An era that distinguishes British architecture with an amalgamation of styles and techniques, the Victorian period saw an explosion of construction as spa towns, cities and seaside resorts began to boom. Today, these buildings are a part of our country’s heritage, and the robust builds have become the beloved homes and properties of countless families and businesses throughout the UK. However whilst Victorian townhouses are incredibly well built as a rule, they aren’t without their flaws. So here is some advice to bear in mind when restoring these period properties.
When investing in a Victorian townhouse, a thorough survey of the exterior should be made in order to identify any structural weaknesses in the property. Whilst many buildings will require only minor renovations to the stonework, foundations, roofing and pipework, it’s important to budget for the exterior works as soon as possible to get an idea of a scale of the project.
Many of these tasks will require the assistance of a specialist; stone masonry, for example, was and should be pointed and restored with lime mortar. Meanwhile ornate architectural features such as arches and windows will need a tailor-made solution to be in-keeping with the style and period of the property. As such, the costs of maintenance work on these properties tend to be much higher than you would expect for a modern home, because of the skills and experience that go with it. However when done properly, exterior restoration of Victorian townhouses can look fantastic and add tangible value to the property.
It can be a difficult balance to strike between restoring the interior of such properties with authentic fittings and designs that stay true to the period, and more up-to-date styles that meet modern requirements. Bathrooms, for example, were completely different in the Victorian age, and are therefore unrealistic for the hygiene expectations and practicalities of a family today. However the market is awash with mock Victorian fittings and furniture that bring these elegant and distinct styles into the 21st century.
To really restore the character and charm of a townhouse, investing in the renovation of features such as fireplaces, staircases and tiling will act as a focal point for rooms of the house, and forgive any modern additions of furniture and technology. A few antiques coupled with décor that suits the themes and styles of the 19th century will put the heart back into the home, and bring the architecture to life.
Whether you are choosing to renovate a 19th century townhouse with a view to it becoming your home, or to make a profit on the property market, these fabulous examples of architecture can be costly but rewarding projects that provide a great return when done right. Thoroughly evaluate the task at hand before you begin, and get quotes from specialist construction companies, and the results will be impressive and lasting.
Do you own a Victorian Townhouse already that you want to restore? Hopefully this information will help.
This article is written by Kelly Gilmour Grassam, a freelance copywriter from Yorkshire. You can follow her on Twitter at @KellygGrassam. This article has been written with helpful information from Henley Stone.