Your head is spinning with ideas for your new home—which kinds of tile you want in the dining room, how big of pool you need to do your daily laps, how large of a garage you’ll need if you want to include a large workshop area for your favorite hobby. Then you tell your spouse all about your ideas and find out that she had envisioned tile, a Jacuzzi, and a lot less garage than you had planned. Now what?
These types of conversations happen every single day when couples embark on building a new custom home, but they are no reason to lose faith in your project.
Building a home from the ground up is an intricate lattice of a great many ideas, plans, and dreams, and it is as exciting a process as it is a challenging one. Not only are you creating the home of your dreams, but you are designing a home that is custom-built to meet your family’s needs.
Though it may be difficult at times, building a home with your partner should be a wonderful, memorable part of your life together, and there are some easy ways to keep the peace and come together to create a beautiful home with input from both sides.
Work Together to Make a Financial Plan
Finances can be a sore spot for couples, but there is no more important time to have everyone on the same page than before you begin the process of building a house. Both you and your partner need to clearly understand the financial implications of the building process and decide on a number that meets your goals together.
Work with one another to create a full budget, in as much detail as possible, and make allowances for unexpected costs that may arise. Have an agreed upon percentage cushion of additional funds is also recommended. In the event your builder presents you with upgrades or energy-saving alternatives for your new home, you should have an already set aside buffer to cover the costs should you choose to alter your plans.
Divide Up Jobs and Oversight
If you don’t care very much about the size or design of the home but are great at communicating clear instructions to a team, why not divvy up the jobs between you and your partner? Playing to each person’s strengths and interests, discuss who will be responsible for overseeing the varied aspects of the building process and divide the responsibility between you both.
By having each person in charge of specific tasks, you will not only prevent the “too many chefs” approach which is bound to create tension on the site, but it will allow each of you to be more focused on your tasks and ensure that everything is moving along as planned and on schedule.
Don’t forget to meet regularly to discuss updates and keep your joint files organized to make the entire process run as smoothly as possible.
Be Open to Compromise
No one can honestly tell you that they and their partner built their custom home without a single disagreement. Most couples can’t pick out a new shower curtain without a heated debate, so you could image the pressure that can build up between partners when the stakes are as high as they are during a home build.
The key to an even head is a compromise, and it can be the most rewarding part of your journey together during the construction process. You have undoubtedly heard that compromise is essential to healthy relationships, and it is the glue that will help hold your partnership together throughout construction.
If you have any ability to negotiate during the build, whether that means paring down your plans or altering them to accommodate your partner’s plans, you should look at it as an opportunity to open the doors of communication and healthy decision making which you can both build on in the future.
Take a Break
Nothing can wear you down like a challenging home build, and when you are building a house with a partner, you should expect that both of you will feel the pressures of keeping your construction project together.
With that in mind, be sure that you both allow yourselves to take a step back from the project when it is necessary to release some tension or focus on another important aspect of your lives. This is why touching base with one another regularly about your building project and keeping detailed and accurate files is so important. It allows one of you to take some necessary time away without having important tasks fall through the cracks.
When you need it, take some time away from the project together as well. Focus on each other instead of the building project for a few days or weeks, and come back with clear heads and a refocused energy that you can pour into creating the home of your dreams together, the way you always intended it to be.