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Brilliant extension ladder leg extender

Brilliant extension ladder leg extenderCourtesy Structure Tech

Another clever use for a five-gallon bucket, just prior to kicking the bucket. Please be careful with extension ladders, folks.

Crop circles in the attic

Crop circles in the atticCourtesy Structure Tech

Here’s one theory. Frost on the underside of the roof deck is melting and wetting the insulation. A hot can light below is drying out the area around it.

Liberty bell

Liberty BellCourtesy Structure Tech

It’s cracked like the Liberty Bell. But this cracked chimney liner needs to be repaired to prevent a chimney fire.

Hardhat area

Hardhat AreaCourtesy Structure Tech

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.

Brickwork gone bad

Brick Work Gone BadCourtesy Structure Tech

Some repairs are so neat and well executed that you barely even notice them. Not this one, though.

Wine cork plug

Wine cork plugCourtesy Structure Tech

At least until you get to the store for a new pop-up drain assembly. Or maybe it’s time to install a new vanity sink.

Bust’n out!

Bust’n out!Courtesy Structure Tech

What in the world made a thing like this happen? Whatever it was, it calls for a new outlet install.

Ice wars

Ice warsCourtesy Structure Tech

Did you know that freezing water exerts 50,000 pounds per square inch? That’s a pretty good reason to winterize irrigation systems.

One way to save money on flooring

One way to save money on flooringCourtesy Structure Tech

I’ve got a great idea! We don’t need new flooring under the rug. Nobody will ever know. Check out these home inspector nightmares you have to see


Boy-O-Boy!Courtesy Structure Tech

Not only is this chimney badly deteriorated, it’s almost completely missing any clay or metal liner. This is the poster child for why you should have your chimney inspected.

Ho boy!

Ho boy!Courtesy Structure Tech

Vinyl dryer vent hose is such a bad idea on so many levels. So a smooth metal dryer vent is the best solution, hands down.

Honey, let’s have a block party?

Honey, let’s have a block party?Family Handyman

Yep, let’s have over a couple of dozen neighbors for a really fun evening. Or tear off this disaster waiting to happen and build a deck properly.

March of the roof vents

March of the roof ventsCourtesy Structure Tech

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

You can still use the garbage can

You Can Still Use the Garbage CanCourtesy Structure Tech

I know it’s called a “garbage disposal” but I think someone’s taking that a bit too literally. Might be due for a replacement.

Deck stair layout headache

Deck Stair Layout HeadacheCourtesy Structure Tech

Stairs are tricky to layout for the neophyte deck builder. But it’s easier than you think to get it right with a few stair building instructions.

What’s wrong?

What’s wrong?Courtesy Structure Tech

Let thee count the ways… Broken chimney cap, missing mortar and bricks, all that’s gonna cause a few leaks. This chimney needs some major repairs.

Ceiling kitchen venting

Ceiling kitchen ventingCourtesy Structure Tech

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. These are the 16 things all smart homeowners do once a year

How not to add lighting

How not to add lightingCourtesy Structure Tech

Pretty sure this wiring system won’t pass the electrical inspection. There are right and wrong ways to hang a ceiling light, and this is the wrong way.

Duct tape wall

Duct Tape WallCourtesy Structure Tech

This tile was undoubtedly installed over greenboard instead of cement board and is completely falling apart. Regrouting isn’t an option.

Hard hat area

Hard hat areaCourtesy Structure Tech

Maybe the in-ground pool sprung a leak? Or just maybe this was a first time retaining wall builder. Regardless, it’s time to bone up on building a retaining wall.

Look closely

Look closelyCourtesy Structure Tech

And you’ll see a very conveniently located outlet right where it’s needed. There are several things to keep in mind when you’re roughing in wiring. Check out the 35 things every homeowner needs to know.

“Dear, why the heck aren’t the clothes getting dry?”

“Dear, Why the heck aren’t the clothes getting dry?”Courtesy Structure Tech

I’ll bet the house feels a bit humid. A dryer vent is one of the many things in your home that needs regular cleaning.

Proper grounding-not!

Proper grounding-not!Courtesy Structure Tech

OK think about it. This guy grounded to a PLASTIC COATED gas line. Unless they changed the rules, plastic is a non-conductor. How many other electrical mistakes do you suppose you would find in this house?

Hot wired

Hot WiredCourtesy Structure Tech

This breaker is rated for both aluminum (AL) and copper (CU) wires. But that rating didn’t prevent this aluminum wire connection from loosening and getting hot enough to melt the plastic insulation. Here are 10 items to never buy if you want to have a clutter-free home.

