We’ve all seen what Victorian-style homes look like. There are countless movies out there that explore it. But, whenever we watch these movies, we don’t see ourselves living in such houses. More often, we see the houses in period movies. So we think that they’re outdated and not liveable for 2020. Other times, we see the Victorian houses in horror movies. The whole facade of it casts a dark shadow around the house. Again, it’s not exactly inviting and fitting for living.
But you shouldn’t lose hope in Victorian-style homes. They do have a certain charm that we don’t usually find in other styles of homes. Here are the basic aspects that would help you as you plan and work on renovating a Victorian house.
Work on the Roofing
Before anything else, you have to make sure that the house’s roof is strong enough. You have to make sure that it won’t suddenly come crashing down and ruin any progress you’ve made in the house.
Since Victorian houses still standing today have seen generations pass by, their roofs are bound to be brittle and unstable. But the roofs of Victorian houses need more special attention. This is because, traditionally, they have the shape of a giant. Its sides are usually made from timber rafters. And these rafters prop up against each other. Because of this shape, they’re susceptible to sagging of roof slopes.
So, first, you have to check the roof for leaks. To solve this issue for good, repair the pipework. In colder seasons, roofs also get damaged because of the melted snow gathering on it. This causes dampness on the ceilings and walls of the upper rooms. It would even compromise the roof’s integrity. To solve this, improve the insulation in these rooms.
In some cases, the materials of the roof itself need replacing. This is due to issues such as torn-off shingles. To fix this, you can contact roofing experts such as Raintite Roofing & Construction to replace such materials.
Consider the Floor Plan and Opening up some Rooms
What’s common in Victorian-style homes is that they have a lot of rooms. And these rooms are connected by hallways and doors that make the house feel like a maze. If you prefer to have a lot of small rooms, then great. You won’t need to worry about this.
But if you want to have more light and breathing space, then you will need to tear down some walls. But you have to be careful with this. It’s common in older homes to have walls that are load-bearing. This means that they act as beams that support the upper floors.
Consult a contractor when working on the rooms. Perhaps you can replace the walls with actual beams to open up some rooms. But there is another option. Instead of tearing down walls, you can open them up a bit with archways. This way, the rooms feel airy but the walls are still there to support the upper floors.
Update the Bathroom and Kitchen
Like many old homes, their bathrooms aren’t updated. This means the plumbing needs a lot of work. During the Victorian era, bathrooms weren’t even called as such. Instead, they were called “water closets.” So it makes sense that the rooms are small and cramped. They don’t have a luxurious feel to them, one that would invite you to soak and relax in the tub for hours. You can tear down some walls to make the bathrooms more spacious.
The kitchen also needs updating. You’ll need to work on the plumbing as well as the electricity for your appliances. But what’s great about them is that they’re usually spacious and airy. This is because wealthy families in the Victorian era had an army of helpers. The kitchen was where they congregated. So you won’t be needing to open up some rooms for this one.
Keep some of its Charm Alive
Victorian-style homes are adorned with intricate details. Cornices make the ceilings interesting. Light fixtures hanging against the walls and under the ceiling immediately catches the eye of anyone who walks into the room. Even the doorknobs bear interesting carvings.
These are signs of careful craftsmanship of an era long gone. So it would be a crime to totally erase them from the house. So what you can do to restore these details and discover how they can blend well with modern living.
It’s not uncommon for Victorian-style houses to be renovated today. Don’t get it wrong–they require a lot of planning and work. But in the end, they can be rewarding. All you’ll need to do is recognize what can be restored and work on the ones that need to be updated. After this, you’d get to enjoy a style of home that has a rich history and marries traditional and modern.