Renovating a Victorian or an Edwardian property (London)
London is littered with an array of Victorian and Edwardian period properties. What makes them so unique is that they hold lots of character, have great history and host lots of beautiful features. However, renovating these period properties can have their difficulties, such as:
- Maintaining and celebrating period features
- Combining old designs with modern living
- Making older houses more sustainable
Our team of London Architects and Designers have lots of experience with dealing with these period properties, and we want to help you.
So, what makes my Victorian or Edwardian home so unique?
Victorian Period: 1837 to 1901.
Built under the rule of Queen Victoria I, to deal with a growing population and the boom of the middle class. These properties typically have:
- Coloured brickwork
- High Pitched Roof
- Narrow Hall
- Large Bay Windows
- Fire Places in every room
- Elaborate Designs (Wealth) – Geometric tilled halls,
- Stained Windows
Edwardian Period: 1901 to 1914.
King Edwards VII reign was far shorter than his mother’s. However, the Architectural period continued even after his death in 1910, lasting until 1914 and was stopped due to the start of WW1. These properties typically have:
- Red Bricks
- Mock Tudor Timber
- Wide Hallways
- Parquet wood flooring
- Wider Brighter Rooms
- Taller Ceilings
The essential Tips and Tricks to Renovating your Victorian or Edwardian Property.
Upgrading the insulation in your home
Insulation may not be the most glamorous of subjects, but it is a great starting place to save you your hard-earned money, literally seeping out of your house. Older properties don’t hold their heat compared to modern builds, as there have been vast improvements in technology and build quality. The heating in your home could be leaking through your roof, your walls and your floors, costing you money and increasing your homes ecological footprint.
These costs will build, so we recommend improving the insulation of your home in the areas where it is leaking. But how good is my current insulation? If you are unsure of its performance and want to get an expert’s advice, experts can use thermal imagery to show its performance and areas which need improving.
Upgrading acoustics to limit noise between you and your neighbours
Many of the Victorian and Edwardian properties in London are terrace houses, and due to their design, they are ideal to be renovated into flats or maisonettes. You may find in your home that noise between you and your neighbours is an issue. This could either be:
Airborne Noise – A person voice carrying through walls ,
Impact Noise – A child upstairs jumping up and down
A sound test is not necessary unless you are building a new home, or converting a property into multiple dwellings. However, it could be helpful if the noise issue is severe, or you’d like that ‘solid’ feel of a soundproofed home. There are ways of limiting these issues by using suitable materials or making other tweaks in home renovation plans. To find out more, read our blog on acoustic testing and how to resolve any noise issues.
Interior design which restores and celebrates traditional features
As mentioned previously, we think that it is vital that a home’s original features should be celebrated because these are the things that gave it the character that made you fall in love with it in the first place. It is what makes your house unique and gives it character. These are the features which you might find in your home.
- Bay and Sash Windows
- Original flooring
- Decorative wall features
- High Ceilings
We know how difficult it can be to battle modern tastes with restoring classical heritage. Our team of skilled Interior Architects and Designers would love to help you design your home to meet all of your preferences and create for you a home to be proud of.
Upgrading the windows and keeping their character
Unfortunately, the beautiful sash and bay windows that you often find in period Victorian or Edwardian homes usually have thin, fragile glass – often 2mm to 4mm. This means your heat costs are exiting and busy London noise pollution is entering.
But what if I don’t want to lose the character of my period windows?
Luckily, there are window specialists in abundance in London that will look to restore your existing windows or build for you bespoke period double glazed windows that will tick all the boxes. We recommend that you spend time on this, do your research and find the right supplier. This is one of the areas which is difficult when keeping your homes charisma and improving sustainability/functionality. Here at Aura Architecture, we can help you find suitable suppliers who can tackle these issues because we have experience in working alongside different suppliers and contractors.
Creating communal living spaces
A common issue in period homes is combining it with modern living. Living spaces have evolved since Edwardian times; they have become open and expansive by combining the kitchen with other living spaces. Combining the living and kitchen area in older properties will mean that internal walls will need to be removed. It will improve the flow of the house, increases the lighting and provides communal space. Doing this can have its difficulties as there are many factors to consider. We have lots of experience in working on London period properties, and our team of Architects and Designers would love to help you renovate your period property.
Waterproofing your Cellar or Basement
In London, Victorian and Edwardian properties often have a cellar or basement, which can be a great use of additional space or even just storage. If you’re already using this space or not, it’s essential to make sure that it is fully waterproof and damp free. Below level floors usually have damp issues because of:
- Poor Ventilation ,
- Cold Surfaces
- Faulty Gutters and Drains
- Ground Water
In the industry, we often see these homes getting rising dampness and other moisture issues. Correcting the problem sooner rather than later lowers the risk of future, unexpected costs. We always recommend doing your research and get an expert to give you the best advice.