Approximately 18 months ago I wrote an article which compared the difference and characteristics of living in a modern dwelling compared to an ‘older’ one. Within the article (Link) I also discussed the impact of ever changing regulations and how this is having and influence on house design and construction:
It has been a requirement for many years under UK Building Regulations to construct buildings with high level of thermal efficiency and this is something that is constantly being amended to make buildings even more thermally efficient and air tight than ever before. So, the decision to live in a more ‘modern’ building will often revolve around this higher level of thermal comfort and modern facilities that these buildings offer. Many seem to be prepared to accept these, sometimes characterless, standardised houses, with perfect right angles and flush plastered walls, which seems to be the conventional ‘norm’ for those buying modern houses today. Accepted, there will always be some exceptions where those constructing new houses will try to incorporate architectural and period features however these are few and far between. The reason this is so rare is usually because of a desire to squeeze as many plots onto a site as possible, to be built as cheaply as possible and to therefore maximise return. There is also a general reduction in available traditional craft skills, which are being lost as older craft workers retire and colleges fail to teach new ‘apprentices’ these craft skills.
|Victorian Minton Floor - Source: http://www.mintontiledfloorcleaning.co.uk/|
|Victorian back to back house - Source: http://www.weekendnotes.co.uk/|
|Source: : history.powys.org.uk/|
Despite the character, charm and sense of history that we can get if we live in or visit a Victorian house today, it is fair to say that the vast majority of those who lived in these houses in Victorian times would not have felt the same. In part 2 next week I will identify some general characteristics of Victorian houses and in part 3 the following week I will discuss some typical defects. Be sure to take a look at these articles.
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