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Can remodeling a home lead to divorce?

Remodeling a home can create stress in a relationship.
Remodeling a home can create stress in a relationship.
Nancy Baldwin

Anyone who has ever remodeled a home knows the process can create tension in a relationship.It’s no surprise that the remodeling process is stressful. Endless decisions, unexpected costs and unforeseen delays will annoy even the most good-natured spouse or partner.

A recent survey by confirms the impact of remodeling on couples. According to the study, 46 percent of respondents found remodeling to be frustrating, and 12 percent have considered a separation or divorce in the midst of the renovation.

Some sources of strain result from differences in design taste and expectation. One third of survey respondents admit to not liking the same decor style as their significant other. In fact, 76 percent let their partner know exactly what they thought about that difference.

The decision to let go of favorite furnishings is also a source of conflict. Forty two percent of respondents state they have been forced to keep items of décor they hate. Not only that, one in five survey participants confess to getting rid of items they despise without telling their significant other.

The most odious items listed were old furniture, posters and artwork as well as antlers, hunting trophies, wood paneling and outdated magazines.

An even greater source of tension is important decisions, with one in five survey respondents avoiding contentious conversations by making those decisions on their own. Those choices include tearing down walls, selecting paint colors and choosing furniture and appliances.

The good news? Forty six percent of respondents report the remodel experience to be collaborative, and once the remodel was complete, 84 percent spent more time in their homes.

In addition, forty two percent do more entertaining and 41 percent report a higher level of happiness with their significant other, confirming the axiom, “Home is where the heart is.”

Although the stress of renovation can’t be completely avoided, there are ways to create a happy ending.

1. Take time to browse photographs of furnishings of different styles prior to making decisions, and share ideas with your partner. Houzz offers an extensive online selection that can be organized into ideabooks for reference.

2. Be ready to compromise. Decide what you can and can’t live without, and be willing to keep some things important to your significant other.

3. Agree on a budget up front. Research products and services and keep your project on financial track.

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