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Survey: Home remodeling may cause marital strain

Now that economic conditions are starting to improve here in Minnesota and across the nation, people are feeling more comfortable making major purchases, planning vacations and, of course, remodeling their homes. However, a recently released study by the home renovation and redecorating website Houzz reveals that while this remodeling may not be putting undue strain on people's wallets, this may not be the case concerning their marriages.

The aptly titled "Remodeling and Relationships Survey" released just last month examined what correlation, if any, there is between the understandably stressful remodeling process and divorce/separation.

A shocking 10 percent of survey participants indicated that they had indeed considered divorce or separation while giving their homes a much-needed facelift. Breaking the numbers down, the survey revealed that the majority of these marital spats weren't necessarily caused by money, but rather by remodeling-related decisions.

For example, 20 percent of participants indicated that they had made a major change (wall color, appliances, wall location, etc.) without consulting with their significant other, while 20 percent also confessed to getting rid of unwanted objects (old magazines, dated furniture, nostalgic items, etc.) without consulting with their significant other.

The survey wasn't necessarily all bad news, however, as those couples able to suffer through the months of dirt, dust and tools reported rediscovering their bliss. Specifically, 84 percent of survey participants reported spending more time at home post-renovations.

What then can couples do to avoid divorce court during their remodeling?

Experts suggest taking such simple steps as making concrete renovation plans beforehand to prevent any surprises, setting a budget and maintaining the willingness to compromise.

Have you recently undertaken any renovation? If so, did your marriage experience any significant issues?

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Houzz survey shows that home renovations can place stress on marriages," Julie Washington, August 9, 2013

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