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How to divorce-proof your home renovation

Wondering how to divorce-proof your home renovation? The answer is to hire professional help! We don’t mean in the form of a marriage counselor, we mean various home renovation professionals. Working with experienced professionals can help you stay focused and alleviate some of the pain-points that put stress on a relationship during the renovation process.

Here are some common areas of renovation conflict and how a professional can help you and your partner resolve any potential problems.


Money is a hot button issue in most relationships, so when it comes to spending large quantities of it (such as in the case of home renovation) it’s understandable that things may get a bit contentious. Budgeting, splurging, unforeseen expenses and unfamiliarity with just how much certain items and services cost are speed bumps that typically obstruct the road to reno, from start to finish.  However, money disagreements don’t have to cause a permanent rift in your relationship.

Who can help: A General Contractor and Financial Advisor

Before you take your home renovation from dreaming to doing, your first step should be to consult with a financial advisor. Get the finances figured out up front to see just how much you can comfortably budget, contingencies and all. Your advisor can also talk to you about any lending options, such as via an existing mortgage, a home equity line of credit (HELOC), or personal line of credit.  They may also be able to offer insights regarding how your planned reno will impact the value of your home.

When it comes to building your budget, a great way to prioritize spending is to choose a top quality contractor.  A contractor who is highly experienced will be able to help you formulate a renovation budget and also help you to stay within it. Some contractors even have project advisers on staff specifically for this purpose.


Here’s a familiar scenario –a homeowner learns that a relative has plans to visit over the holidays and so in an effort to accommodate (and maybe even impress) them a home renovation project is undertaken. The problem is that home renovations with overly tight timeless can be extremely stressful and sometimes fraught with problems.

Who can help: A Reputable Home Improvement Professional

The best and most effective solution to this problem is to simply forgo any renovation projects right before a holiday, wedding or other special occasion. If that isn’t possible, then the next best solution is to forget about doing any type of major (and sometimes minor) home reno on your own and hire a professional to do it for you.

If your renovation is fairly major, let your contractor know about your timeline up front. An experienced contractor will be able to tell you if your project can feasibly be completed in the allotted time. However, please note that even if the answer is yes, there is always the chance of unforeseen circumstances that may extend the completion time.

Note: While popular home renovation shows like to portray complete room renovations taking as few as 6 or so, the reality is that they generally take longer.

Unfinished Projects

Unfinished projects are definitely at the top of the list of renovation issues that can take their toll on a relationship. This problem is further exasperated if the partially completed work has a direct impact on the household’s comfort, safety or convenience. Imagine walking past unfinished drywall work, an unusable shower, or a partially built deck every single day.

More often than not these unfinished renovations have been started by the homeowners themselves. While some homeowners may have the knowhow to get the job done, the reality is that they simply don’t have the time. There are day jobs, family obligations and social activities that take precedence, which can leave renovation projects unfinished.

Who Can Help: A Reputable General Contractor or other Home Improvement Professional

If there simply isn’t time to see a project to completion, don’t let it linger unfinished. To solve this problem, contact a general contractor, a handyman service or other home improvement professional. You will save yourself headaches and possible heartache by allowing someone else to finish the job.

Clashing Styles

If you’re a little bit minimalist and your significant other is a little bit shabby chic, then you can probably expect there to be a few design clashes during your renovation. The key here is to agree on a little give and take. Try to collaborate on common rooms or perhaps allow each other to take ownership of a few different spaces in the home. Easier said than done, of course.

Who can help: An Interior Decorator

A professional interior decorator can help bring unity to differing style preferences and offer alternatives that may be acceptable to both you and your partner.

Renovation Chaos

Renovations can be chaotic, especially major projects. If you’re tearing up a kitchen, living room or other high traffic areas, the disruption to your daily routine can be difficult to endure. While you will likely have to power through some of the disruption, there are numerous professionals who can help you take breaks from the chaos and enjoy a bit of normalcy.

Who can help: The Entire Hospitality Industry

Seriously. Along with budgeting for your home renovation projects, you should also set some money aside for “reno breaks”. Use this money to treat the family to occasional meals out or to overnights in local hotels. If money permits, you can even consider a short-term rental, to keep the family comfortable while your home is being remodeled.

To find local professionals, such as interior decorators, general contractors, handymen and others, visit the listings here on

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