Home Renovation Disasters That Prove A Good Contractor Is Worth The Investment

When you hire a home-repair professional, you’re allowing yourself a break from responsibility. No, your bathtub won’t crash through the floor. Yes, that socket will provide electricity, without sizzling your insides. Trust the pros, the people who build things with their hands, who follow the codes. They’ll do it right.

Except…it turns out, the pros can stink at their jobs. Even with all the correct tools and a fair bit of experience, the people hired to do home construction have a wide margin of error. So when they really get it wrong, it doesn’t take long to notice.

1. A two-car garage fit for the Weasleys — and that’s pretty much it. No flying car? Then there’s no way to park in the second story garage someone planted in this design. Either that or someone said to heck with windows. Give me real airflow!

Instagram / Scott Yancey

2. Walking up the stairs is for jerks. Crawling, that’s the way to go about it if you’re the contractor behind these ill-planned stairs. This upright man stands no chance of reaching the top if he refuses to crouch. 

3. Any good homeowner should look for the potential to increase the value of their property. This savvy person slapped on the charm that their house was missing, by attaching a Tudor entryway. A prospective buyer would surely be blinded by character and ignore the rest.

Instagram / Joy Martin Architecture

4. The minor details make all the difference. Unlike horseshoes and hand grenades, close enough isn’t an acceptable rule when it comes to home improvement. If the spout extends past the reach of the sink, that’s a dealbreaker. 

5. On the top of Gary’s wishlist was a light, airy, open-concept apartment. His agent did have to remind him that he never specifically mentioned bathroom walls. The hope was that houseguests would be too distracted by the beautiful stained glass to notice the sounds of peeing.

Twitter / Bad Realty Photos

6. In an old property, original windows can mean a hefty heating bill due to a lack of insolation. The people who rehabbed this property thought they’d swap them out for new windows. Unfortunately, they aimed wrong.

7. Stepping inside this creatively constructed bathroom gives a jolt to the system. The family who lives here never has to run to the basement to fiddle with blown fuse switches. They also live in constant fear of electrocution. 

Twitter / JRW Services LLC

8. Who wants to be sitting on the can, ready for the next step in the process, only to realize toilet paper is within arms reach of the commode? People who take the easy way out in life, that’s who.

9. This place must be inspired by the artworks of M.C. Escher — it’s packed with stairs to nowhere. While that’s an interesting feature on paper, it loses all function in the real world and borders on being a safety issue.

10. No amount of careening around in the driver’s seat to check for the all-clear will help in this situation. Whatever way you try to approach backing out of this driveway will result in a crash. 

11. One nice feature of this home was the thought to include solid wood doors. Solid, yes. Standard door shape? Well, you can’t have everything. The builder, for lack of a better term, cut a few corners. 

12. Give me a door that will be a real chore to climb up into, and a real safety hazard to fall down from. Now, we understand that’s not exactly what everyone needs from their safety exits. That’s why we hired terrible contractors.

13. Investing in a sleek modern fan was a must-have for Stacy. She made sure to pick the exact right spot, tucked away in the corner. When she finally fired it up on a hot summer’s day, she realized she needed to call a professional.

14. The person who designed this driveway must have a vested interest in the emergency break business. To power up this steep deathtrap into the garage would require a careful combination of slamming on the gas then immediately cutting the engine.

15. The standard placement for a tumble dryer vent is supposed to be out of the way. It carries the heat from the dryer, producing a loud rushing whoosh of air and lint, making it better suited for a basement. Ideally, not through a kitchen cabinet.

16. In an emergency, a fire escape can make the difference between life or death. For the occupants of this apartment building, just reaching the fire escape is a gamble of their safety. Not that it matters since the doors have no handles.

17. Living rooms are the hub of relaxation in a home, where you kick back, watch tv, and reach for the faucet. Yes, this home has a funky little faucet feature jutting out of the wall, conveniently placed next to a slew of wall outlets.

Instagram / High Construction Mark

18. In the quest to add the character only a fireplace can bring to a room, the owners of this home sacrificed a window. Whoever the mason was that gave the thumbs up to this design needs a few more lessons.

Instagram / Preservation In Action

19. Outdoor space was a must on Charlie’s home buying wishlist, so technically, his real estate agent did deliver. What the bathroom lacks in ductwork and ventilation in makes up for with easy access to the outdoors.

20. To cut the carbon footprint in the neighborhood, someone had the bright idea to plant trees at the base of all the driveways. That way, you can’t get your car in and out, even if you wanted to, so walking it is.

21. Rumor has it this door is the gateway to your wildest dreams. Candy? Puppies? Stacks and stacks of cold hard cash? All that and more is supposedly waiting within, hoping someone, someday will be able to open the door.

