For better or for worse, in sickness and through renovations. . .

This should be the marriage vows for all couples. In fact, I would go so far as to say that people planning marriage should first be required to work together to renovate some portion of a home. Nothing big, say a couple of small bathrooms. At the end, the state of mind, frequency of sex, and quality of conversation could be evaluated and compared to what was occurring before the color of the toilet was judged ‘horrifying’, the color of the accent tiles ‘makes everything look cheap’, and the shower fixtures, which took six weeks to arrive, ‘aren’t working with the towels’. Attempted homicide could earn bonus demerits.

I totally agree. I’ve said for years that people oughtn’t marry until they’ve survived a renovation project, a trip, and a crisis together (and lived together successfully for a year despite these things).

Coincidentally, we are presently renovating two small bathrooms. It’s a journey fraught with peril. Goblins, even.

We’re in the midst of redoing the master bath. It was gutted to the studs, and it’s just now going back together. Division of labor is such that I fetch, hold, and hand stuff while my spousal unit installs. Then he goes away, and I paint. We were pretty much in agreement about the various fixtures, and I decided to yield on the floor (I’d have been happy with sheet vinyl, he wanted tile) and the lights (they’re OK, I guess).

I’ll tell you what all couples should be required to do - hang wallpaper. Preferably striped wallpaper. In a not-quite-plumb room. Oh yes, that’ll test the ties that bind! For the record, it was almost 10 years and 2 houses ago. We don’t paper any longer. I paint and he goes away while I do. We find it works best that way.


My mother has done faux finishes of various types in three of the smaller rooms of their house. She did the first one all by herself, Dad helped with the second, and she drafted me to help with the third one. I recieved praise as being a much better helper than Dad was–largely on the grounds that I did not criticizes her painting, or try to take over.

I tried a faux finish once. It was horrible. We papered over it. I stick with latex paint with an eggshell finish, and semi-gloss white for trim. Simple, classic, and pretty quick.

The reason my husband is not allowed to paint is that he’s sloppy and random. I’ve had to go behind him getting all the spots where the previous color shone through. So he does the hard labor and, believe it or not, makes most of the decorating decisions, and I paint, lift, carry, tote, clean, fetch, and occasionally pound a nail or mud a joint.

My wife is currently ready to kill me because the computer desk is in the living room.

The reason that it is in the living room instead of the office is because the office is getting renovated. the process is slow because I’m the one doing it, and I teach full time and spend a great deal of my spare time getting a Master’s Degree. The reason I’m doing it is so we can save the big money for paying a pro to redo the kitchen (I don’t touch plumbing).

So the office has been quite delayed, and she is at her wit’s end. Never mind that I just finished the den we made out of the room her brother used to stay in, a job which involved rebuilding a closet almost from the ground up.

My current task is to finish the office before Spring Break next week, so we don’t spend our vacation renovating. I’ll get to that right after I finish my online midterm today and take the cat, who was missing for week before showing up muddy at 2AM this morning, to the vet.

Oh, we haven’t even ventured into the realm of DIY renovation in this case. A contractor is doing the actual demo and installation. Just landing on a friggin’ branch about tile color, toilet shape, faucet finish, etc. is enough to drive you around the goddamned bend. If I was actually trying to do the work myself, I would have opened a vein long ago.

No doubt. My husband is a handyman, so one would think home improvement wouldn’t be an issue, right? Last week, I threatened to hire a handyman to come take down the Christmas lights. (Husband did that today. Finally.)

We had a small tiff over this just today. See, we need our house painted from top to bottom, and my husband was a professional painter for seven years, so he wants to do the painting himself because he does a very good job. We’ve been in the house 3 1/2 years, and he has painted one hallway and two rooms so far. I don’t think I’m in the wrong by being a little frustrated with his progress, and he feels like he can take as long as he wants to paint, I guess, since he is taking as long as he wants. And it’s not like I haven’t offered to paint; I just want my damned house painted, dammit. We’re going to need to re-paint the first stuff by the time we get the last stuff done. Next house we move into, the agreement is going to be that I will do all the renovations myself, because at least they will get done that way instead of procrastinated into the next millenium. No reservation of jobs for him at all.

Mr. Kitty and I have been building for five years. When we moved in, it was to two rooms- the master bedroom (24x22) which was sheetrocked and had subflooring down, and the master bath, which had the basics (toilet, sink) and a shower that had exposed pipes on the outside and nothing but concrete and backer board on the inside. The rest of the house was studs and subflooring. We lived in that room with three dogs for six months. The majority of our possessions lived in the garage (24x40) for longer than I’d like to admit. I think it was at least a month before I had a stove.

We’re obviously much further along now, but if you asked me where the majority of my clothes are, or where the good dishes have gone, I couldn’t tell you.

I’m shocked that there hasn’t been a murder-suicide yet.

Although I am an avid do-it-yourselfer, after my first few projects my wife forbade me from picking up a tool anywhere in the house unless she had her cell phone in her hand. She has a plumber, an electrician, a general contractor and the emergency number (911) in her Top Five. Our sons said when they were small they had a three-level alert system: When they heard “Well, shit!” from the project area they started jockying for position to ride shotgun on the trip to the home center. “Son of a bitch!” meant serious structural problems have just occurred and it’s best to play outside for awhile. And “Motherf***!” meant it was time to pack for an overnighter at grandma’s because the water/power/phone/whatever wasn’t going to be working until professional help arrived, probably the next day.

My wife’s role in all of this is “quality control.” I’m not sure what that means, but I do know it doesn’t mean picking up any tools at any time.

Wow. Bog and I are once again an exception to the rule. We’ve redone the deck out back, completely finished the basement, and are working on various other parts of the house. We’ve removed trees/brush, worked on landscaping, and are soon to install a new flooring on the main floor. All done together. Input varies depending on the job.

I’ve heard some couples have these problems! :stuck_out_tongue:

A couple of years ago, Papa Tiger and I tore out the carpeting in three rooms of our house and replaced it with a laminated wood floor. It took some serious disputation before we agreed on a division of labor: He’d do the measuring and cutting, I’d do the actual installation – his idea of how to make it fit is “Force it, dammit!” whereas snapping laminated flooring together requires a great deal of finesse.

We figure that since we survived that experience without a divorce, we’re good for the long haul!

I’ve been chuckling since I read this :stuck_out_tongue:

My father sucked at home repair/maintenance and only tackled something when it was absolutely necessary. Even worse - when an emergency repair was needed after he’d already started drinking for the day - I learned my most inventive curse words then.

What a shock when I married my husband and found that he hums or whistles - happily - when doing home repairs. Not only that, but he’s receptive to help AND somebody to keep him company while he’s contorted around the toilet bowl trying to free Pocahantes’ canoe that someone flushed :smiley: