Owning a Victorian-era house is an accomplishment in and of itself. Afterall, it is almost akin to owning a piece of history. 

But what happens when your Victorian home begins to feel outdated and even cramped. These homes were built with well-differentiated rooms and layouts that do not really support the concept of open floor plans. Do you buckle down and tackle the renovation head on? Or simply opt to relocate to a more contemporary home that is better suited to your needs?

If your first instinct is to renovate your Victorian property, then kudos to you! Victorian homes are absolute gems in terms of their architecture and truly worth the investment. But it is not an easy endeavour. 

And when the first signs of doubt begin to creep in, it is a good idea to remind yourself why you are choosing to renovate instead of relocate:


Location is everything when it comes to matters of real estate, and Victorian homes are famously built in prime locations. 

That means if you reside in a Victorian home, chances are you already live in a wonderful neighbourhood and in close proximity to all the amenities, market places, and great transport links.

Structure and Architecture-

Victorian homes are built to last. On top of that, their pitched roofs, double-hung windows, ornate detailing, exquisite designs, and tasteful woodwork help create stunning homes that are straight out of an architectural fantasy.

Historical significance-

Whether you are a history buff or not, you cannot deny the appeal of owning a Victorian home, and the bragging rights that come with it. Victorian homes are characteristic features of a quintessential British town, and deeply valued as such. 

With the benefits of Victorian house renovations firmly established, here are a few key points that need to be considered before embarking on this exciting renovation project:

1. Budget-


The primary focus of any renovation should be to ensure that the project is a worthwhile investment and not a drain on your finances. In order to achieve this, it is crucial you plan your budget meticulously. 

Be sure to account for each repair, restoration, and upgrade involved. This must ideally include the cost of:

  • Building materials
  • Fittings and fixtures
  • Specialists’ fees
  • Council fees, etc.

Leave nothing out, be realistic and organised, and leave some leeway to account for any unforeseen delays and added expenses that invariably arise during the course of any renovation.

2. Time frame-

Time frame

A good idea to keep track of your progress and make adequate preparations, is to construct a timeframe. This allows you to map out the different phases of the renovation, and also helps you to organise everything from the planning and development, to the build and the final handover.

Once again, allow for some flexibility in your time frame, as not everything is likely to run according to schedule.

3. Planning-


Alongside your budget and tentative timeline, is the need for planning the actual work that must be carried out in order to ensure a successful renovation.

To achieve this, it is crucial to understand the amount of repair work necessary. Some of the factors that have to be considered include:

  • Ventilation- Often the first step of renovating a Victorian period property is to address the underlying cause of dampness seen in the majority of these houses. Conducting a damp survey, and addressing any ventilation issues identified, helps resolve these condensation problems.
  • Plasterwork- Broken bricks, internal cracks, uneven plastering, and even surface stains can create a visual that is both unappealing and may give rise to future ventilation dilemmas. Using lime finish and breathable paints helps to patch up these areas while preventing any further issues with internal ventilation.
    And because cornicing and ceiling roses bring to life a truly Victorian aesthetic, careful restoration of these features allows you to retain the intricate beauty of interior ceiling.
  • Insulation- As beautiful as sash windows seem, they are not exactly the best insulated. The installation of secondary, draft-proofed glazing allows you to upgrade these iconic windows without masking their original features.
  • Wiring- Naturally, the wiring and electrical work of a Victorian home may not be up to the expected safety standards of today. Therefore, upgrading the electrics, and installing the requisite smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and fire prevention systems, helps to elevate the property and comply with modern safety standards.
  • Roof work and flooring- Replacing any broken roof tiles, and restoring the authentic dark wood floorboards is an effective method of allowing you to keep in place some of the key features of a Victorian home.

Most importantly, through each step of the renovation process, think about how you can restore rather than replace. This will help in retaining the original style and architecture of the Victorian property without creating a jarring design that contrasts harshly with this timeless structure.

4. Additions-


With the essential structural work in place, you can now focus on the upgrades that will help you transform this 19th century home into a haven of contemporary design.

Some of the best ways to make a Victorian-era property suit your modern lifestyle include:

Opening it up- Victorian homes were characteristically designed to comprise of well-defined boundaries and walls to give rise to closed, separate rooms. This is entirely different from modern-day open layouts and floor plans in which one room seamlessly transitions to the next.

Breaking down non-load bearing walls can help you achieve this open design and more centrally-based living and dining areas.

More bedrooms/ baths- Consider adding more bedrooms, baths, or even en-suites to the upstairs. This not only adds great value, but allows greater flexibility in how you may utilise the downstairs.

Conversions-With their high ceilings and pitched roofs, Victorian houses are ideal for loft conversions. This enables you to create useful and functional additional floor space that adds incredible value to the property. 

Best of all? Loft conversions are extremely versatile in their design. This allows for the creation of bedrooms, bathrooms, home offices, or even stunning study nooks.

Extensions- Often the best type of home improvement project is the extension of the property. Besides adding valuable floor space, extensions help create iconic rooms that can be tailored to meet specific tastes and needs. 

Some of the most popular home extension designs for Victorian properties include side, side return, and rear extensions. Each of these help transform the interior of the home through the addition of customised spaces, while at the same time adding light and ventilation through coveted indoor-outdoor connections.

5. Landscaping-


A typically overlooked aspect of Victorian house renovations is the outside. Kerb appeal plays a pivotal role in the value of a property, and any measures taken to enhance the outside helps the overall value of the property.

Some of the obvious ways in which to ensure your home has kerb appeal is by:

  • Restoring the front door of your Victorian home
  • Maintaining the windows and paintwork
  • Repairing any broken gutters, gates, and fences

But by far the most effective is landscaping. Adding greenery, trimming the grass, or simply installing planters and window boxes can make a dramatic difference to the charm and appeal of your Victorian home. 


Victorian homes undoubtedly hold a special place in the hearts of many homeowners. But not many have the courage and audacity required to transform this period property and create the ultimate contemporary renovation.

It may not be easy or straightforward, but Victorian house renovations are exciting adventures that are definitely worth the investment. And with the right help and expertise, these home renovations become beautiful experiences that result in the creation of the ideal modern-day Victorian home.

Looking to transform your Victorian property? Contact the incredible team at Good Design and Build today!

We specialise in transforming and extending Victorian properties with beautiful, bespoke designs that bring your period property to the 21st century.

Author: Amol

Amol is an architectural designer and has worked on hundreds of residential projects in London since 2008.Having done his M.Arch from the Glasgow School of Arts he gained valuable experience in London working in the construction industry managing high-end residential projects, before founding Good Design and Build in 2015.You will meet him for initial consultation and work closely with him during all stages of your project