Converting an old barn can be a wonderful opportunity to create a new dream home. You’re not exactly starting from scratch as with a self-build project but converting can allow you to shape the interior to your own style and tastes. Converted barns can also make great home office spaces for working in a home-from-home on your own property.
Barn conversions are sometimes available in areas where it would be extremely difficult to get planning permission for a brand-new development but you might still need consent and there are a number of other issues to bear in mind…
Where To Start
Unless you’re fortunate enough to own a property with a suitable barn attached, you will have to find your site. These can be in great demand, but potential barn conversions may be listed in the local press or on property websites. You might even find a suitable barn by simply exploring the area.
Some renovation work will not require full planning permission as it may fall under rules known as permitted development (PD). You should ALWAYS check whether you need planning permission before starting the project, however. Professionals such as architects, surveyors and building contractors can help guide you through the process but you can also contact the local authority directly and check their guidelines online.
Costs can vary hugely from one conversion project to the next but you will need to obtain estimates for any design, architectural and building work, as well as the costs of materials. A thorough survey of the barn and site can help you to understand what you will need. Regular mortgages are not generally suitable for this sort of project, but self-build specialists will often be able to help with financing a conversion. You might also be able to claim VAT back on building materials and building services purchased during the conversion.
You might have your own ideas about how you want your finished barn conversion to look but it’s essential to bring in professionals who can bring the expertise you need. Any conversion will need to meet relevant building regulations and take practical considerations into account. When choosing an architect for the job you might want to look for previous experience as barn conversions offer their own unique challenges. You will also want someone who can complement and work with your own vision to help you create your own ideal living space. At BDS, we know just where to start – get in touch today for help and advice on your barn conversion!