150 Shocking Home Photos You Have to See
We know a good DIY project when we see it, but these aren't them. Some of these are goofy, some are head scratchers and some are downright dangerous. Check these photos out, you'll definitely learn a thing or two!
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Socket wrench hinge pin
Wow! This is a huge improvement over the coat hangers in the other hinges! Brilliant! A lesson in garage door repair might be in order.
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Long and winding road
Bill and Susan decided they'd let family of moles do the fertilizing this fall. And I guess they should've set him up with a little more fertilizer.
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Homeless mouse shelter
Electricity and water don’t get along. At least they installed a GFCI outlet.
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Walking in the winter wonderland
If only the squirrels living in the soffits would quit using this vent to drain their bath water ... I guess they just don’t understand ice dams.
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That's Not PEX
Here's a perfect illustration of just about everything that shouldn't be used for plumbing repair. What do you think? ShooGoo? Regardless, this tops the charts for home inspector nightmares and plumbing fails.
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Grow your own hardware cloth
Keeping rodents out of your chimney is important. But there are actually store-bought solutions for adding chimney caps that work better.
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Mystery leak sealant
Maybe it's silly putty, maybe plumbers putty, maybe epoxy putty, maybe they should have just fixed the leaks to avoid scary stuff like this.
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Dr. Frankenstein's wall switch
We think this is a way to turn on a light switch to a room that has no access but-not sure! Believe it or not there are electronic ways to remotely operate lights with wireless switches.
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Why would you bury your dry goods out in the yard when there's a cozy warm attic you can use for the winter stash? Dealing with pests like squirrels in the attic can be a challenge.
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Tin pan alley
Cooling fins-or radiator fins-you be the judge. Or maybe it's an attempt to stop the mice from using the ductwork as an elevated expressway?
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March of the roof vents
Yes, attic venting is important. This, however, might be a bit much. Maybe trying to save on shingles?
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Skillfully Unnecessary Scribe
Bonus: You can visit with your toddler while your taking care of business. If the door opened the correct way, there would have been no scribing required.
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What's a TPR Valve?
Not willing to be outwitted by a water heater, Jim decided that the TPR (temperature, pressure relief) valve should only drip when he wanted it to drip. A TPR valve is an important safety feature, and the photo shown above is NOT an appropriate solution!
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What the wall usually sees
How in the world can a tank get put on backwards? Maybe read the directions the next time you install a new toilet.
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Flashing in a Can
Spray foam can be used for many things. Flashing is not one of them.
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This is some scary stuff! Maybe it's time for a water quality test. Or maybe it's time to look into water softeners.
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Did you know that freezing water exerts 50,000 lbs. per square inch? That's a pretty good reason to winterize irrigation systems. Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
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Water runs uphill right?
If so the shingles are upside down. Gutters and downspouts are generally at the bottom of eaves.
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Toasted curtains. Where’s the jelly?
Now that’s a close call! Flammable materials close to electric baseboard heaters is a good recipe for a fire!
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50% off on railings. Let’s go!
Dad must’ve thought that the kids would need a stair rail that grew along with them, so they added one more railing for each growth spurt. Believe it or not this is almost legal. At least it passes the 4-in. ball test. The problem is that there’s no returns at the ends.
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Find the Fuel Oil Tanks in this Picture
If you’re painting metal, do the prep work the right way. That way your artwork will stand the test of time.
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Plywood window well
Well I hope it's at least treated plywood. There are very rigorous standards when it comes to building egress window wells.
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Some people should skip the hand-framing and stick with roof trusses. That way you don't need to be a skilled carpenter.
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Vinyl dryer vent hose is such a bad idea on so many levels. So a smooth metal dryer vent is the best solution, hands down.
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Now all I have to do is put in a flex pipe at the wall. To make the drain work, you just lift the sink out and tilt it every which way. There are better ways to connect a sink drain.
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When Copper and Steel Collide
And it's called galvanic corrosion. But it can be prevented if you connect dissimilar pipes the right way.
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Duct Tape Wall
This tile was undoubtedly installed over greenboard instead of cement board and is completely falling apart. Regrouting isn't an option.
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Wooden electrical box
See, the problem is, electricity can spark and wood can burn! This would probably be fine if they put a legitimate electrical box inside the wooden box.
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Larry, Curly and Moe
Apparently, there was one shingle from the old roof that just had some sentimental value. But eventually, he'll have to give up on sentiments and replace the shingle.
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Does this ductwork make my butt look big?
If your shorts fit over ductwork, then yes. Yes it does. They do sell duct hangers that are better suited to this purpose.
