Years ago, I worked at a carpet store, where I constantly heard stories, nightmares really, of how miserable it was to go through a home improvement. Couples couldn’t agree on carpet color or texture, and deciding between hardwood floors or laminate proved equally objectionable.
My husband and I have never gone through anything as extensive as a remodel, and I dread the day that we do. I think moving might be a better choice than coming to verbal blows over tile or hardwood.
It’s that time of year for us when the H.O.A. (Home Owner’s Association) makes its annual assessment of our properties. HOA’s are great for keeping property values up, I suppose, but their “improvements” never seem to improve my checkbook or my marriage, and this year is no exception.
This year, it’s our deck. Though it can hardly be called a “deck,” rather more like a balcony. It’s on the second level and measures all of 6’x8’. We never even use it because it faces our neighbor’s living room, and unless we suddenly develop an interest in peering in on our neighbor’s lives, we will continue to not use it.
Now my husband and I complement each other, in that his strengths are my weaknesses and vice-versa. It’s how we work. But when it comes to working together on a home improvement, we’ve learned that it’s best if we stay out of each other’s way.
I’m usually the DIY person around the house, so I was really surprised when he said that he wanted US to do part of the improvement. What?! Is he crazy?! We can’t do that! We’ll kill each other! Not to mention that we don’t have the proper tools, or expertise to do said improvement.
We compromised: we hired a handyman to do the actual repairs, but my husband insisted that we could do the painting. I was skeptical to say the least. That meant renting a ladder (we don’t own an extension ladder) and one of us would have to go up that ladder and do the painting, and it wasn’t going to be me…not this time. But he assured me that we could get it done.
I called my brother who happens to be a handyman in another state (he inherited my Dad’s skill), and I was feeling pretty confident. Maybe we could do this. Maybe if we pulled together, and had a plan, we could work together and paint the balcony, without ending up in divorce court.
That was two weeks ago.
Since then, we’ve argued about getting it done, having enough time to get it done, doing it right but quickly, getting it done in the timeframe the H.O.A. allotted.
Just to add more stress, my husband suddenly got really busy at work, I got a new job, and time was still ticking. Tensions were running high!
I started with a coat of primer on the deck today, and realized…we are in over our heads!
I put in a call to a handyman, and he’s coming tomorrow.
Now, maybe I reacted to soon. Maybe we could have done it ourselves. Maybe we could have done it without killing each other.
But it just seems like a couple hundred dollars for a handyman will be much less expensive than marriage counseling would have cost.
How about you? Have you and your significant other ever attempted a home improvement together?