Renovating a home can be an emotionally stressful experience, putting strain on even the strongest relationships. A new survey from Houzz Inc., the leading platform for home renovation and design, found that in the midst of this stress, couples often keep secrets from one another.
A quarter of Australian respondents have made a significant design or purchase decision during the project without telling their partner (25%) and 15% admit to withholding the cost of a purchase or service. Over one in ten (14%) have also confessed to sneaking away from home to catch a little break during the process. Despite the relationship strain, there is light at the end of the tunnel: nearly all respondents (94%) say that the result was worth the effort.
Given the expense, deadlines and number of decisions that have to be made, potential sources of tension abound. Over half of respondents found renovating with their partner to be 'frustrating" (53%), 34% said it was 'difficult," and a fifth expressed it as 'painful" (22%). Top points of contention for couples planning a project include agreeing on products, materials and finishes (37%), agreeing on style and design (36%), and communicating with one another (35%). While the majority of couples (60%) compromised to address these challenges, some took matters into their own hands: seven percent admit to tossing something of their significant others' without their knowledge.
While renovating with their partner prompted half of couples to think 'we make a great team" (50%), others weren't so sure. Twelve percent of respondents thought 'we need couples counselling" during the renovation and one in ten (11%) asked 'how did I end up with this person?!" Twelve percent even considered a breakup or divorce during the process. Over a third (38%) also felt that they took on more of the work during the project than their partner.
As most relationship columns advise, communication is the key to a strong relationship " and also a successful reno. Agreeing on what you both want prior to starting the project is the top advice from those who have been through the process (42%), followed by compromising (41%), and making a realistic budget from the start (33%). When it comes to style compromises, just 17% of couples report they had the same style as their partner, yet 60% said successfully blended their different styles. Nearly one in five dug in their heels, with 19% insisting on their own style and only 4% fully giving in to their significant other's style.
Despite the relationship strain many couples experienced, 74% report feeling more comfortable in their home thanks to the project, 66% feel happier, and 57% feel more organised. Additionally, as a result of their project, more than half of couples rest and relax at home more often (56%), 48% entertain at home more frequently, and 34% do more cooking and dining at home. Almost a third spend more time together at home thanks to their completed project (32%).
Houzz is the leading platform for home renovation and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide.For more information, visit www.houzz.com.au.