Fail Patrol: 28 Photos of Builders That Completely Botched the Job

Have you ever built a tower of Legos? A treehouse? Have you ever put a bicycle together? Building something from the ground up is incredibly difficult whether it is a piece of furniture, a bicycle or a home. Following instructions are often not enough as it takes real ingenuity to understand how everything should fit together. Think back to your Lego tower or treehouse, bicycle or something else. Was your project sturdy and functional? Did you have any missing parts?

It’s no wonder, then, why structures like the Egyptian Pyramids, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Eiffel Tower are considered architectural wonders. Aside from their beauty, these masterpieces defy the odds of construction by making it look effortless and easy.

But, despite such beautiful wonders, construction doesn’t always go as planned. As engineers design and contractors build, mistakes happen that usually result in pointed fingers and widespread blame. Most of the time, it’s a missed detail that can easily be fixed but, sometimes, it’s a huge error that drastically effects the project.

Whenever a critical mistake happens, hilariously bad results can occur, although no one laughs when it happens! What, then, are the biggest construction screw ups of all time? Here are the top 28 botched construction jobs that have left builders constructing new resumes for their unavoidable job hunt!

#28 – Prison Break

Prison Break

“Prison break…your neck” sounds more likely with this door of death that leads to a tragic fall in this maximum security prison. Why worry about prisoners escaping with a door like this? From the news to movies and television, prison breaks feature drama, deceit and often death when it comes to breaking free from the slammer. Following similar suit, anyone attempting an escape from this prison through this door is likely to be escorted in a body bag. So much for seeing freedom and blue skies, right? At least the correctional staff can find escapees easier; just look for the pancakes bellow!

#27 – Breakthrough


“Life finds a way.” Do you remember this line by Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park? Whether a construction flop or nature’s way of intervening, life obviously found a way as this palm tree grew taller and taller until it broke through the roof of this home. Of course, the contractors could have redesigned the home and the landscaping crews could have dug up the tree but, somehow, the tree still found a way. Luckily, the family has accepted the tree’s fate and has welcomed it with open arms into their humble beachside abode. Don’t they always say, “Life can be a real beach”?

#26 – House Arm

House Arm

Have you ever seen a tree growing sideways? It was strange enough to see a tree shooting through the roof of the home before but, this tree made its own way as it grew through the side of the house. We’re pretty certain this is a homeowner’s nightmare but the OCD in us hopes that there is a matching tree arm on the other side so the house is at least symmetrical. But, despite being a real growing pain, can you imagine how awesome a treehouse would be here? You could practically climb from the bedroom window into the treehouse itself!

#25 – Brick View

Brick View

Imagine a crackling fire and hot cocoa, a good book and a cozy room. It sounds perfect, doesn’t it? This family obviously thought of building this cozy dream a little too late. In fact, they added a fireplace after their home was built, causing this room upstairs to be completely filled with a brick chimney and a now useless window. While the room itself is far from cozy, we only hope that whoever was living upstairs at least gets a different view. Unless of course, the person is a vampire and then this brick-filled space is completely perfect.

#24 – Not the Reich Way

Not the Reich Way

Hitler’s Reich Way is often associated with the swastika, which is widely considered hateful and evil, much like Hitler himself. What happened then, when a group of architects came together to design a series of buildings that just so happened to look like a swastika from the air? Nothing, at least not until someone noticed! Either these builders were completely clueless or were in on the scheme, this accident turned out to be an expensive Nazi mistake as a new group of architects were brought in to expand and correct the horrible mistake. Let’s hope their new creation isn’t as offensive as the first!

#23 – Pit of Despair

Pit of Despair

“Willy Wonka and Barney Team Up to Build a Playground” might just be the headline for this playground disaster. This slide is just enough to get a kid’s speed going only to become a death trap thanks to a sharp turn at the end plummeting to a pit of despair. Who thought this was a good idea? While pits are common in playgrounds, most are filled with colorful plastic balls so kids can jump around without getting hurt. This pit, thanks to Willy and Barney, is probably filled with gravel, bugs and maybe even a snake! Yikes!

#22 – A Bridge too Short

A Bridge too Short

Are you ready for an adventure? Skyscrapers and bridges are the most nerve-wracking construction projects because so much can go wrong that can lead to danger and death. This photo is a prime example of just how wrong things can go during bridge construction. Bridges naturally have spaces between their fragments or sections, which allow them to flex as traffic crosses. However, this much space is a little too much! Unless you’re feeling adventurous in your Honda or are channeling the Dukes of Hazzard, we are fairly certain there’s no crossing this bridge, come hell or high water!

#21 – Non-driveway


Three bedrooms, two baths and a two-car garage with a private driveway – sounds like an American dream home, doesn’t it? What happens, then, if the driveway and garage are useless? Hopefully, this contractor was fired for his poor judgment as this family can’t even use their driveway thanks to the electric pole dividing it in the center! Then again, perhaps the family drives Smart Cars or mopeds, which means this split driveway won’t be a problem at all! We can’t help but think: Smart Cars, stupid contractor!

