Couples make a lot of jokes about “surviving” the home building process without getting a divorce. Honestly, it can be a very stressful endeavor that pushes people to their compromising limits. There’s also a lot of money on the line, which only adds to the angst.
A Houzz survey found that 46% of couples thought their major home remodel was frustrating. Most of those couples seemed to handle the frustrating alright, but 12% of survey respondents said they actually considered separation mid-remodel. And that’s just remodeling, not a complete build.
There are so many decisions to be made within a certain timeline while you continue to juggle all of your regular daily responsibilities. For many couples, that’s what is most stressful about a home build. Have kids? Get ready for a whole other level of stress and guilt from feeling that the new house gets more of your attention than they do.
Rest assured the end result will make up for the rocky road getting there. The trick is to pave the way in the beginning so there are less pitfalls and problems to work around.
5 Tips That Help Couples Settle New Home Design Disputes Amiably
Design disputes are bound to happen, even if you have very similar tastes. It could be something as simple as the hardware on the bathroom vanity or a major decision like whether to go with an open concept in the living area. Taking the steps below can help you work through these issues with your marriage intact.
Find Common Ground
Things will go much smoother from the get go if you can find common ground. List out all of the things that you 100% agree on. It will help you see that you’re on the same page about many decisions, and you can head of issues ahead of time if you don’t complete see eye-to-eye on something.
It also important to find design styles that you both like and can agree on. The Houzz survey mentioned above noted that a third of people didn’t like their significant other’s taste, and that’s what caused issues.
Know What Matters Most to Each Person
Before you begin building, sit down together and discuss what matters most to each person. If a certain area of the home is one person’s domain let that person be the primary shot caller for features, design, etc. Or one person may want to take the reins on the inside of the house while the other spouse heads up the outdoor projects. It’s a divide and conquer strategy that could make life easier for both of you.
Another thing you’ll want to talk about is how involved you each want to be. One spouse may want to be heavily involved while the other simply wants to have input on the major decisions. Knowing how involved you want to be can help you establish a dynamic that works well from the onset.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time in the Planning Phase
Things will move much quicker and need to stay on a tight timeline once the build begins. You can save yourself some stress by giving yourself ample time to make decisions together during the planning phase. That way you won’t feel rushed and can really explore your options.
Take Breaks From the Build
Every now and then you have to step away from the project to decompress. Unless there’s something totally unforeseen, the builder can handle things for a day or two. Use this time to do something fun and relaxing together that totally takes your mind off of where to place sprinkler heads and which R-value insulation you’re going to put in the attic.
Enlist the Help of Professionals You Can Rely On
Part of the reason home building is stressful for couples is because they are new to the process. Venturing into uncharted waters has a way of putting anyone on edge. These feelings are amplified if the people you’re working with don’t communicate well or don’t seem to deliver the desired results.
It’s important to put together a supportive team you can trust and rely on during the process. Your team can include a number of people such as your builder/contractor, loan officer, designer and/or real estate agent. Make sure you know what services each person will provide and their area of expertise. Ask your builder to create a line-item schedule that lays out all of the decisions you’ll need to make so you can prepare in advance.
myHouseby also helps alleviate some of the stress during the build process from finding a community with the amenities you want to personalizing a home plan to connecting with a builder. Couples can take advantage of our free concierge services that give you the ability to plan thoroughly, fine-tune your designs and keep everything on track.
Ultimately, the months of debating design details are worth it. In the end, you get a wonderful home that you created together, and you’ll find that you make a pretty good team.
And just in case you’re wondering, 41% of Houzz survey respondents said after the project was complete they were even happier with their spouse than before.