If a person who is thinking of building a house does not know the names of any architects or builders, it is a good plan to walk round the district he has chosen and inspect any houses that may be available. There is always the possibility when doing this that he will find something which suits him, but even if he does not, good work and planning are generally apparent even to the average layman.
When he has found property which meets with these conditions, it is generally an easy matter to get into touch with the architect or builder with the object of his designing or building a house to suit individual requirements on the plot already chosen. Spend your Money Wisely A POINT which needs emphasis is not to accept the opinions of friends, but to see for oneself the finished product of the builder or architect, or both.
An occasional conversation with trades-people, or with others in the locality in which one proposes to reside, will often yield valuable information. After all, it is worth talcing considerable pains to insure that money Ls spent wisely if the house is to give satisfaction not only in the immediate present, but also in years to come.
Having found an architect, there are various points which it is as well to impress upon him, such as the fact that certain articles of furniture that one does not wish to part with must find accommodation in the new house. While in the main it is perfectly safe to leave the actual constructional details of the house to the architect or builder, there are a few items which it is as well to discuss with him. Importance of the Damp-course PHE first of these items is the damp- course. The usual damp-course specified is a double course of slates laid broken jointed, bedded in cement and sand.
If the slates are of good quality, and carefully laid and immediately covered up, a sound and satisfactory job will be made. Unfortunately it is not always possible for the architect or the builder, or even for the foreman, to give the careful supervision which is necessary to ensure this.
All too often slates which are not con-sidered sufficiently good for roof work are used in the damp-course, and as at this stage of building it is not immediately covered, it is most likely to be damaged by being trodden upon and wheeled over when laying the oversito concrete.
Further, all houses settle to a greater or lesser degree, and even a slight settlement will often crack a slate damp-course and destroy its effectiveness in preventing the ground damp from rising up the walls. The Bituminous Damp-course TAKING all factors into consideration, the present writer has found that a good grade bituminous damp-course, interleaved with lead, providing that it is properly lapped at the joints, is in actual practice by far the most reliable. This 81 damp-course is by no means a new idea, as is commonly supposed. It was used on certain school buildings upwards of sixty years ago, with results entirely satisfactory to the present day.
The chief reason for the use of bituminous material is that unless deliberately cut or struck with some sharp instrument, it is practically impossible to fracture it during the construction of the building. Lb is argued that this type of damp-course is greatly used in property to-day owing to its cheapness, but this is not the case. A high-grade lead-core bituminous damp-course is as expensive as one of slates.