Poor cable detector?

Poor Cable Detector?Courtesy Structure Tech

Determined to find out if carbon monoxide was at fault for his poor cable reception, uncle Walter devised a plan…

Blocked vent?

Blocked vent?Courtesy Structure Tech

Guess it’s OK if you block it with cardboard. While we’re on heating systems, how about a primer on efficient heating.

A shower found in Munchkinland

A shower found in MunchkinlandCourtesy Structure Tech

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.

Dryer vent follies

Dryer vent folliesCourtesy Structure Tech

Why not just duct tape it near the attic vent. Why wouldn’t that do the trick?

Hubcap flue cap

Hubcap Flue CapCourtesy Structure Tech

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.

A potentially shocking disposer

A Potentially Shocking DisposerCourtesy Structure Tech

Not a bad idea to have a switch on the new disposer. As long as you don’t have to open the cabinet door to get at it-and that it’s properly installed!

Toboggan ice-dam solution

Toboggan ice-dam solutionCourtesy Structure Tech

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

Skillfully unnecessary scribe

Skillfully Unnecessary ScribeCourtesy Structure Tech

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.

No fuse, big problem

No Fuse, Big ProblemCourtesy Structure Tech

Just because it fits, doesn’t mean it’s a fuse. Yes, copper tubing will conduct electricity, but this is VERY dangerous! And I feel an eerie presence of the ghost of Charles Darwin…don’t let it happen to you!

Why buy studs?

Why buy studs?Courtesy Structure Tech

Use up all that scrap 2×4. This might work structurally, but it’s definitely not the right way to frame a wall.

Now that’s a maintenance-free finish!

Now that’s a maintenance-free finish!Courtesy Structure Tech

If you’ve got some spare time on your hands, give this a try. Otherwise installing a new door might be an easier fix.

Liberace’s guest bath

Liberace’s guest bathCourtesy Structure Tech

Believe it or not, there are regulations regarding the distance between your tub and a light fixture. If you’d rather move the whirlpool tub than the light fixture. These are the 10 things in your home that could explode without warning.

Strange brew

Strange brewCourtesy Structure Tech

Maybe it’s time for a water quality test. Or maybe it’s time to look into water softeners.

Find the fuel oil tanks in this picture

Find the Fuel Oil Tanks in this PictureCourtesy Structure Tech

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

What the wall usually sees

What the wall usually seesCourtesy Structure Tech

How in the world can a tank get put on backwards? Maybe read the directions the next time you install a new toilet.

Half-hidden outlet

Half-Hidden OutletCourtesy Structure Tech

To use the bottom outlet, simply snip the plug off your device and stick in the bare wires. These home inspector nightmares are truly mind boggling.

Jacked-up house

Jacked-Up HouseCourtesy Structure Tech

I’m not certain how much weight that jack stand is rated for, but I’m pretty sure a house is a bit over the limit. It’s important to understand load-bearing posts.

Kitchen exhaust vent routing fun

Kitchen exhaust vent routing funCourtesy Structure Tech

Yeah, this exhaust vent will get rid of some burned bacon smoke, but with that kink, not so much. And imagine the condensation issues. Here are the home maintenance tasks every homeonwer should make sure to do.

Plumbing diverticulosis

Plumbing DiverticulosisCourtesy Structure Tech

Just because pipes come in all kinds of different shapes doesn’t mean you need to use them all on one job.

The more the merrier!

The More the Merrier!Courtesy Structure Tech

Stacking more cheap filters don’t add up to higher efficiency filtration. Best to buy the filter that fits your furnace. Here are 14 smart things all homeowners should do once a month.

Floating stairs

Floating stairsCourtesy Structure Tech

Just what on earth supports the top of the stringers. This builder could benefit by studying up on how to build stairs.

Heat duct or exhaust vent…

Heat duct or exhaust vent…Courtesy Structure Tech

You decide. Whatever it is, the kitchen venting system coulda used a little more thought.

Extra clothes rod

Extra clothes rodCourtesy Structure Tech

Clever why? Well it’s the shower curtain tension rod silly. It’s easy to violate electrical codes if you don’t know what you’re doing.

A wee bit of an access issue

A Wee Bit of an Access IssueCourtesy Structure Tech

Can you imagine how this guy felt when he opened the drawers for the first time? A little kitchen planning never hurts. That would have done the trick.


