Hilarious Home Improvement Fails to Avoid

By Jake SchroederLast Updated Apr 18, 2020 9:39:40 PM ET
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Photo Courtesy: AllKindsOfClay/Twitter

Ever since the explosive popularity of YouTube and Pinterest, DIY fixes and repairs have become all the rage. While it's awesome to pick up helpful tips for simple replacements and installations, it's important to recognize your limits and know where to draw the line.

The do-it-yourselfers in this hysterical collection of home design and repair fails didn’t seem to understand when it was time to call in a pro. In between chuckles, think of the disastrous results as valuable life lessons for what not to do. Before you pick up that screwdriver, take a look at how to avoid becoming a DIY failure.

Innovative Plumbing Project

Thinking of renting a place in another state? Here’s a really great example of why you should never agree to rent a place sight unseen. Imagine answering a Craigslist ad for potential roommates who promise you a private half bath, only to be greeted by this setup upon your arrival.

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Photo Courtesy: katzz77/Twitter

While its DIY design seems innovative enough for a crisis, it's not the kind of thing you want to count on as your sole plumbing system. If you ever find yourself in the woods without any other option, sure, give it a shot.

Overly Ambitious Drawer Space

More is always better, right? Wrong, according to these cramped kitchen drawers. One lesson every DIY practitioner should keep in mind is that the existence of empty space doesn't usually mean the contractor was too lazy or cheap to fill it. There’s usually a really good design reason for those fake panels on cabinets. See!

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Photo Courtesy: @thx4thesave/Twitter

Perhaps a carpenter could outfit each drawer with flexible pulls and remove the handles. A few creatively placed suction cups might even do the trick. Alternately, small finger holes could serve as an interesting solution that is sure to puzzle your friends.

X Fails to Mark the Spot

Ah, yes, the challenge of hanging your own frame holders. Many a DIY photo hanger has dealt with the challenge of locating a big enough picture frame to cover up their many embarrassing failed attempts to mount a promising hook.

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Photo Courtesy: hannahbrockbank/Twitter

Don't let it happen to you! The next time you find yourself in the midst of a photo hanging challenge, it may be time to swallow your pride and ask a friend to help. At least place the hanger on the wall first and drive each nail through it one at a time.

Interesting Approach to a Ceiling Fan

Got a friend or partner who claims to be handy around the house? Here’s a look at the downside of taking them at their word before actually seeing their work. You should also be cautious anytime an acquaintance claims to be able to do the job cheaper than a professional.

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Photo Courtesy: @Rachels_Ratchet/Twitter

One Twitter user asked for a ceiling fan, and this is what she got. While it’s not a bad DIY hack if you're desperate for cool air and on a tight budget, it’s probably not the right approach if you're going for a more refined look.

The Stairway to Nowhere

Let’s just say this photo contains an important lesson in the art of DIY home design. Unfortunately, we find ourselves too baffled to offer any wisdom concerning what went wrong here, as we have no idea how such a design error could have possibly happened without the builder realizing the problem.

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Photo Courtesy: Natsabu2/Twitter

Perhaps the person behind it planned to paint a door at the top as part of an avant-garde art statement? Or maybe he always longed for a stair rail to decorate with Christmas lights? Regardless, it’s hard to imagine that no one recognized the horrible truth before this monstrosity was complete.

Monument to Creative Plumbing

"Just YouTube a plumbing video," they said. "It will be way cheaper." Feast your eyes on the reason all such suggestions should be ignored at any cost. This DIY plumber approached her water valve repair with nothing but grit and ambition.

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Photo Courtesy: skittelspdx/Twitter

Unfortunately for her, the water valve did not recognize or care about girl power. Luckily, our wayward plumber wasn’t lacking in the creativity department. With little more than the contents of her manicure kit and an empty milk carton, she was able to successfully save her apartment from flooding. But seriously, when plumbing issues arise, call a plumber!

No, Seriously. Call a Plumber.

