What are the characteristics of terraced homes?
Terraced houses are about as quintessentially British as it gets, with row upon row
of these characterful little homes dotting every town and city
nationwide. First built in the 16th century, these practical,
low-cost dwellings were designed to offer medium-density living, and
experienced a popularity surge in the early 19th century when the
industrial revolution led to an urgent need for workers’ housing in
urban areas. Many of these simple homes remain to this day, housing
students and young families the country over. Despite their small
sizes and relatively swift construction, their central location means
they remain desirable and costly properties in most big cities. Known
in other parts of the world as townhouses, row houses or linked
houses, terraced homes will always share side walls with neighbouring
properties and stand in a row of uniform facades. Although typically
depicted as compact, red-brick dwellings, they also come in more
spacious and opulent varieties such as the grand Georgian crescents
of Bath or Brighton.
are the pros and cons of a terraced home?
you’re considering buying or renting a terraced home, it’s always
a good idea to familiarise yourself with the typical benefits and
drawbacks you may encounter. In terms of advantages, one big plus
point is the minimal heat loss you’ll experience - being built up
close to your neighbour will help keep things toasty and reduce those
heating bills. Another point worth noting is that, due to the shared
walls, the internal ‘footprint’ of the home will be bigger, so
you’ll actually have more room than you might think inside. There’s
also the sense of community that comes from living in such close
proximity to others, with neighbourhood schemes and activities a
common occurrence. One final positive is that, however small,
terraced homes tend to come with a long rear garden and therefore
plenty of room to expand into.
terms of drawbacks, aside of course, from the inherent lack of space,
there’s the issue of noise from neighbouring homes through the
adjoining walls - although it’s possible to mitigate this with
double glazing, fitted furniture and thick furnishings. You’ll also
inevitably find there’s less privacy than you may be used to in a detached home,
with gardens typically overlooked and your comings and goings visible
to neighbours on either side.
can I renovate a terraced home?
the owner of a terraced home, it’s common to undertake some simple
renovation projects in order to boost the living space and bring the
house in line with modern standards. Some of the most common upgrades
you start planning, ensure that a loft conversion is actually viable.
The amount of space you will have all depends on the height and pitch
of the roof. At least 2.3m of clear headroom is required for an area
to be considered ‘usable’, plus there needs to be enough legroom
for staircase access too. Here is where an architect or loft conversion specialist will be invaluable, as they can provide
you with detailed information on your available space.
- The most terraced houses feature small, narrow kitchens tucked away
at the rear of the house. The most popular way to gain a bigger
kitchen in a terraced house is to create a side-return extension.
This involves incorporating the space behind the dining room, known
as the ‘side return’, into the kitchen, adding around 1-2m to its
- A lot of homebuyers these days expect to find a downstairs WC. But
in your quest to find the best space for one, bear in mind that the
minimum practical space around standard sanitaryware in a WC is 200mm
on each side and 600mm in front. Although building regulations no
longer prevent us from having a WC directly off a living room,
kitchen or dining room, do ask yourself if this is really a practical
solution. Rather consider placing your new WC either off the utility
room or a main hallway.
- A new cellar might sound fantastic, but keep in mind that terraced
streets have a ceiling value and you might never make back the money
you spend on converting the cellar in this instance. And even though
you may not need planning consent, a range of other technical
difficulties might give you some issues. As most cellars in terraced
houses have low ceilings, the floors will need to be excavated to
become extra living space. This involves expensive underpinning of
shallow foundations, something that will at least double the cost of
converting a cellar with sufficient headroom. And are you really
prepared to let costs rise from approximately £750—1,200/m² to
much will a terraced house cost me?
with most UK property types, terraced homes have been steadily
gaining value in recent years. The average price for a terraced home
in England is now at around £190k, a £10k increase on the year
before. In London, however, this price rises to an astonishing £490k,
in contrast to the Welsh average of £120k. Of course, exactly what
you’ll end up paying is hugely dependent on the area in which
you’re buying, the size of the house, and the condition it’s in.
It’s always advisable to consult an experienced architect right
from the beginning of your search, as they’ll be able to set you on
the right path and answer any questions you may have.