David Rudge Associates

Listed Building Repairs in Staffordshire

Phone Number: 01889 504219

Are Victorian Houses Hard To Maintain

  • Posted by:
  • Admin
  • Tags:
  • Posted date:
  • 08-06-2023
Are Victorian Houses Hard To Maintain

Are Victorian houses hard to maintain? David Rudge Associates offer listed building repairs in Staffordshire, Shropshire, Cheshire and Derbyshire. This article looks at the problems you may encounter in Victorian houses and key areas that need maintenance.

Problems You May Encounter in Victorian Houses

The Victorian era was a time of great construction and design innovation in Britain. Many of the homes built during this period still remain today. Although they may need some repairs and maintenance to bring them up to modern standards.

This article will explore whether Victorian houses are hard to maintain. We will look at problems that you may encounter when owning one, how old they are and whether they are well-built. We will also outline some tips and advice on how to maintain these traditional homes.

If you own or are considering purchasing, a Victorian property it is important to be aware of the potential issues that you may come across. Structurally speaking, Victorian properties can be prone to damage caused by their age. Roofing and pipework are likely to need repair or replacement. Foundations can also become weakened over time. Many of these homes also feature ornate decorative features, such as stained glass windows. These require specific maintenance and care in order to preserve them. 

Key areas that need maintenance in a Victorian house

Are Victorian Houses Hard To Maintain? Listed Building Repairs in Staffordshire, Shropshire, Cheshire and Derbyshire.


When caring for a Victorian home, there are some key areas that require more attention than others. The roof is an integral part of the structural integrity of a house, and many will need either repairs or full replacement due to their age.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the most popular style of roofing was original slate roofing.

This style of roof was a combination of both tiles and slates using iron nails. Over time, this type of roofing could be problematic as the iron nails would begin to corrode and break down.

This would lead to the slates and tiles splitting open and the entire roof deteriorating.

Slate is highly weather resistant but if the tiles or slates become loose and split then they can easily detach from the rest of the roof. In order to fix this, major maintenance work will be required. This can not only be expensive but also time-consuming to find a professional who is trained to solve this specific and outdated problem.


Pipes are another key issue, with rust and wear and tear being common problems. The original service pipes that would bring a home's water into a property were constructed from lead. This was done in order to resist corrosion. It was not common knowledge at the time, but now we know that this is very dangerous. Pipes made from lead can be highly hazardous to a person's health.

Any lead pipes in a Victorian house need to be addressed as soon as possible to avoid health issues. Aside from the ways lead piping can affect a person's well-being, they are also highly unstable practically. Over time they can very easily develop leaks. This is simply because of wear and tear, as well as abrasion from water and minerals.

It is vital to know which variety of pipes are running below your home. If they are lead, then they need to be replaced as soon as possible. Unfortunately, depending on the amount of lead piping, this can be an expensive job.


A huge amount of the original Victorian homes were constructed to be extremely low to the ground. They would even use beach sand in the cement. The combination of a low foundation, as well as the salt from the sand in the cement can lead to a variety of different issues.

The concrete can slowly erode due to termites. Water that finds its way into the foundation can also cause damage. Overall, the foundations may just be in need of strengthening. These problems will not occur for all Victorian houses.

Depending on when the property was built, and the quality of its construction, the foundation may need very little maintenance at all. The best way to ensure that a Victorian property's foundation is in good condition is to have the structure professionally assessed. A professional will be able to tell you how much maintenance the property needs.

 Decorative Features

In many ways, all the small decorative features are what make Victorian homes so identifiable. The architectural details in original Victorian homes are highly ornate. Many see them as a complete highlight of the building style.

For some, it is the whole reason why a Victorian home is worth investing in. This is why it is so important to keep a close eye on any decorative features. Ensuring that these parts of the home are protected will mean that the property's historic value goes unchanged.

Features like cornices, skirting boards and tiles should be monitored to spot any damage or deterioration. Restoring all these small details can be expensive, but it is worth it in order to hold up the long-term value of the property.

Decorative Features - Are Victorian Houses Hard To Maintain?

Some will even go as far as to replace all the home's decorative facets. This is an even more costly and time-consuming task, but it is done in order to keep the total worth of the property as high as possible.

Overall, the amount of maintenance that is required for a Victorian home will depend on how well a property has been maintained in the past. The cost of maintaining a Victorian property can be expensive, but many see the cost as worth it, in order to uphold the long-term value of the home. 

How old is a Victorian house?

When discussing whether Victorian houses are hard to maintain, it’s important to establish just when this era commenced. The Victorian era was named after Queen Victoria's reign which lasted from 1837 - 1901. 

So any homes built in this period are considered to be Victorian. However, some may date back to even earlier than the Queen's ascension. Other homes were built later in the period and have been classed as ‘Victorian’ in style. 

Are Victorian houses well-built?

Victorian homes are generally seen as being well-constructed. Experienced builders of the era employed a number of methods to ensure their structures remained sturdy and durable.

Early cavity walls, for example, provided extra insulation and kept out the weather. However, due to the age of Victorian properties, you may find that some of these features may need replacing. Such as when nail sickness is present in timber framing or sill beams. 

Maintenance tips for Victorian houses

If you have recently acquired a Victorian home, it’s important to ensure regular maintenance is carried out. This will prolong the life of the property for many years to come. Regular checks for damp in the basement and the service pipes might be necessary, as these may have become blocked over the years.

Check for signs of insect infestations in the structure, as well as cracks in the walls and flooring. Decorative floor tiles need special cleaning products and techniques in order to protect them from damage. Heating systems should also be regularly serviced. In conclusion, Victorian houses can be difficult to maintain.

But with regular checks and upkeep, they can provide a home full of character and style. Knowing which areas require tending. As well as understanding the age and construction of the building, will help when making key decisions. With the right care and effort, Victorian houses can remain a beautiful testament to the past.

David Rudge Associates offer listed building repairs throughout Staffordshire, Shropshire, Cheshire and Derbyshire. To find out more information about our listed building restoration work, please follow the link below to find out more about our services.