They say opposites attract and we all know ‘odd’ couples, but when embarking on a home renovation, differences in personality and tastes can put a strain on even the most rock-solid relationship. Cosy nooks vs open-plan spaces, heritage restoration vs contemporary transformation, extravagant vs thrifty, eclectic vs minimalist… get the picture?

Home renovation can become a battleground of clashing opinions on everything from budget to decor, but there are ways you and your partner can navigate the process without ending up in the divorce courts. Read on for the Design Plus Drafting guide to keeping that lovin’ feeling during a renovation.

Crunch the numbers
If you and your partner’s spending habits differ wildly, try to settle on a middle ground. Determine your budget and borrowing capacity at the get-go with your lender or mortgage broker and build in a contingency of 15 to 20 per cent over what you initially expect to spend. That way, if things go wrong you’re covered, and if they don’t you’ve got a little extra to splurge on fabulous furnishings. Win, win.

Get outta there
Living in your home while renovating might seem like a sensible cost-saving exercise but honestly, if you can move out, do it. There’s nothing romantic about a Portaloo or trying to shower with a garden hose and a bucket. And even if your reno doesn’t include a bathroom revamp, the Dust. Gets. Everywhere. Make a short-term rental part of your budget or take the kids to Nanna’s house for a ‘holiday’.

Learn to love plans
Pinterest boards of exquisite home renovation projects are great for inspiration, but there’s no point arguing over the style of balustrade for a grand, sweeping staircase if you’ve got a 4m-wide terrace in Surry Hills. Most people who don’t work in trades or construction have difficulties grasping scale, so it really pays to engage a specialist draftsman or building designer – oh, like the Design Plus Drafting team, for example – to measure your site properly and draw up plans that are dimensionally correct. That way, everyone can accurately assess what’s possible, from the size of your fantasy bathtub to the boundary setback for your extension.

See it in virtual reality
Still not convinced about the stone-clad feature wall your partner is lusting after? “You’ll love it once you see it up,” they assure you. Well, it’s a bit late by then so rather than take that costly risk, why not see what it will look like via the magic of 3D digital rendering? At Design Plus Drafting we use an ingenious piece of software called Revit, which allows us to generate accurate 3D visualisations that can incorporate whatever materials and finishes the client desires, making it much easier to agree on these elements at the design phase of your renovation or knockdown / rebuild.

Delegate the bureaucracy
Throughout Sydney, the steps of council chambers are littered with withered husks which are all that is left of homeowners trying to get DA approval. OK, that’s a slight exaggeration, but haven’t you and your significant other got better things to do than compile waste management reports, statements of environmental effects and BASIX assessments? Of course you do. Which is why you should leave the paperwork for your Development Application or Complying Development to us, while you two bond over paint swatches.

There you have it, the secrets to lasting happiness according to Design Plus Drafting. We might not be relationship experts but we know our way around home renovation plans and building design, so get in touch with us to maintain harmony in your house of love.