MedusaCourtesy Structure Tech

Do NOT look this mess in the eye! You’ll turn to stone! I think these supply lines could be a bit shorter. Plus the water pressure is bound to be affected.

You’re not fully clean unless you’re zestfully clean!

You’re not fully clean unless you’re Zestfully clean!Courtesy Structure Tech

I don’t think this shower would meet the new low-flow requirements. But it’s sure makes a nice set of grab bars.

All employees must wash their hands before returning to work!

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

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.

Beer can inspection panel

Beer can inspection panelCourtesy Structure Tech

Great way to save a trip to the appliance parts store. But the next water heater repair may require more than a beer can. This is what you need to know before doing a final walk-through.

I’m melllltttting

I’m mellllttttingCourtesy Structure Tech

Little Johnny got a magnifying glass for his birthday and set out to harness the power of the sun and melt the neighbor’s house. Obviously, this house is in need of some siding replacement!

Structural stucco

Structural stuccoCourtesy Structure Tech

The studs have completely rotted away leaving only the stucco to do the support work. Sistering new studs alongside the old ones would solve the problem. And if you have a similar problem with your floor framing, you can sister floor joists too.

Desk fan attic venting

Desk fan attic ventingCourtesy Structure Tech

The desk fan pointing towards a roof vent is one thing. You just can’t run cable willy-nilly wherever you want…

Don’t fall for this trap

Don’t fall for this trapCourtesy Structure Tech

Maybe it works-maybe it doesn’t. Is the whole system properly vented or not?

Flashing in a can

Flashing in a CanCourtesy Structure Tech

Spray foam can be used for many things. Flashing is not one of them.

3-way switches

3 way switchesCourtesy Structure Tech

Cleverly positioned 3-way switches for you want to control the same light with your left and right hand at the same time. Or maybe this guy wants to turn the lights off when sitting on the toilet perhaps?

Return air downspout

Return Air DownspoutCourtesy Structure Tech

Here’s a quick way to add some humidity to a dry room. Just run the downspout into your return air! And better yet use conventional ductwork.

A fat siding guys nightmare

A fat siding guys nightmareCourtesy Structure Tech

Installing your own siding isn’t all that hard to do. Providing you’ve got plenty of room for your ladders and scaffolding.

What’s a TPR valve?

What’s a TPR Valve?Courtesy Structure Tech

Not willing to be outwitted by a water heater, Jim decided that the TPR (temperature, pressure relief) valve should only drip when he wanted it to drip. A TPR valve is an important safety feature, and the photo shown above is NOT an appropriate solution! 


RedactedCourtesy Structure Tech

There are a multitude of things that shouldn’t be put down the toilet. Unfortunately, we’ll never find out what happened here.

Mouse trap gauntlet

Mouse trap gauntletCourtesy Structure Tech

Determined to have Martha’s mouse-pelt coat ready for Christmas, Karl set about the task with never-before-seen enthusiasm. There are many ways to get rid of mice in your home.

Belt and suspender roofing

Belt and suspender roofingCourtesy Structure Tech

This DIYer wasn’t taking any chances installing these shingles. Yup, he caulked between every single joint.

Fancy access panel to nothing

Fancy access panel to nothingCourtesy Structure Tech

Maybe it used to serve a function before they walled it off? Actually we think it was a plumbing access panel.

Sump pump smarts

Sump pump smartsFamily Handyman

It may look smart. But you’re not allowed to run your sump pump discharge into your home’s sewer pipes. This is another example of someone who should study up on the right way to cure a damp basement problem.

Not a real doorstop

Not a Real DoorstopCourtesy Structure Tech

Make sure when you install a smoke alarm, it’s not doing double-duty as a doorstop. Placement of smoke alarms is super-important. These are the common mistakes to avoid when buying your first home.

Ice cream anyone?

Ice cream anyone?Courtesy Structure Tech

The cheapest, easiest-to-install, urinal on the planet. And no water supply lines required. But next time maybe you should read up on how to plumb a basement bathroom.

Just make it fit

Just Make It FitCourtesy Structure Tech

Honey? I’m sure it’s a coincidence, but it seems like the kitchen floor has a dip in it ever since you put in the garage door opener. Beware of home inspector nightmares in which the home has structural issues!

Extension cord-powered circuit

Extension Cord-Powered CircuitCourtesy Structure Tech

We think the idea here is to plug in an extension cord and use it to fire up another circuit. Maybe it’d be a little better to simply add another circuit. Next, these are the home improvement fails that will make you cringe

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