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Title: Convenient Houses - With Fifty Plans for the Housekeeper, Architect and Housewife
Author: Gibson, Louis Henry, 1854-
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: FIGURE A.]


With Fifty Plans for the Housekeeper
Architect and Housewife--A Journey
Through the House--Fifty Convenient
House Plans--Practical House Building
for the Owner--Business Points
in Building--How to Pay for a Home




New York:
Thomas Y. Crowell & Co.

Copyright, 1889,
By Louis H. Gibson.

C. J. Peters & Son,
Typographers And Electrotypers,
145 High Street, Boston.


When the reader is familiar with the writer's general purposes, it is
easier to understand the details of his work. This book is intended to
deal with houses in a housekeeping spirit. In doing this, the architect
has in mind convenience, stability, and that ideal of housekeepers,
beauty of surroundings.

In carrying out this idea, the relation of architecture to good and
economical housekeeping is first considered. Following this division is
"A Journey through the House." It begins at the porch, moves through the
different rooms, and stops to consider the various details. This brings
about not only a consideration of the general arrangement of a house,
but such details as kitchens and pantries, plumbing, laundry, and

These first two sections of the book--"The Architect and the Housewife,"
and "A Journey through the House"--are, in a measure, educational. After
this, and in keeping with the general principles that have been set
forth, plans of fifty convenient houses are illustrated and described.
For the most part, they are houses that have been built.

The next section is devoted to practical house-building. It is
constructed by taking a complete specification for everything which may
concern a dwelling-house, and ridding it, as far as possible, of all
technicalities; thus putting in form all practical house-building
questions for the benefit of the owner.

Following this is the consideration of business points in building,
which sets forth methods of letting contracts with the view of securing
the best results without waste of money.

The closing section is devoted to the getting of a home,--how to arrange
the monthly-payment schemes, building-association plans, and other
methods for getting a house on easy instalments.

  INDIANAPOLIS, IND., September, 1889.




  CROWDED.--WOOD-WORK THAT IS READILY CLEANED                    11-15


  LESSON THEREFROM                                               16-20




  HOMES                                                          26-28







  --OUTSIDE CELLAR-DOOR                                          51-53


  LAUNDRY.--A PLACE TO DO FRUIT-CANNING                          54-58


  ROOMS                                                          59-63


  OF DRAIN.--BATH-TUB                                            64-74








  IDEA.--BEAUTY A MATTER OF REFINEMENT                         101-105



  $2,600                                                       109-117


  IDEAS.--POINTS ABOUT THE HOUSE.--$2,900                      118-125


  THE WANTS OF PEOPLE WHO BUILD                                126-130


  MUCH CELLAR A BURDEN.--$2,500                                131-134


  ATTIC                                                        135-138


  PLAN                                                         139-144




  FROM $1,600 TO $2,800                                        152-156


  HOUSES                                                       157-163




  PLANS.--REAR AND SIDE HALL                                   171-181


  BRICK HOUSE                                                  182-193



  --PIERS.--FLUES.--CISTERNS.--DAMP COURSE                     197-200


  WALLS.--CELLAR.--ASH-PITS.--GRATES                           201-206


  PAVEMENTS                                                    207-212


  --PORCHES.--LATTICE PORCHES                                  213-221


  FITTINGS.--STAIRWAYS                                         222-235


  GLASS.--CATHEDRAL GLASS.--HARDWARE                           236-246


  SINK.--CELLAR SINK                                           247-254


  SINKS.--NICKEL FITTINGS                                      255-263


  HOUSE.--SCHEDULE "B."--COST DETAILS                          264-269





  AGAINST LIENS                                                277-287



  OUT                                                          291-294


  BUILDING-ASSOCIATION REPORT                                  295-311


  RENTAL                                                       312-316





There is a definite relation between the work of the housekeeper and
that of the architect. This is the text of this book. It is a part of
the business of the architect to do what he can to make housekeeping
easy. He can do a great deal. He should understand the principles and
practice of good housekeeping. This knowledge is something which cannot
be derived from the architectural schools or offices; it must come from
a home. The public press of the country has had a great deal to say
about the artistic qualities of domestic architecture, a great deal to
say about house decoration, and, altogether, has furnished much valuable
matter. Little, however, has been said as to the relation of
architecture to good housekeeping. The artistic element should not be
neglected. There must also be considered the question of convenient
arrangement, economy and ease, for the housekeeper.

Washing dishes is disagreeable work, but the architect can do his part
toward making it easier. If we take a conglomerate mass of china,
knives, forks, and spoons, pots, pans, and kettles, and bring them
together on one small kitchen table, which has a dish-pan on one end and
a wooden water-bucket at the back, with a scarcity of everything to
facilitate the progress of the work, we have a condition quite different
from that wherein there is a roomy sink with a table on each side of it,
and plenty of hot and cold water above. An architect may plan a kitchen
so that all of these conveniences are possible. He may plan it so they
are impossible.

The floor-plan of a house has a definite relation to house keeping
requirements, which is not fully appreciated. The difference between a
good floor-plan and a poor one may make the difference of three or four
tons of coal in the heating of a house during the winter. It may
influence the keeping of a servant, the wages to be paid, or may control
the necessity for one or more than one. It makes more difference to a
man who lives in a house that costs two thousand dollars or three
thousand dollars, as to whether he burns seven or ten tons of coal in
warming it, than it does to the man who lives in a ten-thousand-dollar
or twelve-thousand-dollar house as to whether he burns fourteen or
twenty tons. The cost of fuel is of more importance to a man of moderate
means than to one of wealth. Then in the matter of service: it is
difficult to keep a good servant in a bad kitchen, or in a badly planned
house where there is a vast amount of sweeping and other work to be done
every day. Those who plan factories and mills arrange them with
reference to the saving of labor. The idea in saving labor is to save

One can build a better house for a given sum of money at this time than
ever before. The real reason for this is to be found outside the fact
that material and labor are cheaper now than they have been in the past.
It is because of the thought that is put into the planning and arranging
of dwellings. It is the thought that saves the money. It adds external
and internal attractiveness, convenience, labor-saving devices, and
arrangements. Thought helps to make housekeeping easier.

Economical housekeeping can be most readily carried on in a compact
house. To say that a house is compact does not necessarily imply that it
is crowded, or that any of the conditions of comfort are neglected. If
we avoid waste space, such as is frequently assigned to large halls and
passages, we merely take away something that is not needed.

It frequently happens that a man and his wife go through life with the
hope of building a better house "some day." They are economical; they
live carefully; they live in a small house; they are crowded. At last,
by dint of hard work and careful management, enough money is accumulated
to build the new home. This is the great event which has been thought
about for so many years.

The idea in building this house is invariably to get something as
different from the old house as possible. It was square; the new
building must be irregular. It had no front hall; the new house must
have a large one. There were no grates in any of the rooms; in the new
house there must be one in each. In the old building the rooms were very
small; in the new house they must be very large. There was no porch
before; now there must be one running across the front and along one
side of the house. Altogether, the idea of the old house and that of the
new are in direct opposition to each other. In one instance they were
crowded; in the other they have plenty of room. There can be no doubt
about the abundance of room.

The building is finished; they move into it. Almost the first person to
leave it is the servant whom they had in the old house. She sees the
amount of work which she will have to do. It was easy enough to sweep
the old house, with its small, compact plan. Housekeeping was
relatively a small matter; but with the habits of economy, which
rendered the new home possible, they will not employ additional help.
The work which is left over by the servant falls to the mistress.
Strange as it may appear under such circumstances, it takes the mistress
a long time to find the cause of the trouble. It is the house. It was
planned with an entire disregard for the work which was to be done. It
had not been thought of. The idea was merely to get something which was
different from the disagreeable features of the old home. They thought
that everything would be easier and pleasanter and more agreeable in
every way. The only trouble with the old home was that they were too
much crowded. In the new they are not, but have an impossible amount of
work to do every day. The difference between what they wish to do and
what is done, is represented by fretfulness in addition to the natural
weariness at the end of the day.

What has this to do with architecture and economical house-building?
Simply this. The house which is economically planned is economical as to
money, carpets, sweeping, and strength. The architect may do a great
deal for housekeepers by keeping this thought in mind.

To recur to the idea of economical house-building in a direct sense, it
may be borne in mind that economy and good construction go hand in hand;
that none of the conditions of permanency are sacrificed for the sake of
cheapness. Of two houses which cost the same, one may be far more
convenient and roomy by an avoidance of waste space and unnecessary
material. Evidently one flue-stack will cost less than four. Therefore,
if a house can be constructed which has only one flue-stack, it will
cost less than one which has four; but the demands of the housekeeper,
and those who live in the house, are that the one stack afford the
conveniences of four. People do not like compromises in house-building,
especially when they are building a home. The compromises come easier
when one is planning property for rental. Evidently a house in which
one-fifth of the floor space is given up to halls is more expensive than
one which contains a smaller proportion of such space. According as one
is able to diminish the amount of passage room, and yet meet all of the
conditions of good and economical house-keeping, he can reduce the cost
of the house as to its building, its furnishing, and the amount of labor
required in caring for it. Thus economy in construction, and convenience
and ease in general housekeeping movements, go hand in hand. Parallel
illustrations might be carried forward, so as to include each detail of
the house.

The architect may do a great deal for the housekeeper by making his
mouldings and interior wood-work so that they will not catch dust, and
can be readily cleaned. Some of our friends, who have studied the
artistic qualities of house-building to the exclusion of all other
considerations, will say that a regard for housekeeping requirements, in
the matter of interior decorations and construction, is placing too
great a limit upon their work. They will say that beauty and general
artistic qualities are not always consonant with the means which will
make easy housekeeping,--that they are limited by such considerations.
This need not be so; it is simply a question of ingenuity and
thoughtfulness. One may be careless of utility, and make very beautiful
things. Another may be thoughtful and careful as to housekeeping
requirements, and design something quite as beautiful and attractive as
the former.

In the above statements will be found the guiding principles which
affect all of the work of this book.



With the architect a house has been too often considered as something to
be looked at. No one is disposed to criticise an architect for making
houses pretty and attractive. It is true, however, that many houses are
nothing more than pretty; they are not convenient. They are not built
with a regard to the requirements of housekeeping. A lady once said to
the writer, that an architect would never live up to his opportunities
until he had associated himself with a housekeeper, who would be strong
enough, in her control over him, to see that the housekeeping conditions
and conveniences were kept constantly in mind.

In order fully to reach the housekeeping idea, it will be convenient to
consider in detail what is meant by housekeeping. Primarily, a house is
a place in which to eat and sleep. The present requirements of comfort
and luxury suggest that all should not eat and sleep in the same room.
Originally this was the case. The primitive man needed only a hut or a
cave, or the protection of a rude shed. Later on, he was satisfied with
a hut with one or two rooms. If the weather was cold, the occupants
would huddle around the fire, and eat and sleep without regard to other
surroundings. A bath in cold weather was unnecessary. During the summer
this was regarded more as a matter of recreation than of necessity. A
neighboring stream served the purpose of more modern arrangements.
Housekeeping operations under such conditions were light indeed.

There are many homes of this kind in America to-day. If we take the case
of our Indians, we find that the squaws have time for much else than the
absolute duties of camp-life and the care of children. There is much
other labor which falls to their lot, house-work being regarded, as it
is, insignificant. This is one extreme. There are various gradations
which come with the instincts of a higher civilization. Education, and
other conditions which go with it, increase housekeeping requirements,
and thus far have not furnished to the majority compensating conditions
in labor-saving devices. At the present time, the natural and affected
requirements of housekeeping make the life of many a woman one of the
extremest drudgery and hardship. Her condition is almost that of a
slave; and this at a time when she is surrounded by many of the elements
of a higher civilization. Her children and those around her frequently
live under the shadow of her uncomfortable condition. The Indian's home,
in the rest and peace which it affords, is often preferable. This
condition is brought about by the increasing requirements upon the
housekeeper, without the presence of other compensating conditions.

Assuming that an architect may do something to make the care of a house
lighter, it remains to call attention to the modern requirements of a
housekeeper, with a view of simplifying her work. Let us watch her work
for a week; we will begin on Monday morning during the month of January,
and assume that there is one servant in the house to help,--bearing in
mind, at the same time, that it often happens that the work which is
here outlined is done by the housekeeper herself, with possibly only the
help of a wash-woman. First, the house is to be warmed, the kitchen fire
to be kindled, the living-rooms to be swept and dusted, the washing to
be started, the children to be dressed, breakfast to be cooked and put
on the table, and, in many cases, all of this done before seven o'clock.
The serving of breakfast is no small task to the housekeeper. The coffee
is to be poured, food prepared for the children, and many other things
done which no man can specify. As soon as breakfast is over the men are
out of the house, but not usually before making more than one demand
upon the time of the housekeeper. Then the dishes are to be washed, and
the children made ready and started to school. Next, the grocery and
butcher supplies must be cared for. Possibly they are ordered from the
boy who calls at the door. In some instances a trip for this purpose is
required. Next, the dining-room must be arranged, the dishes put in
place, the chamber-work attended to, beds made, children's things put
away, sweeping done, slops disposed of, fires looked after. Some time or
in some way the clothes worn by the children on Sunday must be
especially looked after, stitches taken, a little darn here and there,
and then put away. During this time there may be the demands of one or
more babies to be met. In this there is no compromise.

With the completion of other work dinner time is approaching, for, with
the majority, this is a noon meal. The cooking must be done, and yet
nothing else must be allowed to lag. The children in their confusion are
home from school. Then dinner. Every one is in a hurry to get away. The
children are sure they are going to be late. There is more work for them
and the men, and then they are gone. Dinner dishes are washed, and the
laundry work continues. The afternoon is little different from the
morning; there is a little less rush and confusion, but a continuance of
regular work. Before supper the evening supply of fuel must be provided.
In the mean time the children are home from school with their demands.
Now supper must be in mind. Where there are children in the house, this
is one of the most trying times of the day. They are tired, hungry, and
sleepy. Supper is over. The children go to bed at intervals during the
evening. The men have a place by the fire. The housekeeper often feels
it incumbent upon her to mend, darn, or sew, if no heavier work presents

Tuesday morning calls for a repetition of the former day's work, with
ironing substituted for washing. There is the carrying-out of ashes and
the bringing-in of coal, and the same routine during the day. On the
part of the housekeeper regular sewing-work is taken up as opportunity
presents, and possibly calls are made or received. Wednesday, the same.
Thursday, the servant, if one is kept, is out for the afternoon. Other
regular work must progress. Compromises are not thought of. Friday is
general sweeping-day, in which everything is thoroughly gone over. The
housekeeper must find time to go down street one or more times during
the week, for the purpose of doing necessary shopping. Saturday brings
its scrubbing and cleaning. During the week must come the
window-washing, cleaning of silver, baking, and many things besides.

Sunday is often the hardest day of all; the children require especial
care. There is church in the morning, Sunday school in the afternoon,
and, in many cases, church at night. In the mean while the children are
on hand all the time. Where is the man who will say that his business
life is as exacting or as harassing as the work which is here outlined?

In the pages which follow it is the intention to bear the housekeeper
and her requirements in mind, and to suggest what is properly due her in
the way of labor-saving devices, with a view to facilitate the manifold
operations of housekeeping.



Most of the conveniences of housekeeping are modern. It is only within
the past few years that the demands of the housekeeper for helps or aids
in making her work easier were thought worth considering. Even now we
occasionally meet men who think that anything that was good enough for
their mothers is good enough for their wives. We have in mind a farmer
who, during fifteen years, purchased three large farms. He buried a wife
for every farm. Their death was the result of more than slavish work.
The disposition which leads in this direction often continues after the
time when economy does not demand close living.

The man who moves west to a new country cannot pay for many of the
modern conveniences. The demand for them is not great. Such a man
usually builds a house of two or three rooms. The family cook and eat in
the kitchen; they sit there between meals. The other rooms are for beds.
There is not a great deal of house-work to be done in a house of this
kind. The trouble comes when the pioneer becomes wealthier, and builds a
large house "in town" or on the farm. Possibly his wife or daughters do
the work as they did in the smaller house. If not, it is done by one
servant. The work in this house is a great deal harder. There is a great
deal more of it than there was in the two or three room house, which was
built during their earlier life. In the former house, if they had
coffee, it was poured from the pot in which it was made directly into
the cups which were on the table. The meat was taken from the skillet in
which it was cooked and put into the plates of those who ate it. If they
had pancakes, the wife would sit with her back near the stove, where she
could easily reach the griddle to grease it and turn the cakes while she
was eating her meal. There was no formal dessert. The pie was eaten from
the same plates as the rest of the food. There were no napkins; often,
no tablecloth.

It did not take long to wash the dishes after a meal of this kind--there
were not many of them. In from fifteen to twenty-five minutes after the
meal was over, the wife could be seen sitting by the kitchen stove,
sewing or knitting. The pans and the kettles were out of the way, and
the kitchen was turned into a sitting-room. If the weather was cold, the
door into the bedroom was open; the whole house was warm and
comfortable. Wood was plenty and cheap.

This woman's troubles began when her husband, by dint of hard work and
close economy, found himself in a position to gratify his pride in his
accumulated wealth by building a new house. It was a big white house
with green blinds. The stories were twelve or thirteen feet high; a
large hall ran through the centre; the kitchen had nothing in it but
doors and windows and a stove-hole; there was no sink, no conveniences
of any kind. They now had a separate dining and sitting room, and an
awful parlor with brussels carpet on it, which had red and green flowers
all over it. The bedrooms were upstairs. They were all large; wood-work
painted white. In the winter they were cold. The old habits of economy
which made this house possible had so fixed themselves upon the
occupants that they would not build a fire in the bedrooms. They said
that they "didn't think it healthy to sleep in a warm room."

People go to see Mrs. Green in her new house. They go through and look
at it, and say, "Oh, how nice." But they find a tired woman. She doesn't
sit down to sew or knit in a few minutes after the meal is over, as she
used to. She is at work all the time. The children must have clothes to
fit the house. There is more sweeping and dusting to do; there are more
dishes to wash; there is more of everything to do. Still, she came into
the new house expecting to find things different and easier than they
were before.

The modern conveniences are those arrangements and appliances which make
it possible for people to live comfortably in a larger house, without
seriously increasing the cares which they had in a smaller one. In the
old house of two or three rooms the mother would bathe the children once
a week in a tub by the kitchen fire. The tub would be dragged out the
door, which was not very high above the ground, and the water emptied
into the yard. In the new house it is different. The water is carried
from the pump in the back yard, and from the kitchen stove, upstairs
into one of the rooms. Then it has to be carried down again, emptied
into the alley or the yard. The living habits are all changed without
the compensating conveniences which naturally belong to them. It is
probable that Mrs. Green keeps a "girl," but even then she has
infinitely more work to do than ever belonged to the old home. She
cannot understand it. She has a new house and a girl, and yet she is
always tired.

Most of the houses in the newer cities and towns are, in a measure,
similar to this. Nearly every one attempts to live up to the mark set by
those who have all of the appliances of modern housekeeping. Coal and
water have to be carried all over the house. Slops and ashes have to be
carried downstairs and out of the building.

By attracting attention to the inconveniences of housekeeping, we may
see and understand the full meaning of the term "modern conveniences."
There is a natural call for dish-washing arrangements to take the place
of the square table, with the dish-pan, the tea-kettle, and the
water-bucket. In its place, we have at one side of the kitchen, a sink,
with cocks for hot and cold water immediately over it. The tables and
drain-board are arranged to simplify the operations of dish-washing. The
water, instead of being carried to the yard or alley, finds its way
naturally into the drain through the sink. Modern laundry arrangements
make it unnecessary to carry great tubs of water outside, or to delay
wash-day on account of the weather, or to bring in the frozen clothes
during the cold winter days. The bath-room, with the tub, the
water-closet, and the wash-stand, is on the second floor. This saves a
great deal of work. The water does not have to be carried upstairs nor
the slops down. There is hot and cold water within easy reach of all the
rooms. Often it happens that there are stationary wash-stands in the
various bedrooms, though this is only usual in the most expensive

The amount of work which a furnace saves is not readily estimated. It
also saves money. Others of the modern conveniences are "places to put
things;" large closets in the bedrooms, well supplied with drawers,
shelves, and hooks; a general closet on the upper floor, which is
accessible from all of the rooms, for bedding and other articles of
common use; a ventilated closet in the bath-room, in which soiled linen
may be put without contaminating the atmosphere. There should be a
closet or place on the second floor for brooms, dust-pans, and dusters.
Where there is no particular place for these articles, the housekeeper
or the servant has to use time in searching, or in going up and down
stairs. Anything which saves labor may be regarded as a modern



No one ever heard of the matter of house-planning being discussed in a
convention of architects. Their reports will show that a great many
subjects are handled, but none so near home as this. Sometimes there is
an effort to discover that America has a style of architecture peculiar
to itself. When such a thing becomes true, the effort to find it will
not be necessary. An American architecture will have its growth in
American necessities, and not through the blind copying of foreign
styles and architecture. Nor to have an American style does it
necessarily mean that we should ignore foreign precedent. It means that
we should consider foreign architecture intelligently. Everything that
is good should be adopted, no matter whence it comes. Those of us who
see what is going on in the architectural world frequently notice
English houses designed and built for those who live in the cold
Northwest. In many of them the broad, English casement windows and
general style of architecture, which is suited to the gloomy light and
the mild temperature of Great Britain, is placed in the bright, cold
climate of the Northwest. Nothing could be more out of place; it is an
affectation, an exhibition of bad taste and poor sense. The cold
Northwest, with its bright, clear atmosphere, presents its own
architectural conditions. The work of blind copyists, those who have so
strong a regard for precedent, is ridiculous. In one of the Eastern
magazines there was an illustration showing what purported to be an old
colonial cottage, situated possibly at Newport. The architect had copied
the old colonial details, the old colonial forms, which were very nice,
but he had also copied an idea which had its outgrowth in extreme
poverty. He had placed a rain barrel at the side of the house, and had
set it up on a rustic-looking bench or support, all of which was very
ridiculous. This had been done in an old colonial house, and had its
origin in old colonial poverty. Now, this architect, in his respect for
that which was past, copied the faults, the inconveniences, and
arrangements which belonged to those earlier times. A course of this
kind, carried out to its fullest extent, would lead us to barbarism. In
the same magazine was another house which was designed with great
respect for precedent. In it was a front door which was divided about
half-way up, so that the lower part might be shut and the upper part
opened. Houses have been seen where something of this kind was
reasonable, where it had its advantages. There are many places in this
country where a door of this kind is almost a necessity; but it isn't on
the seashore. If one has a house in the country, or in a small country
town, where the horses and pigs, geese, chickens, and other animals, are
allowed to roam about in the front yards, a door of this kind has its
uses. In the summer time the upper part can be thrown back and the lower
part closed, so that the most a horse can do in the way of getting into
the house is to stick his head over the top rail and look in. In the
country mills doors of this kind have a very proper and apt name; they
are called pig-doors. They keep the pigs off the mill floor, and, at the
same time, allow the light and air to come from above. But there is no
necessity for a pig-door at Newport or Long Branch, or other seaside
resort. Their use is a silly affectation. There is no beauty in them.
There is no convenience which would lead to their use.

It is performances such as the above which retard the natural
development of American architecture. American architecture will be
simply carrying out, in an architectural way, the requirements of the
American people in their buildings. From their homes the march of
progress will be through the kitchens, pantries, and dining-rooms. It
will unite with the parlor and sitting-room ideas, which have been more
clearly worked out. The exterior will be formed in a natural way by the
requirements of the interior, and by the variations of climate, and it
will be decorated in a rational, artistic manner. We will not hamper the
interior by the adoption of doors and windows which possibly belonged in
a cathedral of the twelfth or thirteenth century, or the richer details
of the later time, which had their special uses and forms as the
development of the necessity and requirements of that particular period.
The doors and windows of the nineteenth century should have their own
special forms and positions. They should be decorated with a true regard
for precedent so long as precedent does not influence the arrangements
suited to modern times. The American style of architecture will not be
developed through grand public buildings and enormous cathedrals, or
expensive dwellings.

In this country every one is imbued with the idea of having a home of
his own, and he desires to have it nice, convenient, and attractive. The
average home is in a small, inexpensive house. The proper construction
of these buildings, their arrangement with reference to their
housekeeping requirements, their tasteful external designs considered in
a rational way, will develop American architecture. It will be the
expression of American wants in a natural, artistic spirit.




In this section of the book we will make a journey through the house,
stopping at various points of interest long enough to give general
consideration to the details. From the principles herein derived, the
plans subsequently given are constructed.

Every house should have a front porch. It should be wide,--if possible,
eight feet, that one may sit at a distance from the railing and afford a
space for others to pass behind. The porch is a protection to the front
part of the house from the sun, wind, and, partially, from the cold.
Nothing can be pleasanter than to sit on a shady porch during the warm
part of the day or in the evening. It is an auxiliary to the vestibule.

The front door should be wide--three or three and a half feet. Double
doors look very nice from the outside, but they are not as convenient or
as easily handled as the single door. The door-bell should be at the
right-hand side. The threshold should be elevated from three to six and
a half inches above the porch floor.


In the plans that are given, various arrangements of vestibules are
shown. In a few instances, direct entrances into the hall and
reception-room are indicated, but such an entrance is not as desirable
as where there is a vestibule. The arrangement of a vestibule for
hat-rack, umbrella-stand, and other conveniences, changes the hall into
an available room. Take, for instance, plan No. 16, page 153. At the
right, as one enters, is a little closet; in it are hooks. At one side
is an umbrella-stand; on the floor is a place for overshoes. Here one
may arrange himself before going into the hall or reception-room. This
is altogether better than having to pass across to one side of the hall
or room, in order to find a place to deposit overshoes, wraps,
umbrellas, etc. It saves work. If this vestibule have a hard-wood floor,
and on it is placed a rug, one may stand there and divest himself of
that which he would not carry into the house, and go into the room in
good order, leaving the muddy overshoes, and the possible dampness of
his umbrella and overcoat, behind him. This arrangement saves work; mud
is not carried into the room. It is a very simple matter to care for the
vestibule; the rug on the floor may be taken to the outside, and the
deposit of mud and dust readily removed. It is well to have a small
mirror at the side, or in the rack. The plan mentioned is merely
suggestive, and does not apply to all houses. By looking through the
plans given, various arrangements may be seen. In some of them there is
no vestibule. Not all housekeepers want the same arrangement. Again,
others do not care to pay for a vestibule. In other instances, the hall
is too small to admit of one. As said before, a good vestibule changes
the hall into a room. It makes a reception-hall tolerable, because it is
not necessary to deposit there many things which should have another
location. A vestibule does not properly serve its purpose where there is
no room or arrangement for depositing wraps, etc. The closet part of the
vestibule, shown in the cut, can, perhaps, be omitted, and hooks
arranged around the wall sides. A curtain could be hung across the space
occupied by the closet door: however, all these details are matters of
taste and disposition. In the opening between the hall and vestibule may
be placed tapestry curtains; these are sufficient storm protectors from
the outside door, especially if the hall register is placed near it. No
one who has not tried it, can realize the amount of protection from the
weather that is afforded by a heavy curtain. It is not necessary or
desirable that a door be placed in the opening from the vestibule to the


This part of the house may be hall, reception-hall, or room. It is a
hall or passage frequently, and not provided with a vestibule. It may be
a hall from its shape; it may be a room for the same reason. It may be
of no use as a room, if the stairway is improperly placed. The house
arranged with a long, narrow hall, having the stairway at the side, is
essentially wasteful of room. Such hall space is usually dark and gloomy
as well as crowded. A hall eight feet wide and twenty feet long,
contains one hundred and sixty square feet of floor-surface, though only
a limited portion of it is available, on account of the shape of the
space which remains after the stairway is placed. A hall twelve by
thirteen feet contains one hundred and fifty-six square feet, but a
great deal more available room. The space not occupied by the stairway
is in better shape. A hall of this shape partakes of the nature of a
room, and may be used as such. In the plan referred to a window-seat is
shown. This window-seat may be used as a seat in warm weather, and, if
the front is in the proper direction, as a conservatory in the winter.
There are many such arrangements as this shown in the book.

The hall, in most of the plans, is a key to the whole arrangement. It
has been a common, objectionable practice during the past few years to
build houses of moderate cost, so that the hall is along one side with
its entrance to the front, and the parlor next to it; back of the parlor
is the sitting-room, and the hall opens into the dining-room; back of
the dining-room is the kitchen, and so on to the extreme rear with
summer-kitchen, pantry, etc. This makes a long house with only one room
in front on the first floor, and one chamber and alcove facing the
street on the second. Thus the hall serves only as a passage-way. The
living-room has no front view. To obviate this, the halls in the plans,
that are considered with most favor, are arranged to be used as rooms,
and the vestibules are built so that such a thing is possible. If the
hall is to be used as a vestibule, the hat-rack and other arrangements
for hanging wraps, and the umbrella-stand, etc., are placed as near the
front as possible. Where this is not done there must necessarily be a
track from the front to the back, as a mark of travel.

The stairway may start at one side, and should lead towards the centre
of the house. The nearer it can be started to the rear of the hall, the
better; this gives more room in front. Sometimes the stairway is started
immediately in the rear of the reception-hall, or from an alcove space
at one side; these are good arrangements, depending, of course, upon
other conditions. Upon one side, or in the rear, should be placed a
grate. Nothing can be pleasanter when coming in from a disagreeable
outside than an open-grate fire; this needs no argument. Under the
stairway, or in some convenient nook, it is well to have a lavatory. The
hall should be arranged as a centre from which to pass to the parlor,
living-room, and dining-room. It is important to consider in this
connection that the hall, and the stairway in it, should be placed so
that the stair-landing above is in the centre of the house. Thus we have
in the centre of the building only a small hall as a starting-point;
hence less waste room. When the stairway lands near the front wall on
the second floor, a passage must be provided to the rear of the house.
Where the landing is in the centre, we have only to pass into rooms
without extra steps through long halls. For example, see plan No. 1,
page 110.

Not every one cares to use the front hall as a reception-room. There is
certainly no objection to naming and using it otherwise.


During recent years there is more of a disposition to live all over the
house; one reason for this is the improved heating arrangements. The
terms sitting-room, parlor, reception-room, mean less in a distinctive
sense, and are used largely for the purpose of classification. We will
consider the parlor and the sitting-room in the same connection. The
parlor has lost the awful stiffness of times past. It is now a

In a house where there is a reception-hall in front, and the
sitting-room to one side, both having a distinct front view, as is shown
in many of the plans, a lady may occupy the front room and have her
children and work around her, if desirable. A caller may be received in
the reception-room; these, however, are matters of individual
preference. The vestibule may be planned so that it will have an
entrance to both reception-room and sitting-room.

In some instances the arrangement of sitting-room and reception-hall are
reversed. The hall is the sitting-room, and the other room the parlor.
If doors are used between hall and sitting-room, they should be
sliding; the effect is better, and the separation of the rooms as
complete as necessary. Such doors should always be hung from the top.
The sitting-room should certainly be as good a room as any in the house;
as well located. There should be a closet on the first floor, and, if
possible, it should communicate with this room; if not that, with the
dining-room or reception-hall next to it. Certainly the sitting-room
should always be provided with a grate.

A window-seat in the hall, parlor, reception, or other room, is really a
great addition in more ways than one. It is not only attractive, but it
adds to the availability of a room. Where there is space for three or
four people to sit, in case of necessity, it is like seating that number
of people outside of the room. They are comfortable, and the room has
that much added to its seating capacity. A bay window arranged in this
way is pleasant indeed.

Wall space is of great importance in these rooms. In planning a house,
the piano, pictures, lounges, book-shelves, book-cases, bric-à-brac,
etc., should be in mind. In a house of moderate size, it is, ordinarily,
not necessary that the reception-hall, parlor, or sitting-room should be
wider than thirteen and a half feet, and from fifteen to eighteen feet
in length. However, this is not wide enough for those who entertain
largely. A room thirteen and a half feet, with much furniture in it, is
not wide enough for dancing.

A house arranged with a reception-hall, parlor, sitting-room,
dining-room, etc., is used when it is desired to entertain a great deal;
but for those who are living economically, whose means are limited, one
of these rooms may be omitted. In many of the modern houses the number
of rooms on the first floor has been decreased and their size increased.
Oftentimes there is a reception-hall, a small library, and a
dining-room only, as belonging to the living part of the house on the
first floor. An arrangement of this kind belongs more particularly to a
house which is occupied during only a part of the year; say as summer
cottages in the North, and winter houses in the South. Modern ways of
living make a larger number of rooms less desirable.

When it is possible, it is pleasant to have a little room off from the
library as a study, or for a doctor as a reception-room or office. Where
one does work at home, it is advantageous to have a private room that
insures isolation, be it never so small. Often the library, so called in
an ordinary sense, is not a library at all. There may be a few books in
it, but it is used as a sitting-room or passage, and has no distinct
necessity or use.

Additional rooms require more work than the same amount of floor space
in a less number of rooms. The addition of rooms multiplies corners,
windows, doors, etc., and adds more cost and labor, than does mere
additional space. The availability of a room is not always dependent
upon its size. A good deal depends upon the arrangement of wall space. A
room may be large and still have no room for the furniture that is to go
into it. It may be small and still have room enough.


A good width for a dining-room is thirteen feet. Where one can afford
it, it should be from fifteen to twenty feet in length; larger than this
is a luxury. Its location, for the most part, is back of the
sitting-room or hall. A grate in the dining-room is not altogether
desirable; it is always at somebody's back. Again, a grate does not heat
a room uniformly. It is very common to provide sliding-doors to connect
the dining-room with other parts of the house, even with the parlor; but
they are not the best kind to use. Sound and the odors of the food are
more readily communicated through sliding-doors than others. For that
reason they should not be used. A large, single door, three and a half
feet wide, is preferable, though it does not always give the desired
opening. Generally speaking, it is easier to provide wall space when
planning a dining-room than in any of the other rooms in the house. A
large number of windows is not necessary, and one of them can be placed
high, and thus afford space for a sideboard. This sideboard should be
placed at the end of the room nearest the entrance to the kitchen and
china-closet, where such is used. The sideboard has various uses,
according to the plans of the housekeeper. In some cases it is merely a
place to display dainty china and other table furniture. Below are
places for linen and table cutlery. In other cases, the sideboard is
used as a buffet; as a place from which to serve the food. Sometimes
this is carried to the extremest degree, and includes the carving, and
the serving of that which goes with the meats.

It was very common in times past to use a slide connecting kitchen and
dining-room. A passage is much better. The slide is worse than a door in
communicating sounds and odors. In some of the plans in this book, doors
are shown opening directly into the kitchen. This is done under protest;
the owner of the house would have it so. The sideboard may be built as a
part of the house. This is well enough when the question of cost is not

From the dining-room we will pass to the kitchen.



The kitchen existed in its state of greatest cleanliness and order a
good many years ago in New England, where it was largely used as a
sitting and dining room. As people became more prosperous, they moved
out of the kitchen; they had a separate sitting-room. It was then that
the kitchen began to decline. After this it was often literally as well
as figuratively separated from the living part of the house.

The public has not suffered through lack of information on cookery and
general housekeeping topics. Little has been said, however, about the
house itself, with regard to its arrangements for facilitating the
manifold operations of housekeeping. The subject is a broad one, and may
be treated with some respect to detail. As the heart of the house, the
kitchen may be given serious consideration.

In the modern house the kitchen is merely the place where the food is
prepared for the table. The controlling idea and its arrangements should
be to afford facilities for doing the work with as little labor as

The kitchen is the workshop of the house. It should be arranged and
planned according to the same general principles as any other workshop.
A manufacturer arranges his foundry, his mill, or his printing-house,
with reference to the saving of labor, for the purpose of saving money.
When we save labor in a kitchen, we save the energy of the housekeeper,
and, possibly, money.

An article on this subject was probably never written that did not
pretend to describe the "model kitchen." It is safe to say that no such
kitchen was regarded as "model" by all readers. A model kitchen is
something which is out of reason. No two housekeepers have the same
requirements. Housekeeping practice varies greatly. Again, the kitchen
that can be built to one floor-plan cannot be built to another. In
describing a kitchen, it is in mind to set forth certain general
principles for the benefit of those interested.

There is little difference between the requirements of a kitchen for a
house of moderate cost and an expensive house. Work of the same general
character is done in every kitchen. The conveniences are more a matter
of thought than of money. Elaborate details add much to the cost, but
little to the convenience. There is little or no difference between the
cost of a well-planned kitchen and one which is poorly planned.

To state the case broadly, a kitchen should be arranged solely with
reference to the work which is to be done in it: the cooking,
dish-washing, the care of the kitchen itself, and possibly the laundry
work. This latter work should be removed from the kitchen--in any event,
the washing should be done elsewhere--when it is at all possible. The
steam and odor from the washing, which not only fill the kitchen but
permeate the house, are enough to render whatever food there is in the
kitchen unfit for use. It is altogether possible to arrange in the
cellar of any house that is being built, and in many that are already
built, at a trifling cost, a laundry in which the washing and ironing
may be comfortably done. Of course this does not contemplate set tubs;
but set tubs are not found in houses where the washing and ironing are
done in the kitchen, and it is possible to do this work both well and
easily without their use. There is little or no objection to doing the
ironing in a well-ventilated kitchen. It is clean work, and while doing
it the servant may attend to any cooking which is necessary, and see
that the other work of the house moves forward.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

The kitchen the plan of which is here given (Fig. 2) has been in use for
three years under the varying conditions of one or two servants, and at
times none at all. These are the conditions under which most
housekeepers operate. There have been no emergencies in which the
kitchen and pantries have not proven themselves ample, and none in which
the housekeeper thought that they were too large and complicated. It is
as necessary in houses where the means for maintenance is simply
moderate, that a kitchen should not be too large as that it should
afford ample facilities for accomplishing any work which may be done.

The kitchen itself is thirteen and one-half by fourteen and one-half
feet. In it are placed the range, tables, sink, drain-board, etc., and
the kitchen safe. The room has been found large enough for the work
which is to be done there, and not so large that the tables, range, and
safe are so far apart that time and strength are wasted moving from one
to another. The kitchen has one large window in it, which is three feet
from the floor. This permits the placing of a table, ironing-board, or
chair under it, and thus gives additional wall space. There are two
windows in the pantry, and a draught is secured through them, the
kitchen window, and the transom over the door. The door is glazed.

The most disagreeable work of a kitchen, and that which takes much time,
is the dish-washing. It is possible to make this work lighter and
pleasanter than is usual. The necessary conditions are plenty of water,
hot and cold, a place where the dishes will drain themselves, an
abundance of table room for them both before and after washing. In the
kitchen given the sink is placed next the kitchen flue. This gives a
place for the pipe duct next the warm bricks, which prevent freezing
even in severe cold weather. During the three years in which this
kitchen has been in use they have never frozen, even when the
temperature was twenty degrees below zero. The exact construction of
this kitchen pipe-duct and other kitchen wood-work is given elsewhere.
The range, which is usually next the flue, is, in this instance, placed
at some distance from it. There is no reason why this should not be
done, as it has been in many instances, with no disagreeable results.

The sink is not enclosed, but stands upon legs. Enclosed sinks are
places which cannot be kept clean even with the utmost vigilance. The
brushes, scrub-rags, and buckets, which are usually kept there, are in
this kitchen provided a place elsewhere.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

At the left of the sink is a table; at the right, a drain-board, which
is inclined toward the sink, and provided with grooves. At the right of
this is a swing-table on the same level. The soiled dishes are placed on
the table at the left, washed in the sink, which is provided with cocks
for hot and cold water, drained on the drain-board, and, when wiped,
placed on the table at the right. A glance at the plan will show that
they are then beside the door which leads to the china-closet, and may
be quickly placed where they belong.

It may be well to say a few words about the china-closet. The shelves
are placed in a passage which leads from the kitchen to the dining-room,
and are separated from the passage by doors. This passage is lighted by
a window, and has two doors leading into it--one from the dining-room,
and one from the kitchen (Fig. 2). These doors are swung on double
swinging hinges, so that they may be opened by merely pushing against
them, and will then swing back noiselessly into a closed position. One
may pass through doors of this kind with a tray full of dishes without
touching them with the hand. This arrangement dispenses with the
necessity for a slide, and also does away with the noises and odors from
the kitchen, which so readily find their way to the rest of the house
where a slide is used. However, if a slide is really desired, it can be
placed over either the table at the left of the sink or over the
swing-table at the right, and be convenient from both kitchen and

The china-pantry could be readily enlarged into a butler's pantry, by
extending it across the end of the dining-room, and placing the end
window of this room on one side, thus bringing two windows on the same
wall. There is a movable shelf under one of the permanent shelves in
this china-closet, which can be drawn out in order to place a tray of
dishes on it while they are being put away, and which can be pushed out
of the way when not in use. This shelf is also of service as a place
upon which to arrange the different dishes needed for the several
courses of a meal, and in this way facilitates the table service.

In Fig. 4, the combination idea is carried out in pantry and
china-closet. The pantry-cupboard projects into the room in a way to
form a partition between the pantry and china-closet, and, at the same
time, admits of a passage between the kitchen and dining-room with a
separation of two doors.

Fig. 5 indicates an approved form of construction of china-closet and
pantry, such as may be used in most of the pantries and china-rooms
which are in this book.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

The work which takes the most time is the preparation of food, and every
well-planned kitchen has its arrangements for lightening this burden.
The first consideration is the location of the utensils, and the table
and sink where the meats and vegetables are prepared. All should be near
enough to the range so that there are no unnecessary steps to be taken.
The number that are taken where the sink is in one corner of the
kitchen, the table in another, and the range removed from both, is
innumerable. In this kitchen the table proper and the sink are together,
and they are but a step from the range.

There is a small swing-table attached to the wall at one side of the
range. This provides a place for utensils, such as spoons, and forks,
and dishes, such as those holding pancake batter, which are in constant
use during cooking, and which cannot be held in the hand while the
cooking is in progress. This alone saves many steps. The drain-board is
a good place for draining vegetables, and to place utensils which are
used in the preparation of food. Above the sink are hooks, etc., upon
which to keep small utensils. In localities where there is much dust
coming in from the outside these utensils must be kept elsewhere, behind
closed doors.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

For the preparation of bread, cake, pastries, etc., the pantry is
provided. In it are places for everything which can be used for such
preparation. One can go out of the heat and noise of the kitchen into a
little room which holds everything that can possibly be needed, and
there prepare those articles of food which take the most time and
careful attention. In Fig. 2 are two windows; under one is the
dough-board. This is a table fastened to the wall at a convenient
height for moulding and general work of this character. On one end is a
piece of marble, twelve inches wide by sixteen long, which is used for
moulding purposes. The advantages of such a piece of marble are
numerous. It is as easily cleaned as a dish and requires no scouring,
and, as dough does not readily stick to it, moulding can be done without
the trouble which comes from the use of a board. This piece of marble is
not fastened to the dough-board, as is sometimes done. Where it is set
into the board there will always be creases in which dough will lodge,
and it can only be cleaned with the greatest trouble. Where it is free,
it can be raised from the board occasionally, and everything thoroughly

At the right of the board is the flour-bin, which contains places for
various kinds of flour and meal. Next to it is the refrigerator. Over
the refrigerator is a window which opens on the porch, and through which
the ice may be placed without the iceman going through the kitchen with
his wet feet and dripping load.

