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Do's and Don'ts of Home Renovation When You're Moving In Together

Sharing a home is an exciting and monumental step for couples, especially when purchasing a house together. The appeal of buying an older home and altering it to meet your style can be very tempting, especially when pricing is considered.

However, undergoing home renovations is one of the most stressful experiences couples go through. Renovations require time and financial commitments, and often lead to stress from messy surroundings and ugly surprises about your home that come to light during the process.

So how can you ensure that your relationship will survive? Here are some of the essential Do’s and Don’ts of home renovation when you’re moving in together:

Do Set a Budget

Set a budget before diving into your home renovation project. To establish a budget, you will need to determine what needs to be done, research the process, and request quotes to determine what a reasonable budget will be. Once that is done, you can agree on a total number and break it down by room. You may decide to use gifts to contribute to your home renovation project-- you can find more details here.

To prevent arguments, you will want to not only determine the budget but determine who is paying for what. Frustration can arise when one person feels as though they have spent a greater portion of the budget than the other person unless this divide is determined beforehand. For example, if one half of the partnership makes more money than the other, they may take on a higher percentage of the final bill.

Don’t Dedicate All Your Spare Time to Renovations

If you are working all day every day, then go home to work on your house until bedtime, you will burn out fast. It is crucial that both you and your partner get time away from the project, both together and alone.

Create a standing date that will take you away from the stress of your project. As your cash flow might be limited during renovations, investigate affordable or free date ideas that you can try during this time.

Do Keep Communication Open

Be sure to communicate and not bottle up your feelings during this stressful time. Practice the art of effective communication: use “I feel” statements, check your tone, and listen to hear rather than to respond. Be sure that you can keep calm while discussing your concerns with your spouse to avoid an unnecessary fight.

Effective communication can be one of the biggest emotional challenges during home renovations, as stress often causes individuals to overreact and say things they wouldn’t usually. However, it is a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy relationship, especially during stressful periods.

Don’t Do-It-Yourself to Death

Do-it-yourself (or DIY) projects can be a fun way to customize your home decor and save money. However, there is a point where the mental cost exceeds the price of having someone else handle things for you.

If you have no experience plumbing and have a substantial bathroom renovation to contend with, outsource to a plumber. If you are adding built-in bookshelves to your living room but have never held a saw before, ask for help from someone with experience. While DIY projects are a great way to learn new skills, during a major home renovation is not the time.

Do Learn New Things

Just because not every DIY project is appropriate to take on, doesn’t mean you should refrain from trying new things. Tasks like laying laminate flooring or tile, painting, and applying trim are straight-forward projects that are easy for beginners to learn.

Sanding and refinishing cupboards is more challenging but can still be handled with some research and guidance. Plumbing, electrical, and advanced carpentry are where you need to check yourself and hire out.

Don’t Ignore Safety

If you thought home renovations were stressful when both you and your partner were healthy, imagine adding in an unnecessary injury or preventable damage. Safety precautions such as wearing safety goggles may seem tedious but can prevent costly medical bills and time delays. Ensuring a ladder is secure and avoiding distractions while using power tools can prevent serious injury or death.

Aside from personal injury, consider the damage you could do to your home by overloading electrical sockets and so on. It would be heartbreaking for your hard work and investment to go up in flames.

Do Create A Tie-Breaker Process

You and your significant other are not going to agree on everything, so it’s essential to determine a tie-breaking process. Every change to the plan or budget should necessitate a conversation. If you don’t agree, someone needs to make the final call.

There are a few ways you can determine a tie-breaker. Some couples decide who gets the final call based on who is paying for more of the work. Other couples base it on who is physically responsible for the work at hand. For example, if you will be responsible for most of the painting, you might get the final say on color. If your partner is responsible for laying the flooring, they might get the final say on the type of flooring used.

When you’re feeling stressed, remember that you are working toward building a life together. It will all be worth it in the end!

All photos sourced from Pixabay

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