100 Outrageous Things Homeowners Have Done to Their Houses

Problems solving skills are on full display with these 100 outrageous things homeowners have done to their houses

1 / 100

Does the Table Go Above it Now?

Somebody booted this deck project, but then again it should’ve probably never got started. The door to the deck is low off the ground and with the air conditioner near it, it’s impossible to create a deck with enough clearance for the AC unit and not need stairs from the door. Just take the whole thing down. Generate some deck ideas after looking at these inspiring deck designs.

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2 / 100

A/C in the Attic

How much time are you really spending in the attic that you have to put in A/C? Joking aside, an A/C unit in the attic can be done but it needs to be installed properly. A/C units generate gallons of condensation that has to drain-outside, not into the attic space. Those condensation tubes should be checked before each cooling season starts. Mold can grow inside and plug up. That’s when you have ceilings getting destroyed.

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3 / 100

ADA Compliant

It’s hard to say which way is scarier—going up or going down. Seems like a half-hearted effort of becoming ADA compliant. Actually, we’re just messing with you, it’s likely a dog ramp. Check out some easier ways to make a home safer for older folks.

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4 / 100

Adjustable Support Column

Adjustable support columns like this with steel supporting pins should only be used as temporary support columns, according to an American Society of Home Inspectors article.

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5 / 100

Bad Deck Support

Decks just aren’t something you want to mess around with no matter how high they are off the ground. The risk of harm is great when a deck collapses. Make sure you know the signs of early deck failure or safety hazards.

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6 / 100

Bad Egress

Nothing about this screams safety or viable emergency escape. It looks bolted to the roof and there’s a chain to help keep it in place. This is one of those scary things home inspectors find, like a beaver in the attic.

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7 / 100

Bad Deck Support

Something tells us a support system for an upper deck shouldn’t look like a woodpile. Might be a little wobbly on that upstairs landing. Then again, you may be taking flying lessons if you try to use it. Check out these 7 deck building tips to avoid any catastrophe like this.

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8 / 100

Bad Roof Design

Hmm, hope the gutters work. Maybe who ever constructed this roof tried making some kind of artistic architectural statement. What’s sure is that a roof slanted towards a vertical wall will never work no matter how creative you get with a gutter system. Make cleaning your gutters a lot easier with these 25 gutter hints.

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9 / 100

Baseboard Heater in Crawl Space

It might sound like a good idea to heat your crawl space in winter to perhaps prevent frozen pipes and warm your house a little more but it’s extremely dangerous. It’s a huge fire hazard and at the end of the day, it’s not going to warm your place any more, at least until the house stops burning. It’s better to insulate the crawl space because it can save you a ton of money and block it to prevent pests from getting in.

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10 / 100

Beam Splice Not Over Post at Deck

Somebody’s tape measure must’ve been off when they put together this deck. Looks pretty unsafe considering the splice is only sitting on a sliver of the post. Most building codes require at least one inch of bearing wherever a beam is supported by a post. Fall in love with outdoor amenities like one of these gorgeous outdoor bars.

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11 / 100

Beam Through Chimney

Yup, that’s a beam going right through a chimney. We’re guessing/hoping the chimney isn’t in use anymore. You’d never find something like this inside the most expensive home in your state.

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12 / 100

Bedroom Closet Doors

Maybe this is the best way to keep monsters away. Fortunately switching around the door knobs is pretty easy, but then again why do you need locks on closet doors anyway? Generally “passage” locks (no locking mechanism) are used for closet doors. Maybe consult any one of these amazing closet transformation ideas.

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13 / 100

Bent Outlet Cover

This might deserve a showing in the Museum of Modern Art for how well the outlet cover bent and hasn’t broken. It pays to put some thought into electrical box placement to avoid this stuff from happening. It reminds us of a fan we once saw with similar artistic qualities.

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14 / 100

Secret Vault?

If you want to prevent people from accessing a secret room this isn’t the best way to do that. There are far more creative ways, like these 10 incredible hidden rooms.

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15 / 100

Boulder Footing

If this boulder wasn’t been used for a footing on a deck we swear we could’ve mistaken it for the brain of the person who came up with this idea. Discover the surefire way to get perfect deck footings with these tips.

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16 / 100

Buried Oil Tank in Basement

Oil tanks aren’t always easy to spot but this place had one once. It’s been filled in but the tank appears there still. That’s a huge environmental disaster waiting to happen. Make sure a home inspector spots the presence of an old fuel tank when going through the house—there are usually pipes sticking out from the house that will be a telltale sign. This isn’t probably close to the top 10 of craziest things found in a home inspection like these things.

