On an Instagram account called Grease Ball 1987, they included this photo and wrote, “Creating open concept is every human’s dream! Patching the floor where the old wall was has never been easier with this tub of patching compound!” Ugh. If you’re not sure what you’re looking at, that’s wall spackle being used to patch up a crack in-between floor boards. Unfortunately, when you do DIY, you can’t always reuse the same materials for one part of the house on the other. And even if it was the correct material, you can’t use wood putty to replace actual wood.
If you wanted to do this job correctly, removing a wall and making a space open concept would require you to first make sure the under-flooring is secure, and in good shape. Next, you’d have to buy hardwood floor boards to match what is already there. Wood putty is used to fill in any small gaps between the spaces. After that, the entire floor of the new room would have to be sanded. Then, the entire floor would be stained to make sure the colors matched, and that everything looked cohesive, as if it was always one room instead of two.
This was posted by Trevor Lahey on Instagram, “My goal is to always make a splash and have my work stand out from the competition! I lined up this same pattern 3 times in a row, it is this kind of attention to detail that keeps me booking 2 weeks in advance. 4 rows would have been too much!” Umm…Okay. I think he was joking, making fun of someone’s DIY fail. But it’s understandable why someone might make a mistake like this, especially if that didn’t have anyone to help them.
You always want the floor boards to all go in the same direction. But when you buy a box of hard wood or vinyl planks, it’s not always going to fit perfectly into the size of the room. You have to measure those pieces, and then use a saw to cut them at the correct length. If there are corners of the room that go around a closet, you might have to cut out a chunk of the floorboard, too. This is something that a lot of people looking to do DIY don’t anticipate.
15. A Pittsburgh Potty Is More Common Than You Think
Want to talk about weird toilet placements? This toilet is in the middle of the basement. No walls, sink, or any privacy whatsoever. However, this is actually very common in older homes in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. According to real estate broker Roger Dolanch for Today, “Since we were a steel town, they were in the open part of the basement so steel workers could come home from work, clean themselves off, change clothes and use the Pittsburgh potty before going upstairs to have dinner with the family.”
Finally, something that makes sense! However, this wouldn’t be very useful in today’s world. And yet that doesn’t stop people from putting toilets in weird places, like we’ve seen on this list. On top of that, if I purchased this house, I think I would remove that toilet, or at least create walls around it so that I’d have a real basement bathroom, right? Just a thought.
A home inspector named Cory McNabb posted this photo on his Instagram with the sarcastic comment, “No problems with this, right?” Yikes. If you’re not sure what’s going on here, that pipe that has been cut in half is a gutter. This means that rain water that’s coming down from the roof needs to filter through the gutter and go all the way down to the ground. Rain water needs to be directed away from the house, so that it prevents water damage from being done to the home.
In fairness, we’re not sure if this was a DIY fail, or if it was just a terrible contractor who decided this was a good idea. My parents paid professionals to install their gutters, and they left it suspended on top of the roof of our shed, instead of channeling it down to the ground…And this was a company they paid $1,000 to get the job done. Even so-call-professionals make horrible mistakes like this, too.
This next DIY fail was posted by Toby the Cat on Instagram, “Fun fact: As a kitten I aspired to have a career in home renovations. That was cut short as the contractor and I parted ways due to creative differences. I like to call this masterpiece “Paws In Grout”. This is cute, and maybe it will add some character to the basement floor. But when you’re pouring concrete, always make your your pets don’t have access to that space.
Let’s hope that the owners got the concrete off of Toby’s paws right away, because something like this can do permanent damage to your pet’s skin. According to the CDC, “Wet concrete contacting the skin for a short period and then thoroughly washed off causes little irritation. But continuous contact between skin and wet concrete allows alkaline compounds to penetrate and burn the skin. When wet concrete or mortar is trapped against the skinâthe result may be first, second, or third degree burns or skin ulcers. These injuries can take several months to heal and may involve hospitalization and skin grafts”
This next one comes from IMGUR, where a user posted this photo with the caption, “So my uncle âfixed’ his dock.” Well…He tried. This is a huge DIY fail. Those planks of wood aren’t doing anything at all to help the situation. When you live on the water, this only adds to the amount of things you are now responsible for as a homeowner. Fixing a dock is no joke. If you live on the water, you should always hire professionals to get the job done. One false move, and someone could end up drowning.
