Renovations and relationships: A fifth of couples sleep in separate rooms as a result of renovation disagreements

Renovations and relationships: A fifth of couples sleep in separate rooms as a result of renovation disagreements
  • New research by reveals the truth behind the home renovations most likely to result in an argument
  • 43% of couples carried out home renovations themselves in the last 12 months – and 49% of the projects resulted in heated discussions
  • Disagreeing on styles and colours is the most common reason (46%) behind couples’ arguments

New research by reveals the home renovations responsible for the biggest disputes over the past 12 months, as well as how couples clear the air.

When asked about the improvements they have carried out, painting and decorating was most likely to result in a war of words (22%), followed by new flooring (13%) and installing a new kitchen (11%).

The study also reveals that almost half (46%) of couples rarely agree on styles and colours and a quarter bicker if the cost is higher than anticipated (27%) or if the improvements take longer than expected (26%). It doesn’t stop there, if the end result doesn’t live up to what was originally agreed, 12% will make their opinions known to their partner.

When it comes to making up, one in three 30% of Brits straighten out their concerns and come to a compromise. But a fifth of arguments (20%), result in staying in separate bedrooms. If you struggle to resolve your issues, you’re not alone, as one in 12 (8%) are yet to reach a solution.

The study shows that men and women take different approaches in arguments. Three in ten men opt for giving in (31%) or talking through their concerns (29%). Women also attempt to compromise (32%) or go straight to sleeping in a different room (24%).

Commenting on the research, Chris King, head of home insurance at, says: “For couples who have renovated their homes, it’s important to remember that your home insurance may need updating to reflect the changes that have been made. We advise contacting your provider up front before work starts to ensure your policy covers you for any accidents that may occur. Please note you do not have to update your insurer when completing simple decorating changes to your home.”

According to Lizandra Leigertwood, MA MBACP of New Frame Counselling and Psychotherapy, home improvements are a common factor in relationship conflict: it’s a taxing situation and the stakes are often high. However, in hindsight, couples often realise that it isn’t as big a deal as they first thought. Leigertwood says:

“Some simple communication tips that I often share with my clients are to have open body language, maintain eye contact, remove distractions and ask clarifying questions. The best way to resolve the issue is to focus your attention on communicating and actively listening to your partner. Even if you don’t necessarily agree, it will immediately help you to resolve your issues and begin working as a team again.”

For more tips on how to stay on the same page as your partner, check out our renovation survival guide:

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