Page images

good condition, and on account of its cheapness may be renewed each summer. It is objectionable, however, because it is quickly torn or rotted. In communities where fly and mosquito disseminated diseases are prevalent many companies have encouraged the use of screens by selling them to the tenants at cost. Copper screening will perhaps prove cheapest in the end. It should have about 16 meshes to the inch.



The illumination and ventilation of the house may be greatly improved by properly placing the doors. Advantage should be taken of these uses for doors in addition to their use as a means of entrance and exit. Frequently dark ends of rooms may be lighted by a glasspaneled door, ground glass being used where privacy is necessary. If the front door leads into a dark hallway the glass panel is almost essential.

Outside door frames should be recessed for attaching screen doors. Storm doors, of the same size as the screen doors, should be provided in cold climates for exterior doors which open directly into a living room. For a hall or vestibule the storm door is not so important. If the doors were stored in a company building when not in use, and were hung each season by a company carpenter, they would last much longer. This service would show the interest of the company in the comfort of its employees without carrying with it any semblance of paternalism.

The movement of air through the house can often be improved, thereby making the house much cooler in summer, by properly placing the doors relative to one another and to the windows. The use of transoms is advocated for the same reason. The transom may be used to advantage, especially in those bedrooms which have only one side exposed. Otherwise, when the door of such a room is closed at night, the room approximates a "hole in the wall," with such a slight movement of air that a comfortable and refreshing night's rest is impossible. A transom over the kitchen door will greatly help to remove the smoke incident to cooking and make the room more livable.


The position of the furniture should be considered; the wall space can generally be used to better advantage in respect to this if the doors are placed near the ends rather than in the center of a wall. In a dwelling the outside doors usually swing in, and provision should always be made on the door frame for a screen door. In hanging interior doors the side on which the hinges are placed

and the room into which the door swings may vary with circumstances; it is not necessary to follow one system. Doors should not swing so that when left open the lighting from a window is blocked or the opening of another door is interfered with. Such a conflict often occurs with closet doors, and should be guarded against. Sometimes it may be of advantage not to hang the door.


Great care should be used in setting the door frame, for if this is out of plumb the door will not hang well. Some woods swell in damp weather and contract in hot weather, and continue to do this season after season, so that if the door should be planed off to fit in one season it will be too small to stay closed in the other. For this reason pine doors are best for common use, as pine shrinks less than most other woods, and when once dried has little tendency to absorb moisture again.

Strong hinges firmly secured with long screws should be used. All the hardware should be of plain design for ease in cleaning and for durability.

Stock doors are made 1 inches, 1 inches, and 1 inches thick. The 14-inch door may be used for closets, but all other interior doors should be 13 inches thick. Outside doors should be 1 inches thick. Stock doors usually vary between 2 and 3 feet in width and from 6 feet 6 inches to 7 feet in height.


In addition to windows, doors, and transoms, ceiling ventilators and louvers are a help to ventilation. If the ventilator is placed in a closet, the ventilation can be controlled by opening or closing the closet door. An additional advantage is that the closet and clothes therein are kept fresh and wholesome. Openings in the ceiling are of no benefit as a means of ventilation unless louvers are placed in the eaves of the cottage. (See Pl. VIII.)


In the artificial lighting of miners' cottages it is important to use a system that gives a well-diffused light, does not vitiate the atmosphere, and does not increase the fire hazard.

It has been estimated that an ordinary gas jet will consume as much air as two people and that a kerosene lamp will use as much as four people. When to these disadvantages are added the danger of leaking gas and the menace of the oil lamp in the presence of children, it is hoped that these methods will be abandoned.

In many mining towns the houses are lighted by electricity, and this system should be universally adopted. Electric bulbs do not

vitiate the atmosphere, and if the house wiring is properly done there is practically no danger from fire. Note position of electric lights shown in Plate VI.



In discussing the means of obtaining an abundance of air and light, the question of the warmth of the house forthwith intruded itself. Unfortunately, fresh air during certain seasons of the year is also cold air, and some artificial means must be adopted for warming it. It is believed by many that breathing the artificially heated, stale air of the house is responsible for many of the ills that afflict humanity, and the tendency seems to be to revert to the out-of-door life. This can be done conveniently during one's sleeping hours by means of a window tent, if a sleeping porch is not practical.

