Remodeling 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 remodeling and design, found that in the midst of this stress, couples often keep secrets from one another. Nearly one in five respondents make a significant design or purchase decision during the project without telling their partner (19 percent) and nine percent sneak away from home to catch a little break during the process. One in ten also admit to withholding the cost of a purchase or service (11 percent). Despite the relationship strain, there is light at the end of the tunnel: nearly all respondents (97 percent) 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. Forty-one percent found remodeling with their partner to be “frustrating,” 25 percent “difficult,” and 12 percent “painful.” Top points of contention for couples planning a project include agreeing on products, materials and finishes (34 percent), communicating with one another (30 percent) and agreeing on style and design (29 percent). While the majority of couples (64 percent) 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 remodeling with their partner made three in five couples think “we make a great team” (62 percent), others weren’t as sure. Seven percent of respondents thought “we need couples counseling” during the remodel and another seven percent asked “how did I end up with this person?!” One in twenty even considered a breakup or divorce during the process (five percent). Men tend to feel that they take on more of the work during the project – 43 percent report that they were more engaged/involved in the renovation, versus just 29 percent of women.
As most relationship columns advise, compromise is the key to a strong relationship, and also a successful remodel. It’s the top advice from those who have been through the process (48 percent), followed by agreeing on what you both want prior to starting the project (38 percent), and making a realistic budget from the start (26 percent). When it comes to style compromises, just 20 percent of couples report they had the same style as their partner, yet 62 percent successfully blended their styles. Women, however, were three times more likely to dig in their heels on style: 17 percent ended up with just their style in the updated space versus just four percent of men.
Despite the relationship strain many couples experienced, 67 percent report feeling more comfortable in their home thanks to the project, 61 percent feel happier, and 53 percent feel more organized. Additionally, as a result of their project, half of couples entertain at home more frequently (48 percent), 45 percent rest and relax at home more often, and 38 percent do more cooking and dining at home. Nearly one-third spend more time together at home thanks to their completed project (31 percent).
The “Remodeling & Relationships Survey” is an online survey of Houzz users conducted December 2015-January 2016. n=1739.
Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling 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.