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  • Writer's pictureMolly Jean

Remodeling Your House With Your Spouse: Necessary Tips

We are nearing the end of the the bathroom project, only the finishing touches are remaining. We need to hook up the toilet, get the bathtub off of the porch, change out the remaining outlets, finish the trim on the sky light, and build/install the vanity. It has been 8+ months since we have started this project and we did not enter this remodel willingly. We had a leak and a subsequent mold problem forcing us to do the work.

Admittedly, I aided in the delay of this project. I didn't want to work on the bathroom, like ever. It was messy, overwhelming and expensive. We had no idea what we were doing and seemingly no life lines. Working with the plumbing was so intimidating because if we messed up, it could be incredibly detrimental to the home. So to remedy my anxiety, I would close the pocket doors, hide the project and convince Blake we needed a night to just relax and have some wine.

It was not until we got firm dates on when my parents would be coming to visit, that we got "oh shit" slapped! Causing us to try to power finish the remodel before their arrival. We have been putting in very late nights and early mornings this past week and I am dying! We are running on fumes and as Ron Burgundy put it best, "I am in a glass case of emotions." You know when you get really tired and start laughing uncontrollably, then the next minute you are crying. Yeah, that is where I am at.

While working yesterday morning, I began to reflect on this process. While I have disliked the remodel the majority of the time, when I look back on the tasks completed I find that they were not that bad. Of course in the moment I more often than not hated it. When is lunch am I right?!

You hear the horror stories of couples working on projects together and how it is not the best idea. People say it "tests" the relationship. I don't agree, because if you can't work together you have bigger problems than the mold in the bathroom. But don't get me wrong, it can definitely be challenging at times.

Blake and I have had days where we worked together seamlessly. Other days proved more problematic and made me wonder why I have not taken a life insurance plan out on him yet...

As you can imagine, we have certainly gone through a learning curve with this project. We have found there are things that we do that annoy the crap out of each other. But, we have also learned what works to ensure successful task completion and I thought I would share what we learned.

The TIPS for Working with Your Spouse

*Let your spouse dance and listen to Cardi B or Lizzo while working, it will keep him or her happy and surprisingly on task. Will it take longer to complete? Yes, but just let it happen. That being said, let them sing too. If you don't fight it, it will be over before you know it.

*Don't move the tools you presume to be in the way. Your spouse will not be able to find them, even though they have been neatly placed out of the way in plain sight.

*Be specific about what tool you need, but not too specific. Because when you say you need a toe nail clipper, I think you need an actual toe nail clipper. In this instance describe the tool in lieu of naming it, or go get it yourself.

*Have a beer break. When things start to get tense it is time for a beer break. After Blake and I argue about how I should have known what he meant and how he needs to communicate better, we know it is time. The less irritated spouse will grab the symbolic white flag. The first couple sips will likely be had in silence without eye contact, but by mid beer you will be ready to work together again.

*Work on something on your own. It is good to complete tasks on your own and have a sense of accomplishment when you show your spouse what you have completed. For example, the phenomenal looking base boards I cut and nailed to the wall on my own. POW! POW! Beaches!

*Understand your spouses novice level. If your spouse did not grow up using power tools do not expect that they know how to use them. I barely had access to a mouse sander, so why on earth would I know how to get the nail gun off of the air compressor?

*Hire a contractor. You can avoid all of the trouble and hours of hard work, but you may be in a financial hardship

It is my hope that you will be able to use these tips for the future remodel you may complete with your spouse/significant other. I am so happy to have this off of our plate soon, so we can get back to the wine and leaving the pocket doors open again.

Do you have successful tips for working with your spouse? I would love to hear them, comment below! Cheers!

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