The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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                               LOCATION OF A HOUSE.
the soil will form an object of inquiry. Lastly, the soil must be ex­amined in reference to the foundations, which are'sometimes a con­siderable source of expenditure when the building has commenced. Good rocks and chalk are excellent for this purpose, especially if the whole site to be occupied by the house is composed of the same. A good foundation, therefore, renders a spot so much cheaper than a bad one.
The Aspect.—To a certain extent, the choice of aspect is left to be decided after the purchase of a site; but not entirely so, because in many cases of suburban residences the owner is compelled to build his house in conformity with existing arrangements, if not in a partic­ular plan, yet with a settled aspect. Here, therefore, he should pause and consider whether the aspect is a good one; but, for this purpose, it is right to know what is really good and the reverse. In this way we have two things to consider: the prevailing objectionable wind and the sun. In this climate, the wind which we desire most to avoid is that from the east or north—sometimes one and sometimes the other being the worst, according to the protection afforded by the nearest mountains or hills; whichever, therefore, is the worst, neither the back nor "the front should be turned that way, but one of the sides, in which there need be few openings. Again, it is of great importance to health, especially to that of young children, that they should have a plenty of sun, especially morning sun; and, therefore, a north aspect is not good or cheerful, inasmuch as little sun can be obtained on that side. Neither is a full south or southwest aspect very much to be sought after, because here we have too much of a good thing, and are scorched by the sun's rays; but a southeastern view of this luminary is the one which commands all the advantages, without any drawbacks, and is that which most people would choose, if they could. In this aspect we have the sun upon the breakfast table, which is the time when children are benefited most by its rays, and are rendered happy and cheerful for the rest of the day. The nursery, therefore, should be turned to this point, if possible; when the heat of the summer comes there is all the cheerfulness and health which it affords in the morning, without the sultry heat of the after­noon. In town this is of a still greater importance than in the country. This fact has often been proved by comparing a number of young families on the two sides.
I again repeat, in choosing a house, that the health and comfort of a family should be of the highest importance; that the neighbor­hood of all factories of any kind, producing unwholesome effluvia and smells, should be strictly avoided. Nither is it well to take a house in the immediate vicinity of where a noisy trade is carried on, as it is unpleasant to the feelings, and tends to increase any existing irritation of the system.