A dry, clean, well-lighted, and well-ventilated basement can be made a most useful part of the house by allotting certain spaces for special purposes. An orderly arrangement in a basement tends to encourage neatness and save work. The coal bin and furnace may be separated by a partition from the rest of the basement, which can then be used as a laundry, summer dining room, recreation room, game room, workshop, playroom for the children, or for other purposes where extra space is needed. 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 other equipment, they can be kept in good condition and more readily located when needed.
Before partitions are installed, a careful study of the requirements should be made, and a plan outlined. Then, regardless of the order in which the partitions are built, they will conform to the general scheme. The partitions may be of wallboard, lumber, brick, tile, or concrete, depending upon the wishes of the owner regarding permanence and cost.
In erecting a partition to be sheathed with wallboard or lumber, it will first be necessary to construct a framework on which to nail the sheathing. For plates and studs, 2- by 4-inch lumber is generally used, as in ordinary wall construction. If wallboard is used, the studs should be placed on 16- or 24-inch centers depending upon the width of the material. If a tight, neat, wood wall is desired, tongued-and-grooved three-quarter-inch boards may be used. If brick, concrete blocks, or/ hollow tile are used, the question of thickness is not important, because the wall is not a load-bearing wall. It should, however, be substantial enough to withstand considerable lateral pressure and rough usage.