At the left of the dough-board are shelves for keeping stores. The lower
shelves are enclosed by doors and provided with a lock, so that extra
stores may be placed there for safe keeping, where this is found
desirable. The upper shelves are exposed. On them are kept sugar, tea,
coffee, baking-powder, and kindred stores, which are in every-day use,
and can be reached easier if there are no doors to be opened and closed.
They should be kept in air-tight cans, which prevent their exposure to
dust, insects, and air. Back of the door opening into the kitchen are
hooks for the utensils which more properly belong in the pantry than the

Many housekeepers prefer to keep the refrigerator in the cellar, on
account of the waste in the ice. This waste, to the mind of the writer,
is a small matter. The time spent by either housekeeper or servant in
going into the cellar could much better be occupied in doing something
else which would save more than does keeping the refrigerator below.
Then, again, when it is kept in the pantry it can readily be provided
with a zinc drain to the outside, which saves some little labor. In the
cellar such a drain would only be possible where sand could be reached.
A refrigerator should never, under any circumstances, be drained into
the sewer, as is sometimes done.

The utensils which properly belong to the kitchen are kept in an
old-fashioned kitchen safe, rather than in a closet opening out from the
kitchen. A safe is more readily cleaned than a closet, and the
perforated metal doors render the upper part of it an excellent place
for storing cold food, which it is not desirable to keep in the
refrigerator. Then if, as may happen in any kitchen which is left to the
care of servants, vermin should take possession, the safe can be moved
from the room, and trouble from this source avoided.

The entrance to the cellar is near the table, as marked. At the head of
the cellar are placed brooms, mops, and dust-pans, and above these, well
away from the head when going below, is a shelf upon which two buckets
can be placed.

Back of the range is a small wooden box, thirty inches long by
twenty-two inches wide and twelve inches deep, which is provided with a
door and shelves. These shelves, as well as the top and bottom, have
holes bored through them in order to allow the passage of hot air. In
this box scrubbing-rags and brushes dry at once, and never have a bad
odor. The box is of the same wood as the other kitchen finish, and looks
as if it were a part of it.

A soap-box, with construction similar to the above, may be provided. It
should have a tin-pipe connection with flue or other ventilating
apparatus. It will dry the soap and render its use less wasteful.

The ventilation of the kitchen is an important matter. The ideal kitchen
has no rooms over it, and has ventilators in the ceiling. But this is
not possible in most houses, and a substitute must be provided. An
inverted sheet-iron hopper placed over the range, with an opening into
either the flue or the outside of the house, will carry out the odors
from cooking. An opening into the pipe-duct which holds the plumbing
pipes will keep them from freezing in cold weather at the same time that
it helps ventilate.

An important consideration in a kitchen is to build it so that it will
not readily accumulate dirt, and can be easily cleaned. A large amount
of time is spent in every well-kept house in cleaning the kitchen. The
floor should be of oak, maple, or other hard wood, oiled, waxed, or
finished with regular floor-finishing. The casings and doors are, of
course, kept in better condition, with less labor, when of hard wood.
Where this is not attainable, poplar, or other similar wood, finished
with a varnish which will stand warm water, will prove a very good
substitute. The tables should be either of oak, which requires little
scrubbing, or poplar, which is so easily scrubbed that it is always
white enough to delight the heart of the most particular housekeeper. A
kitchen finished in this way is much less care than when the floor is of
soft wood, and the finish a soft wood painted.

All kitchens in this book are planned according to the principles here
set forth. They do not pretend to be exactly like this one, but the same
general principle runs through all.

There are very good reasons why wainscoting should not be used in a
kitchen, and no compensating advantages. The bead-joints and extra
wood-work thereof make labor in the impossible task of keeping it clean.
The less wood-work there is in a kitchen, the better. There are various
kind of water-proof proprietary plaster finishes which may be used in
finishing the walls and ceiling of a kitchen. Where they are not used, a
white skim coat should be put on and painted after about a year's use.



The cellar was originally a hole in the ground. In the modern house,
that is arranged to please the house-keeper, it is well lighted;
provided with a smooth cement floor that is easily cleaned; is not open
as one room, but has apartments--one for a laundry, another for fuel and
furnace, and still others for fruits and general stores. In the matter
of fuel there is no reason why the entire winter supply should not be in
the basement. It is certainly a great deal worse to go outside of the
house in winter time from a hot, steaming kitchen, than it is to go into
the basement for the fuel. However, there is some objection to storing
wood in the cellar, for the reason that it brings bugs, ants, and vermin
into the house.

Coal-bins should be constructed with hopper bottoms,--with bottom and
sides slanting from level of outside grade-line to cellar floor,--where
the location will admit of it. When there is not a cellar under all of
the house, it is generally possible to arrange the coal-bin under the
part without cellar, and slanting down to the part so used. This is
illustrated in plan No. 11, Chapter XX. There the coal is put through
the windows into the bins, and slides down to the opening in cellar. For
each shovelful of coal taken away from the lower opening, another will
take its place. This is particularly true with crushed coke, or
anthracite coal, or nut and egg sizes of other fuel. The lump sizes
require a larger opening than the usual twenty-inch-square opening for
the coal mentioned. These bins should be lined on the bottom preferably
with bricks laid in cement. If this is not used, two-inch oak boards
will do. Partitions of the same material should be used to separate the
various bins. With an arrangement of this kind a large amount of storage
capacity can be provided. Under some circumstances this plan cannot be
adopted. In such a case the ordinary bins may be used.

As houses are now planned, the first tier of joists are placed from
twenty to twenty-four inches above the grade-line. Where it is not
possible to secure that height for cellar-windows, areas may be built of
brick or stone, and additional light provided. Light is the enemy of
disorder and uncleanliness; where there is exposure there will be less

It is not necessary to have the cellar under the whole house, for
reasons as mentioned, and on account of the cost. It is sometimes
important that savings of all kinds be made. The furnace may be set in a
pit with its face directed to the cellar. It is best that the opening
from the hoppered coal-bins, above described, be close to the furnace.
If it can be opened at the side, so that one can stand in the pit and
throw coal in the fire-box, it is better than any other arrangement.

The ordinary cellar is seven feet in the clear, and, for this reason, it
is nearly always necessary to pit the furnace. This is done by digging
an extra depth, and lining the area and opening with brick.

Near enough to the furnace to be warm, should be a closet for canned
fruit, made of flooring-boards, if not of more substantial material, and
provided with a door and lock. It should be shelved with board about
seven inches apart. Other winter stores, like potatoes, cabbage, etc.,
should be kept in a dark cellar with an earth floor. It is the opinion
of farmers and others that vegetables keep best when lying next the
ground. The cellar-involving arrangements here outlined may be seen in
plan No. 11. The outside door, which leads into the cellar, should bolt
on the inside, and the upper cellar door on the outside. There should be
doors provided to separate the different rooms. Where cost is an item,
they may be made of two thicknesses of flooring. Cellar-windows should
be hung on hinges, and provided with bolt fastenings; catches are not



The term "Blue Monday" probably originated on account of its being
general wash-day, and a day in which everybody about the house undertook
to do an impossible amount of work with limited resources.

Most of the washings in this country are done in the kitchen. The
wash-boiler is on the stove, and the servant or mistress of the house,
or both, attempt to wash and do their cooking without seriously
disturbing the routine of meals. There is a fussiness about everything
pertaining to that day, which creates an atmosphere of blueness which is
proverbial. The steamy, crowded kitchen, the almost inevitable wetness
or slipperiness, the great physical exertion required, the carrying of
water, the lifting of tubs, are all uncomfortable, and the work is done
at a great disadvantage. In an expensive house, where there is plenty of
money, Monday is not so blue. Immunity is purchased. Possibly the
clothes are sent from the house to be washed in somebody else's kitchen;
maybe to be worn by some one else before they are returned, and often to
be injured or destroyed by the strong washing-mixtures and soaps, which
are made to save rubbing. This kind of immunity is expensive. It is too
expensive for the large majority of people. It is annoying to all

Laundry work will sometime be done at a cost which will admit of people
of moderate means having this work done at a public laundry. At present,
the general laundry work of an ordinary household cannot be done in this
way, on account of the expense.

The general public laundry, where arrangements are made to do the entire
family washing at a low cost, is a complete solution of the Blue-Monday
problem; but until the laundry is an accomplished fact, such work will
be done at home, and a family laundry must be considered in
house-building. It would be a very easy matter to arrange a laundry
which would meet all the desired conditions, if we were to operate
independent of cost, but the large majority of people are not
independent in this way. If it were not a matter of cost, we would have
an independent room for the laundry work, with porcelain tubs, and hot
and cold water running into all of them; we could have a steam-drier,
and many other things, which it is useless to mention here. It is the
laundry of the moderate-cost house which interests the largest number of

We must have a place to do laundry work which is a compromise between
the foggy kitchen and the laundry with porcelain tubs.

As houses are now built, the first floor is usually from two and a half
to three feet above the grade. This affords abundant opportunity of
getting a well-lighted basement. If the basement is dark, put more
windows in it, and whitewash the walls and ceilings. Cement the floor.
Put in a slop sink, and give it a trapped connection with the vault or
sewer. Provide a pump over this sink to connect with the cistern. If the
city water is soft, this will be used and no pump will be required. Then
a laundry stove is to be provided. Thus we have everything ready for
use without much labor, and certainly at a very low cost.

The basement should be light under any circumstances. The floor should
be cemented, the joists should be whitewashed, so that the only
additions necessary to make the laundry work easy are a laundry stove, a
place to throw waste water, and a supply of hot and cold water. If one
does not care to heat the water in the ordinary boiler, there is a very
simple device for heating water which may be placed in any laundry. An
open tank, which will hold two or three barrels of water, can be placed
over the stove and next to the joist. From it a connection can be made
with the laundry stove by means of lead and iron pipe. This pipe should
start from the bottom of the tank and connect with an iron pipe which
enters the stove, and passes around the inside of the fire-pot, then to
the outside and connects with another lead pipe, which empties into the
tank again on a level above the first opening. Thus the cold water would
come from the bottom of the tank, through the stove where it would be
heated, thence upward and into the tank. This would give a hot-water
circulating connection, and in this way provide hot water for use in the
laundry. This arrangement would require a low-cost force-pump to force
the water to the tank. There are many kinds of these pumps, which are
substantial and can be secured at a low cost. The pipe from the stove
could be supplied with a compression cock from which the water could be
drawn into the tubs. The better way would be to have an independent tank
connection. Lead pipe was mentioned as being the pipe to use in making
the connection with the iron pipe in the laundry stove. Galvanized iron
pipe would answer every purpose and cost a little less. Where set tubs
are not used, the water could be readily distributed by means of a hose
pipe. If the above arrangement is too expensive, the stove only can be
used for heating water.

Set tubs might be used instead of the ordinary wooden ones which were
contemplated, and would save a good deal of labor, but the cost is
something which all cannot afford. The arrangement described here can be
reached by nearly every one of moderate means. It provides a place to
throw slop water, and brings hot and cold water close at hand. It
isolates the washing from the cooking, and the smell of washing from the
whole house. It is very different from the conditions in most houses,
where the water has to be carried from the backyard into the house,
lifted to the stove, poured into the tubs, and afterward carried out, a
bucket at a time, and emptied over the back fence, if the tub is not
dragged out and emptied into the yard.

It is well in building a new house to have an outside cellar-way to
facilitate the use of the laundry below. In such a case the clothes can
be carried into the yard without being taken through the kitchen. There
will be times when the weather will not permit taking the clothes
outdoors. In very cold weather it should never be done. It is murderous
for a woman to have to carry clothes from a hot, steamy laundry or
kitchen at eighty degrees to the cold, dry air of the outside. There is
no woman so strong that she can stand this. All the clothes can be
readily dried in the basement. Here is presented another argument in
favor of the laundry below. The washing can always be done at the
appointed time in spite of the weather. When one goes into a large attic
he is apt to say, "What a splendid place to dry clothes." People who dry
clothes in the attic usually do the washing in the kitchen.

A basement laundry is a cool place in summer and a warm one in winter.
There is no better place for ironing in warm weather, for even with a
fire the basement is always cool. Nor can there be a better place for
canning fruit. The conveniences of plenty of water, a fire, and yet a
cool place for doing this extremely laborious work, will be readily



In many houses a combination stairway is used. By this is meant one in
which the front and rear stairways run together in a common landing. In
this case, there should be doors separating the rear from the front
stairway, one at the beginning, and one at the end of the rear part. The
combination stairway is a compromise. Oftentimes, however, one can
secure other things which are desirable by its use. There are other
compromises more objectionable than the combination stairway.

A stairway of this kind is not used as the most desirable thing, but as
the least objectionable of other compromises; for instance, if one can
secure, for a given cost, an additional room or two by using a
combination stairway, the room is frequently preferable. No one can
doubt but that a front stairway, entirely separated from the one in the
rear, is the best thing to have; however, it is easy to understand that
a combination stairway may be used for reasons above stated. In some of
the plans a stairway is shown, starting from a stair-hall in the rear of
reception-hall or room. Under such circumstances, a combination is not
necessary. One can come from the kitchen and go upstairs without being
observed from the other parts of the house. Again, combinations are
sometimes used so that they apply to the servant's room as a continuous
stairway, and as a combination to the other parts of the house. This is
true of several plans given.

It is almost superfluous to say that a stairway should be easy, still it
is known that not all are so. The one in the front part of the building
should always be made without winders; that in the rear, the same way if
possible. Landings are preferable, and make a staircase beautiful.
Stairways may be considered from a hygienic standpoint. This, however,
is not necessary in this connection. Where there is only one stairway,
it is not uncommon to have it start from the dining-room, and, if one
stops to think about it, this is not a bad arrangement. The dining-room
is centrally located, and the stairway may be used by the servants when
this room is not otherwise in use. Certainly it is less objectionable
than placing it in a hall through which all have to pass, or where it is
necessary to pass through other rooms to reach the second floor from the
rear. A combination stairway, or one that starts up from the
dining-room, is less objectionable in a house where there is a bath-room
on the second floor than it would otherwise be. Where the bath-room is
so placed, it is not necessary that the slops be carried down or the
water carried up stairs; and, in other respects, it is less necessary to
use the stairway in a disagreeable way.

The rear stairway should be connected with the front part of the house
by means of a hall on the second floor. It is generally found desirable
to have a girl's room near the rear stairway, and to cut off that part
of the house from the front by means of a door. There should be means of
lighting, artificial and otherwise, at the beginning and landings of all

In a young and growing family, five is the ideal number of rooms for the
second floor. This number may be increased or decreased according to the
size and development of the family. Where there are five rooms it
affords, first, a family room in front, built over the parlor or
sitting-room; next to that is a room in front for the very young
children, and afterwards for the girls; then the room in the rear of the
family room may be for the boys; the fourth room for guests, and the
fifth for the servant. The guest-room view is to the side and the rear.
There are cases where one must accommodate a large number of people with
a smaller number of rooms, and, again, a larger number of rooms is
thought indispensable. In connection with the size of bedrooms, we may
say what was said before,--that their availability does not depend
entirely upon their size. A room may be large and still not contain a
place for a bed or other furniture. It may be moderately small and yet
have space for all.

The more we think about the arrangement of houses, the larger appear the
number of indispensables. It used to be thought unnecessary to have a
closet in every bedroom; one was certainly enough in the family room.
Now it is almost a necessity that there be two closets in the family
room--one for the lady, and a smaller one for the gentleman. There
should certainly be one closet in every bedroom, and, in addition to
that, one which opens from the hall, to be used for bed-linen and
general bedroom supplies. A suitable place for brooms and dust-pans is
the attic stairway when a special closet is not provided.

In lighting bedrooms there should be at least one window for each
outside exposure. Where the size will admit, there should be two windows
placed so that the dressing-case can be set between them, either in the
corner or otherwise. Most bedrooms are lighted artificially by bracket
lights instead of the centre light. There should be one bracket on each
side of the dressing-case; if not, a pendent light immediately over it.
Centre connections for gas-fixture are usually provided, but in practice
many houses are not supplied with the fixture.

Grates on the second floor make work: carrying of fuel and ashes is
always disagreeable in the extremest degree. The placing of ash-pits in
the cellar may make it unnecessary to carry the ashes, but still grates
make work. At the same time it is very pleasant to have a grate in the
bedroom; they are the best means of ventilation known.

The servant's room is not usually very large, seldom large enough. It
should be provided with a closet, the same as other rooms. The window in
that room should be set high enough from the floor so as to admit of the
placing of a trunk under it, without interfering with the light or in
other ways appearing uncomfortable.

The bath-room and general plumbing work are considered in detail in the
following chapter. It is sufficient to say that there should be as
little wood-work as possible in the bath-room. Water-proof plastering
should be used, and when this becomes soiled it can be washed and

There is nothing a housekeeper appreciates more than a good attic and an
easy stairway leading to it. Often attics are not plastered; they should
always be floored at the same time the house is built. Where it is not
possible to make divisions by plastering, and other substantial
material, light wooden partitions will serve the purpose of providing
means of classifying that which is stored in the attic, and prevent it
from being in a continual state of disorder. The rooms may be fitted
with shelves, closets, etc.

Where it is possible so to do, the attic room should be plastered. It
makes the rooms below appreciably cooler in summer. In most of the
plans herein illustrated, the roof is high enough to provide space for
good rooms, with ceilings as high and as square as those of the rooms
below. It is cheaper to provide rooms in this way than to spread over
more ground; and there is certainly no valid objection to their use by
the boys of the family.



In considering the plumbing apparatus of a house, the question is often
asked, "Are these things safe? Do they not endanger the health of the
occupants of the house?" The answer is, The plumbing apparatus may be
entirely safe. That it is not always so, we all know. We hear of many
cases of typhoid fever, diphtheria, scarlet fever, and other diseases,
which are traceable to, or aggravated by, defective plumbing. In some
sections of the country so much trouble has been caused by poor
plumbing, that the people, as a class, have come to be suspicious of
all. The reason for this is the effort to cheapen the work. Suffering
from bad work has led to safety. In larger cities this work is under the
control of the city government. It may be said that it is possible so to
arrange the fixtures and apparatus appertaining to plumbing that it is
entirely safe. The question naturally follows, "How is this done?"

It may be said that good work is not a great deal more expensive than
poor work. Again, good work is not always a question of money. It is one
of knowledge or inclination on the part of the plumber.

One in moderate circumstances, who builds a house to cost from
twenty-five hundred to four thousand dollars, should have well water or
city water, and hot and cold cistern water in the sink in the kitchen.
There should be at least a slop-hopper in the laundry. In the bath-room
a water-closet, a tub, and generally a wash-stand. This latter feature
is not absolutely necessary, as will be explained later. In the attic
there should be a tank to hold the cistern water, which is connected
with the fixtures using soft water below. A force-pump, or water-motor,
may be located in the kitchen or basement to lift the water to tank. In
more elaborate houses a completer plumbing apparatus may be used. There
may be an especial sink in the china-closet. There may be wash-stands in
the various chambers, and one on the first floor.

There may be, also, an additional water-closet on the first floor, or in
the cellar, located where it is accessible to the members of the family.
There are many ways of expending money in plumbing fixtures; but, with
those first mentioned, one may be entirely comfortable, and derive all
of the housekeeping benefits which may be expected from such
conveniences. Unless the house be large, an increase in the number of
fixtures would increase the amount of work done in keeping them clean,
rather than save labor.

In the matter of safety, another question, which sometimes arises, is as
to the danger from the plumbing apparatus where there is no sewer
connection, or where it has to be made with a vault. The protection
against sewer-gas is not from the sewer itself or the vault. It is
entirely through protective apparatus in the house, and the manner of
the connection with the vault or sewer.

One may consider the conditions of safety in plumbing apparatus under
two general heads. First, as to the workmanship; second, as to design or
plan of the apparatus. Nothing need be said as to the workmanship,
excepting that the execution of the design, or the benefits to be
derived from it, maybe entirely lost by defective workmanship. If the
work is not properly executed, the design need not be considered. The
result will be bad irrespective of the plan.

In considering the design of the apparatus, we will take into account
the arrangement of the connections and fixtures. By the latter
expression is meant the tub, the water-closet, the wash-bowl, and the
sink, pump, etc. The connections which have to do with the safety of the
apparatus are the traps and the waste pipes, or pipes which connect with
the vault or sewer.

The main waste pipe inside the house is called the soil pipe. The
smaller waste pipes from the fixtures connect with it. The soil pipe is
of cast-iron, and usually four inches in diameter on the inside. It
connects, full size, with the water-closet. Most other wastes are of
lead, and are usually an inch and a half in diameter. In the soil and
waste pipes there will naturally be the odors from the vaults and sewer,
or from the foul matter which is in or passing through the pipes.
Therefore, there must be means in each waste pipe, which connects a
fixture with the main soil pipe, of preventing the passage of gas or air
from it into the house. This is done by means of what is called a trap.
The "S" trap is the commonest form; this name is given it from its
shape, and illustrates its construction. If we take a letter S and turn
it sideways we will get the form of such a trap. The right side or end
would continue directly down toward the drain or soil pipe, and the left
side would continue upward and connect with the fixture (see Fig. 6).
The water from the fixture comes down and is forced upward through the
bend by the pressure of water above, and from thence runs into the soil
pipe or drain. Thus it will be seen that there is always a seal of water
in the trap. There is always water in the trap as indicated by the depth
of the bend of the S. There are hundreds of different forms of traps,
but they are all constructed on the same principle; the idea being that
the gas or air from the pipe would have to pass through the water in
order to get into the house. The water in the trap is called the seal;
it seals the passage of air as stated.

[Illustration: Fig. 6.]

There are many conditions under which a trap may fail to do its full
duty. It may be foul in itself, or it may be rendered foul by the bad
air in the drain. The trap may be siphoned by a heavy flow of water
through the main drain, or it may be siphoned by a string or a rag which
may readily find its way into the trap, and hang over the bend so that
all of the water will run out. Again, the water in the trap may
evaporate. All these dangers may be guarded against. In the first place,
there should be means which allow fresh air to pass through all that
portion of the main drain or soil pipe which is in or close to the
house. The means of accomplishing this are various.

The soil pipe is ventilated by continuing up through and well above the
roof with a full opening at the top. The smaller drains should be
ventilated in the same way when far removed from main soil pipe or other
connection. The traps should be ventilated by 1-1/2-inch or two-inch
connections with the outer air, as shown by cut.

Frequent use of plumbing fixtures contributes to safety. It causes a
large volume of water to pass through the pipes. The flushing of the
pipes and drains in this way makes them cleaner and thus safer. It is
frequently said by those who have plumbing fixtures in their houses
that they use them as little as possible, because they are afraid of
them. Nothing worse could be done. The water in the traps evaporates or
becomes foul, and thus the gas has a free entrance to the house. A
water-closet helps greatly to cleanse the soil pipe and outside drain.
It discharges a large volume of water into it suddenly, in a way to keep
it clean. It is not a bad plan to use the closet at least once a day,
solely for the purpose of flushing the drain. In houses where there are
a number of wash-stands distributed through the various chambers and
halls there is danger from neglect in using them. The water seal in the
traps may evaporate, and thus give direct sewer-air connection with the
house. Particularly is this so in the guest's room. A wash-stand is a
more dangerous fixture for this reason than any other in the house.

[Illustration: Fig. 7]

The water-closet problem has received a great deal of attention. A few
years ago they were quite complicated, there being levers and pipes,
pans, springs and weights, to a degree of complexity which caused a
great deal of trouble. There has since been a return to first principles
and great simplicity. The water-closet of to-day is nothing more or less
than a large bowl connected by means of an "S" trap four inches in
diameter with the soil pipe, and provided with means of flushing with
large volumes of water. Such a closet is known as the "washout closet."
In other closets there is an intermediate plunger-valve separating the
hopper from the trap. The plunger-valve is defined by its name. It is a
large stopper which plunges into and closes up the opening to the trap
by means of its own weight when released. That which makes one closet
different from another has to do more with means of flushing than
anything else. By flushing is meant the pouring into and distribution of
water in the hopper. The most popular closets, those which have given
the most satisfaction, are "washout" closets, made entirely of white
earthenware, not alone the bowl, but the trap and connecting neck.
Closets are best flushed from an independent tank, which is placed about
seven feet above the closet and connects with it by means of 1-1/4-inch
pipe. The height gives it a strong flush of water, which cleanses it

In the past it has been usual to conceal the earthenware or iron body of
the closet. It is best to leave it entirely open around the sides, that
the entire apparatus may be exposed. Sometimes it is necessary to
support the flap and seat by legs, though the modern closets are
arranged so that all of the woodwork may be secured to the upper part of
the hopper or the wall. There should be the solid flap covering to the
wooden seat with the opening in it, both of which should be hinged, so
as to allow them to be thrown back. It is convenient to use the
water-closet as a slop hopper. In order to do this the seat should be
hinged, so that it may be thrown back out of the way.

One frequently hears it said by those who exercise their authority over
household matters that they do not allow anything to be put into the
water-closet except that which is naturally intended for it; meaning
that they do not allow the slop water to be put into it. There is no
reason in this. The closet that cannot be used for this purpose cannot,
with safety, be allowed in the house. The use of the water-closet as a
slop sink is not only legitimate but desirable. It flushes the drain.

There is a movement toward simplicity in general plumbing apparatus. At
the time the water-closets were in the complicated state mentioned,
everything pertaining to plumbing was in the same general condition. It
was thought necessary to fill a house with a wilderness of pipes and
traps to have it safe or satisfactory. The very complexity of the
arrangement made it not only unsafe but expensive to maintain.

We have all heard a great deal about the expense of maintaining a
plumbing plant, if it may be so called. There is no reason why there
should be constant repairs and expense. It is pleasant to know that
additional expense is not necessary to secure immunity from trouble. The
idea of simplicity in arrangement, general excellence in the fixtures,
material, and labor, which go to form the completed work, has to be
borne in mind. The arrangement of the plumbing apparatus has to be
planned with the same care and thoughtfulness as the other parts of the

It should be remembered that if the pipes are placed in a position where
the temperature is liable to fall below thirty-two degrees the water in
the pipes will freeze. Thus it is suggested that all pipes should be on
an inside wall,--if possible, next to the kitchen flue,--and that there
be here arranged an especial pipe duct of wood to ventilate the kitchen,
and, at the same time, keep the pipes from freezing by means of the warm
air which will pass through it. This duct should be covered on the face
with a wide board, which can be readily removed by taking out a few
screws. Thus the pipes may be exposed at any time desirable.

If the hot-water boiler in the kitchen is surrounded by an enclosure
which has an opening in the bottom, and which connects from above with
the pipe duct previously described, there will be a current of warm air
passing upward through the pipe duct as long as there is warm water in
the boiler. The water in the boiler will be warm long after everything
else is cold. This will insure safety from freezing when other helps

The cistern water is supplied to the bath-room, and to the hot-water
reservoir, by means of a tank placed in the attic, or at least above the
highest fixture. It sometimes happens that the supply pipe from the tank
above the attic floor freezes. All this may be prevented by enclosing
the tank, and the pipe which connects with it, with a large box or
canvas covering which is six or eight inches larger than the tank. This
confines the warm air from the duct mentioned, so that as long as there
is heat it will always be in this enclosure.

The outside drain, which connects with the vault or sewer, is, in some
instances, trapped previous to its entrance to the sewer or vault. In
such cases, this trap should have a connection with the outer air, and
on the side of the trap towards the house. Sometimes this outer-air
connection is made into the water spout from the roof; but this is not
proper, for the reason that the sewer gas, or the gas from the vault, is
almost certain to destroy the spout. Again, this spout may come out near
a dormer, or may pass near a window, and in either case may contaminate
the air in the house. It is better that this ventilating connection
should be in the yard, at some distance from the house, or, better yet,
that there should be a long iron pipe extending well above the ground.
It should be understood that this vent has no direct connection with the
sewer, but merely with the soil pipe and drain back of the trap; with
that part of it which is nearest to, and in, the house.

Sometimes it is necessary to run the down spouts into the sewer
connection; in such a case one should be certain that the down-spout
openings are not near the dormers, and that they have no connection
whatever with the cistern. It is common to have a switch or cut-off in
the down spout, so that the latter may be connected either with the
cistern or sewer. This is very bad practice. While it is connected with
the sewer or with the drain pipe, the down spout is contaminated with
all the foulness of the air of the drain. On its being connected with
the cistern, the water is poisoned.

Immunity from sewer gas in the house is largely dependent upon the
flushing and ventilation of the drain and the soil pipe. In the case of
a drain which is trapped as described, there is an air connection
through the vent before the trap; then the soil pipe which is in the
house should continue upward through the roof. Thus there is a fresh air
inlet through the drain, and upward through the soil pipe of the house.
Such a connection prevents the possibility of siphoning the traps, as it
gives an outward air connection. The water passing through the drain or
soil pipe can draw its supply of air from the upward soil vent, rather
than through the traps which contain water. When there is no upward vent
of the soil or drain, the water in the traps which connect therewith
will be drawn out by the passage of water through the drain where
fixtures are used.

There are those who maintain that there should be no trap in the yard or
adjacent to the house, but that there should be a straight run from the
soil pipe to the sewer or vault, and upward through the roof and above
the house. It is good practice to use the trap as described for sewer
connections, but not for open vault connections.

A grease sink is frequently placed in the drain to intercept the
passage of grease into the vault. It is so placed and connected that
only the water from the kitchen sink, or other fixtures where the water
contains grease, may enter it. It is made of brick, and is usually of
six or eight barrels capacity. A four-inch pipe connects it with the
kitchen waste, and if the grease sink is placed adjacent to the main
drain, there can be a similar connection between it and the main drain.
It should be a siphon connection, so that the sink will become nearly
full before it discharges. When it discharges through the siphon the
water will go out with a rush and leave the grease in the sink. This
makes an intermittent discharge into the main drain, which flushes or
cleanses it thoroughly and is much better than a constant small flow of
water. This grease sink must be cleaned from time to time. Small
cast-iron grease sinks are sometimes placed under kitchen sinks in very
large dwellings or hotels.

Nothing particular need be said in regard to wash-stands more than has
been said, excepting, possibly, that the drain should be trapped,
ventilated, and connected with the soil pipe; also that there should be
a lead safe or safety pan on the floor under the wash-stand when they
are enclosed; it is preferable that they should remain unenclosed. It
has been common to connect this safe with the soil pipe. It is only
intended that it should be useful in cases of accidental overflow; but,
notwithstanding the fact that there be a trap in the safe waste or
drain, it would be empty most of the time, because of the evaporation of
the water. It is proper to make direct connection with the cellar or
kitchen sink.

The bath-tub should have the same-sized drain connection as the
wash-stand; that is, one and one-half inch in diameter, trapped. The
overflows from both the wash-stand and tub should be flushed with hot
water quite frequently, to avoid the soap smells which are so common to
bath-rooms. It often happens that those who have bath-rooms in their
houses imagine that they smell sewer gas, when it is nothing more or
less than the smell of rancid soap.



It is only within a short time that the heating and ventilation of
buildings of any kind have been in any measure satisfactory. This
applies only to the largest buildings; the heating and ventilating of
smaller structures are still in an unsatisfactory condition. Most
dwelling-houses are heated with stoves, which, as now arranged, are not
successful. The same air is heated over and over again. Fresh air in the
proper quantities or from the proper source is not supplied to the
interior of the building. Grates are very well in their way in that they
take large quantities of air from the room. Thus far they ventilate. The
supply of air is necessarily irregular, unless special means are

Furnaces are used for heating a very large number of houses. While they
are satisfactory in some respects, they are deficient in others. The
same thing may be said of steam, hot-water, or other heating apparatus.

As the statement has been made that heating systems in general, as
applied to dwelling-houses, are unsatisfactory, it may be well to state
the fault, and what is to be desired. It is not the purpose to consider
this question chemically, or from a highly scientific standpoint; there
is no occasion for it. It is well to bear in mind that we are
considering the heating and ventilating of a house during cold weather,
and not its ventilation during the summer, when natural means are to be
relied upon. Then it may be asked, What is to be done? Primarily the air
should be at the proper temperature at all times; it should be in its
pure state, as found on the outside of the building, and not
contaminated with any of the gases of combustion. It should be supplied
with its proper equivalent of moisture at the temperature at which we
find it in the room. As it becomes impure from natural causes, there
should be some means of effecting its withdrawal.

These are the ideal conditions. How far do they exist in practice? The
temperature is ordinarily high enough. The air of the room is apt to be
contaminated by the gases of combustion, and vitiated by breathing and
otherwise. Rarely indeed does it contain its proper equivalent of
moisture; it is dry and parched. Now that we know the conditions in
their ideal state and as they exist in fact, we will consider in detail
what may be done to bring about more satisfactory results. If the
heating apparatus be a furnace, it should be constructed of steel or
wrought-iron plate, the joints thoroughly riveted and calked; or, if of
other material, it should certainly be gas-tight. Every precaution
should be taken to prevent the passage of the air of combustion from the
furnace to the warm-air chambers and from thence to the rooms above. The
furnace is nothing more or less than a large stove with various
radiating arrangements, surrounded by an iron or brick enclosure, with a
supply of fresh air from the outside, and with connecting tin pipes to
the rooms above. It is important that the inner parts, the fire-pot,
the radiating surface, etc., be thoroughly well built and gas-tight, to
prevent the heated air from becoming contaminated by the gases of
combustion. The supply of outer air should be ample. It should be so
arranged that it can never be entirely cut off. The furnace should be of
sufficient capacity so that means of reducing the outer air supply
should not be necessary. However, if such arrangements are made, they
should be limited.

The proper equivalent of moisture should be given to the air at the
temperature at which it reaches the room. It may be said that there is a
water-pan connected with every furnace, that will do everything
necessary in supplying moisture. This is a mistake. So far as I know,
the furnace or other heating apparatus for dwellings has not been
constructed which is provided with a proper evaporating apparatus. The
pan is set in the side of the furnace, with an opening to the outside
into which water may be poured. It is small, and has very little
evaporating surface on the inside. Oftentimes the joints at the outside
are so poorly made that the cold air from the cellar may be drawn in
over the water in the pan, and in that way prevent its proper
evaporation. Winter air heated to a summer temperature is dry and
parched, whereas natural summer air contains the proper amount of
moisture. The outer air during the winter time has its proper equivalent
of moisture for the winter temperature, which is a much smaller amount
than would belong to it at a higher temperature. Therefore when we take
winter air into the furnace or other heating apparatus, raise it to a
summer temperature, and carry it into a room, we have a very dry air,
which seeks its equivalent of moisture from the occupants of the room,
from the furniture, carpets, walls, ceiling, and everything in it. The
air will not take additional moisture unless that moisture be supplied
after it has reached a higher temperature. For instance, if a spray or
a series of wet blankets be arranged in the cold-air duct, before the
air gets to the furnace, the air will not take the moisture from that
spray or from the damp blankets. The moisture must be supplied after the
air is heated. Where the water-pan is set on the side of the furnace,
and where there is a supply of air through the pan from the cellar, as
there frequently is, evaporation is naturally retarded by the cold air,
as indicated. Again, if this pan be never so well protected, it is
small, the proper amount of evaporating surface is not presented. An
evaporating pan or other device should be placed above the fire-pot and
should occupy a large proportion of the area of the heating chamber. The
supply of water should not be dependent upon some one's attention. It
should be constant by means of a ball-cock or otherwise. It should run
into or drip into a shallow pan, or should be supplied to sheets of felt
or blanket so that the air will come in contact with the moist surfaces,
at the temperature at which it is to go into the room. Thus it has the
proper amount of moisture which belongs to it at that temperature. In
this way we have winter air from the outside going into the room at a
summer temperature and with a summer equivalent of moisture; that is, we
have summer air in the winter time. People sometimes undertake to get
around this by putting water-pans in the registers, but they are rarely
ample. They are neglected, or they interfere with the supply of warm
air, and are abandoned.

Where a furnace is already in a house, or where it is not possible to
make elaborate arrangements for providing the air with moisture, there
is a very simple makeshift which is quite effective. It consists in
suspending in the registers in the floor small water receptacles--a
quart bucket answers every purpose--in which is placed a broad strip of
linen. This cloth should go to the bottom of the receptacle and be long
enough to hang over and below it for several inches. When the bucket is
filled with water this piece of cloth acts as a siphon, and carries the
water, a drop at a time, into the furnace-pipe, where it is converted
into steam. A piece of old table-linen is the best material to use, for
the reason that it carries the water fast enough, that the heat from the
furnace does not dry it out before it can drop into the pipe; otherwise
the cloth becomes dry at the end, and the siphonage ceases. For the same
reason it should be broad,--about twelve inches. Where a moderate heat
is carried through the furnace-pipe, three quarts of water may be
evaporated in this way in twenty-four hours from each bucket. A bucket
of the size mentioned does not in any way interfere with the passage of

The next point for consideration is the means of getting the foul,
contaminated air to the outside. One way is through the use of grates.
Another is by means of ducts in the wall, opening near the floor, which
draw the foul air from the room to the outside. These should consist of
heated flues, with connecting registers in the ceiling and floor, which
may be open when necessary. Under any circumstances, the grate is best.
Sometimes the flue may be heated by a supply of warm air from the
furnace, or by a steam-pipe in case steam is used for heating the house.
In natural-gas regions, the supply of additional heat in a flue from a
furnace or by a jet would be a small matter.

We have mentioned heating by stoves, grates, and furnaces. The same
principles which apply to the furnishing of fresh air to a furnace may
be applied to a stove. The fact is, they never have been. A stove should
be made, and will be made some day, that is surrounded on the outside by
a second jacket, the space between being connected with the outer air by
means of a tin tube to the under side of the stove. The supply of cold
air could be so arranged as to be shut off when there was no heat in the
stove. The warm air would pass out at the top of the jacket. On top of
the stove could be placed an evaporating pan, and the supply of moisture
come therefrom. In connection with the stove-pipe, which should be
jacketed, a second ventilating flue, starting from the floor and having
an opening both above and below, could be arranged, and in that way the
supply of fresh air and withdrawal of impure air could be accomplished.

Next we may speak of steam and hot-water heating. So far as a change of
air and the ventilation of the room are concerned, heating by direct
radiation, that is, by radiators placed in the room, is no better than
stove heating. It may be that the air is not so severely parched by the
extreme heat, also the escape of steam may contribute somewhat to the
moisture of the air; but the escape of steam is not agreeable, and is
not allowed to exist to any great extent;--its odor is not always
pleasant. Certainly the addition of moisture to the air by this means
would be a mere makeshift and unsatisfactory.

Hot-water coils act the same as steam radiators in that they heat the
same air over and over again, and are no better than stoves, so far as
the provision for fresh air, at proper temperature and humidity, is

A steam or hot-water apparatus, with indirect radiation, is superior to
furnace heat as ordinarily provided. The means of supplying moisture to
an indirect steam apparatus, as ordinarily constructed, are not
convenient. There is a radiator for each hot-air connection above, that
is, a radiator for each register, with a distinct and direct supply of
outer air thereto. Sometimes there are two registers connecting with a
single radiator. But under any circumstances the radiators are somewhat
separated, having steam or water connection with the boiler at the
proper point. Steam apparatus for public buildings has been constructed
where the radiators have been bunched, that is, put into a single
chamber, the air passing through the chamber containing the radiators,
where it is heated to the proper temperature, and the moisture
afterwards supplied before it enters the room. Where this arrangement is
used, there must be conductors, tin or otherwise, from the chamber to
the register, as in the case of a furnace. Again, it will be found that
the supply of air will not be uniform through all of the openings; for
instance, the register that is farthest removed from the warm-air
chamber may fail to act. In this event, auxiliary radiators may be
placed under that register, and the operation of the heating apparatus
greatly facilitated thereby. This plan is superior to a furnace, and can
be applied to hot-water or steam apparatus in dwellings. The reason that
it is superior to a furnace is that the supply of heat is more uniform.
It does not require the constant firing or attention that is necessary
in the case of a hot-air furnace. It may be known that the temperature
does not change with the pressure of steam or in the same proportion.

There are inexpensive automatic arrangements in connection with furnaces
and steam apparatus, which control the dampers and keep the steam
pressure measurably uniform, as long as there is fuel of sufficient
quantity in the fire-pot. The hot-water apparatus is more uniform in its
operation than steam, and for that reason more satisfactory.

A furnace plant is the most inexpensive apparatus that may be used for
general heating; the steam apparatus is next higher as to first cost,
though no more expensive in amount of fuel used. The hot-water apparatus
costs more than steam, and is somewhat more economical in the cost of
maintenance. It is probable that a house of moderate size can be warmed
all over at a less cost, as far as fuel is concerned, by a furnace or a
steam or hot-water heating apparatus than by stoves and grates. However,
grates are generally used in addition to these for the purpose of
comfort and appearance, and for ventilating. Under such circumstances,
they consume very little fuel.



For the present, people who build must take things as they find them,
and use heating and ventilating apparatus as regularly manufactured.
Experiments are uncertain. The theory of the proper heating and
ventilating of a house as set forth in previous chapter is correct. The
fulfilment of the ideas in dwelling-house heating remains to be
practically worked out. It is not the business of the architect, or the
housewife, or the owner of the house, to work out these mechanical
details. It will be done in time by competent mechanical experts.

In the estimates subsequently given, the furnace is the only means
considered for general heating. However, this does not indicate a
prejudice in favor of that particular method. The furnace is considered
and figured upon as the ordinary method of heating houses of moderate
cost. It is the least expensive plant to be used for general heating.
Indirect radiation from hot water or steam is to be preferred to a
furnace. A combination of a hot-air furnace with hot water, or steam, is
used with fair success. In this case, a hot-water coil is placed in an
ordinary furnace, which connects with hot-water radiators in a
conservatory or other room for the purpose of contributing a uniform
degree of heat to that room. The water supply is a tank, located well
above the level of the radiators, and connecting through an inlet pipe
with the coil in the furnace. The proper means of supplying this tank
with water is through a ball-cock or float-cock, the float of which
opens the valve when the water gets low in the tank. Thus the supply is
as constant as the source. A hot-water radiator of this kind may be used
in connection with a device for warming dishes or keeping food warm. The
heat is gentle, uniform, and constant. This is a general advantage of
all hot-water heating.

Aside from the automatic arrangements for controlling the steam or water
pressure in the heating apparatus, and thus measurably controlling the
temperature in the building, other more positive automatic arrangements
are provided which undertake to maintain any fixed temperature. These
are proprietary devices, patented and advertised.

