Are you building a Victorian house? Perhaps you have traveled in England where you saw Victorian homes in both towns and cities. If not, you might have seen then right here in the United States. Some famous Victorian mansions include Corinth Hall in Kansas City, the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, Greystone Manor in Beverly Hills, Nemours Mansion in Wilmington, or the White House in Washington, Even though these homes are very large and elaborate, you can still borrow ideas from them as you design your own Victorian home.
The Overall Facade - Consider checking books out of the library that depict stately Victorian mansions, or get your inspiration online.
- If you want to stay true to the integrity of very early Victorian homes, select brick or stone for the walls. However, wood is lovely, too. Consider soft yellow, very pale green or different shades pastel blue.
- Add a bay window! As you choose your front windows, consider those with large panes. Tiffany glass on the front door would be absolutely gorgeous.
- For an extra formal touch, choose columns for the front. For extra charm, add a wraparound porch. Don't forget rocking chairs and a hanging swing.
- Use topiaries and hedges in strategic places in your front yard landscaping. An angel statue as one of the focal points would be lovely, and Victorian gas lamps would definitely add to your home's Victorian look.
The Roof - As you consider the design of your roof, consider mixing the ornate with the simple. A low roof with wide eaves mixed with a cupola or a tower would be beautiful. For extra touches, consider adding intricate spindles and knobs. A shingle roof would be perfect for your Victorian home.
- Shingle roofs are very affordable. It's true that they won't last as long as a tin roof or a tile roof, but they are easy to repair.
- A traditional Victorian shingle roof would usually be made of wood or slate shingles. However, today there are fiberglass-based shingles that can duplicate the original look very well. These more modern shingles will last longer than wood or slate shingles, and they are non-combustible. They also survive wind, rain and hail better than old-fashioned shingles do.
- Architectural, or laminated shingles, are a good choice because they are composed of several layers which give the roof a contoured appearance. This process avoids the look of a repetitive pattern in the shingles.
- Consider solar reflecting fiber-glass based shingles which repel the sun.
- Get several different bids from roofing companies (such as Valley Roofing). Be sure to get a contract that shows the beginning and ending dates of your roofing work. When you obtain the cost, make sure there are no hidden fees and find out if the company will do its own cleanup after the job is finished.
Enjoy your beautiful Victorian home!