If you are about to begin renovating or have recently started read on, I have put together a little strategy just for you that will support your relationship during this time. It is designed to reduce uncertainty, minimise any strain to the relationship, avoid conflict and support you to understand your ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ when it comes to your reno decision and the survival of your relationship.
Let’s begin with your WHY:
WHY you have decided to renovate your home?
Your ‘why’ could be; improving your financial asset for future sale, creating a bigger home to accommodate your growing family or simply to make your living more comfortable.
It’s imperative you are on the same page in regard to your ‘why’ – doing so will create clarity in purpose, direction and motivation. It will support your decision making as well as your budget, and act as a point of reference when challenging decisions need to be made during the process.
So how do you come up with your WHY?
- Grab a piece of paper each and write ‘WHY’ in big letters at the top
- Write down your own personal view as to why you want to renovate your home and what will it mean to you when you have finished?
Note: Try not to think about any negatives or anxiety you may have or anticipate having, just focus on why it is important to you.
- Compare notes with your partner and collaborate to create a joint ‘why.’ Write it down and place it somewhere that is easy for you to both reference and tap into when the reno has begun!
Next up is your WHAT:
Creating clarity around your ‘WHAT’ with your renovation will reduce any anxiety, conflict or tension that generally develops with couples.
Below is a list of questions for you both to sit down and identify and organise your WHAT’s.
- What do you want to renovate in your home?
- What time frame will you give for your renovation?
- What is your budget?
- What needs to be done before your renovation starts?
- What trades will you need to bring in to support you with your renovation?
- What will be your contribution with the renovation?
- What will be your partners contribution? (For example; painting, financial payments, cleaning, building, plastering, demolishing, emotional support, labouring, design, electrical etc.)
- What anxiety or stresses do you have in relation to the renovation?
- What is the back up plan if our tradesmen/friends let you down and ultimately delay the renovations?
- What strategy can you agree upon that will give you both quality time together away from your renovation? (For example; date night once a week, monthly weekend away, weekly relationship catch-up walk & talk, etc.)
Now to your HOW:
Here are your HOW questions you need to work through:
Knowing your HOW is the final step that will support you both in understanding each other through-out this process, knowing your ‘how’ you will both be working on the same page, understanding your roles and strengthen your connection during this time.
- How do you feel spending most of your spare time and weekends working on the renovation?
- How do you feel about your partner spending most of their spare time and weekends working on the renovation?
- How will you feel if the renovation goes over budget?
- How do you both feel if your trades/friends let you down, delaying your completion time?
- How are you going to recognise your stress levels and how are you going to manage them?
- How can you support each other when stress levels are high?
- How are you going to cope as a couple working most weekends and any spare time on the renovation?
- How are you going to express to each other any concerns or feelings you may have during the renovation process?
- How do you find the time and energy to nurture your relationship with compassion, empathy, love and passion whist working in your day jobs during the week and working on your renovation on weekends?
It’s important you work as a team in all aspects in any relationship. I see many couples put their relationship on the back burner because they have prioritised work, renovation, stress or the needs of others, ahead of their partners and relationship. Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t let resentment creep in and impact your ability to express your feelings, fears and needs.
Keep working on communicating openly without judgement or criticism, stay focused on your WHY, WHAT and HOW, and embrace this stage in your relationship together.
Best of luck for the renovation!