Complaints are made of the general inefficiency of everything under the
sun: hence, furnaces and other heating apparatus come in for their
share. An architect is sometimes asked how he would heat a certain
building. He answers, "Hot water, steam, or furnace."--"Oh, I wouldn't
have steam. My uncle had a steam plant in his house, and they nearly
froze to death all last winter; and they burned over a ton of coal a
week." The same things are said, and truly, of every kind of heating
apparatus made, when we consider them in general classes. General
complaints of a similar nature are made of everything. In regard to the
steam plant or hot-water apparatus, or anything else of which this thing
may have been said, one may first acknowledge its truthfulness, and then
consider what it all means. Something is at fault. It may be that the
whole design of the apparatus is faulty. The design may be right, and
the construction bad. Everything else may be right, but the apparatus
too small; or there may be some little defect which has to do with the
placing of the apparatus in the house. Sometimes, when everything is in
good form, the apparatus does not receive proper attention: hence

It may be asked how one is to get a good heating apparatus for a
dwelling-house. The first thing to be determined is, the particular kind
to be used: whether hot-water, steam, or hot-air furnace. There are many
manufacturers of the various apparatus, who are regularly in the
business. To these may be submitted plans of the building, and a request
for estimates and suggestions. It is the experience of an architect that
one who is putting money regularly in the manufacture or production of
anything will not waste his energies for a great length of time on a bad
thing, if he knows it. The evidence that an establishment has been
putting up good furnaces or other heating apparatus is long-continued
business success. If the owner of a house writes to an old-established,
wealthy concern, and sends his plans, he is as certain to get a reliable
proposition as he can be of anything. A local agent of an establishment
of this kind may misrepresent, unintentionally or otherwise. The surest
way is to go to headquarters. The local agent does not always know
exactly what should be done. A competent architect can settle all these
matters for an owner. However, if an architect says there are only one
or two furnaces or heating apparatus which are all right, he is either
ignorant or dishonest. There are many different kinds which will give
fair satisfaction.

The idea in this chapter is to take things as we find them, and suggest
what may be done. The theories outlined in the previous chapter may be
correct, but they do not amount to anything to a man who is building
to-day. The only purpose of this chapter is to suggest to those who are
building that they go to a first-class house, pay a fair price, and get
the best possible apparatus regularly in the market.



The journey through the house is hardly complete until we abandon the
material view, and consider it from the standpoint of beauty. As is said
in another connection, the architect does not do his full duty in making
a house a model of convenience and utility. The housekeeper always looks
toward a beautiful home, something that will be recognized for its
beauty and elegance. A house that is beautiful and attractive gives
pleasure to all who see it, as well as to the occupants. A beautiful,
artistic house is a source of education to the occupants. A porch with
clumsy columns, rude mouldings, heavy ceiling, coarse details of all
kinds, cannot but affect one's living. One that is fine in detail,
generous in size, decorated in artistic spirit, must of necessity not
alone contribute to the comfort of those who live in the house, but
serve to lift them from that which is common and ordinary. People may be
surrounded by that which is beautiful and artistic, and for a time fail
to realize its true excellence, or they may be surrounded with that
which is homely and crude without knowing the full measure of its
ugliness. The time must come, however, when the truth will be realized
to a certain extent. If it is in the direction of the appreciation of
what is beautiful, it must necessarily bring about a higher state of
mind. No man can walk across a front porch, time after time, and take
hold of a beautiful door, without being affected by it. For this reason
the vestibule, the front door, and all that belongs to it, should be
designed in a thoughtful spirit, with the idea that it is the first of
all things that will impress those who enter the house. There may not be
much money to put into this door, but what there is may as well bring
something beautiful as something ugly. The same money that will make an
ugly detail will make a beautiful, artistic one. If the glass of this
door must be inexpensive, let it be the ordinary cathedral glass.
Instead of being brilliant in color, select a soft, mild tint,--a light
amber or a straw color. If there are divisions in the door so that a
number of sheets may be used, two tints at most are all that are
necessary. It is best that they should be quiet in tone. If money is
more abundant, and an elaborate stained-glass design may be had, put the
work in the hands of an artist, one who is well known, and the result
cannot but be satisfactory. As to the door itself, nothing can be nicer
than natural wood, properly finished. The detail of the design should be
refined; there should be an avoidance of all that is clumsy and heavy.
The spirit of the interior may be stamped upon this door. Where one
cannot encompass the expense of an artistically designed glass for the
door or vestibule opening, a very pretty effect may be secured by the
use of a plain sheet of plate-glass; or, if desired, a slight additional
expense will give glass with bevelled edges. Sometimes this bevelled
glass is in small squares, with leaded joints. This gives a very simple
and rich effect from either side.

As one opens this door and steps into the vestibule, there may come to
his sight a beautiful mantel and grate-fire in the reception-hall
beyond. This is particularly beautiful when shown through the folds of a
tapestry curtain which separates the vestibule from the reception-hall.
Sometimes this vestibule is arranged so that there is a small window at
one side of it. Nothing can be nicer than to have this filled with
glass, of the same general design as that of the door. The hooks for
wraps should be of polished brass, secured to a natural-wood strip. An
umbrella-stand of the same material is attractive. The floor is best of
hard wood, all but covered with a heavy rug. This is a pleasant place to
stop a moment, with a more beautiful view beyond.

A reception-hall is, from an architectural standpoint, the easiest room
in the house to handle; that is, it can easily be made to look well.
This is because of its connection with the vestibule, the stairway, the
grate, often a window-seat, the large openings into the other rooms, and
the portières which go with them. All these things combine well to make
a pretty room. Stairways, as now designed, are much more beautiful than
those made a few years ago. Then it was a habit to start at one end of
the hall and continue to the second floor in a single run, with winders
only at the upper end, to change the direction of the movement. Now it
is common to have at least two landings in each run; oftentimes there
will be only two or three steps, then a landing, from which steps lead
to another near the top. At the beginning of the stairway there are the
newel posts, and at each landing a corner post. This arrangement
frequently admits of the placing of a seat along one side of the outer
part of the lower landing. If not that, possibly one along the side of
the stairway, below the run of steps which starts from the lower
landing. The space between the railing and the steps is usually occupied
by turned balusters, though there are many forms of filling and
decorating this space. Sometimes it is of turned spindle-work,
scroll-work, fret-work, and squares or panels, arranged in different

It is not unusual to have stained-glass windows at each landing. These
windows are not necessarily large, and are usually hung on hinges.
Sometimes a small bay-window projection is made from one or both of
these landings. In them may be placed seats, and in this way add beauty
and convenience to the room. It is quite usual to cover the
reception-hall with rugs rather than carpets. The hard-wood floor idea
probably had its origin in the reception-hall. If it ever takes its
departure it will be first from this room. If a hard-wood floor is not
largely covered with rugs it requires a great deal of labor.

The mantel in the reception-hall should be of wood. It is pleasant to
have the larger part of the entire setting made of tile. These tiles are
now made in most beautiful designs and colorings. Beautiful figured
designs may be had, if not for the entire facing, for certain parts. It
is not uncommon that only a narrow margin of wood-work borders the sides
of a mantel of this kind. The shelf and cabinet above may be as
ornamental as desired. No treatment of wood-work can add to the beauty
of a large surface of tile facing. In some instances, no shelf is
provided; simply a bevelled facing, with a margin of woodwork, not over
an inch wide, to cover the joint where the tiling comes in contact with
the plaster. The hearth should be large. The grate border is best of

The walls of the reception-hall may have a gray plaster finish, or be
tinted or papered, as desired. The picture moulding may come pretty well
down from the ceiling; certainly not higher than the tops of the doors.
The part below may be tinted in one color, and the upper, in another.
The picture moulding should always be of the same kind of wood as the
finish, and not gilded or treated in any other highly artificial manner.

The openings into other rooms, even where sliding or hinged doors are
used, are frequently filled a short distance from their top with what is
popularly called fret-work. It may be fret-work, pure and simple, or
spindle-work, or simply scroll-work. It is a very pleasing form of
ornamentation. The curtains come below. In one of the plans furnished,
the entire vestibule is made up of turned work, which, with a curtain,
is the only separation from the main hall. Sometimes arches are
decorated in the same manner, and the space between the circle and frame
is filled with these ornamental forms. A very simple way of making
screens is by the use of thin quartered oak-strips, woven into basket
patterns of ornamental form.

Only one general design of door and window casings is shown in this
book. There is no limit to the ornamental forms which may be used in
decorating casings of any kind. During recent years, many ladies have
used their energy and ability in the direction of wood-carving, and,
under competent instruction, have done good work. For the most part, the
patterns are in low relief. The designs are frequently conventionalized,
foliated patterns. In the smaller communities it is hardly possible to
get good carving through ordinary channels, for the reason that there
is not a sufficient amount of this kind of work to be done to justify a
high grade of talent in occupying so unprofitable a field. It is
unfortunately true, however, that very few workmen who can carve at all,
but have an idea that they do this kind of work exceedingly well. No
matter how crude their efforts may be, there is no lack of
self-appreciation. They profess to be able to do that of which they are
entirely ignorant. It is best to be content with the simple mechanical
forms of interior wood-decoration, unless there are those of known and
recognized ability, who are capable of executing the more artistic

Door and window casings are made much narrower and less complex than was
the custom several years ago.

The sitting-room of the lower floor is more clearly defined by the term
"living-room." It is a room with much more wall space than the
reception-hall. It usually contains a grate and mantel; has a large
window to the front, and one on the side. It is very nice if one of
these windows can be arranged in the form of a bay, with or without a
window-seat. In the latter case, it may serve the purpose of a
conservatory in the winter and a window-seat in summer. The use of large
quantities of stained glass in a sitting-room is objectionable. It is
very well to have a certain amount of it in the upper sash of some of
the windows. If the colors are mild, the effect upon the atmosphere of
the room is pleasant indeed--the light coming through the soft amber or
straw tints adds a mellowness and richness to the light of the room,
which is opposed to the colder effects of light which comes through
white glass. The mantel of the sitting-room may contain a large number
of compartments in the form of small shelves, brackets, or cabinets, in
which may be placed bric-à-brac of various forms. A little cabinet on
each side of a mantel, with a high door, is a very pretty feature. A
mirror between these cabinets gives a pleasing effect. This mantel, like
the one in the reception-room, should be of wood with tile hearth and

If this room is plastered in a gray finish, the walls may be tinted in
fresco colors, and, if desired, certain parts of it ornamented by
stencilling or otherwise. Unless this ornamental work is done by an
artist of recognized ability, it should be of the simplest character.
One or two simple lines, or a series of short dashes, is much better
than scrawling figures drawn by an untrained hand. The ordinary fresco
done by the foreign artist is the ugliest, most ungraceful work
possible. In the larger cities, there are usually a few artists who do
very beautiful work, but the ordinary, cheap, conventional fresco stuff
is barbarous. Plain tinted walls are preferable to such glaring
monstrosities. There is not much risk, if one is careful in the
selection of colors; the part above the picture moulding may be tinted
differently from that below. There are very few people but feel
themselves competent to select colors for the interior or exterior of a
house. The fact is, there are very few who can do it with any assurance
of success. It is well for those who have no special training in this
line to pursue a safe plan in the selection of tints for the walls and
ceilings. This may be done by choosing different shades of the same
color for use in the room. Say one begins with a terra-cotta body for
the part below the picture mould. That above the moulding may be a
lighter terra-cotta with a tendency to a buff. Then the ceiling may be
lighter still, or, to be entirely safe under almost any circumstances, a
gray with a leaning towards the color of the wall. Other colors may be
selected in the same way. Very light, vivid blues have frequently been
selected for ceilings, presumably because of the supposed resemblance
to the sky. It is certainly an illogical but by no means uncommon
thought. Soft, undecided grays are much pleasanter to those of quiet
tastes. There may be variations in it according to the character of the
wall decorations and surroundings. If one without special knowledge
wishes something more ambitious, he should consult some one of
acknowledged ability in this particular line. One cannot afford to try
experiments. Extremely beautiful wall decorations are to be had in
wall-paperings, and, while rather expensive, are entirely satisfactory
if carefully selected.

Very little more may be said about the sitting-room, excepting to call
to mind that a great deal depends upon the fittings and furnishings of
the room, which, however, should not be glaring or rich. The quality of
everything may be of the finest and best, yet this room should
essentially be quieter in tone than the reception-hall or parlor, or
even dining-room, which are not in constant use. Anything which is rich
and in any way approaches the gorgeous is wearisome, and directly
opposed to the idea of a sitting-room.

The parlor may be merely a reception-room,--a room where a lady may
receive her callers in the afternoon, or the more formal calls of ladies
and gentlemen in the evening, or it may be one room in addition to the
others in the lower part of the house. It may be the room which adds
capacity to the lower floor during times of general entertaining. In
some cases, particularly where the parlor is merely used as a
reception-room, it need not be large. In such a case it is merely a
place separated from the sitting-room, and in which to go for the
purpose of receiving friends in a room somewhat removed from the slight
confusion which may legitimately belong to a sitting-room. The parlor is
made distinctive in its appearance from the sitting-room by its
furnishings. It is not usual to have any great difference in the design
of the wood-work in the different rooms of the lower floor. Generally
speaking, the doors are of the same design, and likewise the casings,
base, etc. The parlor belongs particularly to the society life of the
occupants of the house. It is not generally a family room. It is removed
from the ordinary home life except in so far as the general social
conditions draw all together. The parlor, in its connection with the
living-rooms of the house, and the house itself, is entirely legitimate.
There is a good deal of sneering at the old parlor idea. This feeling
has its origin in the memory of the parlors of a few years ago,--those
which contained the one Brussels carpet, covered with red and green
flowers, furnished with black hair-cloth furniture, chairs arranged
around the wall in military style, a sofa--stiff of back and commanding
an attitude--in a most conspicuous position; walls covered with
coarse-figured, gilt paper, and rendered more offensive by cheap, family
portraits in oil, and elaborately framed chromos.

The parlor of to-day is still a formal room; it does not greatly differ
from the older one in idea; it is the execution of the idea which has
changed. There is a greater refinement in all the details; there is an
artistic spirit which pervades everything. There is harmony of color,
quietness in tone. The pictures are of a different character. The
furniture is graceful and comfortable. It is rarely separated from the
other part of the house. The doors leading into it are nearly always
open. Oftentimes there are only portières of tapestry or lace to
separate this room from the others which lead to it. It is a room which
is made necessary by the social life of the time.

The ideal parlor is a long room,--a large room. It is long in
proportion to its width. Sometimes there is an archway near the middle,
which suggests the division of the room into two parts. There is a
mirror at the end, and, lending dignity to the room, there is the hall
or library at one side. By its size, its arrangement, its dignity, it is
inspiring to a congenial company. This is the ideal parlor, and the one
of which the vulgarly furnished parlor of a few years ago was a
corruption. The ideal parlor is shown in its completest original form in
some of the old mansions of the East and South. Some of the old Virginia
and Maryland houses carry out this idea in the completest way. In
Natchez, Miss., are houses built long before the war, and designed by
the French architects, which contain parlors of splendid proportions and
most artistic details. These were designed in the purest classic
architecture. The ceilings were high, the paintings rich. All this is
somewhat removed from the common idea of a parlor as carried out at this
time. However, it is a pleasant thing to look back upon, or, when the
opportunity and means are at hand, a proper thing to enjoy in the

The library, as now understood, is, in the ordinary house, a room for
books, papers, and magazines, in which the members of the family may
gather, who have use for that which it contains. It should be a room
which may be isolated from the other parts of the house; a room in which
one may study or read or write, and have the quiet which belongs to such
occupations. A room which may be used as a passage from one part of the
house to another cannot be dignified by the name of library. In such a
room there must be quiet. There are very few homes to which such a room
would not be a material and practical addition. There are times when
nearly every one desires the quiet and freedom from interruption which a
room of this kind affords.

It need not be a large room, but should contain all of the paraphernalia
of work: a desk, conveniently arranged, bookshelves which are readily
accessible, possibly portfolios arranged along the walls, drawers with
proper compartments, cases for circulars and catalogues, and other
"places for things." The nicest thing about book-cases is the books.
Ornamental glass doors and rich trappings add nothing to the beauty of
the library. People who make large use of books do not care to have them
protected by glass cases. The other furnishings and fittings of a
library should be quiet in tone, the chairs easy but not rich, the
carpet of a neutral color, the wall decorations preferably without
figured outlines, the pictures small and quiet. Sliding doors between
the library and any other room of the house are not to be considered.
Close-fitting doors on hinges are proper. They exclude the sound.
Sliding doors permit the ready passage of sound, for the reason that
they are more or less open at top, bottom, middle, and sides. A low
ceiling in a library adds to the quiet and restful effect. One may have
a low ceiling in a library, even if they are higher in other rooms, by
studding down from above,--that is, putting in a false ceiling. The
expense is light indeed, and by such means additional protection from
the sounds above may be afforded.

The dining-room, in many houses, is the room in which the entire family
is gathered, perhaps for the only time during the day. In this sense it
is an assembly room. There is in this busy country a growing respect for
the social value of the dining-room. In the family meetings at the
table, there may be an interchange of experiences that does not occur at
other times, for the reason that there is no opportunity for it. After
the meals the members of the family go to their various occupations, and
probably do not come together until another meal. These facts may be
considered in the planning of a dining-room.

We have thought of this room before in its mechanical sense; we have
looked at it through housekeeping eyes. We have now to consider its
artistic and social features. We look at it as one of the family rooms.
It has its shape or proportion suggested to it from the table. It is
oblong. The light coming into it should be ample, but subdued in tone.
It is pleasant, as one enters a dining-room, to come into full view of a
sideboard which is decorated with that which belongs to this room in a
utilitarian way--its china, cut glass, and beautiful linen, than which
nothing can be more attractive.

It is a pleasant thing to have a conservatory attached to one side or at
a corner of the dining-room. The odor of flowers or plants may not be
agreeable constantly in a sitting-room. The periodical occupation of the
dining-room makes this pleasant rather than otherwise. Most of the plans
which are shown will admit of the placing of a conservatory in
connection with the dining-room in the manner indicated.

The old English dining-room was large in its general proportions, and
heavy and rich as to its details; it was so large and impressive that
there was an offshoot which took form in a breakfast-room. In our homes
at this time we have the compromise. Our habits of living do not demand
the breakfast-room: all come to breakfast together, and the requirement
is the same as for other meals.

Where one wishes to have a wood ceiling panelled or with decorated
beams, the dining-room, or the hall connecting with it, may be chosen as
the proper place to be treated in this way. Where expense is not a great
object, it is agreeable to have a large part of the walls finished in
wood. A wood finish one-half to two-thirds the height of the wall, and
a ceiling of wood above, with the intervening space finished in rough,
tinted plaster, gives a very pleasing effect. Projecting from the top of
the wood wall-finish may be a little shelf extending, say, five inches
beyond the wall. It may have a simple moulded edge. In the top may be
cut grooves; on the under edge may be arranged, at regular intervals,
cup hooks, which may be used in part for suspending china, or, upon
certain occasions, as a means of securing floral decorations--say, a
little train of ivy or smilax. On the upper part of the shelf are placed
pieces of china. This shelf may be placed in any dining-room; if not
around the entire room, between two windows, or between the chimney
breast and the adjacent wall. Six feet from the floor is a good height.
If it is not overloaded, or if the idea is not generally overworked, the
effect will be very satisfactory.

The coloring of a dining-room may be a little heavier and richer than
that of the other rooms. A very pretty feature which maybe introduced in
a room of this kind is a china-closet, which opens into the dining-room
as well as into the china-room adjoining. The dining-room side of the
china-closet should be glazed with clear glass above its lower section,
and the china-room or back side of the china-closet should be glazed
with cathedral glass of a semi-transparent character. There are doors on
hinges on each side. The drawers in the lower part, if provided, open
from both sides. If doors are used they should be arranged in the same
way, so that the lower shelves may be approached from both dining-room
and china-room. The glass door on the dining-room side should not come
down to the shelf at the top of the lower section, but should be
arranged to leave an open space, as is indicated in the chapter on
kitchens and pantries. However, the doors on the china-room side of
this closet should come down, so as to cut off communication between
dining-room and china-room at will. This space between the upper and
lower section of the china-closet gives space in which to set a tray,
and, by opening a door on the back, it acts as a slide between the
china-room and dining-room. This arrangement is not only very beautiful,
but very useful. See china-closet plan Fig. 5, page 46.

The conservatory mentioned does not need to be in conventional
conservatory form, which usually has cheap glazing and often common
wood-work, but may be a bay-window with more than an ordinary amount of
glass, preferably plate.

The chambers and bedrooms, in their ideal form of arrangement, have an
abundance of light and sun, ample means for ventilation, and a greater
air of restfulness and airiness than the rooms below. The carpets are in
lighter tints, the walls more nearly white, the windows not so heavily
draped, the pictures and frames of a lighter character, the chairs not
so heavy as those of the other rooms. From a chamber it is sometimes
desirable to have a bay window projecting from side or front. It adds to
the availability of the other floor space, affords additional light and
ventilation. Nothing can be nicer than a grate fire in a bedroom. It
should be surrounded with a wood mantel, with tile facing and hearth.
Above the mantel it is useful to have a short plate-glass mirror. A
dressing-case takes its proper place on the side wall between two
windows, or in a corner with a window in each wall adjacent to it.
Bedrooms are, for the most part, lighted with brackets rather than
central lights. When attainable, a small dressing-room adds to the
attractiveness of a chamber.

In some houses there may be an alcove, a bay window, a window-seat, a
conservatory, or something of this kind, from every principal room.
These are features which add to the beauty and attractiveness of the
house. While all of these things are not possible in every home, some
one or two of them may be attainable. In mentioning the various details
which go to make the beauty of a house, it is in mind that all these
features can be taken into account in but a very small proportion of all
the houses that are built, yet some one or more of them may be used in
every house, and thereby add to its attractiveness.



It often happens when one gives especial attention to a particular
branch of a subject his neglect in other lines is measured by the depth
of his attention to the particular branch. Matters which have to do with
the utilitarian features of house-building are considered in this work
much more fully in the text, than has the appearance of the buildings.
It is desired that this fact will not lead any one to believe that
matters relating to the appearance of the exterior have been neglected.
Domestic architecture is an old topic before the people. It is old in
what has been said in regard to the appearance of the buildings. The
subject, as a science to the architect, is new when considered from the
standpoint of convenience. The architectural student's dream is not of
kitchens, pantries, closets, convenient and economical arrangements of
floor space, but is principally of large public buildings, libraries,
court-houses, and cathedrals. When he descends to dwelling-houses, it is
of something unique, or odd,--something that is pretty or rich. When it
relates to details, it is hallways that are peculiar in their beauty,
parlors and sitting-rooms that are full of odd conceits. There has been
a tendency toward strange things during recent years. Matters of this
kind have fed the fancy of many architects. The housekeeper has been

Nothing attracts more attention than a beautiful house. It is a pleasure
to every one. It is as important to have a house beautiful as it is that
it should be convenient. The same education and thoughtfulness that will
enable an architect to design a convenient house will make it beautiful.
No one can be conscientious in the consideration of the comfort of the
housekeeper and neglect the smallest detail leading to the beauty of the
house. The housekeeper lives in the hope of having a beautiful home. It
has been the purpose, in writing this book, to bear all this in mind,
and to add the element of convenience to what has been said and done by
others toward making beautiful houses.

It costs no more to have a house beautiful than to have it ugly. Beauty,
like convenience, is largely a matter of thoughtfulness and education.
The only excuse for ugliness in house-building is ignorance. The student
of architecture has had a great deal done for him. And, in considering
that which has to do with appearance, he has only to accept the
advantages of the best architectural schools and offices. Without these
he cannot expect to succeed. To be a designer of beautiful houses, one
must have had the same special training and advantages that are
necessary for success in other lines of professional work. A physician
must know the history of his profession, aside from the more formal
knowledge which leads him through his practice. It is the same way with
the student of architecture. The successful designer of a small cottage
will do better from having a knowledge of the history of early
architecture. Such a knowledge is indispensable, in order to reach the
best results. One who has made a study of Greek architecture is much
better equipped to design a beautiful low-cost cottage, of four or five
rooms, than one who has not availed himself of these advantages. He will
make a better house for the same money. He will do better work with
simpler means. To take another illustration: We may suppose that an
architect has a porch to design, and that the owner of the house does
not have a great deal of money to put in it. There are four turned
columns, a cornice, with a rafter finish, and underneath, a space in
which may be inserted a small band of inexpensive scroll-work. A
knowledge of the earlier architecture comes to his assistance in a
wonderful way. For the turning on the columns the architect may select
that from a column of the early English Gothic architecture of the
fourteenth century. These are simple profiles, which can be turned at no
greater cost, if the drawing is furnished, than some crude, modern
invention of the turner or an uneducated designer. For the jig or scroll
saw work, he can arrange figures from some of the earlier ornamental
forms of the same period, and by drawing them full size the
scroll-sawyer can reproduce a beautiful design, which has a history,
with no more labor than he would give some corrupted design which has
filtered through the minds of careless house-builders. For his rafter
feet, this designer will have no difficulty in recalling some simple
form which has had a refined development. This same line of procedure
can be followed in all details of house-building, and not add one dollar
to the cost of the structure. At the same time it brings about most
beautiful results,--the results of successful experience.

It may be said again that it takes no more money to make a beautiful
detail--one which has been the development of experience and
refinement--than it does something which is clumsy and coarse. It
requires, however, a knowledge of what has been done,--a knowledge of
the history of design. It requires the faculty of using intelligently
the results of the past, not merely as they originally existed, but in
their adaptation to the wants and conditions of the present.

Several years ago Mr. Charles Eastlake wrote a book entitled "Hints on
Household Taste." The book accomplished a great deal, by merely leading
people to think. To this day there are a great many architectural
features which, in the builder's parlance, go under the name of
"Eastlake" designs. There are so-called Eastlake doors, Eastlake frames,
etc. In truth, Mr. Eastlake had little to say about architecture in a
distinctive sense, and many evil things have been perpetrated in his
name. The best thing that Mr. Eastlake did was to teach people that the
furniture and other things which they had around them could be beautiful
and not expensive. That it was not necessary to have a chair or a piece
of wood-work loaded down with something called ornament, in order to be
beautiful. After this people lost confidence in the furniture
manufacturer, and did not depend solely on the price of his wares as a
measure of their elegance or attractiveness. This was the sole work of
Charles Eastlake, with the masses of the people. He was a missionary in
his way. A man of no particular knowledge in regard to architecture or
design, yet one who was the means of doing a great deal for
architecture. He taught people to look for beauty in simple things.

After a time came a certain something in domestic architecture which was
designated as the "Queen-Anne" style. We all know what it is, yet it is
difficult to describe. The veritable Queen-Anne architecture meant
something; the "Queen-Anne" architecture of a few years ago meant
anything--particularly something that was pointed, erratic, and
unusual. It, however, did a good work. It enabled the architects to get
out of the old beaten paths. A great many beautiful houses were built,
which, by the public, were said to be in this style. The name "Queen
Anne" was the vehicle for the passage from an old conservatism, which
had to do only with the commonplace, to something which was fresh and
attractive. In this way a great many beautiful houses were built during
this so-called Queen-Anne revival.

More recently there has been a movement toward the revival of the old
colonial architecture--a style that was developed by a class of educated
builders among the earlier settlers of this country. Their knowledge was
particularly of classic architecture of the period of the Italian
renaissance. A great many strange and unusual things are being
perpetrated in the name of old colonial architecture at this time. At
the same time, a great deal that is beautiful and refined is being built
in this style. In the work of the very recent period which has to do
with this architecture, one may find a great deal of encouragement. It
shows a decided re-action from the extravagant crudeness of the
so-called Queen-Anne architecture, and in the end we will reach
something that is rational and beautiful.

Thus it is to be seen that, in whatever lines architecture is moving, we
shall find good work; that it is not so much the style that it is named,
as the resources of the designer: resources which have to do with his
education, and his disposition to select that which is fine and
beautiful--the sense which leads him to discriminate.

[Illustration: FIGURE B.]



     PRICE.--SIX PLANS.--COSTS, FROM $1,500 TO $2,600.

The number of times that a house has been built indicates the popularity
of the plan. Plan No. 1, in one form or another, has been used oftener
than any other in the book. Plans Nos. 1, 2, and 3 are more frequently
selected by people who do not keep a servant. This arrangement makes a
compact and low-cost house. There is a porch over which the small front
bedroom extends on the second story. In Plan No. 1 the hall is seven and
one-half by ten feet. There is a corner grate for the living-room and
the parlor. A stove might be used in the dining-room in a way to
moderate the temperature of the entire lower floor.

There is one very large window opening into the dining-room. It is a
very pleasing thing to have the upper sash of the dining-room glazed
with simple colors of cathedral glass. This glass gives a very pleasant
tone to the light of the room, and, at the same time, excludes the hot
rays of the sun in summer. It is possible to dispense with outside
shutters when cathedral glass is used in the upper sashes. A metal rod
running across the window on the inside, on a level with the horizontal
dividing-rail of the window, may be made to carry curtains which will
exclude the view from the outside. Thus, in the glass, and by the aid of
the curtains, we have much that might be expected from the shutters.

There is a china-pantry between the kitchen and dining-room. It is
lighted by a small window at one side. It serves as a passageway between
these two rooms, and thus keeps the odor of the cooking from the front
part of the house. The pastry pantry is immediately back of the
china-pantry, and is entered from the kitchen. It is also provided with
a small window. In the kitchen is a sink with a swinging table at one
side, and room for a portable table on the other. At one side of the
sink may be the cistern-pump, and on the other side the well-pump. It
should be placed back against the wall, and with handles that are well
out of the way when not in use.

[Illustration: Plan No. 1.]

It is entirely unnecessary to place the pumps in the yards of low-cost
houses, as is so common. If a driven well is used, it could be driven
so as to be next to the kitchen sink. If it is a dug well, it may be
placed on the outside, and connected through lead pipes with the sink on
the inside. The cistern may be connected in the same way. The entrance
to the cellar stairs is conveniently placed in one corner of the
kitchen. The cellar itself is under the sitting-room. The side-porch is
large enough to be used as a summer kitchen.

[Illustration: Plan No. 2.]

It is to be noticed that there is no waste room in the upstairs hall.
There is merely wall space enough to admit of doors leading into the
various rooms. There is a small window which lights this hall; the
window may be reached for cleaning from the stairway. This plan
illustrates as clearly as possible the advantage of having the main
stairway land in the middle of the house. There is no better way to
economical use of space. From the second-floor hall there is a stairway
leading to the attic. This passage is lighted in the same way as the
second-floor hall.

[Illustration: Plan No. 3.]

It may be said that the bedrooms of this house are not large. The house
is not large. The problem involved a low-cost, roomy house. We get a
large number of rooms within a small enclosure, and, necessarily, some
of them are small. It is to be borne in mind, however, that the value of
a room is not dependent upon its size. A room may be of respectable
dimensions, but yet not have the necessary wall space for the furniture.
Such a room would not be as satisfactory as a smaller one, had care been
taken to provide this space. In each bedroom there should be space for a
bed, a wash-stand, and a dressing-case. The latter should be near a
window. It will be found that there is room for such furniture in each
of the bedrooms shown on this plan. All are provided with ample closets.
In one of these houses which was built, there was a door between the
bedroom in front and the chamber. In another case, there was a door
connecting the two larger rooms. All these things are matters of
personal preference, or special family requirements, depending upon the
age and number of the children, and other family conditions.

[Illustration: Plan No. 4.]

Plan No. 2 is similar to No. 1, excepting that there are a few changes
in detail. The rooms are smaller; the hall is relatively shorter; it
illustrates the process of contraction. No. 3 is similar to No. 2,
excepting that it has a front as well as a rear stairway, and the
position of the dining-room is changed.

No. 4 is a development of the same class of plans. There are the front
and the rear stairways, also a bath-room over the kitchen, and a
servant's room. The dotted lines running through the little bedroom on
the second floor indicate the position of a hall, which may be
constructed connecting the front and rear part of this house. As will be
noticed, this is a nine-room house in a very economical form.

[Illustration: Plan No. 5.]

Plan No. 5 is a further development and improvement of the same idea.
The objection that one may raise to any of the plans just described is,
that one has to pass through the parlor, or the room in the rear of the
hall, to reach the room back of the parlor. Plan No. 5 solves this
problem. From the hall we can go into the living-room, the dining-room
or parlor, without passing through another room. The second floor is an
improvement over No. 4, in that the little bedroom in the rear is
enlarged by allowing it to project over the room below the width of the
hall. In the rear of this comes the bath-room.

[Illustration: FIGURE 10.]

As to cost. The building, without appurtenances, on the basis outlined
in schedule "B," would cost as follows:--

Plan No. 1, $1,700; No. 2, $1,550; No. 3, $1,550; No. 4, $1,800; No. 5,
$1,900. Figures 8 and 9 are elevations suited to these plans.

[Illustration: Plan No. 6]

Plan No. 6 had its origin in Plan No. 1, and was developed through the
successive stages indicated in the description of plans from 1 to 5
inclusive. The position of the grate-stack has been changed, so that it
acts for the reception-hall on one side, and the parlor on the other.
The reception-hall, instead of receding, projects. In one corner
thereof is arranged a vestibule, partitioned from the rest of the rooms
by ornamental fret-work backed with curtains. This will make a very
beautiful feature. It changes this hall into a room. From here we may
pass to the parlor, sitting-room, and dining-room. In the rear of the
sitting-room is a porch; at one side, a projecting window-seat. The
sitting-room closet is cut off from the pantry. The dining-room is
connected with the sitting-room by sliding-doors. A convenient
china-closet connects the dining-room and kitchen. On one side of the
china-room are arranged drawers. Under the china-closet proper are
shelves enclosed by panelled doors; the china-shelves above being
protected by glass doors, according to the general ideas previously
expressed when considering the china-closet in particular. The kitchen
is the same as others, which are described elsewhere in a more detailed
way. There is a laundry in the basement, and an outside cellar-way
connecting with the back yard. The inside cellar-way is shown. The next
door is that which leads to the second floor. There are five bedrooms on
this floor. The elevation of this house is shown in Fig. No. 11. The
building, without appurtenances, according to schedule "B," costs

[Illustration: Fig. 8]

[Illustration: Fig. 9]

Elevations Nos. 1 and 2 indicate a simple form of exterior, which may go
with either of these plans excepting No. 3.

The photographic view, Fig. No. 10, shows an exterior of No. 1, as built
at one time.

[Illustration: Fig. 11.]


     THE HOUSE.--$2,900.

It is frequently said of those who would build, that their ideas are
larger than their pocket-books. It is certainly not discreditable to any
one that his ideas should be larger than his immediate resources. Such a
condition causes the enlargement of the individual and his pocket-book
at the same time. The man who says that he wants two thousand dollars'
worth of house does not get as much for his money as he who in effect
says, "I want three thousand dollars' worth of house for two thousand
dollars." The latter is an ambitious man; the former has only a little
ambition. He merely wants a house. Fortunately, however, there are few
such people. It is more likely to happen that a man and his wife, who
have worked hard for several years, get enough money together to build a
home, and it is possible that this home has been talked about for
several years previous to their building. In fact, they have been
educating themselves in house-building. They have acquainted themselves
with all of the modern conveniences. They have studied porches,
vestibules, and stairways; they know how many rooms they want on the
first floor and the bedrooms that they will have above. At first this
house presents itself in a very crude form; but in the course of time
the plan shows itself more clearly to them. They begin to place the
furniture in the imaginary rooms, and as they do this their ideas
enlarge. They add at first inches, and then feet, to the size of the
various rooms. At first their ideas of a kitchen were quite moderate; in
time a sink begins to assume certain vague outlines, then it takes
definite form on one side of the room; then a pump is placed beside it;
afterward the wife says, "How nice it would be if we could have a
hot-water faucet over the sink." At first they shake their heads and say
that it would cost too much; but in the course of a few evenings' talk
on this and kindred subjects, they come to the conclusion that if the
hot-water arrangements do not cost too much, they will have them; and
that as things are so much cheaper than they used to be, they certainly
ought to get all of these for about what they originally expected to pay
for the house. Their ideas have been of slow growth, but continuous, and
in the aggregate the growth has been great. During all the winter
months, previous to the time when they would build in the spring, many
sketches are made, of the floor-plans of the house that is to be.
Finally the net result is handed to a builder or an architect,--more
frequently the former, as most small houses are built without
professional service. The figures from the builder come in, and are very
much higher than was expected. It is quite a shock, for certainly there
is nothing there that they can well do without. Everything has been
thought of so much. Nothing that their plan contains appears to them to
be less than a matter of necessity. Other builders are asked to figure
with results little more satisfactory. In the end there must be a
compromise; the builder and the owner both yield, and, as a result, a
very satisfactory house is built. There are little things which they
would have different, but, in the main, the house is satisfactory.

This is the universal experience, and the effect upon the domestic
architecture of this country has been very pronounced. We can now get a
better house for a given sum of money than ever before. Better not only
as to general construction, but as well on account of external
appearance, and the convenience of its internal arrangements. One may
get more of what are regarded as the little conveniences, which mean so
much to the housekeeper. This is not altogether the result of lower
prices of the material and labor which go to make a house, but is as
well on account of the skill which has been developed in planning and
arranging buildings, with reference to economy in space, and cost of
general construction. The planning of houses has undergone a revolution
within a few years past; and instead of having the long, narrow halls at
the side and in the middle of a house, and the long halls and narrow
passages through the upper floor, all of which was ugly and
inconvenient, we now have the same area thrown in large square rooms, so
as to be available.

It may be known that chimney stacks are quite expensive. For this reason
an effort has been made to group them, so that they may be made to
answer for a number of rooms; and the success with which efforts in this
direction have been attended has been wonderful indeed. The modern floor
plan is altogether different from that of the past; it is more
convenient and less expensive to build; and, as said before, this is
largely the result of efforts of the owner, who has ideas larger than
his pocket-book, and the architect or builder, who exercises his
ingenuity to bring the ideas and the money together.

[Illustration: Plan No. 7]

Plan No. 7 is of an eight-room house, and is fairly representative of
the ideas expressed. The general form, it will be seen, is square. It is
a two-story house with a reception-hall, parlor, dining-room, kitchen,
china-closet, pantry, and stair-hall on the first floor; there are
three chambers, the servant's bedroom, the bath-room, and a
communicating hall on the second floor. The first floor is ten feet six
inches high, and the second, nine feet six inches. From the second floor
there is a stairway going to the attic, which is large and roomy, and
which may have various uses. The cellar is seven feet high, and is well
lighted by having the joist set well up from the grade line. There may
be a laundry here, and, separated from it by a door, we may have a
coal-cellar and a furnace-room. As we approach the house, there is,
first, a broad porch about eight feet in width, and fourteen feet in
length. At a slight additional expense, say fifty dollars to sixty
dollars, this porch might be extended across the entire front. Before
reaching the front door, there is a small vestibule,--arranged with or
without storm-doors, as may be thought desirable. It is the impression
of the writer that storm-doors are seldom used. The distinctive feature
of this house is the hall, which is large enough--thirteen feet six
inches by fifteen feet--to be used as a sitting-room. In the front part
of this hall, and at the right as we enter, are a window-seat and a
broad window in front and immediately above it; this is slightly
separated from the main room by the small pilasters or casings on each
side. Immediately in front of the doorway, there are a grate and mantel
set in one corner of the room. There are large doorways, five feet wide,
leading into the stair-hall immediately back of this room, and into the
parlor at the left as we enter. In this case there are merely door
openings, portières or curtains taking the place of ordinary doors.
Sliding-doors might be used in addition to the curtains, and thus have
the advantage of both curtains and doors. From this room the outlines of
the stair-hall and the stairway are visible or not, according to the
arrangement of the portières. There is a side entrance into this hall,
and from it one may go into the kitchen by passing through two doors. It
is a good principle in planning a house always to have two doors between
the kitchen and any other part of the house. One door could as well be
used in this instance, but a second one is added to make the isolation
more complete. In the plan here given, it may be noticed that there are
cellar stairs passing under the main stairway in the hall.

The dining-room may be entered either from the front parlor or from the
stair-hall. In each case doors are used. It is always desirable to have
a dining-room so arranged that it may be closed from the other parts of
the house. There is a grate in each of the two principal rooms, the
hall, the parlor, and the dining-room, and all communicate with a single
stack. This is much more economical than having three distinct stacks,
which are so frequently used for accomplishing the same result. The only
other chimney stack is in the kitchen. The two answer every purpose.
The outside corners of the dining-room are cut off at an angle of
forty-five degrees, so that the end of the dining-room presents the form
of a large bay window. In the middle space at this end may be placed the
sideboard, in which event a window will be placed over it,--that is,
well toward the ceiling. The dining-room communicates with the kitchen
through a large pantry, eight feet square, or through a slide in the
back of the china-closet. In the kitchen there are broad windows on the
two sides, and a door leading into the back yard.

In following the stairway to the second floor, it will be noticed that
there is a broad landing something more than half-way up, and that there
is a large window, slightly above it, which lights the hall below, and
partially lights the one above. The advantages of having a stairway
which lands approximately in the centre of the house, as does this one,
is that no room is lost by having long halls which have to lead from the
front to the rear of the house. All we need have is a short hall in the
centre of the building, which will communicate with the rooms around it.
Another convenience of this arrangement is that all of the front of the
house is utilized for chambers. Where the stairway lands in the front of
a house, there must either be a long hall, which is a waste of room, or
one must pass through one or more chambers to get to others. In this
plan the rooms are arranged around the hall, there being three large
ones over the three principal rooms below. In each of these chambers
there is abundant space for the usual bedroom furniture,--viz., a bed,
dresser, wash-stand, and chairs. In these rooms there are closets, and
at the end of the hall there is a store closet for bedding, etc. The
servant's room, as shown, is over the kitchen, as is also the bath-room.

[Illustration: Fig. 12.]

It may be noticed that the fixtures in the bath-room--that is, the
bath-tub and closet--are directly over the sink below, so that the pipes
may have the most direct and the shortest runs possible, which is not
only economical, but also safer from flooding in case of accident. The
tank in the attic, which contains the soft or cistern water, is directly
over the tub, and the laundry sink in the cellar is directly under the
kitchen sink. Thus, from cellar to attic, all the plumbing fixtures are
in line, and all pipes exactly vertical, excepting where it is desirable
to take a short branch to connect the fixtures. Having the bath-room
slightly separated, as it is, from the main hall, it is safer, from a
sanitary point of view, than if it opened directly into the main hall.
There is a closet for soiled linen next to the bath-room, which is
accessible either from it or from the short hall leading to it. The
stairs to the attic lead out of the hall, as shown. The attic is
floored, but is otherwise unfinished. If found desirable, one or more
rooms could be finished here, which would be quite as large and pleasant
as any of the other rooms in the house. This house can be finished
complete, including fences, sheds, walks, gas fixtures, plumbing,
mantels, and furnace, for $2,900.

Fig. No. 12 is an elevation.



Floor plans develop from the varying necessities of those who build.
There is no reason why the same arrangement should suit any large number
of people. A floor plan, if carefully and thoughtfully made, will meet
the requirements of the individuals whose wants are particularly
considered. While there are certain general principles, which affect the
value of a floor plan for good or evil, the detailed requirements are
almost as varied as the tastes and dispositions of the occupants.

A lady and gentleman come into an architect's office, and explain that
they are intending to build, and want to look at something with a view
of selecting a plan. The architect has a great many plans which he might
show them, but he knows well enough that none of them will be selected.
He says:--

"I shall be glad to show you anything I have, but not with the
expectation of finding something that will please you. By doing so, I
shall probably find out what you do not want, and in that negative way
meet your requirements."

