One of the by-products of helping make other people’s homes Moregeous is that people assume mine is already done and dusted, they imagine some kind of show home with plumped cushions, a designer bathroom and spectacular decor – NOTHING could be further from the truth! When we moved in here four years ago it was as a stop-gap after my back injury, a few months breather as I wasn’t well enough for my usual searching out of a run-down house, fully refurbing it and moving in. Unfortunately those few months turned into a few years and here we still are, in a house with plaster falling off the walls, dry rot and leaky pipes! It can be a bit embarrassing sometimes, when clients visit and is a far cry from the days when I used to have my own homes in style magazines, now that’s a privilege reserved exclusively for clients 😉
So here we are facing another freezing spell with a boiler manufactured during the last world war. Last year the place was so cold Mia refused to leave my office for a week and just sat on a heater. The windows are huge and single glazed, there are gaps everywhere and the boiler’s as efficient as one of Sugar’s Apprentice candidates. I got a bit annoyed last night as my toes went blue whilst cooking tea and knelt down to look at the under cupboard plinths. The blast of cold air hit me in the face like air-con, oh my lord! The kitchen fitters, through sheer laziness, hadn’t bothered to fill in any of the gaps between the original floor and the wall plaster, plus the plywood under the tiles had only been taken to the front of the kitchen floor unit legs to save money, instead of all the way to the walls. The drafts coming up through the floor, into the cupboards and between the plinth gaps were gale force! Can’t believe I hadn’t noticed before. I stomped off to B&Q in the snow for two rolls of insulation whilst Mr M took off the plinths. I then cut it into long strips for the area behind the rear legs of the unit and down the gaps, he stuffed it right to the back, then I cut some into squares to sit under the units but on top of the bare floorboards. Plinths back and the ‘face’ test – no drafts!! The kitchen is so much warmer, noticeably more toasty this morning 🙂
Take off the plinths and have a little check under your kitchen units if you’ve an older kitchen like mine and invest in a roll of rockwool at £18 or thereabouts, I only used one roll in the end for a 4.5m run of units. Use gloves when you cut it then wash your clothes afterwards as it’s a bit itchy. You can go environmentally friendly and use recycled plastic or sheeps wool insulation, but they didn’t have any in B&Q and my mood was such that if it hadn’t been done last night, the air would have been as blue as my feet 🙂
If you are having a kitchen fitted in an older house with suspended timber flooring, make sure your workmen or women(!) lay any plywood over the floorboards all the way to the wall edges and the gaps are sealed to prevent drafts.