Depending on the size of the dock and the depth of the water, fixing one can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. It’s understandable why this person’s uncle tried to fix it on his own. However, docks are one of those things where you need to keep up with it every year before it all falls apart. And if you ever sell the house, it’s something that you will most likely need to fix before you can sell it to a prospective buyer who would want to enjoy the lake.
Here is yet another DIY fail where the person forgot to measure the distance from the fan to the beams. You would think that it might be easier to patch the ceiling and move the fan over more to one side? Nope. They decided to cut into the beam. Let’s just hope that’s not load-bearing, because that could cause even more trouble in the future. In a situation like this, they could have easily fixed the situation with a large ceiling rose and some spackle if they moved it just a few inches over.
It should go without saying why this DIY fail is such a disaster. You should never damage a load-bearing part of your home in order to install an accessory. While looking through some DIY fail photos on the Internet, I actually stumbled across an example of someone who didn’t make any room for their fan, and it cut into the walls. Yikes. Always make sure to measure the space beforehand, or hire a professional to install it for you. Something like a ceiling fan installation shouldn’t be too expensive, and some companies will even include it in a package deal when you buy from them.
On an Instagram account owned by Inspector Aaron, he posted this picture with this caption. “A plumbing vent should really be vented to the exterior. Here we have one venting into the attic, and it has caused moisture damage to the attic because all that hot water evaporates up the vent. Also, the attic smelled terrible because of it lol.” This is a huge DIY fail. One would think that this is common sense, but I guess not.
There is a reason why plumbers need to go through an apprenticeship before they can receive a plumbing license. And yet a lot of people decided that they can figure it out in one weekend. Plumbing is one of those things that you should avoid trying to do on your own, because it can cause permanent damage along the way.
A woman named Randi posted this photo on her Twitter with the caption, “I knew that stud was in there somewhere, follow me for more DIY projects.” Yikes. This is a big DIY fail. Those holes are going to need to be filled in with some spackle and repainted. If she lives in an apartment, this could potentially come out of her security deposit if she’s not careful.
Follow this tutorial to find studs in the wall without a stud finder. But if you have the money to spare, just buy a stud finding tool. This will be very useful if you ever plan to do more DIY projects in the future. Trust me, it’s worth it if you want to save your walls from filling it with holes.
8. Empty the Closet, First
In this next DIY fail from Reddit, someone decided it was a good idea to paint their closet doors from brown to white. But just because you’re painting on the outside of the doors doesn’t mean everything inside is safe, especially if it’s slatted! As you can see, the white paint went straight through to the inside of the closet. Unfortunately, if they didn’t realize this until after the paint dried, stains like that are not likely to come out in the wash. If this ever happens to you, follow this tutorial to see how to remove dried paint from clothes.
Whenever you plan to paint something, make sure you remove all of the objects in the surrounding area. You never know if paint will accidentally splash and stain something nearby. Always put down a drop cloth, wear old clothes, and use paint tape to protect anything you don’t want getting wet. Also make sure you notify your family members when there is wet paint in the house, so that they can steer clear. Also make sure your pets get nowhere near it.
Earlier on this list, I showed the image of someone building very wonky and uneven stairs. Unfortunately, even if you carefully measure all of the steps correctly, there is something else that can go wrong…The height. Remember that even if you’re a relatively short person, tall people are going to need to use the stairs, too. Always remember to measure the head height on the angle of a stairwell to make sure someone over 6 feet tall can comfortably climb the stairs without hitting their head. In the photo above, it looks like the opening needs to be larger, but that might not be possible in that house.
In older homes, it may not be possible for you to fix a problem like this. People used to be much shorter than they are in modern times. However, if you’re working on a modern house, or doing modern updates, there is no excuse for this terrible DIY fail. Like everything else on this list, you want to hire someone who knows what they’re doing when it comes to installing a staircase. This can be a very expensive and dangerous mistake if it’s not done correctly.
When you go to nearly every middle class home in the United States, it seems like everyone has the same door. It’s the white particle board door with the four rectangular panels. These are commonly found at Home Depot and Lowes. So it’s understandable why some people would assume that all doors are the exact same, especially if they seem to come in a modern standard size. But no. Door frames are all different sizes, and you need to measure them first. Never assume that just because a door looks the same, it is the correct size.
