10 ways to add value to a Victorian terrace

There are lots of ways to add value to a Victorian terrace, from putting in additional bathrooms to creating open plan living. Use our tips to invest wisely

How to add value to a Victorian terrace: victorian terrace extension in garden by Jody Stewart
How to add value to a Victorian terrace: victorian terrace extension in garden by Jody Stewart

Hoping to add value to a Victorian terrace? Whether you're trying to sell it or keen to make an investment towards your property's future, there are things you should do, and things you shouldn't. We take you through the profit potential options, from extending to the side or rear, changing the layout of the bathroom and creating open plan living to the restoration of original features and making external alterations. Our top tips should add value to your Victorian terrace.

For loads more practical advice, read our guides on how to renovate a Victorian house and how to add space and value to your home

1. Make exterior repairs and alterations

You never have a second chance to make a first impression, and while you can add value to a Victorian terrace by improving the interior of your home may seem the most logical option for increasing its value, prospective buyers will make a judgement before they even reach the front door.

Transforming your home's exterior can mean anything from ensuring the roof and windows are in good condition and the guttering is intact to replacing cracked driveway tiles or simply painting your front door.

Find out how to repair an old roof

2. Carry out essential repairs

Making necessary fixes throughout the house and ensuring that everything is clean, clear and smelling great is an easy way to make add value to a Victorian terrace. This includes the small DIY tasks you may have been putting off; failing to fix leaking taps, broken toilet seats and squeaky floorboards could make the difference between a yes and a no.

Find out how to renovate old wooden floors in our guide. 

3. Go open plan

If you are considering structural changes, reworking the existing floor plan in favour of creating an open plan layout in an old house will increase both the value of the property and how the space works to suit your needs. 

Historically, Victorian terraced houses were utilitarian in nature. A hallway led to a front living room and back reception room, then a small kitchen with an adjoining bathroom. This layout resulted in cramped, dark spaces, unlike the light-filled, airy rooms preferred today. 

Take a look at our amazing Victorian terrace transformations  to get an idea of what's possible. 

open plan kitchen in a victorian terraced house

How to add value to a Victorian terrace: The owners of this Victorian terrace in Hackney, London, created an open plan kitchen diner and consequently added £200,000 to the value of their home.

4. Relocate the bathroom

Space often comes at a premium in a Victorian terrace. By moving the bathroom upstairs, you’ll not only make a huge difference to the desirability of the property, proving a good investment in the long term, but also leave more room downstairs for extending the kitchen.

In some cases, the only option for creating an upstairs bathroom is to do so at the expense of a bedroom, which could negatively affect the property’s value. Instead, consider whether it's possible to reduce bedroom sizes or take out storage cupboards in exchange for a small upstairs bathroom. Our guide to designing a small bathroom will give you an idea of what's possible.

a relocated bathroom in a victorian terraced house

How to add value to a Victorian terrace:This boutique style bathroom was created from the ashes of a disused and under appreciated spare bedroom and only cost £5,600. Click here to view the complete project

5. Restore, don't replace, Victorian features

Victorian terraces were very humbly and solidly built, with beautiful architectural details – sash windows, encaustic floor tiles, parquet flooring, cast-iron fireplaces and high ceilings being great few examples.

As a general rule, we'd advise restoring as many original features as possible rather than replacing if you want to add value to a Victorian terrace. In the case of fireplaces and radiators, consider replacing with originals which can usually be found in reclamation or salvage yards.

Cornicing and ceiling roses should be replaced with like for like designs, rather than removed, then incorporated into any new extensions or reconfigured rooms, should you decide to knock through existing walls.

Exposing the house’s brickwork or rejuvenating surfaces with bold colours are both simple methods to update character homes. The Victorian colour palette consisted of strong, deep, dark hues, but on-trend greys and greens work particularly well and give a modern finish.

6. Add value to your home by reducing clutter

De-personalising and storing personal belongings away provides a blank canvas that allows potential buyers to imagine themselves living there and helps those viewing the property to see beyond your items and focus on the property’s space and structure.

Check out these 25 decluttering jobs you must do if you want to sell your home

7. Opt for a neutral scheme

Giving your walls a fresh coat of paint, preferably in a neutral shade, will make your home feel brighter and cleaner and, again, allow potential buyers to envisage what they could do in the property to make it their own.

8. Add a side return extension

Victorian terraces often have one disadvantage – poky kitchens that are often tucked away in narrow spaces called closet wings to the rear of the property. They can and do put off potential buyers who expect bright and spacious kitchens. One way around this is to utilise the space known as the side return, or the narrow passage to the side of the property that was designed for getting to the outdoor WC before indoor plumbing became common. A glazed side return extension will enhance space and light – and the value of your property. 

Read our guide to adding an extension to a Victorian house for more info. Check out more planning, designing and budgeting tips for side return extensions in our guide. 

terraced house with large side extension and box dormer

How to add value to a Victorian terrace: terraced house with large side extension and box dormer

(Image: © Alison Hammond)

9. Add an extra bedroom with a loft conversion

More bedrooms = more value, whatever the type home you're selling, but bedrooms come at a special premium in terraced homes, especially when one of the upstairs bedrooms has been converted into a family bathroom. A loft conversion is an excellent way to add an extra bedroom; however, loft conversions are expensive, especially if you're planning on making structural changes to the roof, so it's best to consult your estate agent beforehand to find out if the added value will be worth the expense. 

Find out more in our essential guide to loft conversions

10. Add a downstairs cloakroom

Cloakrooms are highly desirable in Victorian terraces; they will make the property more accessible for less mobile visitors or residents, and makes entertaining easier. The most important thing to consider is the location – the WC will need to connect to an outside wall or the mains; this makes kitchens and utility rooms the best rooms for carving out a space for a cloakroom. Dining rooms, on the other hand, are not ideal, since guests will be unlikely to want to use it during dinner.

Looking for more Victorian terrace inspiration?