Frugal Fixes Around the House – Duct Tape, Foam and a Rubberband

by Debt Destroyer on May 22, 2009

Back in September I wrote about how it took me two days to fix a screendoor.

Guess what? It’s broken again.

I bring this up to show that I’m no handy man.  With all the Bob the Builder that my kids watch you’d think that something would rub off on me.  But nothing does.  In fact when the kids break something they always run to “Mommy”  to get it fixed.  But I don’t blame them.

I married a female Red Green.

Ok, that might be a bit of an overstatement.  But sometimes I wonder.  Take our refrigerator for example.

Our bottom rack broke on the inside of the door.  I messed around for days trying to superglue the original rack back in.  It would be fine for a bit, then fall apart and the jug of apple juice was always falling on our feet.

I repeated this a few times until one day I came home from lunch to find out my wife fixed it.


She fixed it with Duct Tape!

That same strip of tape has been protecting our toes for over a year.

Actually the most impressive aspect of the tape job, was that Mrs DD was actively lobbying for  a new fridge even before the rack broke.  It is on our Wish List after all.  So I was glad that she was able to put aside her desire for a new one and realize that as long as it keeps things cold, we’ll be keeping our old fridge.

Speaking of things we’ll be keeping…

Remember when Christmas came early for us and we received a hand-me-down couch? Well after we got used to it, our “new” 20-year old couch started to feel like…a 20-year old couch.  So My wife took it upon herself to fix it.

Can she fix it?  Yes she can!

A couple of weeks ago she went to the local hardware store and got a couple of pieces of foam cut to fit under the couch cushions.  The foam was spendy ($70+), but it made huge difference.  We are once again very pleased with our “new” couch and are confident that it will last until we get a leather one…someday.

While I’m busy exhorting my wife’s handiness, I do have one success story that I should share.

We were having a plumbing problem in our upstairs bathroom.   Our tub spout is rather old and corroded, so water would somehow flow backwards along the bottom of the spout, get in the wall, and leak on the floor.  This made giving the kids a bath more messy than it normally would be.

It took me a while to figure out exactly what was causing the water to get on the floor.  But when I did, I used a rubber band to redirect the leak.  Now instead of getting all the way to the wall, the water leaks down into the tub when it hits the rubber band.

I also could just put some caulk around the tub surround, but that seemed too conventional of a fix. Plus I don’t have much luck with those type of projects.

The screen door is testament to that.

So what have been some of your proudest moments fixing things yourself? Or better yet, how about some stories of home projects going awry.  I don’t know about you, but I can relate to those kind of stories much better.

Until next time,


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Brainy May 22, 2009 at 6:05 am

So… if your wife is Red Green, does that make you Harold?

But really, I think it’s awesome. It’s cool when people who are obviously doing quite well show off their shortcomings, you know, like a duct tape shelf in the fridge. ;0)

Oh, and keep your stick on the ice…


ChristianPF May 25, 2009 at 10:52 am

Duct tape and WD 40 is all you need. If it sticks and it shouldn’t be use WD40, if it is loose and it shouldn’t be use duct tape. 😉


fern May 26, 2009 at 1:17 pm

That fridge photo is too funny.

Another good fix for a sagging old couch is to put a piece of plywood underneath the cushions.

I’m not very handy, either.


Clare English May 28, 2009 at 4:50 am

The duct tape cracked me up. It’s the sort of thing that my hubby would have done too!


Car Insurance Phi May 29, 2009 at 3:28 pm

HAHA I love that duct tape fix. I have a similar problem on all the racks in my cheap fridge, and I’m not about to pay for a new one. How does the tape hold up?


Bible Money Matters June 1, 2009 at 9:01 am

We bought a new house just so that we wouldn’t have to deal with too many home maintenance issues. Of course, when we did (leak in the foundation) we called in the professionals, our home builder. They fixed it for free under warranty. Nothing like having a professional fix something for you for free!


Debt Destroyer June 1, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Thanks for the comments.

@ Brainy – I’m totally Harold!!!

@ ChristianPF – WD40 is amazing!

@ fern – We actually did the plywood support with our last couch. We thought we’d try something different this time.

@ Car Insurance Phi – It holds up wonderfully.


Newton Plumbing July 10, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Your ingenuity is great but that leak is wasting a lot of water. If you can afford it, be sure to get it fixed ASAP. Thousands of gallons of water are wasted each year in our homes. Thanks!


Scott March 18, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Funny story, I’m usually the one that has to fix everything around my house. If my wife gets tired waiting on me to do something, she starts to do it her self but she does it wrong on purpose knowing full well Ill jump in just to prevent a catastrophy?!?!
Scott at majikpocket


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