Our kitchen cabinet when it was half-done without the countertop.
Woah. It has been about two months since I last wrote anything here.

I had wanted to write about our renovation progress as it went along, but my busyness and tiredness got the better of me. Our Korean lessons ended, but we started on our renovation, so we continued to have no time to rest on weekends (till about 1-2 weeks ago).

It was:
  • Saturdays - go down to our home in the morning to supervise renovation works or receive deliveries, stay till afternoon or evening, go home for dinner or go out and buy more things.
  • Sundays - getting my laundry done in the morning, more shopping for home in the late afternoon till evening. 
Plus, we were still catching up on various shows (Emergency Couple, The Walking Dead, Person of Interest, Modern Family, etc). :P

I finally have some time now because... our renovation will actually be more or less done by this Friday! There would be some erm, touch up to do... But the main bulk of it would be completed. :)

It's been a long, tiring and frustrating process. Far worse than the wedding preparation we had to go through.

Yes, home renovation/new home preparation is worse than wedding preparation. There, I said it.

So be prepared, future new home owners!

I think all these preparation stuff are actually tests for couples in different stages of their lives.

Some couples come out stronger than before, understanding each other better due to the conflicts, arguments, disagreements that arose due to the differences they may have toward what they envision their home (or wedding) to be like. Or it may also be due to different tastes, ideas and working styles. Although they may not agree on everything or anything, but one or both would be willing to take a step back and give in here and there, just to reach an agreement in which both would be ok with.

Then, there are some couples who would come out of these tests with scars and resentment due to the fights, anger and unhappiness that arose due to the same issues mentioned above. No one willing to back down, no one willing to try and reach a middle ground in what they want.

Thankfully, for us, we've came out of both tests (wedding and home preparations), with a deeper understanding of each other. Sure, there were frustrations and tempers flew occasionally. But, we were both willing to give and take in what we want. Sometimes, if either one is more adamant about something, the other one would be willing to accept it as well. Through these, we came to a conclusion about what we both want in our near future.

I think they also prepared us for another stage and test in our lives -- when it is time for just the two of us to live in our new home together.

Our keys!
Anyway, the first part of my tips regarding home renovation will not be about what to look out for, what to do, money matters and etc.

First thing before you embark on a home renovation journey together as a married couple (or as fiancé and fiancée), you need to get yourself mentally prepared, and you need to talk to each other.

[Image source: http://cdn.sheknows.com/articles/2012/03/married-couple-discussing-home-budget.jpg]
Talk it out. Look for the ideas you want and share them with each other.

Discuss about what you want together as a couple.

Let each other know what is it that you MUST have, and what you would be willing to let go if the other party is not so keen on it.

Discuss about your budgets for various stuff, not just the overall total budget.

What expectations do you have for each other during this process?

How would you share the workload and who should do what based on what they are good at?

Talk. It. Out.

Don't rush into it without a prior discussion, because issues WILL arise. Issues may not stem from the both of you, but from the contractor(s) or from the orders you've made, and that may contribute to the frustration both of you may feel. Stress level will rise. Not everything will go on smoothly and perfectly even if you have planned really well down to the nitty gritty details.

[Image source: http://suitcasestories.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Arguing-Couple-1.jpg]

Stick to what you have discussed. Perform your duties well and if you're tired, ask for help from your partner. Don't ignore it and leave it, but request for help nicely. Don't take it for granted. Appreciate what each of you are doing for your home.

As cliché as this may sound, communication is the most important factor to get through it (the stress and everything) without destroying your relationship.

Maybe you have been communicating well so far in your relationship, but this type of preparation process requires more from the both of you. Don't assume everything will be fine and dandy just because your relationship has been strong and communicative. This is different from the everyday life issues.

It involves each individual's dream of what their ideal home will be like, it involves a lot of money (source of stress), it may involve influences from outside parties (parents, friends, colleagues, etc), and it is the start of your lives together for the decades ahead...

Don't assume, don't risk it. Talk.

I hope this reminder will actually help some people...

Anyway, more tips regarding the renovation process will be coming up soon! :)

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We are a married couple who love sharing our different experiences with family and friends. So we thought perhaps our insights can be shared with people around the world. So read on and chat with us.
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