How renovating can affect your relationship

Who's right: More than one-third of Australian homeowners find working on a home project with their partner frustrating
Who's right: More than one-third of Australian homeowners find working on a home project with their partner frustrating

While couples bickering over tile choices might draw audiences on reality TV, the same situation in your home can be very different.

Renovating your home requires a good deal of planning, budgeting, researching, and it is asking a lot for everyone to agree on all the important decisions. It can put your relationship to the ultimate test.

Renovation and design platform Houzz surveyed their Australian community on how they design their homes with their partners and tackle home design challenges.

More than one-third of Australian homeowners find working on a home project with their partner frustrating (39 percent), and others said it is difficult and painful (20 and 8 percent respectively). During their home projects, 4 percent of couples even considered separating at one point.

Agreeing on products, materials and finishes proved the most common challenge, followed by deciding on style and design (30 and 27 percent respectively).

Based on this feedback, Houzz collected tips on how to reduce couple's conflict during a renovation and enjoy the experience.

Hire a good professional:

Hiring the right professionals can take the stress out of renovating. Nearly half of respondents from the 2018 study voted advice from pros as the most helpful in addressing renovation challenges (47 percent).

Their knowledge and expertise can be comforting and they may be able to offer some insights to any dying questions you have during the renovation process.

Come to an agreement on budget:

Renovation expert and professional on Houzz, Naomi Findlay, suggested breaking your budget down in the early stages and planning for unexpected costs to avoid blowing your budget.

"Whether you're renovating for profit or pleasure, it is very easy to underestimate the costs involved," she said.

For example, Naomi recommended looking first at what can be kept, instead of what has to go. Can you keep the same bathroom layout so you don't have to rearrange plumbing? Can you refresh your tiles, or rejuvenate your floorboards?

Think about the bigger picture:

Almost all - 98 percent - of respondents from the 2018 survey said that the result was worth the experience, so don't forget to think about what the renovation is for, and how it could improve your lifestyle once completed.

"Every time you go into a room that you renovated together, it reminds you of the success of the project, which relates to the success of the relationship," Dawn Michael, a couples therapist and clinical sexologist said.

Despite disagreements and challenges, the majority of homeowners in every country Houzz surveyed had the same top three thoughts about their relationship during the renovation: "We make a great team," "I'm glad I'm with this person" and "If we can make it through this, we can make it through anything."