"I think I know what we want," says the lady, "but I do not know just
how to arrange it. The stairways bother me, and there are things which I
do not get to suit me."

"Well, tell me what, you want, and then we will make a sketch; and from
that, corrections; and, in the end, we shall probably have something
satisfactory, though not wholly so at once."

"Before we go any farther," says the gentleman, "I want to say that we
have only twenty-five hundred dollars to put into a house."

"Yes, that is all we can afford," says the lady; "but I can tell you
what we want."

The architect reaches for a note-book and a piece of paper.

"We want a reception-hall, with a grate and stairway in it. There must
be a small vestibule, with a place for overshoes, hats, and overcoats.
Somewhere near the reception-hall, or in it, I want a closet where I can
put my own wraps, and those of the children, and other things which I do
not care to keep upstairs, and yet wish to have out of the way. It does
not need to be a large closet, but must not be unusually small. We want
a parlor and dining-room, which connect with the reception-hall. The
parlor will be used as a sitting-room not a little, but not in the
ordinary way, for the reason that I stay upstairs with the children most
of the time. I do my sewing there. If I should use the parlor regularly
as the sitting-room, I could receive my callers in the reception-hall.
It would be nice if we could have some kind of a window-seat in that
room. We want a grate in the sitting-room, but not necessarily one in
the dining-room. I want a back stairway, but it must not go up directly
from the kitchen. The kitchen and pantry I want you to make as
convenient as possible in a house of this cost."

"How would a combination stairway do?"

"Oh, I don't want that at all. It would be bringing the two together. I
want the rear stairway in the rear of the house, and entirely separate
from the one in front. It should land near the girl's room on the second
floor, so that it can be cut off from the rest of the house. We must
have plenty of closet-room upstairs."

"How many children have you?"

"Two: a baby and a little boy about six years old."

"Then you must have at least four bedrooms," was suggested. "For the
present, the baby can sleep in your room, and the boy in a room next to
and connecting with it. There must also be a guest's room and a
servant's room."

"Yes, that will have to do for the present; but don't forget the
bath-room, and be sure to have plenty of closets. There is one thing I
had almost forgotten. There must be some arrangement so that the servant
can get from the kitchen to the front door without going through the
dining-room; but we don't want the smells of the kitchen to get into the
front part of the house."

After two or three sketches had been made, the result, as here
illustrated, was reached. The architect has it in mind that the space at
the right of the entrance door in the vestibule would serve as a place
for overcoats and other winter equipments. He suggests that a portière
be placed between the vestibule and the opening leading into the
reception-hall. This will prevent draughts of cold air from making their
way into the front room when the door is opened. It will also lend a
certain amount of privacy. The porch is placed in front, as a matter of
course. In the recess of the hall which is made by the vestibule a
window-seat is placed. In the rear of the reception-hall is the closet
required. As a means of getting from the kitchen to the reception-hall
without passing through the dining-room, two doors are arranged leading
to a passage under the stairs. This will prevent the passage of kitchen
odors over the house. The parlor and dining-room are arranged as shown.
Between the window and the door leading to the china-closet is space for
the sideboard. The pantry is separated from the china-closet by the
cupboard of the former. It has doors above and shelves below. The
ice-chest is placed in the pantry. It is readily accessible from both
china-closet and kitchen.

[Illustration: Plan No. 8.]

The passageway to the second floor is from this room, and, considering
the limited means and large general requirements, this arrangement will
no doubt be satisfactory. The stairway is accessible from both
dining-room and kitchen. As there is a bath-room and water-closet above,
there is no necessity for carrying slops downstairs and through the
kitchen. The kitchen has the usual fittings. The passage to the cellar
is under the front stairway. As will be remembered, there is a door
shutting this passage from the reception-hall. Upstairs there is a
closet in each room, two opening into the hall--one for bed linen, and
one for dust-pans, brushes, etc. There is also a closet in the
bath-room. The attic stairway is shown. An inspection of Plan No. 8 will
show how all of the requirements were met.

Cost, as per schedule "B," $2,200.


     A BURDEN.--$2,500.

In Plan No. 9, the reception-room contains the front stairway. This
stairway lands near the front of the house on the second floor, for
which reason we are enabled to have in the front part of the house the
two rooms which are most used on each floor. We have the two chambers
above, and the reception-room and the sitting-room below. If we had a
long, narrow stair hall constructed in the usual way, we should have the
sitting-room towards the rear, and only a little alcove bedroom over the
hall in front.

The dining-room, which is a large room, is connected with the front part
of the house by sliding-doors. It has a grate in one corner of it. On
general principles, a grate has no business in the dining-room. It is
nearly always at some one's back, and makes him uncomfortable at meal
time. Being in the corner of the room, it is farther from any one than
it would be if located on a side wall: hence it may be allowed. There is
a porch in the rear of the dining-room, and between the door leading to
it and the door to the china-closet there is a space for a side-board.
There are two windows at the end of this dining-room. The door which
passes into the pantry should be on double spring-hinges, so that it
will swing both ways. One can push against it and open from either side,
and when it is released it will take its natural position.

[Illustration: Plan No 9.]

The pantry is a large one. Pantries, in general, may be regarded as a
kitchen annex--a store-room and preparing-room. This pantry is on the
combination plan. It connects with the china-closet by means of a slide.
Aside from this china-closet, which projects into it, there is a
cupboard with double doors at one end, a flour-bin at the side, a pastry
table next to it, and a refrigerator by the window. One reason for
placing this refrigerator near the window is, that a flight of steps and
a platform might be arranged on the outside, so that the iceman could
put in the ice without going through the kitchen. We go down cellar from
this pantry.

[Illustration: Fig. 13.]

There is a cellar under about half of this house--the kitchen and the
dining-room. It should have a cemented floor, and numerous windows for
lighting it. The part under the kitchen could be used for a laundry,
that under the dining-room for coal storage and furnace. There could be
an excavation under a part of the sitting-room for vegetable storage.
"Why not put a cellar under the whole house? It would cost but little
more," has been asked many times. It is the little things, the smaller
economies, in a building of this kind which makes the difference between
an expensive house and a house of moderate cost. Every foot of cellar
space beyond what is needed for actual use is a burden to the
housekeeper. The arrangement has more to do with the number of
apartments than with the amount of space. We have a laundry-room, a
place for furnace and fuel, and a room for vegetables, which is about
all that can be used. From the cellar we can go up the stairway and
into the kitchen, from the kitchen to the second floor, and from the
second floor to the attic.

It is a large attic, a place for large rooms if one should need them.
Under any circumstances this attic should be floored. There could be no
better place for general storage, and at times for drying clothes.

It seldom happens that two houses from exactly the same plan are built.
While this plan has pleased many people, there are others who would not
be attracted by it; who would not care to build this house as their
home. The universal floor plan has never been made, and never will be.
There are general principles running through all plans which are
valuable, and if rightly understood will contribute to the improvement
of the homes of the people.

Fig. 13 is an elevation.

Cost, without appurtenances, $2,500, as per schedule "B."



When we say that the sitting-room should be in the front part of the
house, it does not necessarily imply that the parlor should be
disturbed. As shown in Plan No. 10, they may both be in front. The
vestibule, which is large enough for a hat-rack, and for the occupants
of the house to stand while putting on their overshoes and wraps, is in
front of both parlor and reception-room, but yet in a way so as not to
disturb the view to the street from either of these rooms. We cannot
have all of the rooms in front. The kitchen we do not want there. The
dining-room is convenient if placed immediately in the rear of the
sitting-room. Thus we have two rooms in front and two in the rear. This
is practically a square house. The old habit has been to place the
stairway along one side of the parlor in the hall which served as a
passageway from the front to the rooms immediately in the rear. This
distribution of halls is what has thrown the sitting-room back of the
parlor. In the plan here given the change has been made so that the hall
has relatively the same position that did the sitting-room in the past,
though it is by no means as large. It is essentially a stair-hall, and
incidentally a passage. As placed, we may enter it from the parlor,
sitting-room, dining-room, or kitchen. Its position is central. There
are two doors between this stair-hall and the kitchen. The central
position of the stairway has other advantages than those just stated.
It makes long halls on the second floor entirely unnecessary. As will be
seen by looking at the floor plan, it gives two good bedrooms in front.

[Illustration: Plan No 10.]

The dining-room is immediately in the rear of the sitting-room. There
may be sliding doors connecting these two rooms. One door, three and a
half feet wide, usually makes a sufficiently large opening for the
dining-room connection. There are sliding doors between the parlor and
sitting-room, and dining-room and sitting-room, as shown. The kitchen
has the advantage of a certain amount of isolation from the rest of the
house, for the reason that there are two doors between it and any other
room. The pantries are arranged with reference to their most convenient
use. In the kitchen-pantry there are places for a refrigerator,
flour-bin, bread-board, and cupboard. The dining-room pantry is a
china-closet, with glass doors above and closed doors below. The doors
connecting the dining-room pantry or passage should be hung on
double-spring hinges.

In the plan of this house it is shown how we may go from the kitchen to
the same landing that is used for the main stairway, and thus avoid the
necessity for a distinctively back hall and back stairway. However, if
it is so desired, it is easy to place a stairway in the rear, and thus
have them entirely independent. In that event a room may be placed over
the pantry, and be used by the servant. This part of the house could be
cut off from the front rooms and the bath-room on the second floor by a
door. But to take the house as it is, we have a combination stairway,
there being two doors separating the kitchen approach from the common
landing in the main stair-hall.

On the second floor there is a hall about fourteen feet long from which
we pass to two bedrooms in front, two in the rear, the bath-room and the
store-closet. Each room is independent. They may be connected one with
the other as family necessities suggest. The store-closet is accessible
from the hall, as such a closet should be. This makes it available from
any of the rooms. The bath-room is directly over the kitchen.

In each bedroom there is a place for a bed, a dressing-case, and a
wash-stand, which is not always the case in bedrooms. If there is a
place for these things, if the dressing-case bears its proper relation
to the sources of light, if it is so placed that the light from the
window or from the gas shines in the face of the user, if the wash-stand
is conveniently disposed, and there is room at the side of it for a
slop-jar, if there is a large closet, then the architect has done his
full duty in the arrangement of the bedroom. The room that is called
the family room should be especially well cared for in the matter of

A hundred dollars would lath and plaster the entire attic of this house,
and provide a room in the front part which could be used by the boys or
the servant. There is no objection to this except in the necessity for
climbing an extra pair of stairs. The mere mention of a bedroom in the
attic is distasteful to many people. It arouses memories of hot, dusty,
and uncomfortable places in which they have passed the night. All this
depends on the attic. The roof in this house is pitched at an angle of
forty-five degrees. The house at the narrowest point is 29. feet wide.
This would make the attic at the highest point 14-1/2 feet. We can stud
down from this and have a nine-foot story and at the same time a large
room, one which would have none of the disadvantages of a half-story
room, and which would have all the advantages of a well-ventilated,
comfortable bedroom, for summer or winter. The plastering of the attic
suggests neatness. Having it well lighted by dormers exposes all
disorder. Cost, as per schedule "B," $2,600.



The floor plans in No. 11 are of a house of small area, 30 × 34-1/2
feet, for body of the structure. There is a porch in front, a circular
bay window at one side, and a pantry and china-closet projecting at the
rear. In the house there are eight available rooms besides the bath-room
and the attic. In the attic, rooms quite as liberal as any in the house
could be constructed at a small expense.

On the first floor, as we enter, there is the reception or sitting hall,
which is so common in the more modern arrangements of dwellings. This
reception hall or room has a certain amount of isolation from the
passage which leads from the vestibule to the stairway and the rear
portion of the house. It may be separated therefrom by curtains or
portières. It would be entirely possible to separate the two by means of
sliding doors, in which event the opening from the room into the passage
would have to be a little narrower than shown in the drawings. This room
could be used as the office of a physician, or of a gentleman who did
more or less business at home. By making the front vestibule about six
inches deeper, a separate entrance to this room could be provided. In
this event, a door from the room into the passage leading to the living
part of the house would be a necessity. The circular bay end of this
room would present an attractive feature. The windows in this part of
the room could be placed about four feet from the floor, in which event
book-shelves could be arranged below them. The window in front goes to
within seventeen inches of the floor. Under the stairway, and leading
from this room, may be placed a very liberal closet, in which there
should be a small window.

Leading from the passage is the stairway, and two closets. The little
passage in which one closet is placed is separated from the hall by a
door. There is another door opening from this passage into the kitchen.
Thus there are two doors between the kitchen and the front part of the
house. This arrangement has in mind the isolation of the kitchen from
the other rooms in a way to prevent the passage of the usual kitchen

[Illustration: Plan No 11.]

The stairways in this house are of the class known as combination
stairways; while they are convenient and easy of construction, there is
a certain amount of complication in their arrangement which makes them
difficult of description so as to be understood by those not accustomed
to examining floor plans. There is the stairway from the front hall to
the floor above, and one from the kitchen to the landing of the front
stairway. The landing of the front stairway and that from the kitchen
stairway is in common; that is, it is the same. For the purpose of
making this understood, it may be well to say that one may go up the
stairway from the front hall to the landing, some eight steps, and from
thence down into the kitchen, or he can turn right face and go to the
landing on the second floor. This part of the stairs is used coming up
from the kitchen as well as from the front hall. However, the kitchen
stairway is separated from the landing by a door. There is another door
at the foot of this kitchen stairway. In coming downstairs, one may
turn to the right, open a door, and go down into the kitchen; or, he may
turn to the left, and go down the front stairway into the hall. Thus it
will be seen that the combination stairway is a front and rear stairway
together, with separate entrance from both parts of the house,--one from
the kitchen, and one from the front hall. It must be confessed that
there is a certain amount of compromise in an arrangement of this kind,
but it is a saving of both space and money, and is tolerable on this
account. By this plan everything is concentrated, and without the
serious drawback which extra cost, or a smaller number of rooms, would
imply to those who have only a little over two thousand dollars to spend
for a house, without appurtenances. The head room for the stairway,
coming up from the kitchen, is secured under the bath-tub in the
bath-room immediately above.

The cellar stairway is clearly indicated as going down parallel to the
kitchen stairs and under the front stairs. The cellar in this house
should be under the kitchen, stairways, and the reception-hall; that is,
it would occupy all of one side of the house. In this cellar plan the
principles set forth in the previous chapter on cellars are carried out.

[Illustration: Cellar Plan.]

The parlor is thirteen and one-half by seventeen feet in size. It is
connected with a hall by wide sliding doors, so that about one-half of
this side of the room may be open. The grate opposite the sliding doors
in the parlor would present a very beautiful view from the hall and
stairway. The sliding doors between the parlor and dining-room are
placed there more in deference to custom than through any personal sense
of their fitness. Sliding doors do not have the quality of excluding
sound or odors that is desirable. The ordinary hinged door is better in
this respect. This room which would commonly be called a parlor would
really be used as a living-room, excepting by those who use the
dining-room or one of the second-floor chambers for that purpose.

Our dining-room has an independent connection with the front hall, so
that we do not have to go through the parlor or the sitting-room to
reach it. A little extra money, say seventy dollars, would place a
conservatory at one side, at one corner, or at the end of this
dining-room. Fifty dollars would give a bay window. As it is, we have
two windows of the ordinary kind at one side of the room, and none at
the end. A very good arrangement, when bay or conservatory is not used,
would be to take one of these windows at the side and place it at the
rear end, though near the outside corner of the room. This would give
space between the windows and the china-closet door for a sideboard. The
window at the side of the dining-room, if the other were moved to the
end, should be in the middle of the wall space; that is, opposite the
centre of the flue.

From the dining-room we go into the kitchen through the china-pantry,
which is marked "passage." This china-pantry has a little window at one
side, and at the end a separate apartment for chinaware, which is closed
from the passage by means of glass doors. The doors leading from the
passage into the dining-room and kitchen should be hung on
double-swinging hinges.

There are those who would say that there should be no door from the
kitchen into the passage leading from the dining-room to the front hall.
It would probably be well to retain this door in this position, and have
a bolt on the side of the door toward the hall. Thus the mistress of the
house can close it, and keep it closed at will. Another thing that might
be done would be to place a strong spring on this door which would
always keep it closed. The windows in this kitchen should be placed
about three feet from the floor, so that tables may be placed under
them. There is a place for a gas-stove between the two windows, or even
under them if desirable. The porch at the rear of the kitchen may be
enclosed with lattice work, or, what is better, coarse louvered slats,
like those of a shutter. In either event, it could be covered with
screen wire, and made a part of the kitchen in summer. In the plan,
however, nothing of this kind is indicated. The door which leads from
the porch into the pantry is a small one, placed above the ice-chest,
and is for the use of the ice-man.

[Illustration: Plan No 12.]

The arrangement of rooms upstairs will be readily understood. Leading
out of the hall is a store closet for bedding, etc. It is located so as
to be accessible from all rooms. From the front end of the hall a door
leads into the stair passage to the attic.

Plan No. 12 is the outgrowth of Plan No. 11. In it there is a lift
running from cellar to attic, as shown. The only important difference
between it and No. 11 is in the size of the library. Cost, as per
schedule "B," $2,600. Fig. 14 is an elevation: see page 147.



This house--Plan No. 13--was finished at a cost of less than $1,600.
This included, besides the house itself, a woodshed, well, and cistern.
There is a cellar under the hall and parlor. The building has a brick
foundation, and the wood-work begins two feet above the grade. The
stud-walls of the exterior are lined, first with dressed sheathing, then
with heavy building-paper, and finally covered with weather-boarding.
The first and second tiers of joists are two by ten inches; the
ceiling-joists of the second story are two by eight inches. All of the
studding is two by four inches. The windows have box frames with iron
weights and cotton cords. The first story is ten feet high, the second
eight and a half feet. These details of construction are mentioned so
that any one interested may know that it is a substantial,
well-constructed building. The interior finish is of pine, part of which
is varnished and the remainder stained and varnished. The front door and
stairway are of quartered oak.

The front porch is 10-1/2 feet wide and 7-1/2 feet deep. It has a high
roof over it, as will be seen by the elevation. The entrance, being at
one side of the porch, gives more available space for uninterrupted use
during the warm weather. The hall is 10 feet wide and 10-1/2 feet long.
The stairway has first two steps to a broad landing, and then a
continuous movement to the second floor. If this landing were reduced
in size by making the approach more direct, say turning directly to the
left as one enters the door and going through a landing the width of the
stairway before making the general ascent, there would be more available
room in the hall. It is shown this way in the drawing, because it is the
way the house was built. There is a closet in this hall. There are many
houses built without a closet on the first floor, but it is certainly
better that one be provided.

[Illustration: Plan No 13.]

As will be seen, there are three rooms on the first floor, and four and
a bath on the second. It is an easy house to care for, because there is
no waste space, and all the rooms are readily accessible without extra
steps. Waste room means waste of energy and waste of money in more ways
than one--waste not only as to the unnecessary expenditure in the cost
of building, but in carpets, and in the labor of sweeping and caring for

[Illustration: Fig 14.]

In the parlor at the right of the hall are two windows and a grate; one
window is in front and the other at the side. The dining-room is
similarly equipped. It has a large china-closet which connects with the
table in the kitchen by means of a slide. There is also a door between
the kitchen and dining-room. Eleven by twelve and a half feet is not
large for a kitchen. The availability of kitchen space is not entirely
dependent, however, on its dimensions, but rather upon the disposition
of the wall-space and the conveniences which have to do with a kitchen.
It will be seen that there is a space for the kitchen-range or stove
near the flue which does not conflict with the use of any other part of
the kitchen. Also there is a space between the door which leads into
the pantry and an outside wall which gives place for a kitchen-safe,
which may hold the kitchen utensils. It is out of the way and yet
convenient to the range. The safe might be placed opposite the tables at
the other end of the kitchen, if thought desirable. The kitchen window
is placed about three feet above the floor. This gives wall-space under
it. Where a safe is not used, a cabinet, to contain pots, kettles, etc.,
can be placed there.

[Illustration: Plan No 14.]

The pantry is quite convenient to the kitchen. There is an enclosed
cupboard on one side which has doors and shelves above and below, and in
the recess next to the dining-room wall is a place for open shelves.
Near the pantry window is a dough-board and a place for flour. Here,
also, is the entrance to the cellar. It will be seen that there is a
door between the pantry and hall, which makes it possible to pass from
the kitchen to the stairway or from the kitchen to the front hall
without going through other rooms. The enclosed cupboard in the pantry
makes it possible to keep it always tidy. There is a glazed door in the
rear of the kitchen.

[Illustration: Fig. 15.]

It may be noticed that there is not a large hall to be carpeted or swept
on the second floor. This hall is well lighted by a window at the side.
From here one can go into any of the rooms on the second floor. As to
the bedrooms, there is a convenient place for bedroom furniture in all
of them. There is at least a choice of two places for each bed, a space
for a dressing-case where it will get the best light, and room for a
wash-stand. There is a closet in each bedroom, of ample capacity.

The right-hand house in Fig. No. 10 shows the exterior of Plan No. 13.

Plan No. 14 is another edition of Plan 15. The room lettered parlor is
properly a sitting-room. By dispensing with the grate in the
reception-hall this house could be built, as it was at one time, with a
stairway meeting the one coming up from the dining-room and passing from
thence to the second floor. The elevation of this house shows it with an
attic, though the plan does not contemplate this arrangement. Without
the attic and with a lower-pitched roof, this building, without
appurtenances, can be finished for $1,500.

Fig. 15 is an elevation of Plans No. 14 and 15.

[Illustration: Plan No 15]

Plans No. 13 and 15 belong to the same class. No. 15 is more elaborate
in its details, and larger. From the sitting-room one passes to the
landing where it meets a stairway coming up from the kitchen. From
thence there is a common passage to the second floor. On this floor are
four bedrooms, a bath-room, and a liberal supply of closets. One of the
front chambers is supplied with two, and the hall with two. There is one
in the bath-room, and each of the other rooms. The cellar and attic of
this house are plastered. The building, without appurtenances, as per
schedule "B," cost $2,550.

Fig. No. 16 is an elevation of Plan No. 15.

[Illustration: Fig. 16]



Plans Nos. 16, 17, and 18 are all outgrowths of the same idea. It is the
most economical general scheme for a house that is represented in this
collection. In No. 16 there is not more than forty-eight square feet of
hall space in the entire house. This is on the second floor. This plan
was devised under an extraordinary pressure for a roomy house for a
relatively small sum of money. Everything is made to count for a room.
Twelve sets of plans of this general kind were made for as many
different owners of houses during one season. This statement is made for
the purpose of indicating its popularity. We will look through No. 16
with some respect to detail.

It is a one-chimney plan. There are three grates with independent flues
in the three principal rooms on the first floor, and two grates with
their flues on the second floor. One among other points of economy is
the stairway arrangement. It is a combination, front, rear, and cellar
all in compact form. There are two doors between the kitchen and the
landing of the main stairway. In this respect it is like other
combination stairways which have been described. The front and rear
stairway come to the same landing, and from thence to the second floor.
The front stairway is provided with a railing, baluster, etc., and the
one from the kitchen is within an enclosure. There may be portières
between the landing and the reception-hall. Thus one may pass from the
kitchen to the second floor without coming into view from this room. The
cellar stairway goes down under the main stairway. The combination idea
is carried out again in the pantry and china-closet. This pantry and its
arrangement in detail are fully described in Chapter VI., and
illustrated in Fig. 4. The vestibule next to the reception-hall is the
one referred to in Chapter V.

[Illustration: Plan No. 16]

On the second floor are four bedrooms and a bath-room, which is
immediately over the kitchen. There is a straight run of pipe in a pipe
duct on the inside wall.

Fig. 17 is a photographic view of the exterior. It is an ultra shingle

[Illustration: Fig. 18.]

[Illustration: Fig. 19.]

[Illustration: Plan No. 17.]

[Illustration: FIGURE 17.]

Fig. 18 is an elevation of Plan No. 17. Fig. 19 of Plan No. 18.

[Illustration: Plan No. 18.]

No. 17 is the house in which the general plan was first worked out, and,
in some respects, it shows that the idea was then in an experimental
stage. However, it indicates a house of moderate size on this plan,
whereas No. 16 is a large house. No. 18 is the small size of the same
plan. It has been built many times as a rental house. With the furnace
it is under lease, in one instance, for five hundred dollars a year. In
other cases, without a furnace but including plumbing with the use of
city water only, the rent is thirty-five dollars a month. Any of these
plans can be worked into a double house by putting the bathroom on the
outside, and adding to the amount of window space front and rear. The
following is a list of costs, without appurtenances, as per schedule

No. 16, as a shingle house, $2,800; No. 17, $2,200; No. 18, $1,600.

The latter figure includes soft-wood finish throughout. Other sizes of
this house have been built where the general construction aggregated



This house--Plan No. 19--has been built for $1,400. It is a one-story
cottage, containing five rooms, a bath-room, and a pantry. Such a house
is suited to young people of moderate means, or possibly to older ones,
where there are no children, or where the housekeeper does her own work.
It will be seen that it gives more of the conveniences of a larger house
than are usually found in a cottage of this size.

From the porch we pass into a little vestibule, which might be made
larger by throwing into it the closet which opens from the sitting-room.
From the vestibule we go either into the parlor or the sitting-room.
This parlor could be used as the living-room of the house, and the
sitting-room as the dining-room, and still meet all the conditions of
good housekeeping. Off from the sitting-room is a projection, which
could be very comfortably arranged as a window-seat. It could be used as
such during warm weather, and as a place for plants in winter. In the
corner of this room is a closet, which may be connected with the kitchen
by a slide. There are sliding doors between the sitting-room and the
bedroom. In the front part of the bedroom is a large closet. It is
possible that many would prefer to have a window at this point, and have
a smaller closet elsewhere; say, in the corner next to the sliding-door
partition. The placing of a closet next to the rear wall would leave no
place for a bed as the rooms are now arranged. If the door from the
parlor to the bedroom were omitted the head of the bed might be placed
against the sliding-door partition, and the closet cut out from the rear
bedroom, with an opening leading into the front bedroom.

[Illustration: Plan No. 19]

[Illustration: Plan No. 20.]

From the sitting-room, or from the front bedroom, we pass into a little
hall; and from the hall into the kitchen, the bathroom, or the rear
bedroom. Over each of the five doors leading into this hall there should
be a transom; thus it would be well lighted. The placing of the hall in
this way makes all of the rooms surrounding it independently accessible.
The rear bedroom has a place for a bed, a large closet, and a wall
space for necessary furniture. The availability of a bedroom is not
always dependent upon its size. A room may be large, and yet not contain
wall space for the furniture. A large bedroom may have a small closet.
This bedroom has a large one.

The bath-room comes next to the kitchen flue. This is important when we
consider that the kitchen flue is frequently the last one in the house
to get cool. As here arranged, the pipe connections with the bath-tub
would all be short; they would all be near this flue, and on the inside
wall. Hence the conditions would be against freezing. There is a hollow
thimble in the pipe connections between the kitchen flue and the
bedroom. The bath-room might connect with the same flue or flue-stack.
Connecting with the bath-room there is a large linen-closet, which is
about the proper size and form for folded bed-clothes. It is near the
bath-room window, so that when the closet-door is open the contents will
be plainly in view.

There is a large window in one side of the kitchen, which should be
placed three feet from the floor, so as to admit of a table being set
under it. If the kitchen stove were placed next the wall separating the
kitchen and sitting-room, it could be piped across to the kitchen flue,
and in that way leave the wall space adjacent to that flue and near the
bath-tub for the kitchen sink. This would bring all the plumbing work
together. At one side of this sink could be placed a well-pump, and a
cistern-pump at the other.

In the rear of the kitchen are a porch and a pantry. We go down cellar
directly from the kitchen. Over the headway of the cellar stairs could
be placed a closet for various stores, such as canned fruit. This
closet, of course, would be connected with the pantry, as shown. The
necessity for head room in going into the cellar would make it
necessary to place the floor of this closet three or four feet above the
pantry floor.

On the side of the pantry opposite this closet are two cup-boards, with
doors and shelves above and below. There is a place for a flour-bin or
flour-barrel under the dough-board, and space for an ice-box next to it.
This box should have a drain connecting with the outside. It is intended
to have the cellar under the kitchen and bath-room, though it might be
extended under the sitting-room also. This part of the cellar might be
used as a fuel-room, and thus dispense with wood and coal sheds. With
the fuel and water in the house, the housekeeper would be saved much
work. Where a kitchen sink is provided, it would be unnecessary even to
carry out the dish-water.

[Illustration: Fig. 20. FRONT ELEVATION.]

There are two flue-stacks in this building. A base-burner would warm the
sitting-room and bedroom and temper the air of the parlor. A grate fire
in the parlor would complete the work of heating that room.

The cut of the exterior, Fig. 20, tells its own story. The porch has
turned columns, and a frieze decorated with scroll-work. The window seat
may have a window at each end, as shown in the floor-plan, or panels, as
indicated in the elevation. There is a gable at the side and over the
window seat, which extends the full width of the sitting-room.

Plan No. 20 is a development of Plan No. 19. Without appurtenances it
cost $1,200.

[Illustration: Plan No. 21]

[Illustration: Plan No. 22]

Plan No. 21 is an enlargement of No. 19. The pantry and china-room are
arranged differently. The doors leading into the china-room are glazed
in their upper panels with cathedral glass. This obscures the view, and
gives sufficient light. These doors were hung on double-spring hinges,
so frequently mentioned. Over the dining-room and chamber are two
finished bedrooms. They are arranged in the high part of the roof, and,
with dormers, would have only a small part of the upper corners clipped.
There are two grates more than shown in Plan No. 19. The stairway
arrangement may be reversed, so that one goes to the second floor from
the hall rather than from the kitchen. This house cost, with two
finished rooms on the second floor, without appurtenances, as per
schedule "B," $1,700.

Plan No. 22 can be built and finished for $800. The gable arrangement
would be about the same as in Fig. No. 20.

Plan No. 23 was built, including everything that went on to the lot, for

[Illustration: Plan No. 23]

[Illustration: Plan No. 24]

Plan No. 24, as per schedule "B," cost $1,100.

Plan No. 25, without appurtenances, cost $1,400.

One-story houses cost more for the accommodations which they afford than
two-story buildings, for the reason that it takes the same foundation
and roof for a one-story house that it does for one of two stories of
the same area on the first floor. In fact, it usually takes more
foundation and roof for a one-story house than it does for a two-story,
for the reason that it covers more ground space than would be required
for the same or a larger number of rooms in the two floors.

[Illustration: Plan No. 25.]

[Illustration: Plan No. 26.]

No. 26. This is a peculiar type of a one-story house. There is a
servants room over the kitchen. It is a very comfortable arrangement.
The bath-room stands between the two bedrooms. There is a grate in each
of the rooms on the lower floor. The kitchen-sink arrangements are not
altogether satisfactory. It is a plan which will never be very popular.
It is designed to be finished with shingles for the outside wall. The
structure will cost about two thousand dollars, as per schedule "B."



Plan No. 27 is a side-hall plan with a bedroom on the first floor. The
parlor and sitting-room have views directly to the front. The
dining-room has a bay end, and a good china-passage to the kitchen.
There is a rear side-hall which is desired by a good many people in
building a large house. On the second floor are four principal chambers,
which are entirely cut off from the rear bedroom, by bolting a door into
the rear hall. The bath-room is measurably detached from the rest of the
house, which fact will have the quality of satisfying people who are
suspicious of all plumbing. This building, without appurtenances,
according to schedule "B," cost about three thousand dollars.

[Illustration: Plan No. 27.]

[Illustration: Plan No. 28.]

Plan No. 28 has over two hundred dollars' worth of porch attached to it.
It is a side-hall plan, with the entrance to the front. In it the
combination stair idea is carried out in a way previously mentioned, but
not before illustrated. The rear stairway is direct as to the servant's
room, and combined with the central stairway only for entrance to the
main part of the house on the second floor. The arrangement of rooms on
the first floor makes this plan suitable for use by people who entertain
in a small way. This is the plan to which reference is made in the
special kitchen article, excepting that there is a change in the
position of the cellar stairway. There are two closets and a wash-stand
in the hall which connects the kitchen and sitting-room. This
building, without appurtenances, as per schedule "B," cost between
$2,800 and $2,900.

[Illustration: Plan No. 29.]

[Illustration: Plan No. 30]

In Plan No. 29 the hall is in front, yet the entrance is at the side.
The stairway is at the rear end of the hall. A little door is shown at
the rear of the vestibule, leading under the stairway. The closet is not
very high, yet it is high enough to use as a place to store a baby
carriage or a small tricycle. The arrangement of the entrance and the
stairs admits of the use of the hall as a room. In the house as
constructed, there is a window seat in the octagon end. There is a
double railing coming down into the hall. A part of the stairway is open
on each side. Opposite is a grate. There are also grates in the parlor
and sitting-room. By a little change in the kitchen arrangement, a
bedroom could be placed back of the sitting room, and the rear and
cellar stairway would occupy measurably the same position as now. The
kitchen would have to be a little narrower, and, if desired, might be
longer. The pantry and kitchen could both be pushed a little to the left
of where they now stand. In this way space for a bedroom could be
provided back of the sitting-room, with possibly only a small projection
to the right. The rear vestibule could be cut out of the corner of the
bedroom. To prevent this from injuring the appearance of the room, a
corresponding space, to the left of this vestibule, could be arranged
into passage and closets for the bedroom and sitting-room. In this event
the rear bedroom wall would extend past the rear kitchen wall. Attention
is called to the size of the closets on the second floor. By a slightly
different arrangement of the bath-room an additional bedroom could be
provided. There is a large attic over the front part of this house. The
entire side walls are covered with shingles dipped in stain. There is a
mild form of octagon tower over the front chamber. The building, as here
planned, cost $2,600, without the appurtenances mentioned in schedule

[Illustration: Fig. 21.]

No. 30. Plans with bedrooms on the first floor are frequently wanted.
This requirement makes an ugly problem. It increases the number of rooms
on the first floor, and oftentimes leaves a less number to be provided
on the second story. In this plan, including the bath and
reception-hall, there are six rooms on the first floor and three on the
second, hence a good deal of waste. There is a sink in the rear hall,
second floor, with water supply over it, to obviate the necessity of
carrying slops down stairs. Cost of building in brick, $3,000.

Fig. 21 is an elevation.

[Illustration: Plan No. 31.]

[Illustration: Fig. 22.]

No. 31. This plan is of the same general character as No. 27, but is
somewhat contracted. There is a wash-stand in the little room on the
stair landing, a few steps above the reception-hall floor. This
building, without appurtenances, cost $2,400, as per schedule "B."

Fig. 22 is an elevation of this plan.



A great many people like a side-hall entrance, as well as one in front.
Plan No. 32 gives it. On the second floor there are a large number of
bedrooms. The rear stairway comes up in a manner to separate the
servant's room from the front part of the house. A double store-closet
is shown on the rear of the second floor. The front part of this closet
may be left unlocked and the other portion made secure. The bath-room in
the rear has direct connection with the water pipes as they come up from
the kitchen. All the bedrooms have the proper plan for furniture. This
house, without appurtenances, as per schedule "B," was built for about

Plan No. 33 was used three times in one season, in slightly differing
forms, at a cost varying from $2,800 to $3,600, without appurtenances,
as per schedule "B." In the matter of floor space it is not an
economical house. It makes a very pretty arrangement of rooms on the
first floor. There are five good bedrooms and a bath-room on the second
floor. The rear part is measurably separated from the front by a door. A
projecting bay window from the family bedroom is shown.

[Illustration: Plan No. 32.]

Plan No. 34. This is another plan that was made to order. It is an
economical arrangement, and, in many respects, very convenient and
satisfactory. The single stairway, passing from the dining-room, will
be the least satisfactory feature about the whole house to the majority
of people. However, the idea in this connection is a good one. It is
economical in that it dispenses entirely with the hall. Furthermore,
this stairway starts from a room which will be used less than any on the
first floor. Few people will be inconvenienced by the use of the
dining-room as a hall. Part of this stairway goes into a hall leading to
the kitchen. The china-room and pantry arrangements in this house are
very satisfactory. On the second floor are five bedrooms and a
bath-room. The hall is lighted by a dormer over the stairway. This
building, without appurtenances, would cost about $2,500, as per
schedule "B."

[Illustration: Plan No. 33.]

Plan No. 35 is a house with a side entrance for small boys, which is
sometimes wanted. This plan meets such a requirement. In the rear hall a
coat closet is provided; also a rear stairway. The vestibule in front of
the reception-hall is sufficiently large to admit of the placing of hat
rack and other vestibule furniture. The stairway is a pretty feature,
though not satisfactory to all. There is a closet in connection with the
music-room. In actual construction one was provided from the kitchen.
The second floor is self-explanatory. It was built, as per schedule "B,"
for $2,500.

Plan No. 36. The requirements of the occupants of this building are
peculiar. A large number of bedrooms are required. Other than bath and
bedrooms, there are only the dining-room, parlor, and kitchen. There is
no cellar. There is a combination stairway. One run starts from the
front, and the other from the rear. The landing is in the centre on the
second floor. Cost of this building, $2,000, as per schedule "B."

[Illustration: Plan No. 34.]

In No. 37 the stairway is back of the reception-hall. It is
distinctively in the centre of the house, and is accessible from all
rooms. There is a passage through two doors from the kitchen to the
front part of the house. There is also the usual pantry passage. On
the second floor there are four good bedrooms, a linen closet, and a
bath-room. The cost of the building, without appurtenances, would be
about $2,100, as per schedule "B."

[Illustration: Plan No. 35.]

[Illustration: Plan No. 36.]

[Illustration: Plan No. 37.]

Plan No. 38 is another square, one-chimney plan. The house is broad
enough so that it gives a little better bath-room arrangement than is
shown in some of the narrower plans. The great drawback to this house is
that there is only one stairway, and that in front. If a cellar is
wanted, the stairway can go down under the main stairs.

Plan No. 39. This plan has six bedrooms on the second floor. The hall on
the first floor has two closets in front. There is a projecting bay
window from the first landing of the front stairway.

[Illustration: Plan No. 38.]

This house was built for a minister. The library room is shown.
Projecting from it is a window-seat. On one side is a large fireplace.
The dining-room is separated from the front part of the house by a hall.
Both sitting-room and dining-room have bay ends of a form to give a view
to the street in front. The side-hall communicates with the kitchen as
well as the dining-room. In this hall is a closet, presumably for the
boys. There is a liberal supply of closets on the second floor. The
servant's room is cut off from the other part of the house. The attic is
plastered. This building, without appurtenances described in schedule
"B," cost $3,500.

[Illustration: Plan No. 39.]

Plan No. 40. The rear hall with the side entrance is the thing which
will commend this house, as far as its floor plan is concerned. It is an
old-style plan, and is wasteful of room. The building cost about $3,100,
as per schedule "B."

Plan No. 41 is an eight-room house with a simple stairway. The outside
walls are of brick. It has a side entrance. The plan is a fairly good
one. There are two closets on the first floor, opening from the hall.
There is an abundant supply on the second floor. The building cost
$3,400, as per schedule "B."

[Illustration: Plan No. 40.]

[Illustration: Plan No. 41.]

[Illustration: Plan No. 42.]

Plan No. 42 belongs to the centre hall type, which is less common now
than in years past. The parlor, as here lettered, is in reality the
sitting-room. A bedroom is shown on the first floor. In each of the four
principal rooms a grate is indicated. A hall communicating with the
second floor from the cellar is shown in the rear. The kitchen, pantry,
and china-closet arrangements are such as have been fully described in
other chapters. The side-porch, next to the pantry, affords means of
putting ice into the refrigerator without coming into the room. The
reception-hall and dining-room are connected by sliding doors. Five
bedrooms and a bath-room and liberal closets are shown on the second
floor. The front stairway to this floor is broad and easy. The details
of the exterior of this structure were carefully rendered, and the
appearance altogether satisfactory. An outline drawing of the front is
shown. Small gables, similar in design to the one in front, show from
the sides. The building, according to schedule "B," cost $2,800, without
the appurtenances.

[Illustration: Fig. 23.]



Plan No. 43, while not economical as to arrangement, is well suited to
the requirements of the people who own it. There are no children. The
lady does not employ a servant. The cost of the building would be about

Plan No. 44. Double houses are not easy to plan where they are very
long. This house was built, one part to live in and the other to rent.
The living part has an entrance to the front; and the rental part one,
removed from it, at the side. The centre partition is lined on both
sides with sheathing lath; that is, sheathing with dovetails cut into
it, so that the plastering will stick to it, which makes it solid, and,
to a certain extent, deadens the sound. The lettering of the plan
clearly indicates its arrangement. The cost, without appurtenances, as
by schedule "B," is $5,000.

Most of the plans given that are only two rooms deep may be made into
double houses by enlarging the amount of window space front and rear,
and placing the bath-room side of the house on the exposed side. This
gives direct light.

[Illustration: FIGURE 24.]

Plan No. 45. This house is built on a plat of ground having about
seventy feet frontage. The side-hall arrangements give two entirely
independent rooms in front. There is a good closet in the hall. From
here we pass to the dining-room, library, or parlor, and to the
second floor. Only one stairway is used. The pantry and china
arrangements are shown. We enter the cellar stairway from the pantry
passage. The kitchen is planned according to the general principles
previously set forth.

[Illustration: Plan No. 43.]

On the second floor are four bedrooms and a bath-room. Each room,
including the bath, is supplied with closets, and there is a linen
closet in the hall. A stairway leads to the attic, in which there is an
abundance of room for other chambers, should they be needed. The
building, without appurtenances, according to schedule "B," cost $2,100.
Fig. 24 is a photographic view of exterior.

[Illustration: Plan No. 44.]

[Illustration: Plan No. 45.]

Plan No. 46 is not greatly different in its general arrangement from
others that have been shown. The details, however, are more complete,
and it is generally more satisfactory than other houses of the same
type. The vestibule arrangement in the front hall is very satisfactory.
There is a window-seat under the stairs. The china-room arrangement is
convenient. It has an open stairway running out of it to the rear of the
second story. There is a laundry in the basement, and large closets on
the second floor.

[Illustration: Plan No. 46.]

Fig. 25 is an elevation. It is a very picturesque house. Cost, as by
schedule "B," $3,400.

Plan 47. This house was designed for a west frontage. It has a porch in
front, a pagoda extension on the south side, and a carriage-porch on the
north side. There are a set of storm doors and double inside doors. The
reception-hall is thirteen by fifteen feet in the clear. At one side of
this hall is a grate. There is an archway over the front window. On
each side of the mantel are shown seats, which may be treated as a part

The stairway may be seen from this reception-hall. It is separated from
it merely by an open-work screen. The parlor connects with the
reception-hall by sliding doors. It has a large window in front, and two
smaller ones at the side.

[Illustration: Fig. 25.]

The parlor connects with the sitting-room by sliding doors, as shown.
There is a similar sliding door connecting the stair-hall and
sitting-room. Thus the reception-hall and stair-hall, sitting-room and
parlor, may be thrown together.

