Marriages and Building Projects Can Thrive Together

Yes, you can have your new space and your same spouse too! In planning a project, it is possible that husbands and wives will have different ideas concerning almost any aspect of the scope, budget, and selections. If either of you are apprehensive about tackling a building project and keeping peace between you, there are strategies that will serve you well, and even make the process fun. Yes, fun, really. First, set aside some time together to identify up front the topics on which you are likely to disagree based on past experience. Caution: Do not break out paper and pencil and list all this stuff—this is a liberating communication, not an exercise to commit potential conflicts to writing. The discussion at this point is of broad categories that affect choices or budgets. You are not trying to resolve differences or make a point of whose opinion is better. Once you have broached these subjects in a casual, lighthearted way, you will be better able to discuss your viewpoints during the project without feeling as stressed by your spouse having another perspective on some aspect of your plan. During discussion of any topic, there will be some points that you both probably already agree on. It is useful to acknowledge and build on these opinions you hold in common before proceeding to the portions still to be ironed out. For instance, if you have differing opinions on color choices, a helpful way to establish common likes in color and texture for materials to be used is to pay a visit to your closet. What colors do you have in common in your clothing? What textures? Are there one or two neutral shades that dominate and […]

Hiring For Home Maintenance

 You have found a contractor, handyman, painter, electrician, etc., that you want to hire to work on your home. You have asked a number of questions, confirmed he or she has insurance, and checked their references. The next big question is whether to pay a deposit upfront and how much, right? Well perhaps, but let’s go back to the insurance issue. Did confirming that the service provider has insurance (general liability and worker’s compensation) consist of you asking if they are insured and them saying “yes”? That is only step one. The next question is, “Can you have your agent mail (or fax or email) me a certificate of insurance for general liability and worker’s compensation?” Unless the proof of coverage comes directly from a bona-fide agent, there may be no actual coverage, or it may not be current. Sometimes the service provider will hand you a photocopy of the cover page of their policy. This is also not proof of coverage. The policy may have lapsed. Plus, unless you know a lot about policies, you may not really understand what the document they show you is for and what it covers. It may seem like a bargain to hire a friend or neighbor to make repairs around the house, but if they are not insured and make a mistake causing damage, or get injured, the bargain can turn into big trouble. Many homeowners assume they have personal liability coverage under their homeowner’s policy if someone comes on their property and is injured. For guests at your home, yes you have liability coverage on your homeowner’s policy, for hired persons, no benefit! This includes your neighbor’s child who mows the lawn. A handyman or sole […]