8 tips to help you identify a Victorian house

Amongst the most desired period homes are Victorian houses. However, it can be difficult to tell the difference between one built in the Victorian era and one built at another time.

Posted: April 13, 2023



Victorian house Suffolk

When it comes to selecting a home to purchase, many homebuyers covet period properties. Amongst the most desired period homes are Victorian houses. However, it can be difficult to tell the difference between one built in the Victorian era and one built at another time.

We are fortunate to enjoy a wealth of Victorian properties in Suffolk. So, to help you spot a Victorian house, here are some classic characteristics of Victorian houses that make them stand out from other styles of homes.

1. Look for steep roofs

Victorian houses often have steep, pitched roofs with multiple gables and dormers. This is because, during the Victorian era, the use of slate and tile for roofing became more widespread, which allowed for steeper roof pitches. Additionally, the steep roof allowed for more living space in the attic, which was especially useful when homes were getting smaller.

2. Look for bay windows

A telling characteristic of Victorian homes is the use of bay windows. Bay windows created a more open and light-filled interior space. These windows often have multiple panels of glass and can be found on the first or second floor of the home. Edwardian and other baroque-aged homes also often have bay windows.

Victorian properties

3. Decorative trim – inside and out

Victorian homes are known for their ornate trim – inside and out, which often includes intricate woodwork, decorative ironwork and railings, brackets and mouldings outside and crown mouldings, picture rail mouldings, and dado rails inside. These were popular features during the Victorian era and showed off the homeowner’s wealth, elegance and status.

4. Consider the symmetry

Victorian houses often feature an asymmetrical façade, with different-sized windows and doors and an irregular roofline. Asymmetry was a departure from the more symmetrical designs of previous eras and allowed for a more eclectic and individualistic style.

Victorian house windows

5. Take a good look at the windows

Previous homes tended to have smaller multi-panel windows. However, with the introduction of plate glass, Victorian homes often have larger panels and bigger windows. Another hallmark of Victorian houses is the use of stained glass windows. These windows often feature intricate designs and can be found in various colours.

6. Check out the flooring

Many Victorian homes feature parquet flooring made of small pieces of wood arranged in a decorative pattern. Parquet was a popular flooring choice during the Victorian era, and various wood species and patterns are evident. Covering up parquet flooring over time is not unusual, so you may need to put on your detective hat to see if the original flooring remains.

Victorian houses

7. Look for turrets and towers

Grander Victorian homes often feature turrets and towers, as these created a more imposing and grandiose appearance.

8. See if you can spot decorative tiles

Victorian homes often feature decorative tiles on their exterior, floors, or around fireplaces. These added a more decorative and ornate appearance.

Identifying a Victorian house can be a fun and rewarding experience, as these homes are known for their unique and ornate design features. These are period homes that have interesting characters and become much-loved family homes. Look for homes with sympathetic restoration, protected or renewed period features, and sympathetic modernisation that ensures comfortable living.

If you’re looking to purchase a Victorian home in Suffolk, be sure to get in touch with David Burr estate agents, who have a wealth of experience in selling and buying homes in the area. We can help you identify period features and distinguishing characteristics of period properties.