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20 Hilarious DIY Disasters You’ll Be Glad Didn’t Happen to You

It’s hard to nail down the 20 dumbest ones we’ve seen. Let’s face it: they’re all contenders. But here’s our best shot.

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Fushing Toilet. Water drained into the toilet bowl. View from the topPhoto: Shutterstock

Commode flambeau

“A part from my young son’s plastic potty had somehow gotten stuck in the toilet trap. I couldn’t snake it out, nor could the plumber, who left saying, ‘Buy a new toilet.’ But I had a brilliant idea: I’d burn it out! I pulled the toilet and dragged it outside. There I poured charcoal lighter fluid down the trap and lit it up. Standing back, I basked in the glory of the geyser flames and my phenomenal ingenuity… until the bang. The commode literally cracked from the heat. I bought a new toilet.”

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Pruning bushes in the garden. Autumnal garden work.Photo: Shutterstock

Bungee shrub

“The shrubs along the front of our house were getting overgrown and needed a good pruning. After a couple of hours of aggressive shearing, the shrubs looked worse than ever, so I decided to pull them out and get new ones. After digging around the trunks to free the roots, I tied a heavy rope to the base of one of the shrubs and fastened the other end of the rope to the back of my 4×4 pickup. I slowly drove the pickup forward to tighten the rope and then accelerated quickly, hoping to jerk the bush free of the soil. Well, it worked. What I didn’t expect was the rubber-band effect of the nylon rope. It catapulted the bush right through the back window of my truck. Sitting in the cab with glass strewn all over the interior, I regretfully remembered that my dad always used a heavy chain for this task!”

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Stainless door knob,Handle on white wood door,Closeup door knobPhoto: Shutterstock

Bathroom bust-out

“I take my painting prep very seriously. So before painting the bathroom door, I took off the door handle rather than taping around it. But when I closed the door and heard the lock click, I realized I had left the latch in the door. ‘No need to panic,’ I thought to myself.

“I fit the handle back into the door—but the latch wouldn’t catch. I then tried to manually pull back the latch—but it wouldn’t budge. Then I used my nail punch and hammer to remove the hinges—a sure bet—but the door was so tight in the frame I couldn’t budge it. There I was, trapped in my own bathroom.

“I considered escaping through the window, but given the 9 in. of snow outside, my stocking feet and no key to get back into the house, I decided against it. Mild panic fueled a couple of karate kicks that split that hollow-core door into splinters. I think I’ll paint the new door before I hang it.”

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Man clears snow with snow blower after snowfallPhoto: Shutterstock

Tangled up in snow

“Last fall I got a brand-new snow blower and couldn’t wait for it to snow. When the white stuff finally arrived, I started up the snow blower and quickly finished my own driveway and walk. So I decided to be neighbourly and do the driveway and walk for the nice old lady next door. Everything was fine until I suddenly hit her garden hose and got it royally tangled in my snow blower. I spent an hour picking out stuck bits and pieces of the hose. Later that evening, the phone rang and the lady next door said her basement was all wet. I discovered that the jarring of the hose had caused a leak inside the house behind the hose bib. I now only snow-blow my own place!”

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Electrical panel at a assembly line factory. Controls and switches.Photo: Shutterstock

Hot closet!

“After framing in a new closet with metal studs, I was ready to take a break. I had been working around an old electrical panel in our old house. As I sat down on the radiator, I grabbed hold of one of the studs to support myself and was greeted with a powerful shock. Upon investigating, I found that one of my screws had penetrated a wire inside an existing wall and had energized the new metal wall framing. What a wild ride 120 volts gives you! How lucky I wasn’t hurt.”

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Close-up of spray gun with red paint painting a car in special boothPhoto: Shutterstock

Cheap paint job

“My friend works in a body shop and moonlights by painting cars in his garage. He offered me a paint job for $200, but only if I did the prep work. I washed my car and dried it with a shop rag before taking it over to his place. The car looked fantastic when he was done. But the paint started peeling off in sheets as I drove home. Apparently, my rag had car wax on it and I spread it all over the car. That was $200 down the drain.”

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The tree worker stands and waits for a cut tree log and branches to be lowered down by a hydraulic crane. He stands by a chainsaw on the ground.Photo: Shutterstock


“With a second child on the way, we needed an addition on our house, but first we had to take down a huge maple tree that was in the way. To save money, my husband and his dad decided to cut it down themselves. They devised a plan with ropes to guide the fall as they cut.

“After about a half hour of chain sawing, I heard a thunderous crash and ran out to see what had happened. The rope trick obviously hadn’t worked and the trunk had fallen smack in the middle of the deck (which was not part of the remodelling plan). Thankfully, no one was injured, but we ended up hiring a contractor to remove the old deck and build a new one, which was way more expensive than hiring a tree removal service.”

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A new wooden, timber deck being constructed. it is partially completed. a drill can be seen on the decking.Photo: Shutterstock

Hot enough for ya?

“I was working alone on a large outdoor deck in 100-degree weather. I had to lop off a 3-ft. piece of a rim joist. To envision what happened next, it helps to think about Wile E. Coyote sitting on a limb of a tree and sawing it off! I stood on the rim joist without realizing I was standing on the very piece of wood I intended to cut off. The joist split when I was about two-thirds through it with my circular saw, and I fell with it. Fortunately, I dropped the saw on the way down, and I didn’t land on any of the many objects that could have caused serious injury. But I did end up in the hospital with dehydration and sunstroke.”

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Construction worker holding gypsum board. Attic renovation. Installation of drywallPhoto: Shutterstock

Oh, that’s what that wall is for

“Our first house was a two-story frame home. The 12-ft. hallway leading to the dining room seemed to serve no purpose, so we decided to remove the wall and expand the size of the living room by almost 4 ft.

“After assuring my wife that I could finish the project over a long weekend, I started demoing the lath-and-plaster wall. By bedtime, I had the wall down and most of the debris bagged and stacked. I climbed the stairs to our bedroom, which was directly above the living room, and went to sleep.

“The following morning I awoke to a bowl-shaped bedroom floor! I stepped gingerly across it, ran down the stairs and discovered that the living room ceiling had sagged 6 in. during the night! Turns out I had removed a load-bearing wall. As we sped to the rental yard to pick up jacks, I sheepishly told my wife that I might need more than three days to finish.”

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obscured image of a woman in broken glass reflectionPhoto: Shutterstock

The eye of the beholder

“I was remodeling my daughter’s second-floor bedroom and had all the demo work done. I was ready to start the next phase when I saw daylight coming up through a hole in the floorboard. But that didn’t make any sense. How could there be light between the ceiling downstairs and the floor upstairs?

“So I got down on my hands and knees and peered through the little hole—and saw an eyeball looking right back at me! I almost had a heart attack right there. When I screwed up enough courage to take a second look, I realized that a piece of broken mirror had lodged itself in a knothole. I’d nearly frightened myself to death by staring at my own eyeball!”

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