It’s funny how you can chug merrily along in life for years, doing things that are either just within or on the edges of you comfort zone and never realizing what you miss by jumping outside it.
One of my parameters of comfort has always been breaking the house.
I do not like even the idea of breaking my house and it disturbs me to do so without the sure knowledge that the house can be properly put back together again, and quickly. My terror of breaking the house is reinforced by years of renting space in other peoples’ houses and also by a slight overdose of Mike Holmes. Watch that man’s show for even a week and I promise you that you will cringe at even touching your baseboards, let alone messing with any of the major systems like plumbing, electrical or structure.
A couple of weeks ago I realized that I was either going to have to replace the kitchen sink or never wash dishes again*. John voted for replacing the sink.
So I bought a sink. A nice granite fusion one. On sale for under $200. And stared at it for almost two weeks. Girding loins to tackle a sink takes time, it appears. Should you be considering doing anything to your kitchen sink, be warned: if the kitchen is the heart of the house, the sink is the aorta. Without a sink, everything that lives under the sink is homeless, the dirty dishes hang out all over the place (dishwashers connect to the sink drain) and it is much harder to make coffee. Essentially if you want an easy way to “break” your house, just whip out the sink.
Finally I decided to start, and during the three days that followed removed the old sink (after turning off the water, of course), took photos of the plumbing for the previous sink, enlarged the aperture for the new sink (not replacing the counter-tops at this time – that’s a bigger project for a vaster budget), bought a new faucet after discovering that the old one didn’t fit the new sink, used a circular wet-saw to cut holes in the stone sink for the faucet, installed the sink, installed the faucet and then stared at the plumbing again.
Plumbing with ABS is like doing a time-sensitive jigsaw puzzle that you have to cut yourself. In addition, all the angles and slopes must be spot-on PLUS you get the fun factor of working with a special plastic-melting glue that can eat through skin in a jiffy. Good times. The necessity for fast work and the scariness of the glue were what really stopped me. After cutting away the existing plumbing, I was able to replicate it, making adjustments for the new drain spacing, quite easily.
Once I cracked open the glue, and started, though, it was straightforward and I managed to assemble a drain that does not leak, drains smoothly and quickly and connects the sink to the wall quite admirably (which is really all I was looking for). The only downside of the whole thing is that the new sink is too large to allow for the use of the existing garbage can. Small potatoes, really.
Now household renovations don’t scare me so much. And washing dishes is no longer like working in a flood zone.
*It seems that the sink that came with our house was shallow and small and cleaning pots and pans consistently resulted in water slooping out over the bowl and splooshing down the fronts of the cabinets. Every damned time, no matter what I do.