Skip to main content
Even seasoned DIYers end up with a black thumb or a gouge in the wall from time to time. Here are 20 common DIY mistakes and the safety tips you can learn from them.

Check out this great article from our friends over at Popular Mechanics!

safety tips, diy help

The editors at Popular Mechanics would like you to know that we're not perfect. Whether tackling home improvements or making automotive repairs, we've all made our fair share of mistakes. Here are some of the worst.

safety tips, diy helpKlaus Tiedge, Corbis

1. Deep-Water Drilling
I used a 3-inch drywall screw to hang a heavy, framed painting in my bedroom, because the extra length provides more load-bearing strength, right? It held the frame fine, but two months later, the living-room ceiling collapsed. Turns out the screw had punctured a water pipe, creating a slow, insidious leak.

Lesson Learned: Use a hollow-wall anchor, not a drywall screw, which can plunge deep enough to do real damage.

2. What a Tool
I rolled the drum floor sander into the room, plugged it in-and it took off like a crazed robot. I gave chase as it bashed a hole in the wall and raced into the next room.

Lessons Learned: (1) Make sure the machine is switched off before you plug it in. (2) If you forget the first lesson, never chase a runaway floor ­sander: Instead, pull the plug.

Check out the other 18 DIY mistakes that our friends at Popular Mechanics made so you don't have to -- plus the safety tips they learned the hard way.

For table saw safety tips, check out this video from the Woodworkers Guild of America:


Follow Us

  • No features currently available.

  • More Hot Topics The Daily Fix  •  DIY Warrior  •  Home Ec  •  Handmade
    DIY Disaster Doctor  •  In the Workshop  •  Product Picks

    Home Improvement Videos