I was once the proud owner of a victorian mid terrace – built in the late 1880s. It felt old then and very cold all the time, even in the warmth of summer. The shared roof spaces – with just minimal half walls separate each did allow warmth from our immediate neighbours but also the nightmare of a shared problem when one of the chimneys caught fire and serious smoke damage and structural weakness was caused to our property too. Getting the fire services up to roof level was challenging as we had a very narrow back with the kitchen and coal shed tacked on in a line down the garden – leaving hardly room for ladders to reach the upper storey or gutters. The fire service ended up blocking the entire road getting their turntable ladders up to the main fire source, and they then went through systematically checking the adjoinging shared roof spaces and houses attached. The follow up renovations were carried out by professionals paid for by home insurance.