22. Kitchen storage or an exit, this family wasn’t allowed to have both. They wisely opted to have more room to store that juicer they received as a wedding gift and have yet to use. Fire hazard, shmire hazard.  

Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos

23. With children in the home, incorporating safety hazards into areas of potential danger is a good idea. That’s clearly the intention behind the design of this kitchen. Don’t worry! Little Sally Anne won’t be able to reach the knives and neither will anyone else.

Instagram / Handyman Renovations

24. No one comes in. No one comes out. That’s the beauty of this design failure. Though someone might want to peek into the windows and see if the construction team members are alright. They’ve been trapped for months.

There comes a point when a poorly conceived design turns into a safety hazard. Thankfully, the work of a contractor is put to the test during the home inspection. The home inspectors identify potential risks, but these ones were glaringly obvious to the untrained eye.

Doherty Home Inspection

1. This house is what experts call a “soft story,” where the first floor is built more rigidly, and the columns can’t support the weight. An earthquake triggered this house to sway so severely. If a bird landed on here, it would be done for.

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2. The retaining wall had a “surcharge,” where the pressure of the structure puts pressure on the soil, causing it to shift upward. In its defense, this wall stayed pretty sturdy despite the wild ride it took.

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3. No matter how many concrete cylinders they slapped on this one, a big sneeze would’ve still resulted in disaster! Parties on the deck were definite safety hazards — Alpha Structural, Inc. had its hand full with this one!

4. Surprise! A mystery hole! What a relief that there wasn’t a terrifying girl down there. This homeowner discovered a meter long tunnel under their concrete footing. It served no obvious purpose, but probably didn’t help the house pass inspection.

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5. Looks like these buyers should dig a mote. Or just throw the whole house away. A huge snake was found hanging out in the foundation! Good thing they found it before it slithered into the plumbing…

6. An inspector happened upon this wall composed of concrete filled washers. We all have that one seedy cousin that shows up to “scrap” our junk appliances — this is where washing machines go to die.

7. The ants go marching into this home buyer’s nightmares. At least if you have a bee infestation, you get free honey. With ants, you just look forward to living in a never-ending picnic.

8. The silver lining to using packaging tape on your pipes is you can clearly watch when they eventually burst. That’s sadly the only positive here. But, the handy man that fixed this even devoted two different kinds of tape to this effort. Quality over quantity for home improvement tasks.

9. Not sure if they have enough bolts. We’re betting they could squeeze in a few more. You don’t have to be a home inspector to know this level of engineering is overkill.

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10. Inspectors were baffled when they came across this oddity: how was the smoke detector the only thing in the house on fire We didn’t start the fire, but the smoke detector did? It’s always the guy you suspect the least.

11. You thought you’d signed up for a chill game of Jenga but, boy, this is high stakes! Inspectors discovered this mortar crumbling right off the brick foundation. In all seriousness, a minor earthquake could reduce this house to rubble.

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12. Don’t worry, the wobbly, haphazard stack of random boards will keep the car jack supporting the weight of your house super snug and secure! This is why you only trust professional contractors for structural work, not mechanics.

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13. Not the best place to pause for literally any moment at all. This deadly wall built on the edge of a hill is just aching to squash an unfortunately parked car, which is the last thing anyone wants…unless you’ve got some enemies.

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14. It’s a bummer that buckets aren’t up to code. This might work if it was filled with concrete, but, alas, it’s sand! Before you judge them too harshly, the contractor that did this really loved the band Stomp.

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15. Why go all the way to the Grand Canyon when you can be one with the elements in your home shower? Imagine, in the midst of a shampoo, you get to watch bugs scuttled across the dirt. If it had been insulated, and sealed in an intentional way, this could be a neat rustic feature.

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16. Welcome to pride rock! Too bad there is nothing to be proud of about this handy work. The contractor that did this had to be having a lucid dream to think this lion-like glob of fossilized concrete bags was an acceptable form of structural support.

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17. The good part is, you can roll a ball for your dog without even standing up — a lazy person’s dream. The bad part is, you live on top of a balloon. Still, this homeowner has some sleek hardwoods. Pros and cons.

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18. Mother nature with the save! These roots are keeping this little guy from toppling over the hill. Just barely, though. It’s hanging by a literal thread. Contractors called out to assess this back patio had to snap a picture before running for cover.

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19.  For those not so well-versed in home structure, you aren’t supposed to be able to stick your hand there. In safe (and normal) living conditions, that beam would be supporting the weight of the home. This beam was supporting nothing. So what was holding the house up?

20. They never did catch that rhino…because it settled in the foundation of this house! Contractors spotted this oddity of river rock repurposed in the footing. It isn’t dangerous, it just makes for a natural find-and-seek art display.

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