Don't Believe the Hype

Category: Daily Diary


If you believe what you read in the press these days, you'd think this house is putting our marriage at serious risk. We're here to tell you that while we could use a little free time without deadlines, things are just fine. Seriously.

It was really just a coincidence that the same week we were first contacted by the New York Times for their article about how home renovations can strain relationships we were also contacted by an editor at This Old House asking if we'd be interested in contributing an article home renovations can strain relationships.


Last week the May issue with our article--Partners in Grime--started to hit mailboxes and newstands. It's fun to see the first piece that we've written for a major publication show up in print. The illustrations (by Ryan Heshka) are great too. It's also fun to be in a publication like This Old House, which means Jeanne now has something in common to talk about with Norm Abrams when they inevitably meet.

(Note from Jeannie: IN MY DREAMS!!! And in Greg's dreams, too, obviously.)

The piece was a lot of fun to write, and gave us an opportunity to reflect about all the work we've done on the house and how we've worked things out together. It's amazing how easy it is to forget the challenges and crazy situations after it's all over and we're sitting in a cozy bedroom that seems like it's always been this way. That's the nice thing about houseblogging--we've always got the photos and notes to go back to as a reminder. :-)

(Note from Jeannie: Next article? How to Survive Writing an Article Together.)

If you found our site through the TOH article, welcome! We're happy to have you and you're welcome to follow along as we continue to blog our renovation. You can get the backstory by checking out the 'About Us' link at the top. You can also track our story (along with 500 other renovations and construction projects) over at

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Well of course renovating a house strains relationships. Why is this even a question? It strains a human being let alone a relationship. Healthy relationships can withstand anything, including home renovations. But, I think that if people can renovate a house together, their relationship will probably be strong in the end. The amount of stress involved in renovating is enormous, you just can't let it carry over into your relationship. If you really love someone, and your focus is on that person's happiness as well as your own, then you'll get the house you want, relationship intact. I'm always surprised at the media's naivety with issues like this.

Happy to read that your relationship is just fine. I'm happy to report that I've been married for 5 years, and have done plenty of renovating.

Really enjoyed your article.

I don't think any couple really realizes just how stressful it is until you have done it but at least its not a secret anymore.

I was so excited to see my favorite bloggers in my favorite magazine this month! I especially appreciated your comments on sexist contractors - no one seemed to understand my frustration when I stayed home from work to wait for a plumber who rambled on about what "my husband needed to do" to fix our leaky shower faucet.


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