If you can’t find the correct size door in stock at your local store, it may be necessary for you to order it online. But trust me, it’s worth the wait. Otherwise, you may end up having to replace every door in the house if you don’t want one awkward unique door that seems out of place to everything else in your home.
5. Apparently a Lot of People Trap Their Ladders Forever
While doing research for this article, one of the most common DIY Fail images I found was people trapping their ladders inside of the thing they’re trying to install. People have trapped their ladders around TV satellite dishes, plumping, wood beams, and so much more. To me, it’s mind boggling that someone could allow this to happen. But apparently, it’s a really common problem that people have. The only way they can fix the problem is to completely undo the work they did, and try again.
When you use a ladder, you should always have a spotter there with you. A spotter holds your ladder to keep it steady. They are also nearby to make sure you don’t make mistakes like wrapping your ladder around a wood beam. Spotters are also necessary to make sure if an accident does happen, they are there to help you. Think about it. If you were on a ladder working all by yourself and you fell, you would most likely be unconscious. And the impact might break your phone. According to the Industrial Safety and Hygiene News, 500,000 people fall from a ladder and injure themselves every year. It’s no joke, and something you should never take lightly.
On a lot of websites, they claim that hanging drywall is easy to do on your own. But this DIY fail proves that apparently, it’s a lot harder than it looks. This was posted on Reddit with the caption, “How do I even piece together this puzzle?” It’s hard to tell if this person was trying to use up all of the scraps they had left over from other parts of the house, or if they were having a hard time covering something that was a strange shape. Obviously, this is not going to look good when you spackle and paint this. There is absolutely not fixing this situation, and it’s surprising that they committed to it for so long.
Even if it costs the extra few hundred dollars, it’s better just to hired a professional contractor to hang your drywall. They can get it done quickly and efficiently. In most cases, there needs to be at least two people working on it together. This is especially true if a piece needs to be lifted up to the ceiling. Drywall and sheet rock is a lot heavier than you would imagine. It’s dangerous for someone to do this on their own, even if they have a ton of experience.
This next DIY fail has me doing a face palm. Someone thought it would be a good idea to put spray foam into the cracks of their brick wall. Sure, this might be a temporary solution to their draft problem. But it’s not going to be structurally sound. It also looks really unattractive to have all of that spray foam oozing out of the wall. At the bottom of the wall, it’s hard to tell if there is a foundation issue causing the crack, or if that just came from a messy job of someone trying to slather concrete all over the wall.
Fixing brick and stone walls are more involved than you might think. It’s not exactly difficult, and anyone can learn. But it’s something you need to be taught how to do by someone with experience, or at least watch a few YouTube videos, first. Depending on the age and the color, you will need to use a mortar that matches the existing wall. Since that can get a bit involved, it may be best to hire someone with the experience to get the job done correctly.
Imagine working hard to install a brick wall in front of your house to help you feel protected from the highway right outside your door. Then, just a few hours later, a car comes crashing through your cinder block wall to destroy all of your work. Then, they get out of their car and run for the hills, because they’re afraid of getting arrested for drunk driving. Now you’ve got a car on your front lawn. Maybe this homeowner somehow predicted this would happen. It’s a good thing that something was there to stop the car from going into this person’s house!
This image was posted on a sub-Reddit all about people who have committed a DIY fail. It’s funny, because instead of talking about how crazy it was that a random person crashed through the wall, everyone is commenting on the poor craftsmanship. “It wasn’t going to last very long anyway”. And, “Best thing to ever happen to these folks. Now they can hire someone to do it right.” From the looks of it, the wall seems like they didn’t actually put anything in-between to help the block stick together.
Someone who posted this on Reddit left the comment, “Good if you only want to see half of yourself.” The photo was originally found on the real estate MLS system. This is going to make the house difficult to sell, because no one will want to deal with this on a daily basis. People like symmetry, and they like being able to look at themselves in their mirror when they brush their teeth or wash their face. Moving side to side is going to get old fast. Clearly, this is a DIY fail, because no professional home builder would ever design a bathroom this way.
Sometimes, a room can be an awkward shape that seems difficult to work with. The solution to this problem would be that the home owner should have installed a smaller bathroom vanity that would fit in-between the two windows. Then, they could have purchased an extra piece of furniture to use for the storage they needed. Or, they could use the corner of the room for a basket of towels, plants, and so many other things that would make the room look more appealing.