Lesson # 5: Make It a Collaborative Effort: aka The Poker Game. As the women, I once believed I had exclusivity over all things aesthetic of our new post and beam home. My husband could have his indoor garage faucets, car attachments for the central vacuum and even a recycling shed. No problem. But that was where it ended. The only flaw in my thinking was this building also happened to be my husband’s dream home. My original plan was to build a Greek Revival, not the Victorian Carriage Barn that I now call home (refer to Lesson # 4). Compromise, surprisingly, led us to this beautiful neo-Victorian Carriage Barn full of all the quirky details we BOTH “had to have”. This includes a very clever kitty door built into the base of our stairs (my husband’s idea) not to mention the barn itself, which is not as wide as I had originally wanted it to be. Best of all is the wonderful roof line where all the beams join. It’s not only an amazing feat of engineering but also a functioning work of art. Our home is decidedly better for these contributions made by my husband. However, before you think I’m a total pushover, think again. I’ve learned to “know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em” – so to speak. This is crucial in navigating the building process with a spouse/partner. For example, I wouldn’t compromise when I wanted a 5 foot knee wall when everyone else was sure a 3 foot knee wall would suffice. Refer back to Lesson 2 – I trusted my instincts and held my ground, and now my husband loves the added height and wonders how he could have ever doubted me. Think of it like a poker game – enough said!