[The nineteen drawings, showing construction practice, which follow, have been prepared by Arthur Holden and Associates.]

The following series of drawings have been prepared solely for the purpose of acquainting the public with some of the things that it should know about home building. The details shown are not working drawings, but illustrative drawings of standard construction practices. The man who expects to have a good house should understand the component parts of that house, and when he does understand the reason for doing things in the correct way, he will not be satisfied with something that is inferior and will himself use intelligent discretion instead of just accepting what comes to him.

Better homes are going to be possible to the extent that the public realizes its own responsibilities. After all it is the owner that dictates what is done, and lack of understanding on the part of the public makes it possible for those who build homes to produce inferior houses, boxes, and cells to live in.

1 See pp. 230-37.

2 Adapted from Pocket Guide to Good Construction. New York: Own Your Home Exposition, Inc., 1927.

Concrete Foundation And Clapboards

- Concrete Foundation And Clapboards -

Fig. 26. - One of the chief reasons why many cheaply built homes deteriorate rapidly is that they do not have proper foundation. Footings should be carried to a firm bearing soil below frost, or to rock.

Concrete Block Foundation

- Concrete Block Foundation -

Fig. 27. - Where easily procured, the use of concrete building blocks for foundations will be a saving. Studs run through two stories with the second floor carried on a ribbon (Balloon frame) is also an economy though not allowed in all localities.

Brick Veneer Construction

- Brick Veneer Construction -

Fig. 28. - Where brick veneer construction is used, it is important to provide air space between sheathing and brick, also to insulate against air leakage due to shrinking of the wood construction at all windows and doors. Brick veneer on the outside of waterproofing on foundations is a wise protection.

Brick Foundation, Stucco Upper Wall

- Brick Foundation, Stucco Upper Wall -

Fig. 29. - Dependent upon local conditions, brick is also a good foundation material. All joints should be thoroughly filled with mortar. Stucco on the exterior wall must be very carefully applied. Its permanence will depend upon the skill of the individual mechanic who does the work. Self-furring lath eliminates furring strips.

Hollow Tile Construction

- Hollow Tile Construction -

Fig. 30.-Hollow tile walls make a fine base for exterior stucco; they should nevertheless, be furred on the inside before plaster is applied. Tile may also be laid with the webs horizontal. Care should be taken to see that the roof plate is securely anchored by bolts.

Cement Block And Rubble Stone Walls

Cement Block And Rubble Stone Walls.

Fig. 31. - Economy in the use of stone depends upon whether it is plentiful in the locality. Furring provides an air space for protection against dampness. Cement blocks with special facings may be used without stucco. Avoid imitations of rough stone faces or raised panels.

Brick Wall Bonds And Furring

- Brick Wall Bonds And Furring -

Fig. 32. - Brick walls depend for their attractiveness upon the bond or pattern in which the brick is laid and also upon the method of finishing the mortar joints. All brick walls should be furred before applying plaster.

Exterior Wall Finishes

- Exterior Wall Finishes -

Fig. 33. - Much of the beauty of the finished wall depends upon its texture and color. Care must be taken, especially with stucco, not to carry either texture or color to extremes.

Windows In Frame Construction

- Windows In Frame Construction -

Fig. 34. - Window frames and sash are made at the mill. They must be properly designed and well put together or else they may leak even though protected by weather stripping. Use boiled linseed oil on channels in which sash runs.

Metal Frames And Sash

- Metal Frames And Sash -

Fig. 35. - Metal-frame casements may be built into either masonry or frame walls; they must be kept carefully painted. Sash may be glazed with window glass A or B grade single or double thickness; or plate glass in 1/8 in., 3/16 in., or in. thickness.

Frame Cornice Construction

- Frame Cornice Construction -

Fig. 36. - There are many different types of cornice construction. Box gutters must be carefully flashed. Shingles may be used either on laths or, in dry climates, on sheathing (roofers) with building paper beneath the shingles.

Gutters, Leaders And Valleys

- Gutters, Leaders And Valleys -

Fig. 37. - The more durable the material used for gutters and flashings the longer the life of the roof and the fewer the repairs. Nine out of ten roof leaks are due to defective flashings.

The Roof

- The Roof -

Fig. 38. - The roof, if faulty, is the place where the rain comes in and the heat goes out. All angles and points where pipes or chimneys pass through must be carefully flashed. Insulation under the attic floor or roof rafters is well worth while.


- Chimneys -

Fig. 39. - Chimneys may add character to a house. If badly designed they may spoil not only the appearance of the house but the usefulness of the open fireplace and lower the efficiency of the heating apparatus. Fire-clay linings are indispensable.

Fireplace And Chimney Details

- Fireplace And Chimney Details -

Fig. 40. - The size of the fireplace opening depends upon the size of the individual flue which serves the fireplace. Where damper and smoke chamber are wrongly placed there is likely to be trouble with the drafts.

Interior Bearing And Solid Partitions

- Interior Bearing And Solid Partitions -

Fig. 41. - Care must be taken to prevent uneven shrinkages in frame houses by correctly arranged interior bearing partitions and the use of well-seasoned lumber.

Plastering, Interior Walls

- Plastering, Interior Walls -

Fig. 42. - Plastering is a craft requiring skilled working of the material. Time must be allowed for the plaster to dry out before applying trim or paint. Strips of metal lath applied to interior corners where wood lath is used will prevent cracks.

Stair Construction

- Stair Construction -

Fig. 43. - Well-constructed stairs are built up and fitted together. The treads must be of hardwood. Many building codes prohibit the use of winders.

Window And Door Trimming

- Window And Door Trimming -

Fig. 44. - The beauty of the shadows cast by the moldings is responsible for the "character" which well-designed trim gives to a house. In the best work backs of all trim should be painted.

The desire to understand the construction of the home by the public is already responsible for a great improvement and it is our prophecy that this type of educational work will go further and further until public interest for sound and practical building has been fully awakened and the esthetic taste in relation to the knowledge of beauty and harmony in the home has reached a higher standard.