My partner is often pondering projects and adding items to what would seem a never ending list of things to do. Usually, those items fall into the category of clean the gutters, plant garden, but can also include replacing windows, add tiny home and renovate the kitchen.
Brace yourself for impact if you're like me and tell them "I just want to relax this weekend and the last thing I want to do is contemplate an expensive project that will take up all of our time and energy".
You see, I get the desire, but don't share in the urgency. So how do you keep your relationship in check while also maintaining your sanity and free time?
Here are some pointers to keep the love alive and the frustration to a minimum.
1. Don't keep lists, make a timeline. A well-hatched plan will save you time and money in the long run and turning that plan into a timeline will help you prioritize and confirm if that project is really worth it. If you know how long you intend to live in your home make that the end of your timeline. If you plan to stay a while, say 10 or 15 years, you may decide tackling ten wish list items in one year is unrealistic and unnecessary.
2. Decide on what's really important. Do you work crazy hours and crave those weekend days off? Do you have kids or a loving pet that needs your attention? Tackling a project yourself sometimes comes at a greater cost than hiring someone with the expertise and efficiency to get the job done. Only take on a household project if 1) a delay in completion doesn't affect your quality of life 2) it's safe to do so 3) you're willing to learn and seek help when required.
3. Don't be a follower. Just because your neighbour reads Modern Farmhouse and has a hankering for all things white and wood doesn't mean you have to. Didn't your parents ever ask you about your friend and that bridge? We too often get caught up in what others are doing and lose focus on our own priorities. Consider function, form and longevity over the latest trend when it comes to an update or adding a new custom piece to your home.
4. Keep design clean and simple. If you or your partner like browsing the latest home improvement and decorating magazines, I'm not judging (we do it too), but just a word of advice. Stick to evergreen and simple design for large-scale renovations, like kitchens and bathrooms, to increase the shelf life of your renovations. You can update hardware, a light fixture and paint colour much easier than tile and cabinets.
5. Create a project plan. From start to finish a good project manager can anticipate time and resources required to complete a project. This should be no different when you are planning your home renovations. Keeping your goal in mind, budget materials, estimate time needed and be realistic too. Often projects, even when completed by seasoned professionals, go over time and budget. Add at least 10% contingency. Using a project plan will help you if you are asking for professional quotes by allowing you to question discrepancies between your estimates and theirs.