There has been a lot of brew-ha-ha over the DIY craze, it inspired the big box store movement. I heard about this through a client that reads READIT. They have a section that is all about stuff people do because they think they can. To that end I will collect DI-Why stuff to keep those amused that know better. Lets face it when you don’t know what the hell you are doing you often end up with my hero Rube Goldbergesk gadgets and fixes.

One of my favorite scenes is from the show Parks and Recreation where Ron Swanson (Another hero of mine) is asked nicely by a roaming helper at a Lowe’s if there is a project he is working on. Ron stops and says “I know more than you “. My kids imagine that is what I do when I have to go there for a part.

It Will Never End

The other impetus for this page is that men are expected to know how to fix stuff and women often fix stuff because they can’t get men to do it. The big box scene seems to imply that it is easy, come on in for some parts and advice.


Paul Livesay at Grover’s pay and pack on Franklin road, bless his heart is dispensing information all day and has for the past 37 plus years. One holiday season I got his email address and sent him a not to say thanks for all the great advice he has given over the years. That I realized that I had not shared what I had done with all of his advice. I linked it to a string of epic DIY fail images.


I have also asked and have been declined consistently for decades to put up a jail house shiv board of DIY Fails at Grover’s because “Someone might get the wrong idea and thing the board reflects best practices” For the love of God people, must we be so protective. That is why we have the Darwin awards, home insurance, and natural selection exists.



The Bounty


There is no end to what we find when we remodel. I will categorize the short stories and images to share what people are doing with best intentions. I have a $20 in house bounty for images of things we find to share with you.


 I Need a New Outlet

Back side of the wall

This imaginative person decided that an electrical box was not cool so they installed an outlet without one. From the front it was tilted a little and upside down for a residential application. It was what they did behind the wall that was really frightening.

Upside down and sideways



The Microwave Needs an Outlet

Extension cord to Microwave

In this situation a home had been flipped. We all know what this means, that you are dealing with a mega DI-Whyer. These people really think they know what they are doing. Electrician, oh hell no, I got this.


What is frightening about this situation is that the Microwave should have a separate circuit. The plug in was behind the microwave jammed into the wall.



Wana Be Remodeler Calls Me For Help


I just fielded a call from a gal that I helped when she fell off her bicycle one day. She is remodeling her home using subcontractors but doesn’t want to take the risk of playing subcontractor Russian Roulette. She recently fired a tradesman and threatened to report him to the BBB. Who needs that crap. I have no idea why tradesmen would want to work for a Home Owner doing their own remodeling project.


I realized that I have a page devoted to that. Then after talking with her more, I felt sort of dirty. I pay dearly for my relationships that we develop with my tradespeople. Why would I want to subject them to a remodeling Home Owner who does not see any value in what I do for a living. Need something fixed? call me for advice or use my page. Want to remodel your home yourself? Good Luck. Perhaps this page will give you an idea of what not to do.



Primitive Warming / Cooling Drawer

half in half out HVAC register

I am evaluating this project for a kitchen remodel and discovered a half ass vent. Part in and part out of the kitchen cabinets. The dishes are really warm in the winter and chilled in the summer.



Son Of a Flipper Ruins Home

Oh Hell No

A sad situation was brought to my attention to fix after a failed relationship and remodeling project. He learned a lot from his folks, but he failed to get a permit. Therefore none of his work is valid.


He was not the homeowner so the electrical , Plumbing, and HVAC work was done illegality not to mention RONG. Oh and the tile work was done RONG too. Perhaps it is premature to judge a half-baked cake but this is just stupid.

Glue on Tile

The construction adhesive did not attach to the tiles and the wrong spacers were used. Is that why the are falling off? DUH. Waterproofing, No must have stopped the YouTube video a little prematurely.  There is no better advertisement to never buy a flipped home.


Did she get a great deal?


NO! the price she paid was cheap. The work she got was shabby and needs to be torn out and investigated. He likely did not do the electrical right behind he walls, the flooring is terrible, the plumbing and the HVAC are not done correctly and the tile work is not acceptable. She will have to pay to get it fixed. Bottom line she is paying for it twice.


Not fun when you went deep into your reserves to get the work done in the first place. Sadly I am not Mike Holmes. I do not have a budget and sponsors to help her out of this pickle.


Run Around the Wall

Romex around the wall

Here is another fine example of an electrical good idea gone bad. Why he heck would you run your electrical Romex around the room then up through the wall for an outlet? This is why houses burn down and why people should not play with electricity who do not know what they are doing.



Here is a Flood Looking for a Place to Happen


The polyethylene is bad enough because it is prone to spontaneously erupt but pierce it with a crimping saddle valve for the refrigerator water line is very foolish. Ideally all of this should be removed and replaced with PEX and a real ball valve should be added to feed the refrigerator. IMHO these saddle valves should be outlawed.

Saddle valve in polybutylene


Keeping fire departments in business 

I found this one after a brief demo in a basement. The previous owner decided that a piece of cheap extension cord would work for adding an outlet in another room. The joke is they live only a 3 minute drive from a home improvement center. Overloaded wires cause heat, that in contact with combustible materials causes fires. Pretty basic.

Romex? Never heard of it