Barn Conversions

Getting started

In May 2014 the rules for barn conversions were relaxed. It is now possible to have a barn conversion under permitted development rules if the barn is under 500m² and is going to be converted into free separate dwellings, a children’s nursery or converted for educational use.

Barn conversions are always interesting and challenging projects both from a technical and design point of view, but the end result can be stunning. It’s important to note that the finished conversion must still be instantly recognisable as a building that was once a barn. Councils take different views about barn conversions and have differing and sometimes very specific rules and regulations, so it’s important to check with your local Council at the outset. This is something we can do on your behalf.

The design of your barn conversion will be influenced by the existing structure, particularly where your windows will go and how many you are allowed.

A Prior Notification Application will need to be submitted to your local council or a Planning Application if your barn conversion is in a conservation area or next to a listed building. Again, this is something we can advise and help you with.

Converting to separate dwellings  – things to consider

If you want to convert a barn into separate dwellings there are a number of things to consider which we can advise you on.

  • How many units will fit?
  • Where will the parking and garden space be?
  • What impact is this going to have on the main house?

Design and Development

Ultimately the end use of the barn conversion is going to influence the design. If it is going to be a residential property for your own use, we will spend time getting to know you, your current lifestyle and your aspirations for your future home. If you are converting a barn for property investment purposes then we will help you design a conversion that is going to maximise your return on investment.

As barns are old buildings, very often in a poor state of repair at the start of the project, a significant amount of rebuilding work should be expected. We always aim to preserve as many of the existing features as we can, not least the trusses. As a rule we start with a new slab and build up the walls from this, adding a new roof. The end goal is to design a home that is fit for 21st Century living but has that traditional ‘barney’ look.

If you are considering a barn conversion, contact us to discuss your project and find out how we can provide you with practical help and support.

An example of Graham Lea Architecture’s barn conversion projects

Barn Conversion, Children’s Nursery, Croston