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Building a House - Building in Elevation


"It is decided that we are to build our exterior walls with dressed stone and range-work,"said Eugene, while they were levelling-up to the ground-floor.

"We have a good part of the materials on the ground. As regards stones of large size, we shall get them from the quarries of Le Blanc, which are only a mile or two distant. Our quoins, our door and window-openings, our string-courses, cornices, dormer-windows, and gable copings, will be made of dressed stone. Let us begin with the quoins. This is how you will give the details to Branchu; it is a very simple matter. In this part of the country they sell stone by the scantling, that is to say, the quarries supply it according to a measure stipulated beforehand, and the price per cubic foot is less in propor tion to the uniformity of the order, and the ease with which it is executed. Now our walls on the ground-floor are 2 feet thick : let A be one of the corners (Fig. 3o); for these you will require stones all of the same scantling - 2 ft. to in. long by 2 feet wide, and a mean height of 18 inches, which is the average thickness of the beds in the quarries of this district. And these quoin stones will be placed as I have marked here, one a b c d, the other a e f g, the result of which will be that each stone will form alternately on one side and the other a bond of to inches. The range-work having its courses about 6 inches thick, we shall have three courses of the range work in the height of each course of dressed stone, and the building as it rises will present the appearance indi cated by the perspective sketch B. Between the plinth mould and the string course of the first floor we have 14 feet; nine courses of stone, plus the mortar beds, therefore, will constitute its height. Let us see how we are to arrange our window casings. We must con sider how to place the jalousies, which cannot be dispensed with in the country, but which when folded back on the face of the walls produce a disagreeable effect, very soon begin to get out of repair, and are trouble some to shut or open, imposing on the inmates of the dwelling a gym nastic exercise from which they would gladly be excused. Interior re veals will be required sufficiently deep for the casements, not to be flush with the walls, and to leave a space between them and the curtains. Our widest windows are 4 feet

wide in the clear; our walls, on the ground-floor, are 2 feet thick; we can therefore find a place for the jalousies in the casing, only on con dition of dividing each of these leaves into two or three folds. Only those made of sheet iron will allow us to manage this, because three. sheets folded back on themselves are only 2 inches thick, including the room left for the play of the hinges. This, then, is the method given (in Fig. 31) of arrang ing the jambs of the windows : the out side being at A, we will leave a thick ness, B, to mask the leaves of the jalou sies folded up in the jamb of 4 inches. We will allow a space of inches for these leaves at C. Then will come the window - frame, 21 inches thick; total, 17 inches. We shall then have left 7 inches of reveal in side at D.

"You see at E how we shall build these window-open ings : a sill, F, of a single block of stone; then a course, G, 16 to 18 inches high, bonding into the range-work; a stone on end, H, only the thickness of the casing; a third course, I, like that marked G; and lastly, the lintel. We will make this only the thickness of the casing, that is, i4 inches; we shall have left gf inches, exactly space enough to turn an arch of bricks, K (these being g inches long, and with the joint gl inches). This arch will bear our joists, if there are any that have to rest in the outer walls, and it will hinder a fracture of the lintels. Besides this we will pass a tie-bar, L, under the latter. I find the tie-bar more effective at this level than at the level of the flooring. A tie-bar is an iron sinew placed in the thickness of the walls to bind and keep in place the whole construction. It is not always placed in houses built in country districts, but it is unwise to omit it-indeed, a very poor economy to do so; for a building not tied is liable to be easily cracked. But we shall speak of this again at the proper time. Make a fair copy of these sketches and show them to me; and we will give these details to Branchu.

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inches, stone, walls, thick and feet