30 Days of Reno | Day 7: 99 Problems (Part 1)

A lot of people ask us what it’s like living in a house that you’re massively renovating. I think it’s very hard to imagine if you haven’t done it. I definitely wasn’t prepared. It’s a lot more all-encompassing than I thought at first. So, I thought that today I’d lay it all out for y’all.

For that, we’re invoking the big guns.

Inspired by this hilarious Twitter stream of what Canadian comedian Mark Little imagines Jay Z’s real life 99 problems to be, I decided to create my own…

99 Problems of Reno (Part 1)

(I figured we should do 33 problems at a time for ease of reading….)

1. Sometimes, you just don’t have a floor.

2. People get anxious when they walk around your house and see the scope of the reno.

3. The entire house is covered in a layer of fine white dust.

4. All of your clothes are black.

5. It’s awkward having dinner parties when there’s drop cloths over everything.

6. When you blow your nose the Kleenex turns grey.

7. There is no comfortable place to sit down.

8. It gets really cold when you have to keep all the windows open while painting/varnishing.

9. Surprise mold spots.

10. Tripping over power tools.

11. Sometimes you just can’t pee because there is no water or drainage.

12. All of your belongings are still packed in boxes.

13. You’ve become “that neighbour”

14. All you and your love can talk about is plumbing lines and joists.

15. As soon as you make a room beautiful, it gets really dirty again.

16. Sometimes you come home and there’s no front stoop to your house.


17. The landscaping in your backyard consists of giant timbers, a huge pile of bricks, and scraps of wood with rusty nails.

18. Owning a house with eight rooms, only being able to use two.

19. Having to play the daily round of “what have my neighbours put in the dumpster today?”

20. Gracefully hopping ballerina style from floor joist to floor joist.

21. Three words: Life without ceilings.

22. Tiling with totally uneven walls.

23. Learning ancient building trades on the fly.

24. The city’s opinion about things.

25. The 14 hour work days.

26. Having to stare at Pepto Bismol coloured walls for months until you’re ready to paint.

27. Light fixtures hanging by wires because it isn’t time to paint the ceiling yet.

28. The more you love the fixture, the more likely it’s not in stock.

29. You need to develop a “surprises” category in your budget.

30. Speaking of surprises…So. Many. Demolition. Surprises.

31. You have to reinforce the floor from the basement because you foolishly put several tons of wood in your living room.

32. The smells.

33. Sometimes the pipe you’re cutting isn’t actually turned off.

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