Real DIY Disaster Stories

Completing a successful DIY project is a great feeling, but we all know at least one friend or relative who seems to court disaster with every job. Laugh and learn from these unfortunate real life accounts!

Jacob’s Ladder

Finding myself inspired to paint the bland living room of our newbuild flat, I enthusiastically went to the local DIY store and chose a beautiful deep red colour for a feature wall idea I’d had. Brushes and all necessary tools at the ready, I was ready to begin. All necessary tools except for a step ladder, that is. Not keen to let this small hitch dampen my creative spark, I climbed up on the back of our sofa to reach the highest point of the wall. Loading my paint brush I made my first tentative strokes. It looked great and I carried on happily. Sadly, I was about to face quite an undoing…Missing my footing on the back of the sofa, I slipped backwards, and though I juggled the paint pot admirably for what seemed like minutes, it was in fact a matter of seconds before it and I hit the living room floor, covering carpet, new flat screen TV and dog with two litres of red paint. Jack, Bedfordshire

A Shedload of Trouble

One Boxing Day I enlisted the help of my wife and daughter to erect my new shed in my back garden. The shed was large, and had arrived flat packed. Having laid the foundations a couple of days previously, all we needed to do was slot the walls into place and slide the roof on top. Though I was prepared for some trial and error, I did not envisage that my wife and daughter would inexplicably dissolve into hysterical laughter during the heavy lifting phase. I remained the responsible adult right up until the moment when their hilarity caused them to let one of the panels go. They soon pulled themselves together when it knocked me unconscious and gave me concussion! We spent the next few hours in A&E. Never mix family and DIY. Rick, Berkshire

A Drain on Resources

Realising one morning that the drain in our garden was overflowing, I called my husband outside to investigate. Having diagnosed that the drain was full of raw sewage, caused by a blockage at one of our neighbours’ properties, my husband informed all our neighbours not to use their toilets until he had cleared the blockage. Amateur extendable rods in hand, the drain cover was removed and there followed much poking and swearing. After a while, a shout from the next door garden alerted us to the fact that the blockage had been cleared, only to surface very enthusiastically elsewhere. The panic caused my husband to let go of his rods, which slid away into the mire. About an hour later a patient man from the water board came to fix the problem and disinfect the gardens, while I disinfected my husband. The rods were eventually retrieved! Cath, London

Bedroom Bother

Putting a flat packed bed together is a pretty straightforward job, but my ever-independent girlfriend made it look ridiculously difficult. Disaster struck at every stage of the construction, with the frame fixed together back to front, and almost an hour spent trying to remove a dowel rod that had been hammered very hard into the wrong hole. Once the frame was finally in place, there was the small matter of nailing the wooden slats across it to form the mattress base. In total three of the slats were split by my girlfriend’s overzealous use of the hammer, but though they were by no means straight, after a couple more hours they were firmly fixed into position. We lifted the mattress in place, and that night it was a very proud woman who hopped into the bed she had put together with her own fair hand. Unfortunately I was anything but proud when I did the same and fell through the bottom of the bed, narrowly missing our cat sleeping beneath it! Kevin, Manchester