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Little Johnny got a magnifying glass for his birthday and set out to harness the power of the sun and melt the neighbor's house. Obviously, this house is in need of some siding replacement!
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Who needs a “Pee”-trap?
"See, this way the city can't monitor the water going down my drain and I don't get charged for it. And if I'm not feeling like using the toilet, I can just let loose anywhere in the basement!" Yes, it’s true. In order to work properly, a drain actually has to be connected to something.
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Don't fall for this trap
Maybe it works-maybe it doesn't. Is the whole system properly vented or not?
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Hot line to Dominos
After training rats, B.F. Skinner decided to test his training on the kids. Or maybe it’s connected to a switched outlet where the pizza oven is plugged in.
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All employees MUST wash their hands before returning to work!
Genius! With this setup, you can wash your hands and your feet at the same time! A small bathroom requires a certain amount of planning.
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Flying Wallenda's Family Home
Whoever goes up this ladder has more courage than brains. Maybe it would have been smarter to rent a lift for the day.
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Desk fan attic venting
The desk fan pointing towards a roof vent is one thing. You just can't run cable willy-nilly wherever you want…
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Beer case insulation
Uncle Cooter never minded living in the attic. Nope. Not one bit. Not sure what the R-value of cardboard boxes is, but I am sure that using actual insulation in the attic would be better.
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I know every time I want to start a fire in the fireplace, I check the chimney cap to see if it's OK. Maybe the flue should get inspected.
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Picture yourself as a mouse with your honey out for an evening stroll… Quality mousetrap placement is the key-not quantity. Plus: These real-life pest control horror stories will make your skin crawl.
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Kilts and skirts not recommended
Oh, how you laughed as I collected all those free tile samples. Well who’s laughing now?! Another three months and we’ll have new carpet in the living room.
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Roughing in for a centrally located sink
Can't even come up with a theory on what's going on here. Perhaps some instructions on how to connect a sink drain would be helpful.
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It's cracked like the Liberty Bell. But this cracked chimney liner needs to be repaired to prevent a chimney fire.
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Just what on earth supports the top of the stringers. This builder could benefit by studying up on how to build stairs.
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It’s all Greek to me
Hope the new home owner can speak Swahili or Russian-or something. Marking circuit breakers is a great idea as long as you can understand them.
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Patchwork quilt for houses
Maybe the shingles spell out a cry for help to passing airplanes? I think this fella is just collecting all the leftover shingles from his roofing contractor buddies. Perhaps it's time for a roof tearoff.
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Nope, this guy just doesn’t have all his bricks. He should probably learn how to tuckpoint.
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Wine cork plug
At least until you get to the store for a new pop-up drain assembly. Or maybe it's time to install a new vanity sink.
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Who needs a steel post-of the right length-that’s anchored, or something?
Is this a game of whole-house Jenga? These load-bearing posts are supposed to support the whole house, the little blocks don’t have the compression strength to do the job.
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Now that's a maintenance-free finish!
If you've got some spare time on your hands, give this a try. Otherwise installing a new door might be an easier fix.
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Extension Cord-Powered Circuit
We think the idea here is to plug in an extension cord and use it to fire up another circuit. Maybe it’d be a little better to simply add another circuit.
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Scarf joint madness
So he was smart enough to make a scarf joint, cool. Problem is scarf joints need some kind of load bearing post below them.
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Under the boardwalk-boardwalk!
Once I get a little wood filler in the cracks, this is going to look amazing! Installing wood flooring does take just a little bit of skill.
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It’s a secret hiding place for something, but who knows what? Learn more here about clever places to hide things.
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Toboggan ice-dam solution
Granted, this is quite a clever setup. But it seems like it might be less work to fix the ice-dam problem!
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Extra clothes rod
Clever why? Well it's the shower curtain tension rod silly. It's easy to violate electrical codes if you don't know what you're doing.
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It's never a good idea to hang a ceiling fan from electrical cable only. They make ceiling fan braces that make the job safe and easy.
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Santa lost his boot
No, this isn't a trash can. I think a good chimney cleaning is in order.
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SEAL team 7 training stairs
After careful years of planning and tending the weed bed, Myrtle thought balusters would just destroy the view. That looks like quite a tumble if you took a bad step on those stairs!
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Getting set up for a green roof?
More likely this is to keep the roof from burning in a wildfire. Guess it would be better than nothing. This is one way to prevent house fires.
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Heat duct or exhaust vent…
You decide. Whatever it is, the kitchen venting system coulda used a little more thought. Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
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That's the definition of "hard water." On the plus side, the water spraying out should soon melt the icicle. Might be time for a new faucet and maybe to install a freeze detector in the house.
