There are quite a few indicators of the period of a building. In Australia, Georgian, Victorian, Federation/Edwardian and Inter-war houses can be differentiated by their facades, roof-lines, windows, building materials, veranda designs, timber joinery and so on.
Some buildings have features of the preceding or following period, as there was often a gradual transition from, say, the Victorian to Edwardian/Federation style.
An example is the roof: Victorian houses had slate or iron roofs, whereas Edwardian/Federation houses usually had terracotta tiles or corrugated iron – but slate roofs can also be seen in the later period.
Similarly, Georgian and early Victorian houses tended to have a symmetrical facade, often with a veranda across the whole front. Later Victorian houses often had only a partial veranda, perhaps with a return down one side. Federation/Edwardian houses were nearly always asymmetrical.
Talking of roofs and facades, Edwardian/Federation houses usually had open gable ends (a vertical wall forming a triangle under the roofline), where Victorian roofs were hipped (all sides of the roof slope downwards to the walls).
Want to know your heritage building’s period? The Authentic Age provides consultation services for restoration and extensions of old heritage buildings in Melbourne.