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Somewhere, Bristol
What's been improved


House Types

Bristol has nearly 200,000 houses of which the proportion of terraced housing and flats is much higher than both the national and regional average.

The city developed as a port in the Georgian era (below left) and newer residential areas such as Hotwells, Clifton developed. However it is during the Victorian era and before the First World War  that a significantly above average proportion of houses were built.

For many of these (and later homes too) before you carry out major energy efficiency works you may need to get planning permission if your home is a listed building, in a Conservation Area, or otherwise of historical interest. To make an application to them, you need to arm yourself with some information about what makes your home special and interesting and show that you can protect those features. CSE have produced Love Your Old Home with a 4-step process to planning energy efficiency improvements in traditional homes to help do this.

Victorian era homes (below middle) were built with solid external walls on brick foundations with no damp courses. Ground floors were often solid to kitchen and storage areas, and of suspended timber construction to other rooms and upper floors. Windows were generally timber, vertical-sliding sash, and external and internal doors panelled. Most rooms had open fireplaces. These houses are termed Hard to Treat because staple energy efficiency measures as typically provided by government schemes are not sufficient.


From the 1930s (above right) methods steadily moved toward cavity wall construction with two courses of bricks, inner and outer, separated by a gap of around 50mm or 2 inches in the middle. The aim of this air gap was to prevent damp transferring from the outer skin to the inner skin of brick yet it has proved hard to keep these houses warm hence the development of cavity wall insulation. Whilst many modern houses are still being built with cavity walls they now have insulation built in.

The filter in the Search our Stories allows you to find houses similar to yours based on the following period types.

  • Pre-Georgian (before 1714)
  • Georgian (1714 - 1811)
  • Victorian/Edwardian (1837-1910)
  • 1920s
  • 1930s
  • 1950s
  • 1960-1980
  • 1990 -2010
  • New build

More detail on the characteristics of these houses will be added here soon.

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