Category: (1)

BUY, BUILD OR BARN?

Barn conversions have long been considered the marmite of the property world, you either love them or hate them. But does a barn conversion offer more positives than just open plan living and attractive period features with a modern twist?

Typically barn conversions have appealed to down sizers and a younger demographic. This is mainly due to the fact that planners will insist on the central bay of the barn being left at full height. For the downsizer this means a large imposing living space which will usually accommodate large furniture. The draw of owning a home with a rich heritage and original features, unobtainable in a new build, have cast the net wider attracting more and more to the world of barn conversions.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF BARN CONVERSIONS:

  1. Planning. It is critical to have planning permission in place from the start. Never assume planning permission will be granted just because the building would lend itself well to being a home or other local buildings have been successfully converted.
  2. Vision. Is your vision compatible a) with the original building and its features and b) with the consent that will be granted in planning permission.
  3. Access. Does the property have access or a right of way?
  4. Neighbours. Barn conversions are naturally typically in rural areas but it is key to consider if the barn is near a working farm? Farm access, noise and smells could make a significant impact in your day to day living.
  5. Proximity. Barn conversions usually are in close proximity to similar buildings and conversions due to the nature of the building. Consider are you happy to live in a rural environment with such close neighbours? Have the other builders been converted yet, or are you going to be living near a building site following your completion.
  6. Utilities. If your barn is not already serviced by the key utilities such as water, sewage or electricity this can be costly dependant on location.
  7. Heating. Barn conversions typically are designed with an open plan ground floor spaces, this can equate to costly heating bills.
  8. Light. Planners can insist that no windows are created other than in where there are original openings. In barn conversions quite often this can mean slitted windows. Uplighting in beams and vaulted ceilings has the designer effect but lightbulb changes can be problematic.
  9. Features. Barn conversion enthusiasts must be sympathetic to the raw materials. Ensure your architect and designers understand the sensitivities of a barn conversion and celebrate features such as vaulted ceilings, wood beams and cart doors.
  10. Experts. As will all projects ensuring you get this right advice is key. Chartered Surveyors, architects and specialists will be able to advise as to how to approach each element of the project correctly.

SO HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO CONVERT A BARN?

Unfortunately there is no simple answer to this question. Many factors will contribute to the final cost; land acquisition cost, the general state of the original barn, the materials and the final specification that you are looking for. A general guide would predict a conversion to cost anywhere from £800 to £1500 per square meter.

Cost saving is possible from savvy cost saving utility savers such as solar panels to reclaiming VAT on labour and materials.

Barn conversions are a fantastic option for the savvy buyer looking to create their own individual stamp on their home. Mount & Minster Chartered Surveyors have extensive knowledge and not only sell such marvellous homes, but also help clients get the planning consent required to actually convert them. Some barns don’t even require traditional planning consent to be converted! 

For help and enquiries, please contact Mount & Minster on either 01522 716204 or 01476 515329.