What could be more fun than spending a Saturday afternoon with your spouse at a tile showroom? I can think of a few things. It’s definitely more fun to walk the entire IKEA store only to find that they just don’t have what you need. It’s way more fun to sand and stain your deck together every spring only to realize that after the fifth time you’ve done it, you could have just replaced the deck. The point is that a remodeling project, large or small, will have its effect on your relationship. That effect, however, does not always need to be negative.

A well planned remodel involves a lot of decision making and a lot of internal conversation that can often times lead to spirited debate. If you don’t have some sort of mediation, you may find yourself chasing the perfect answer for quite an extended period of time. This process should not be viewed in a pessimistic light when it is being considered but rather with optimism knowing that you and your spouse are not only going to learn a lot more about your house, but also a lot more about each other.

If you take the time to absorb each other’s input, value one another’s ideas and respect the wants and needs of your spouse, you may be surprised at how fantastic the results can be. The help of a professional designer is critical in navigating a design process and the cost to do so should not be viewed as an added expense but rather as an investment with significant return.

Remodeling, for most of us, will be the largest investment we make other than the house itself. Make decisions about how you approach it. Embrace your spouse and his or her ideas and be open to new concepts. Doing so will surely produce the best results.

Christopher Lux has spent the last 15 years in the residential remodeling industry and is a Design-Build Consultant with Harth Builders in Spring House, PA. Chris is available for in-home consultations as well as speaking engagements by calling 215-654-0364.