William Kibbel III is a home inspector and restoration consultant specializing in historic residential and commercial buildings.
Bill spends a lot of time poking and crawling in old-house attics and basements -- and uses this column to share some of what he's learned.
- The Little Room Upstairs
Many homes from the late Victorian era have a small room upstairs. Find out the history behind these rooms.
- Permits? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Permits
When considering a purchase of a new property, be sure to examine its zoning and permit history. Permits can reveal the history of a property and help you with future improvements.
- Vinyl Siding
Old house in disguise?
- Controlling Moisture in a Crawlspace
The wettest crawlspaces -- and basements -- seem to be directly related to exterior drainage issues.
- Buying an Old House
Plan for repair and higher maintenance costs
- Home inspection
Answers to questions about sagging floors, rotted sills and other problems common to old houses
- The Old House Interiors Design Center Sourcebook
The definitive guide to period-inspired home products
- Common Fire Safety Device in Old Homes a Health Hazard
Fire Grenades (or Fire Bombs) were popular from 1870-1940, but can actually be deadly during a fire.
- The Spring Cellar
We'd like to use our farmhouse's root cellar but it's always flooded. Any ideas on how to keep the water out?
- Cement Asbestos Roofing
Cement asbestos roofing is a durable, inexpensive material that was used to cover and protect buildings throughout two-thirds of the twentieth century.
- Repointing Historic Masonry
The mortar that's used between the bricks and stones of old homes is traditionally lime-based. The properties of this type of mortar make it a wise choice for repointing and repairs to stone walls and foundations.
- Hiring a Contractor
Vet your contractor and spell everything out to avoid costly surprises
- Carpenter Ants Infestation
Pests thrive on warm weather and water-damaged wood
- The Home Inspector
Getting help in evaluating old foundations, crawlspaces
- Firebacks - What are they?
Decorative cast iron plates also served functional purpose
- Wood roofs
Care and maintenance of cedar shakes and shingles
- Sagging floors
Serious flaw or charming old house character?
- The 'other' chimney - the one serving your furnace
What you need to know about inspecting, repairing and maintaining your heating system's chimney
- Inspecting historic properties
How to choose a home inspector qualified to evaluate an older home.