all houses have what is called equipment. The permanent equipment consists of bathroom and kitchen fixtures, lighting fixtures, heating plants and other basic installations. Auxiliary equipment consists of vacuum-cleaners, irons, mangles, lamps, toasters, and everything else which renders a distinct service, with the exception of the actual furniture. Right here it might be said, that the amount of money that the average family has invested in auxiliary equipment of one kind or another is absolutely astounding, because aside from the mechanical equipment mentioned above, there are also such items as storm-sash, screens, storm-vestibules and other appurtenances which are basically auxiliary equipment.
Starting with the so-called structure equipment such as the storm-sash and screens, it might be said that any advice which suggests that it has to be handled with great care and consideration is a bit out of line. All that you have to do about storm-sash is to see that the glass is not broken, and that the wood frames are painted every three or four years. If the putty around the glass breaks out, it is surely easy enough for any grown man or woman to replace it without need for close or detailed instructions. It seems to us that the procedure for this particular job has been thoroughly explained in every weekly, monthly and semi-yearly magazine published. However, if you have missed it, the job consists of making a roll of putty, placing it in the space left by the missing putty, and smoothing it off with a putty knife to match the remaining bead.
Storm-sash and screens ore kept in good condition by proper painting, and by seeing that hangers and fasteners are firm.
Screens require even less attention for the reason that they are less apt to be broken. Naturally the frames should be kept in good shape by proper painting, and the hangers should be kept in true line so that the screens fit into place. Providing that the screening should be broken, it is quite easy to replace it. The main thing about applying new screening is to remove the molding which covers the edge, tack the new mesh at the top of the frame first, and stretch the screening tight. Then, without cutting it, tack the bottom edge and the sides and replace the molding. Then cut away the excess at bottom and sides. A sharp knife will do this job excellently. The average person makes the mistake of taking careful measurements, allowing for the necessary tacking-edge, cutting a square of mesh, and then nailing it in place. As a rule this results in a bulging surface, because there is no excess at the bottom to stretch with. After you have re-screened one or two frames, you will have the technique well in hand.
All suburbanites know that taking down and putting up either screens or storm-sash is a nuisance and a hard job. Most of them go through a "fitting-job" every spring and fall, in order to find out which sash or screen belongs in which window frame. This can all be done away with forever by buying a set of duplicate numbered buttons (which resemble thumb-tacks) and tacking one to the frame and one to the right sash or screen. If you will invest a dollar or two, and attach the properly numbered button to the screens and sash before you remove them, you will reduce a half-day job to an hour's work.
Small numbered buttons on the frame of screens and sash will obviate any guess-work when they are being installed.
When you take storm sash down, and are ready to store it for the summer, we would advise that it be hosed off and then stacked or nested on the side. In other words, stand it lengthwise, not up and down as it was when it was in the window frame. If you have a large piece of canvas, or a large old sheet, cover the sash with it so that it will not accumulate a lot of dust during the coming months. We recommend that sash be stored or racked on the side, because glass will break twice as easily when the surface is laid flat as when it is laid on edge.
When you are ready to store or stack screens, you should give them a good brushing with an ordinary whisk-broom so as to thoroughly clean the mesh. Next you should wash them and allow them to dry. Next, if they are of iron, they should be given a very light coat of thin varnish. This will prevent rust streaks on your window sills and frames when they are put up again. If the mesh is of copper or brass, they should be wiped with kerosene, and then wiped dry. If the mesh is of aluminum or any white-metal, you do nothing to them except to wash them. When you store them, treat them in the same manner as the storm-sash. If your mesh is made of any of the new plastics which have appeared in this field recently, you need only wash them.
From a practical standpoint, we are not at all in accord with some of the suggestions we have seen to the effect that the time to paint storm-sash and screens is when you take them down. You are only taking them down to store them, and naturally you will be storing them in the basement or in the garage where they will be sheltered. Why waste several months of the life of the paint? It seems to us that it would be better to paint immediately before they are put in place, and thus get every possible bit of benefit out of the paint you use.
There are other large pieces of auxiliary equipment found around the average house, such as storm vestibules and double doors. There is hardly much that can be said about these items, except that the hinges get an occasional drop of oil and that the wood be kept in good paint condition. However, in many cases you will find that the storm vestibule is nailed together, and every season it has to be pried apart. This is a really bad job, because after a few work-outs it will be badly torn and shaken up. The time to correct the condition is while the vestibule is still standing in place. Buy a dozen or so small galvanized iron angles, and fasten the vestibule in place doubly. Use small screws to attach the angles. Next remove the screws which hold the vestibule to the walls and floor only, and then pry the assembly away, remove the nails for good and ever, and you will have the angles all ready in the right places for re-assembly next season.