There is a bay end at the south side of the sitting-room. Sliding doors
are not indicated between the dining-room and sitting-room, or between
the dining-room and hall. They could be so placed, if desired.

There are two doors from the sitting-room to the dining-room, one on
each side of the fireplace. There is sufficient wall space in the
dining-room that these doors may be folded out of the way. The library
connects with the stair-hall and rear hall.

[Illustration: Plan No. 47.]

There is a large closet room under the stairway. In it is a small
closet, and places for a chest of drawers, and a wash-stand. This would
be particularly useful in case the library were to be used as a bedroom.

There is a door separating the rear from the front hall. There are two
doors between the kitchen and the rear hall. The passageway between
these doors is lighted by a window.

The sideboard in the dining-room is built into one end of this room. The
windows are placed about five feet above the floor, and would look well
of stained glass.

The kitchen is sixteen by sixteen feet. On one side are a table, sink,
drain, and table, successively arranged as here named. In the
china-closet is an extension of the last-named table. There is a slide
which cuts off communication between the china-closet and the kitchen
when this table is not in use. In the china-closet are another sink,
table, etc., which could be used for washing and caring for the china,
glass, and silver that one does not care to take into the kitchen.

There is good ventilation in the kitchen. Back of the range are shown
two flues. A dry-box is placed on a level with the top of the range, and
has openings in the bottom and into the flue. In this way, any articles
placed therein will be readily dried and ventilated. The warm air from
the range passes through the box and into the flue.

In the pantry are a dough-board and flour-bins, a cupboard for stores,
and one for utensils. There is space for an ice-box or refrigerator next
to the rear porch. It has a drain connection with the outside.

The landing of the front stairway is in the front of the building, as
shown. The rear stairway is separated by a door from the rear hall. In
the bedrooms, the beds, dressing-cases, and wash-stands are indicated on
the plan. The front chamber has a circular window in front. Each room
can be entered from the hall without going through any other room. There
is a grate in each chamber. The closets are all very large; in each of
the front rooms they are three and one-half by four and one-half feet.
In the south-side chambers one is three and one-half by four feet, and
the other is four by four feet. In the rear hall there is a large closet
which may be used for general purposes. In all closets on this floor
there is abundant room for drawers, hooks, shelves, etc.

[Illustration: Plan No. 48.]

The bath-room arrangement is somewhat different from that in general
use. It will be noticed that the water-closet is separated from the
bath-room proper, though connected with it by a door. One can enter
either the bath-room or this water-closet room from the rear hall. In
the bath-room is a large closet in which may be arranged a chest of
drawers, and, if desired, a ventilated receptacle for soiled linen. This
closet is lighted by a window. Cost, as by schedule "B," $10,000.

Plan No. 48 is of a house well suited to the requirements of the people
who live in it. Fig. 26 is a view of the exterior. It is a shingle house
of a severe type. The side projection is a combination of brick and
stone. Cost, without appurtenances, $3,400.

[Illustration: Plan No. 49.]

Plan No. 49, without appurtenances, has been built for $3,400. It is
finished in both stories in hard wood, has a front and rear stairway,
and a side entrance. A central chimney contains four grates. The closet
arrangement is as good as in any plan in this collection.

Figs. 27 and 28 are elevations. Fig. 28 shows how the conservatory at
the side is finished so as to appear with, and as a part of, the porch.

[Illustration: FIGURE 26.]

[Illustration: Fig. 27.]

[Illustration: Fig. 28.]

[Illustration: Plan No. 50.]

Plan No. 50. This is a plan of a brick house, built, without
appurtenances, as per schedule "B," for $10,000. The external walls are
of selected dark cherry red brick, laid in red mortar. The stone work,
where exposed above grade, is of Ohio red sandstone, quarry face. There
is very little detail to the exterior. The general style of design is
quiet and unobtrusive. Red sandstone is selected to go with the
brick-work in order to present a solid mass of color, rather than a
variation between a light stone and brick work. The interior is complete
in all its details; the attic is finished as well as the parlor; all is
of quartered oak. Over the butler's pantry, in the rear of the hall, is
a balcony. Above this balcony is a large window, twelve feet wide and
ten feet high, divided with narrow mullions, and glazed with artistic
patterns of stained glass. At one side of the hall is a large fireplace,
with panelled wood-work above to ceiling. The sides of the hall are
wainscoted to the height of six feet with small panels. The ceiling is
of oak. The dining-room and library are finished the same as hall, with
oak ceiling omitted. Other details of the plan, in the light of what has
been said in previous chapters, are self-explanatory. All has been
planned according to the general principles set forth. The butler's
pantry is arranged so that all china and glassware are cared for in that
room rather than in the kitchen. Fig. 29 is an exterior view of this

[Illustration: Fig. 29.]




In this section of the book it is proposed to consider, in as plain a
manner as possible, the construction of all the details of a house.


First is the placing of the house on the lot. If it have an east or a
west front, it is common to set the north side of the house within a few
feet of the north line. On a small lot this gives more south and sun
exposure. The distance the house is set back from the front of the lot
depends largely upon what one's neighbors have done or may do. In the
case of a north or south frontage, the west side of the house is usually
placed to the west line. This brings the east side of the house in the
afternoon shade. Under any circumstances, there should never be less
than eighteen inches of space beyond the north or west wall. If the
projection of cornice is greater, there should be more than this.


The next thing to do when one begins to build, is to provide water for
the builder. This is from the city water service, if any; otherwise from
a well. If a driven well is used, it is best to locate it on the inside
of the house, near the kitchen sink, and allow the builder to provide a
common pump for use during building operations. The cistern and well
pumps should go into the plumber's contract. It is not necessary that
all the plumbing contract be let at the time the city water service is
supplied. The method of letting contracts is explained in another part
of the book.


In excavating for a house, the loam, or upper strata of earth, should be
separated from that which comes below. After the walls are placed, the
openings around the outside should not be filled at once; certainly not
until the wall is dry and the mortar set. After this, the grading and
filling should begin. The grade line of the house should be slightly
above that of the sidewalk, and there should be a general slope to it.
If there is an alley in the rear, the slope should be divided to reach
it, if possible. The drainage, excavating and filling connected with the
plumbing, gas supplies, etc., should be done early in the building
period. Thus the entire surface becomes compact and natural by the time
the building is finished. If it should become apparent that there will
be superfluous earth, it should be removed from the lot.


Where there is a clay soil, and in sections of the country where cellars
are inclined to be damp, they should be drained. This is done in various
ways; usually by running an open farm tile around and below the level of
the cellar wall, which should have connection preferably with a dry
well; but if nothing better presents itself, with the sewer drain,
although a connection of this kind is not safe. The air which will come
into this drain from the sewer will contaminate the soil, and in that
way affect the health of the occupants of the building. In some
instances a sewer connection from this drain is necessary, but only then
should it be used.

Another method of draining a cellar is to excavate below the level of
lowest mason-work, and fill in a depth of about twelve inches with
broken stone, which is given a drain connection with proper outlet. The
space between stone particles acts as a drain.


[Illustration: Fig. 30]

The mason-work should be of brick or stone. First, we will consider that
of brick, which is common to frame houses and is sometimes used for
brick buildings. The foundations, walks, piers, and flues should be of
hard burned brick. All should be laid wet, excepting in freezing
weather, with lime mortar. The outside exposed brick should be
preferably of a dark cherry-red color, laid in white or red mortar. The
latter is in most general use. The joints for exposed work should be in
form as indicated in Fig. 30; in mason's parlance, these are called
"rodded joints." The joint is first cut down from above, with trowel,
then the rod is placed along the upper edge of the joint, and the mortar
is cut away with a knife in the form indicated. Then the vertical joints
are trimmed in the same way; thus no mortar projects beyond the face of
the brick. This form of joint is desirable for all kinds of exposed
work, where one desires better work than is usual in foundations and
other exposed brick work. Brick work should have struck or common joints
in the cellar and outside exposed walls, only where small cost is of
great importance. Brick work should be left rough where it is desired to
plaster. Foundation walls and piers usually continue from sixteen to
thirty inches above grade; twenty or twenty-four inches is most common.
On this is placed a sill in most frame houses. Outside walls and piers
generally begin from eighteen to thirty inches below grade line, where
not influenced by the cellar. In an ordinarily cold climate the freezing
line is four or five feet. Eighteen inches or two feet is usual,
however, in the construction of frame buildings, and the results are not
unsatisfactory. A damp-course of slate or hard limestone is sometimes
placed just above the grade line, to prevent the passage of moisture
from the brick wall below to that above. These general statements as to
brick work apply alike to that used in brick and frame buildings, as do
also the statements as to interior walls, chimneys, etc., which follow.

To prevent the passage of moisture through brick walls below grade from
the outside, a coating of Portland cement is sometimes used. Coal-tar is
also used, but is not as good as the cement.



A brick wall under a frame house is ordinarily nine inches thick; that
is, it is called a nine-inch wall. In reality, it is the thickness of
the length of a brick. Under these walls are placed footings. For a
two-story frame house there are usually two footings of two courses each
projecting two inches. Thus a nine-inch wall would have the bottom
footing seventeen inches wide. In ordinary American brick work there is
what is called a bond to each seventh course. The bond is made by laying
the brick crosswise the wall rather than lengthwise. In that way it ties
or bonds the wall together in the direction of its length. Below grade,
where the brick work is not exposed, the bond is made by laying a
continuous course of brick in this way. Above the grade, the bond is
made by laying each alternate brick across the wall. This is called a
header and stretcher bond. The stretcher is the brick which lies
lengthwise the wall in the common way, and the header is the one which
shows its head and runs crosswise the wall to form the bond. Thus there
is a continuous row of alternating headers and stretchers in the bond
course, which occurs, as said before, each seventh course. Another bond,
by some brick-layers called the American bond, does not show on the
outside. The corners of the inside of the outer row of bricks are
clipped, so that the bond brick runs part way into the outside course,
and thus is out of sight. It is an artificial arrangement and not
satisfactory; it is not good construction. The header and stretcher bond
is the best for exposed work, where both appearance and solidity are to
be considered. There are other forms of bond,--the old English and the
Flemish,--but they need not be considered here.

All brick should be thoroughly "slushed" with mortar; that is, all
spaces between brick should be thoroughly filled. The ideal condition
would be to have all brick excepting the exposed faces entirely
surrounded by mortar.

The selection of the brick for the exposed fronts in a frame as well as
a brick house should be made before the brick work is begun; at least a
large supply should be selected and piled up. While the brick cannot all
be of the same shade, different shades can be selected for different
walls--a lighter shade for a north wall, and a darker for a south wall,
a different shade for an east and a west wall. Very slight variations
can be made in the ells and projections. This would apply to pressed,
stock, or common brick, though pressed brick is usually selected before

The best color for exposed work is a dark cherry red. The best-appearing
work with indifferent brick can be made with the use of a reddish brown
mortar. The use of this kind of mortar is increasing. White putty mortar
is made in the ordinary way, excepting that white sand, similar to that
from Lake Pontchartrain, rather than gray sand, is used. It contains
more lime than ordinary mortar. The mortar is said to be richer.

Black brick are made by heating and then dipping in coal-tar. Enamelled,
glazed, and colored brick can be purchased in the larger markets as
desired. Various forms of ornamental brick work are possible even where
only the common brick are used. Moulded pressed brick are quite common,
and the results of their use very satisfactory.

Brick veneering is not unusual in sections of the country where brick is
very expensive and the effect of a brick house desired. It is a
four-inch brick wall anchored to a frame structure. The anchoring is
sometimes accomplished by driving twenty-penny nails into wood-work in a
way to project into joints.

Hot-air flues in brick walls are sometimes tin-lined, though this is not
necessary when they are smoothly plastered, providing it is possible to
make them eight inches square. If they cannot be made deeper than the
width of a brick, four inches, they should be tin-lined. A four-inch
hot-air flue can be placed in a nine-inch wall by setting the two
outside rows of brick on edge.

Hollow walls have not been regarded with great favor during recent
years, for the reason that it is difficult to secure their proper
construction. A hollow wall is usually twelve inches in thickness, with
the middle course of brick omitted excepting at the corners and adjacent
to openings. Suitable ties are placed across the open space.


It now is in order to consider various features of interior brick work
and details which come in connection therewith. Cellars are usually from
seven to eight feet deep. As this does not give all the height necessary
for furnace or other heating apparatus, it is usually pitted; that is,
it is let down into the cellar floor, and a brick area built around the
opening to the furnace-door. Because of the necessity for pitting the
furnace, the walls of the house adjacent thereto should continue
eighteen inches below the level of other walls.

Walls inside of cellar should continue to the top of joist. This
completely separates the different compartments of the cellar, or from
that part of the house where there is no cellar.

There should be a man-hole opening to the parts under the house where
there is no cellar.

Lintels or wooden supports should be provided over all openings in
cellar, and over all openings in inside brick walls.

Wooden brick should be provided and built in where it is necessary to
attach wood work to brick work. Usually this is about two feet six
inches apart in a vertical or horizontal direction. The wooden brick
should be the thickness of the brick itself and the mortar joints; that
is, there should be no mortar above or below a wooden brick. Iron
ventilators should be provided; one in each outside wall under each room
where cellar windows are not provided. Windows are not usually provided
where there is no cellar.


It is known that wood-work should not come directly in contact with
chimneys. The framework should never rest on a chimney. There are
reasons for this other than those which have a regard for safety from
fire, one of which is that the chimney is not liable to settle. If it
does not, the shrinkage of the wood-work, which in a two-story frame
house will sometimes amount to two inches in the height of the building,
makes a high place around the flues, where the frame comes in contact
with or rests on the chimney. All chimney-stacks should extend above
highest point of ridge of roof, and the extreme tops should be laid in
Portland cement. All the exposed brick of the chimney should be
hard-burned. If due regard were paid to these points, there would be no
rickety chimney-tops. All flues should be thoroughly plastered on the
inside. If chimneys were plastered on the outside, wherever they come in
contact with the wood-work, the complaint of fires from defective flues
would be hushed.

Fig. 31 illustrates the common form of constructing a chimney breast
where a grate is to be used. The flues are eight and one-half inches
square. A passage to the ash-pit is shown. The grate opening is two feet
wide; the jambs on each side are one foot six inches wide; thus the
entire width of the breast is five feet. Other dimensions as indicated.
Where there are grates on two floors of the house, one above the other,
or where it is desirable for any reason to have a flue pass around a
grate, it is necessary that the breast should be five feet wide. It is
clear that the grate from below must have its own flue out to the top of
the chimney. Thus the grate flue from the first story must pass around
the grate of the second story, if there be one. If there is no grate
above, or if it is not desired to pass a flue around the first-story
grate, the chimney breast need be only four feet wide; that is, it would
have the usual two-feet opening to the grate, and twelve rather than
eighteen inch jambs on each side. On one side of the dotted line is
indicated flue construction for a brick wall, and on the other for a
wood wall.

[Illustration: Fig 31]

The hearth should rest on what is called a trimmer arch, which is made
of brick. It springs from the chimney breast to the header of wood in
front. It is four inches in thickness. It is laid in the ordinary way,
and at the proper time is filled on the top with concrete by the
mantel-setter. In case a grate on the second floor connects with the
ash-pit, one of the flues at the side is used for this purpose.

Fig. 32 indicates a common form of corner grate. The flues in this as
well as Fig. 31 are drawn close together and come out through the attic
and roof in a smaller stem. There should be distinct separation of

[Illustration: Fig 32]

Ash-pits are frequently made of four-inch brick walls strengthened by
brick pilasters. These pits are usually from three to four feet in depth
and the width of the chimney breast, and nearly as high as the depth of
the cellar. Where more than one grate empties into an ash-pit, it is
common to divide it into compartments, one for each fire. The top of the
pit is crowned with a brick arch. Ash-dumps are sometimes provided for
the grate, depending, of course, upon the kind of grate used, and
ash-pit doors of iron for the pits themselves.


The side walls of an outside cellar-way should continue to the bottom of
cellar. It should be floored the same as the cellar itself.


Areas of brick should be provided around all cellar openings that
continue below grade. The bottoms of these areas should be floored with
paving-brick. This is better than cement, as it admits of natural



Stone foundations for dwelling-houses are usually made of native stone,
and anything that may be said here must necessarily conform to general
rather than special conditions. The best stone that can be used for this
purpose is hard, non-absorbent limestone. There are many varieties of
stone conglomerates throughout the country which are valuable for
foundation uses. Stone should be laid up in lime mortar in the direction
of its natural bed in the quarry, with a sufficiency of bond stone. For
ordinary dwelling-house work there should be at least one footing eight
inches in depth, and six inches projection on each side of the wall.
Stone walls for foundations are usually made not less than eighteen
inches in thickness. It is not easy to lay a good stone wall less than
eighteen inches in thickness. While the same number of cubic feet of
stone work may cost less than brick work, a stone foundation ordinarily
would cost more than one of brick for the reason that a brick wall does
not have to be so thick. It usually takes about half the number of cubic
feet of brick work that it does of stone work to answer the same
purpose. Where stone is available at low cost it is best to use it.
Interior brick walls may rest on stone footings. The inside of stone
walls should be neatly pointed after other work has been finished. Stone
work above grade may be finished in many ways--random range work,
rubble work, regular course range work, etc. After the other work has
been finished, the mortar should be raked out a short distance and a
finish joint added.


Cut-stone work is too large a subject to consider in detail. There are
several points which cannot be overlooked. There should be drips cut
under all projections, so that the water will not run down the other
stone or brick work and stain it. A drip is merely a little V-shaped
channel cut on the under side of the stone work. They are found on the
under side of most window-sills. In door, window, or other openings, the
stone work should underlie or overlie all wood work at least two inches.
This may be explained by stating that the stone window-sill should
underlie the wood sill two inches, and the window cap should overlie the
wood cap at least two inches. Generally speaking, coping should project
on each side of the wall about two inches. Sills should extend at least
one inch beyond the face of the wall. Window-sills should be no less
than five inches in thickness. Door-sills should generally be about
seven or eight inches, and extend at least one inch beyond the face of
the wall, and through its full thickness. The water table of the stone
foundation usually forms the window cap of the cellar windows, and the
cap course, which comes at the grade line, the cellar window-sills. In
this case it is necessary that the stone should run farther into the
wall where the openings occur.

Stone steps are not over six and one-half to seven and one-half inches
in thickness, with from nine to twelve inch treads. They underlie and
lap about one inch, and have walls, the same material as the
foundation, for lower supports. These walls should go to the full depth
of the house walls with which they come in contact. Thus there is no
danger of settling. Stone steps are frequently used in the front of the
yard from the side-walk to the grade level where there is considerable
elevation. In such cases it is necessary to use stone side pieces for
the steps, to prevent caving and to make a neat finish. Where flagging
is cheap, it is well to use it for walks and porch floors.


Terra cotta is the perfection of brick-making. It is the only building
material which is not affected by changes of temperature, or other
natural or artificial conditions to which the building may be subject.
It may be described as being a very plastic material; that is, anything
can be done with it. It can be worked into any form that is desired,
excepting long lintels, and even in that case there are means of
arriving at the desired result and giving a lintel form in a very proper
manner. Ornamental terra cotta is modelled by artists before being
burned, and the best results may naturally be expected.


The size of the privy vault is usually three and one-half by four and
one-half feet, elliptical, and from ten to twenty feet deep, according
to the character of the soil. Usually it is walled up with four-inch dry
brick wall. Piers should be provided at corners for privy building. In
some instances it is required that the privy vault should be made
water-tight. In that case it should be built the same as a cistern, with
round bottom and cemented interior surface. When it is desired to
connect the privy vault with the sewer, it should be cemented in the
manner just described, with a siphon vitrified pipe connection with the
drain to the sewer. The siphon prevents solid rubbish, which may be
thrown into the vault, from getting into the drain and clogging it.


The cistern is generally located near the rear kitchen wall, say ten or
twelve feet therefrom. The walls, arch, and neck are usually four inches
in thickness when capacity of cistern does not exceed one hundred and
twenty-five barrels. Otherwise the brick work mentioned should be eight
inches in thickness. The brick should be laid in domestic cement, and
smoothly coated with Portland cement. It should be connected with the
down spouts of the house by means of vitrified drain-pipe, the same as
described in connection with plumbing work, though it has no connection

The following table gives capacity of cisterns of various sizes.


  | DIAM. |          ||  DIAM. |          ||  DIAM. |          |
  |  IN   | GALLONS. ||   IN   | GALLONS. ||   IN   | GALLONS. |
  | FEET  |          ||  FEET. |          ||  FEET. |          |
  | 2     |   19·50  ||  6-1/2 |  206·85  ||  12    |    705·0 |
  | 2-1/2 |   30·50  ||  7     |  239·88  ||  13    |    827·4 |
  | 3     |   44·60  ||  7-1/2 |  275·40  ||  14    |    959·6 |
  | 3-1/2 |   59·97  ||  8     |  313·33  ||  15    |  1,101·6 |
  | 4     |   78·33  ||  8-1/2 |  353·72  ||  20    |  1,958·4 |
  | 4-1/2 |   99·14  ||  9     |  396·56  ||  25    |  3,059·9 |
  | 5     |  122·40  ||  9-1/2 |  461·40  ||  30    |  4,406·4 |
  | 5-1/2 |  148·10  || 10     |  489·60  ||  35    |  5,990·0 |
  | 6     |  176·25  || 11     |  592·40  ||  40    |  7,831·0 |


There are various ways of forming a filter. One is to have a small
cistern of eight or ten barrel capacity, located between the main
cistern and house. It should be divided by a brick wall laid in mortar,
but not cemented on either side. The water enters on one side, passes
through the brick wall in the middle, and from thence to the cistern
beyond. Another plan is to cement the wall, leave an opening at the
bottom, and pack the side on which the water enters with charcoal, sand,
and gravel. The water passes through this packing and the opening below
to the other side of the filter, and then to the cistern. Still another
plan is to build the partition as first described on the inside of the
cistern proper. All of the water passes to one side of the divided
cistern, and through the partition before being drawn out. Thus it has
to pass through the brick before it is to be drawn out. Still another
filter is made by building what is called a beehive in the bottom of the
cistern. It is a beehive form of brick work, with the pump pipe leading
to the inside, so that all water has to be drawn through the brick
beehive before it is pumped out. According to this plan, as well as the
others mentioned, the water is strained through the brick.

It is best that the cistern and independent filter, when used, should be
provided with iron rims and cast-iron covers. It is good practice to
connect the cistern with a dry well, which is constructed the same as an
open vault excepting that the top is arched. This dry-well connection is
by means of five-inch vitrified pipe laid in the same manner as sewer

There is a practice, altogether too common among builders, of connecting
the cistern overflow with the vault or sewer. Nothing could be worse
than this. The water is certain to be polluted.


Brick pavements are used for walks around the house, and sometimes for
cellar floors. Cement floors, however, are better for cellars. Brick
pavement of all kinds should be made of hard-burned bricks, laid on a
six or eight inch bed of sand. The brick walk should not be laid until
after all the grading and filling of the lot has been done. It is best
to leave the brick walks out of the general contract, so that this work
can be delayed until after the house is finished. It is a good thing to
have the sodding and the paving in the same contract. The contractor who
attends to the sodding can work the two together to a better advantage
than if the walks were placed and the sodding done afterwards.


Cement pavements are used for walks around the house, and for cellar
floors. Cement is more expensive than brick. The surface to be covered
should, first, be levelled, then saturated with water; after which is
laid a three-inch bed of cement concrete, made of gravel, sand, and
cement in proper proportions. Upon this is placed a three-fourth-inch
layer of cement mortar. Ordinary American, hydraulic cement may be used
for concrete, but for the three-fourth-inch layer nothing but best
Portland cement should be considered. Sometimes the cement work in the
cellar is done by the plasterer. Outside cement work for walks requires
special skill. In most large cities there are those who make a business
of doing this work. They have different formulas and methods of reaching
the proper results.




In considering carpenter work, we will first take up framing, and
everything which pertains to the outside of the house. All material used
for framing should be sound, square-edged material, free from
imperfections tending to impair its use, durability, or strength. In
different parts of the country, different kinds of lumber are standard
for framing purposes. In the South and sections contiguous to it, yellow
pine is used; in the North, white pine, hemlock, Norway spruce, poplar,
and even hard wood. It is neither profitable nor desirable in this
connection to indicate any particular material; it is natural to use the
cheapest that is sufficiently strong for framing. The following table
indicates the sizes of timber in common use in framing an ordinary

  Sills, outside walls                    6' ×  8"
  Sills, inside walls                     6  ×  8
  Lintels, over openings                  6  × 10
  Girders, over piers                     6  × 10
  Plates                                  4  thick
  Rafters, 20 on centres                  2  ×  6
  Horizontal purlins, or roof supports    4  ×  6
  Roof posts                              4" ×  4"
  Bridging                                2  ×  4
  Joists, 1st tier         2" × 10" × 16" on centres
    "     2d  tier         2  × 10  × 16   "    "
    "     3d  tier         2  ×  8  × 16   "    "
    "     deck             2  ×  6  × 20   "    "
  Studs                    2  ×  4  × 16   "    "
  Rafters, or deck joist, 16" on centres, when to be plastered.

Sizes here given may not be adapted to all sections. There is no
occasion for being arbitrary. The sizes may be conformed to the material
which is ordinarily used.

Stories ten and a half feet high are generally considered the limit in
an ordinary frame house at this time. Nine and a half and ten are more
common. This is quite different from the general tendency to high
stories a few years ago. Certainly, it is more rational.


Joists are usually dressed, so that they have about one-half-inch crown
or curve on their upper surface, which would make the centre of the room
about one-half inch higher than the sides. They should be trimmed so
that all are of the same width and form. Double trimmers and
headers--that is, double joist--should be framed around all
chimney-breasts, well-holes, scuttles, and openings in the wall. In
dwelling-house work they should be mortised and tenoned together, as
should be the pieces connecting therewith. In very cheap work headers
and trimmers are sometimes spiked together. This is not good practice.
For very good work, where heavy weights are to be carried, trimmers and
headers should be supported on wrought-iron strips. This, however, is
not necessary in ordinary dwelling-house work.

Joists longer than eighteen feet should be twelve inches in width.
Those running adjacent or parallel to partition or other walls should be
firmly spiked thereto. Double joists should be placed under all
partitions and supports having no support from below. Where the weight
is extra heavy, the double joists should be trussed by a
two-by-four-inch stud, spiked in truss form, between them. There should
be one row of truss bridging to each span or tier, size as indicated.
Header should be framed across pipe duct, about eighteen inches


See Fig. 33. Walls and partitions are usually of two-by-four-inch
studding. In large houses it is best that the studding be two by six
inches, and plates four inches in thickness and the width of the
studding are commonly placed at the bottom and top of the walls of each
story. Sometimes, however, the studding continues to the height of two
stories, and the joists are supported on a one-by-six-inch "ribbon"
piece let into the studding.

[Illustration: Fig 33]

Trusses or supports should be framed over all openings. Sliding-door
pockets or runways should be lined with flooring. All corners and angles
should be framed solid and have two-inch projections for lathing.
Studding four by four inches thick should be framed around all window
openings and on three sides of the door openings; bridging, two by two
inches, one row for each story. Grounds should be placed on the inside
openings, and elsewhere for plastering. The pipe duct, fourteen inches
wide, should be placed between studding from kitchen to attic floor. All
outside walls of frame houses should be diagonally sheathed with
seven-eighths-by-six-inch dressed sheathing. Tongued and grooved
material is best for this purpose, although it is not in common use. All
sheathing should be covered with six-pound sized building-paper.

Sometimes the insides of brick walls are furred. This means that they
are lined on the inside with wood strips two inches in thickness,
sixteen inches on centres, and then lathed and plastered. This prevents
the passage of the moisture through the brick into the inside of the

Various forms of sheathing lath for inside sheathing of a frame house
are now in use. This form of lath contemplates a seven-eighth-inch
tongued and grooved sheathing on the inside with dove-tailed channels
cut into its surface, which form key-room for the plastering.


Most roofs can be formed with out-posts and purlins. All can be formed
in this way where cost is not considered. An ordinary dwelling-house of
the size given in these plans does not require separate posts and
purlins. There should be double rafters around all chimneys and openings
in the roof.

The roof should be sheathed with seven-eighths by four-inch material;
where exposed to view, with five-and-one-half-inch beaded flooring.
Where deck framing is required, posts and purlins are necessary, size
according to weight to be carried.

Where shingles are used for roofing, they should be laid four and
one-half inches to the weather for sixteen-inch shingles, with two nails
to each. It is best that shingles should be dipped in stain, oil, or
paint before they are put on the roof. The durability of shingles is not
increased by being painted after they have been laid. The ridge finish
of the shingle or slate roof should be of galvanized iron, with about
four-inch lap on each side. It may be made as ornamental as desired.
Wood should never be used for this purpose. Hips and ridges of slate or
shingle roofs may be finished with tin or galvanized iron, lapped on
each side about three and one-half inches. Gutters of galvanized iron
set up on the first course of shingles or slate, with metallic support
from above or below, are better than gutters of wood tin-lined.

Where slate covering is used, any size slate desired may be employed,
bearing in mind that the bond should not be less than three and one-half
or four inches. There should be two nails to each slate.


All lumber used for outside finish should be thoroughly seasoned, clear,
smoothly dressed, and free from imperfections tending to impair its use,
durability, strength, or appearance. Poplar is the ideal building
material for outside finish. It takes paint better than other woods used
for this purpose. However, pine is generally used, for the reason that
it is cheaper. Weather-boarding is usually laid with an inch lap four
and one-half inches to the weather; three and one-half inches is better.

[Illustration: Fig 34]

Drop siding, or German siding as it is sometimes called, makes a warmer
and better wall than weather-boarding. It is usually six or eight inches
wide, and in form and construction as indicated by Fig. 34.

Outside shingle walls are now quite common. Shingles are used for
ornamental purposes in a large proportion of the houses that are built;
in some instances they are used exclusively for outside covering. In
such cases they are undressed, and are stained commonly with one of the
proprietary stains now on the market. Before being placed they are
dipped into the stain for about eight inches from their buts, and are
laid in piles to dry. Any desired color may be secured, and there are
instances where stained shingled walls have gone without any attention
or expense for eight or ten years.

Dressed shingles are commonly painted. Their form may be as ornamental
as desired. Outside shingles are sometimes laid five and one-half inches
to the weather, but four and one-half is better. It is not uncommon at
this time to leave all shingles unpainted and unstained. The effect is
very agreeable when they become weather-stained.


All horizontal trimmings and casings should be bevelled on the top to
shed the water. They should run back under the shingled weather-boarding
or other outside covering. There should be tin covering for all
projections in excess of one and three-eighths inch. Ordinary window or
door casings outside are usually three-eighths inch thick.


All windows in the part of the house regularly occupied should have box
frames. Pulley styles should be of hard wood, and the inside bead should
be secured with round-headed screws. Sash for plate glass should be one
and three-fourths inch thick; side rail, two and one-half inches in
rabbet; bottom rail, three and one-eighth inches; and meeting rail, one
and one-fourth inch in the rabbet. Sash for common glass may be one and
three-eighths inch thick. Other sizes, as given. Sash, for rooms
finished in hard wood is better when of the wood in which the room is
finished. However, where there is great variation this is not necessary.
Quartered oak is the material commonly used for hard-wood sash. Almost
any hard wood is more liable to warp than pine. All box frames should be
provided with turned axle pulleys. Nothing but the best plaited cotton
sash-cord should be used. Necessary weights should be provided.

In some of the plans where wide front windows are indicated, the design
is called pocket head. There is a pocket above the head of the frame so
that a high sash may be run into it. The sash may be pushed up into the
pocket; that is, it runs into the wall above the head of the frame.
Where the pocket-head window is used, it is necessary that there be a
clear space above the frame for the sash to be run up equal to the
height of the sash itself.

Hinged or pivoted windows have rabbeted frames which are usually one and
three-eighths inch thick. They are used for the most part in unfinished
cellars, attics, and unoccupied parts of the house, and preferably for
pantry, store-room, and, occasionally, bath-room windows. They may be
hung on hinges or pivots. Hinges are better, for the reason that fly
screens cannot be used where the sash is pivoted. Sills should slant
twenty degrees, with drip piece secured to outside. This prevents the
storm from blowing water to the inside.


Outside shutters are usually one and three-eighths inch thick, with
movable slats; if more than six and one-half feet high, they should be
made in three panels each. Arrangements are provided by various
manufacturers of hardware for opening outside shutters from the inside
of the room. They may be swung either from the sides or top at will.
When they are suspended from above they act as an awning; they admit the
air but not the rays of the sun.

Sometimes shutters are cut at the meeting rail, so that the upper or
lower section may be opened as desired.


At this time it is not usual to provide special ceiling for porches. The
rafters and all exposed material are dressed so that they may be painted
or stained. Floor joists are not usually more than two by eight inches;
sills, about six by eight. The floor should be inclined about one-eighth
of an inch to the foot, and made of hard wood, tongued and grooved, not
over two and three-fourths inches in width. Edges should be finished
with nosings, which are rounded edges. The roof of the porch is usually
the same as that of the body of the house. Gutters are similar to those
on other roofs.

Railing and turned balusters are usual, excepting where an opening for
passage is desired.


Framework of lattice porch is generally the same form as other porches.
The covering is usually made with one-and-three-eighths-inch material,
laid diagonal; openings, one and three-eighths inch. Door and hardware,
same as used for other parts of the house, are generally provided.


Outside steps of wood usually have hard-wood treads made of
seven-eighths-by-two-and-one-half-inch pieces, with three- eighths-inch
space between; carriages should be two by ten inches, about sixteen on
centres. Railing and posts for steps should be provided if necessary.
Lattice should be placed under porches and outside steps, and between
all outside piers. Outside lattice-work in yard may be of the same
general design as mentioned for lattice-work porches.

General statements as to outside wood-work apply alike to brick or frame
houses, with certain omissions that should be obvious to an intelligent




All material should be perfectly clear, first-class, thoroughly
seasoned, kiln-dried, dressed material, free from imperfections tending
to impair its use, durability, strength, or appearance. All inside
finish excepting floors should be sand-papered. Where an especially good
finish is desired, all should be scraped as well.


In preparing for floors, it is not unusual to make arrangements for
preventing the passage of sound. This is done by deadening. The usual
method is to nail strips about two inches and a half from the top edge
of the joist, on which are laid one-inch boards. This leaves an inch and
a half between their surface and the upper edge of the joist. This may
be filled in with concrete, mineral wool, or other non-conducting
material. Either is very effective in preventing the passage of sound
from the floors to the rooms below. In a dwelling-house where two
floors only are in common use, it is only necessary to deaden the second

A permanent sheathing floor of the same material that is used for rough
siding may be placed over all joists of first and second floors for a
floor during the plastering of the house. This does not act as
deadening, unless concrete or mineral wool be placed over it. It is well
to have a floor of this kind for use during plastering. It also makes
the lower floor warmer. It should be covered with building-paper before
the finished floor is laid. Finished floors should extend throughout the
first and second stories and the attic. They are commonly of pine or
other soft wood. The material is tongued and grooved, secret-nailed, and
should be smoothed off after laying. The boards should never be wider
than five and a half inches, nor less in thickness than seven-eighths of
an inch. They should be free from sap, large, loose, or black knots.
Hard-wood floors may be of hard pine, oak, maple, or other hard wood
that is readily obtainable or desirable. This material should not be
more than two and three-fourths inches in width, nor less than
seven-eighths of an inch in thickness, and should be tongued and
grooved, secret-nailed, and smoothed off and scraped after laying. A
better grade of pine flooring than that mentioned may be had if desired.
It is best that all floors be laid after plastering. However, this is
not the common practice. The carpenter should cut out flooring as
directed, and prepare for hearths in proper places. Other inside dressed
wood-work should never be placed in position until after the plastering
is finished and dry.

The following table is from a specification in use by myself, and shows
the kind of lumber, style of doors, finish of wood, painters' finish,
and rooms supplied with plate glass, and the general style of hardware.
The detail specification makes clear the points here outlined. The
filling out of the blanks indicates the range and style of finish which
frequently occur. The lettering of the doors and finish refers to
drawings and details, a part of which are given in this connection.

  |               |              | D F | T O D |  P F   | R W P | S H |
  |               |              | O I | H F O |  A I   | O I L | T A |
  |               |              | O N | I   O |  I N   | O T A | Y R |
  |               |              | R I | C   R |  N I   | M H T | L D |
  |               |    KIND      | S S | K   . |  T S   | S   E | E W |
  |    FLOORS.    |     OF       |   H | N     |  E H   |     - |   A |
  |               |   LUMBER.    | A . | E     |  R .   |     G | O R |
  |               |              | N   | S     |  S     |     L | F E |
  |               |              | D   | S     |  '     |     A |   . |
  |               |              |     |       |        |     S |     |
  |               |              |     |       |        |     S |     |
  |               |              |     |       |        |     . |     |
  | FIRST FLOOR.  |              |     |       |        |       |     |
  | Front Hall    | Qu. Oak.     |  A  | 1-3/4 |   --   |  --   | --  |
  | Parlor        |  "   "       |  A  | 1-3/4 |All Oil.|  --   | --  |
  | Sitting-Room  |  "  Sycamore.|  A  | 1-3/4 |   --   |  --   | --  |
  | Library       |  "      "    |  A  | 1-3/4 |   --   |  --   | --  |
  | Rear Hall     | Gum.         |  A  | 1-3/4 |   --   |  --   | --  |
  | Dining-Room   |  "           |  A  | 1-3/4 |   --   |  --   | --  |
  | Chamber       |  --  --      |  -- |  --   |   --   |  --   | --  |
  | Kitchen       | Plain Oak.   |  D  | 1-3/8 |   --   |  --   | --  |
  | Bedrooms      |  --  --      |  -- |  --   |   --   |  --   | --  |
  | Pantry        |   "    "     |  D  | 1-3/8 |   --   |  --   | --  |
  | China Room    |   "    "     |  D  | 1-3/8 |   --   |  --   | --  |
  |               |              |     |       |        |       |     |
  | SECOND FLOOR. |              |     |       |        |       |     |
  | Front Hall    | Gum.         |  E  | 1-3/8 |   --   |  --   | --  |
  | Chamber       | Pine.        |  E  | 1-3/8 |   --   |  --   | --  |
  |    "          |   "          |  E  | 1-3/8 |   --   |  --   | --  |
  |    "          |   "          |  E  | 1-3/8 |   --   |  --   | --  |
  |    "          |   "          |  E  | 1-3/8 |   --   |  --   | --  |
  | Rear Bedroom  | Poplar.      |  D  | 1-3/8 |   --   |  --   | --  |
  | Alcove        | Pine.        |  E  | 1-3/8 |   --   |  --   | --  |
  | Bath-Room     | Qu. Oak.     |  D  | 1-3/8 |   --   |  --   | --  |
  | Rear Hall     | Pine.        |  D  | 1-3/8 |   --   |  --   | --  |
  | Other rooms   |  "           |  D  | 1-3/8 |   --   |  --   | --  |

It may be said, in general terms, in regard to the different kinds of
wood used in finishing a house, that, all things considered, hard wood
of one kind or another is preferable, for the reason that it stands the
general wear and tear of house-keeping with less evidence of the
struggle. Soft wood--pine or poplar--is only to be used because it is
cheaper than the other. Quartered oak, quartered sycamore, cherry,
maple, walnut and chestnut may be classed as the hard woods in ordinary
use in finishing houses of moderate cost. Gum is difficult to class. It
is neither hard nor soft. Others might be mentioned in this same
connection. Pine and other resinous woods are mentioned as soft woods;
as is also poplar, called in some sections white-wood. Any of these
woods may be oil-finished, according to the general formula indicated
elsewhere, or any of them may be stained. Birch stains very nicely.


Door-frames, when rabbeted, should not be less than one and
three-eighths inch in thickness. Sometimes the strip is screwed to the
frame. In that case the frame is often not more than one and one-eighth
inch thick. One and three-eighths inch, however, is better. Front doors
or principal entrance doors are frequently hard wood when all the others
are soft wood. All outside doors are generally filled with glass in
their upper panels. Sliding doors should be the same general design as
other adjacent doors. One additional panel to each additional twelve
inches in excess of width of other doors may be provided. Sliding doors
should be hung from above. Hard-wood doors are usually solid. All
excepting pine are best made of a veneer, one-fourth inch thick on a
one-and-three-eighths-inch pine body, as indicated by Fig. 35. Sometimes
doors are made in two thicknesses of hard wood. This is not as good as
a single thickness. Three thicknesses are better. The only door to be
recommended, however, is the veneered door. Such doors will not warp;
others are liable to do so. Transoms may be hung on pivots, and should
be provided with catches, and, if heavy or high, with adjustable lifts.
Transoms are sometimes used in doors on the second floor, though this
practice is less common than in the past. Where doors with transoms are
used, it is not uncommon to have the closet doors extend to the full
height of the transom tops, and provide additional top panels. Doors six
feet ten inches in height, or less, and not more than one and
three-eighths inch in thickness, may be hung on two three-and-one-half
by three-and-one-half-inch buts. If higher than this or wider than three
feet, they should be hung on three buts or hinges.

[Illustration: Fig. 35]

Doors in unfinished cellars may be made of two thicknesses of
seven-eighths beaded flooring; frames the same as in rooms above. A
seven-eighths batten door, with one-and-three-eighths-inch frame, should
be provided for man-hole in cellar. Scuttle doors, where required, may
be seven-eighths inch in thickness, battened.

[Illustration: Fig. 36]

Cuts 35, 36, 37 indicate ordinary style of inside door and window
finish, the sizes and heights being marked. Doors from dining-room to
china-closet and china-closet to kitchen should be hung on double-spring
hinges, so that they will swing either way and come back to position.
The slide from the kitchen to china-closet or dining-room should be hung
the same as sash, with plaited cotton sash-cord, pulleys, and weights,
and provided with lifts and bolt fastenings.

[Illustration: Fig. 37]

Frames should be provided for opening into bay windows, window-seats,
alcoves, and pilasters.

Stop beads for glazed and sliding doors should be secured with
round-headed screws.

There should be corner beads for external angles.


In the modern house all outside openings, from cellar to attic, are
provided with fly screens. They are now made by concerns who make it a
business to do this work, and are much better than those made by the
ordinary carpenter. They are arranged so that they will slide up and
down on the inside or outside stop, and are finished in every way to
correspond with the other wood-work of the house. They need not be more
than three-quarters of an inch in thickness if properly made. A small
strip is secured to the stop bead, and a corresponding groove is cut in
the screen frame. A spring therein holds it firm, and admits of their
removal without trouble or waste of time. Special hardware is provided
for door and window screens.


The commonest way of constructing casings at this time is indicated in
Figs. 35 and 36, showing inside of doors and windows. This is one of the
least expensive forms, and is adapted to all ordinary work. The casings
are usually seven-eighths inch thick, the corner and plinth blocks one
and one-eighth inch thick. The plinth block comes at the bottom of the
casing. One reason that this form of casing is in such general use is,
that the corner block conceals any slight shrinkage which there may be
in the wood. Where there is a mitred or flush joint, the shrinkage is
certain to show. Casings as elaborate as any one is inclined to pay for
may be used. Window, door, alcove, and other casings are generally all
of one design in a room. All girders and projections below ceilings
should be cased.


