Has your husband ever offered to carry out a home improvement project with the best intentions in the world?... but somehow he just fails to deliver? Yes, I know. I'm actually one of those "husbands"... not intentionally though! So how can you avoid home projects from dragging on forever?
How many times have you heard the following; "Honey, I'll take care of it", "Let me fix that", "I think I can figure that out", "I can just look it up on YouTube", "I promise I'll start next week", "It seemed pretty straight forward", "Anyone can do that", "The instructions weren't clear enough", "etc". Sound familiar? I'm sure it does!
I'm actually guilty (very guilty) on several counts from the list above. When my wife and I first bought our house, it took me two days to tear apart the entire basement. Neither of us actually liked it, and I immediately offered to renovate it. I estimated it to be done within a month or two. It's now seven years later, and still not done (we bought the house on December 2006). This is actually not a joke, true story, just ask my wife... actually, don't ask her. It will just make her mad. [an actual photo of my basement to the right here... from seven years ago! ]
By the time we decided to remodel our kitchen - which I once again gladly offered to do - my wife had other plans to make sure this project [actually] got done.
I actually found this to be a very common situation (glad to know I'm not the only one). We had a lady come into our showroom once and say that "she was tired of waiting for her husband to actually start working on her kitchen", so she fired him! We had another guy who was actually a contractor tell us that "he just could not find the time to renovate his own kitchen and decided to hire a company to do it". His wife was starting to get really upset.
Whatever the situation, I truly believe that husbands have a genuine intention of actually performing the work, it's just that things come up along the way that prevent them from delivering.
Consider his abilities
Your job as head of household (because let's face it, we know who's really in charge at home), is to determine your husband's capabilities first of all. He may be an outstanding computer programmer, but may lack the skills and abilities when it comes to plumbing, electrical or carpentry. Of course, some take DIY projects very seriously, and put a lot of energy and effort into learning. But, remember that as with anything else, there's always a learning curve. Keep this in mind when preparing your husband's to-do list. Trust me, there are plenty of other things to do around the house that will not require special skills.
Understand his schedule
More and more people work from home nowadays, but still the grand majority of us still have to commute to work. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average travel time to work in the United States is 25.4 minutes... actually around the Washington DC metropolitan areas, is more around the 30 to 35 minute range. This adds say, an additional-plus hour to our days. Of course, you are in a much better position than I am to know the exact average your husband spends out of the house each day. Point being, that you must consider [realistically] how much time your man will be able to put into the project.
You know your man
Let's be real. Whether you've been married for 2 years, or 20 years, you know your man. This step is critical, because it forces you to be honest with yourself. Does your man get things done on-time? Does he tend to over promise? Does he have a busy schedule? Does he possess the skills or initiative required? Does he have hobbies? Is he involved with the kids' activities? How does he spend most of his weekends? Only you can answer these questions.
Remember that home improvement projects should be fun, and should involve the whole family. At home, there is nothing more important than good communication. We wrote an article a couple of weeks ago about how important it is to sit down with your spouse and plan, it's a fun read.
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