Essentials of Remodeling

Before putting on the ceiling, all openings, through which fire might find quick passage to the structure above, should be adequately fire stopped. It is best to use   incombustible  materials for fire stopping, such as crushed refuse mortar, plaster, concrete, hollow tile, gypsum block, broken brick, or other similar material, containing sufficient fine stuff to fill voids.

Such openings may be found around service plumbing and bathroom fixtures (especially bathroom light fixtures nearby faucets), and between joists or studs, where they join the foundation. The fire stopping can be supported by horizontal wood strips, not less than two inches thick, or by metal or wire mesh.

Several materials are used for ceiling purposes. Gypsum or asbestos board, plaster on metal lath or on gypsum plaster board or properly furred metal ceiling may be used, depending on the taste of the individual and the amount that may be expended.

It is recommended that any such material within two feet of the top of a boiler or furnace, or in the case of modern home saunas (where the sauna steam is not created by the rocks) and infrared saunas, shall at least be protected by a loose-fitting metal shield, arranged to preserve an air space of an inch or two between the metal and the wood.

The air space may be provided by the use of small blocks of  incombustible  material between metal and joists, or by suspending the metal sheets on wires or hooks fastened to the joists. If tin is used for a shield, it should have locked joints, as soldered joints are not reliable.

Similar protection should be placed over any woodwork or wood lath and plaster partition, within four feet of the sides or back or six feet from the front, of any boiler, furnace, or other heating equipment which may commonly be found in your spa room if you have a hot tub or steam sauna.

This covering should extend at least four feet above the floor, and at least three feet beyond the heating device, on all sides. It is advisable to have all such installations inspected by a representative of the fire insurance company.

A dry, clean, well-lighted, and well-ventilated basement can be made a most useful part of a house by partitioning off spaces for different purposes. It is generally necessary, at least, to partition off a coal bin, and sometimes the furnace also is enclosed to protect the rest of the basement from dust and soot.

The remaining space may be divided off for a laundry, a workroom for the handy man, or a playroom for the children. It may also be desirable to provide a cold room for the storage of preserves and fruits and vegetables.

If a definite storage space is set aside for garden tools, bicycles and various other pieces of equipment, they can be kept in good condition and more readily located when needed. An orderly arrangement in a basement tends to encourage neatness and lessen the amount of work required.