It was during the Victorian era that a key moment in the history of architecture took place. In 1851, the window tax (which consisted of a property tax based on the number of windows a house had) was abolished, making windows a design feature. Starting in the 1850s, “fibrous plaster” (reinforced with burlap fibers) was introduced and allowed large, complex cornices to be molded in one piece before placing them. At the other end of the scale, lightweight papier mache ornamental moldings were also used in slightly more modest homes.
The generous proportions of Victorian homes, such as high ceilings and double reception rooms, are particularly popular with families. These homes also attract buyers because of the ease with which they can be expanded and modernized. Much time and care was devoted to building Victorian homes. Houses were often asymmetrically designed, and the use of stamped bricks on external elevations became popular.
The different brick patterns received their own names, the best known of which is the striking Flemish Brick Bond design. Luxurious decorations and colorful brick displays were routinely used to denote the owner's status and wealth. Some historic homes in a not-so-good state of conservation can be big investments, if you're willing to invest additional time, money, and money in them. However, because of their age, historic homes can be more expensive to fix and renovate than newer ones.
You may discover that generations of homeowners have made repairs and extensions with varying levels of experience, and old walls can hide big surprises. Amy and Doug Heavilin are restoring a 1902 Victorian-style home in Franklin, Indiana. They had already worked in houses from the 1920s and 1930s, and had been living in one since 1875, when their current home, their dream home, came on the market after a foreclosure. You can follow the Heavilins projects on their website.
Alex and Wendy Santantonio purchased a 15-foot wide townhouse in 1885 in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, in 2003 and are still finding projects that need to be done. They also bought a beach house in 1908 in Maryland and are still documenting their restoration projects on their website. But then, on RightMove, I saw a Victorian house in an area we hadn't seen before, and it was much larger than the others, with an extension in the back for more space. I'm sure this isn't the case if you buy the more expensive ones, but they didn't seem to be good value for money compared to older homes.
But, in general, the energy bills in old houses are much higher than those in modern houses, so it's another thing worth thinking about if you buy one. We were also worried about being in a house with a terrace in case the walls were thin as paper, but luckily the walls are made of brick solid, unlike new constructions, which are often only made of plasterboard and are not so soundproofed.