Home renos the breaking point for Aussie couples

SPLURGING for a dream home can quickly become a nightmare for Aussie couples, who say it often leads to relationship disaster.

Almost a quarter of Aussies polled in a recent survey said they found budgeting for a build one of the most testing moments in their relationship.

Financing home improvements even led to more issues than cheating, according to the eharmony survey.

Starting a renovation and moving in together were two other common property problems that put many couples on thin ice.

Eharmony psychologist Sharon Draper said moving house was one of the most stressful life experiences, which is why it could be the breaking point for some couples.

“It’s hardly surprising that renovation projects, which often involve huge amounts of financial pressure and physical disruption, can really test a relationship,” Ms Draper said.

“My advice is to make sure you have a clear plan of action and budget sorted before you plunge into a big building project together.”

Yarraville resident Stefanie Frawley said renovating with her husband Nigel when she was five-months pregnant was a massive challenge.

“We knocked down the back half of the house, and put in the kitchen, living room, wine cellar, additional bedroom and laundry,” Ms Frawley said.

“The project took about 6 months in its entirety, though we are still renovating the front part of the house now.”

She said some of the biggest challenges included trying to stick to budget, moving in with her husband’s parents for two months and relocating Nigel’s home office. Naturally, having a baby halfway through the project was the biggest hurdle.

“Don’t renovate with a newborn baby if you can avoid it,” she said.

The survey found families interfering in a relationship was the biggest test for a couple.

Illness, a death in the family, travelling together and managing a shared bank account were other stressful moments that often led to breaking up.

People surveyed were given a large list of options to identify some of their biggest challenges and then compiled a top ten list.