Spending to make your home nicer, safer and more efficient can save you money in the long run, but it could cause stress in your relationship in the here-and-now.
In a survey done by the home design site Houzz, 46 percent of couples found that remodeling could lead to frustrating problems, and 12 percent were driven to consider a separation or divorce during the process.
Marriage therapists say that “remodeling stress” is a real issue with difficulties at every stage of a project, for reasons ranging from spiraling costs to stress from the disruption in your living conditions.
What’s more, any tension stemming from a home improvement project can exacerbate problems that already existed within the relationship.
For a low-stress renovation, your first step should be agreeing on a budget, including a contingency amount to cover unexpected costs, which almost always come up.
Also, make sure you share the same overall vision, even if you each put different “must-haves” on your wish lists. Each partner should have input on the creative choices, too, so that no matter whose opinion prevails, both feel their views were aired and considered.
And even if you hire a general contractor, agree on your division of labor — decide who will be steering the project and how decisions will be made. Therapists suggest that even more pre-planning is needed for do-it-yourselfers because tensions can run high when all the work pressure is on just the two of you.
There are sure to be bumps in the road to home improvement, but these steps should help you navigate them more smoothly.
The website Realtor.com details six specific renovation jobs that can be especially problematic and should be approached with extra care.