Why Are Barn Conversions So Popular?

Why Are Barn Conversions So Popular?

You only need to take a walk around your nearest city to realise that housing trends come and go.

There’s an incredible variety of housing stock in the UK, running the gamut from quaint, thatched roof cottages to towering, steel-and-glass megastructures, but one type of home continues to gain in popularity – barn conversions.

All across the country, people just like you are transforming underappreciated barns into the homes of their dreams and here at Bespoke Builders, we’ve helped quite a few of them.

But why are barn conversions so popular? Join us as we take a look at a few of the major factors:


Old Exterior, New Interior

One of the biggest reasons why barn conversions are so popular is that they offer the beauty and charm of an old structure without the often-outdated living spaces inside.

With many barns being little more than shells when they’re purchased, buyers are free to transform their interior into the luxurious, comfortable and modern homes that they’ve dreamt of. Compared to many new-builds, mass-produced at scale, the appeal of barn conversions becomes instantly clear.


Space, Space, Space

Barns are, by necessity, often very large. They’re designed and built to keep pace with the demands of farmers who store livestock, produce and tools in them throughout the year.

When it comes to conversion, that space means that it’s possible for many barns to be turned into large, comfortable family homes with a significant number of bedrooms and bathrooms, alongside higher-than-usual ceilings.

For those looking for plenty of space, then, barn conversions make an awful lot of sense.


New Planning Laws

Changes to the Permitted Development Rights came into effect in April 2014 and changes the landscape for those looking to convert a barn.

Suddenly, you didn’t require planning permission to convert a barn if you met the following qualifiers:

  • The site must have been used solely for agricultural use.
  • The barn must have existed on by 20th March 2013.
  • The total floor space of your barn to be converted must be no more than 465m² – if the barn is bigger, you’ll only be able to convert to a maximum of 465m².
  • If the site is subject to an agricultural tenancy, landowners must have the express consent of their tenants.

Newer planning laws came into effect on the 6th of April 2018 which say that the permitted 465m² of development can now be converted into a maximum of five houses. Effectively, this has meant that it’s easier to convert a barn than ever before.


Rural Charm

Our cities are getting bigger and more crowded than they have been for an extremely long time, just as traffic routes and public transport get better. It’s a fact which is encouraging more and more of us to turn towards the countryside for respite.

Barn conversions make for the perfect rural retreat from the city, offering plentiful space, a huge amount of green space (and, often, land) and none of the noise, smell or traffic congestion you get in the city.