Caution: Remodeling can be hazardous to your marriagelenetstan/Shutterstock One divorce lawyer says he’s seen more divorces over remodeling projects than from extramarital affairs. On a scale of 1 to 10, family therapists rate remodeling projects at about a six in terms of stress on a relationship. Paint color is one of the greatest sources of DIY disagreements for couples.
Get the family involvedStokkete/Shutterstock "My wife decides all the details about how something should look, and I retain veto power if I DISLIKE anything." - David Hawkins "Get the whole family involved. A remodel that doesn't meet everyone's needs will lead to more arguments and more stress as soon as the last nail is driven." - Paul Bianchini "My wife likes to say, 'We work best together in separate rooms.'" - Ed Stawicki "I let her make all of the design decisions and I do all of the work, which is the part I enjoy!" - Dave Pike
Pick your battlesdotshock/Shutterstock “Pick your battles. If it really doesn’t matter to you if the room is blue or yellow, let it go.” - Nancy Hayes “The three most important words in a marriage: ‘you’re right, dear!’” - Larry L. Meacham “I do everything but paint. I’m not allowed to do any of that at all, and for 27 years that has worked fairly well.” - Michael Gilfilian Check out some advice for a happy marriage from couples who know.
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Timing is everythingdotshock/Shutterstock “I tell my wife how long a project will take—and she knows it will take three times longer.”- Dave Switzer “I tell my wife, ‘Let me finish one project and enjoy it for at least a week before you add another to my list.’” - Brian Feltz
Happy family means happy renovationStokkete/Shutterstock “During big projects, I turn off the saw one or two days of the week to reacquaint myself with the family. It may take a few days longer to finish, but I won’t have to sleep on the couch.” - Brian Barger “During a recent project, I spent the early evening with my family, tucked my girls into bed, and worked from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. I lost some sleep, but this kept the family happy.” - Ben Kim Patience! “My wife doesn’t work with tools every day, so she doesn’t know one saw from another. You have to be ready to explain things a lot.” - Mark T. Platte “If mama isn’t happy, nobody is happy.” - Charlie Marken
Take advice from a wise contractorIndypendenz/Shutterstock “Be sure you and your spouse are on the same page. Don’t even start the remodel if you’re not. Trust me—if you can’t decide on things up front when it’s calm, you certainly won’t be able to when the clock’s ticking, the workers are standing around, and the pressure’s really on! “Know your budget. A fight over the remodeling budget was the biggest argument I ever saw, and there’s no way for the contractor to fix it. “Make three lists: Must Have, Would Like If Possible, and Optional. Keep as much of List 1 as you can, because that’s why you’re remodeling. Keep 10 to 25 percent of List 2, depending on budget. Toss all of List 3.” - Paul Bianchini
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