Skip to Content

How to Survive a Remodel with Your Spouse

Are you married to a DIYer? A man who has to have a project to work on? Perhaps even MULTIPLE projects going on at one time?

You aren’t alone. I am too. If you are a couple who likes DIY projects and have kids, this post will encourage and provide tips for these stressful times.

Maybe your spouse is the DIYer who has all the best intentions, but you are just praying he will be able to finish just one project before he starts another. 

While your DIYer is working on the project, are you stressing about the budget?

 My husband has to have a project. If not, he will sleep. I swear it runs in the family! 

The best part is my husband is fantastic at DIY projects. He’s super talented when it comes to fixing anything in our home. For that, I am often reminded, is a HUGE blessing. One I take for granted many times.

We’ve been fixing our homes and doing our projects since we were together, which will be 11 years in 2019! WHOO HOO! 

As a couple, we have come a long way from the first projects we DIYED together. 

I want to share some tips with you if you are alongside your partner.

6 Things a Wife Can do to Help Her Husband with DIY Projects

Figure Out the Budget Together for the DIY Project

This has to be the first step. Doing projects yourself will save you money if they are done correctly. I’m sure you have personal experience or heard from someone else that their little home project turned out to be a disaster.

You need to figure out your budget together. First, it has to be agreed upon. It will also hold you accountable, if possible, for not going over the budget.

Need free printables to start your budget? Go here.

how to help your husband with a diy project

Plan Together

Remember that if you choose to use a credit card, it is the stress of paying it off afterward. So when you put it on a Credit card, there is more temptation to overspend.

The credit card bill comes the next month, and you may resent the project in the first place. If you must use a credit card, make it a point to accept the fact and know you will put x amount on the card each month.

READ: How we Built our Barn Together Debt Free

Create a vision plan together.

Have your spouse share with you the plan of the project. Ex. First, I’ll do this. That way, you can see the timeline and follow along.

Do Your Share- Contribute

If this is a project where you design and he executes, allow the person to do their job.

Cost is a huge reason we choose to do all our home renovations. Remember that you may not have the extra money to hire someone, but you do have the time. Check out our recent Kitchen Makeover here with a cost breakdown.

Set a Reasonable Timetable For The DIY Projects

So what if it takes you six months to finish something instead of three? What is the rush to have a kitchen or living room done in three months instead of 8?

Maybe it’s just not possible for your spouse to fit in a project during this life season. When it comes to DIY projects, figure out together if it is a need or a want. If it is a need, remember the sacrifices made now will be worth it. It’s part of your journey together. It’s also very much a part of homeownership.

Always pray and ask if the time it will take to do the project is worth it at this point. 

For example, your partner is up for a promotion or busiest time of year. Look at the whole picture and what you both can accomplish in this time frame.

Take a closer look at needs and wants.

Pray over your spouse and this project.

Budget for a Babysitter

If this is a smaller project, it may be worth the idea to pay a babysitter for a couple of days to help get the task finished.

Ask a neighbor or family member to take the kids. Even if your spouse doesn’t want you to help on the project, you also need a break from the kids. You can keep your spouse and any of his crew happy with food!

Be Gentle

As a wife who has done that many times, let me remind you to be gentle to your husband.

Is he the only one working on this DIY project? Is he learning a new skill? So many times, I would assume my husband knew how to do something. I wondered why he couldn’t get the project done faster.

I didn’t realize sometimes it was his first time doing it. He was learning as he went. I was learning patience and humility.

Be thankful. It’s not you; I am tearing down the walls or mudding and installing flooring. Keep encouraging your spouse through the project. Men sometimes need more positive encouragement than women!

One last tip, if you love decorating as I do, be careful with your choice of words on the decorating aspect.

What I mean is that you may not have put new furniture, decor rugs into the budget, etc. So don’t complain about that aspect of it and make your spouse feel less than. They will only hear a complaint and think you don’t appreciate their value. 

Here’s to a new DIY project being completed and to a new understanding of your relationship!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Monday 6th of May 2019

A beautifully written story, Tasia:-) You look like such a happy couple! I used to be like you, but I'm finding it harder and harder to do. We're 20 years into this DIY house building project, I just turned 66, and I'm beginning to wonder if I'll every be able to stop living in a travel trailer and move into my new home before I finally croak.

My husband is the most lovable, wonderful, smart, capable hard-working man anyone could ever want, but it's about priorities, and he cannot seem to keep focused on the house. After all these years, I don't blame him, but it has to be finished, or I'm starting to think about doing the unthinkable and moving away by myself.

I have tried everything--food support, gentle nudging, list making, begging, crying--I helped to physically build the stem walls, mix concrete, erect walls, but then he got to the roof and I couldn't help with that. It's finished and the upstairs is dried in, but so much remains to do--the turret and stairs, and putting in the windows and doors downstairs. Then, the electrical and HVAC. The plumbing is in, thank goodness, but nothing like fixtures or other interior stuff is even close yet.

I don't have the physical or emotional strength for this anymore, and I'm feeling quite hopeless and mentally worn out with this project. Any suggestions you can offer? Fresh "eyes" and new perspectives are desperately welcomed.

End of Proverbial Rope


Wednesday 8th of May 2019

It sounds to me like there is a bigger reason he doesn't want to finish it? And if not then he probably doesn't want to mess with the electrical and HVAC stuff. Which can be complicated. I would discuss about coming up with a plan to hire someone else to finish up the work your husband doesn't want to do. I would also make a list of what is a priority for the next three months and what is not. It helps to focus on one small job instead of all the jobs that need to be finished. I know in our case when we start looking at all the things to get done my husband and I both get overwhelmed and nothing gets done. Pick one project that needs to get done asap. Whether it be because of a saftey issue etc. I'm so glad you stopped by. I will be praying for you and your husband to find a way to weave through this project together and to feel like you are gaining traction instead of the opposite. You'll have to stay in touch and let me know how things go :)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.