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Planning House Projects Together

REAL Couples – REAL Issues – REAL solutions 

This blog is in a series inspired by real conversations between real couples preparing for marriage. The words they have spoken were inspired by using one of the guided conversations that comes from a self-guided course available at

STEP ONE: How do we define our issue?   

Deciding about house projects even when we have different opinions about what needs to be done.

STEP TWO: Why is this important to me/us?

Bride:  I want to accomplish projects in the right order by tackling the most important first based on our budget. I think we need to work together to accomplish projects, and when we do, it will help to make our house feel like home. It would help if we could sit down and figure out together what projects we want to do and then prioritize them from most important to least important.

Groom:  I am big picture person, and I tend to want to do them all right away. Since we just bought this house, we have discovered that we have different ways of getting things done. It would help if we would think up a list of projects we want to get done and see which ones make the most sense to do in the near future.

Bride’s Feelings:  Hopeful, open, excited, ignored, uncomfortable, positive, tired, confident, confused, frustrated, determined, motivated, encouraged, overwhelmed.

Groom’s Feelings: Hopeful, open, excited, positive, tense, optimistic, confused, frustrated, motivated, annoyed.

STEP THREE: What will a better future look like for us when this is resolved?

Bride: I will feel closer and have a greater sense of accomplishment with you. I think I will be relieved that things are getting done, and more positive about the projects we start and finish when we’re working together. It would help if we would discuss future projects and listen to each other, and then figure out where to start and what we each need to be doing to complete the project. We need to be smart about the projects and keep them simple and efficient.

Groom: I will be excited that we are building our future as we make our first house our home. It will feel good that we are able to work together and have fun on the projects. I think we will feel closer to each other. I need to be less stubborn and listen to what you want, but I want you to know that I know how to do things around the house and it’s important for you to listen to my opinions, too. We both need to be more realistic about what we can accomplish each year, and figure out where we should start. Let’s make a list.

STEP FOUR: What are our best ideas?

Idea One: Make a list.

Idea Two:  Listen to each other’s ideas and opinions.

STEP FIVE: What will I/we actually do?

We will work on the list together and prioritize which are the most important to do first. We will also work on a budget for the projects that fits in with our overall budget.

STEP SIX: How will we know that we’re making progress?

Projects are getting done and checked off our list, and we’re enjoying working together.