If care is used in the erection of a house, the problem of keeping the house warm will be greatly simplified; and throughout this paper emphasis is placed upon construction details for this reason.


Few miners' houses have individual furnaces. Although no one will deny that this system is very convenient, it is felt that there are numerous more important improvements calling for attention. On account of the smallness of the miner's house, the necessity of building a cellar demanded by this arrangement, and the consequent increase in rent, the universal installation of such systems is not recommended.


Fireplaces and stoves are the two methods usually adopted for heating the small cottages in mining towns. The fireplace is not as efficient as the stove for keeping the room at an even temperature, but it is valuable as a ventilating apparatus, as it removes the impure air and constantly renews the air in the room by suction through cracks in the walls and around the doors and windows.

A stout screen should be provided for the fireplace to prevent sparks flying into the room and to prevent accidental burns from the open fire. Children particularly are subject to such accidents.


If the chimney breast over the fireplace or mantel is to be furred out and finished with lath and plaster, only metal lath should be used. If the mantel is to be of wood, it should not project far enough to be blistered or ignited.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

All floor timbers should be trimmed clear of the brickwork of the hearths and chimney, so as not to be in contact with it at any point. This is secured by header beams, carried in front of the fireplace and at least 20 inches from the chimney breast, supported by the trimmer beams, which enter the wall on each side of the chimney. These should not approach the side of the chimney closer than 4 inches. The intervening tail beams, as they are called, are mortised into the header. In this way the floor beams are free of contact with chimney flues. (See fig. 6.)

Flue lining pipe





Trimmer arch





FIGURE 6.-Cross section of chimney, showing construction.

Tail beam

All hearths should preferably be laid on trimmer arches of brick or a reinforced concrete slab extending from the chimney breast to the header beam already described, so that the hearth shall not rest upon or near wooden beams in any case. The length of trimmer arches should not be less than the width of the chimney breasts, nor their width less than 20 inches, measured from the face of the chimney breast. (See fig. 6.)

The most effective place for a stove is near the cold or exposed side of the room, possibly between two windows, so that the chill may be removed from the cold air as it enters the room. This is on the same principle that radiators are placed underneath the windows. The

position of the chimney should be selected with this thought in mind, unless it is to be used by the stoves in two different rooms, in which case it must be in the partition between the rooms. The more efficient heating would hardly warrant the cost of an additional chimney.

It is desirable to have a short stove pipe, so the stove should be near the chimney. The stove should be placed far enough from the wall so that there is no possibility of blistering the paint, and a piece of sheet tin or galvanized iron should be provided for the stove to rest upon.

When a stove is used, the windows should be lowered slightly to insure an adequate supply of air.

The department of public instruction of the commonwealth of Virginia describes in one of its recent circulars" a method of heating country school rooms which might be adapted to cottages. It suggests that a ventilator be placed under the stove to permit the entrance of fresh air and that the stove be surrounded with a galvanized-iron or tin jacket so that the chill will be removed from the incoming fresh air.


In some instances it might prove economical to heat the houses from a central heating plant. This system deserves to be carefully studied, the important factors being the cheapness of power, the nearness of the houses to the plant, and the number of months during the year that heat is required.



A chimney should not be built with the idea of using it as a heating device; to do so is dangerous, but should be so built as to conduct the smoke and heated gases directly into the open air. Defective flues are among the most frequent causes of fire.

All chimneys should be built from the ground up, and the foundations should extend below the frost line. The practice of supporting chimneys or flues on floor beams or wooden or iron brackets is hazardous. A small fire around the base may drop the flue and allow draft for the rapid spread of fire.


All chimneys should be built to a point at least 3 feet above flat roofs and 2 feet above the ridge of gable roofs. Down drafts are

[ocr errors]

a Form X, No. 45.

Most of the following recommendations have been adopted from a bulletin issued by the National Fire Protection Association.

« PreviousContinue »