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Until that junction box completely disintegrates, this is up to code, right? Judging from the rust, I’m thinking there might be a water problem here as well, and that crowded box should probably be replaced.
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I'm not certain how much weight that jack stand is rated for, but I'm pretty sure a house is a bit over the limit. It's important to understand load-bearing posts. Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
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Cold air return
Hard to figure out what’s going on here. Sure you need a cold air return in the basement, but why not just put a vent in the cold air return? Maybe they’re planning ahead for a future wall?
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Wayne Gretzky's Boyhood Home
So you take a hockey puck and hold it in place while you foam it in. Brilliant! There are better ways to repair and replace soffit…
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Kitchen exhaust vent routing fun
Yeah, this exhaust vent will get rid of some burned bacon smoke, but with that kink, not so much. And imagine the condensation issues. Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
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Dryer vent follies
Why not just duct tape it near the attic vent. Why wouldn't that do the trick?
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Indoor plants are nice, but not when their roots are outside. Repairing the window so the plants can’t get in would be a good start to fixing this problem.
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Now THAT’S a hot lead!
Holy major electrical mistake Batman. This guy actually drew electricity from one of the main cables entering the house before the main panel and breakers. Wonder if he lived to call the electrical inspector for final inspection. These are the most common National Electric Code violations for DIYers.
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This would have been fine with only a few cleverly angled 90-degree elbows, and no vinyl at all. You won't find this method in most dryer vent installation stories. Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
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Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
One more reason why voltage sniffers were invented
Which ones? That’s the game! Try your luck! First prize is one free shock-therapy treatment. One should ALWAYS use caution when working in a breaker box!
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What in the world made a thing like this happen? Whatever it was, it calls for a new outlet install.
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Rorschach door painting
Without thinking, tell me what you see. There are techniques involved with painting a door.
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Not that anyone ever would…
Between the Jetsons and Santa Claus, I don’t know who’s worse. Suffice to say they’ll be ticketed or towed from now on! But seriously, you can buy all the parts you need to install gutters at home centers.
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Breaker Panel Convenience
What a good idea. Just move all the paper towels, soaps and potions out of the way and you'll have instant access to your breaker panel. Learn what you need to know about breaker box safety here.
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New stairwell? Sure, hand me that reciprocating saw please.
Yup. Looks like there’s a stud wall resting on this mess. I don’t think that a 2x6 qualifies as a load-bearing post!
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Don't cry honey, I have no idea what happened to your pet iguana. But rest assured, he'll always be with us. Or is it a wayward squirrel that couldn't find his way out?
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Burglar Proof — Absolutely!
I don't know. Sometimes, just looking at a photo will tell you whether or not a guy is single. It's really not all that hard to replace window hardware. You'll want to know these cheap ways to burglar-proof your home instead of this attempt.
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Charlie Manson’s bathroom
Want some decorative walls? Wallpapering is something anybody can do!
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To use the bottom outlet, simply snip the plug off your device and stick in the bare wires. These home inspector nightmares are truly mind boggling. Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
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Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
We've been through this before. Don't use those stupid flexible plastic drain lines! If you have this kind of plumbing you better learn to how to clear clogged drains. Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
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And you'll see a very conveniently located outlet right where it's needed. There are several things to keep in mind when you're roughing in wiring.
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You Can Still Use the Garbage Can
I know it's called a "garbage disposal" but I think someone's taking that a bit too literally. Might be due for a replacement.
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The More the Merrier!
Stacking more cheap filters doesn't add up to higher efficiency filtration. Best to buy the filter that fits your furnace.
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Ceiling kitchen venting
Marion loved the smell of her cooking so much, it seemed a waste to vent all of the wonderful aromas outside. Generally, most people would prefer kitchen venting to exhaust outside the house.
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Where there’s a will…
If you close off the register, this cabinet doubles as a convection oven. Would’ve been a better idea to reroute that ductwork.
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Not everyone has the luxury of a copy editor. Maybe it’s “unoppertable” because the installer never finished skool. It’s not that hard to install a light fixture that works.
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A Garage Prepped for Elective Surgery
Come on down to Bob's Really Good Surgery Shack! This week's special is brain transplants! Actually, this might provide pretty good shop lighting in the garage. Plus: Check out these cheap garage storage projects you can DIY.
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THE scene from Alien
If you gotta have power on the other side of the wall, this isn’t the way to go about it. And not only is it ugly, it would have been easier to add an outlet the right way.
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Well, if the saddle valve doesn't fail, at least the C-clamp on the hose will. My guess is that the saddle valve already failed, so someone found a clever way to turn it off!