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17 / 100

Cable Through Fence

This one isn’t even funny. High voltage cables snaking through a fence reachable from the ground is death waiting to happen. Whoever this is please call the power company immediately!

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18 / 100

Carpet Over Floor Register

These heat sensor photos can reveal a lot like this one that shows a floor register that has been carpeted over. Seems like quick fix but how do you forget about the register when you re-carpet?

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19 / 100

Carpet Pad As Insulation

Nothing like making the most of extra material. This homeowner decided to use old carpet padding to insulate over the garage stud walls, which doesn’t really have a great R-value. Plus, it will absorb moisture from the air and turn into a mold factory the first summer. Check out these 10 great tips for insulating walls and try working on some of these items that are fantastic for repurposing.

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20 / 100

I, Too, Like to Live Dangerously

If you really wanted a ceiling fan it might be the only place to put it in the room but my, oh, my, do the blades come dangerously close to colliding with the ceiling. Wherever they sell fans, they also sell different lengths of extension tubes. Find out how to get rid of that stupid, annoying sound of the chain hitting the light on a ceiling fan once and for all.

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21 / 100

Chandelier in the Attic

That last cocktail party you held in the attic was such a dud that people are still talking about it. But you’ll show them by classing up the joint with a chandelier. One thing that could class up the attic and other parts of your house would be one of these 14 treasures found in the attic of peoples’ homes.

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22 / 100

Chandelier in Laundry Room

The wife laughed at you when you picked up the BOGO deal on chandeliers at the hardware store. Who’s laughing now when you grab clothes from the dryer? Keep laughing at how little time you spend doing laundry with these 13 incredible tips.

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23 / 100

Dungeon … You Don’t Say

Seems like a legit listing for circuit labels considering the level of detail with the other listings.

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24 / 100

Lifetime Furnace Filter

Maybe you got taken on that deal for a lifetime furnace filter by that guy selling them out of the back of his Pacer. Find the best furnace filter you can buy.

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25 / 100

Clothes Hanger

Improvisation is great for jazz, not so much when you’re hanging clothes (Is there a prom dress in there?) from electrical wire. C’mon. NOTHING should EVER be hung or rested on electrical cable-EVER! Create more room in your closet with this simple flipping technique.

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26 / 100

CO Alarm

I’ve heard carbon monoxide is heavier than oxygen. Well, it’s not. It’s actually slightly  lighter. Plus, the recommended placement for detectors is near sleeping areas so people can be woken by it should there be a problem. See why alarms like a CO and smoke detector can be a hazard in the home.

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27 / 100

Hold the Door, Please

Don’t bother trying to open the door on a warm night with the ceiling fan running because … THWACK. There might be enough of a window for the door to move freely but then again you might have time it perfectly. Maybe they should have read this how to install ceiling fans guide.

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28 / 100

Coffee Can Combustion Air Duct

We’ve seen old coffee cans used for a number of things but even this is a new one. It’s attached to a combustion air duct that provides combustion air for an older furnace. Guess the coffee can is to keep critters out of the house.  Set aside an old coffee can for hardware storage instead.

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29 / 100

Coffee Can Lid for Siding

That’s some kind of fix to plug an old vent opening. But a coffee can lid probably isn’t your best bet.

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30 / 100

Covered Basement Window

We’ve seen floor registers covered, now check out the opposite. That’s right, someone covered a window with drywall in the basement. OK. Make sure to check out these 25 tips on converting a basement into a living space before covering up windows.

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31 / 100

Spin That Color Wheel

Who says plumbing has to look boring, too? Express yourself through the world of plumbing by bringing a complete palate of color to your pipes.

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32 / 100

Don’t Kick the Deck Footings

Geez, there’s a lot going on with these deck footings. But it doesn’t look like there’s much right going on either. This homeowner will want to know the 31 ways to update, repair and maximize a deck.

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33 / 100

How Many Broken Light Bulbs … ?

How many broken light bulbs does it take before one goes off in your head? It’s a pretty good bet that several light bulbs have been broken by this door. Can you buy them by the pallet load? In an open stud area like this, it would only take a half hour to move this electrical box to a safer place. This homeowner probably knows how to remove a light bulb broken in the socket but here’s how if you don’t know.

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34 / 100

Downspout Hidden in Column

This is either really dumb or really cool. It’s kind of hard to imagine it being dumb because if you were going to run a downspout through a column you make sure it was safe, right? Hopefully it’s not a structural column.

