The Crack Detective
One thing old houses all seem to have in common is cracks. Sometimes they are just part of the charm of an old house, and sometimes they mean your back wall is about to collapse. By playing Sherlock Holmes, you can decide which cracks are important, what is causing them and what to do about them. All cracks are caused by movement of the parts of a house. A crack detective uses the cracks as clues to find the cause of the movement. Then a judgement can be made as to whether or not it is necessary to try to stop the movement.
This article, by Encore Lead Architect, Ward Bucher, was originally published in 1981 in an early version of the Old-House Journal.