#20 – Potty Humor

Potty Humor

Who needs privacy when there’s toilet talk? With a dose of potty humor, this bathroom takes away any amount of privacy with its lack of doors separating the single toilet from five sinks. Where are the other toilets? We’re pretty sure we would much rather do the pee-pee dance than have to make small talk with people washing their hands while we try to do our business. Of course, if there’s a line, there’s nothing like people standing and staring as you finish up. Did someone say, “Awkward”?

#19 – Safety Hazard

Safety Hazard

Sending out a shockwave! How many times as a child did you hear, “Water and electricity don’t mix”? If you’re like us, this lesson was right up there with stop, drop and roll. It’s no surprise then that this photo actually makes us twitch like we’ve been electrocuted! In one of the worst designs since screen doors on a submarine, whoever designed this outlet and faucet placement should be sent back to grade school for a real playground lesson! It wouldn’t shock us if the rest of the house was littered with death traps as well but, then again, that’s what you get when you fool around with Jigsaw’s wife. Someone needs a lesson in stop, drop and roll, for sure!

#18 – Off the Rails

Off the Rails

A train wreck waiting to happen, indeed! Take a closer look and you’ll see that some of the rails are actually replaced by concrete in a station-like platform. No, this is definitely not an old cartoon and there is no evil villain, rope or dynamite! This is a real railroad and, since trains require rails to prevent them from crashing, we’re hoping that this is one of the many abandoned railroads in the world. If not, there’s big trouble ahead. Regardless, these contractors need some serious “train”ing in order to move forward full steam ahead with their projects. Choo Choo!

#17 – Close Shave

Close Shave

What is this, an escalator built for an ant farm? Unless this escalator was designed by an oompa loompa for a mini-mall, we can’t really see its benefit much less anyone of average height being able to use it. In fact, it reminds us of a model made to scale only this model is the real deal! Going up? Going down? Who cares! Just take the elevator down the hall on the left, at least Otis knew a thing or two about proper elevator design.

#16 – Not Very Handy

Not Very Handy

What’s better than having your own parking island? Having one that works, that’s what! This parking space fail is far from useful for anyone, especially a handicapped person! Possibly the worst parking space ever designed, this parking island makes it darn near impossible for any car to jump the curb to make it into the spot. As if jumping the curb wasn’t bad enough, the person has to jump through hoops just to get from the car to the building. Can you imagine ramping a wheelchair over that curb? Hopefully some poor fool will fill this island with dirt, plant some flowers and call it a day since that’s the only use we can think of for this spot!

#15 – On the Level

On the Level

“If the house is rocking, don’t come knocking” is usually a lead-in to a good time, even if the house is a hotel. But, taking a look at this Best Western, we can’t help but wonder about the good time that caused this window to be crooked! Despite looking modern and eccentric like a Salvador Dali painting, what exactly happened to the window? Did someone go cross-eyed when cutting the opening? Whatever the reason, we’re fairly certain there’s a story there and we’re dying to know! If it was caused by a freaky good time, all we can say is, “Take it easy there, Tiger.”

#14 – Ride the Rail

Ride the Rail

Do you live in a two-story home? Are you tired of climbing all those stairs? If you’re considering renovating or closing off your second story, we highly recommend that you don’t hire this contractor! This failed attempt to wall-in a stairwell was going fairly well until the contractors reached the bottom of the stairs which, to our guess, would be the easiest part, right? Instead, the crew stopped short of the two bottom steps, leaving the steps and the railing protruding from the wall! Hey, at least the stairs are up to code: no need to worry about someone falling off the stairs and suing because of no railing!

#13 – Dead End

Dead End

Calling all skateboarders, there’s a new ramp in town! While it’s required by law that public buildings have wheelchair access for handicapped people, this ramp was obviously an afterthought with its poor design, making it into a great mini ramp for skateboarders in the area! Although the ramp got off to a great start, the designers must have given up or lost focus since they missed those last three stairs. It’s every man for himself, right? Just let the guy in the wheelchair pop a wheelie over those and roll on down. No big deal.

#12 – Rocket Ramp

Rocket Ramp

Hurry up and grab your phones! We think we’ve found the next YouTube sensation! If the last ramp was nearly impossible to go up, this ramp offers a break-neck speed going down! Who thought of this design and how in the heck does this meet code requirements?  Of course, it technically counts as a ramp but someone seriously missed the point. If you’re looking for a quick exit, then you’ve found the perfect way to launch yourself from the building and straight into the parking lot. In fact, why not leave the car door open and see if you can land in the passenger seat? Ready, set, go!

#11 – Invisidoor


Wizardry, wonder and disappearing doors seem like something straight from the magical train ramp in Harry Potter. But, unlike the famous wizard and his magical world, this invisible door is far less glamorous. Featuring a weathered canopy and steps, the building is completely useless without a door, leaving passerby to look on with hopelessness at what could have been. It’s not like the business moved or renovated the building; there’s simply no door! Perhaps only Harry’s magic is the only way to know what’s behind these walls! Hurry up, let’s send for Hedwig and get a note to Harry!

