Facepalm Moments: 21 EPIC FAILS From Construction Projects Around The World

by | BiggerPockets.com

If you’ve had any experience with flipping houses or new construction projects – you probably know that general contractors, carpenters, plumbers and other subcontractors in the industry aren’t all created equal. It’s important to work with the right people because without careful planning, clear communication and a thoroughly competent team of individuals working on all aspects of a construction or renovation project, the final product may not come out as planned.

If you’re unfamiliar with how this goes, here are 21 embarrassing examples of what can happen when you hire the wrong person (it shouldn’t take you long to spot what’s wrong in each picture).

Related: The Investor’s Guide to Working with Contractors

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FACT: Measurements Matter



Apparently it is important to use a level.



Do you think the building inspector will notice?

spiral stairs


Just a minor design flaw.



Dude. Seriously?



A little something to drive your OCD crazy.



When the ceiling guy and the escalator guy don’t communicate.



Not a very well-designed parking lot…

bad parking spots


Good luck getting to the top of these stairs.



Spelling is important, especially when it’s on the pavement.



Money well-spent on a top notch security camera.



Kind of defeats the purpose – but whatever.

phone booth


These balconies have a stunning view…  if you can get to them.



Don’t even think about disobeying this gate.



This Happened.

bad gutter


Just so you know, there’s a pole here.



Is it just me, or does something about those doors not look right?



Attention to detail is a must.



A new type of door – designed exclusively for toddlers.

upside down door


Be very, very careful not to drip.



There are no words.

door handle


What kind of epic fails have you guys experienced? 

About Author

Seth Williams

Seth Williams (@retipsterseth , G+) is an experienced land investor, commercial real estate banker and residential income property owner. He is also the Founder of REtipster.com - a real estate investing blog providing real world guidance for part time real estate investors.


  1. Levity, levity, levity! Not as important as location, location, location, but these contractors clearly needed help with location, location, location! We just saw a DIY bathroom where you only have enough room to use the toilet standing up or sitting on it sideways!

  2. Man, it’s hard to believe some of these are real. I live in Belize, a third world country, and have seen some doozies. One particularly funny story was a client who built a vacation rental, and when the contractors were done, there wasn’t a single drawer in the entire kitchen – just cupboards. When he asked them where are we supposed to put the silverware, they just looked at him like he’d lost his mind. He had them add one large drawer, and everything that you’d normally expect to go in a drawer was crammed in that lone drawer.

  3. I would be horrified if someone in our construction crews did any of these things! The first one with the drawer not opening I have seen happen on a high end luxury home, and it was just a nightmare attempting to correct it! One little mistake threw off the whole kitchen. Some of these are just ridiculous!

    • I’m sure your crew is MUCH better than this Alex… though I must say, I actually can understand how some of these mistakes can happen. The devil really is in the details (especially when it comes down to thoss little measurements that effect everything else).

  4. LOL @Seth although I have to say many of these are design issues rather than construction issues. Back in the day when I was a young carpenter and before there was CAD, architects drawing on paper would have a hard time visualizing how details from different drawings all came together. I’m sure with the benefit of hazy hindsight these issues could be considered humorous now but at the time…

    Another classic kitchen design mistake is putting the dishwasher too close to the corner and preventing the first drawer around the corner from opening all the way because the dishwasher door sticks out past the face of the cabinets… so the dishwasher door has to be opened to get at the contents of the drawer. Don’t be that designer!

    • Haha – yeah, I actually almost had that dishwasher issue in my first house (though luckily, we caught it before the mistake was made). Some of those renovations really do require some critical thinking before it’s too late! Thanks for sharing Giovanni. 🙂

  5. Cristina Abellar on

    Made my day, thank you Seth for such a good laugh though it isn’t funny in real life. I am having a real nightmare issue with a newly built house in the Philippines that is already leaking from the roof when it rains and my supposedly very trusted carpenter sarcastically replied “It’s raining, what do you expect?” Oh, & all the bathrooms were built in front of the house, when asked, he said to save money from buying exhaust … so include me in your prayers not to hammer down my beloved builder!

    Thanks again!

    • I’m sorry to hear about those issues you’re dealing with Cristina – that kind of sounds like a nightmare (though as you can see, you’re certainly not the only one to deal with these kinds of challenges). I wish you all the best in getting it resolved!

  6. shelli callan on

    This is exactly what I needed today! I am headed into my 6th straight day of a real estate classes. What better way to start the day but with a serious good laugh! Thank you!

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