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So I asked the plumbing guy at the home center….
This is a perfect install, if the only use is for flooding your basement. This utdoor sillcock could've been thought through a little better.
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There. That’ll keep the inspector off my back. I hope he doesn’t bring a tape so he can check the distance between the balusters on my new stair rail.
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P-trap, not mouse trap
Must've been something really tasty plugging up that trap! Better get a new one put on before it starts leaking!
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A Potentially Shocking Disposer
Not a bad idea to have a switch on the new disposer. As long as you don’t have to open the cabinet door to get at it-and that it's properly installed!
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Blue light special
Sale on extra long bolts on aisle 4. Guess there’s nothing wrong with that. But judging from the corrosion at the nuts, these fasteners aren’t rated for treated lumber or maybe not even galvanized.
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Legends of the Fall
Wonder why you'd even need the 2x4 cribbing when you have a ratchet strap doing the job! Wonder if the painting will get done before the fall. Renting a lift would be a lot safer approach.
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Tree eats cable
Trimming this tree would be a very delicate operation. And you might want to call up the power company for this job.
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If only there were a pool in the driveway, these would make great diving platforms as well. Through-the-wall AC units would have solved this problem and looked a little tidier.
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Duct Tape Compression Fittings
What's weird about this is that it appears that the drain parts are brand new. Installing drainlines and p-traps under a sink doesn't normally call for duct tape. Bound to be a few plumbing leaks here.
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Salvador Dali’s Ceiling Fan
We think it got very hot for a very long time here and the plastic blades sagged. There’s no fix'n it. Time to install a new ceiling fan. Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
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Liberace's guest bath
Believe it or not, there are regulations regarding the distance between your tub and a light fixture. If you'd rather move the whirlpool tub than the light fixture, here's how to install it.
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Painter’s tape doesn’t stand up to the elements like good old duct tape. Not to mention the fact that this is an antenna for indoor use only? Barney won’t be on for long. There are other ways to improve TV reception.
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A Wee Bit of an Access Issue
Can you imagine how this guy felt when he opened the drawers for the first time? A little kitchen planning never hurts. That would have done the trick.
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Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
3 way switches
Cleverly positioned 3-way switches for you want to control the same light with your left and right hand at the same time. Or maybe this guy wants to turn the lights off when sitting on the toilet perhaps?
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Wonder what the bedroom ceiling looks like?
What twisted freak designed this? It’s like a funhouse bathroom! Might want to take a look at some good ways to remodel a bathroom.
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No Fuse, Big Problem
Just because it fits, doesn't mean it's a fuse. Yes, copper tubing will conduct electricity, but this is VERY dangerous! And I feel an eerie presence of the ghost of Charles Darwin…don’t let it happen to you!
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Dueling appliance doors
Well? I suppose we could roast the turkey on the drying cycle? A little bit of kitchen planning goes a long way.
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Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
At least they’re stainless!
It’s a little known fact, but bolts have to go through the material they’re intended to hold in place. Deck joists need to be installed properly for maximum support.
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What’s wrong with this picture? Let thee count the ways…
My first question is why did someone cover up this beautiful ceiling with a hideous drop ceiling?! More importantly, there are specific guidelines to follow when adding a receptacle SAFELY!
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Expecting the toilet to grow sideways, Tom planned ahead. Installing a new toilet was far too much work.
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More Duct Tape Ingenuity
Well, covering the vent with tape stopped the cold air. The only problem is that it also defeated the purpose of having make-up air in the first place, which is to keep the occupants from being asphyxiated. Add this to the list of furnace repairs needed.
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Mouse trap gauntlet
Determined to have Martha's mouse-pelt coat ready for Christmas, Karl set about the task with never-before-seen enthusiasm. There are many ways to get rid of mice in your home.
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Something caused this device to melt. Probably overloading the outlet. But why in the world didn't the breaker trip? Plus: Check out these other cringe-worthy home improvement fails.
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Deck Stair Layout Headache
Stairs are tricky to layout for the neophyte deck builder. But it's easier than you think to get it right with a few stair building instructions. Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
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Watch Your Head!
Nothing wrong here, really. Go here for some more storage tips. Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
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Do NOT look this mess in the eye! You'll turn to stone! I think these supply lines could be a bit shorter. Plus the water pressure is bound to be affected.
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Sump pump smarts
It may look smart. But you're not allowed to run your sump pump discharge into your home's sewer pipes. This is another example of someone who should study up on the right way to cure a damp basement problem.
