Well, of course there's no such thing as the
"greatest" goofs, because the best goofs (or worst, depending on your
perspective) are always your own. But over the 17 years or so we've been
publishing DIY goofs, a few common threads have emerged.
Check before you trim
Ah, it is so easy, once a door is off its hinges and resting on
sawhorses, to cut the wrong end. It could be you're adding carpet or tile, or
putting in a pet door—we've heard goofs about 'em all. P.S. Watch where you
drill for handles and locksets, too!
Watch where you
We've heard of drilling through floors and wrecking clothes;
drilling through walls and hitting water pipes, live wires, even pocket doors;
and drilling through the back of roll-top desks, neatly perforating the door. The moral: A drill is like a loaded gun—watch
where you point it!
Be careful before the
Don't go digging around buried wires, or muck around with your
house's wiring, or if you're a real fan, don't use power tools at all. The
stories are legion of spoiling that big day with some ham-handed DIY. It's
funny, though; we've never gotten letters about spoiling wedding anniversaries.
Ladders. Oh, my.
really shouldn't publish goofs about ladders, because there are so many
life-altering and even life-ending accidents that involve ladders. But it's
also true there are many that are simply funny, or at least only involve
bruises to limbs or ego. Being marooned is a common theme—on the roof, in a
tree or other embarrassing locations. Also anything involving power tools and
wasps. But various thrilling descents are also common. Learn from them, folks. I
and "right," "up" and "down."
concepts in DIY. Especially with, let's see, patterned wallpaper, cabinet
sides, stair spindles, vinyl flooring, mower blades and even windows. If
something has two sides that are different, you can bet that some DIYer
somewhere has gotten them mixed up.
Finally, there's my personal vote for the greatest goof of
all. It's the very first one we published in The Family Handyman, and it was also one of my many, many personal
goofs. I had busted a brand-new toilet by cranking down too hard on the floor
bolts, to the tune of a couple hundred dollars. When I wrote about the
incident, it created such a flood of mail that the "Great Goofs" department
was born. Talk about silver linings!
— Ken Collier, Editor in Chief