35 / 100

Dryer Duct Gutter

Who are they fooling with this fix? It’s admirable that they went to the trouble of painting a dryer vent the same color as the other gutters but you have to figure someone would see it. It is an unusual spot in the roof but this cheap fix isn’t the right solution. Maybe they ran out of gutters when they repurposed them into planters like this.

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36 / 100

Save Yourself a Trip

A downspout extension runs about $10-$20. Flexible dryer duct runs slightly cheaper.

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37 / 100

Window Spring

Well, maybe the window will stay in place now. Instead of jury-rigging a storm door spring, you can actually replace the broken springs behind the jambs. Here’s a tip on how to repair old windows.

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38 / 100

Asbestos Abatement

It seems as though someone tried an attempt at asbestos encapsulation by completely wrapping the pipes with duct tape.  Find out how to properly dispose of hazardous items like asbestos.

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39 / 100

Duct Taping Drywall Seams

Why bother with all that messy drywall taping when you can just cover the seams with duct tape? It’s all the same, right? There is an easy way to tape drywall joints and ways to make taping better.

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40 / 100

Duct Taped Duct Work

Good grief, cool it on the duct tape, would ya? These must be some drafty ducts if they require this much duct tape. Plus, foil tape, not duct tape is the stuff to use. There are some incredibly brilliant uses for duct tape, like this kayak someone created.

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41 / 100

Electric Fireplace With One Direction

That “DO NOT COVER” sticker might be there for a reason. Hate to be the person who has to tell them somebody screwed up royally and the whole thing has to be re-done.

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42 / 100

Electric Space Heater?

Does that baseboard heater … ? Yes, yes it does run through the partition and several cords rest near it. Make sure you know these important things about using baseboard heaters and space heaters before using them.

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43 / 100

False Access Panel

It might be cool if this was a fake for something else but this is just a dummy for an access panel. Big whoop.

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44 / 100

Watch Where You’re Walking

Or at least watch how you swing your arms on this catwalk, it might be dangerous.

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45 / 100

Fence Gate Over Window Well

It’s not clear what purpose this is serving but maybe someone held onto an old fence gate for a long time and had to find a reason for keeping it around for so long. And if this is an egress window, it’s extremely dangerous to introduce anything that’ll stop someone trying to escape a burning house.

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46 / 100

No Access

One, it’d be a terrible thing to have to reach across the dryer to the circuit breaker every time you had an issue but two there needs to be a minimum access clearance around the service panel, which this clearly doesn’t have. Knowing where the circuit breaker is in the house is essential, just like these 21 things every homeowner must know.

47 / 100

HVAC Short Circuit

Imagine what an energy efficiency expert would say about this. The heat comes in through the heat register and then immediately gets sucked back into the furnace via the cold air return. Hard to imagine why on earth the HVAC guy thought this was a good idea.

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48 / 100

A Real Scorcher

An incandescent light bulb will kick out some heat if left on for an extended period of time and when one is near something with a low ignition point, watch out. At the very least this bulb should be replaced with an LED. Something like this is just one of the many hidden hazards in your home.

49 / 100

You Don’t Have the Power

Don’t, just don’t, run an extension cord through a wall. Extension cords can never be buried or hidden inside a wall. In fact, you shouldn’t even hide them under rugs or carpets. There are too many things that could go wrong and it’ll be too late before you know about it.

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50 / 100

Then I Looked Back and Noticed Only One Set of Footprints

It’s not quite the Hollywood Walk of Fame but somebody left an impression on the concrete garage floor that will be there until someone decides to fix it. Maybe the next concrete project can be something where people won’t walk through like a beautiful fountain.

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51 / 100

Fresh Paint

A fresh coat of paint can be like slapping lipstick on a pig, so to speak. A coat of paint didn’t completely cover up the deficiencies in this deck.

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52 / 100

Furnace on Blocks

Your car on blocks is one thing but your furnace is another thing.

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53 / 100

Furnace Vent With Shower Drain

If this is a supplying forced air heat into a room know this: It’s illegal to use any plastic on a heat run, that’s what metal duct work is for.

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54 / 100

Garage Party Speakeasy

Keep neighbor Dave away for sure when you’re having a neighborhood garage party. Guess there’s nothing wrong with installing a peephole on your garage door, though.

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55 / 100

Garage Door Opener Straps

We’re guessing the ceiling framing is way above the suspended panels and there’s nothing to screw it on to. The more conventional fix would be some slotted angle iron, which can be great to get your garage organized

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56 / 100

Garage Door Spring on Screw

Garage door springs carry a tremendous amount of tension and having one supported by a screw poses serious danger.

