Anyone that has been through a renovation or a new build knows exactly how stressful that endeavor can be. Depending on the builder that you choose, your experience can be financially, physically, and emotionally draining. That kind of stress translates to your every day job, your daily habits, your kids, and even your spouse. As a builder, I get to see a lot of the added stress a married couple deals with during a construction project. That stress is visible in the way you communicate to your project manager, to each other in client meetings, and even the decisions you make during the construction process. If you’ve gotten “married” to the wrong builder that is causing unnecessary stress in your life, here are some ways you can at least keep your actual marriage intact.

Take A Break From the Project

For Christmas my wife got me 12 dates, one for each month. She found some awesome deals on Groupon and came up with some great ideas on her own. For the month of January we went bowling. Something simple. But it got us out of the house for a few hours and talking to each other. Date nights are a habit that often gets put to the side as life gets busy with careers, kids, and even household projects. We often give our clients a bottle of wine or a restaurant gift certificate sometime during the construction project. Take that gift and get away from your project for a couple of hours. Keep the conversation away from the project. Act like its your first date and you’re just trying to get to know the person. It’s actually kind of fun to go through the questions “What’s your favorite color? What movies do you like? Who’s your favorite musical artist?” Your spouse may surprise you.

Work On the Project Together

My wife and I renovated our first house together. When we first moved in we ripped up all the carpet and flooring, scraped the ceilings ourselves, and put on a new roof ourselves. Living in the mess we had created was incredibly rough. We experienced the one thought that most clients probably go through at some point; “When is this going to end?” But you know what, eating pizza out of a box, sitting on the concrete floor, covered in drywall dust, were some of the funnest nights we had in that house. My piece of advice here is to get involved in your construction project, together. The construction process can be incredibly fun for the both of you. If you’ve picked a builder or decided to be a DIYer, go through the process with your spouse. A major renovation or new build is often one of the largest financial decisions a couple will make in their life. Wouldn’t you want to go through all of the fun with your spouse?