Did we mention the importance of utilizing plumbers for plumbing demands? Here, things go from bad to worse as the old adage that duct tape can fix anything is put to the ultimate test. What exactly led to this ill-fated display? It’s hard to say, but it couldn’t have been pretty.

Photo Courtesy: danashbach/Twitter

Whether this was the result of a DIY toilet installation gone awry or a bad attempt to hide the damage left over from an epic house party, we will never know. It’s safe to say this guy's landlord has his work cut out for him.

A Word About Labels

Among the most important rules for DIY home design is that before installing labels of any sort, it's always a good idea to actually read them. Such precautions, tedious as they may be, can prevent all sorts of zany mix-ups and confusion for anyone who needs to use the items in the future.

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Photo Courtesy: CDailyReports/Twitter

Take, for instance, this switch. Is it off? Is it on? No one knows. Not even the labels — whose sole job is to provide information — know the answer. In this case, the chaos will continue to reign until this DIY labeler is stopped.

Placement Is Everything

At some point, you may suddenly find yourself struck with an urge to expand your current home. If such plans include building new rooms connected to existing ones, then the importance of forethought can’t be stressed enough. While there may be a time and place for "winging it," this is not it.

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Photo Courtesy: REALTOR_Jacqui/Twitter

Ignoring this advice could lead to a plight similar to that of this proud new owner of a bathroom with a chimney running through it. Let's just hope that they were somehow able to reroute his new toilet's plumbing away from the fireplace.

A Word About Home Decor

Ladies, if your husband or boyfriend ever asks you what you'd like for your birthday, it's best to avoid the topic of home decor altogether. Sure, you can try to be specific or even point out the exact piece you would like to have.

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Photo Courtesy: GOllett/Twitter

But lurking deep beneath the logic of every man, there's the capacity for choices such as the travesty you see before you. Worst of all, such "gifts" are often bestowed with beaming pride because he made or picked it out himself. Trust us, ask him for a gift card if you want home decor.

World's Worst Security System

Looking to strike fear into the hearts of would-be villains? Then this DIY setup is most certainly not the way to go. Its appearance alone is enough to raise questions over whether it could possibly be hooked up to functioning machinery of any kind.

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Photo Courtesy: iSightSystems//Twitter

On the other hand, it does have one subtle strength going for it. Any burglar who spotted this bad boy outside a home would probably assume the owner was still recovering from the last robbery — or at least down on his luck. It's a 50/50 gamble. You decide.

Unsightly Fence Job

If you're an apartment dweller who highly prizes your privacy, then the temptation to install your own fence is understandable. When embarking on such an endeavor, however, it's probably best to consult your landlord rather than go all fixer-upper on it.

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Photo Courtesy: beattiemania//Twitter

Should you manage to get permission to block off your own little piece of heaven in the grassy commons area — extremely unlikely — you probably want to hire a professional to do the work. As you can see here, less than expertly installed fencing is nothing but an eyesore for neighbors and passersby alike.

Duct Taped Door Opener

Yet again, we circle back to the question of duct tape and exactly what it can reasonably accomplish. While it has been revered virtually since it hit the market for its seeming ability to instantly solve any DIY dilemma, even the legendary tape has its limits.

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Photo Courtesy: InspectorJoseph/Twitter

This demonstrates what may appear to be an effortless attempt to keep a heavy garage door opener afloat. As valiant as this effort may be, the tape will be forced to throw in the towel and give in to gravity at some point. You don't want to have your car parked beneath it when that day comes.

Overly Stealthy Showerhead

God bless home inspectors. Their job is generally a thankless one, but thanks to homeowners like this one, it's never likely to be boring. It looks like this DIY pro simply couldn't stand the sight of his showerhead and found a creative way of obscuring it (mostly) from view.

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Photo Courtesy: InspectorJoseph/Twitter

What exactly was the point? We're at a loss to say. Before you follow a similar path, it's highly recommended that you look into other options. An overhanging or removable showerhead is likely to be a far easier and more adjustable approach.

