Steps to a Barn Conversion
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How to do a barn conversion in 7 easy steps
Taking on a barn conversion can be a labour of love, but an ultimately rewarding experience. Make sure you know what lies ahead with our quick checklist…
Find your barn:
Easier said than done as many properties on estate agents lists will have already been renovated. However, at Farms to Market, we have a growing number of derelict and rundown barns that are crying out to be converted into desirable homes.
Fix your finance:
Securing a mortgage to undertake a barn conversion is not always straightforward.
It is best to talk to a financial advisor about the most sensible way to go about securing funding to finance your project during the various stages of progress
Current planning laws rule that barn conversions fall under permitted development. However, there are restrictions to the floor space allowed and how your plans would affect the agricultural look and feel of the original building. Always consult an architect and your local planning authority before undertaking any work.
Check the small print:
That means making sure you have thought about all those hidden extras.
As most barns were put up quickly to store animals and feed, they might not have the necessary foundations to support a double storey extension, for example.
Enlist the help of a structural engineer so you know what you are facing before you begin.
Be sympathetic in design:
With barn conversions, the best designs are those that retain the barn’s original character. That generally means retaining the exterior cladding, whether that’s brick, stone or wood and salvaging period features. By all means, go contemporary or industrial inside – open plan living tends to suit the narrow footprint of most barns and suits today’s lifestyle trends.
Install creature comforts:
Animals didn’t need heating, lighting or connections to sewage or gas mains, so chances are your barn won’t have these either! Make room in your budget for utilities such as new heating systems, electricity and plumbing for bathrooms. Will you be able to tap into mains gas or will you need to install an oil tank – check through the details before you begin.
Let in the light:
Windows tend to be small and far and few between in old barns so access to natural light was minimal.
However, that doesn’t mean your barn conversion has to be a dark space – on the contrary, conservation-style roof lights will allow sunshine to flood in, while glass links and glass double storey porches make for light and airy entrances and corridors.