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57 / 100

Garbage Can Sump Pump

A half-hearted hack can turn into a big problem later like this garbage can sump pump. The absence of a lid means a host of things can fall in there and clog the pump, thus defeating the entire purpose of the sump pump and sump pit.

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58 / 100

Gas Lamp

An outdoor gas lamp looks pretty cool but it’d be interesting to know how much it costs to keep it running. Especially with the LED lighting revolution.

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59 / 100

Garage Door Opener Eyes Way Too High

The garage door opener motion detector is supposed to prevent the garage door closing on people. The people most at risk—kids—are the least likely ones to break the light beam and stop the door.

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60 / 100

Glass Wall

It’s an interesting décor choice to say the least but maybe it fits with the rest of the house.

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61 / 100

Hey Mon

Maybe this is the start of a new “Kilroy Was Here” tag.

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62 / 100

Hidden Thermostat

This is a great way to end any debates at home before they start. Now only if there was some similar way to do it at work.

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63 / 100

High Air Conditioner

Better hope that platform is rated to handle some incredible weight.

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64 / 100

Wired-In Wrens

Our only guess is the birds need it to use Twitter. The hummingbirds might complain that the wifi isn’t fast enough but you can make wifi faster in a couple of steps.

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65 / 100

Hockey Puck Cleanout Plug

We’ve seen hockey pucks substitute for other things around the house before or even in the shop but as a clean-out plug is a first.

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66 / 100

Homemade Drinking Fountain

Looks like someone gets thirsty in the laundry room and decided to add a drinking fountain to quench their thirst. Must not have wanted to keep a cup around. Wonder if they serve milkshakes upstairs?

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67 / 100

Homemade Under-Cabinet Light

Someone is tempting fate with this light under a cabinet. It plugs right into an outlet, but it looks like it could be prone to breaking by bumping into it and there’s a serious issue with the amount of heat it’s giving off. There’s not enough clearance for the light be situated there. this guy should know that inexpensive LED low-voltage kits are available at every home center. We show you how to find the right LED lights.

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68 / 100

Huge Footing

Looks like there was an old footing from something else that this deck builder decided to take advantage of. Guess that’s OK as long as it satisfied building code.

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69 / 100

Radiator Humidifier

What is old is new again with this radiator humidifier. Long ago people attached humidifiers to their radiators in the winter to combat the dryness, this old radiator still has its humidifier. Make sure you know how to bleed a radiator if yours is functional. If it isn’t check out these cheeky radiator covers that will hide it.

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70 / 100

Joist Hangers Into Stucco

There’s no ledger board with this deck and that should be cause for concern. There is nothing right about this. Here’s the correct way to attach a deck to a house.

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71 / 100

Junction Box Covered By Vermiculite

Nice to know where the junction box is located in the attic but beware. Electrical boxes should never be covered with spray foam. However they can be buried under loose-fill insulation provided the insulation can be removed to access the box. Did you know insulating an attic is one of the 12 best remodeling investments you can make?

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72 / 100

Dog Leash Hook on Garage Door Spring

This is what is anchoring one end of a garage door spring. Garage door springs are especially dangerous when not properly secured and this setup should raise red flags immediately. See what a pro says about the danger of garage door springs.

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73 / 100

Kinked A/C Refrigerant Line

A huge kink in an A/C refrigerant line is the start of a big problem eventually. Not only did the installer create the kink, he hid it behind the insulation rather than fixing it. Plus the line needs to be sealed with putty to keep out critters. Follow these 21 ideas to keep your AC running.

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74 / 100

Redneck Laundry

Here’s what we think. This family wanted to have a washer in the basement where there wasn’t an existing drain system. The ad hoc sump pump is a temporary way to pump out the water until they get the plumbing done. Kind of clever! Never, ever put these things in a washing machine.

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75 / 100

Lint Screen

Maybe it’s a good thing all the lint collects in one spot, it could be easier to clean. But then again it doesn’t look like cleaning is happening. Dryer lint is responsible for around 25,000 fires every four years. It’s one of the 20 hidden hazards in your house you need to know about.

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76 / 100

Load Bearing Paint Can

This is all that is holding something up in the laundry room and it looks like it has done the job for quite a while. How much longer it will continue to do the job might be the appropriate question.

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77 / 100

Load Bearing Freezer

It’s hard to tell if this freezer is the only thing supporting the staircase but don’t plan on moving it until the staircase is secure. Check out these 10 cool things to know about having a fridge in the garage that will make it last.

