A home renovation can be both rewarding and (extremely) frustrating. Things like escalating budgets, a cascading list of issues to tackle, multiple trips to the hardware store, and perhaps a misunderstanding of just how difficult the project was going to be, by the halfway point many people throw their hands up and call a contractor to finish the job.

Fast facts:

  • 34.8% of couples regret starting home DIY projects together.
  • Women tend to regret home DIY projects with their partner by a 16% margin over men.
  • Men were more likely to respond that they believed home DIY projects were going well together.

While surveying homeowners about their experience with do-it-yourself remodels and home renovations, we found one other area of stress for many people: their partners.

This has been especially heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic, where many people are spending more time at home with their partners than they were in the past. And while more time at home might make one believe there has never been a better time to start a house project together, a recent study by the Reviews.com Home Research Team has found it might be adding more stress to some people’s lives.

Of the 2,116 US residents we surveyed about home renovations, 34.8% of those that have recently worked on a DIY home project with a partner or spouse said they regretted doing so.

Among respondents, there was a pretty clear gap between men and women. Female respondents regretted home DIY projects with their spouse or partner by over a 16% margin. Men were far more likely to respond that they believed they work well with their spouse or partner on DIY house projects.

Age was not a notable factor in the survey results, with fairly consistent response rates no matter what bracket was singled out.

Speaking to one married couple who had recently completed a remodel, they said the experience was taxing on their relationship, and ended up resulting in them hiring a general contractor to manage the rest of the project.

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“We bought a fixer upper thinking it would be a fun project for us to work on together. It only took one project to recognize we’re better off paying someone to do most of the work for us.”

On the other side, some couples say that working on house projects together has strengthened their marriage. As Megan Wild, a family blogger, writes, home projects can build teamwork and strengthen communication. Under the right circumstances, it can also save the household money.

That’s not to say home projects are for everyone. It’s probably fine if within the context of each individual relationship one strength isn’t remodeling a bathroom or a kitchen together. Each relationship is different and while many find it difficult to work on home projects together, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong with the relationship. It’s important to know one’s own limits as everyone has different strengths.

[ Read: Guide to Creating a Productive Work Space ]

Survey details:

  • 2,116 survey responses collected from US residents.
  • Survey responses were collected online and anonymously.
  • 50.3% female responses, 49.7% male responses.
  • Conducted September 17th, 2020 – September 22nd, 2020.

Photo by PhotoAlto/Sigrid Olsson/GettyImages

About the Authors

The Reviews.com staff is dedicated to providing you with all the deep-dive details. Our writers, researchers, and editors came together from Charlotte, Seattle, San Juan, Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, and Chicago to put this review together.