The base-board around the room should be plain, so that it may be
readily cleaned. Where it is ornamented, it adds nothing to the
appearance of the room. There should be a base for all plastered walls.
Generally they should be not more than eight inches high, seven-eighths
inch thick, bevelled at the top and a quarter round at the bottom. A
five-eighths-inch adjustable lip may be put on at the top, to take up
the inequalities in the plaster. The closet base may be formed of a
quarter round only if it is plastered and skimmed to the floor. It is
well to have as little wood-work as possible in the closet.


Wainscoting kitchen, bath, and other rooms is not as common as it once
was. This is because wood-work is more difficult to keep clean than
plastering. Wherever there is wainscoting, there must necessarily be
joints. These are difficult to keep clean. Panel wood-work, or other
form of decoration for wall or ceiling, may be used in rooms according
to the disposition of the owner and the taste of the architect.


Inside shutters are not so universally used in good houses as they were
a few years ago. Draperies, though more expensive, are preferred, and
are taking their place. Inside sliding shutters, arranged in several
sections and constructed according to the general plan described for
fly-screens, are in more common use. Rolling slats which roll into a
pocket are to be thought of only in connection with an expensive
dwelling. The common inside shutter is ordinarily seven-eighths inch in
thickness, four panels wide, beaded, and cut at the meeting rail; and
the four centre panels are provided with movable slats. The special
designs of inside shutters mentioned are manufactured by various
establishments throughout the country, and are advertised in various
magazines and periodicals. Under any circumstances the owner will have
to investigate proprietary goods and special furnishings for himself.
They are not to be considered in a work of this kind.


All should be put up in a way to make plumbing readily accessible by the
removal of screws. The pipe duct should be located as required in the
kitchen, and pass from basement to attic floor. The inside measurement
should be seven by twelve inches. It should be constructed of seven
eighths-inch lumber. In case of stud partitions, the duct may be let
into the wall the full depth allowed by studding. The front will project
into the kitchen. All should be of clear lumber, the same as other wood
used in finishing. A ventilating opening, five inches in diameter, may
be provided at the top of the duct. This may be connected with pipe and
funnel, or other device, placed over the kitchen range. The carpenter
should provide pipe boards for all pipe runs. The following, in regard
to wood-work for plumbing, is from the specification of an architect:

     KITCHEN SINK AND FITTINGS.--Wood rim, 7/8 by 2-1/2 inches; skirt,
     7/8 by 6-1/2 inches; support on cleat at back, plain oak,
     1-3/8-inch turned legs in front.

     SPLASH-BOARD.--7/8 by 14 inches, scurfed back; 7/8 by 2 inches,
     plain top.

     DRAIN-BOARD.--Shall be 22 inches long by 21 inches wide, 7/8 inch
     thick, 1 inch incline; channelled top; skirt, 3 by 7/8 cleated with
     two cleats at bottom. One end shall rest on sink, side on wall
     cleat, other end on turned leg.

     Full length of tables, sink, and drain.

     TABLES.--There shall be two tables connected with drain and sink,
     each 21 inches wide, 2 by 6 inches long, 7/8 thick; skirt, 3 by 7/8
     inches. Cleated back. Secured and supported same as drain.


     CELLAR SINK.--Provide 7/8-by-3-inch supporting rim, 2-1/2 inches by
     7/8 inch top. 1-3/8 square legs.

     BATH-TUB.--Case sides and ends with 7/8-by-2-3/4-inch oak board,
     tongued and grooved material, secret-nailed. Batten foot-casing,
     and put in in one piece with round-headed blue screws. Cap top.

     SPLASH-BOARD.--Wainscoting same as tub casing, 6 inches high. Cap
     top in two members 7/8 inch thick.

     WATER-CLOSET.--Hinged flap and seat, each 7/8 inch thick; skirt,
     7/8 by 5 inches; support on 1-3/8 turned legs in front, cleat at

     Case water-closet tank, mould top.

     WASH-STANDS.--Provide supports under marble top. Case sides same as
     specified for tub. Make cleated door in front of same material.
     Provide hinges and fastenings.

     TANK.--A tank shall be placed in attic; capacity, 8 barrels.
     Construct with 1-3/4-inch ploughed and tongued material, with two
     3/8-inch rods, bolts, and nuts at each end, and cleats across top
     at middle.

     In this house there shall be the following plumbing fixtures, to be
     fitted up as above: 1 kitchen sink, cellar sink, sink, 1 bath-tub,
     1 water-closet, 1 wash-stand.


Picture mouldings should be provided on all plastered walls excepting
those of kitchen and pantries. It is usual to place the picture moulding
on a line with the top of the door; that is, so that it comes just below
the top of the corner block.


Shelves should be seven-eighths inch thick, number and arrangement as

The following is a schedule from closet-fittings. Provide hooks in
closets as follows:--

     One row to cleat on wall 5 feet 3 inches from floor.

     One row under side of shelf.

     One row to cleat on wall 3 feet 6 inches from floor in children's


Drawers for closets are best made by a cabinet-maker. If not, they
should be modelled in all respects after cabinet work. Cedar closets
are not as common as they once were. As people have more to place in
them, there is less confidence in their efficacy. The following is from
a specification:--

     BROOM-RACK.--Provide in space as directed 1 broom-rack, with
     cast-iron broom-holder, for sweep-broom, whisk-broom; hooks for
     dust-pan and bucket.

     MEDICINE-CHEST.--Provide in closet a medicine-chest 8 by 10 by 16
     inches, with 7/8 panelled and hinged door. Approved lock.

     Exposed wood-work thereof same as room in which closet is placed.

     CEDAR-CLOSET.--Closet shall be lined, ceiled, and fitted up with
     red cedar.

     DRY-BOX.--Secured on wall adjacent to kitchen range shall be placed
     a drying-box for scrub-rags, brushes, etc., 8 inches deep by 18
     inches wide by 24 inches high, constructed with 7/8 material,
     inside measurements. Provide hinged 7/8-inch panelled door with
     fastening. Top, bottom, and shelves shall be perforated with
     3/4-auger-holes for passage of warm air through the box.

     SOAP-BOX.--Constructed same as dry-box. Size, 9 inches deep, 20
     inches wide, 30 inches high.

     Door, 7/8 inch thick, panelled. Provide approved lock. Shelves, 5/8
     thick, set into sides, 3 inches apart. Perforate bottom and shelves
     with 3/4-inch auger-holes, and connect top with kitchen or

     CLOCK-SHELF.--Provide 8-inch moulded clock-shelf, 7/8 inch thick,
     in kitchen.



     CUPBOARD (see drawing, Chapter VII.).--Shelves as directed below
     and above. Lower shelves 7/8 inch thick.

     Lower doors 7/8 panelled, upper doors glazed.

     Provide hinges and fastenings for all.

     There shall be 8 inches space between 7/8-inch top of lower section
     and bottom shelf of upper section. Upper door shall not come below
     under side of this upper section shelf.

     TABLE.--Construction same as in kitchen.




     CUPBOARD (see drawing, Chapter VII.).--As indicated. Doors below
     and shelves above, same as specified for china. No doors above.

     DOUGH-BOARD.--Provide constructed same as tables specified for
     kitchen, except that it shall be supported on brackets.

     FLOUR-BIN.--Shall be 18 inches deep by 24 inches high in front, 28
     inches in rear, by ---- long, ---- compartments. Set 4 inches from
     floor. Top cleated and hinged. Lumber 7/8 inch thick.


The flour-bin described in the specifications is the old kind with the
hinged top. Another kind that has been used successfully is here

[Illustration: Flour-bin Section.]

[Illustration: Flour-bin Front]

The receptacle for flour is pivoted in the manner indicated by the
section. The pivot position is indicated on the drawing by the point of
the arrow. The dotted lines on the section indicate the position of the
flour receptacle when it is open. It is pulled open by the hand. The
knob is shown on the drawing of front. As soon as it is released it
falls back into a closed position. It is pivoted so that it remains
closed unless held open. The front drawing indicates a flour-bin of this
kind with three receptacles; the larger one for flour, and the two
smaller ones for meal and graham. The marble dough-stone can be placed
on the top of a bin of this kind. If there is no other room for the bin
it can be placed in the lower section of the pantry cupboard, and can
take the space ordinarily given one of the doors. The pantry cupboard is
illustrated and described in Chapter VII.


These boxes are constructed on the same principle as the flour-bin, just
described. They are pivoted and arranged in a row, and may be set on a
pantry shelf. The drawing indicates eight of these boxes, four of them
nine by twelve inches, and four five by three and three-fourths inches.
These boxes are of tin, the frame only being of wood. The socket into
which the pivot fits is open at the bottom, so that the box can be
lifted off the pivot and taken out and washed. An arrangement such as
this takes very little room, and the boxes are always closed unless held
open. They are so pivoted that they fall into a closed position as soon
as released. Two of these boxes in a china-closet would be convenient to
hold bread and cake.

[Illustration: Box for Pantry Supplies.]


The wood-work of the stairway should always be of hard wood. Where hard
wood is used for entire finish, the stairway is best of the same
variety. The treads should always be one and one-eighth inch in
thickness, and never less than ten inches in width. The risers may be
seven-eighths inch thick and never more than seven and one-half inches
in height; Square or turned newel posts are in common use. Winders
should not be used for the main stairway. Square turns at the landing
should be made. Sometimes the rear stairway is of the same general style
and design as the front. When it is an open stairway, it is necessary
that this should be the case. A rear box stairway, the cellar and attic
stairway, or, in fact, any box stairway, should have the treads and
risers the same thickness and general dimensions as those mentioned for
the front. However, they need not be of hard wood. They should always be
provided with hand-rails. All lumber for cellar or attic stairways
should be clear and dressed, and quite as well finished as that of any
other part of the house. When the cellar is not plastered, the side
lining for cellar stairways should be seven-eighths-inch flooring below
the first-story plastering. This flooring should be dressed on both
sides. The outside cellar-way should have dressed treads and risers one
and three-fourths inch thick. The wall should be capped, preferably with
stone, and the outside cellar door should be of iron. Where economy is
necessary, one-and-three-fourths-inch oak coping and doors may be used.



It is only within the last ten or fifteen years that it has been at all
common to do two-coat work in plastering. Before that time three-coat
work was almost universal. Most of the plastering done at this time is
what is called "laid-on" work. The first two coats are put on at the
same time. The last coat is put on after these are dry. The laths are
nearly always of pine. There should be one nail for each contact with
the wood-work; that is, four nails to each lath. The mortar should be
made of the best quality of lime and sharp sand.

A sufficient quantity of hair should be used. The mortar should be
floated, or made smooth, and straightened to receive the wood-work. The
last coat should be put on after the other is thoroughly dry. It should
be trowelled to a smooth surface, and when completed should be free from
chip cracks, stains, and improper mixing of sand. Three-coat work, where
each coat is allowed to become thoroughly dry, is better than two-coat
work. The last coat is usually a white plaster-of-Paris finish, put on
with the skim.

A gray finish is used more generally at the present time than in the
past. It is put on in place of the white skim coat.

The natural color is a pleasant gray tint. It may be made smooth enough
for papering. The skim coat, white or gray, may be tinted with fresco
color at less cost than it can be papered. Paper becomes necessary on a
white skim finish after a short time.

The hard white finish, which is not commonly used at the present time,
is very satisfactory excepting for its extreme whiteness. This finish is
made by the use of white sand and skim rubbed and floated down until
only a sufficient amount of the lime or skim proper remains to cement
the sand to the wall. The same kind of a finish with gray sand is very

Proprietary finishes for plastered walls are now used to some extent in
the better class of work. They are very hard, of waterproof texture and
of any color desired. The coloring of finish for plastering is
ordinarily not successful. However, some of the proprietary colored
goods before the public are very satisfactory when well put on. The one
difficulty in the way of their use is in getting the plasterer to handle
properly a thing with which he is not familiar.

Back plastering is common in very cold climates, and is done by
plastering on the back of the sheathing between the studding. It is
independent of the inside plastering.

Cement pavements in floors are considered in the previous chapter.


Gas-pipes are placed in a house before lathing. The gas company which
supplies the illuminating or fuel gas furnishes the inspection for each
set of pipes. Below is given a form of specification in use by an
architect in a natural-gas region.


     ILLUMINATING GAS.--Provide and fix gas-pipe and fittings according
     to gas company's regulations. All pipes shall be concealed,
     excepting where it is desired to attach a burner. Cap pipes.
     Lights to be placed as indicated by table below.

     FUEL OR NATURAL GAS.--Provide and fix pipe and fittings according
     to company's regulations. Company's certificate of approval will be
     required before payments are made. Cap pipes until mixers and
     burners are attached.

     Valves and connections shall be provided preparatory to mixer and
     burner connections. Provide connection with street mains.


  |                         |ILLUMINATING GAS.|               |
  |         FLOORS.         +-----------------+  NATURAL-GAS  |
  |                         |CENTRE. |BRACKET.|     FIRES.    |
  |                         |        |        |               |
  |     FIRST FLOOR.        |        |        |               |
  |                         |        |        |               |
  | Parlor or Reception Room|   -    |   -    |      -        |
  | Porch                   |   -    |   -    |      -        |
  | Sitting-Room            |   -    |   -    |      -        |
  | Front Hall--newel       |   -    |   -    |      -        |
  | Dining-Room             |   -    |   -    |      -        |
  | Library                 |   -    |   -    |      -        |
  | Chambers--each          |   -    |   -    |      -        |
  | Rear Hall               |   -    |   -    |      -        |
  | Bedrooms--each          |   -    |   -    |      -        |
  | Kitchen        gas stove|   -    |   -    |    Range.     |
  | Pantry                  |   -    |   -    |      -        |
  | China-Room              |   -    |   -    |      -        |
  | Cellar                  |   -    |   -    |{Furnace.      |
  |                         |        |        |{Laundry stove.|
  |                         |        |        |               |
  |    SECOND FLOOR         |        |        |               |
  |                         |        |        |               |
  | Chambers--each          |   -    |   -    |      -        |
  | Bedrooms--each          |   -    |   -    |      -        |
  | Alcove                  |   -    |   -    |      -        |
  | Front Hall              |   -    |   -    |      -        |
  | Rear Hall               |   -    |   -    |      -        |
  | Bath-Room               |   -    |   -    |      -        |
  | Attic                   |   -    |   -    |      -        |


It is now entirely possible to get first-class tin plate for
architectural uses. The process is very simple. Require and pay only for
a tin plate stamped with a reputable maker's name and brand. There is a
general effort upon the part of tin-plate dealers to raise the standard
of tin in this way; and there are now a number of manufacturers of
integrity who are pursuing the course of branding a first-class tin
plate. All tin work should be painted on the under side before it leaves
the shop.


In the matter of general utility the hanging gutter is ideal. It is
below the eaves, where its overflow can injure nothing. It is easy to
reach all parts of it in case of repair. If it is necessary to remove
any of the shingles or other roof covering, the gutter need not be
disturbed. There are those, however, who object to the appearance of a
hanging gutter. A galvanized iron gutter made of No. 26 iron, in form as
per Fig. 33, and which runs four inches above the overflow line at all
times, may be placed on the first or second row of shingles or slate,
and will give very good satisfaction. It is certainly much better than a
wood tin-lined gutter.


All valleys should be lined with twenty-inch tin. The connection between
all roof and vertical surfaces should be flashed and counter-flashed;
that is, pieces of tin should be bent to conform to the vertical and
horizontal surfaces, and slipped under the slate or shingles so as to
lap both horizontally and vertically. This is the flashing. The
counter-flashings are the lapped pieces of tin which extend into the
vertical surfaces, and down over the flashings proper.

All wood-work which projects in excess of one and three-eighths inch
from any vertical surface, should be covered with tin. Hip and ridge
coping should be covered with tin in the manner described in chapter
where roofs are considered.

Down spouts should be provided to carry the water from all roofs to the
ground. The presence of more than one gable in the front part of the
building frequently makes more than one down spout necessary. Where the
house is not too large, one five-inch spout will usually take all of the
water from the roof. For a small structure a four-inch spout will serve
the same purpose. Three and four inches are in common use for carrying
water from the main roof where the continuous course of the gutter is
interrupted by gables or dormers. The cistern down-spout should be
provided with cut-off or preferably a switch spout, which connects by a
drain pipe with a dry well or street gutter. Such connections should
never be made with the sewer where a down spout is intended to supply a
cistern. In connecting a roof with a cistern it should be borne in mind
that it is not always so much the size of the cistern which insures a
constant supply of water, as it is the amount of roof surface connected
with the cistern.

Porches are usually provided with two or three inch down spouts
according to the amount of roof to be drained.

Flat roofs are best when made with a standing seam. It admits of the
expansion and contraction of the tin without injury to the joint.

Copper has been extensively used on the better class of buildings during
recent years. The improvement in the quality of tin has rendered its use
unnecessary excepting for down spouts and ornamental purposes. New
processes in the manufacture of sheet copper, and the electroplating of
other sheet metals with copper, promise to reduce the cost of that
material for architectural purposes, so that it will be better and
cheaper than tin. When such claims are substantiated the public will be
informed thereof, through the usual channels.

Galvanized iron does not have the general architectural uses that were
common to it a few years ago. For down spouts in excess of four inches,
No. 26 galvanized iron should be used.

Hot-air pipes which connect the furnace pipes in basement with the
second floor are usually three and three-fourths by twelve inches in
size. Before they are placed, all contiguous wood-work should be lined
with tin. In frame houses the pipes should be covered with iron lath.
They should continue above baseboard, with register opening on second
floor and below joist with collar in basement. Where pipes run in an
outside wood wall, which they should do only in case of extremest
emergency, the back and sides of the pipe should be lined with several
thicknesses of asbestos paper.

A zinc drain should be provided from the refrigerator to the outside of
brick wall. This drain is one inch in diameter, and comes up through the
floor with funnel-shaped opening at the top. An ordinary six-inch tin
funnel let into the tube will answer every purpose. Thus the discharge
pipe from the refrigerator may be readily placed over it.

Thimbles should be provided for the plasterer when he is putting on the
last coat. Flue stops should be placed therein after plastering is
finished. These are for stove connections with brick flues.


Painting is not so serious a problem as it once was. We hear about
people buying their own paint, the lead and everything that goes with
it, and having it mixed under their personal supervision. But even this
is not satisfactory. After a short time the paint begins to look chalky
and dingy. When the mixing of the paint is not done under the
supervision of the owner, and the result is as above stated, the painter
is often accused of dishonesty.

A painter does not ordinarily have the facilities or knowledge for
properly mixing colored paints. In order to get satisfactory results in
painting, we may again fall back upon the integrity of an established
manufacturer of proprietary goods,--that is, upon ready-mixed paints.
Not all are good. Most of them are made as cheap and common as possible;
but the best results can be secured from really good ready-mixed paints.
Any large dealer of established reputation, who is not himself a
manufacturer of a cheap paint, may ordinarily be relied upon for a
correct opinion.

Preparatory to painting, all knots should be coated with shellac. All
work should be painted with three coats,--one priming, and two
following. One can always be sure of getting the color wanted in
ready-mixed paints of the best quality. All outside frames should be
primed before setting. The painter should follow the carpenter, and
prime all dressed wood-work as put up. Putty work may be done after
first coat, or before final color is applied. There is no advantage to
be derived in painting shingles after they are put on. The paint gathers
in a heavy ridge on the shingle next to the butt of the one above it in
a way to let the moisture lie therein, so that it will rot at this

Brick-work may be painted as specified for wood-work, excepting that the
first coat, or priming, should be put on very heavy.

Tin and iron work should be painted with one coat of metallic paint as
soon as put up. Tin unexposed to view should receive a second coat of
metallic paint before the building is completed. Tin work exposed to
view should have two coats of paint on a metallic prime, same as house.


Shingles should be dipped in stain and then stood in a trough, so that
they will drain to a barrel. Other external wood-work should have two
heavy coats of stain applied with a brush. Weather-boarding is sometimes
dipped into a trough filled with stain, and then set so that it will
drain therein. Shingle stain is a proprietary finish, and regularly
advertised in leading periodicals.


The staining of interior finish is now rendered simple and satisfactory
by the use of proprietary stains. Sometimes the stain is put on direct,
without first applying filler. At other times a filler of cornstarch and
oil, or a proprietary mixture, which is preferable, is used. One or two
coats of prepared oil-finish follows the application of the stain. The
various manufacturers of interior stains furnish wood samples which
indicate the variety of this material manufactured.


All wood to be oil-finished should first be filled. The antique and acid
stained effects are derived by the use of different kinds of fillers,
which close the pores of the wood and stain it the color desired.
Proprietary fillers and oil finish may be most successfully used, for
the reason that they are generally prepared by men who have put their
capital into the business for the purpose of getting a return. Such
people cannot put a bad article permanently on the market without
feeling the result themselves. Therefore, those who are permanently
successful in the manufacture of proprietary goods can generally be
relied upon.

In the finishing of wood-work all under coats should be rubbed with dry
hair-cloth, burlap, or fine sand-paper. On top of the filler two coats
of prepared oil finish should be applied; the first one rubbed as above,
and, if desired, the last left bright. A dead finish may be secured by
rubbing down the last coat with fine pumice stone and water or oil.

External exposed wood-work and bath-rooms may be finished with a
water-proof varnish by treating as above, excepting that the last coat
should be a water-proof oil finish made by some well-known manufacturer.


All manufacturers of first-class interior finishes prepare a special
floor finish. It is usually applied in two coats over a filler as
described. In such cases the filler is not stained. Each coat is
thoroughly rubbed. A satisfactory floor finish may be made by washing
the clean wood floor with a solution of salt and water, and afterwards
saturating with paraffine wax, and then rubbing.


All glass should be embedded in putty and secured with glazier's tacks
and putty. American sheet glass is made in two thicknesses--single and
double strength--and in four qualities. _A_ or _AA_ only should be used
in a good house.

Plate glass costs about five or six times as much as double-strength _A_
American sheet. A thumb rule for calculating the cost of plate glass,
which is not strictly accurate but which gives a general idea, is to
calculate on from fifty to seventy-five cents per square foot.


Of cathedral glass proper there is only one quality. In ornamental and
colored glass work the different kinds of glass used will not be here
enumerated. Bevelled plate is becoming quite common. Generally speaking,
cathedral glass may be arranged in geometrical forms in sash with wood
separations or muntins. Cathedral glass proper for such purposes costs
from twenty-five to thirty-five cents a square foot. Cathedral glass
leaded may cost almost any amount in excess of a dollar per square foot.
In selecting cathedral glass for sash with wood separations, the best
and most satisfactory results may be reached by choosing the lighter
tints, and not having more than one or two colors to the window.


It is difficult if not impossible to write a general specification for
the hardware which goes into a house. It cannot be done excepting by
specifying particular goods, which cannot be done here. However, a few
general statements in regard to hardware may not be amiss. The cheapest
locks used should have brass fronts and bolts, and be of the mortise
pattern. Night-locks should be provided as desired. Outside knobs of
rear door and those inside the kitchen may be of bronzed iron. The price
of bronzed-faced locks is not much greater than brass-faced locks. A
good bronzed-iron knob has not been made up to this time. Therefore, the
fixtures for the front door, if not all others, should be of real

Butts of bronzed iron have been made which are very satisfactory. Sash
locks should be provided for all windows. Sliding-door hardware should
be of real bronze. The locks should be what is known as "astragal"
fronts, and the trimmings flush. Sliding doors should be suspended from
above on hangers. Bolts of wrought-iron should be placed on all outside
rear doors, and, if desired, on the inside of all chamber and bedroom
doors; always on the bath-room door. Such bolts may be mortised or
otherwise, as desired. Foot and top bolts may be provided for double
doors and for sash. Pivots should be provided for all transoms; transom
lifts as desired, also sash lifts. There should be wooden base knobs
with rubber buffers at all doors. Double-spring hinges should be
provided for doors leading to and from kitchen and china-closet or
passage. Necessary drawer hardware should be provided, and butts, knobs,
and fastenings for inside shutters.



In a previous chapter plumbing was considered from a sanitary
standpoint, and the conditions of safety set forth. In this chapter it
remains to consider plumbing work in a more practical way; to consider
it with reference to its execution, assuming that it is desired to reach
the best results. This means, primarily, good work; then good work with
the least expenditure of money.

The carpenter usually provides all necessary wood-work for the plumber.
This means boards and runs on which pipes are to be placed, the pipe
duct and other wood finish. It is best that the carpenter should do this
in order that it may be well done. There should be specified in the
carpenter's contract exactly what he is to do, so that he may calculate
on a definite basis. All of the cutting work, where cutting is
necessary, should be done by the carpenter. The plumber is not usually
supplied with tools of the right kind for doing this, and is as liable
to botch carpenter work as a carpenter would be to botch the plumbing

The plumber should do all of his own excavating. This includes trenches
for pipes of all kinds to and from the house. After the pipes and drains
have been placed therein, he should make fills and thoroughly tamp the
earth so as to restore the surface to its original condition. This may
be best done by putting in a small quantity of earth at a time, ramming
it down and then pouring water on it. Even after this the drain space
should be left with a slight crown, as the earth will settle a little
more than it is possible to make it by artificial means. Superfluous
earth should be removed from the building and lot.

Plumber's excavating is not included in the general contract. If there
is any superfluous earth in connection with his work, he, and not the
general contractor, should remove it. Contracting methods are explained
in another section of the book.


Lead should be used for all purposes where pipes are exposed to view and
where they come in contact with the earth. This is common practice.
Sometimes, however, brass or planished copper pipes and fittings are
used where they are exposed to view. Brass makes very beautiful and
satisfactory work. Iron pipe, galvanized inside and out, is occasionally
used for exposed work. It does not look as well, however, as lead pipe.
Galvanized iron pipe is also frequently used where not exposed to view,
and where it does not come in contact with the earth. Objections will be
made to this by plumbers who are used to doing lead work. In all
hospitals where the best work is done iron or brass pipe is used, and
lead pipe and connections are entirely dispensed with. However, the use
of lead pipe where exposed to view and where in contact with the earth,
and iron pipe galvanized for other places, makes most excellent and
beautiful work for dwelling-houses. The connections between iron and
lead pipe should be of brass.

The water works of many cities and towns are from direct-pressure mains.
It is common for such pressure to be forty pounds to the square inch
under ordinary conditions. A fire pressure is much greater. Therefore,
all direct-pressure pipes of lead should be extra strong. Tank-pressure
pipes, those which connect with a tank in the attic or above a
water-closet, may be medium strong. The terms "extra strong" and "medium
strong," as here used, are definite in their meaning, and apply to
regular grades of pipe. The interior fixtures of an ordinary
dwelling-house are supplied with lead pipe five-eighths of an inch in
diameter, or iron pipe three-quarters of an inch in diameter. In the
above will be found all that applies in general terms to an ordinary
specification for water distribution. Special mention will be made

Stop-cocks should be provided sufficient entirely to disconnect and
drain all pipes, fixtures, and connections. "Stop-and-waste" cocks
should be provided at the bottom of all main risers where they cannot
otherwise be drained. A "stop-and-waste" cock is one which shuts off the
supply from its source, and drains the water from pipes above, so that
it passes out to a receptacle provided for that purpose. In some
instances it is allowed to run to a sink on the cellar floor, or it may
be taken in a bucket.

The city water-supply for an ordinary dwelling-house is generally
through five-eighths-inch extra strong lead pipe, and is provided with a
stop-box so that the water can be turned off from the house at the


Outside fixtures which connect with the city water are a street-washer
and a hydrant. The street-washer is usually placed in front, so that a
hose may be attached to it for sprinkling purposes. There are many
standard grades of street-washers carried in stock by all plumbers. The
hydrant has about the same lower connections as the street-washer. The
hose connection and opening stand well above the lot grade. It is
usually placed in the back yard or stable. The outlet may have a hose
coupling, and thus be used for sprinkling purposes in the back part of
the lot or otherwise, as desired. Where there are no hydrants, it is
common to run an iron pipe along the ground to connect the front and
back yard. Thus it is not necessary to have so large a supply of hose.
The pipe thus used is three-quarters of an inch in diameter. It is less
expensive than rubber hose, and does not deteriorate. It should have a
short hose connection in front, and hose coupling at the back.


In many cities the water from the public pipes contains too much lime to
be used for bathing or washing. In such a case it is necessary to supply
cistern water for that purpose. This is done by connecting the cistern
in the yard with a tank in the attic, or some place above the highest
fixture. To do this a force pump is placed in the kitchen. The best kind
to use are those known as double-acting, horizontal, brass-cylinder
force pumps. They may be screwed to the floor, and the handle come up
next to the sink or between the drain-board and the dry-board. When not
in use, this handle can be next to the wall and out of the way. A motor
may be used in lieu of a pump. It is placed over the kitchen sink, and
has connection with city water works. When it is desired to pump water
to the attic, one can turn on the city water at the cock and let it
run. Thus the city pressure is exerted through the motor to pump water
to the attic, and the labor of pumping entirely done away with. The cost
is about fifteen dollars more than a good pump. The suction of such a
pump or motor should be one-and-one-half-inch strong lead pipe, and the
supply to tank in attic one-and-one-quarter-inch lead or iron pipe where
not exposed to view. Where the pump or motor is placed as indicated, it
may be used to pump water directly to the kitchen sink, and it is
generally best that such an arrangement be made. Of course, water may be
drawn from the tank in the attic to this sink, if it is desired to so
arrange it; but where this is done, it is necessary to pump all of the
cold water used in the kitchen to the attic. This is unnecessary. The
sink may have a direct pump connection by means of a five-eighths-inch
strong lead pipe which connects with the tank supply. On the end of this
lead pipe may be a brass or nickel compression cock over the sink. When
it is desired to pump water into the tank this cock is closed, and the
only connection is with the tank above.

The common size for tank is eight barrels capacity. It should be
constructed of inch-and-three-quarters ploughed and tongued material
with two three-eighths inch rods, with bolts and nuts at each end, and
cleats across top and bottom in middle. The inside should be lined with
four-pound sheet lead; that is, sheet lead which weighs four pounds to
the foot. There should be an inch tell-tale pipe of galvanized iron
which connects with the sink nearest the pump. Sometimes an overflow
which runs to the roof is used, in which case a smaller tell-tale, say
one-half inch in diameter, will serve. There are instances where the
tank in the attic is connected with a special gutter on the roof, above
the line of the tank. Then the tank is provided with a large overflow so
that it may not cause trouble. However, this is a little risky. The
tank is connected with the hot and cold water system and fixtures
subsequently named.

The hot-water system is as simple as it is efficient. Usually a
heavy-pressure galvanized-iron boiler, of from twenty-four to sixty-two
gallons capacity, is located in the kitchen. It is connected with the
tank by means of five-eighths-inch lead or three-quarters-inch iron
pipe, and with fixtures subsequently named as being supplied with hot
water in the same manner. The water is heated in the range by means of a
water back or water front placed in the fire-box of the range. It is
connected with the boiler by means of five-eighths-inch lead and
three-quarters-inch iron pipe. One pipe from the lower part of the
boiler takes the water to the back. The other carries it to the top of
the boiler, the cold water naturally going to the bottom and the hot
water passing to the top. The hot-water supply for fixtures is drawn
from the top of the boiler. Any one may notice, by passing the hand up
and down a boiler of this kind, that the top is always warmer than the
bottom. Sometimes a wrought-iron pipe is used in a stove in lieu of a
water back. It usually answers the same purpose, though its heating
surface is not so great. It is best to use a pipe back where the boiler
is not connected with soft water. The incrustation from the lime is such
that the back soon becomes filled, and it is much more expensive to
replace than one made of pipe. When the hot water is from the city water
works, the supply is usually directly therefrom rather than from a tank
in the attic. However, it is not uncommon to have a tank supply in the
house where public-water supply is taken to the exclusion of all other,
and it is a better system, though a little more expensive. The hot-water
reservoir is usually placed on an iron stand near the stove. It should
be provided with a draining connection for the purpose of drawing out
all the water when desired. A vent connection from the reservoir to the
tank in attic, or, in the event of no tank being used, to the roof
above, is common as a guard against extra steam pressure.


Before considering other inside fixtures and fittings, the soil pipe
should be mentioned. It is of cast-iron, light weight, and, when it is
connected with a water-closet, should be four inches in diameter on the
inside, and japanned inside and out. Joints are made at the hubs, and
should be leaded and well calked. Connections with this pipe should be
made by means of Y's of proper size, depending on the size of the drain
which connects therewith. The soil pipe should continue upward and
through the roof to a point at least four feet above the nearest ridge.
Below, it should continue outside of the foundation wall to connect with
the drain. Where there is a sink in the cellar, the soil pipe should be
below the cellar floor. Vitrified or earthenware drain pipe should never
be used inside the walls of a house.


The kitchen sink may be considered first. They are usually of light
cast-iron. Sometimes they are of pressed steel; again, they are of
cast-iron with an interior porcelain finish. If a common cast-iron sink
is painted, the paint soon wears off. The ideal sink, the one which is
the best in every way, is of porcelain. It has the white, glazed surface
of a fine dish, and is easily cleaned. Any kitchen sink should be
eighteen inches wide, six inches deep, and from twenty-four to
thirty-six inches in length. Thirty or thirty-six is the best. They are
provided with a strainer in the bottom, and have one-and-one-half-inch
light lead "S" trap connection with soil pipe or grease sink,
subsequently considered. Where city water is at hand, the sink should be
supplied through a five-eighths-inch brass or nickel-plated self-closing
cock. Where the city water is hard, hot and cold cistern water in
addition to city water should be supplied through five-eighths-inch
brass or nickel-plated compression cocks. If the hot water is from the
public water works, a self-closing cock should be used. All cocks should
be screwed to a soldered nipple, and not "wiped" or joined directly to
the lead pipe. In this way, it is not necessary to wipe a joint every
time the cock gives out. A smaller sink, size as desired, may be used in
the china-closet or butler's pantry. Such a sink is not in common use
excepting in the more expensive houses.

The cellar sink should be sixteen by sixteen inches, ten inches deep,
and should be provided with strainer, and an inch-and-a-half light lead
"S" trap connection with soil pipe. If city supply only is desired, it
may be had through five-eighths-inch brass self-closing cock. Where
connection is made with cistern, it may be by means of one-and-one-half
inch pipe and a cast-iron pitcher pump; if not this, a well, driven or
otherwise, may be similarly connected by means of a pitcher or lift
pump. This cellar sink is the kind that may be used in connection with
the laundry previously described. Where stationary tubs are used, this
sink is not necessary.



The fittings of kitchen and other sinks are fully considered in Chapter
V., which has to do with kitchens and pantries. It is sufficient to say,
however, that the only visible wood-work is the rim and wooden legs,
which support the sink proper, and the splash-boards at the side tables
as described.


A great deal might be said on this subject, which must be left unsaid
for the want of space. The ideal bath-tub, the one which in every way is
the most satisfactory, is made of porcelain, same as the sinks
described. They are beautiful in appearance, easily cleaned, and
altogether very satisfactory. However, they are expensive. For the tub
alone the cost is about one hundred dollars more than for one of copper.
They are used in houses where the matter of cost is not of great
importance. Cast-iron, porcelain-lined, and cast-iron tubs, painted, are
used occasionally in dwellings. They are more expensive than the copper
tubs. An iron porcelain-lined tub is much less expensive than solid
porcelain, and is very satisfactory. The iron and porcelain tubs do not
require side or end casings of wood. They stand clear of wall and floor.
As is known, tubs are of varying sizes and forms, the usual length being
from four and one-half to six feet. The tubs known as the "French"
pattern are commonly four and one-half feet long, and deeper and wider
than the ordinary copper tub. The weight of the copper varies from nine
to sixteen ounces to the foot; fourteen-ounce copper tubs are in most
general use. The French pattern of tub is coming into more general use
than the others in the best class of work. As stated before, it is wider
and deeper, though shorter than the old six-foot tub of the common
pattern. It does not require as much water to get the same depth in the
shorter tub as in one that is longer. As no one cares to lie down in the
bath-tub, six feet in length is not necessary; four and one-half feet is

The ordinary fixtures which go with a bath-tub of moderate cost are the
combination bath-cock with rubber hose and sprinkler, and a plug and
chain. All the metal work is nickel-plated. A combination bath-cock
connection with hot and cold water mixes the water as it passes into the
tub, so that the proper temperature may be secured by the adjustment of
the valves.

The most objectionable feature to the tub of general construction is the
overflow which connects with the waste. It is simply a tube which has a
single opening below the bath-cock to the waste pipe. This soon becomes
foul. Various ingenious devices have been arranged for doing away with
this kind of overflow. Arrangements are provided which connect directly
with the outlet, and which may be readily removed and cleaned. These
prevent the passage of water to the drain when tub is in use. By a
movement of a handle in the top the passage may be opened below to allow
the water to pass out. There are many devices constructed on this
principle. In some instances they add only two or three dollars to the
cost of the plumbing outfit, and are certainly worth the extra expense.
There are arrangements where the finish is more elaborate, the details
more complete, and the cost largely in excess of the figure here named.
The same device applies to the various tubs, porcelain, iron, or copper.
Formerly it was common to have a large sprinkler connected with hot and
cold water above the tub; this is now unusual. It was impossible to use
this sprinkler without wetting the head. For that reason the hose and
sprinkler has largely taken its place in ordinary work. However, the
sprinkler is a very good thing, though it is not put in excepting where
the hose attachment is also supplied.

Another modern arrangement which has to do with the sprinkler is a
surrounding rubber curtain, which is supported by a plated ring on a
level with one's head when standing. This prevents the splashing of
water out of the tub. It goes against the curtain, and is thus deflected
into the tub. Various arrangements on this principle, looking to hot or
steam baths, have been devised. They surround the person bathing,
leaving only the head exposed, and discharge the warm water into the
confined space surrounding the body. This is a makeshift to take the
place of hot and steam baths. In some instances, one-third of the foot
end of the tub is fitted with a copper-lined enclosure on three sides,
with shower at top. One may stand in this space and use the shower as
with the curtain. Additions are sometimes made to this arrangement,
wherein the side spray or needle bath is provided. It is so called from
the needle size of the streams, which are emitted from certain pipes.
All of these showers are connected with regulating valves, so that any
desired temperature of water may be maintained by proper adjustment. In
some very elaborate bath-rooms showers are provided at the side of the
room where there is a marble floor and marble wall surface. These things
are arranged with a multiplicity of detail, showing the ingenuity of
people who have given these matters much study, and which cannot be
fully considered in this connection. Foot-tubs, with hot and cold water
connections, are made of the same material that is used in bath-tubs,
but are not considered in the plans furnished in this book, though they
may be used at will. The bath-tub will serve the same general purpose.
As stated, the bath-tubs connect with hot and cold water; they connect
with soil pipe or drain by means of one-and-one-half-inch light lead
waste pipe, which is trapped by means of an "S" or other trap.


A safe is simply a lead pan which may be placed under the bath-tub, or
other enclosed fixture, to guard against accidents from overflow or
leakage. They are made of four-pound sheet lead, and are usually turned
up from two to four inches all around. The lead is formed to a bevelled
strip at the sides and end, the size of the pan being that of the
extreme outside of the fixture. There is usually an inch waste
connection to the cellar or kitchen sink. It would be highly improper to
connect a safe with the drain, trapped or otherwise, as its use under
any circumstances will be occasional, and any water that there might be
in the trap would be certain to evaporate, and in that way the safe
waste would be the means of connecting the foulness of the drain with
the house. Therefore, it is right and proper that it should connect with
the sink or the cellar floor. In that way, any discharge therefrom would
be readily noticed. Wastes are frequently placed under bath-tubs,
generally under wash-stands, when they are enclosed, but rarely or never
under a modern water-closet. They are frequently dispensed with


Fig. 7, page 68, indicates, in perspective and in section, the more
common form of water-closet now in use, than which nothing-better has
been devised. The details of the valve connection and general form of
the closet itself, and the means of flushing it, are various, but the
general principle is the same. It is nothing more or less than a large
bowl having an "S" trap connection with soil pipe. The bowl and trap are
of white porcelain ware, in one piece. The form, as here shown, is a
washout closet, and is the one in most general use. Usually a connection
with public water service is provided from a tank above. Trap vent, as
shown, is connected with the outer air above the roof. The seat of the
closet is usually supported from the wall at the back, and rests on the
body of the porcelain, on rubber buffers, which prevent the liability of
breakage or noise, if it falls. Under any circumstances, water-closets
should never be enclosed.


It has been said that wash-stands are the most dangerous fixtures that
go into a house, and for that reason the greatest care should be
observed in their construction. The only material of which the bowl
proper, for use in a dwelling-house, should be made is porcelain. The
usual form is circular, and about fourteen inches in diameter. However,
they are made in various forms. The details of their construction differ
as greatly as those of the other fixtures which have been named. Bowls
are made which have the same "patent" overflow arrangements as the
bath-tub overflows that have been considered and described elsewhere. It
is usual, however, to use a rubber plug and chain. The top and back of
the wash-stand should be of marble. The top should be one and one-eighth
inch thick, counter-sunk, so that the splashed water cannot run from it
to the floor; the back need be only seven-eighths inch thick, and
generally not more than ten inches high. Sometimes it may be less. The
hot and cold water fixtures are nickel-plated; usually they are made
self-closing, to prevent the waste of water. It is necessary that they
should be so where city water is used. It is part of the city
regulations that all connections of this kind be self-closing.
Wash-stands need not be enclosed below. The marble top may be supported
on iron brackets or turned wooden legs of hard wood. Traps and other
drain connections can be neatly arranged so that their appearance is not
in any sense objectionable in the bath-room or other place. The
wash-stand should have one-and-one-half-inch light lead trapped
connection with the drain or soil pipe.

Generally speaking, it is not necessary for the trap to be ventilated,
unless it so happen that it is some distance from the soil pipe or
drain. The soil pipe, we know, is always ventilated, and if the
wash-stand is situated some distance from it, it should have a direct
communication with the outer air above the roof.

Sometimes a pitcher-cock is placed on the wash-stand in the bath-room to
enable the drawing of drinking water when the other connections are with
the cistern, it being assumed in this instance that only the water from
public water works is used for drinking purposes. The pitcher-cock is
simply one with a long neck which extends above the bowl, and is
directed into it, the pitcher being placed under it for the purpose of


The fittings for a simple laundry apparatus, that would go into a house
of very moderate cost, have been described elsewhere. In this instance
we will consider only the more elaborate arrangements which have to do
with set tubs. They may be of porcelain or plain cast-iron, of cast-iron
porcelain-lined, or of brown glazed earthenware. The porcelain is of the
same general character as that mentioned for the bath-tub and sinks, and
is an expensive and very elegant material. The porcelain-lined iron tubs
are in more general use, for the reason that they are less expensive
than those of all porcelain. Brown earthenware tubs are coming to be
favorably considered, and are in every way satisfactory. Tubs made of
wood, slate, or other material, where they are in several pieces, are
objectionable. Those mentioned above are one-piece tubs, and are
generally set three together. The porcelain or brown earthenware tubs
usually have wooden rims. Sometimes these tubs are provided with covers,
though it is usual and preferable that covers be not used, and that the
water be supplied from above. The hot and cold water fixtures are
nickel-plated compression cocks, which connect with hot and cold water
sources. Generally speaking, it is best, where set tubs are used, that
an independent apparatus for heating water be provided; that is, a
laundry water heater, of which there are many different kinds, and which
are constructed on the same general principle as the arrangement
mentioned in connection with the kitchen and other water-heating
apparatus. It is entirely possible, however, to make connections with
the water-heating apparatus of the kitchen.

