Duct Tape Dreams

Wisconsin plumber finds a way to keep his overhead low while helping customers with their plumbing problems

Duct Tape Dreams

A little duct tape can go a long way. That’s been Cory Dellenbach’s business mantra since he started his plumbing firm, Dirt Cheap Plumbing, in March 2018 in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. And he’s committed to making his approach to doing business a success.

“You don’t need fancy equipment and materials,” says Dellenbach, who is also the editor of the industry trade publication Plumber magazine. “Duct tape is used all the time to fix all sorts of things. Why not use it to fix plumbing?”

Dellenbach says his role as Plumber editor has helped him develop extensive knowledge about the industry. However, in talking with plumbers, he noticed one chronic issue — they all have a lot of expenses.

“Employee wages, materials, tools, trucks, the list goes on,” Dellenbach says. “I thought someone could do pretty well if they just got rid of all that and focused on fixing problems with whatever they had around the house. If you don’t have any expenses, then every job you take is pure profit.”

Dellenbach has been in business as Dirt Cheap Plumbing for only a week and has had one job so far. His hope is to gain customers through word-of-mouth.

“I’m only charging $20 per job, no matter what it is,” Dellenbach says. “Customers are going to love that, right? I haven’t received any feedback on my work from my one customer yet. She’s my next-door neighbor and I overheard from someone that she had a few minor plumbing issues. She went on vacation recently, so I just broke into her house and took care of those. I’d be shocked if she wasn’t thrilled by my work. I even used duct tape of different colors, so it looks really cool.”


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