Reno/rebuild projects can tax a relationship as much as the pocket book.
Why? They require a lot of collaborative decision-making, and the path to consensus is not always easy. Discussions can be fraught with emotion because of the central role the home plays in our lives. Home is a place we go to rest, to build a life and create happy memories. It is also an important outlet for personal style, and likely more than one. Combine this with the large price tag of a major reno/rebuild project and you have one of the biggest decision-making challenges a couple will ever face.
However, living in a home that is just not meeting your needs, or is exhausting in its upkeep can be very hard on your relationship as well. Here are some relationship-saving tips for your home improvement project.
- Recognize and be honest about the experience you bring to the home improvement project. Acknowledge the gaps in your knowledge about major reno/rebuild projects.
- Take measures to educate yourself and all decision-makers about what the project will require. There are seven important questions to ask before renovating.
- Ensure that all decision-makers understand the entire process so they can be empowered to add value and stay engaged throughout the project.
- Take time to reach decisions together, especially where the budget and the scope of the project are concerned. Do not make solo decisions for the sake of moving forward— this will only breed resentment.
- Make as many decisions as you can before demolition and construction starts. Once the work starts there’s added pressure to keep moving and make choices quickly.
- Hire third parties, together, to help with decision-making in areas where you have no specific expertise. The rationale they provide for specific choices will make your decision-making easier if all decision-makers view the third party to be a neutral expert.
- Choose options that require fewer choices by considering packages where a professional has already made a series of decisions for you. For example, if rebuilding, choose the streamlined experience that comes with a KAAV LIVING home instead of pursuing a custom home.
- Bypass DIY and hire professionals to do the work. The project will be completed more quickly and no one will experience the added stress of a task for which they have no experience and probably aren’t interested in doing anyway. Instead, you can spend time together doing something you love.
- If you can possibly help it, don’t live where you are renovating. You may save money by camping in your own house. You’ll also increase stress levels and probably lengthen project timelines — which yes, will increase the overall cost of your project. There may also be health concerns associated with staying in the home.
- Make sure your budget includes an allowance for take-out meals and other timesavers. No matter who you hire and how well you plan, you will have to commit some time to this project on top of your regular responsibilities and obligations. Closing the kitchen and ordering in so you are able to relax a little more is a great way to lower the home improvement stress and can even be a catalyst for reaching consensus. Pizza anyone?
KAAV LIVING can reduce the stress of major reno/rebuild projects by teaching more about the process. All decision-makers can be a part of and contribute to the process. Please contact me about our Love Your Home Strategy Session.