The First Steps of Converting a Barn

The First Steps of Converting a Barn

There’s nothing quite like the charm, character and space that a beautifully executed barn conversion offers. It’s a world away from the mass-market blankness of many of the properties designed to sit alongside almost-identical houses on a new-build estate.

For many of us, the thought of renovating a barn and converting it into a home is something that dreams are made out of, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it’s easier than you might think to get started on your very own barn conversion.

At Bespoke, we help people just like you create luxury barn conversions which fit their lives perfectly, but what are the first steps of converting a barn?

Step one: Identify the perfect barn

It should go without saying, but not every barn is ripe for conversion. Spend some time really exploring an area before you decide whether you want to move there and once you do find a barn, think critically about its suitability.

Get a close look at its foundations, think about the amount of restoration that will be required, the state of its roof structure, its interior space and its placement as each will affect your conversion deeply and determine its suitability.

Step two: Plan for planning

Although permitted development for turning agricultural buildings into homes exists in England, that’s not the same for the rest of the UK. Indeed, even for those converting within England, you might still need to apply for planning permission if the floor space is larger than 465m². It’s worth taking a look at the permitted development regulations for barn conversions before you take the plunge on your purchase.

It’s often the case that barns for sale have already applied for planning permission. If so, scrutinise those plans carefully and decide whether you’re comfortable with what they propose.

Step three: Survey time

If you’re really serious on a property, it’s more than likely going to be worthwhile getting a professional survey conducted on the property.

Whilst you might already have an idea of the various strengths and weaknesses of your property structurally, having a professional cast their eye over it will clarify exactly what is good to go and what will require work to bring up to code.

Step four: Get your finances straight

Unless you’re exceptionally cash rich, you’re going to need to finance your project. Traditional mortgages aren’t right for a barn conversion. Instead, find a broker which will release funds as and when they’re required.

Step five: Partner with the right team

You can’t convert a barn on your own, which is why partnering with the right time is so essential. Over the years we’ve developed close relationships with local councils, specialists, building contractors, architects and more, all in an effort to help make your barn conversion as easy as possible.

With countless of years of collective experience and even a book on the subject behind us, it’s safe to say that when it comes to barn conversions, we’re the specialists.