There are so many homeowners in today's economy that see the DIY home improvement project as the solution to improving their homes living environment, increasing the value of their home or even potentially getting it ready for listing it for sale.
While either partners or spouses eventually enjoy the fruits of their labor, getting there can test the mettle of their relationship and quite frankly get on each other's last nerve in the process.
Women like to improve their environment, keep up with the latest design trends, change things up and fluff the nest so to speak, whereas men might come from the angle of loving using tools, building something with their own two hands and having all the guys over for a beer and showing off his work after a little chest thumping. So right from the get go we see things differently.
Throughout the project, men and women take a different spin on things as well. Men just want to dig in and get the job done and women are most often a lot more methodical about how to proceed. Even as women generally have to balance the ongoing home life and kids, men are in their element raising dust and noise and pretty oblivious to the trickledown effect.
There are a lot of effective tools, no pun intended, that you can implement in order to make a project go smoothly from that first brainstorm all the way to sitting around enjoying the benefits of your finished labor of love.
1) You need to have clarity on your vision about what the project entails in design, scope, materials, time and certainly your budget. Quite simply. you should both be on the same page.
2) Things are bound to get a little heated from time to time, so if there is already friction in the relationship you don't want to start a fire that is going to get out of control. A DIY home masonry or other project will go smoother if you are in a harmonious rather that confrontational relationship.
3) Nowadays every family is busy and juggling a lot of commitments from work, kids, church etc. Take a look at your calendar to see if you can afford the time to take on another project, particularly one as demanding and stressful as a DIY patio, planter, firepit or anything else you can dream up.
4) Access each other's skills and decide honestly what everybody is good at. Once you have done that and basically divided up the work load, give everybody the respect and trust to do their job, with a pat on the back thrown in for good measure.
5) Realize that with most DIY projects Murphy's Law can and will come into play at some point and you need to be able to laugh it off.
6) Schedule the project to take at least 2 to 3 times longer that you anticipate when you're sitting there dreaming up the project. That way everyone's expectations are right on schedule so to speak.
7) It is important to take a break for some down time. Families and loved ones need attention and quite frankly if building a fireplace from start to finish is not your normal workout, your body will appreciate the break too.
You will find that if you can make it through a DIY home project and savor the results, you will have exercised and developed some relationship skills that will foster better communication for the long haul. Hey, you might even think about another project!