Sunday, 13 April 2008

A Tough Two Days

For tonight’s post, I thought I was going to regale you with pictures of the units around the sink all finished and looking great. Why I should think things would progress smoothly I have no idea, nothing else has but I always live in hope.

So these are the units as left by the plumber and electrician after they had plumbed in the sink and the dishwasher to the right.

All I needed to do was build the small unit that is going to the left of the sink and then put the fronts onto the sink and corner unit. Nothing at all onerous, a couple of hours at the most. But here I am 2 days later and…

Well the small unit is built, that took only and hour or so. Fitting it, well that was another matter entirely. When it was placed beside the sink unit it protruded by over a centimetre. I would have ignored a millimetre or two but a centimetre is a bit much. I first tried to move the sink unit out a bit. To fit the sink, the workmen had to basically vandalise the unit and had therefore removed most of the supporting struts that held the side pieces together. To compensate for this, they had screwed the unit to the wall. Not only was it screwed to the wall, but it had been done before the sink had been put in place. There was only about 2 inches between the screwhead and the sink. I eventually found amongst my father’s old tools a canted screwdriver but being imperial and not metric it did prove the theory but didn’t fit the screwhead.

A quick trip round to Ann and she found a modern equivalent in her tools so back home and start on the screw again. This screw is in a two inch space round the back of the sink, so it was being done by feel. I did try lying on my back under the sink but gave that up after dropping the tools on my face a few times! After about an hour of only being ably to turn the screw a quarter turn at a time, I realised that it had only come out about three quarters of an centimetre and that now the plastic rawlplug was turning as well so nothing was happening. The unit would only move about half a centimetre forward, I was tired and frustrated so went to bed.

This morning I finally looked at it again and realised that to stand any chance of moving the unit any further, forgetting about the screw for a moment, would have required dismantling the waste pipe too and putting in a longer piece. There are no DIY shops open on a Sunday in France so plan B. Ann and Regis came round and we all had a good look at it and decided that moving the sink unit wasn’t feasible so we decided to trim a centimetre off the back of the little unit. With a little bit of jiggling it is all in line and looking good with its drawer in place and the door fitted.

I then looked round for the front pieces for the sink and corner units. That’s when I found the shelf for the corner unit; the shelf that doesn’t fit through the front of the unit but has to be put in from the back.

The rest of the day has been spent trying to remove the two screws that have been used to secure the sink unit to the corner unit. Yes you’ve guessed they were screwed together before the sink was plumbed in and there is only two inches of clearance between the screw head and the sink itself. I finally managed to get one out but have given up for the night on the other. After about an hour of trying I got close to tears and I know I won’t make good decisions. I’ve even tried getting a hacksaw blade between the two units but the screw is doing a really good job of keeping them together.

Tomorrow is another day so maybe I will get lucky and get the last screw to shift.

I really need to, this is my lounge/dining room at the moment, full of all the kitchen stuff and I have a friend arriving in a couple of weeks who will be staying in this room. Still the weather forecast for the next ten days is rain for the majority of the time so I will be indoors and I certainly won’t be bored.


Living the Dream said...

I don't know where you get your patience from, I would have thrown the damn screwdriver out of the window by now. Good to catch up with all your news

aims said...

Oh Deb! My heart goes out to you. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to do these things. I know I have cursed a blue streak and thrown things when coming across stuff like this.

Eventually I get The Man to do it - but I sure hate not being able to do it myself.

Do you have an electric screwdriver? They have far more strength then we do - and some come with a torque that you can adjust if you need more.

We have about 5 different ones. The last one we got we call Snoopy because it looks just like that cartoon dog. The great thing about is it that it bends in different directions and is smaller than all the others - so it can get into small spaces.

I'm wishing you all the best DIY luck that I can!

Just let me know if you need me to do the swearing for you!

dND said...

Thanks aims,

I have an electric screwdriver but the screw is in a place where it won't fit.

I think I can get a drill bit in there without drilling through the sink so will just have to try and either drill the screw out or drill through beside it to release it.

Georgina said...

Deborah, I feel so bad for you. It's like we said the other day "a five minute job" turns into a new project. The kitchen and bathroom are always the worst room to do because you need them every day. I'm not surprised you've been close to tears. Everything is doubly hard in another language, especially critisising workmanship or complaining. Do you know I think I might invent an award for you "the bon courage award." Love Debs