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50 Monumental Mistakes These Homeowners Made

Your newfound free time presents a perfect time to tackle some DIY projects. Just don't make the mistakes and take the shortcuts these homeowners have done.

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Pie-tins-on-water-heater-ventStructure Tech

Tin Pan Alley

Cooling fins-or radiator fins-you be the judge. Or maybe it’s an attempt to stop the mice from using the ductwork as an elevated expressway?

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Home Inspector Nightmares: Ep. 1

Our friends at Structure Tech in St. Paul, MN, look at homes all across the Twin Cities. These are just a few of their home inspector nightmares that were too good not to share.

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Socket wrench hinge pinCourtesy of Structure Tech

Socket wrench hinge pin

Wow! This is a huge improvement over the coat hangers in the other hinges! Brilliant! A lesson in garage door repair might be in order.

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Structure Tech

Did You Buy Five of the Same Coffee Makers?


You’re not going to be able to replace your coffee maker unless you have the same one. Oh, the joys of custom remodeling.

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Structure Tech

Keep Your Green Thumb Outdoors

How many garden hoses have you seen sprout a leak before? You’ll be growing a garden of a different kind with this set up. Here’s the right way to clean up mold, hint it doesn’t involve bleach. 

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Structure Tech

Heated Bathroom

The thought is nice. Walk out of the shower to a warm bathroom in winter but the execution is wrong because it could end in one.

Photo: Via Structure Tech

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Structure Tech

So Much For a Relaxing Bath

Image trying to take a relaxing soak when the ceiling fan starts wobbling. There’s a way to fix a wobbling ceiling fan but a better fix would be to remove this one.

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Structure Tech

C.U.P Bathroom

Mirrored walls in this location are an interesting choice to say the least. There’s some debate on mirrored walls in the home but these 12 bathroom trends are definitely on the way out.

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Structure Tech

One Piece at a Time

Make do with what you’ve got, right? Looks like someone threw in a kitchen sink faucet instead of a bath faucet. Make sure you consider tub size and these important things when you buy a new bathtub.

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Structure Tech

Small Bathroom

It would’ve been nice if someone would’ve just said, “No” before this project ever got started. It might be great for a ballet dancer who can tiptoe around but functionality is certainly something left to be desired.

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Structure Tech

Shower Light

Fluorescent lights above a shower? Without a cover?? The second question is probably immaterial, all things considered but talk about poor planning and unnecessary danger. You could be seeing a different kind of light real quick and you won’t have any choice about heading toward it. This is probably something the homeowner doesn’t know about since it’s obscured, just like these 10 hazards people don’t think of at home.

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Structure Tech

Shower Built into Ceiling

It’s an interesting way to add another shower but who knows if it’ll count as another bath on the listing. Make sure to pay attention to these important things when the appraiser comes to the house.

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Structure Tech

Microwave Too Close to Range

We’ve advocated for placing a microwave underneath a cabinet to create more counter space but this is not a good idea. Pretty soon you’ll have a melting microwave.

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Structure Tech

A Hood Fan in a Far, Far Away Spot

This would work great if the stovetop was about two feet higher. The hood fan is far too far away from the range and can lead to a build up of smoke in the kitchen if you’re not careful. Make sure you’ve got these 11 tips included on your kitchen cleaning checklist.

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Structure Tech

Spa Shower

Where to begin with this one? What? Are you running a health club? Hate to see the water bill for one shower. Check out these easy ways to save money on the water bill.

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Structure Tech

Obstructed Kitchen Sink

All those yoga classes will come in handy when trying to reach something under the sink. Do a kitchen remodel right after getting inspiration from these breathtaking kitchen remodels.

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All employees MUST wash their hands before returning to work!Structure Tech

All employees MUST wash their hands before returning to work!

Genius! With this setup, you can wash your hands and your feet at the same time! A small bathroom requires a certain amount of planning.

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Fuel-oil-tanks-painted-like-cowsStructure Tech

Find the Fuel Oil Tanks in this Picture

If you’re painting metal, do the prep work the right way. That way your artwork will stand the test of time.

Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

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Skillfully Unnecessary ScribeCourtesy of Structure Tech

Skillfully Unnecessary Scribe

Bonus: You can visit with your toddler while your taking care of business. If the door opened the correct way, there would have been no scribing required.

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Toboggan ice-dam solutionStructure Tech

Toboggan ice-dam solution

Granted, this is quite a clever setup. But it seems like it might be less work to fix the ice-dam problem!

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Hubcap Flue CapStructure Tech

Hubcap Flue Cap

Well that's one way to keep the rain away from your furnace. But there are official rain caps that you can buy at the home center. Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

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A shower found in MunchkinlandStructure Tech

A shower found in Munchkinland

After mom and dad moved out, the toddlers decided to make the bathroom more user-friendly. But when they grow up they're gonna have to install a new shower.

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Poor Cable Detector?Structure tech

Poor Cable Detector?

Determined to find out if carbon monoxide was at fault for his poor cable reception, uncle Walter devised a plan… Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

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Ceiling kitchen venting

Ceiling kitchen venting

Marion loved the smell of her cooking so much, it seemed a waste to vent all of the wonderful aromas outside. Generally, most people would prefer kitchen venting to exhaust outside the house.

Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

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March of the roof ventsCourtesy of Structure Tech

March of the roof vents

Yes, attic venting is important. This, however, might be a bit much. Maybe trying to save on shingles?

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One way to save money on flooringPhoto: Courtesy of Structure Tech

One way to save money on flooring

I've got a great idea! We don't need new flooring under the rug. Nobody will ever know.

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Hardhat AreaCourtesy of Structure Tech

Hardhat Area

It's never a good idea to hang a ceiling fan from electrical cable only. They make ceiling fan braces that make the job safe and easy.

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Which problem solver would you choose?Structure Tech

Which problem solver would you choose?

There are always options when it comes to buying a toilet - some better than others.

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Duct Tape Compression FittingsPhoto: Courtesy of Structure Tech

Duct Tape Compression Fittings

What's weird about this is that it appears that the drain parts are brand new. Installing drainlines and p-traps under a sink doesn't normally call for duct tape. Bound to be a few plumbing leaks here. Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

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Medical-Lights-in-GarageStructure Tech

A Garage Prepped for Elective Surgery

Come on down to Bob’s Really Good Surgery Shack! This week’s special is brain transplants! Actually, this might provide pretty good shop lighting in the garage.

Plus: Check out these 16 cheap garage storage projects you can DIY.

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Structure Tech

Outlet in Fireplace

The home comes with a fireplace but it’s merely decorative because there’s an outlet in it. Tough sell. Make sure cleaning the chimney and flue are always part of your fall cleaning checklist.

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Structure Tech

Cleanout Cutout

Nice job with the baseboard but how the heck do you expect to get the cleanout plug out? Check out what’s new in baseboards if it’s time for an update at home.

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Structure Tech

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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Structure Tech

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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Structure Tech

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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Structure Tech

High Air Conditioner

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

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Structure Tech

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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Structure Tech

Furnace on Blocks

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

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Structure Tech

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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Structure Tech

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.

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Structure Tech

Baseboard 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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Structure Tech

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.

Photo: Via Structure Tech

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Structure Tech

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.

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Structure Tech

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? This homeowner will probably want to know these tips on carpet removal and discover the hot flooring trends.

Photo: Via Structure Tech

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Structure Tech

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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Structure Tech

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.

Photo: Via Structure Tech

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Structure Tech

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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Structure Tech

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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Structure Tech

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.

Photo: Via Structure Tech

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Structure Tech

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.

Photo: Via Structure Tech