Most of last week, I spent without a kitchen sink. Most of you already know how energy inefficient my house is. I bought the house inexpensively because it's what I could afford. But as older houses go, there are usually problems. Problems that I was aware of, but went into because I knew that with a little time and mostly money, that it could be fixed.
One of the biggest problems (one of, not the biggest…) is that one of the previous owners had built an extension of the house, sort of like a sunroom, except without the windows. This room's insulation is pretty bad, most of the coldness emanates from here. This is where the kitchen is located.
Now, I guess in the course of me cleaning up the backyard, I had jarred open the trapdoor to the crawlspace underneath the kitchen. This let a lot more air in… cold, freezing air. Nothing was insulated down there. In fact, as I learned this week, much of the subfloor had broken off and the kitchen is essentially resting on plywood.
The weekend before this happened, the boyfriend was over as usual, and I would make dinner as usual, and opt out of doing the dishes until the next day (Monday), as always. Monday night, I came home, and realized that water was not coming out of my kitchen sink. My first instinct was that the city shut off my water for whatever reason… construction? busted pipes? I don't know. But every other tap worked in the house, including the sink in my basement.
I poured some hot water down the sink, suspecting ice buildup. The water stood still (and mixed in with crap from the dirty dishes turned a lovely bronze colour. So with a resigned sigh, I went to clean my plates and cutlery in the upstairs washroom.
I told my mother about the sink and how I had to go see a plumber. Being who they are, my parents insisted on coming over and taking care of the problem myself, even though I knew my dad was busy and tried to get them to stay and take care of their own renovations. My dad checked things out, and told me about the open trap door, the lack of insulation, the frozen pipes and the broken subfloor. The next day, he installed a heat tracer through the pipes. The sink was totally functional as of Friday. This week, he said he would come by to install the insulation down there.
The thing is, I love my house. I fell in love with it when I first saw it because it had the charm associated with an old home. But it needs serious TLC, and I've been relying too much on my family to get things done around here. However, the alternative option is spending thousands of dollars on the necessary repairs. So I'm torn doing that, or going the slow, but less expensive method.
Living without a kitchen sink isn't the worse thing that could happen to someone. At least I still had running hot water in my house, though it was an inconvenience to go upstairs to wash a dish. We take our little modern conveniences for granted, I think. It'd be interesting to see what would happen if our current society (I mean, everyone), had to revert to pioneer days when you had to actually walk out to a well to get your water, and when indoor plumbing was considered high tech and wonderful.