What you can do to smooth the process of renovating with a loved one

Renovating with your partner can be so rewarding and exciting. Sharing the experience of creating the perfect space can be strengthening for your relationship. You can celebrate your accomplishments together and be reminded of your amazing teamwork when everything is done.

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Of course, a DIY renovation comes with its fair share of ups and downs.

Our Fontaine in Focus stars Diana and Brendon put it perfectly with their tips for completing a winning DIY renovation together. They credit their successful bathroom renovation to planning everything meticulously so they could anticipate issues and fix them sooner.

Here are some other tips for you and your partner to ensure smooth sailing during your renovation.

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1. Keep your communication clear

Good communication is to teamwork what tiles are to a bathroom

It feels like a no brainer that good communication is essential to success, however, communicating how you feel in a way that the other person understands is sometimes a hard thing to achieve. You may express yourself in the clearest of terms but if the other person doesn’t resonate with it, you’ll get nowhere.

The experts at Very Well Mind suggest that conflict in relationships can be combated with good communication skills such as listening carefully to your partner and asking for help. These are important skills to have during a renovation so that each person feels heard when they have an issue they need to bring up. Being honest also helps a great deal. If you’re unhappy with something it is essential to say it sooner rather than later so your frustrations don’t come out all at once, or you build up resentment toward the renovation experience.

Miscommunication can cause a lot of problems for you and your partner during a renovation, so being very straightforward is a must!

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2. Plan, plan and then plan some more 

Keeping a detailed outline of all the things you want to achieve for your renovation will help you both stay on track. Have frequent conversations about the progress and plan your next steps together so no one is left behind or on a different page.

To maximise efficiency when working in a team, it’s important to delegate tasks that utilise each other’s strengths, and set your boundaries or autonomy with decisions within your delegated tasks. If you have the eye for design, you can be solely in charge of all the decisions regarding that. Sometimes your partner doesn’t need constant updates on the decisions you make and doing so can bog down the process.

This kind of project management will enable you to reach your goals quicker.

Being organised is also an essential aspect of renovation. Something like setting a start date and planning for all your fixtures such as tapware or vanities to be delivered before that date will ensure you’re ready to go.

3. Compromise                                                   

Having different opinions and different approaches are inevitable aspects of a relationship.

When it comes to a renovation you may have differing opinions on how things should be done or have different styles when it comes to designing. Instead of letting the situation get the best of you, come to a mutual agreement of things you both like. Of course, don’t compromise too hard or you’ll both feel like no one got what they wanted.

If you’re having a hard time coming to an agreement on style try to consider options that incorporate the best of both worlds. For example, if your partner would prefer a natural timber vanity and you want matte white, why not go for something that has both?

Set backs and unforeseen issues are common with DIY renovations, so compromising on details that are out of your control are a natural part of the process. Luckily, you have a partner by your side to resolve issues with.

   

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4. Be realistic with DIY

Your budget management may indicate that you’ll need to carry out a lot of the renovation tasks yourself. Is this something you can easily achieve, or would professional help be more ideal? Complete the manageable tasks and be realistic with the ones you can’t complete yourselves, sometimes soldiering on can result in more of a hassle later. Identify which skills you and your partner lack and discuss where the budget can include some professional help. 

5. Prioritise other things in your life too 

Your relationship will (hopefully) still be standing after the renovation is done, so make sure you are prioritising your relationship as you normally would. Make time for each other and take breaks outside of renovation time and you’ll find yourself recharged and remotivated to complete the tasks ahead.

I suggest dedicating one evening every week to get out of the house with little renovation talk, the DIY bathroom discussion can wait for a couple of hours!

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6. Remember you are in this together

When it feels tough to keep going and the arguments are become more frequent, remember that you and your partner are a team. You’ve chosen to share your lives together and your relationship can handle the ups and downs. Think back to the first steps you made for this renovation with your partner and visualise the end goal you both had in mind. This helps to stay on track going forward and reminds you of what a good team you are!

Good luck!

There will be a big glass of wine waiting for you both when it’s over!

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