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78 / 100

Looks Like a Gate Right?

Well it’s not. Someone didn’t get the job done when finishing this deck railing.

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79 / 100

Loose Vinyl Guardrail

You wonder why things feel loose sometimes and then you discover why. Deck guardrails are required to withstand 200 pounds of force in some states.

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80 / 100

Makeshift Deck Repairs at Rotted Joists

Sometimes a shortcut results in a longer journey. This is no repair for rotted joists, they need to be replaced.

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81 / 100

Makeshift Support

This is something out of the Cosmos Mystery Area in South Dakota where everything leans a goofy way. The Cosmos is kind of fun, this is just plain old scary, just like the 10 most dangerous bugs you need to avoid.

82 / 100

Mirrors on Ceiling

There can be a lot of things said about a house with mirrors on the ceiling but we won’t.

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83 / 100

Missing Exterior Cover

This is a good way to have an electrical problem before you know it. This place will need a weatherproof exterior cover to meet code. It’s one of the most common code violations and plenty easy to fix.

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84 / 100

Missing Floor Register

Another heat register found by a heat sensor. Just think how often these things don’t get found during a home inspection. Pay attention so you get the most out of a home inspection with these tips.

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85 / 100

Missing Vent

If the guests don’t stay long in this home, the missing vent probably has something to do with it. Sewer gas is spilling into the home and here’s how to get rid of those incredibly nasty smells.

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86 / 100

Rail Faucets?

Water your planters all at once with this little contraption. But notice the snow? It’s likely the start of winter. That hose should be removed at both ends and the faucets need to be opened so they can drain. Otherwise burst pipes will be discovered at the first thaw. Make sure you know the things you need to do when a pipe bursts.

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87 / 100

No Heat Register

This is kind of like the trick kids do when they find bugs and put them in jars. Just like poking holes in a jar lid doesn’t help bugs breathe, this doesn’t work as a heat register. This might qualify as one of 13 cringe-worthy home improvement fails.

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88 / 100

Cleanout Cutout

Nice job with the baseboard but how the heck do you expect to get the cleanout plug out?

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89 / 100

Boiler Switch?

What about the really odd years?

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90 / 100

Outlet in Fireplace

The home comes with a fireplace but it’s merely decorative because there’s an outlet in it. Tough sell.

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91 / 100

Outlet on Deck With Interior Box

There is so much wrong with this deck outlet. Here’s the proper way to add an outdoor electrical box.

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92 / 100

Packing Peanuts for Insulation

Believe or not people try using packing peanuts for insulation. Sure, we’ve wondered where to put all those annoying peanuts but the attic or wherever for insulation is not the answer. There is very little insulation value plus the biodegradable type dissolve in water. Polystyrene also begins melting between 210-249 degrees Fahrenheit. Try using those packing peanuts in plant pots or recycle them.

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93 / 100

Rain Pan

This looks like an elaborate way to capture rain that gets blown into the attic. But that shouldn’t happen with a attic roof vent. Here’s how to reduce cooling bills and prevent ice dams from forming with some attic venting tips.

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94 / 100

Service Panel With Great Pores

Out of all the places in a home to put a sauna, this one somehow ended up next to the breaker box. Do NOT build your sauna around your service panel. Can you imagine what the moisture will do to the inside of this thing powering your entire house???

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95 / 100

Pegboard Soffit Covering

Good try on using pegboard for a soffit covering but pegboard isn’t equipped to handle the outdoors. It’s not rated for exterior use and it will sag in very short order. Keep the pegboard inside and see how to organize anything with it.

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96 / 100

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

How do you bungle this one and go about like nothing happened? This post clearly isn’t anchored to the footing. Joist hanger companies like Simpson make anchoring hardware that could have bailed this guy out.

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97 / 100

Putty Repair at Drain

Putting putty on a hole in PVC pipe isn’t a complete solution. PVC pipe is fairly inexpensive, just pick up some more. Plus you can use some extra for one of these 56 totally awesome PVC hacks.

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98 / 100

Rafter Repair

Even a scoutmaster who know how to tie all the knots in the world wouldn’t approve of this rafter fix.

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99 / 100

Register Below Thermostat

Why is it always so cold in here in the winter and so hot in the summer?? Having the register directly below the thermostat is just a really dumb idea. Find out if it’s really the right move to add a wireless thermostat.

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100 / 100

Retaining Wall Footing

You sure you want to use a retaining wall as a footing? We didn’t think so. Get inspiration for a retaining wall of your own with these beautiful retaining walls.

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