As any couple who’ve been there can attest, remodeling can be hard on relationships. According to a new survey by Houzz.com, 46 percent of respondents found working with their significant other on remodeling to be stressful. One in nine said they seriously considered a separation or divorce mid-project.
But after it was all over, 84 percent said they spent more time at home, enjoying their efforts. (And not just because they couldn’t afford to go anywhere else.) Four out of five said they felt more relaxed at home after completing their project. In addition, 42 percent said they do more entertaining.
Another post-remodel bonus: 41 percent said they actually felt happier with their significant other.
“Remodeling can be a stressful time for couples, but our community tells us Houzz serves as a de facto marriage counselor, helping them fall in love all over again, only this time with their homes,” said Liza Hausman, Houzz’s vice president of community. “We’re providing tools that make the experience collaborative, fun and a whole lot less painful.”
Houzz.com specializes in online tools for remodeling and home design projects. The biggest conflicts, according to the Houzz survey, came down to a difference in taste or style. The biggest beef: 42 percent said they were “stuck with items they hate but aren’t allowed to get rid of.” (But one in five said they went ahead and made that offending item “disappear.”) The items that drew the most angst: old furniture, followed by posters and artwork.
Another sore point: One in five said they made a major decision (such as paint color or tearing down a wall) without consulting their partner.
To keep the peace (and a healthy relationship), Hausman offers these tips for couples considering a remodel:
• Strike a balance. Find common ground (or at least color schemes). Go over ideas together. Plan a date night to flip through photos or online idea books.
• Compromise or downsize. If you insist on getting rid of his stuffed deer head, be willing to give up something you like but he hates. Conversely, if you don’t want to let something go, expect him to keep his stuff, too.
• Money matters. Many arguments come down to dollars. Avoid them by making a detailed budget upfront, then stick to it as much as possible.
To come up with that budget, Hausman suggested the Houzz Real Cost Finder, an online calculator to estimate remodeling costs. Find it at www.Houzz.com.