How Home Renovations Affect Your Relationship

December 31, 2018  |  
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home renovations gone wrong

Source: Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury / Getty

My partner and I have been the victims of…um, I mean, lucky enough to receive…several massive renovations to our building in the last year. In fact, for nine out of the last twelve months, we either woke to hammering at 7:55am, found dust flying in through out windows, couldn’t use our parking spots, met with some concerning characters in our driveway or all of those things at once. Home renovations make you feel like your entire life is turned upside down. And once they begin, you experience a total loss of control. You’re given one timeline—say, six weeks—but because of the hold up to acquire this certification from the city and the delay on that equipment being delivered, that timeline gets extended again, and again, and again. Before you know it, your home hasn’t been your own for a quarter of a year and you and your partner are going insane. Here is how home renovations affect your relationship.

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Bed times are stricter

That relentless drilling and hammering will begin at 8am sharp, no matter what. That means you and your partner bicker about whose fault it is that you didn’t even start date night until 8pm since you have to be in bed by 11pm at the latest to try to get enough sleep before the damn hammering begins tomorrow. Things are tense.

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Sleep fights get worse

Should your partner do the unthinkable thing of accidentally waking you up in the middle of the night, this ignites an anger that lasts for days. You don’t have the luxury of hitting snooze on your alarm the next day to make up for the lack of sleep. As we said, that hammering will begin at 8am and there is no sleeping through that. Sleep fights just get worse.

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Storage wars

Your storage could be cut in half if not diminished even further. Certain parts of your home are off limits to you, driving you and your partner to consolidate your necessary belongings from various cabinets and closets into one closet. You had a delicate storage ecosystem in place before. It was the reason things ran smoothly. Now they do not run smoothly.

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You escape to friends’

Sometimes, you just need to stay with friends for a few days. You have to get away from the dust and the noise and the strangers stomping around your property. So, you’re displaced from your home entirely, just to get some peace.

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But argue about which friends

But if you think arguing about which friends to just get dinner with is difficult, try coming to an agreement on whom you’ll stay with for several days. You can’t seem to find one couple you’d both want to stay with for an extended period.

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You fight about making accommodations

Or, you may just fight about the fact that it seems only one of you makes an effort to find a quiet place for you to stay, or makes an effort to communicate with the contractor about not allowing drilling to start so early.

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You’re quarantined to another room

You chose your regular bedroom for a reason—you’re happiest in there. It’s on the quieter side of the building. It’s roomy. It’s cheery. But perhaps, due to renovations, you’ve been quarantined to the other bedroom. You’re both just grumpy about it.

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Disputes over contractor communication

If one person so much as gives the contractor the green light to borrow the parking spot for half a day without consulting the other person, this begins a battle. There is a lot of he said/she said disputes between you, your partner, and the contractor.

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You see your mean sides

You both, at one point, just lose your temper. You either go off on the contractor, or one of the workers for simply whistling too loudly. You didn’t realize you could both be so nasty.

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You’re on edge and irritable

You’re generally on edge and irritable. You’re sleep-deprived. You have a headache from the hammering. Your house is a mess and you’re too tired to clean it. Nobody is happy.

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You fight over misplaced items

It’s impossible to keep track of your items when you’ve boxed everything up or moved everything around for renovations. You get into a few massive fights over a missing document that you can’t find as you’re running out the door to an important meeting.

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You’re financially strapped

These renovations may have eaten up all your savings. That means you can’t go out for dinner, buy concert tickets, or even think about taking a trip somewhere to get away from the noise.

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Privacy policies are pushed

Can a worker come inside your living room to charge his phone? Or step inside the bedroom bathroom to run an extension cord between there and the side alley? You’ll definitely argue about that.

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Doors and windows are left unlocked

It’s never quite clear whose job it is to lock up at the end of a day’s work. With so many people coming and going, it’s easy to accidentally leave the house completely vulnerable to burglars, and fight about whose fault that was.

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One day it just…stops

One day the renovations just…stop. They end. Renovations don’t go on forever. They feel like they’ll go on forever but they don’t. Then you have the home you want, and you can’t remember what you’ve been fighting about.

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