London is packed full of impressive architecture. We are spoilt with the wealth of history right on our doorstep and even inside our own homes. From the Tudor era to Victorian, Edwardian up to the 1930’s semi.
When renovating or extending your home, if you get the wrong person to do it or do not take care with the design, you can completely ruin the unique style of your London property.
What are the different styles of houses often found in London and what makes them unique? How can you preserve that style when either renovating or extending your home?
Over the next two months we will be travelling back in time and looking at different houses built in certain eras and how you can renovate or recreate your property, keeping as much in line with its original features as possible.
This week we are going to look at the Tudor House.
TUDOR: 1485 – 1603
Most people in London will be able to identify a Tudor home, with its unique style of black exposed timber frames on the outside with white painted wattle and daub in between. (The wattle is woven wooden strips and its covered with wet soil, clay, sand straw and even animal poo!)
If you have a Tudor style property that you need to renovate or extend, how can you keep the unique features and not destroy the character?
If you have an original Tudor property it is likely that it is a listed building. Listed buildings are restricted to changes, mainly on the exterior.
If you are looking to refurbish an element you must make sure the local authority are satisfied and it is similar to the original. In this case you would need to apply for planning permission before the refurbishment could take place. Please get in touch with Jeffery and Wilkes if you would like to know more about planning permission
What are the unique identifying features that make a Tudor home?
Tudor houses have a steep pitched roof.
Many of the original Tudor homes would have a thatched roof. Thatched roofs are certainly pleasing to the eye and if you ask many people in the UK what their ideal home would be it would often include a thatched roof.
What are the pros and cons of having a thatched roof?
• They look amazing and really give the authentic Tudor look full of character
• They provide excellent insulation
• They are environmentally friendly
• They require regular maintenance
• Not many people have the skill of working on a thatched roof so you would have to hire a specialist
• They can be a fire hazard
• They are expensive
What other roofs can be used for a Tudor house?
Many Tudor houses have clay, stone or slate tiles. This tended to be for the richer Tudor families because it was more expensive, weather-proof and durable.
If you need to re-roof an original Tudor property or recreate the Tudor look then one of the best options you could choose is clay tiles, these are much lighter than concrete tiles.
However due to the age of the property it is likely that the whole roof structure will need to be reconstructed to support the weight of modern roof tiles.
Slate is also another option, but it tends to be a bit more expensive than clay tiles at approx. £33 per sqm.
Natural Stone is the most expensive, costing approx. £130 per sqm vs. £23.40 per sqm for modern concrete plain tiles.
Tudor properties also tended to have several gables, please see below an image of a gable (the triangular brickwork that leads up to the top of the ridge)
Chimneys are also common in Tudor homes.
Windows were a distinguishing feature of a Tudor property, when they were originally installed the use of glass had just become a new feature.
Tudor windows tend to be narrow casement windows and small window panes. Dependant on the wealth of a family would determine how many windows were installed in the property and if the frames were wooden. As glass was so new back then to use for windows the panes were very small and held together with lattice.
Today, to get the Tudor look with materials that comply with building regs which are energy efficient, you would get UPVC or timber framed windows with double glazing then add astragal bars that can stick onto the glass internally and externally to give it the traditional Tudor look. Georgian bars also have a similar effect although it comes with a higher price tag as the bars are set between the glass panes.
For the wealthy Tudor, the front door was usually made of oak and they were large, solid and embellished with iron hardware. Sometimes they are used in window panes inside the doors.
Walls and Ceiling
If you have an original Tudor House it’s likely that there will be exposed timber beams, they are required to structurally support the property, keep them exposed to retain the character.
However, if you do not have an original property and are trying to create the Tudor look adding timber beams is an option and will be there for decorative purposes and not to hold up the structure
Dark oak Panelling -If you really want to create the Tudor look, add panelling and carvings into study rooms or libraries.
Having a large built in wall fireplace as the feature inside the property will really give it the Tudor feel. Natural bricks or stone should be used to create this and adding a dark wood mantle surround.
The original floors for Tudors were rushes, reeds and straw. In our modern day however, the best flooring to have in a Tudor home is wood or stone. Dark floors are best. Large rugs on top of the wooden flooring also looks great.
The four-poster bed is a must in a Tudor home. It will be the striking feature of any master bedroom
Architrave and Skirtings
Make sure the architraves and skirting are made from oak
If you own an original Tudor house or are looking to create the Tudor look or extend on an Tudor style house, then be sure to plan it carefully and you can keep the beautiful unique character a Tudor house has.
If you need to renovate your property, get in touch with Jeffery & Wilkes on 020 88193883 we are one of London’s leading design and build firms.