Home & Garden

Home checklist: Don’t let remodeling split you in two

Winter is a busy time of year for do-it-yourself and home renovation projects. All that time indoors spurs thoughts of remodeling.

But attempts to make a home “better” can also tear it apart. On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being breakup stage), family therapists peg remodeling as a “6” in terms of stress on a relationship. One of the greatest sources of disagreement: Paint color.

The experts at The Family Handyman magazine say skip the stress makers and work together in harmony. But how? Try this advice:

•  Get the family involved: Big projects can be extremely time-consuming. If everybody has a task or part to play, a DIY project will result in family bonding, a faster renovation process and everyone will feel their needs are being met (or at least considered).

• Pick your battles :If it really doesn’t matter to you if the room is blue or yellow, let it go, says The Family Handyman. Remember the three most important words in a marriage: “You’re right, dear!”

• Decide on things up front – when it’s calm: If you can’t decide on things at the start when everything is just fine, you certainly won’t be able to when the clock’s ticking and the pressure is on. Don’t even start the remodel if you’re not in agreement on what you want to accomplish.

• Set your expectations appropriately when using a contractor: You have to keep in mind that when you hire a contractor, you are giving up control. Frequently, some of the work will not happen as quickly as expected or as you had envisioned. It is safe to assume that there will be some delays in the renovation process. Know your budget, and expect to go over it.

• Don’t forget to laugh: Make sure to have fun when doing these sorts of projects, say the experts. This is the time for you and your spouse to bond and work together. In the end, what doesn’t cause you to split up will give you great stories to laugh at years later.

For more tips, click on www.familyhandyman.com.

– Debbie Arrington