#10 – Failcony


Don’t miss it! Practicality v. Symmetry, in an epic battle tonight over what’s functional and what looks good. In this design, it’s obvious who won. At first glance, the balconies appear as beautiful additions to the building, offering gorgeous views to tenants. However, the painful reality is that the lower balcony can never be enjoyed unless someone climbs the building like a lovesick prince calling on his princess. Though we’re sure the building is beautiful from afar with its symmetry, it seems like an epic balcony fail and a tragic waste of a perfectly good view! Back off Romeo, Juliet doesn’t even have a window to escape!

#9 – Crazy Stairs

Crazy Stairs

Walk like an Egyptian, just don’t take the stairs! This building looks like an Egyptian design but we can’t quite figure out where exactly the stairs are meant to go. It’s easy to imagine someone walking up the stairs from the bottom and abruptly stopping in confusion. Entering from the second floor seems to solve the problem but how the heck do you get to the second floor in the first place? We won’t even bother worrying about the third floor! Did someone mention an elevator down the hall because this maze is exhausting!

#8 – What?


Where do you even begin? Is this a staircase? A support structure? A door block? A portal into a do-it-yourself hell? No matter what this contraption is, it looks absolutely grotesque on this house and has no apparent functional purpose other than confusing the neighbors. Heck, even the most advanced architect is stuck scratching his head on this hellacious thing! Whatever it may be, it looks like one of Kevin’s booby traps straight out of Home Alone! Steer clear, friends, it looks rickety and unsafe!

#7 – Half Way There

Half Way There

Someone call the plumber, this bathroom is going down the drain! If you’ve ever looked through home and apartment listings, you probably already know that a half bathroom usually contains just a toilet and a sink. However, this contractor took the phrase “half bath” literally! With a teeny tiny room and half of a toilet that doesn’t work (how could it?), we aren’t quite sure what the purpose of this room is. In fact, to us, it looks like pure crap worthy of being flushed from this home design!  Like we said, “Someone call the plumber and quick!”

#6 – Garage Sale

Garage Sale

Would you like to take a ride on my gyrocopter? No, seriously; it’s parked in the garage! Of course, with a garage like this and not a driveway in sight, it seems like a gyrocopter is pretty believable, wouldn’t you agree?  Two car garages are pretty standard when it comes to the American dream but perhaps this architect watched too many futuristic and sci-fi movies and assumed we’d be driving flying cars by now. Since we’re obviously behind the times when it comes to flying cars, this garage is pretty useless, unless of course Smart Cars have wings?

#5 – Way Up ATM

Way Up ATM

7 feet, 7 inches – that’s the height of one of the tallest NBA superstars in history. Can you imagine going through life with your head in the clouds trying to do average tasks like going to the grocery store or the ATM? Take a look at this photo of an ATM that was undoubtedly built for NBA height achievers! For most of us, this machine is as useless as a deactivated bank card but for our taller friends, this is more than ideal. Hopefully there’s a ladder built in, otherwise we’re going to have one hell of a time putting in our PIN! “Eh, excuse me? Can you give me a boost?”

#4 – Way Down ATM

Way Down ATM

Don’t forget the little people! From one of the tallest ATM’s in the world to one of the shortest, we can’t forget the little people and their banking needs! With an ATM all their own, this ground-level ATM is comfortable for shorter people and even the laziest bankers who need to take a break and sit down for a minute! We can’t help but wonder, however, if this might be another viral marketing ploy for the launch of Ant Man. You never know!

#3 – Stairway to Heaven

Stairway to Heaven

Do you remember Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner? This staircase to nowhere reminds us of one of Coyote’s many failed attempts to chase and capture the Road Runner. But, aside from the cartoon like purpose, we highly doubt that this gorgeous staircase was built simply to trick others. What happened? Where were the stairs supposed to lead? Perhaps there are big plans for these stairs in the future but, for now, they’re only good for “stares”, which seems pretty pointless with something that pretty! Go ahead, pull up a stair, have a seat and stare (eh, we mean, “stay”) awhile!

#2 – The Drop

The Drop

Do you remember the prison death door from earlier on the list? If you thought that was bad, this death door takes the cake as this is a community building and not a prison! Can you imagine having a community meeting and people attempting to exit from this door? Talk about local news headlines! What if there’s a fire emergency and everyone inside needs to escape? What if people make a wrong turn down a dark hall and open the door to their death? It sounds like this community needs to raise funding for a set a stairs and forget the collection for the St. Patty’s Day parade! Priorities, people!

#1 – Windoor


Haven’t you heard? Windoors are in and regular doors are out! This staircase actually has it all: a bad paintjob, a sagging and rusting stoop, and a window serving as a door. What better way to enter your house than struggling through a broken window? That’s not sketchy at all! Come to think of it, when’s the last time the pizza delivery guy knocked on your front door to deliver your pizza? Now, can you imagine him knocking on your bedroom window? Better yet, imagine having friends over but the only way to get in the house is by shimmying through the window! That sounds perfectly legitimate and safe to us!