Relationship Meet Reno: How to Stay Sane as a Couple During Renovations
It’s hard enough finding a movie that two people can agree on to watch, let alone renovating a house together where decisions are waiting around every unfinished corner. Whether you are renovating your existing home or one you are moving into, it is important to keep in mind why you want to renovate in the first place – to have a beautiful, functional space for the two of you to share.
But even with your purpose in mind, you may run into some bumps along the way. Issues of finances, personal tastes, and unrealistic expectations can set couples back as they take on this lofty endeavour. No one said renovating was easy, but there are some things you can do to help ease your fixer-upper woes and stay sane as a couple.
Set a realistic timeline
Everyone wants renovations to be done in a snap, but the reality is they will likely take a bit longer than you think they will. Account for the time you need to work your 9-to-5 and keep up with your everyday life. It isn’t a bad idea to buffer in time for potential sick days or when life simply gets in the way. You still need time to eat and sleep, so ensure you set a realistic timeline that won’t leave you frustrated or hangry.
Stay on budget
Renovating a house isn’t cheap, so it is important to have a budget to watch your bottom line as well as keep your relationship happy. A Trusted Pros study1 notes that of Canadian homeowners, only 60% had realistic budgets for roofing renovations and a low 20% had realistic budgets for kitchen renovations. What this means is most Canadians underestimate the costs to renovate some major areas of their home. Do your research to inform your budgeting decisions, and don’t forget the tools you need to do the job! Agree on how you want the reno completed, and then stick to the plan. You don’t want money to stress you out at the same time you are caulking imported porcelain tile that was way over your budget.
You know the friends who you helped move a couple months ago? And the ones you cat sit for when they are down south? You call those friends to help you! They’ll be happy to help, and all you’ll need to do is provide some pizza. Plus, you and your partner will likely be seeing too much of each other during renovations and having a few other people to hang out with while still getting work done will be a breath of fresh air. Teamwork makes the dream work, right?
Let each other win
Arguably the most fun part of doing renovations is picking colours and décor, but it is also where people may have the most opinions. It is unlikely you and your partner will agree on everything. If one person feels super strongly about an art deco style light and the other feels neutral, let the person who feels strongly win that one. And when you feel strongly about a certain item, voice your opinion. It is a home you’re building together, and it is important each of you have a say in the aesthetic touches.
Take a break
Related to setting a realistic timeline is knowing when it is time to take a break. Going full throttle on a reno will lead to burn out, and potentially some resentment towards your partner who took a little too long getting this or that done. Schedule quality time so you have an opportunity to recharge and remind yourselves why you want to have a renovated home; there is no use renovating a home together if you’re not going to enjoy living together when the reno is all said and done.
If your relationship can survive a home renovation, you are probably with the right person. And in times of stress during your renovation, remember that this feeling won’t last forever, and you’ll soon have a finished home to be proud of. And if all else fails? Order in a pizza and start fresh again tomorrow.
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