How to Complete a Renovation Without Getting a Divorce

When it comes time for a home renovation, relationships can become strained, but with our expert advice, hopefully working on your project feels like Valentine's Day.

1 / 7
Get the Family Involved

Get the family involved

“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

These bathroom design fails will make you do a double take!

2 / 7
Pick Your Battles
Family Handyman

Pick your battles

“Pick your battles. If it really doesn’t matter to you if the room is blue or yellow, let it go.” —Nancy Hayes, reader

“The three most important words in a marriage: you’re right, dear!” —Larry L. Meacham, reader

“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, reader

3 / 7
Timing is Everything

Timing is everything

“I tell my wife how long a project will take, and she knows it will take three times longer.” —Dave Switzer, reader

“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, reader

4 / 7
Happy Family Means Happy Renovation
Family Handyman

A happy family means a happy renovation

“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, reader

“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, reader

“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, reader

“If mama isn’t happy, nobody is happy.” —Charlie Marken, reader

These hilarious DIY jokes will bring down the house!

5 / 7
Take Advice from a Wise Contractor
Zivica Kerkez/Shutterstock

Take advice from a wise contractor

“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!”

“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 remodelling. Keep 10 to 25 per cent of List 2, depending on budget. Toss all of List 3.” —Paul Bianchini, reader

You’ll be glad these hilarious DIY disasters didn’t happen to you!

6 / 7
Don't Forget to Laugh
Family Handyman

Don’t forget to laugh

“We decided to strip and refinish our kitchen cabinets during a heat wave in a house with no air conditioning. As the sweat was pouring down, and the fumes were burning our eyes and skin, I looked over at my wife and said, ‘This is more fun than sex!’ We both laughed and got back to work.” —Ed Stawicki, reader

“What doesn’t cause you to divorce doing DIY projects, just gives you great stories to laugh about for years after.” —Jordan Van Moorleghem, reader

7 / 7
Caution: Remodeling Can be Hazardous to Your Marriage

Caution: Remodelling can be hazardous to your marriage

  1. One divorce lawyer says he’s seen more divorces over remodelling projects than from extramarital affairs.
  2. On a scale of one to 10, family therapists rate remodelling projects at about a six in terms of stress on a relationship.
  3. Paint colour is one of the greatest sources of DIY disagreements for couples.

These vintage home hacks are still brilliant today!

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

Newsletter Unit