Top rookie engineering and design mistakes

Top rookie engineering and design mistakes
August 6, 2019 Prime Engineering

We’ve all seen them – hilarious engineering, construction and architectural mistakes you’re not sure could make it through the design stage. But these mistakes are so prevalent that many have happened more than once.

Whether it was an unfortunate error, or whether they were just intended to create symmetry in the design of the building, these mistakes do make us chuckle. Solving tough engineering problems with innovative, tailored solutions is what we specialise in here at Prime Engineering, so we like to think of these fundamental engineering and design mistakes as a guide for what NOT to do. Here are a few of our favourites.

engineering mistakes | construction fails | building | engineering

Stairs leading nowhere

We’ve all seen a staircase leading to nowhere. Unfortunately, we don’t have Harry Potter magic to move the staircases to a more suitable location! Lesson learned – always make sure your site plans and technical drawings feature doorways in the right places.

A structure in New York has even taken stairs leading to nowhere to a whole other level. Although this is art and not a mistake, it is pretty impressive. Check out this NBC News article to uncover more about this vertical maze.


Taking shortcuts in any type of engineering or construction is never a good idea. We’ve seen some pretty shocking shortcuts in our time, but nothing is worse than seeing a ramp which is too steep even to walk on, let alone keep control of a wheelchair! Of course, this is not the only issue with ramp designs – often, they can be too long or even lead to a blocked path! Clearly this team didn’t have their protractor on hand when they designed and built this.

Leaning towers

Weak foundations, underground springs and softening ground all lead to one thing – leaning towers. Of course the most famous of these rookie errors is the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but there are many more leaning towers throughout the world. Did you know that even Big Ben is on a slant? Check out more leaning towers here.

Doors leading nowhere

We can all understand that architects may utilise balconies without windows for the sake of a design feature to create symmetry (although it is a bit ridiculous!). But what we can’t understand is building doors leading nowhere, or worse, building doorways leading to a very high (and dangerous) exit. Take a look at some dangerous doorways here.

engineering mistakes | construction fails | building | engineering

Have a project in mind, but don’t want it falling into a heap due to rookie errors? At Prime Engineering, our expert team will work with you to ensure your project is completed to the highest standard every time. Because at Prime Engineering, our promise is always the same – it’s spot on, or it’s nothing at all. Contact Prime Engineering today!