Once made, the decision to renovate is an exciting one. New possibilities, creativity and perhaps a whole new home await you both in the weeks ahead. Not unlike child birth, renovation can mean long hours of painful labour, particularly if you plan to do the work yourself! Whether you’re project managing or getting stuck in, the chances are that at some point you’ll feel the strain, and so will those around you. We give you some tips to keep your relationship structurally sound.
If this is your first renovation project, try not to be too ambitious with your plans. Confidence is great, but starting small is good advice if you want to keep stress levels as low as possible. Get as much advice as you can before you finalise your plans, asking friends, colleagues and anyone else you know who has completed a similar project. See if they have any tips to keep the two of you talking when the going gets tough!
When you’ve scoped out your project you need to ensure it’s going to fit with your available budget. Nothing puts strain on a relationship faster than financial worries. Decide how much you have to spend and stick to it, or you can find yourselves on a slippery to loans, credit cards and bad debt. Besides this, credit can be hard to find in these tough economic times, so it makes a lot of sense to have your finance in place before you being.
However strict and structured your project plan, build in some time for the two of you to take a break. If money is tight, plan a day out, or better still hop on a plane and recharge your batteries for a couple of days. Your relationship needs to last longer than any renovation project, so invest time and money in it too! Running your love life in a similarly dedicated way will pay dividends in the heat of the moment.
Home from Home
In order to save money, many couples attempt to live alongside their renovation work, or perhaps worse, in a tiny caravan on site. If you can afford it it’s a great idea to move out while the bulk of the work is in progress. Rent an apartment, or stay with family – this simple step may save your relationship! Living with family might even spur you on to finish that project a little faster…
It’s important not to spread yourselves too thin during your project. If you both have full time jobs with only the weekends and evenings to spend renovating, remember that you’re not super human. Frayed nerves and exhaustion will take their toll on you and your loved one, so don’t make your timescales overambitious. Falling out with your employer is also a real possibility if you’re burning the midnight oil – that’s one relationship you really need to nurture.
Remember that renovation should be a great experience for both of you; even if it’s one that neither of you plans to repeat!