Sometimes the thought of renovating a home seems much easier than moving. But whether you’re undertaking a major restoration or a minor remodeling, what begins as a dream endeavor can quickly devolve into a nightmare.

Surprises may be lurking behind the walls and beneath the floorboards. Often, they can create a snowball effect where suddenly your initial project becomes an extreme (and expensive) home makeover straight out of a reality show.

The following home improvement mishaps are so extreme they may have homeowners asking themselves, “What have we done?” If it’s any consolation, at least they know they’re not alone. Instagram is filled with #renovationproblems that serve as cautionary tales. Take a look.

1. The vanishing contractor

As some homeowners learn the hard way, not all contractors are created equal. These folks had their builder up and quit, leaving them with a very incomplete-looking home. But aesthetics aside, exposing wood like that is just opening up the house (literally) to a whole host of problems, from the elements damaging the wood to pests making their way inside.

2. Ouch!

A post shared by Marshall Law (@yourmomsbutt) on

Even with shoes on, you still might not be immune from the hazards of hardware. Getting a nail in your foot will make you wonder if maybe you have a hole in your head for undertaking this project. You’ll definitely want to have your tetanus shots up to date in this case.

3. Drain drama

Many homeowners like to keep a safe and sterile distance between the kitchen and the bathroom. So it’s definitely unpleasant when you discover that you’ve had a plumbing issue that connects the two. You wouldn’t blame this gal if she’s not able to enjoy a meal at home any time soon!

4. Getting to the (very) bottom of the issue

Of course this homeowner wanted to get to the source of that dip in the floor but it looks like knowing when to stop may be the real problem. Perhaps this is a sign he’d really like to put in an indoor swimming pool? Now that’s a home improvement!

5. Fix one issue, discover another

A post shared by Sarah (@mrs_shearer) on

When you’re in the middle of a renovation sometimes it feels like the only surprises you uncover are bad ones. In other words, for every homeowner who stumbles upon an invaluable heirloom, there are dozens of others who find asbestos. Or, at least that’s how it feels when you fix one thing but then realize you’ve got another project that demands your immediate attention as this homeowner did.

6. Sheetrock shocker

A post shared by Patrick (@patrick_xb) on

When you open up a wall, you may hold your breath and hope you don’t find anything creepy. These poor owners found creepy and crawling, just like something out of a horror film. This is one of those sights that it’s going to take a while to “unsee.”

7. Hole-y cow!

An opening in the ceiling is really only appealing when it involves a skylight. And while the hole itself is an issue here, it looks like there may be some other problems as well. Let’s hope, for the homeowner’s sake, that’s not mold we’re looking at.

8. Unexpected exposed brick

Red brick can add a rustic and charming vibe to nearly any space, but when you’re not expecting to see it, it’s probably a little less welcome. Also, is it just me, or could those bricks use a little TLC?

9. A rocky foundation

You don’t need to be a structural engineer to recognize that this foundation has some significant flaws. This project is off to a rocky start, no pun intended. It’s also not a great sign that this happened on the very first day.

10. Rotten luck

Dry rot is definitely not something you want to find at any stage of a renovation. This issue, in which wood decays because a species of fungi consumes it, actually isn’t “dry” at all, but rather results from too much moisture coming in contact with the wood. Unfortunately, this condition can lead to extensive and expensive repairs.

11. Kitchen, what kitchen?

No doubt this kitchen will be beautiful when it’s finished, but this certainly looks like it could be challenging to live through this kitchen renovation. Hope they’ve got some friendly neighbors who’ll invite them over for a meal!