Book Review: Building a House Together

May 23, 2008 |  by  |  On the Web, Reviews & Recommendations  |  Share

Decisions.

Those we make or choose not to make form the foundation of relationships we have with our significant others. It is our decisions that dictate the path our lives will take and whether or not that path will be fraught with conflict and resentment or tranquility and satisfying compromise. This can be said for all types of decisions in all aspects of our lives, including those a couple must make when building a new home or improving an old one. From timelines to design to finances, there is an overwhelming plethora of choices and consequences for those choices throughout the entire process.

building a house together Book Review: Building a House TogetherSo much of what goes into the design of a home involves personal preference. And within the majority of relationships out there those preferences will differ in some way from person to person. Regardless of whether they are subtle or monumental there is the potential for them to have a negative impact on your relationship as you work through the struggles to create your dream home. Coupled with the personal preferences are the financial limitations that often exist when building or renovating a home. Those two factors alone are enough to wreck havoc on any couple who walks into the home construction process unprepared.

Fortunately, licensed counselors Jared and Alice Massanari have stepped in with their book Building a House Together, Book Review: Building a House Together written shortly after working through the ups and downs of building their own home. This book sheds some light on how to improve the decision-making process by incorporating a five-step approach that will “strengthen your relationship and assist your builder” at the same time. The process begins quite naturally with identifying the differences in decision-making styles between you and your partner (which I found to be incredibly useful beyond the notion of building a house together) and gradually moves forward through a series of interactive activities that show how to manage those differences and use them to your advantage. The grand finale then, is to take your mutually agreed upon decision and share it with your builder less the squabbles and embarrassment that can often ensue when you place your general contractor in the middle of ongoing disagreements.

The bottom line is that this is a book worth reading. It provides an opportunity to learn more about yourself and your partner and as they say in the book, “If you spend time learning about each other as you build your house together, you will also be strengthening your relationship.” Without a doubt the Massanari’s have taken a sensitive topic that can be quite complicated and turned it into a logical, easy-to-follow approach that any couple considering building or even renovating their home should acquaint themselves with. Because in the end, according to the Massanari’s, “…the finished project is about: a house that represents two people or a family (and a building team), and all the negotiating that went into working together to build a dream.”

I couldn’t agree more.

There is no home more important than the relationship we have with our significant other. That relationship serves as the foundation of the home and taking the necessary steps to strengthen it will result in a place that is strong enough to weather any kind of storm.



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2 Comments


  1. I feel a bit odd to comment about a review of our book, but I just have to say how much I appreciate your words. You get it. Hopefully those who read your blog will be encouraged to consider their relational process along with the other important elements that are required for a positive home building or renovating experience. Thank you for your support.

  2. thecraftsman

    It was my pleasure, Jared. Thanks for providing me with the opportunity to read it – I hope others out there pick a copy up for themselves. There’s lots to learn!

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