Older homes may be beautiful, but they aren't designed for modern living.The floor plan of a Victorian house can seem cluttered and convoluted.Be creative in the ways you use the space you do have. Leave a partial wall or decorative columns to provide structural support.If you make smart decisions, you won't make a muddled mess — and you may be able to correct the "remuddling" of past owners. Older homes of the Victorian era can have many, many very tiny rooms — often without closets.If future owners want to remove the addition, they should be able to do so without damaging the older portion of the house.Always make sure that your new addition is compatible with the architecture of the existing house.
The original owner of your old house may have needed a formal dining room and many small bedrooms.In fact, when he began building houses in the late Victorian period, Frank Lloyd Wright built Queen Anne style homes.The popular box-like features of that era frustrated him so much that he was inspired to design more open-spaced interiors, which are found in Wright's Prairie Style.That is, they are necessary to support the weight of the upper floors.Builders in Victorian days did not have the capacity to easily span large spaces, so the numerous walls really were essential.Use this checklist as your guide: Living in an old house presents a difficult choice.Should you preserve the historic accuracy of your home?Instead of open spaces, you may find a series of small rooms connected by a maze of hallways and doors.Old-house remodelers are often tempted to remove walls and enlarge small Victorian rooms. Many interior walls in older homes are load-bearing.The modern family may need more headroom than smaller cottage-like dwellings can offer.When adding new construction to your older home, leave the original house intact.