Architect Advice | Renovating Period Properties in London 2020 Architect Advice | Renovating Period Properties in London 2020

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:


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 London Home

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 Cladding 
  • Wide Hallways 
  • Parquet wood flooring 
  • Wider Brighter Rooms 
  • Taller Ceilings 

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The essential Tips and Tricks to Renovating your Victorian or Edwardian Property.

Sustainable architecture

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 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 a necessity unless you are building a new home, although it could be useful if the issue is severe. There are ways of limiting these issues by using the right 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.

Home Acoustic Testing

Interior Architecture  

  • TOP TIP – To get inspiration about interior designs and other great household ideas check out Pinterest

Interior design which restores and celebrates traditional features

   As mentioned previously, we think that it is important that a homes original features should be celebrated because these are the things which gave it the character which 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 
  • Cornicing 
  • Fireplaces 
  • Architraves 
  • Original flooring
  • Decorative wall features 
  • High Ceilings

  We know how difficult it can be battling 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 tastes 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 have thin, fragile glass – often 2mm to 4mm. This means heat is exiting and busy London noise pollution is entering 

But what if I don’t want to lose the character of my period windows? 

  Luckily in London, there are window specialists in abundance 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 the right suppliers who can tackle these issues because we have experience in working alongside different suppliers and contractors. 

architects sw london wimbledon

London Flat

Important: It’s vital to get expert advice when removing internal walls to make sure they are not structural.  We can help you find a structural engineer.

Creating communal living spaces

  A common issue in period homes is combining it with modern living. Living spaces have evolved since Edwardian timesto become open and expansive, by combining the kitchen with other living spaces.  Combining the living and kitchen space in older properties will mean that internal walls will need to removed, it will improve the flow of the house, increases the lighting and provides communal space. Doing this successfully can have its difficulties as there are many factors to consider.   We have lots of experience in working London period properties, and our team of Architects and Designers would love to help you renovate your period property.  

So, if you have any plans for renovation or think that we could help you, why not download your FREE Online 10-Step Design Guide.

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We have lots of experience with working on period properties. Fill out your online Design Brief today and we can help you get started.

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Waterproofing your Cellar or Basement

  In London, Victorian and Edwardian properties often have a cellar or basement, which can be a great use of additonal 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 damp and other moisture issues. Correcting the problem sooner rather than later lowers the risk of future, unexpected costs.  We always recommend to do your research and get an expert to give you the best advice. 

Basement Waterproofing

Converting your  Loft

  Converting a loft into an extra room is a fantastic way to add another bedroom to your home, which could improve your lifestyle and is a great way to boost your properties value.    There are several different types of loft extensions, which enable you to maximise the space that you already have. Choosing the correct style depends on various factors: 

  • What are the different types?
  • Do I need planning permission for a loft conversion?
  • How much will a loft extension cost?

  We already have all of this covered. Read our Blog on Loft conversions in London to answer your questions! Whenever getting an extension it’s important to make the most with your budget, you want to get the highest quality, limit any issues and increase the value of your home. We have experience in all of those things, and we want to help you.

Upgrading the Central Heating System to get more room space

  Still, the most common type of hot water system in the UK is the Vented Cylinder, this will be a copper tank – which is usually located in the loft, as it uses gravity to drive the hot water around the house.  The newer Unvented Cylinder System was made legal in 1987. It differs as it is connected directly to the cold-water mains and uses the pressure from the mains, to pump the water around the house. A significant benefit of this is that it frees up space in your loft for an extra room, as it can be located anywhere in the home dependant on the plumbing system. The extra pressure will also provide more powerful flow rates giving you better quality showers, baths and more reliable heating.   If you are thinking of adding an extra bedroom into your loft, this will be great to increase the available living space up there, all while improving the quality of your hot water system. 

Luxury Bath

CCTV Drainage

Examining and replacing old drainage systems

  Popular with Victorian and Edwardian plumbers was the use of clay underground piping. Since then plumbers now have moved on with the times and are using more durable PVC plastic piping because clay piping is fragile and will crack over time, leading to roots growing through and blockages being formed.   Blockages can become expensive to fix and could flood your home, this is why it is always great to get on top of it before it happens!

An excellent way to examine the type and condition of your drainage system is to get a CCTV drainage survey undertaken.

These surveyors use high tech CCTV camera’s which are pushed along the pipeline and will examine the pipe condition, and highlight any areas where it needs repairing by providing a report.

We work closely with a number of different building surveyors.

Why not contact us today to see how we can help you.

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Renovating a Victorian or an Edwardian property (London) 2021 Ben Richards
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