A barn can have massive potential when it comes to development, so you need to make sure you think about how you are going to go about it. There is so much you can do with a barn and really let all your home design fantasies run free.
Barns give you the chance to create exactly the home you want, whether it is a deluxe modern dream home, or a picturesque rustic rural home – there are no limits to what you can do.
They also give you the benefit of location, as usually they are situated in areas of land that would be impossible to get planning permission on. But with an existing barn, you get the benefit of the location and adaptability.
Before deciding to take on a barn conversion, make sure you have taken into considerationg the following points:
Is your barn isolated?
A dream barn in the middle of the moors may sound idyllic, but it might not be very convenient when it comes to doing things and getting places. Check where the local shops are and if you have a family, how far away the nearest schools are.
Does the barn have water and electricity?
This may be a vital part of your decision as to whether you are going to proceed with your conversion or not. For the animals that used to live in the barn, these things were not as important, but for human life these are essential.
Have you got planning permission?
The first thing you need to do is have your conversion plans drawn up by an architect and discussed with a planning officer. Whatever you do, don’t run ahead with your ideas and pay a single penny until you have your plans approved.
Does it meet safety requirements?
Although the thing you love most about the barn may be its traditional crumbling exterior, this may be the one flaw to your entire plan. If the barn doesn’t meet the minimum safety requirements, it will need to be pulled down and rebuilt from scratch, which defeats the whole point of a conversion.
Have you budgeted enough?
Make sure you have an in-depth and detailed costing done on the barn; your budget will need to cover more than just the price of the barn itself. You will need to think about the materials you are going to use, any furniture you will want to buy, any extra costs you may need for Protected Species surveys and then any final touches you may want to make at the end.
There are some downsides of course to renovating a barn, for example, if you have bedrooms on the first floor, the chances are you will have to put up with fairly low crossbeams.
Another problem with buying a barn is that you tend to end up in quite a close-knit community, as barns tend to be built reasonably close to each other – some people just aren’t as comfortable with this way of living.
Barn conversions are certainly not the cheapest way to enjoy a slice of countryside living, but they do give you the opportunity to create your dream home in an idyllic location – just make sure you have done plenty of research and planning before finally taking the plunge.