This section is from the book "The Principles And Practice Of Modern House-Construction", by G. Lister Sutcliffe. Also available from Amazon: How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding & Maintaining Your Home.
The proper construction of houses is a matter of vital interest to every individual and to the community at large. Houses badly-designed and jerry-built are sure and costly sources of discomfort, disease, and death. Damp rises in the walls or rain drives through them; dank smells pervade the rooms, while dry-rot spreads its noisome mantle in the close space beneath; chimneys smoke; windows rattle; the roof leaks; frost fast binds the water and bursts the pipes; drains are choked, and the sewage oozes through the open joints into the pervious soil, possibly to pollute the water-supply, while the foul odours and gases generated in the drains and sewers pass, by untrapped waste-pipes, into the house. Hence come many diseases, as rheumatism, diphtheria, fevers, etc.
Many books have been written on the several portions of the great science of sanitary house-construction - particularly respecting plumbers' work and drainage - but few have attempted to deal comprehensively with the whole subject, and fewer still have treated the subject in a thoroughly practical manner. Sanitary science, moreover, is a progressive science, and early books on the subject are now almost entirely out of date. New materials have been introduced, or old materials have been adapted to new purposes, as in the case of iron drains. New discoveries have been made, especially in reference to sewage-purification by micro-organisms, and to the spread of disease by germs in air, food, and water. And new appliances have been invented, foremost of which are those for the reception and removal of household refuse in all its forms.
This book is an attempt to describe the new materials and the new uses of old materials, to set forth the new discoveries and their issues in practical work, and to illustrate those new appliances which appear to be valuable and useful. Each portion of the book has been written by a specialist in his own particular branch of the subject, the contributors including five Architects, four Civil Engineers, three Doctors of Medicine, one Electrical Engineer, one Gas Engineer, one Barrister and Medical Officer of Health, one Sanitary Inspector, and one Plumber; and the whole work has been carefully edited by G. Lister Sutcliffe, A.R.I.B.A., M.San.L, a practising architect Seventeen writers have contributed to the work, all being men whose names are familiar in the realms of architecture, civil engineering, medicine, and sanitary science, - many being well known as the authors of books, papers, Ac, and as contributors to technical journals, and all having practical knowledge of the subjects of which they treat.
In consequence of this specialization the information given in the book will, it is anticipated, prove to be not only accurate but thorough and up-to-date, and therefore invaluable to professional men of all classes engaged in house-construction or house-inspection, including Architects, Civil Engineers, Sanitary Engineers, Doctors, Medical Officers of Health, Sanitary Inspectors, Clerks of Works, Building Inspectors, Ac. Teachers of Hygiene, Sanitary Science, Building Construction, Ac., will find the book full of useful and important information, while the ambitious student cannot afford to be without it
The work is intended, however, not solely for professional men and students, but is designed also to educate and assist all those - be they masters or workmen - who are actually engaged in the various operations of building, and whose aim is to produce the best work possible in their respective trades, including plumbers, gas-fitters, hot-water engineers, bricklayers, slaters, joiners and builders, drain-layers, etc. Here they will find information regarding the best and latest methods and appliances. Illustrations and descriptions of all important details of house-construction are given, including masonry, bricklaying, dating and tiling, wood-work, water-supply, drainage, plumbing, warming and ventilation, gas-fitting, electric-lighting, etc. etc.
The scope and merits of the work will be more clearly realised from the following list of the Sections into which it is divided, and from the names of the Authors appended thereto: -