Don't Let These Remodeling Mistakes Ruin The Authenticity Of Your Victorian Home

Construction & Contractors Articles

If you own a Victorian-era home, then you probably want to do all you can to preserve the authenticity of its design and architecture. Unfortunately, a lot of owners of Victorian homes unknowingly make mistakes that take away from the authentic appeal of their homes. This hurts their homes' resale value and impinges on their goal of preserving a piece of history. To ensure you don't fall into this trap, make sure you avoid the following mistakes.

Mistake #1: Modernizing the windows

A lot of owners of Victorian homes want to replace their windows, since the original windows in these homes tend to be drafty and allow for high energy bills. However, choosing the wrong kind of windows can ruin the look of the home.

Many Victorian homes were built with sliding sash windows. Luckily, this is still a common style of window. However, homeowners should be careful to choose windows with either four or six panes on top and a single pane on the bottom. Six-pane upper windows were more common in the early Victorian era, whereas four-pane ones were more common in later on. Do not replace your windows with single-pane upper and lower windows -- these are decidedly modern and will ruin the authenticity of the home. You may have to shop around to find a window company that offers windows in the large size typically found in Victorian homes. 

Talk with contractors about proper window installation no matter the type of windows you choose.

Mistake #2: Getting rid of stained glass

To a lot of modern homeowners, stained glass seems like more trouble than it's worth. It's tough to clean, and it does not let in a lot of natural light. However, getting rid of stained glass in a Victorian home is a big mistake. During the Victorian era, stained glass represented wealth. Those who had enough money to afford stained glass windows bought them, and those of lesser means used window coatings to replicate the look of stained glass.

Instead of getting rid of a stained glass window that's looking a bit worse for wear, find a company that revitalizes and repairs stained glass windows. If you have one of these in your home, it's a very meaningful relic of the Victorian era and deserves to be respected.

Mistake #3: Replacing the trim with something "more modern"

If you look at modern homes, most have trim that features clean-cut lines. However, Victorian-era homes had decorative trim known as gingerbread that featured patterned cut-outs and elaborate edges. Getting rid of this trim and replacing it with modern, clean-edged trim will change the home's overall appearance. Keep the original trim if at all possible. If it's in bad shape, work with an artisan woodworker to have replica gingerbread trim made.

Mistake #4: Painting with all neutral colors

In modern decorating, there seems to be a trend towards choosing neutral colors, both for home interiors and exteriors. However, bright color schemes are one of the hallmark elements of Victorian home design. Prior to the Victorian era, homes were very neutral. They were typically painted white or beige. The Victorian era changed all this, as bright earth tones like mustard yellow and burnt orange came into vogue. To eschew these brighter colors in favor of white or beige would be an insult to the advancements in color design that came during the Victorian era.

You don't have to decorate your whole home in bright colors, but do make sure that at least some rooms, and your home exterior, have some color to them. This will go a long way toward preserving your home's authenticity, and it won't cost you much. Colored paint is typically the same price as white or beige.

When you purchase a Victorian home, you're purchasing a piece of history. By avoiding the remodeling mistakes above, you help preserve that piece of history for future generations.

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28 August 2015

Exploring Contractor's Hand Tools

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