The drain connections are of one-and-one-half-inch light lead, and are
independently trapped for each tub. They lead to the main drain,
connecting with sewer or vault.


Drains outside of the house should be of vitrified or glazed earthenware
pipe, laid below the action of frost, with proper slant. They should be
well bedded and have smoothly cemented joints. The slant need be very
slight, eighteen inches in eighty feet or less may be used. It is
especially desirable that the joints be thoroughly cemented, and that
they be smooth on the inside, so that the foul matter passing through
the interior will not lodge against any projections. The surface or ends
of the pipe should never be clipped or cut for connections; "Y's" or
"T's" are used for all connections with other drains. Drain pipes from a
dwelling-house are usually five or six inches in diameter. It is quite
as important that they be not too large as that they be large enough.
Where a pipe is too large, there is not enough water in the bottom to
keep it clean. The illustration here given will make clear this point. A
six and eight inch drain is shown with the same quantity of water in
each. It is common in cases of drain connection with a vault that no
trap in the drain or soil pipe itself be used. Where sewer connection is
made, a vitrified trap of the same size as the drain is used; and it is
provided with a trap vent connection with the outer air by means of
vitrified vent and grate opening at the top.

[Illustration: Fig. 38]

Storm-water connections may be made with the main sewer, but it is best
that they be made between the house and the trap of main drain. In this
way there is no danger of the sewer having connection with the down
spouts in the event of the evaporation of the water in the trap of the
storm-water connection. The modern plan of city sewer systems is to have
independent service for storm water and house drain connections.


The grease sink is lined with brick, and is usually of four or five
barrels capacity. It is cemented the same as the cistern, is generally
twenty or twenty-five feet away from the house, and has a four-inch
vitrified drain connection with the waste from the kitchen sink or other
sink in which greasy water may be deposited. The sink itself has a
siphon connection with the main drain or vault, and, being provided with
an iron top, the deposit of grease or other material may be removed if
necessary. In some instances a sink of this kind is required to be used
to collect all solid matter before the drainage connection passes from
the property.

       *       *       *       *       *

The "S" trap only has been distinctly mentioned. There are hundreds of
others, all constructed upon the same general principle. Some are
provided with mechanical means of closing the opening leading to the
source of supply, and, in addition to this, they are provided with a
seal of water depending upon some form or condition of the "S" trap.
This principle is invariable in the construction of traps. No trap
should be used unless provided with a trap screw of the same size as the
drain itself, which will admit of its being opened when necessary. It is
not uncommon that rings or other jewelry get into the waste of
wash-stand or bath-tub; they may be recovered by taking out the trap
screw. Again, should the trap become fouled or clogged, the matter may
be removed in the same way.


For the kitchen sink, nickel fittings are preferable to brass, because
they are more easily cleaned.



What makes the cost of a house? Everything that has been placed on the
lot when the structure is completed. Below is a form or schedule, with
blanks, filled out by an architect for a gentleman for whom he made

     JOHN SMITH,--As I understand your wants, would estimate the cost of
     improvements contemplated on No. Delaware Street as follows:--

  Building--1st floor finish hard wood, 2d floor finish poplar,   $3,000
  Privy and Vault                                              $35
  Cistern and Connections                                       50
  Well, Connections, and Pump                                   35
  Walks, 40 yards at 70 cents                                   28
  Fences--Tight board, 160 feet at 25 cents, Picket none,       40
  Illuminating-Gas Pipe                                         30
  Plumbing--Cellar sink 1, Kitchen sink 1, Bath-tub 1,
    W. C. 1, W. S. 1, St. Washer 1, City and Cistern Water,    275
  Natural-Gas Pipe, without burners or burner fittings          35
  Gas Fixtures                                                  50
  Mantels and Grates 3, Average cost $40                       120
  Furnace                                                      250
  Plate Glass                                                   50
  Cathedral Glass                                               25
  Electric Work--Door bell 2, Kitchen bell 1                    25
  Without Architect's fee                                         $4,128

Everything that goes into a house should be fully represented to the
owner. Thus the costs may be fixed and the aggregate understood. If this
were universally done, there would be less said about the unreliability
of architects' estimates. If the architect is very careful to make
known to the owner the quality of everything that he is to have, and, as
well, the general quantities and costs, he is doing his full duty in
this matter. Anything less than this is a neglect of duty. Furthermore,
this should be made a matter of record, so that if changes are made and
the cost altered, a basis for comparison may be at hand. It is the
practice of the writer to use a specification which describes everything
which may be a part of a brick or a frame house, and to stamp out the
parts omitted. For example, in that specification there are specified
brick and cemented floors for cellar. It is the custom to stamp the word
"No" before the words brick floor, so that it reads "No brick floor in
cellar." In other cases it may be "No lattice work in side yard," etc.
Thus the owner of the house knows not only what he is to get, but what
he is not to get, and the exact quality of that which is included as
well as that which is omitted. He has positive and negative information
with respect to his house. This form of specification has been in use
three years, and has been uniformly satisfactory.

The schedule filled out for Mr. Smith is a printed form, which is handed
to the owner as soon as the building cost is determined. It is in
addition to the detailed specification. In the schedule the cost of the
building is put down at three thousand dollars. The appurtenances are
the items mentioned below the line which gives the price of the building
proper, and in this instance are estimated at $1,128. The house estimate
is $3,000. This makes a total cost of $4,128. The house was a
well-finished building of nine rooms. The parlor and hall were finished
in quartered oak, the dining and sitting rooms in quartered sycamore,
the rear hall in quartered oak, the china-room in sycamore, kitchen and
pantry in plain oak. It would have cost about $125 less to finish the
first floor of this house in soft wood. It is not possible to give
general statements as to the difference in cost of finishing between
hard and soft wood. Twenty to thirty-five dollars a room is generally
ample, though the difference may be greater.

The privy building was figured at twenty dollars, and the vault at a
dollar a foot. The cistern and connections at fifty cents a barrel. Thus
a hundred-barrel cistern costs fifty dollars. The well pump, which was
located in the kitchen, was a cheap form of horizontal force-pump
fastened to the floor, with the handle coming up near the kitchen table.
It supplied water to the kitchen sink. It, as well as the cistern pump,
was included in the plumbing contract. The walks were ordinary brick
walks laid in sand. Tight-board fence was figured, as shown, at
twenty-five cents a lineal foot. The illuminating-gas pipe was figured
at a little less than the price given on schedule "B," but was ample.
The same may be said of the plumbing work. The gas fixtures were neat
brass goods that looked plain in the store surrounded with very
elaborate ones, but were entirely satisfactory when in the house. The
mantels and grates, as may be judged by their cost, were not very
elaborate. However, they were of wood, the same style and finish as the
room. There were bevelled-glass mirrors above the shelves. The hearth
and facing were of unglazed tile, the grate-frame of brass, the grate
itself club pattern, and altogether it was simple but pleasing. The
furnace was of wrought-iron, riveted joints, with galvanized iron
jacket. It would have cost about fifteen or twenty dollars more to set
it in brick. This price included registers, pipes in the wall, and all
connections. If the building had cost a thousand dollars more, or even
two thousand, the appurtenances need not have cost more than a hundred
to a hundred and fifty dollars additional. There would probably have
been a little more gas pipe, a few more fixtures, and the furnace would
have been somewhat more expensive; or, if the house had cost five
hundred dollars less, the appurtenances would not have represented in
all more than seventy-five dollars difference, providing the general
requirements had been the same.

The following schedule was prepared for Mr. Brown. His was an eight-room
house; smaller, less elaborate, but just as well built, as the one for
Mr. Smith. He did not have quite as much plumbing, and reduced the other
appurtenances somewhat. Altogether they represent $801. If his had been
a fifteen-hundred-dollar house, and the same general conditions had been
met, the appurtenances would not have cost any less. Likewise, if it had
been a two-thousand-dollar house, they would have cost no more.
Additions to size of rooms or a more elaborate finish would not have
appreciably affected the cost of the appurtenances. It is well to bear
this in mind when building.

     WILLIAM BROWN,--As I understand your wants, would estimate the cost
     of improvements contemplated on No. Alabama Street as follows:--

  Building--1st floor finish hard wood, 2d floor
   finish poplar,                                                 $1,700
  Privy and Vault                                              $40
  Cistern and Connections                                       40
  No Well, Connections, and Pump
  Walks, 30 yards at 70 cents                                   21
  Fences--Tight board, 100 at 25 cents, Picket none             25
  Illuminating-Gas Pipe                                         25
  Plumbing--Cellar sink none, Kitchen sink 1, Bath-tub 1,
    W. C. 1, W. S. 1, St. Washer 1, City Water                 200
  Natural-Gas Pipe, without burners or burner fittings          30
  Gas Fixtures                                                  35
  Mantels and Grates 3, Average cost $40                       120
  Furnace                                                      240
  Plate Glass                                                   20
  Cathedral Glass none
  Electric Work--Door bell 1, Kitchen bell none                  5
  Without Architect's fee                                         $2,501

The two examples given show the method of filling out a cost schedule,
which, by the way, is seldom presented in this form to the owner of a
house by his architect. It now remains to indicate, in general terms,
the basis of values as before given. It is not intended to form this
book on the "every-man-his-own-architect" principle, but it is
constructed on the idea that every one should know as much about the
business in hand as is possible, before calling for other assistance.
For this purpose certain prices are given which are a little in advance
of those charged in the section of country to which they apply. This is
done so that the errors, if any, may be on the side of safety. Generally
speaking, there will not be any great difference in the cost of the
appurtenances mentioned. It is the cost of the building proper which
varies. The cost of the buildings illustrated is given, unless otherwise
mentioned, on a basis of hard-wood finish for the first floor excepting
kitchen, and soft wood above, all finished in oil.

Below is the schedule "B," so frequently referred to in the description
of house plans.

     SCHEDULE "B."

     Building.--First floor finish hard wood; second floor, soft wood.

     Where estimates are given in the book on the basis of schedule "B,"
     they include only the building, as mentioned above, and do not
     include the following items:--

     Privy building, $20; vault, $1 per foot for each foot in depth.

     Cistern and connections, $0.50 per barrel; pump, $5 to $35; well,
     $0.75 per lineal foot; pump and connections, $5 to $35. (Force pump
     included in plumbing contract.)

     Walks of brick, $0.70 per square yard; cement, $1.80 per square

     Fences: tight-board, $0.25 per lineal foot; picket, $0.50 per
     lineal foot, painted three coats.

     Illuminating-gas pipe, $1.50 to $2 per connection.

     Plumbing--Cellar sink, plain iron                      set $10
       Hot-water boiler and back                             "   25
       Kitchen sink, city and hot and cold cistern water     "   30
       Force pump and tank                                   "   50
       Bath-tub, 14 oz. copper                               "   30
       Wash-stand "  25
       Water-closet "washout"                                "   40
       Street-washer                                         "   12
       City service, $0.35 a foot, lineal,               laid.
       Drain connection, $0.30 a foot, lineal,           laid.
       [For other piping and connections add twenty per cent of above

     Natural-gas piping, without burners, $4 a fire.

     Gas fixtures, about $1.50 per burner.

     Mantels and grates, average cost, $40.

     Furnace, for all pipes and connections, nine registers, $240; add
     $16 for each additional second-story connection; $8 for first-story

     Plate glass, $0.50 to $0.75 a square foot, according to size.

     Cathedral glass, plain, $0.30 a foot; leaded, from $1 upward.

     Electric work--door bells, each $6; kitchen bell, $6.



The cost of building varies in different sections. At the end of this
chapter will be found a list of prices upon which the building estimates
of this book are based.

The plumbing schedule is formed so that one may see about what the
different items of a completed plumbing outfit cost. Figuring sixty feet
of service and seventy feet of drain, the plumbing outfit would cost, as
indicated, $328. It has been furnished for less. The figures given in
connection with plumbing work are not necessarily accurate. They are
approximately so in detail. As no two plumbers or other mechanics will
figure exactly the same on the same fixtures, or the same material and
labor, it is not to be expected that an architect could form a
thumb-rule schedule which would be satisfactory to plumbers and all
others. In the class of work contemplated in this specification, the
tendency of these figures is in the right direction. They are as nearly
correct as general statements can be. It is known that a single bath-tub
can be fitted up to cost more than the entire plumbing outfit here
mentioned. It would afford no more conveniences to the occupant of the
house, and would be no safer from a sanitary standpoint; and it probably
would require more labor to care for than the one contemplated. The
estimates are on the basis of a specification which would meet with the
approval of the public sanitary inspectors in any of the large cities.

Where there is a material reduction in the number of fixtures and
connections from the list given, the percentage for other piping and
connections will have to be increased.

There are various ways of reducing the cost of the outfit. The best way
is to have less of it; for instance, only city water may be used, or,
possibly, only the cistern water. The completed plumbing outfit
mentioned in schedule "B," with the exception of cistern-water
connections, including hot and cold city water for sink, wash-stand, and
bath-tub, has been put in, in plan No. 30, for $245.

The natural-gas-piping figure, like the others, is liable to vary.
Piping for five fires has been put in for $20, for $15, and for $30. The
burners, the burner valves and mixers, usually cost from four to five
dollars a fire.

The gas-fixture schedule is priced by the burner, not by the connection.
Each burner of each fixture is counted. Of course one may get a single
fixture which will cost as much as the above rule would figure on a
whole outfit, but that is unusual in moderate-cost houses. Some of the
second-story brackets will cost from ninety cents to one dollar and a
quarter apiece. This will increase the price of burner margin for the
first floor, and allow more elaborate fixtures.

The mantels are priced to include grate, hearth, facings, and everything
that may go there, excepting fender and blower. One may get a mantel for
$25 or $30, or he may use a grate setting without a mantel, or may go as
far into the hundreds as his inclination and means will lead him. Very
expensive mantels in moderate-cost houses are not in good taste. A $100
or $150 mantel in a room all of the other wood-work of which did not
cost over half that sum, is in exceedingly bad form. The mantel appears
like a monument; everything around it is insignificant. In buying
mantels from stock in mantel stores, the cheaper ones are generally the
best designed from an artistic standpoint.

The furnace price is necessarily arbitrary. The owner of a house will be
told that the price here given is too high and too low. A
moderate-sized, two-story, eight-room house, which, counting the
bath-room, would have nine connections, could be provided with a furnace
of wrought-iron or steel, riveted joints, double galvanized-iron jacket,
for $240. The same furnace brick-set will cost from fifteen to twenty
dollars more. The owner of such a house can get a cheaper furnace, or he
can get one which will be much more expensive. Oftentimes when an
architect estimates the price of a furnace to the owner, the latter will
respond with the statement that he has been offered a furnace complete
for ninety dollars. Upon investigation it generally proves that the
furnace is in some one's store ready for delivery; that it will cost
extra to set it, and for all connections, fittings, registers, etc.; and
that the furnace itself is of such a kind that ninety dollars is a high
price for it. There is no doubt that the statement as to furnace prices
will meet with general disapproval from manufacturers. Many will say
that the prices given are ridiculously high, and others, ridiculously
low. Other general statements as to heating apparatus may be found in a
chapter given to that subject in that section of the book devoted to the
Journey through the House.

The estimates given on plate and cathedral glass are about as
unsatisfactory as anything can be. They merely give the owner a general
idea as to what to expect.

Electric-work prices are approximately correct for localities where the
facilities for doing this kind of work are at hand. Door and table bell
outfits are now sold and arranged ready to be set up. The methods of
their adjustment are so simple that any one who can read can put them

The general statement may be made that these prices are approximately
correct in all the larger markets; and that in cases where the building
is far removed therefrom, there must necessarily be additions for travel
of workmen, and other incidental expenses in the transportation of
material and labor.

The following is the list of prices of material and labor upon which the
building estimates are based:--

     Excavating, $0.25 a yard.

     Brick in the wall, $9 per M.

     Mason work, $5.50 a yard, laid up.

     Cement floors, $0.70 a square yard.

     Timber, joist, and scantling, less than eighteen feet long, $17 per

     No. 1 common boards, $18 per M.

     Select common pine flooring, count measure, $26 per M.

     Common flooring, count measure, $22.50 per M.

     First quality yellow pine flooring, face measure, $37.50 per M.

     Standard yellow pine flooring, face measure, $30 per M.

     No. 1 poplar flooring, face measure, $28.50 per M.

     No. 2 poplar flooring, face measure, $23.50 per M.

     No. 1 stock boards, $20 per M.

     No. 1 poplar siding or weather-boarding, $18 per M.

     No. 2, $16 per M.

     No. 1 pine siding, $22 per M.

     No. 2, $20 per M.

     Shingles, 16 inches clear butts, best, per M, $3.75.

     Shingles, 16 inches extra, 10 inches clear butts, $3.25.

     Pine lath, per M, $2.50.

     Poplar and pine finishing lumber, $3.75 to $6 per 100 feet.

     Oak or maple flooring, first class, $4 to $6 per 100 feet.

     Oak finishing lumber, $4 to $6 per 100 feet.

Under certain conditions the above prices are subject to discounts.

     Plastering: three-coat work, plaster-of-Paris finish, $0.25 a yard;
     two-coat work, plaster-of-Paris finish, $0.20; gray floated sand
     finish, three cents extra on above prices.

     Painting, $0.06 per yard a coat.

     Labor: common labor, $0.15 an hour; bricklayers and masons, $0.35
     to $0.45 an hour; carpenters, $0.20 to $0.30 an hour; tinners,
     $0.30 an hour; painters, $0.20 to $0.30 an hour; plumber and
     helper, $0.50 an hour.

The above labor prices are those paid by the contractors. Rarely,
however, are the maximum prices reached.

There are few subjects on which ideas vary so greatly as values. This
fact may be made apparent when we call to mind that bids on a house let
for $3,000 frequently range $1,000 higher than this figure.




A low-cost, well-built house is sought by all. The cost of a house is
largely a question of business management,--one of knowledge. Before
considering the details of contracting for the building of a house,
there are a few general points which should be mentioned. First, it
never pays to make a contract to have a house built for less than it is
worth. In order to get a good house, it is necessary that there be a
margin of profit for the builder. Second, a good house from a
constructive standpoint can only be built by competent mechanics. One
may contract for the building of a house for less than it is worth with
parties who are incapable of doing first-class work, and require a bond
to secure the faithful execution of the contract. A contract or a bond
cannot make a man do good work if he does not know how to do it. It will
not save anxiety or trouble. It may indemnify against actual damages,
but never against trouble and vexation; nor can it compensate for poor
work done in building a home. This matter is mentioned because it is the
fault of a great many people, who are inexperienced in building, that
they are disposed to have work done for less than it is worth. It does
not pay.

It may be remembered, however, that one builder may be able to build for
less than another. One may have more energy, tact, or general ability
than another. He may have better credit; may be a better buyer. The
result is larger accomplishments.

In speaking of low-cost houses or cheap buildings, it is not to be
understood that they are cheap or low-cost in the sense of being common
or frail. I mean first-class houses at a relatively low cost; low cost
in a business sense, the best for the money.

We often hear the statement made that one can tell nothing definite
about the cost of a house until it is finished. One can come as near
knowing what a house will cost, as he can to knowing what he wants
before he begins. One can get prices on what he has in mind, if his
ideas be expressed. He cannot get prices on the unknown. The expression
of one's ideas of a house is through plans and specifications. The fact
that architects' estimates are often too low is because the owner is not
sufficiently informed in house-building to know what he wants until
after the estimate is made. The owner usually expresses a price that he
wishes to pay for his house before he expresses his idea. It may be well
to illustrate this.

One who wishes to build goes to an architect with some sketches or
prints, which he has been collecting, lays them down and says,--

"We're thinking about building a house. We want something like this.
Here are four rooms and a hall downstairs, and four rooms and a
bath-room above. We want to build of wood, and wish to have the house
warm and substantial. Can it be built for three thousand dollars? It's
all we have to put in it."

"Oh, yes," says the architect; and so it can. A good, comfortable,
substantial house, from the plans indicated, can be built for three
thousand dollars. The architect knows this, and says that the work can
be done for that price. He is ordered to make the plans. In a day or two
the owner comes into his office and says,--

"My wife and I were talking over the house last night, and concluded
that we would like to have a bay window from the dining-room,--a place
where we can sit in summer, and put flowers in the winter."

"All right."

"And she told me to ask where you were going to put a wash-stand
downstairs. You know we will want some kind of a wash-room."

"I hadn't thought anything about that," said the architect. "Nothing was
said about it. I supposed that in a house of this size the bath-room was
the only place where you would put a stationary wash-stand."

"We have to have a place downstairs. We can't go upstairs every time we
want to wash our hands."

Another two or three days pass. The owner visits the architect again. It
is the old story. He and his wife have been studying the house question
in earnest. They are educating themselves in house-building. The more
they think about it, the more they want, all of which is perfectly
natural and right. It is in the natural order of things. It is the way
the world moves.

"We were talking about the house, and have about concluded that we will
finish two front rooms upstairs in oak. What do you think it will cost?"

"If you use oak for all the wood-work, it will cost between forty and
fifty dollars."

"That isn't much. We'll have it."

And so the house grows as the owners grow, a little every day. The next
day it is a little more plate glass at a cost of fifteen dollars. Again,
it is bronze hardware at an extra cost of twenty dollars. Then it is
bevelled-glass doors in the china-closet, plastering in the attic, a
tile vestibule, a porch off from the dining-room, and so on.

The three thousand dollars is exceeded, though probably by something
less than the amount represented by the growth of the owner's ideas. The
architect had made a certain allowance for this development, though it
was not possible for him entirely to foresee it. Of those who build, the
ones who take the greatest interest in the house, those who think the
most about it, are usually the ones who exceed their original
calculations by the largest amount.

In building, it is important that the architect and the owner thoroughly
understand each other before contracts with the builders are signed. The
wants of the owner must be thoroughly understood, and carefully and
accurately set forth. From the plans and specifications estimates for
all parts of the work should be received, and the cost of everything
known, before obligations are created. The process of making the plans
and specifications, and taking the bids, is educational in its tendency.
It brings to the owner's attention nearly everything that he may want.
Frequently he will find that the first estimates which he gets are
higher than the amount he cared to expend. This is on account of his
growth. He can frequently reduce the cost without positive injury to the
original scheme.

We will consider how contracts are usually made. Sometimes it is by
making plans and specifications for the entire house, and then asking
for bids on the building as a whole. A general contractor makes his
figures on the various parts of the work, then adds them together and
makes a lump bid. If he is awarded the contract under such a system, he
does part of the work himself and sublets the rest. Possibly he may be a
carpenter; then he sublets the brick work, plastering, tinning,
painting, etc., and, if possible, he makes a profit on all of these
sub-contracts. It does not always happen that he makes figures on these
various divisions of the contract himself when forming his original bid.
He gets sub-bids from various mechanics and adds these to his own in
making up a lump bid. It is known that there is a very wide range of
difference between bids which come in this way. In a house to cost three
thousand dollars the bids not infrequently vary twenty-five to thirty
per cent. The highest bid may be over four thousand dollars.

Another way of contracting is for the architect or owner, as the case
may be, to take bids on the various details of excavating, stone work,
brick work, carpenter work, painting, plastering, galvanized iron and
tin, glass, plumbing, gas-fitting, etc.; in fact, to detail the work as
much as possible and receive detailed bids. If the work costs too much,
if the bids run too high, one can locate the excess.

At times one can get a cheaper house by pursuing this plan. Another plan
of building is by the day. Usually this means to employ carpenters and a
foreman, take bids on the material that the carpenters use, and to
sublet the mason work, excavating, painting, plastering, tin-work,
plumbing, etc. Sometimes the mason-work is also done by the day.

Each plan has its merits. The first mentioned, of letting most of the
work in one contract, is the one in most general use. It is common
practice in this connection to let excavating, mason work, carpenter
work, plastering, tinning, painting, and hardware in one general
contract; then the mantels, gas-fixtures, furnace, plumbing, electric
work, and ornamental glass work are let in separate contracts. It is
difficult for one to specify gas-fixtures, mantels, and similar
fittings, excepting by price. There is no satisfaction in this, for the
reason that the owner or his architect may be able to make quite as good
or even a better bargain than the contractor. Then there is no
opportunity for the builder to arrange for a relatively high price with
those who furnish this class of goods. It is fair for the builder to
assume that he is entitled to a certain percentage for selecting and
negotiating for such articles. The owner may save this for himself by
making his own purchases.

Plumbing work is frequently separated from the general contract in order
that the owner may exercise his discretion as to the workmen employed to
do this important work. In such circumstances it is not altogether a
matter of cost. It is of the utmost importance that the best of workmen
be employed.

The articles which cannot be directly specified should be secured
outside the general contract. Altogether, the plan of letting most of
the work in one contract, as outlined, is the best and safest for those
to pursue who are not thoroughly familiar with building operations.

The plan of subletting the separate contracts to the lowest bidders is
not to be recommended to those without large experience. The difficulty
in locating responsibility for delays is great. There is apt to be
contention, annoyance, and sometimes loss, by this confusion. The plan
of building by the day is more satisfactory for experienced builders
than the one just mentioned, but it has the disadvantage of not fully
representing to the owner before it is finished the cost of his

In nearly every city or town there are a number of good builders, not
well supplied with means, who will take a contract for building a house,
work on it themselves until it is finished, and then take another,
never having more than one or two houses on hand. One can frequently get
good work from such builders at a much less cost than from large
contractors. The larger contractors employ a foreman at about the same
price a day that the small contractors expect to get per day out of
their entire contract. Then, in addition to that, they receive their
profits of ten, fifteen, or other per cent for their time and attention.
Any one building with the help of the smaller contractors must be very
careful, or he will get into trouble on account of the small margin of

To recur to the method first mentioned. It is well that suggestions be
made as to the course to be pursued in receiving bids on work, as
classified in that suggestion. In the first place, there should be
accurate plans and specifications made by an architect capable of doing
that kind of work. Everything should be fully represented to the owner
in both a positive and negative way; that is, not only as to what is to
go into his house, but as to what is not to go into it. As soon as the
architect or those in charge of the work begin to take bids, the owner
should be provided with a complete copy of the plans and specifications,
in order that he may be fully conversant with what is to be done. It was
said that everything should be represented to the owner in both a
positive and negative way. Not only should it be stated to him that the
first floor of the house is to be plastered, but, if such is the case,
that the cellar is not to be plastered. If the cellar floor is not to be
cemented, it should be stated definitely to him in that way before
beginning to take bids. If fly-screens are not included in the building
contract, it should be so stated. Everything should be fully
represented, and a record thereof placed before the owner, so that there
can be not the slightest opportunity for misunderstanding or
disagreement. Thus, if everything is presented to the owner, he will
know what he is to have and what he is not to have, and his business
will be done for him in a way satisfactory to all. When this is done, it
is time to begin taking bids.

In doing this there should be no favoritism. The builder should be
allowed to take a copy of the plans and specifications with him to his
office or place of business, and keep them a day or more, in order to
take off his quantities and become thoroughly conversant with everything
connected with them. Then he can return the plans, and, while others are
doing the same thing, he can compile his figures. Generally it takes
about a day for each contractor to get through with a set of plans; that
is, if five bids are received, it generally takes five or six days,
assuming that only one set of plans is in use. No one should be asked to
figure on a building unless the owner is willing to award him the
contract, providing his bid is the lowest. Anything else is unfair. When
all the bids have been received in sealed envelopes, the architect and
owner may open them. After selecting the lowest, they may add to that
figure the cost of everything not included in that proposition,--the
furnace, mantels, gas fixtures, ornamental glass, and anything else that
has not been included in the bid. This may be readily done, if the
architect provide a schedule, similar to schedule "B," of everything
which may go into the house.

In the matter of closing the contract, only general statements can be
made. Where an architect is employed, he will give proper directions;
but, as many houses are built without such assistance, it is proper to
make general statements which will assist in this work. There are forms
of building-contracts, or articles of agreement, which may be secured
from various regular sources. It is proper to fix the time of the
completion of the work, which will vary in different parts of the
country according to general customs. A house to cost from fifteen
hundred to four thousand dollars may be very easily finished, under
favorable circumstances, in ninety to a hundred days. Such houses can be
built in less time, but it is best to give the builder at least three
months. He will do better work in that time than in less. For the higher
figure named, or for those which approach it, it may be better to allow
even a little more rather than less time. As a price for liquidated
damages in event of delay in completion, the rental value of the
property is the usual sum specified.

There are various plans pursued in the matter of payments. Where there
is an architect or superintendent, he usually issues orders on the owner
for payment of material and labor furnished by a contractor less ten or
fifteen per cent. Sometimes it is stated that two-fifths of the money
will be paid when the building is enclosed and under roof; one-fifth
additional when building is plastered, painted on exterior, all exterior
appurtenances finished, the floors laid, and the house ready for other
interior wood-work; and the remaining two-fifths when all work is
finished. At times this apportionment is correct, and at other times
not. However, it is a very good general rule. It is a good plan to add
the ten per cent discount to it when possible. Sometimes an indemnifying
bond is required of the contractor in order to secure the owner the
proper execution of the contract. Otherwise the ten or fifteen per cent
discount is relied upon to secure that end.

The lien laws in the various States make it very important that the
owner, or his agent in the matter of building, should be very careful to
see that the contractor pays all his bills, or secures releases from
those who have furnished material and labor on account of the building
contract, before money is paid by owner.

The law is different in various States, and renders the owner liable,
under varying conditions, for material and labor furnished to contractor
by others as employees or sub-contractor, even though payment has been
made by owner to general contractor. Where a bond is not required, it is
proper for the owner or his agent to exact releases in proper form from
those who have furnished material and labor to contractor. The following
form is in use by the writer:--

     Work located

     The undersigned, in consideration of the personal credit extended
     by to , Contractor, hereby consent that may pay to said contractor
     any sum that may be now owing to, or may hereafter become due, said
     contractor, on account of contract for the construction of the
     above works, and we hereby waive all rights to Mechanics' Liens or
     other claims which we have, or may have, against said property, or
     owner, on account of labor or material furnished by us.

     INDIANAPOLIS, 1889.

It is the custom to furnish the builder with a number of copies of the
above release before it is time for him to secure an order on the owner
for money. As the architect is in a position to know from whom material
or labor is secured, it is possible for him to know if the list of
releases is complete. If not complete, the party refusing to give a
release is required to make statement as to the amount of the
indebtedness for material and labor furnished on the contract. The
general contractor is charged with the amount represented as being due
until the matter is fully adjusted. As an additional safeguard, the
contractor is at times required to fill out and make affidavit to the

     INDIANAPOLIS, ---- 1889.

     The undersigned, for the purpose of securing payment on account of
     contract with ----, for the construction of a ---- house, known as
     No. ---- on ---- Street, situated on Lot ----, Out-lot ----, ----
     Division to City of Indianapolis, Marion County, State of Indiana,
     represents hereby that he has paid for all labor and material of
     every kind and nature had and procured therefor, excepting,
     however, that he is now owing the following sums to the respective
     parties hereinafter named for labor and materials for said
     building, and owes therefor no other amounts, to wit:--

In this connection it is not possible to consider all of the
ramifications of the lien law. It is important to understand, however,
that it is entirely possible for an owner to have to pay for part of or
all of his house twice, if he is not careful in matters of this kind.




It is a pleasant thought that every one can own a home of his own. With
only a moderate salary, and little or nothing ahead, a thought of this
kind may appear more pleasant than real. It may be affirmed, however,
that, with few exceptions, any one who can pay rent may own his home.
This will require certain sacrifices and at first great economy, but in
the end the result justifies the means. There is no reason why any one
should pay rent. Building associations are instrumental in securing more
homes for people on a long-time plan than any other scheme. In the large
towns, however, houses are sold on various kinds of instalment plans. By
way of illustration, the writer calls to mind a five-room house,
pleasantly situated, which was built about three years ago. This house
is being paid for in instalments of $15 a month. An arrangement of this
kind is good for all concerned. It is an easy way for one to get a home.
It is a good use of money, from a business standpoint, for the one who
has the money to invest. A little demonstration will make this plain.
The lot on which the house was situated was valued at $400. The house,
with walks, well, cistern, and outbuildings, cost $900. Here is a total
investment of $1,300. The purchaser paid $300 in cash. There remained
$1,000 unpaid. The interest on $1,000 for a year at six per cent is $60;
but as the volume of interest is reduced as the payments are made, the
actual interest for the full period averages about one-half of $60, or
$30, per year. To make this point clear, I will state it in another way.
The principal is being reduced as the monthly payments are made. As the
payments advance, the amount of interest necessarily decreases, as there
is not so much principal on which to pay interest. As a matter of fact,
one pays six per cent interest on just one-half of $1,000 for the full
period, or, what amounts to the same thing, the average interest on the
full period is three per cent. Thus, one is paying an average interest
of $30 per year; and, as he pays $15 a month, this would be $180 a year
for principal and interest, $150 of which would apply to the principal.
Thus it is that in six years and eight months the one paying $15 a month
will own the house and lot. I know of other cases where less each month
is paid and a longer time is taken. It would take $10.83[1] per month to
pay for a house of this kind in ten years, with a cash payment of $300.

It may be said that nobody but a philanthropist would sell property in
this way. In the case of which I speak, the philanthropist is the
manager of the property of a life-insurance company which owns quite a
large amount of unimproved real estate in a Western city, and had a
surplus capital on which it desired to realize. It is a good thing for
the company. By this means it is enabled to dispose of its real estate,
and to use its money profitably.

This is not strictly architectural, but it may result in showing some
one how to get a home, or others how to make use of idle capital in a
safe and profitable way. It is better for one who has money to invest to
sell houses in this way than it is to rent them. He gets profit on the
sale, and interest on his money, which latter is all he expects under
other circumstances, and disposes of the houses before they need
repairs. This is the view which the capitalist takes of the situation.
By looking into it a little further, he may see that he will not be
troubled by insurance, a vacant house, or repairs. The cash payment is
sufficient to protect the expense of foreclosing the mortgage and the
rental of the house during the time of the redemption. In some instances
the property is leased on the payment of a small cash bonus, with the
stipulation that when one-third, one-fourth, or other agreed portion of
selling price is paid in, that a deed will be given; further payment
being secured by mortgage.

Building associations are not common in all sections of the country.
Those who are ambitious to build, and are not provided with facilities
which a building association offers, may ask what to do. The answer is
short: form an association. This can be done in a small community. Two
hundred shares paid in, say, by fifty people, would represent a hundred
dollars a week. Any one who wishes to do this can provide himself with
text-books and other information on the subject, which are now published
in different parts of the country. Any bookseller with a good catalogue
can give the necessary information.

It is sometimes assumed by those unfamiliar with building-association
methods, that they only provide means for building small, low-cost
houses. This is an error. It is not at all unusual that complete houses,
costing from three to five thousand dollars, are built by men of large
means, who secure their money from a building association. One has, say,
forty or fifty thousand dollars profitably occupied in a regular
business; he may not care to disturb this money except to buy a lot with
which to establish a basis of credit with the building association. The
price of the lot may vary from one-fourth to one-half the total
investment. One wishes to borrow three thousand dollars from an
association on the plan which is subsequently fully described. He would
have to take out fifteen shares on a payment of fifty cents a share a
week. This would represent seven dollars and a half weekly, or about
thirty dollars a month. On the plan where the interest and premium are
charged in addition to the regular weekly dues, a little over fifty
dollars a month would be required to keep up the building-association
charges. This would be less than house rent. These calculations are made
assuming that the premium is not more than ten cents and the interest
six per cent.



Building-association methods become more popular as they are better
understood. Savings banks are unnecessary in communities where building
associations are common. The savings bank will give place to the
building association, for the reason that the latter affords greater
security and more profit to the depositors at the same time that it
affords greater conveniences to the borrowers. It is often asked by
those not fully acquainted with building-association methods, "How is it
that the association pays such large dividends, and the borrower such a
small rate of interest? The profit is made by the loaning of money; and,
consequently, the borrower must pay a high price for his money, or the
association does not make large dividends."

This appears to be a logical argument. However, it is not true that the
borrower pays a high price for his money. The dividends declared are
made from the borrowers, by the rapid compounding of interest and other
sources of profit. Money paid in as interest is immediately re-invested
as a loan, and thus pays interest the next week. The interest on this is
at once put to use, and so on. It is compounded. The premium paid for
money is another source of profit. This comes from the borrower, and
represents a part of the cost of the money to him; but, unless the
premium is excessive, the earnings on his stock counterbalance the
amount paid as premium, so that in the end a borrower does not pay in
excess of the regular rate for his money at the same time that the
stockholder is more largely benefited.

A building association has only a tithe of the expenses of a bank. The
cost of doing business is very small. An association has a very great
advantage over a bank in its earning capacity in that it does not have
to carry a surplus. All of its money is invested at all times.
Frequently it is receiving interest upon money that is not a part of its
assets. This happens when an application for a loan has been accepted, a
building is under way, and the money not all paid out.

The percentage of loss in a building association is necessarily smaller
than in the best-conducted bank. Its securities are all first mortgages
on productive real estate, and loans are made to members only, and under
the condition that the immediate repayment of the loan be commenced. The
security begins to improve at once, by the repayment of a part of the
principal each week. It is usual for each member of a family to become
interested in the immediate repayment of a loan. The payment of
building-association dues is constantly in mind; as they become due from
week to week, they cannot be overlooked. The fact that the debt is
growing less, and, as well, the incentive to avoid small fines in case
of failure to make payment, contribute to the value of the security. A
loan on an ordinary basis, secured from a savings bank, insurance or
trust company for a long period, is not thought of in this way. The
usual thought in such a case is to pay the debt in a large sum at a time
in the future. The time of the repayment of an association loan is
always present. The security afforded to building associations is much
better than to savings banks and loan companies, even where the margin
above the amount of loan is less because of this difference in plan of
repayment. Again, the margin of security from the first is always
sufficient to protect a mortgage and the payment of all foreclosure
costs and charges. Furthermore, the rentals in case of foreclosure are,
or should be, sufficient to pay all dues and other fixed charges. This
will prevent loss, and in the end pay for the property.

Another element of safety in building associations is the small risk of
loss from the duplicity of the officers. This risk is unusually light,
for the reason that in a well-managed building association there is
little in sight to lose. The money is usually all invested. Any small
amount in the hands of the officers is there for only a short time.
There are demands in all well-managed building associations for all the
money in hand. While this is true, it is always required that the
officers who handle the association money give bond for a much larger
sum than it is possible for them ever to have in charge. This makes the
loss, if any, readily collectible.

It may be well to illustrate building-association methods, and thus call
attention intelligently to the points of superiority which one plan may
have over another.

The idea which first gave rise to associations is that of enabling
persons belonging to a class whose earnings are small, to place
themselves in a position where the process of gradual accumulation is,
in a certain sense, compulsory. The method of operation is simple enough
when it is understood. Say that a number of stockholders agree to form
an association with a thousand shares, each share to represent $200.
This would make a full capital stock of $200,000 when all paid in. The
various individuals forming the association subscribe for as many shares
as they feel competent to pay upon, it being agreed that for each share
of stock subscribed, fifty cents per week shall be paid until the
sum-total of the payments shall aggregate $200; at the end of which time
a division shall be made according to the original subscription and
subsequent payment. It is clear that if all are prompt in their
payments, the treasury will be ready for distribution at the end of four
hundred weeks. The period of four hundred weeks will, however, be
shortened if all the money paid in is at once invested at interest upon
safe securities, with the addition of interests compounded weekly, as is
the case with these associations. For instance, it may appear that at
the end of three hundred and twelve weeks, with a payment of fifty cents
a week, and the accrued earnings that are credited to the shares, they
are worth $200, the amount fixed for the value of the stock when it is
paid up. At such a time the depositing members withdraw their funds, and
those who are borrowers pay off their obligations to the association
with stock, and the mortgages are released.

Money in building associations is generally sold to the highest bidder;
that is, those who want to borrow bid a premium for the money. For
instance, a sale of money is advertised. Bids are then received on the
money to be loaned, and it is given to the highest bidder after the
security has been approved. Suppose one wishes to borrow a thousand
dollars. If each paid-up share is to represent two hundred dollars, five
shares must be taken out to represent the payment of principal on a
thousand-dollar loan. It may appear that the premium bid was ten cents
on each share. This means that the borrower must pay ten cents premium
each week, on each share, during the course of the loan, or until the
principal is paid out. Thus he would pay fifty cents a week as
principal, and ten cents a week as premium, and the interest on two
hundred dollars at six per cent, which would be twenty-four cents a
week. Thus he would pay eighty-four cents a week on each share; or on
five shares, four dollars and twenty cents a week. This would pay out in
about five years, depending upon the average rate of premium, the cost
of doing business, and other conditions which may be readily understood.
When the principal paid in, together with the accrued earnings,
represents two hundred dollars, the obligation to the building
association is released.

There are various plans of starting and arranging building and savings
associations, which differ one from another only in matters of detail.
The price of the share may be two, three, or four hundred dollars, or
any other sum. The amounts paid in a week vary from ten cents to any
larger sum. In the past, most associations have been started on the
series plan, which is defined as follows by Henry S. Rosenthal of
Cincinnati in his "Manual for Building Associations:"--

     "In an association, organized on the terminating plan, all the
     stock is issued as of one date. A terminating association is
     organized on the presumption that all the stock will be subscribed
     for at the open meetings. This, however, is seldom done. The
     consequence is, that shares sold after the first meetings must be
     sold at such prices as to make them equal in value to those already
     issued. To do this a sum must be charged equal to the amount
     already paid in in instalments by the subscribers to the original
     shares. If the regular dues on shares should be one dollar per
     week, a person subscribing for a share after the association has
     been running ten weeks must pay ten dollars for the share. In like
     manner, if the association has been running for a longer period, he
     must pay an additional dollar for each additional week. Moreover,
     if he does not subscribe until after the profits have been
     declared, he must pay such an additional amount on his share as
     will correspond to the earnings of the original shares up to that
     time. The same rule holds through the entire existence of the
     association, each year making it more difficult to enter. After an
     association, organized on this plan, has run for a time, it is
     impossible for many persons, who would gladly become members, to
     raise a sufficient sum of money to pay up the back instalments, the
     initiation fees, the accrued profits, and other incidental
     expenses. In its practical workings, therefore, an association
     organized on this plan is not well adapted to meet the conditions
     of that particular class of persons who most need such an
     organization, and are most likely to be benefited by it.