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Belt and suspender roofing
This DIYer wasn't taking any chances installing these shingles. Yup, he caulked between every single joint.
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Hmmm... Stephen King's attic? Other storage solutions might be less nightmare-inducing, but I'm not sure I'd go up there anymore. Never know what else you might find!
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Snow load support
After earning a structural engineering degree from a box of Cracker Jacks, Raymond decided to put his newfound skills to use installing a new garage door opener.
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Well, at least we've solved the problem of where those lost socks go. Duct tape alone just wasn't stopping the leaks.
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Not a Real Doorstop
Make sure when you install a smoke alarm, it's not doing double-duty as a doorstop. Placement of smoke alarms is super-important.
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One way to save money on flooring
I've got a great idea! We don't need new flooring under the rug. Nobody will ever know.
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Can you imagine trying to trim this thing? Or shut a door or window? Maybe it's time to build a new porch.
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Walter White’s stovetop
I know it says self-cleaning, but how long are you willing to wait? At least you probably don’t need to buy spices for a while. You can just smear off some grime and throw it in the pot.
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Beer can inspection panel
Great way to save a trip to the appliance parts store. But the next water heater repair may require more than a beer can.
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There are a multitude of things that shouldn't be put down the toilet. Unfortunately, we'll never find out what happened here.
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Cris Carter's Basement
Those NFL jerseys need washing after game day. A nice hot flue will take care of the drying. What's the worst thing that could happen? Maybe it's time to repair the dryer. Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
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The Addam’s family utility room
Judging from the shape of this boiler system, the radiators likely need bleeding. But at least they have a place to drain the supper dishes.
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Lamp in the freezer?
I don’t know why freezers don’t have lights, so I just put one in myself. Maybe the lamp was just overheating?
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Is this foam the fireproof kind?
Perhaps this was supposed to be for plugging leaks around the flue. Recapping the chimney the proper way might be a better strategy.
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Wonder why a shorter water heater would help? (Could of put the writing backwards on his forehead too.) At least he'll have a convenient reminder when it comes time for a new water heater. Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
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Hubcap Flue Cap
Well that's one way to keep the rain away from your furnace. But there are official rain caps that you can buy at the home center. Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
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Let thee count the ways ... Broken chimney cap, missing mortar and bricks, all that's gonna cause a few leaks. This chimney needs some major repairs. Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
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A shower found in Munchkinland
After mom and dad moved out, the toddlers decided to make the bathroom more user-friendly. But when they grow up they're gonna have to install a new shower.
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Another use for landscape blocks
No WAY I’m paying for another two feet of ductwork! Guessing the real reason was that the furnace was shorter and this guy didn’t know how to extend the ductwork to accommodate a shorter furnace.
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So the theory is, if you just hook up enough wires, something's gotta work. Installing a new outlet shouldn't be this difficult.
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Honey, let's have a block party?
Yep, let's have over a couple of dozen neighbors for a really fun evening. Or tear off this disaster waiting to happen and build a deck properly.
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Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
Pillars of the earth
Lots of bad bricks here that a little tuckpointing may have prevented. At least it matches the rest of the chimney.
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Architectural detailing for the ages
Here's proof. The cool thing about installing shingles is that any dummy can do it! But, there is a right way to do it!
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Brilliant extension ladder leg extender
Another clever use for a five-gallon bucket, just prior to kicking the bucket. Please be careful with extension ladders, folks.
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OK think about it. This guy grounded to a PLASTIC COATED gas line. Unless they changed the rules, plastic is a non-conductor. How many other electrical mistakes do you suppose you would find in this house? Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
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This looks like a laundry tub faucet. But why was the spout cut off? Didn’t clear the divider maybe? It’s time for this cowboy to invest in a new laundry tub.
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Why buy studs?
Use up all that scrap 2x4. This might work structurally, but it’s definitely not the right way to frame a wall. Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech
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Draft hood follies
Maybe one last piece of ductwork wasn’t all this installer was short on. The draft hood above the water heater allows a draft so the warm air can go up and out. The ad hoc draft hood at the top not only doesn’t do anything, it can allow carbon monoxide back into the house.
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Frank got this brilliant idea while drinking beer at the local watering hole. The rest is history. Of course, he had to add a new circuit to pull it off. His wife loves it.
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Occasionally candle flames can really get hot
So close! Almost got that new kitchen paid for! Under cabinet lighting is a nice upgrade, but not at the expense of burning down your house!
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Porcelain throne for the uninhibited
So much for the one place a guy can be left alone! Delores wanted to make sure that she could give Ron additions to his to-do list at all times. Time to plan out some bathroom walls!
Originally Published: December 10, 2019