Saturday, 17 November 2012
It's Almost a Frugal Kitchen
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 www.frugaleur.com 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!