If you’ve finally decided to get started on your remodeling project, be on the lookout for one more roadblock: your spouse.
Spouses don’t always agree on what’s most important when it comes to remodeling, so before you hire a remodeling professional, have a serious conversation with your significant other about home-improvement priorities.
Here’s the direction most of the couples we’ve been working with are taking:
1. A “great” kitchen. Men and women agree that a “great” kitchen is the best place to start. Families spend most of their time in the kitchen. Plus, it’s where we entertain. So it makes sense for it to be the most beautiful, comfortable and functional room in the home.
Still, couples often do not agree on the definition of “great” when it comes to kitchen remodeling. I find that she is far more focused on how the room looks, and values luxury touches like granite countertops, a tile backsplash, a stylish finish on the cabinets and even just the right drawer pulls. He, on the other hand, wants to make room for his gumbo pot and make sure there’s plenty of space to entertain while he’s cooking for a party.
And depending on who does most of the day-to-day cooking, they’re going to push for a design that eases the flow of the room and makes it simple to move from the cooktop to the sink to the refrigerator.
2. Function, function, function. Everyone craves a better-organized home with more storage space and easier access to daily necessities. If he stays up late and she turns in early, chances are good that they’ll agree to locate the media room on the opposite side of the house from the bedroom. If the master bathroom is in need of remodeling, few couples argue about the wisdom of installing two sinks instead of one so each partner has space to spread out during the morning rush to get ready for work.
3. A masterpiece in the master suite. Because the master bedroom and bathroom are “joint property,” I hear few objections when one spouse or the other wants to make it a remodeling priority.
Most older homes have too few, too small closets, cramped shower stalls, small bathtubs that nobody ever uses and not enough room for the big bed and sitting room that are on most homeowners’ wish lists.
The disconnect: The wife might be concerned that she’ll regret tearing out the unused bathtub in favor of a roomy shower with lots of sprays and the husband might have his eye on an oversized soaking tub. My response: If you have a bathtub elsewhere in the house, one is enough. Put the shower in. And unless one of you frequently uses the small bathtub now, it’s unlikely you’ll use a big one, either. Put the shower in!
4. Curb your enthusiasm. It’s hard for either partner to argue the wisdom of enhancing the value of the home by upgrading its curb appeal.
Replacing a weathered front door, repairing roof shingles, upgrading energy-inefficient windows and trading paint-needy wood windows, shutters and overhangs with vinyl or composite materials will make your home look newer and save you–or whoever buys your house–the trouble of sanding and repainting year after year.
5. The great outdoors. If you like to entertain, an oversized patio with room for a high-quality grill, a big-screen TV, a dining table and plenty of chairs will keep friends and family coming back.
Of course, you’ll still have to negotiate with your spouse about whether a grill and surround sound for the TV are as valuable as a roof to protect it all from the sun and rain, but shaking hands on adding the space is a start.
The key: Create priorities for your remodeling dreams. If you can’t do it all at once, do it in the order that will result in the best value–and in keeping the harmony at home.
Want more information? To get your free report, “11 Remodeling Mistakes Cost You Thousands,” Call Mari at 318-865-4914 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 318-216-4525 to hear a free audio recording of the report.