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Barn Conversion Checklist: Things To Consider

Barn Conversion Checklist: Things To Consider

Converting an old barn into the house of your dreams is a goal for many self-builders. Not only can these old buildings offer a surplus of airy space, but their unique features provide buckets of character and create a truly individual home.

However, the barn conversion dream can quickly turn into a nightmare without a great deal of time, flexibility and foresight. But if you’re creative, resourceful and do your research thoroughly, you’re likely to end up with a beautiful home.

We’ve put together a barn conversion checklist to point you in the right direction. Here are the top things to consider when taking on the project of a lifetime…

Get a survey sorted

Barns weren’t built to be used as homes, so it’s essential to get a professional survey to check stability – you might find your barn needs underpinning or other support in place if you’re looking to build in a second storey. An expert will be able to show you how you can make best use of the light and space as you create a house that’s liveable.

Check the planning permission

Detailed planning permission approval is needed before your barn conversion project can begin – don’t make the mistake of assuming it’s a given or you could easily lose a chunk of your precious budget. The issue with barns – as well as churches and other old buildings that tempt renovators – is that many are listed. This means that you will not only need to acquire planning permission, but potentially ‘listed buildings consent.’ This may mean there are restrictions on what you can do to the property such as ensuring changes are reversible or that the external appearance is not significantly altered.

One of the best things about a barn conversion is the opportunity to incorporate original features, such as timber cladding and beautiful stonework. So, enlisting the help of a designer who can help to show these off in their best light is essential.

Consider insulation

Insulation is a key job for renovating farm buildings, so consider how you can bring the thermal performance up to modern standards without sacrificing the external cladding. You may want to fit a breathable insulation between the studs and cover with plasterboard; fit insulation between original rafters; and even add some protection under the floor, too.

Sort your services

It’s likely that your barn will need linking to electricity, water and gas mains, not to mention drainage. Renewable options like solar panels can help to keep bills low, but remember to get quotes for services early and budget accordingly.

Set a realistic budget

Don’t underestimate the cost of a barn conversion. Make sure you set aside money for unforeseen expenses – you never know what might crop up once the project begins – as well as authentic materials which will stay true to the barn’s character. Conventional mortgages won’t fly for conversions; instead, you’ll need a self-build mortgage which will release funds to support different phases of work.

While this type of project requires commitment and painstaking graft, a good quality barn conversion is most definitely worth the effort. Not only will the finished result make an enchanting home, it will be highly appealing to buyers in the event you decide to sell.

Discover how Bespoke have worked with clients to bring their barn conversion visions to life – and contact us today to find out more.