Seven Tips to Help Avoid Fighting While Remodeling

Spring is here, which means more and more people will be in the mood to remodel or build something new. Doing this kind of work yourself saves money, but can be a strain on a couple’s relationship if matters aren’t handled correctly.

My parents have been married for over 20 years and in that time they have worked together to renovate five homes and countless outbuildings and other small projects. They each bring something different to the table when it comes to working on a project. My mom is great at design and visualization, while my dad is strong and great at problem solving. Each of them has had to learn and accept the fact that one might be better at something than the other. This might sound easy since they are married, but depending on your temperament and that of your spouse, you might be surprised at the battles it can cause.

Have a Plan

I have seen a few projects fail because of poor or nonexistent planning. Draw out a diagram of what you plan to do, how you will go about it, and in which order.

Make It Legal

If you live in a city or town that requires the use of permits, it is in your best interest to follow the rules. There can be huge fines involved, as well as a lot of time lost.

Make a List

A lot of gas was wasted when I was growing up going back and forth to hardware stores. Once you have your plan, make a detailed list of the materials, including tools and hardware that you will need. Collect it all before you get started to cut down on the stopping and starting during work time, and the gas for trips to the store.

Be Safe

No matter how proficient you are at using a nail gun or saw, wear protective gear at all times. It is very easy to get distracted while working, and a trip to the emergency room cuts into both time and money.

Don’t Fight

The old saying “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” applies really well when you are working with your significant other on a project. Don’t expect them to read your mind; spell out what you want them to do so there is no confusion. Also, if you get to a point of being irritated with your partner, take a break.

Call in Favors

Special tools have been developed to help make bigger jobs easier, but if those aren’t in the budget, call in a favor from a few friends. For example, in the first house they renovated, my parents replaced the drywall on the ceiling in several rooms of the house. We called a few guys from my dad’s work and after the work was finished, we had a cook out to say thank you.

When in Doubt, Call a Professional

When it comes to electrical, my mom is pretty handy. When it comes to plumbing, my dad can usually get the job done. However, if the job ever gets too big, they call in a professional. If you are unsure about your ability to tackle certain parts of your project, budget in a call to a local company. Be sure they are licensed and insured, and get quotes from several companies to ensure you are getting the best price.

Watching my parents learn to work together over time made doing projects with my husband much easier to manage once we were married. Once our work has been completed, we have a great feeling of accomplishment of a job well done together.

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