     "In a terminating association all the shares are, of course, at all
     times of equal value. Whenever the total amounts of the dues paid
     in and of accumulated profits equal the par value of all the
     shares, the association terminates and its affairs must be wound
     up. Each stockholder who has not borrowed his money in advance
     receives the full value of his shares. To those who have secured
     their money in advance, their mortgages, cancelled and receipted in
     full, are returned.


     "Building associations were established originally on the
     terminating plan. It is obvious that working on this plan they
     cannot, in some respects, reach their greatest degree of popularity
     and usefulness. On this account there has been a gradual departure
     from this plan. The first departure from the terminating plan
     consisted in an arrangement for issuing the stock in series instead
     of all from the same date. Associations were chartered for a
     certain number of years, as before, and with a specified amount of
     capital stock. But instead of selling all the stock as of the same
     date, it was divided into series; one series being sold as of the
     date of the beginning of the first year, the second series as of
     the date of the beginning of the second year, and so on until all
     the shares were sold. The issuing of a new series does not
     necessarily occur annually, but at such periods as are made
     necessary or desirable by the business of the association. The
     serial issue may be monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or
     otherwise, as the directors may determine. By the time the last
     series is issued and the stock is exhausted, the first one or two
     or more series of shares, if the business of the association has
     been prosperous, have usually reached their full value, and are
     paid back and cancelled. Associations conducted on this plan
     usually have the right to issue new stock to take the place of
     that which is cancelled from time to time, and thus their
     perpetuity is insured. A successful association working on this
     plan can usually secure the issue of a new charter, and can thus
     continue its existence. But there are manifest disadvantages and
     risks under which an association operating on this plan must labor.

     "Another plan of operation has been inaugurated which has proved
     very popular, and which is being generally adopted by the
     associations in the different States. Associations are granted
     perpetual charters, the amount of the capital stock being fixed at
     a certain sum. They are allowed to begin operations as soon as a
     certain amount of stock is subscribed. After the association is in
     operation, new subscribers are allowed to enter at any time on an
     equality with the original subscribers, the stock of each member
     dating from the time of his entry. Thus the business of the
     association runs along from year to year, until finally all of the
     stock is subscribed. After a time the shares first issued begin to
     reach their full value. As they thus mature, the owners draw out
     their money,--if they have not borrowed it in advance,--and their
     shares are cancelled, and their membership ceases. If they have
     borrowed their money in advance, their bonds and mortgages are
     returned to them receipted in full. If a member, whose stock has
     thus matured, has not borrowed his money in advance, and does not
     wish to draw it out, a certificate of paid-up stock is issued to
     him, and he leaves his money in the association as a matter of
     investment. An association operating on this plan may, after a
     time, when its original stock has all been subscribed through
     application to the incorporating authorities, secure the right to
     increase its stock. If, in the course of time, this increased stock
     becomes exhausted, another increase may be secured in a like
     manner, and so on indefinitely."

Herewith is given an extract from the yearly report of a successful
savings and loan association on the perpetual plan. It will illustrate
more fully the method and results of this method than could a less
formal description. It may be explained in this connection that in this
society the payments are uniform for depositing and borrowing members;
that is, instead of having the premium and interest added to the weekly
dues, the amount of premium and interest is charged against the weekly
payment of fifty cents. Ten cents is the limit of premium, the officers
and stockholders believing that to be as much as any one should pay.


     two main objects in view:--

     FIRST.--To furnish a convenient, safe, and profitable method of
     investing the savings of working people.

     Members can come in and go out at will.

     Subscriptions can commence at any time without having to pay back
     dues or wait for new series.

     Withdrawing members obtain their money without loss (fines
     excepted), and are paid as promptly as the finances of the
     Association will admit, without having to wait ninety days. In the
     history of the Association there have been no delays.

     SECOND.--To furnish persons who wish to borrow for any purpose the
     means for doing so at a reasonable rate of interest. In other
     words, it is an association composed of borrowers and lenders, and
     established for their mutual convenience. It gathers together the
     savings of the people, which, scattered and in small sums, could
     not be invested to advantage, and loans the money thus obtained on
     first mortgage security, and in sums to suit, to those who wish to
     build, to pay off mortgages, or for other purposes.

     All members of the Association are, therefore, divided into two

     _First._--Those who desire to use the society as a means of saving
     or investing money. These are called _depositing members_.

     _Second._--Those who wish to make use of the organization as a
     means of borrowing money. These are called _borrowing members_.


     co-operative or mutual organization. All the shareholders are _pro
     rata_ owners of all the assets of the society. Every member is a
     partner in the enterprise in proportion to the amount paid in by
     him. He is entitled to his share of all the earnings of the
     Association, and he must also stand his share of the losses, if
     there be any.

     The By-laws contain the rules and regulations under which money is
     received and loaned, or otherwise disposed of, and the business of
     the society is carried on by a Board of Directors, elected annually
     by the members.


     The amount of interest which each member has in the Association is
     indicated by the number of his shares.

     Shares are $200 each, and no member can hold more than twenty-five
     shares. The weekly payment required is fifty cents on each share of

     When a member joins the Association he indicates the amount of
     weekly payment he desires to make by the number of shares for which
     he subscribes. He may, however, if he wishes, pay more than his
     shares call for, and such over-payments will receive dividends the
     same as the regular weekly instalments.

     Each member is supposed to keep up his payments until what he has
     paid in, together with the dividends declared thereon, shall amount
     to the face value of his shares, at which time he must cease
     payments, and either take his money out, or, if the society be
     willing, allow it to remain and draw dividends.


     On the 1st of January and July of each year the net earnings of the
     Association are divided _pro rata_ among all the members, and the
     amount due each member is credited on his pass-book.

     Persons joining the association between January and July must
     continue payments until the following January before the dividend
     will be credited, and those joining between July and January must
     likewise pay until the following July; and if the money be
     withdrawn before that time, the dividend will be forfeited.

     The right to dividend also ceases from the date of the notice to
     withdraw the stock.

     When dividends are credited on the pass-books they are just like
     money paid, and are themselves entitled to draw dividends the same
     as cash payments. Thus it will be seen that all dividends compound

     The following table will show how long it takes to pay up a share
     to face value by paying the regular dues only, supposing the
     society to earn six per cent dividends per annum.[1] It also shows
     the value of each share at the close of each year:--

  First year              Dues                 $26 00
      "                   Dividends                78   $26 78
                                               ------   ------
      Value at close of first year                      $26 78

  Second year             Dues                 $26 00
       "                  Dividends              2 41    28 41
                                               ------   ------
      Value at close of second year                     $55 19

  Third year              Dues                 $26 00
       "                  Dividends              4 53    30 53
                                               ------   ------
      Value at close of third year                      $85 72

  Fourth year             Dues                 $26 00
       "                  Dividends              6 10    32 10
                                               ------  -------
      Value at close of fourth year                    $117 82

  Fifth year              Dues                 $26 00
      "                   Dividends              8 34    34 34
                                               ------  -------
      Value at close of fifth year                     $152 16

  Sixth year              Dues                 $26 00
      "                   Dividends             10 41    36 41
                                               ------  -------
      Value at close of sixth year                     $188 60

  Seventh year (16 weeks) Dues                  $8 00
       "                  Dividends              3 40    11 40
                                                -----  -------
                                                       $200 00
      Time, 6 years and 16 weeks.
  Total dues paid                                      $164 00
  Total dividends                                        36 00
                                                       $200 00

[Footnote 1: The present rate of dividend is nine per cent, with an
added surplus.]


     The society loans money only to members. For each $200 share held
     by a member he may borrow $200, secured by first mortgage on real
     estate, interest on which is twenty-four cents per week.

     The right to precedence in borrowing is sold at auction at stated
     times at the office of the Association (notice of which is given
     beforehand) to the member who bids or agrees to pay the highest
     weekly premium in addition to the twenty-four cents per week
     interest. Ten cents per week is the average rate at which money was
     sold during the year 1887, and is now selling.

     Members not desiring or not able to attend the sale of money in
     person may have some one else bid for them, or they may leave a
     written bid with the Secretary, on blanks prepared for that
     purpose, who will make it for them at the sale.

     The society also loans to depositing members in sums equal to
     ninety per cent of the dues paid in. Security is had by the member
     pledging his stock for the payment of the loan and interest due (if
     any) on notes prepared for that purpose. Interest on such loans has
     for the present been placed at the rate of eight per cent per


     The depositing and borrowing members alike pay fifty cents per week
     per share. There are no additions for expenses, interest, premiums,
     or fines. These are charged up at the close of each dividend
     period, or at the closing up of an account.

     Each borrower is required to pay at least fifty cents per week on
     each $200 of loan made to him, which is credited as follows:--

     First the premium and interest are taken out, the interest being
     twenty-four cents. When the premium bid is ten cents, both together
     would amount to thirty-four cents. Then the balance, which in this
     case would be sixteen cents, is credited as a payment on the share
     on which the loan is taken. These payments are continued until the
     amount credited on the shares, together with the dividends thereon,
     will equal the amount loaned. For instance, suppose the loan to be
     $200, and the premium bid to be ten cents per week,--

         The payment each week would be                      50 cents
         The premium each week would be             10 cents
         The interest each week would be            24 cents
                                                   --------- 34 cents
         The credit on the share each week would be          16 cents

     These credits of sixteen cents per week begin to draw dividends on
     the succeeding dividend period, which are compounded semi-annually,
     and the weekly payments must be continued until the weekly credits
     of sixteen cents and the dividends thereon amount to $200.

     Members are at liberty to pay every two weeks or monthly, and as
     much beyond the required weekly payment as they may desire to. The
     overpayments are credited like any regular payment and share in the

     This enables borrowers to pay their loans off as fast as their
     circumstances will admit. This method is very helpful, as the
     interest and premium will be stopped on as many full shares as are
     paid off, and the cost of a loan is materially reduced thereby.

     The minimum payment only is fixed. The borrower may at any time pay
     the whole balance due on the loan and have it cancelled at once.

     It is always good policy for a borrower to pay more than the weekly
     dues if he can, in order that in case of sickness, loss of work, or
     other unforeseen hindrance, he may be paid ahead, and hence suspend
     payment for a time without being fined or in danger of losing his

     By the following table it is shown that with the premium at
     twenty-four cents on each $200, and that the society is able to
     earn six per cent per annum dividends (both of which are being done
     now[2]), and the required weekly dues only being paid, a loan will
     be paid up in fifteen years and six months. This time, as already
     mentioned, can be shortened at the will and ability of the
     borrower, and may be paid off at any time without any penalty
     whatever. This is a great advantage, and the society can do this
     only because of the great demand for loans, and the money does not
     have to lie idle if a loan is paid off, but is immediately loaned
     again. Here is a loan which you may take fifteen years to pay if
     you wish, or you may pay it off at any time.



    Premium 50 cents per week.
    Interest $1.20 per week.
    Six per cent dividends compounded semi-annually.


    Loan                                        $1,000 00
    Payments for year                    $130 00
    Interest and premium        $88 40
    Less dividends                  62
      Net cost of loan                     87 78
      Principal reduced                          42 22

[Footnote 2: Since this report was made the earnings have been nine per
cent, with an added surplus.]


    Balance due at end of first year                $957 78
    Payments for year                         130 00
    Premium and interest                88 40
    Less dividends                       3 18
      Net cost of loan                         85 22
      Principal reduced                               44 78

  THIRD YEAR:                              -------

    Balance due at end of second year               $913 00
    Payments for year                         130 00
    Interest and premium                88 40
    Less dividends                       5 91
      Net cost of loan                         82 49
      Principal reduced                               47 51

  FOURTH YEAR:                        -------

    Balance due at end of third year                $865 49
    Payments for year                         130 00
    Interest and premium                88 40
    Less dividends                       8 79
      Net cost of loan                         79 61
      Principal reduced                               50 39

  FIFTH YEAR:                                -------

    Balance due at end of fourth year               $815 10
    Payments for year                        130 00
    Interest and premium                88 40
    Less dividends                      11 88
      Net cost of loan                        76 52
      Principal reduced                               53 48

  SIXTH YEAR:                                       -------

    Balance due at end of fifth year                $761 62
    Payments for year                        130 00
    Interest and premium                88 40
    Less dividends                      15 12
      Net cost of loan                        73 28
      Principal reduced                               56 72


    Balance due at end of sixth year                  $704 90
    Payments for year                 130 00
    Interest and premium               88 40
    Less dividends                     18 60
      Net cost of loan                         69 80
      Principal reduced                                 60 20

  EIGHTH YEAR:                                        -------

    Balance due at end of seventh year                $644 70
    Payments for year                         130 00
    Interest and premium               88 40
    Less dividends                     22 26
      Net cost of loan                         66 14
      Principal reduced                                 63 86

  NINTH YEAR:                                          ------

    Balance due at end of eighth year                 $580 84
    Payments for year                         130 00
    Interest and premium               88 40
    Less dividends                     26 13
      Net cost of loan                         62 27
      Principal reduced                                 67 73

  TENTH YEAR:                                          ------

    Balance due at end of ninth year                  $513 11
    Payments for year                        130 00
    Interest and premium               88 40
    Less dividends                     30 27
      Net cost of loan                         58 13
      Principal reduced                                 71 87

  ELEVENTH YEAR:                                      -------

    Balance due at end of tenth year                  $441 24
    Payments for year                         130 00
    Interest and premium               88 40
    Less dividends                     34 65
      Net cost of loan                         53 75
      Principal reduced                                 76 25

  TWELFTH YEAR:                                        ------

    Balance due at end of eleventh year               $364 99
    Payments for year                         130 00
    Interest and premium               88 40
    Less dividends                     39 30
      Net cost of loan                         49 10
      Principal reduced                                 80 90


     Balance due at end of twelfth year               $284 09
     Payments for year                        130 00
     Interest and premium              88 40
     Less dividends                    44 22
       Net cost of loan                        44 18
       Principal reduced                                85 82

  FOURTEENTH YEAR:                                     ------

     Balance due at end of thirteenth year            $198 27
     Payments for year                        130 00
     Interest and premium              88 40
     Less dividends                    49 41
       Net cost of loan                        38 99
       Principal reduced                                91 01

  FIFTEENTH YEAR:                                      ------

     Balance due at end of fourteenth year            $107 26
     Payments for year                        130 00
     Interest and premium              88 40
     Less dividends                    54 99
       Net cost of loan                        33 41
       Principal reduced                                96 59

  SIX WEEKS:                                          -------

     Balance due at end of fifteenth year              $10 67
     Payments for six weeks                    15 00
     Interest and premium              10 20
     Less dividends                     5 87
       Net cost of loan                         4 33
       Principal reduced                                10 67
     Time, fifteen years and six weeks.
     Total amount of payments                       $1,965 00
     Total interest and premium                      1,336 20
     Total dividends                                   371 20
     Net cost of loan                                  965 00

     With the reasonable prospect in view that the Association will be
     able to pay larger dividends at some future time, it will be easy
     to understand that the cost and the time of payment of a loan will
     thereby be correspondingly reduced.


     All loans must be secured by first mortgage on real estate in
     Marion County, Ind. An appraising committee, consisting of three
     members of the Association, appraise the value of all real estate
     offered as security for loans and report to the board. No loan can
     be made until the security has been approved by the Board of

     This Association is now paying four per cent semi-annual dividends,
     and adding largely to its surplus.

A new feature in building-association work has recently been put into
practice. The association will buy for cash a house and lot, or buy a
lot and build a house thereon, and sell at a fair price to the member
whose application is accepted. Where the house and lot are bought at a
cash price, it is usual to charge a ten per cent bonus when selling it
on time to a member. The purchaser then completes the transaction by
securing the purchase money to the association, the same as in case of a
loan on any other property, except that instead of a deed from the
association he will receive a lease, with an agreement to sell and
convey to him the premises as soon as one-third of the purchase money
shall have been paid in regular dues on his stock. His stock will be
assigned as collateral security, and the payments will be credited as
rent until the deed is made. Then the purchaser will execute his
mortgage for the unpaid balance due on the property on the terms of his
original bid for the money. It is usual to require a cash payment equal
to the amount of the bonus; that is, ten per cent of the purchase price.
This is a valuable feature in building-association methods. It adds to
the profits of the association. This plan is adaptable to private
enterprise, and is liberal in its terms to the purchaser.

In most associations organized on the perpetual plan, as previously
described, the demand for funds is greater than can be supplied from
depositing members. This has given rise to the "paid-up stock" feature
of building associations. Under this plan one may invest money in any
sum according to the terms of the charter and secure from the
association a certificate of paid-up stock which participates in the
regular dividends of the company. In this way, funds in larger amounts
may be secured than come from the ordinary payments by regular weekly
dues. It is not unusual for individuals to purchase paid-up stock to the
amount of several thousand dollars. This is a great help to an
association which is short of funds, as it serves to increase its
membership by addition of borrowers. There is no better place to invest
trust funds than in the paid-up stock of well-managed building
associations. Primarily, for the reason that each stockholder is pledged
in the amount of his stock to pay principal and six per cent interest on
all withdrawals; hence, the funds may be withdrawn at any time, and six
per cent interest thereon demanded. Furthermore, building-association
stock is not taxable in most States.

Individual and moneyed corporations are coming to consider the matter of
loans, and means leading to their repayment, on the building-association
plan. This will be brought about largely by the low price of money
throughout the country at this time. Savings banks, mortgage companies,
and life-insurance organizations are finding it difficult to loan their
funds at a price that will pay their fixed obligations; hence, they are
seeking means which will lead to a more profitable investment of their
funds. The building-association plan of loaning money is one solution of
the problem. The low price of money is one of the elements which within
the next few years will enable nearly every one who so desires to secure
a home through the building association, or some plan which has its
outgrowth therefrom.



There are many things to consider in connection with the building of a
house other than those which are constructive. One may lay aside that
which has to do with appearances, convenience, stability, and all that
is architectural, and yet have food for thought in connection with the
making of a home. For instance, the lot. No one can afford to build on
one that is absolutely cheap, or one that is cheap because it is not
well located or favorably thought of by the large number of people. A
lot that is absolutely cheap is not often worth even what is paid for
it. One of small means can least of all afford to put his money in a
questionable piece of property. A lot may be relatively cheap, and be a
good investment. For instance, there is a street lined with comfortable
houses. On this street live people of more or less wealth and
unquestioned ambition. Three or four squares beyond the last house of
this street the lots may be relatively cheap. The sum asked for them is
not great, for the reason that few care to go out so far. Still, by
adopting a little of the pioneer spirit, one can make a purchase of
these lots and be reasonably certain of being rewarded for his
foresight. It is much better to buy such a lot, and live for a year or
two without immediate neighbors, than to buy one which is absolutely
cheap because the surroundings are positively unfavorable.

A man of small means least of all can afford to buy a lot that cannot
readily be sold for all it cost. We often hear people say, in regard to
lots that are surrounded unfavorably, "What is the difference? It suits
us; we can be as happy and comfortable there as any place. If we like
it, why should any one else complain?" No one else will complain. It may
occur that the owner of this absolutely cheap property may wish to sell.
He may become embarrassed in his business, or one of many things may
happen to cripple him financially. If he can sell at all, it is at a
sacrifice. If a mortgage is foreclosed, there is no reasonable chance of
redemption. If the lot is well located, and he becomes financially
embarrassed, he can sell for full value and thus relieve himself. If
there is danger of foreclosure, a sale can be readily effected, and thus
all danger of loss be averted. The idea in buying a lot is to get one
which can be readily sold. This is an important matter.

In carrying out this principle, one of moderate means will often buy a
lot of higher cost than is apparently justifiable. However, this may be
the best thing for him to do. It may be good business. If he wishes to
borrow money with which to build, he has a better basis for credit. If
he puts his house on a good lot, there is opportunity of selling it
because of its favorable location, and thus the danger of embarrassment
is averted. One can afford to borrow money to build on a good lot, for
the reason that there is little danger of losing either the lot or the
money. The house and the lot, if it rates well in the public mind, can
be easily sold. The lot should not be selected or the house built, if
its sale is not entirely possible. There are towns as well as localities
in which no one of moderate means can afford to buy or build. Yet such
locations are often selected because they are cheap, and living is
cheap. The fact of this cheapness is against it. The property is cheap
because it is worth little or nothing. It is cheap because no one can
get out what he puts into it. This may apply to a lot in a particular
town, a particular part of a town, or to property in general in a county
or a State. Thus it is that no one of moderate means can afford to buy
absolutely cheap property.

A young man once went to an architect to advise with him in regard to
the selection of a lot. He said,--

"There are two lots on a certain street that I can get for $1,200 each.
That is a little more than I want to pay, as even then I would have to
borrow more money than I wish in order to build my house. One of the
best lots I know anything about is on another street, but I can hardly
think of that, for they ask $1,500 for it."

"I know the lot," said the architect, "and the $1,500 lot is the one to
buy. The $1,200 lots are of questionable value. The surrounding
conditions are such that their value is not liable to increase. The
$1,500 lot is in the swim; two squares below, lots cannot be bought for
$2,400; in fact, they are not in the market. They are owned by people
who desire to hold them. In two years you will be reasonably certain to
realize at least twice the difference between the values of the $1,500
and the $1,200 lots. In one case, the value of the lot is not liable to
increase; it may decrease. In the other instance, there is reasonable
certainty of a large increase within a short time. It is on the edge of
high values."

"But I shall have to borrow so much money with which to build, if I take
the high-priced lot."

"What of it? Say your house is going to cost you $3,000. You say you
have $2,800 in cash. In one instance you would have to borrow $1,400,
and in the other $1,700. You are running much less risk in borrowing
$1,700 than you are in borrowing $1,400. If you had to sell, there is a
reasonable certainty that you could always make a profit on your $4,500
investment, and a very questionable probability as to the $4,200

There are those who do some very remarkable things for the sake of
keeping out of debt, which, in the end, develops into more loss than
would be possible in the case of debt. For instance, one will buy a lot
for $1,500, and put a $1,500 house on it. In time the value of the lot
increases; at the same time the value of the house decreases. The lot in
itself would be worth more if the house were off it. It is a cheap house
on a good lot. Thus it is that such property is often sold and the
improvements counted as nothing. Again, exactly the other thing may
happen. An expensive house may be built on a cheap lot. When finished
the house is worth much less than it cost because it is not well
located. One cannot expect to get full value for the lot without moving
the house, and altogether the situation is disagreeable. How much better
it would be, from a business standpoint, not to build at all, use the
money some other way, or borrow enough money to have the house and lot
properly located. In one case there is positive loss; in the other, a
reasonable certainty of profit.

Another thing for a man of moderate means to bear in mind in building a
house is, that the investments as to the house and lot should be such
that in case of rental the return derived would pay a fair interest on
the investment, and leave a sufficient margin for taxes and repairs. As
long as this condition exists, there need be no fear of loss through
foreclosure. The sale of the property may become necessary through
embarrassment in business, loss of situation, or illness; but in such a
case the property can either be sold without loss, or it can be rented
at a figure that will pay all fixed charges, which fact in itself
establishes a value above its cost price. If these principles are all
carried out, there is little chance of loss.


"A" door, 226.
Air supply to heating apparatus, 75-79.
American architecture, 26-28.
American architectural development, 104-105.
Architects' estimates, 278-281.
Architect, the, and the housewife, 9-27.
Architectural design, 101-105.
Areas, 206.
Ash-pits, 206.
Attic, 62.
Attic bedrooms, 63, 138.
Automatic heat regulators, 81.

Back plastering, 237.
Base, 228, 229.
Basement, 56.
Bath-tub, 73, 74, 230, 255-258.
Bath-tub wood-work, 230, 231.
Bedrooms, 60-63.
Bedrooms in attic, 63.
Bedroom closets, 61.
Bedroom, first floor, 164.
Bedrooms, grates in, 62.
Bedroom for servants, 62.
Bond in brick-work, 201, 202.
Brick, hollow walls of, 203.
Brick of wood, 204.
Brick joints, 199.
Brick pavement, 212.
Brick piers, 200.
Brick, selection of color, 202.
Brick veneer, 203.
Brick-wall foundations, 200-204.
Brick-work, 199-206, 209-212.
Brick-work bond, 201, 202.
Broom closets, 61.
Broom-rack, 232.
"B" schedule, 268.
Building associations and savings banks, 296, 297.
Building association, a new feature in, 310.
Building association, object, 302.
Building associations, permanent plan, 300, 301.
Building-association profits, 295.
Building-association report, 302-310.
Building associations, safety of, 296, 297.
Building association, terminating plan, 299, 300.
Building-association methods, 293-311.
Building by the day, 281.
Building contract, 284-287.
Building material, cost of, 273.
Business points in building, 275-287.

Capacity of cistern, 210.
Carpenter work, 213-235.
Casings outside, 218.
Cathedral glass, 245.
Cedar closet, 232.
Cellar, 51-53, 133.
Cellar brick-work, 203, 204.
Cellar closet, 52, 53.
Cellar doors, 226, 227.
Cellar laundry, 54-58.
Cellar plan, 142.
Cellar sink, 254.
Cellar-sink wood-work, 230.
Cellar-way, outside, 206.
Cement pavement, 212.
Chamber decoration, 99.
Chimneys, 204-206.
Chimney-breasts, 205, 206.
Chimney tops, 204.
China-closet fittings, 46.
China-room, 44-46, 232.
Cistern, 210, 211.
Cistern filter, 211.
Cistern-water supply, 71.
Clock shelf, 232.
Closets, bedroom, 61, 138.
Closets, broom, 61.
Closet fittings, 231, 232.
Closet of cedar, 232.
Coal-bins in cellar, 51, 52.
Colored bricks, 202, 203.
Colored plastering, 237.
Color of mortar, 202.
Combination stairs, 59, 60, 137-141.
Combination pantry, 45, 132.
Competition in building, 281-283.
Conservatory, 99.
Contracting methods, 277-287.
Copper, 240, 241.
Cost of appurtenances, 271, 272.
Cost of building material, 273, 274.
Cost of one-story houses, 163.
Cost schedules, 264, 267-269.
Cost of a house, 264-274.
Cut stone work, 208, 209.

Damp course, 200.
"D" door, 227.
Deck roof, 216.
Depth of foundation, 200.
Dining-room, 37, 38, 96-99.
Dish-warming, arrangement for, 84.
Dish-washing, 11, 42.
Doors and frames, 225-227.
Dough-board, 46, 47.
Double joists, 215.
Down spouts, 240.
Draining, 198, 199.
Drain board, 43, 230.
Drain connections, 261.
Drain from refrigerator, 241.
Drain outside, 71.
Drain ventilation, 71.
Dressed shingles, 218.
Drop siding, 217.
Dry-box, 48, 232.

"E" door, 227.
Eastlake, Charles, 104.
Estimates of architects, 278-281.
Evaporation in traps, 67-68.
Evolution of a house-plan, 109-117.
Excavating, 198.
Excavating for plumber, 247, 248.

Fifty convenient houses, plans of, 107.
Fig. "A," frontispiece. Fig. "B," 106.
Fig. 2, 41.
Fig. 3, 43.
Fig. 4, 45.
Fig. 5, 46.
Fig. 6, 67.
Fig. 7, 68.
Fig. 8, 116.
Fig. 9, 116.
Fig. 10, photographic view (page 116).
Fig. 11, 117.
Fig. 12, 124.
Fig. 13, 133.
Fig. 14, 147.
Fig, 15, 149.
Fig. 16, 151.
Fig. 17, photographic view (page 152).
Fig. 18, 154.
Fig. 19, 154.
Fig. 20, 160.
Fig. 21, 168.
Fig. 22, 169.
Fig. 23, 181.
Fig. 24, photographic view (page 182).
Fig. 25, 186.
Fig. 26, photographic view (page 190).
Fig. 27, 191.
Fig. 28, 191.
Fig. 29, 193.
Fig. 30, 199.
Fig. 31, 205.
Fig. 32, 206.
Fig. 33, 215.
Fig. 34, 217.
Fig. 35, 226.
Fig. 36, 227.
Fig. 37, 227.
Fig. 38, 262.
Filters for cisterns, 211.
Finish of floor, 244.
Finishing in oil, 243, 244.
Fireplaces in bedrooms, 62.
Fixtures in plumbing enumerated, 66.
Flashings, 239.
Flat roofs, 240.
Floors, 222, 223.
Floor of kitchen, 49.
Floor finish, 244.
Flour-bin, 47, 233, 234.
Flues, 203.
Fly screens, 228.
Foundation depth, 200.
Foundations, stone, 207, 208.
Force-pump, 249.
Framing, 213-219.
Framing lumber, sizes of, 213, 214.
Fresco tinting, 92.
Freezing of plumbing, 70, 71.
Fuel in cellar, 51, 52.
Furnace, defined, 76.
Furnace and hot-water combination, 83, 84.
Furnace-room in cellar, 52.

Galvanized iron, 241.
Gas-piping, 237, 238.
German siding, 217.
Glazing, 244, 245.
Grates in bedrooms, 62.
Grease sink, 72, 73, 263.
Gutters, 239.

Hall, 33-35.
Hall, reception, 35, 36.
Hardware, 245, 246.
Hard-wood floors, 223.
Heating apparatus, how to get a good, 83, 85.
Heating and ventilation, 75-85.
Heating by hot water, 80, 83.
Heating by steam, 80.
Heating by stoves, 80.
Heating, ideal conditions, 76.
Heating plants, cost of, 81, 82, 83.
Heat regulators, automatic, 81.
Height of stories, 214.
Hip coping, 240.
Hip finish, 217.
Hollow walls of brick, 203.
Hot-air flues in brick walls, 203.
Hot-air pipes of tin, 241.
Hot-water boiler, 71.
Hot water and furnace combination, 83, 84.
Hot-water heating, 80.
Hot-water plumbing, 70.
Hot-water system, 252.
House decoration, 86-100.
House drain, 71.
House ventilation, 75, 79.
Housekeeper, the, and the architect, 11-15, 26-28.
Housekeeping operations, 16-20.
How to secure a home, 289-316.
Humidity of air, 77, 81.
Hydrant, 249.

Inside casings, 228.
Inside shutters, 229, 230.
Inside finish, table of, 224.
Inside wood-work, 222-235.

Joints, rodded, 199.
Joists, 214, 215.
Journey, a, through the house, 29-105.

Kitchens, 39-50.
Kitchen fittings, 42, 43.
Kitchen floor, 49.
Kitchen plans, 41, 45.
Kitchen pantry, 45-48.
Kitchen plastering, 50.
Kitchen safe, 48.
Kitchen sink, 43, 253, 254.
Kitchen tables, 43, 230.
Kitchen utensils, 48.
Kitchen ventilation, 49.
Kitchen wainscoting, 49.

Landings for stairs, 60.
Lattice porch, 220.
Laundry, 54-58.
Laundry fittings, 260, 261.
Laundry, low-cost, 55-58.
Laundry stove, 56.
Laundry tubs, 57.
Library, 95, 96.
Lien laws, 285, 286.
Lighting bedrooms, 61, 62.
Lintels in brick-work, 204.
Locating the house, 197.
Lot, purchase of, 312, 316.
Low-cost laundry, 55-58.
Lumber for framing, 213.

Mantel costs, 271.
Mason work, 199-209.
Medicine-chest, 232.
Modern architects and the housekeeper, 26-28.
Modern conveniences, 21-25.
Moisture in heated air, 77-81.
Monthly payments, 291-293.
Mortar, color of, 202.
Mortgages, 310, 311.
Motor, 251.

Natural-gas piping, 238.
Nickel fittings, 263.

Oil finish, 243, 244.
Old colonial houses, 26, 27.
One-story houses, 157-163.
Ornamental brick, 203.
Outside cellar-way, 206.
Outside finish, 217-221.
Outside shutters, 219, 220.
Outside steps, 220, 221.

Painting, 242, 243.
Paint, ready mixed, 242.
Painting of shingles, 216.
Pantry boxes, 234.
Pantry, combination, 45, 132.
Pantry fittings, 46.
Pantry shelves, 47.
Pantry specification, 233.
Pantry utensils, 48.
Parlor, 35-37, 93-95.
Pavement of brick, 212.
Pavement of cement, 212.
Permanent plan, building associations, 300, 301.
Picture mouldings, 231.
Piers of brick, 200.
Pipe boards, 230.
Pipe duct, 70, 230.
Plastering, 236.
Plastering, back, 237.
Plastering, gray, 236.
Plastering in kitchen, 50.
Plate-glass, 245.
Plans of fifty convenient houses, 107.
Plan No. 1, cost $1,700, 110.
Plan No. 2, cost $1,550, 111.
Plan No. 3, cost $1,550, 112.
Plan No. 4, cost $1,800, 113.
Plan No. 5, cost $1,900, 114.
Plan No. 6, cost $2,600, 115.
Plan No. 7, cost $2,900, 121.
Plan No. 8, cost $2,200, 129.
Plan No. 9, cost $2,500, 132.
Plan No. 10, cost $2,600, 136.
Plan No. 11, cost $2,000, 141, 142.
Plan No. 12, cost $2,600, 144.
Plan No. 13, cost $1,600, 146.
Plan No. 14, cost $1,500, 148.
Plan No. 15, cost $2,550, 150.
Plan No. 16, cost $2,800, 153.
Plan No. 17, cost $2,200, 154.
Plan No. 18, cost $1,600, 155.
Plan No. 19, cost $1,400, 158.
Plan No. 20, cost $1,200, 158.
Plan No. 21, cost $1,700, 161.
Plan No. 22, cost $800, 161.
Plan No. 23, cost $1,600, 162.
Plan No. 24, cost $1,100, 162.
Plan No. 25, cost $1,400, 163.
Plan No. 26, cost $2,000, 163.
Plan No. 27, cost $3,000, 165.
Plan No. 28, cost $2,800, 165.
Plan No. 29, cost $2,600, 166.
Plan No. 30, cost $3,000, 167.
Plan No. 31, cost $2,400, 169.
Plan No. 32, cost $4,000, 172.
Plan No. 33, cost $2,800, 173.
Plan No. 34, cost $2,500, 174.
Plan No. 35, cost $2,250, 175.
Plan No. 36, cost $2,000, 175.
Plan No. 37, cost $2,100, 176.
Plan No. 38, cost $2,000, 177.
Plan No. 39, cost $3,500, 178.
Plan No. 40, cost $3,100, 179.
Plan No. 41, cost $3,400, 179.
Plan No. 42, cost $2,800, 180.
Plan No. 43, cost $2,200, 183.
Plan No. 44, cost $5,000, 184.
Plan No. 45, cost $2,100, 184.
Plan No. 46, cost $3,400, 185.
Plan No. 47, cost $10,000, 187.
Plan No. 48, cost $3,400, 189.
Plan No. 49, cost $3,400, 190.
Plan No. 50, cost $10,000, 192.
Plumbing, 64-74.
Plumbing costs, 268-270.
Plumbing fixtures, 65.
Plumbing, practical, 247-263.
Porcelain water-closets, 69.
Porches, 31, 220.
Practical house-building, 195-274.
Preface, 3, 4.
Prevention of freezing in plumbing, 70, 71.
Privy vault, 209, 210.
Purchase of a lot, 312-316.
Purchase on a rental basis, 291-293.

Radiation, direct, 80, 81.
Radiation, indirect, 80, 81.
Ready mixed paint, 242.
Rear stairway, 60.
Reception-hall, 35, 36.
Reception-hall decoration, 88, 89.
Reception-hall mantel, 89.
Refrigerator, 47.
Refrigerator drain, 48, 241,
Ridge coping, 240.
Ridge finish, 216, 217.
Rodded joints, 199.
Roof, 216, 217.

Safety in plumbing, 64.
Safes, 258.
Sash weights, 219.
Savings banks and building associations, 296, 297.
Schedule "B," 268.
Sealed proposals, 284.
Second floor, the, 59-63.
Servant's bedroom, 62.
Service pipes, 249.
Sewer and vault connection, 65.
Sewer connection, 72, 261, 262.
Sewer gas, 66, 67, 72.
Sheet glass, 245.
Shower-bath, 257.
Shingles, 216, 217, 218.
Shingles, painting of, 216.
Shingles, stained, 218.
Shingle walls, 217.
Shutters, outside, 219, 220.
Shutters, inside, 229, 230.
Siding, drop, 217.
Siding, German, 217.
Side-hall plans, 164-166.
Sink in cellar, 254.
Sink in kitchen, 43, 230, 254.
Sitting-room, 35, 36, 91.
Sizes for framing lumber, 213, 214.
Sliding doors, 225.
Soap-box, 48, 49, 232.
Soft-water supply, 250.
Soil pipe, 66, 67, 253.
Splash board, 230, 231.
Splash board in bath-room, 231.
Spouts, 240.
Staining, exterior, 243.
Staining, interior, 243.
Stained shingles, 218.
Stairs, 234, 235.
Stairs, combination, 59, 60.
Stairways, 59, 60.
Stairway, combination, 137, 140, 141.
Stairway, rear, 60.
Steam heating, 80.
Stone foundations, 207, 208.
Stone sills, 208.
Stone steps, 208, 209.
Stop beads, 227.
Stop cocks, 249.
Storm water connections, 262.
Stories, height of, 214.
"S" trap, 66, 67, 263.
Street washer, 249.
Stove heating, 80.
Stud walls, 215, 216.

Tables in kitchen, 230.
Table of inside finish, 224.
Tank wood-work, 231.
Terminating plan in building associations, 299, 300.
Terra cotta, 209.
Tin hot-air pipes, 241.
Tin-work, 239-241.
Transoms, 226.
Traps, 66, 67, 263.
Traps fail to act, 76.
Trap screws, 263.
Trimmer arch, 205, 206.
Trimmers, 214.

Valleys, 239.
Vault and sewer connection, 65.
Veneered doors, 225, 226.
Veneer of brick, 203.
Ventilation and heating, 75-85.
Ventilation, drain, 71.
Ventilation, house, 75, 79.
Ventilation of kitchen, 49.
Vestibule, 31-33.
Vestibule decoration, 87, 88.

Wainscoting, 229.
Wainscoting in kitchen, 49.
Walls of shingles, 217.
Wash-stand, 72, 259, 260.
Wash-stand wood-work, 231.
Waste pipe, 66, 67.
Water-closets, 68, 69, 70, 259.
Water-closets, porcelain, 69.
Water-closet, washout, 68, 69.
Water-closet wood-work, 231.
Water distribution, 248.
Water for builder, 197.
Water for laundry, 56, 57.
Water motor, 251.
Water tank in attic, 71.
Water seal, 67, 68.
Windows, 218, 219.
Wooden brick, 204.
Wood carving, 90.
Wood-work for bath-room, 231.
Wood for inside finish, 225.
Wood-work for plumber, 230, 231.
Wood-work for water-closet, 231.

       *       *       *       *       *


_--Standard Union._





     Since the publication of his "Convenient Houses" Mr. Gibson has
     been abroad, where he made a careful study of the national
     architecture of many countries. Mr. Gibson is remarkable for the
     skill with which he manages to utilize ordinary waste spaces, to
     place every possible convenience in the housekeeper's hands; in
     short, to apply common-sense in an uncommon manner. No one
     interested in building a new house, or altering over an old one,
     could fail to obtain valuable hints from his books. The volume is
     sumptuously illustrated, and will be a delight to all connoisseurs,
     both of architecture and of book-making.

Contents of the Book.

     HOUSE-BUILDING AN ART. Ugly houses, uneducated architects, cost
     never measures the artistic, development of art in building, the
     primitive house, first principles, the Greek temple and the Indian
     hut, the old Roman and the Old Colonial, Romanesque architecture,
     Gothic architecture, decline of the Gothic, the Renaissance, modern
     architecture of Europe, characteristics of modern American
     architecture, etc.

     THE WORLD'S HOMES. French domestic architecture, twelfth century
     building, floor plans of domestic structures, picturesque stair
     towers, half-timber architecture of the twelfth century, our use of
     French examples, Breton customs, furniture, French chateaux,
     English domestic architecture, domestic buildings of the sixteenth
     and seventeenth centuries, picturesque details, from the Gothic to
     the Renaissance, modern architecture of Germany, Swiss
     architecture, Old Colonial architecture, a classic development,
     characteristic New England architecture, luxurious character of the
     Old Colonial in the South, etc.

     SOME HOUSE PLANS. Relation of the exterior to the location, the
     dormers, the inside finish, mantels, a centre-hall plan, frame
     building, a little room for cloaks and wraps, decorative forms,
     interior photographs, external details, Greek mouldings, a wide
     central hall open at each end, large rooms, a picturesque stairway,
     color schemes in decoration, description of floor plan, a fine
     location, a river front, picturesque stair-hall, a smoking-room
     under the balcony, etc.

     MATERIALS AND DETAILS. Shingle-houses, the proper surroundings,
     the stains of time, artificial stain, examples, slate walls,
     fireplaces and mantels, character in mantels, tile facings, onyx
     and brick, doors, the defensive, hospitality, material, foreign
     examples, domestic doors, stairs, foreign examples, broad landings,
     Old Colonial stairways, iron railings, furniture, architects'
     designs, sideboards, bookcases, seats, lounges, screens, grilles,
     walls and ceilings, etc.

     THE ARCHITECT. The architect and the housewife, business and the
     arts, costs, proper understanding of the client's wishes, plenty of
     time to make plans.

Press Notices.

New York Sun.

"A handsome book, copiously illustrated, giving foreign examples in
domestic architecture, a collection of American house plans, and
including a consideration of materials and details for the benefit of
the artistic house-builder."

Chicago Evening Post.

"A most timely publication, and will find admirers among amateur
builders as well as trained architects."

Boston Advertiser.

"Mr. Gibson's book is something more than an enunciation of theories.
Under the headings 'Some House Plans' and 'Materials and Details,' there
is a practical working out of the architect's general idea. This part of
the work is most valuably suggestive, and the intending house builder
will find it greatly to his interest to consult Mr. Gibson's books. The
present volume is one in which marked utility is combined with great

Detroit Free Press.

"It would hardly seem possible that a work on house-building could be
such pleasant reading as is this handsome volume."


"His former book met a real need. His present work is full of wise and
practical suggestions as to securing beauty without sacrificing
convenience or running into extravagance. All about to build or
reconstruct a house will find it helpful."

Indianapolis News.

"This work is a credit to Mr. Gibson and to his profession. It is a
reflection of deep knowledge of architecture, and of experience in the
practice of the profession. The illustrations are abundant and
excellent, and the whole is a beautiful piece of book-making. An
appropriate cover is designed by David Gibson."

Literary World.

"The author is an architect of knowledge, ideas, and tastes.... To any
family projecting a home of their own this volume will bring a multitude
of helps."

Bookseller, Newsdealer and Stationer.

"One of the handsomest and at the same time most practical books ever
published by the Crowells."

_For Sale by all Booksellers, or sent postpaid by the Publishers on
receipt of price._

T. Y. CROWELL & CO., New York and Boston.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Obvious punctuation errors have been corrected and missing punctuation
has been added.

Archaic words and misspelled words, as well as inconsistent hyphenation,
have been retained with the exception of those listed below.

Page 60: "the" added for continuity (The rear stairway should be
connected with the front part of the house).

Page 89: "of" added for continuity (This arrangement frequently admits
of the placing of a seat along one side of the outer part of the lower

Page 292: No footnote is included at the bottom of the page for the
reference contained in the text.

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