Saturday, 17 November 2012

It's Almost a Frugal Kitchen

Units of Measure

Well, that was an experience and a half!
After measuring absolutely every available millimetre to ensure the view from the new kitchen sink would be through the middle of the window, things seemed to be going well - adequate space either side, nice view of the garden...
Disconnecting the old sink had been relatively straightforward, barring the drips and accidental spills, and removing the worktop out onto the patio was painless. Building the unit - not that I did that myself - was simple enough, then all we'd to do was slot in the sink, connect the taps and attach the waste pipe. And that, my frugal friends, is where the fun really begins! Aside from that, spacial perception just isn't my 'thing'.
Having a kitchen that appears to have been built more for housing livestock than for cooking family meals means that the floor is concrete and slightly sloping. When these houses were originally built in c1805, there were no water mains - there were wells in a couple of the gardens. Laying in water pipes would have meant digging through the stone or concrete floors and then feeding that water from the point of entry to the newly introduced taps and indoor toilets via exposed pipes, because they couldn't sink them into solid stone walls. So, you get the basic idea - solid walls, slightly sloping floors to compensate for no drainage systems and pipes that run along the edges of kitchens and bathrooms.
Having opted for DIY flat pack kitchen units, we had overlooked one important point - adjustable legs! These units have solid panels from top to bottom, probably designed for building onto perfectly level, modern floors surrounded by even walls that hide pipework behind them.
Solution? A sharp saw remedied the pipes problem, we just cut holes in the wood and sat the units over the pipework.
Fitting the pipework so there's water runs through the taps and waste runs out to the drains, this was trickier. In fact, at one point I ended up trapped inside the sink unit! Having climbed in to reach the pipes behind it, I'd forgotten that the hinges for the doors had already been fitted (but not the doors). How might this trap an individual beneath a sink, you might ask? Well, those pesky hinge attachments love nothing more than to grab your hair in the passing and hang on in there, knowing fine well there's insufficient space for the unsuspecting frugaler to turn and stretch to free one's self! It was very lucky that I wasn't home alone and that help was at hand... once they'd overcome a bout of hee hawing and laughing!
All five units have now been constructed and it's amazing how good they look, despite not being fitted and not being safe to sit an egg on and leave it unattended. I am, however, finding it a little difficult to site stuff exactly where I want it, owing to something else I didn't full think through... electrical socket placement!
I opted to have several extra sockets included during the wiring, but I never did specify exactly where. Now I see why I should have paid much more attention to such a seemingly trivial detail! We live and we learn. Hopefully, the frugaldom exploits will serve to remind others of the importance of getting even the simplest sounding jobs right from the start. It really does matter exactly where you place things like sockets, light switches, cooker cables and pipes. It also helps if you know where the wooden straps behind the new plasterboard are, for the purposes of hanging stuff securely in future. I haven't even risked hanging the clock back up on the wall, yet!
Now, on a completely different topic, I need to prepare for the 2013 Frugaleur Challenge and get ready to try to earn some extra income. If you haven't already heard or read about it, the challenge details can be found at It's another money challenge, based on the premise that we can start a frugal buiness with no more than £50. It's the continuing attempts at becoming a frugal entrepreneur!


  1. The sink looks great - well done you! sf x

  2. Thanks Nic, although I can't take any of the credit for buildin the units, I'm usually barred from even 'supervising'. LOL

  3. Think most houses need at least one beer mat to put under a cupboard or a table NYK. It looks grand.

    When we moved in our new house. We had no sink, no lino, no doors, no carpet, no bathroom, Shall I go on? But we thought we had found heaven on earth. There's no feeling like your very own house is there? The kitchen sink looks really impressive.

  4. Beermats? How exravagant are you? I have pieces torn from cardboard boxes and will get around to decorating at some point in the future. LOL

  5. I have to say being married to an Electrician means every room we have renovated from scratch has enough sockets to sink a ship in it!!!

    Glad you got your sink up and running,


  6. Lovely to see your kitchen beginning to appear, great job. Our relatively modern bungalow has concrete floors so if a pipe goes in it, it is not a pleasant job to tackle as our neighbour found out a couple of years ago. We have a rising main (plus a large tangle of pipework inside 2 kitchen base units, plus a mini rising main under the bath - hence no shower as it is a major job to move it!

  7. Jealous of your being married to an electrician, Gill! I don't even have any tradesmen as distant relatives or friends - I think I live in the wrong area for that, so no hope of ever marrying one! LOL

    Data, just shows that I have never had a close inspection of a modern bungalow when I jumped to the conclusin that they'd all be plain sailing and filled with all the mod cons.

    On the sink front, it looks good, but I'll need to keep a bucket under there for the foreseeable, as there's something lacking by way of proper sealing. There's a definite drip when draining a basin of water. 'Cheap' certainly describes the accompanying pipework, 'nasty' could be a possible companion word. I guess you get what you pay for and that's, that. LOL

  8. I would go to your builders merchants NYK if I was you and ask them if they have a good sealer for your sink. There's all sorts of stuff on the market these days that will sort the drip.


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