Monday, 23 July 2018

Old Home New: Renovating a Victorian Terrace For Modern Living

Victorian terraces are gorgeous, classic houses which as the name suggests were built during the Victorian era. Built from stone and local brick they’re sturdy and have stood the test of time with hundreds of thousands of them still standing in the UK. With their high ceilings and character features, they make wonderful family homes for those who love a property with a little character and interest. However, as you’d imagine, life has changed considerably since these houses were built. If you’ve purchased one which has the same original layout you might need to do some work to bring it in line with modern family living. Here are a few areas you might need to consider.

The Windows
Victorian terraces usually have stunning sash style windows. If you’d like to keep the original style while upgrading to high quality double or triple glazing, there are companies that offer this. As you can see from this Roseview Windows video, they offer a nice slim sash style that would complement this style of house beautifully.

The Kitchen and Bathroom
Victorian terraces were built before a time when flushing indoor toilets were commonplace. For this reason, the original houses aren't built with a bathroom upstairs. When it became the law for all homes to have a flushing toilet, the solution was to create a small bathroom extension off the small kitchen to the rear of the home. It generally makes sense to move the bathroom upstairs and extend the kitchen in these kinds of homes. If you have space outside you can extend outwards, otherwise you could turn the middle reception room into the kitchen. That way you can knock down the small kitchen structure to create a bigger garden or use it as a utility room. Either way, the layout doesn’t tend to make sense for modern living so families will usually upgrade and modernise.

Victorian terraces were of course built during a time when the average person or family didn't own a car. For this reason the houses tend to either sit right on the street or with a small front garden with no drive. In some areas the front garden will be a little larger and so you may be able to turn this into a driveway but it’s not always the case. If you have a rear entrance to your back garden, you could look into creating a parking space, garage or carport there. Make sure you check out the parking situation before you buy, and if there’s only on street parking available think long and hard if you’re ok about this.

These old houses can be renovated beautifully, and with money, planning and effort can be brought into the 21st century for modern living. But there are some things to bear in mind so go into it with your eyes open and aware of the possible issues.

Have you ever lived in a Victorian terrace or would you want to? What are your pros and cons?

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