Building a home with your partner can be the most rewarding but also one of the stressful times of a couple’s life. The whole experience can be scary, exciting, nerve racking and rewarding. It not only tests relationships but also contributes to high stress levels in both of you.
With so many decisions to make including where would the master bedroom be, will we use gas or electric, how can we go to meetings when we are both working. The list is endless!!!!
We have researched how other couples handle their home build and have come up with our top ten tips.
1. WHAT IS YOUR COMMUNICATION STYLE?
Before you even start the building process with your partner you have some research, decisions and brainstorming to do. If you and your partner have never worked together before then you might find out a side of each other you never knew about. With so many decisions that need to be made and sometimes very quickly it is important that you both know each other style intimately.
2. DETERMINE YOUR FAMILY LIFESTYLE
A family lifestyle is how families live and coexist together on a family basis. A well laid out home with great storage and space can really change for the positive a family’s life. Do you like to entertain or do you need an extra bedroom for guests. Are you sporty do you need room for your bikes and other sporting equipment?
This may seem like a lot of work before you have even started building your home but if you put in the ground work now then building your new home with be a dream.
3. WHAT IS YOUR GOAL FOR BUILDING THIS HOME
What are you goals for building this home. Will this be your forever home or is this a step up before moving into your forever home. Are you retiring or is your family growing. Do you want to buy a spec home or are you going to design your own home? If you are building for resale then this will affect how you design your home.
4. DETERMINE YOUR COUPLE DESIGN STYLE
When my husband and I built together we both had these visions in our own head of our dream home. Mine was a Scandinavian style with a bit of retro and his was white, white and more white. I started to collect photos online and created a variety of collages of each room and also exterior designs. My husband would tell me what he liked and then what he didn’t like. Some of the activities I scheduled in with him included:
- Visiting display homes and taking loads of photos
- Driving around taking photos of homes we liked
- Looking through magazines and online at pictures
- Visiting furniture shops and home shows
5. LIST THE NON-NEGOTIABLE
Before you can start talking to your partner about the things you would like in your home you need to be clear in your head about what it is with what you want. Being a visual person I found creating a list of all the rooms I wanted in my house. Click here to get your free download.
6. COLLABORATE, NEGOTIATE AND GIVE AND TAKE
The next and most difficult step is to negotiate. However this does not mean that you have to give up on things you each might want. Be creative with your space. If you would like a gym room and your husband would like his own office however you don’t have enough budget to have both create a space where you could make this work in one room. There are so many brilliant websites out there that give you great ideas of space-saving ideas. It is important before you sit down to negotiate that you are both in a good space. You must agree to listen to each other before interrupting. Remember this is just the start of negotiating as once you go through the budget there may be items that may have to drop off.
7. ASSIGN ROLES
So by now you have a pretty clear picture of what your couple dream home is looking like. Now it is time to allocate your roles. Now if you are anything like me and my husband we are both working couples with one child who has multitudes of after school activities and homework. There is no way around it when you are building a home there a multiple meetings with banks, builders, kitchen designers and the list goes on.
The number one cause of divorce among married couples is financial concerns, and the biggest investment most couples will ever make is a house.
So it stands to reason that if you are not in agreement about what you can afford before you start building, the problems will only escalate after you have moved in. Dream house or not, the mortgage payment will come due every month and if that causes additional stress in your marriage, it could eventually lead to irreparable damage. The best way to avoid the scenario is to be clear from the beginning about how much money you are willing to spend and what you can afford. Then the rest will fall into place.
9. DAILY QUICK CATCH UPS AND WEEKLY REVIEWS
Life is busy with work, children, schools and animals. Add a major building project on top of it there is not a lot of time. However it is important that you make time to provide updates, make decisions and discuss the budget at least once a week. I would schedule this appointment in my husband’s diary on his I-phone. I kept an issues register that kept track of everything that was happening with the mortgage, council, builders etc. We would put our son to bed and go through the list and discuss each item. I would then allocate jobs to each of us on the task list.
10. WHEN IT ALL GET’S TO MUCH
When the stress is high and tiredness sets in this is where it can get intense and you both regret saying things to each other. You need to
- Take a break go on a weekend away and not discuss the building
- Get the experts in whether it be marriage counselor, builder, architect or financial planner
- Go out and let your hair down with your friends
- Outsource, outsource. Sometimes you just can’t do everything and the stress is too much. If you are both working full-time I would outsource as much of your domestics as possible if you can include it in your budget. Get a cleaner even if it is fortnightly, do bulk cooking and freeze so for those nights you are to tired you have a freezer full of food.
Learn to embrace compromise as it after all the middle ground. Don’t sweat the small stuff, as long as its functional be happy. A happy marriage is more than the paint color on the walls, the floor coverings