Project Green Light

Associated Expert

Honey, Trust Me I Know What I'm Doing!
Simple strategies for getting your mate onboard with your latest project.

>Your old faucets are driving you nuts. You want to replace them. You know you can do it. But your mate has put on the brakes. Now what?

Maybe it's that your mate doesn't see a problem with your leaky, rusted 1970s bathroom faucet. Or perhaps he doesn't want to spend the money or questions your do-it-yourself ability. Whatever the reason, do you drop the subject or try to convince your mate otherwise? Here are some tips on how both parties can feel they've won the battle of To Do or Not to Do.

Make Your Case

Let's use that old bathroom faucet as an example. We can understand why you wouldn't want to live with such an outdated monstrosity, but we also know that many of you live in households where the prevailing philosophy seems to be "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." But focusing your home improvement efforts only on the most recent set of emergencies—with no time or effort to spend to make your world more enjoyable—is no way to go through life.

And it's not always just about looks. Maybe your faucet is leaking or is genuinely broken. Do your research and calculate how much money your family is literally throwing down the drain and then present this figure to your mate. Once he sees that your bills are up a couple of hundred dollars a year from a few drips here and there, your case will be as good as won.

Maybe the faucet is in perfect working order. So, why fix it? Again, do your homework. Most people think that replacing a faucet has to be expensive or complicated, but in reality, like many home improvement projects it's easier than it looks. Look around your local home improvement store and find some faucets that you like. Take pictures and write down prices. Ask the salespeople if they're going to be any upcoming sales—you may get lucky and get that faucet for 50% or more off!

Another tactic is call a couple of professionals in the area and ask what the cost would be to do the projects you've got in mind. The plumber will likely charge an average of $60-an-hour and up to do the same work you can do for free. Work this into your presentation for sticker shock.

You can't do that! But Yes I can!

Perhaps you have a few home improvement projects under your tool belt and are feeling pretty confident about replacing that faucet. Your mate might think you're crazy but as a Jane, you know that faucet is well within your skill set. Read the instructions on your dream project a couple of times and walk your significant other through the process. Once they understand that the project isn't that big of an ordeal, they may relent.

Don't forget to be confident! Know exactly what you will be doing and what tools you will need to use. Your thorough knowledge of the subject matter at hand will make you look more confident and secure to the other person which will help ease their anxiety.

If your mate still doubts your abilities, demonstrate them by tackling another project of a smaller scope. Once he or she sees that you know how to fix a leaking showerhead or stop the toilet running for good they may reconsider. Now you are ready to fix that leaky faucet.

Maybe Your Mate Has a Point?

Now, that all said, the most important part of any relationship is how you work through conflict. So even though you think (and we think) you have the abilities to tackle this or that project, at least listen to the concerns of your mate. Maybe he or she is not just being cheap or stubborn; perhaps their concern is for your safety. It's easy to get defensive when someone is shooting down what you think is a great idea, but try not to. Listen to their concerns and address them one by one.

Go Ahead! But I'm not helping!

Maybe you've gotten the green light. However, the caveat of the approval is that you are not receiving any help on your faucet project. What to do now? If you have a friend who is knowledgeable about the subject, ask them to help you instead. You could also throw a do-it-yourself mini-party where you treat your friends to lunch in exchange for a little help with the plumber's wrench. It may not be the most ideal way to spend a Saturday afternoon, but most people would be happy to help you as long as you make yourself available for their projects.

Your Final Option

If after trying multiple times and strategies you're still not getting anywhere with your mate, you have three options: 1) You can drop the idea; 2) You can call in a pro; or 3) Do it without permission. We have heard from a number of our members who have done the latter and their mates didn't discover the change for a couple of weeks, or even months. However, we don't recommend being sneaky! Try your best to compromise, even if it takes a bit longer to get your project launched.

On a final note, don't let your desire to complete a home improvement project get too far out of hand. Sooner or later, you are bound to get your way, so be patient. It only takes one victory before your mate sees just how handy you've become and starts encouraging you to take on even more projects around the house.

Related articles to check out:
Sharing Your Tools with Your Partner
Do Your DIY Personalities Clash?
The Color of Love

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