DIY Disasters


Thinking about doing it yourself? Before you do, make sure you learn from these folks’ mistakes.


“Last year we moved into a house that needed some renovating. Unfortunately my wife spent the majority of our budget on a chaise longue, an odd-looking piece of furniture I’m not allowed to actually sit on. So when the time came to redo the floorboards in our bedroom, our meagre resources were depleted. Being the handy husband, I bought a DIY staple gun. I didn’t foresee any problems. I was wrong. In the middle of nailing the floorboards down, I lost my balance. The gun went off and I shot myself in the shoulder. Trey explaining that to the doctor. My arm – and ego – was severely bruised.”

Stuart, 46


“One evening, after I got home from a raucous night out with the boys, I couldn’t fall asleep. Tossing and turning, I decided to get up and watch some late-night TV. My programme of choice? ‘How to fix almost anything yourself.’ Feeling inspired – and sufficiently drunk – I decided to remove the piece of curled-up wallpaper in the corner of the ceiling that had been annoying me for ages. Grabbing my sharpest kitchen knife, I stood on a kitchen chair. As luck would have it, I fell off the chair, stabbed myself in the thigh, hit my head on the floor, and passed out. Needless to say, I won’t be drinking and DIY-ing again.”

James, 26


“I was very excited when my wife bought me a blow torch for my birthday. So when she asked me to use it for removing some old paint in the living room, I was all too happy to try out my new toy. Not really being familiar with a blow torch, I wasn’t sure whether I had to take any precautions. Everything went smoothly and I did the job in no time at all. Walking towards the kitchen to reward myself with a cold beer, I noticed a faint burning smell. A spark had caused the window frame to catch alight. Luckily I quickly got the fire under control. As for my wife’s expensive curtains? They weren’t quite as lucky.”

Steven, 32


“My husband once did the dumbest thing imaginable while working in the garden. I asked him to cut off a few branches of an unruly tree and he went a bit overboard. When I heard a scream and a loud thud, I knew something was wrong. Hubby dearest had sawn off the very branch he was sitting on, breaking his arm in the process!

Anita, 30


“A few months ago my fiance, a seasoned carpenter, was sawing wood in his garage. For some reason unbeknown to anyone but him, he decided to see whether his thumb could fit through a hole in his work bench. It could. The problem was, he couldn’t get it out. By the time I got home, he was getting very anxious. I – on the other hand – was beside myself with laughter. In the end his brother had to saw a chunk out of the work bench to free his thumb!”

Joanne, 45

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