You Had One Job, Door

When outfitting your doorframe with a new door, the temptation to buy used or discount pieces may prove tempting. Perhaps you even have a friend who has an old door in the garage you could score for free. Before reveling in your good luck, however, certain measures should be taken — literally.

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Photo Courtesy: Eurofit/Twitter

This misfit door disaster could have been averted with the help of a simple tape measure. On the other hand, if you have a wayward teen you want to teach a lesson by only allowing partial privacy, then this approach may be just what you need.

DIY Double Light Switch Cover

Got a broken double light switch cover? Why bother dropping that extra dollar at the hardware store for a new one when you can just use two single covers? This visual disaster is why. Although this idea undoubtedly seemed brilliant at the time, its execution has ushered in a whole new ugly reality.

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Photo Courtesy: ProToolRepair/Twitter

This doubled single cover mashup will likely do its job, but it’s very clear that it refuses to do so with grace or dignity. Such hijinks should only be attempted in rooms of your home that no one but you is ever likely to enter.

The Importance of Paint Can Lids

If there's one thing you shouldn't cut corners on when planning a DIY painting job, it's the buckets you use to transport your paint. Although it may seem like the paint is heavy enough to stay pooled at the bottom of a large, uncovered bucket during transport, the laws of physics may have other plans.

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Photo Courtesy: constructaquote/Twitter

All it takes is one stray speed bump to accidentally switch your canvas from a wall to the inside of your car. If you remain unconvinced, simply weigh the price of sturdy, sealed paint cans against that of driving around inside a Jackson Pollock painting for years to come.

Not So Impenetrable Fortress

Speaking of home security, can we all take a moment to marvel at the sight of this Cheeto lock? Hey, we get it. Sometimes, you just don’t have an extra bolt handy. Unfortunately, this manner of DIY brilliance is likely to result in little more than wasting a good Cheeto.

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Photo Courtesy: eurofit/Twitter

As a general rule, anything meant to replace a lock, even in the direst of circumstances, should probably not be something you would find in a child's lunchbox — unless it has been there since 1972 and is petrified.

Poorly Planned Cabinet

While longing for a little more storage space in the bathroom is no crime, things can go horribly awry without proper planning. How anyone managed to complete the construction on this bathroom cabinet without sensing the implications is a true mystery.

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Photo Courtesy: RealLaFace/Twitter

The bathroom's owner is now left with very few toilet paper hanging solutions, and none of them are flattering. He could a) collect the paper before using the toilet, b) hang it from the front of the cabinet door or c) suspend it from a line directly above his head. Which to choose?

Extreme Recycling

There's something to be said for doing your part to make the planet a little more eco-friendly. While you may take pride in turning your aluminum cans over to your local recycling plant, attempting to upcycle them into common household items may or may not always be the best plan.

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Photo Courtesy: kmstools/Twitter

Whether this disgraceful display was actually the work of a hardcore eco-warrior or simply that of a college guy too busy or cheap to care about a real repair, we can’t say. If you must follow in his footsteps, at least resist the urge to use a beer can — the source of your inspiration, perhaps?

Honey, I Fixed It

While the porcelain used in bathrooms isn't an easy material to crack, it does occasionally happen. Rather than risk the unsightliness of an exposed toilet tank, our friend here has resorted to what he mistakenly believes to be a classier option.

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Photo Courtesy: diycouture/Twitter

If you must utilize tape of any sort when fixing a major home appliance, it's best to choose a color that doesn't announce its presence quite so obviously. That said, perhaps we should count our blessings that he didn't simply turn to plastic wrap to do the job instead.

Two Views for the Price of One

Even something as arbitrary as drainage pipe placement can go fantastically wrong without a little forethought. Not only do those odd metallic blinds stand a slim chance of ever closing again, but let's talk about that view for a moment.

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Photo Courtesy: WhoeverUNeedLtd/Twitter

While some might not care about a drainage pipe in their line of sight, the vast majority of people would rather not make a centerpiece out of it. Unless you happen to be an action hero who regularly counts on sliding down piping as an escape maneuver, such piping placement is best avoided.

