I have experienced this for as long as I can remember!. Whether it was cleaning our bedrooms that I shared with 2 of my sisters, remodeling my houses with my first husband or remodeling my current house with my husband. It always seemed to end in an argument when you do something with your partner. My husband and I have finally figured out the secret to working together….it only took me starting my own rehab business and writing my book!
I also have this in my book and I’m hoping my son remembers my tips when he and his soon to be fiancé start work on the house they just purchased! It will require remodeling bathrooms and painting all the rooms in their “new” house!
Here is my checklist to make the job more fun than it would normally be without this checklist:
1. Start with a plan! Be very clear on who will be in charge. Pick the person with the most knowledge of the job you are doing. Women need to stop “directing” and if the man is more qualified for the job, then he is the boss and director!
2. Set yourself enough time! If you think the job will be a weekend project, give yourself 3-4 weekends. There is nothing as frustrating as rushing to get a job done because you did not allow yourself enough time! As a female contractor I know this to be a fact 🙂 My husband is wonderful about giving me complete control over our repairs so we work well together and I don’t try and control everything because there is more than one way to do things!
3. Have a clear budget. Don’t just make up numbers either. Go shopping for all the supplies, pick things out that you like, write down the price and go home and add the items up. Lets say you want to landscape your yard, build a patio. Price out the supplies. If you are not sure of all the supplies you will need you can check the internet for building a deck, patio or whatever you are doing.
4. Let’s say you did your homework and decided your budget is $2000 and materials came to $2300. DO NOT say, “well it’s only 300 dollars more so let’s do it”. Once you have blown your intended budget, the game is over and the arguing begins! I have experienced this when I was an interior decorator and as a contractor!
5. Go shopping together! Don’t leave the shopping up to one partner because, the “shopper” likes to shop, which means they probably enjoy spending money! People can get carried away with the project because there is so much temptation at every store!
6. Make a list of who is responsible for what part of the project! Who does clean up. Who does the prep work. Who is responsible for making sure all tools are available. Who will run for the food. Think of everything you can before undertaking a project! It’s very frustrating when you don’t have the right tool for the job before you start. It’s also confusing when you don’t have enough supplies and you or your partner has to run to the store during the project, doing this takes a lot of time away from the project! It also makes people cranky and frustrated.
7. If tempers START to flare up, STOP, take a break and go do something fun, go out for a beer, dinner, whatever you agreed on before the project even started!
8. Plan on reserving at least 10% of your budget going to unexpected surprises. Plan on 20% or more if you are doing interior work that requires opening walls, it will, more than likely, open up a “can of worms” that will cost more money. If you are doing an outdoor project and have to dig down for a pool, patio leave extra money for hitting a water line, tree root or God only knows what!
9. Keep the checklist of the project taped to a wall near where you are working! Cross off jobs as they are completed so you can feel good about your progress! It will help you stay on track.
When I’m working on a house I always have a plan and a checklist everyday for the work I need to finish for that day!
10. You can expect to have tough moments during the project! Expect it, laugh about it because you were warned!
11. THE MORE PREPARED YOU ARE FOR THE EXPECTED AND UNEXPECTED THE BETTER OFF YOU AND YOUR PARTNER WILL BE!Maintain a sense of humor!!!! Remember the work will get done if you are realistic.
12. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE HOW DIFFICULT THE WORK WILL BE! CONTRACTORS MAKE GOOD MONEY BECAUSE THE WORK IS PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY EXHAUSTING. IT WILL NOT ALWAYS BE FUN!