A Complete Guide to Getting Along with Your Spouse During A Remodel Project
April 9, 2020 |
This is a topic I’m actually really excited to talk about. Remodel projects often bring out the worst in all of us. But there are a few things you can do to mitigate the crazy and get along during a home remodel! For real y’all, I’ve been working alongside Tony doing projects for 28 years – I’ve got you on this one.
The first thing I think you should do is get clear on your own personal strengths. Specifically, who has the best skills set for communication, organization, personal finance, and design.
- The person with the best communication skills should be in charge of communicating with subcontractors.
- The person who has the best organizational skills should be in charge of ordering and scheduling.
- The money person between you should be in charge of requesting bids and building the estimate spreadsheet.
- The person who has the best design-savvy should be in charge of sourcing and selecting the finishes.
Note: If you are a family with small children, sometimes the very best role you can play is to keep the littles occupied and safe, away from the site of the remodel. That can be super helpful to the person actually doing the work. It can also look like keeping the person who is good at all those skills I listed above nourished. If he or she is working super hard on a project, cook some tasty meals, keep the laundry done up for them, try to make their load outside of the remodel a little easier.
By agreeing on who is best at a given skill, and then trusting that person to carry through on their part, is crucial.
Tony and I have always been excellent about only handling the things assigned to us. For example, Tony is great at scheduling, so I never even think about stepping in and trying to schedule a task. I trust him completely, and he is worthy of that trust because he doesn’t let me down. Did you hear that? I trust him because HE DOESN’T LET ME DOWN. If he is super busy and has a ton of appointments on a given day, he may ask me to call the electrician and see if they can be at our project at 11:00 on Thursday. And that’s fine. I’m so happy to do it for him because we help each other.
My strength is design. I know how I want a space to look and feel, so I select and source all the finishes. Tony never even looks at them. Not because he doesn’t care what the space will look like, but because he knows he will like what I do. This saves us both so much time!
Here is my final word on trust: If you don’t’ strongly trust each other, you need to get therapy. No seriously, if you and your spouse don’t trust each other, do not try to do a remodel together. Work on yourselves first.
Always have grace, but especially when working with your spouse. In over 2 decades of working together, Tony has never looked at me and said the words, “You screwed up.” I’m a reasonably smart person, I can figure out when I’ve screwed up, AND I can own it. We each feel like it is our responsibility to own it – quickly and completely – when we make a mistake. There is no need to make excuses or become angry or defensive – there is just the need to own it and figure it out – together. Correct the mistake and move forward. Honestly, I believe if you can look at the person you love and berate them for a mistake, you are rude. You need to grow up and get some manners. And you don’t need to subject your partner to work on a remodel project with you. Spend the money on counseling instead.
Make low-pressure time a priority in your remodel schedule.
That could look like mini celebrations when milestones are met. Demo completed and cleaned up? Celebrate! One of you grab a bottle of champagne on the way home or go out to dinner. Was the rest of the family involved in this work? Be sure to include them! Take a few hours on Saturday morning for low-pressure family time, like hiking or go see a movie.
Had a super productive week? Take an afternoon off. Get a good night of rest. You’ll feel so good and be ready to bring the project to a strong close.
When the project is finished, show it off! Invite friends and family to see it. Keep a running photo of your work on social media – the positive feedback and encouragement are priceless!
Be honest. Can you do a project of this magnitude with your spouse? Saving a few thousand dollars on your bathroom remodel won’t look so cheap if you have to pay for a divorce. Instead, use this course to educate yourself on the process so you can hire the very best general contractor and feel confident in your decisions.
To help you and your spouse to stay organized during your remodel, I have created a free checklist that includes every component in a bathroom. If you have a super ability to create checklists, make one yourself, but please start a master checklist for the project!
I hope I have armed you with enough information for getting along with your spouse during a construction project. I’m committed to educating homeowners and helping them love the process of remodeling their home. I believe taking the time to learn about the bathroom components will make your rebuild go faster, smoother, and help keep costs down. If you have a specific remodel question, send me an email at Starr (at) starrtingle.com. I would love to help you out!
If you live in or around Shelbyville, Ky, and want to work with me to remodel or build a home, you can contact me here. I look forward to hearing from you!