Floating Garage Door

Notice anything peculiar about the double garage door on the house across the way? While taking security measures to make sure your car isn't stolen is an admirable plan, installing your garage on the second story of your home is likely to lead to a whole host of other problems.

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Photo Courtesy: ReliableDoorRGD/Twitter

Either this guy is taking early measures to prepare for the advent of hover cars, he never plans to drive his car again or he has something else in mind completely. It’s pretty clear he wanted a garage door as a giant window. Maybe he just really likes the open-air feel for his game room upstairs.

A Drunken Lamp?

When preparing to put your home up for sale, there are many things to take into consideration. Let’s say, for example, that you once made the mistake of installing a large, looming light post in the middle of your driveway. Be aware that not all potential buyers will find your antics amusing.

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Photo Courtesy: Booksandwine76/Twitter

On the other hand, you could try to spin it like you’re throwing in the interesting lamp as a free bonus for the new buyers. Expect to get creative with your advertising to turn this one into a positive, because it’s certainly impossible to miss.

Interior Design Gone Wrong

There's almost certainly a good story behind this interior design fail. (Ghost, perhaps?) Although we will never know the tale, it’s still possible to take a few guesses. For one, it may be a sterling example of why interior design isn’t always the best bonding experience to share with young children.

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Photo Courtesy: Miranda19c/Twitter

It could be a quick fix for how to handle it when you'd like to remove evidence that a recently failed relationship ever took place. Or it could be a simple reminder to always check your designer's references.

Fruitless Security Measure

We all feel the need to keep our homes secure from trespassers, but it's important to keep in mind that not all security measures are created equal. Unfortunately, investing in any one part of a fence may not prove effective if you aren't willing to spring for the entire thing.

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Photo Courtesy: IronmngryDirect/Twitter

Even something as imposing as this gate may fail to dissuade potential home invaders if it isn't backed up by enough fencing to surround your entire property. You can also count on it to fail when it comes to keeping your dog in the yard.

Be Sure to Watch Your Step

The mystery surrounding this whole scenario is almost too enticing for words. Even if this homeowner installed an opening years ago when the ground was level with the house's floor, the size of the opening and the positioning of the door doesn't make sense.

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Photo Courtesy: thelienzone/Twitter

Perhaps the contractors just went a little overboard when making sure the foundation of this place was as sturdy as it gets. Last but not least, they could have intended to offer a quick fix later in the form of a ramp, but the door would never open again — and you would have to be about 3 feet tall to walk through the opening. Oh, the questions that demand answers!

Why Women Live Longer Than Men

Unfortunately, some strange part of male biology seems to intrinsically associate light repair work with manliness. That said, it's important to keep that part of yourself in check when you’re tempted to pull off stunts such as this. Generally, if you’re preparing to stack or balance a ladder in any way, it's time to step back and reflect.

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Photo Courtesy: WeAreCopronet/Twitter

And what about the photographer who took this photo? He definitely loses points for opting to chronicle this madness while it unfolded rather than alert this guy to what a truly horrible solution this is.

World's Most Useless Handle

If you've ever floated through the aisles of IKEA in a DIY-fueled trance, then you already know the perils of constructible furniture. It may be tempting to grab the most obvious parts of your project and assemble them first, forsaking the cumbersome instructions in a zillion languages.

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Photo Courtesy: crazyjoemn/Twitter

That's when accidents such as this tend to happen. Just as your pride at successfully attaching a handle to a door begins to swell, the realization that it's on the wrong side of the door waits to pop it like a balloon. As loathsome as it may be, bite the bullet and give the instructions a chance.

How to Know When It's Time for a New Sofa

In some regions, the rustic look is popular when it comes to interior design. In others, the industrial feel is making a comeback. Here we see what chaos results when the two are combined in a fit of DIY madness.

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Photo Courtesy: Toba/Twitter

Not only is this sofa's new leg a designer's worst nightmare, it doesn't appear to be an example of home safety at its finest, either. If you must design your own temporary sofa prop, at least go with books or something that’s likely to actually provide a little more support.