cellar, fixtures, cellars, plumbing, pipes, air, iron and cement

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Old and New Houses.—An old house is apt to be damp and out of repair ; yet, if the frame is solid, it may be enlarged to advantage. Alterations, however, are usually costly. In such buildings one should beware of disused cesspools, old wall-papers, and damp cellars, and thoroughly fumigate and whitewash as a precaution. New buildings shrink as the woodwork dries, and cracks are caused by settling. Tons of water may be used in making mortar, and this water must evaporat? before the building is dry. The old proverb is wise : " The first year for your enemies, the second for your friends, the third for yourself." The Back-Yard.—The back-yard should be kept neat and sightly, and should not be made a dumping-ground for rubbish and litter of all sorts. Low spots that collect rain should he filled up and turfed ; and vines and, at least, a few flowers and shrubs should be planted to give a pleasant out look. Garbage should be removed systematically, and should be kept in tightly covered cans until taken away. Tea-leaves, potato-peelings, bones, and similar scraps can be burned in small quantities under the grate-bars of the kitchen stove without causing any odour.

Verandahs.—Many people nowadays hot only take their meals out of doors in fair weather, but even sleep there. A good verandah is therefore equivalent to another living-room. If enclosed with glass at one end, it makes a sun-parlour or conservatory.

Most plans for country houses fail for lack of a good kitchen-porch, where servants can prepare vegetables and sit between meals and on pleasant evenings.

Cellars.—Thoreau says, in his " Walden or, Life in the Woods " : " The house is still but a sort of porch at the entrance of a burrow." Primitive man dwelt in caves, and the first colonial dwellings were simply holes in the ground, roofed over like the turf-houses in the Hebrides. In former days houses had no cellars, but were built directly upon the ground and banked all around with manure in winter for warmth. A hole was dug in the hill side, and walled in to store roots and vegetables, while a spring-house or the Nycl 1 served as a refrigerator. Every dwelling should have a cellar to contain the heating-apparatus, store fuel, and for comfort's sake. The cellar should have windows on opposite sides, which can he opened in all kinds of weather for ventilation. Coal-bins should not be so high as to obstruct free circulation of air. Cellar walls should be whitewashed every spring and autumn, and the ceiling should be plastered and all openings for soil and waste pipes closed with cement to prevent cellar air from entering living-rooms. The floor should be covered with six inches of broken stone, over which should be laid three inches of Portland cement (see Fig. 351).

This will prevent " sweating " which would result if the cement were laid directly upon the cold ground. The cellar-drain should not connect with the house-drain, unless there Is an intercepting trap fed from some certain source of supply, such as a refrigerator waste-pipe, or tank overflow, or a back pressure valve-trap to prevent sewage from backing up and flooding the cellar. It is not desirable to place plumbing fixtures in cellars, as they are apt to be neglected, so that their traps dry out. Ashes and garbage should never be stored in cellars. Refrigerators should not connect direct with the house-drain, but should empty into a metal pan or into a sink in the cellar.

Plumbing.—The essential principles of perfect plumbing are (r) good materials. (2) careful workmanship, and (3) thorough ventilation of all drains, traps and fixtures. Formerly light-weight soil and waste pipes were used, often cracked or full of sand-holes. Now nothing but " standard " iron pipe is permissible, which has been tested by water-pressure, and which has deep hubs, so that secure joints can be made. Galvanised iron is also used for waste-pipes with screw=ed joints, which greatly simplify the work, and ensure that the pipes are gas-tight.

When the house is completed the whole drainage system is tested by water or air pressure or with oil of peppermint, as a guarantee that everything is safe.

Formerly all drains and soil-pipes and most plumbing fixtures were boxed in so as to be in accessible, thus affording spaces to harbour vermin and foster decay and damp. Now exposed plumbing is the rule, while wooden wash-tubs, tin-lined baths, and iron slop-sinks have been superseded by porcelain or enamelled-iron fixtures, which are clean and sweet. A model tenement-house of the present time is more sanitary in this respect than the millionaire's mansion of twenty years ago.

Next to durability of materials comes quality of workmanship. The plumber of former days was a mere tinker. with neither skill nor training ; now he is a well-paid, capable mechanic, and his work is superior. All soil and waste pipes are concentrated as much as possible, and are run in straight lines, with the fewest possible bends. All traps are placed close to fixtures, and every fixture must be trapped separately except in the case of kitchen sinks and wash-tubs in moderate-priced flats and tenements. Water-closets must be flushed by cisterns, and not by direct pressure ; valve closets for servants' use are tabooed.

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