • Accept that conflict will happen. Be open to compromise.
  • Don't let the project turn into a battleground that is really about other issues like power and control.

  • Communicate, communicate, and communicate.

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