How to Convert a Barn

Conversion of a Barn
  • Author: Mohsin Khan
  • Posted On: March 15, 2022
  • Updated On: July 8, 2023

The possibility of converting an old barn can be an ideal renovation project which can transform an abandoned and often vacant barn into something truly unique.

We have seen so many beautiful barn conversions ranging from modern styles to traditional homes and even traditional homes, where homeowners have accomplished a fantastic job in converting the barn while conserving its original characteristics.

Our guide provides answers to all the most popular questions like how to convert a barn cheaply and barn conversion ideas you have when it comes to building an old barn and also reveals some ideas for inspiring ideas.

If you’re thinking of changing the barn you live in soon and need help on how to begin your plan, check out our consultation session on renovating.

What Are The Reasons To Do Barns Need To Be Converted?

The Reasons To Do Barns Need To Be Converted

The conversion of a barn into a home provides the chance to build an extraordinary and distinctive home.

You might want to consider an existing barn conversion and modernize it by making a change or making the bold move of acquiring an abandoned barn and making it a modern-day home.

Since barns are situated within the country, the conversion of an existing barn provides the chance to live in a rural setting which allows for stunning scenery and an unhurried speed of living.

Do I Require Permission For Converting An Existing Barn?

In certain instances, in England, it is possible to barn conversion project without needing permission to plan.

In order for this to be the scenario, the property will have to be classified as the category of a ‘Class Q’ structure in which you’re making an agricultural structure a residence and not expanding beyond its initial footprint.

If you desire your project to be classified into the ‘Class Q’ category, the barn has to meet certain criteria that include:

It was used for agricultural purposes prior to or on the 20th March 2013.

It is not required to be a listed building.

The area must not be an Area of Natural Beauty, a National Park, or a Conversion Area.

If you’re capable of carrying out an upgrade to your barn within Class Q specifications, you’ll have to provide the local authority with the opportunity to be informed prior to implementing your plans.

The local authority may reject the plans you’ve made at this point, So even when your plan falls into the ‘Class Q’ category, it’s still not a simple conversion. Outside of England, it is mandatory to require planning permission before converting the barn.

A lot of Loft/Barn conversions are listed structures, and, therefore, they’ll require approval for planning. Make sure you permit plenty of time for the application procedure for a structure that is similar to this. There may be lots of ranging back and forth with the city council, and the application process could exceed the typical 13 weeks.

Since Loft/Barn conversions typically occur in rural regions, there is a good possibility that your barn will be situated in the Area of Natural Beauty, or a National Park or a Conversion Area. In these situations, it is always necessary to get approval for your planning prior to the construction.

Local authorities may be able to revoke permitted development rights in certain regions, and this is usually carried out in rural areas to prevent overdevelopment.

Local authorities might also require an agricultural structure to be used commercially instead of as a residence.

Always inquire with your local authorities on allowed development rights for your region. This is something a town planning consultant can help you with.

How To Create A Layout That Works For Converting Barns?

There are so many beautiful Loft/Barn conversions where separate living zones are constructed by using wood or brick partitions. When you create zones with partitions, light can still flow through the barn, making your home look spacious.

For converting a barn that is really big, there is the possibility of putting an additional floor. In this instance, you will normally keep the entryway double vaulted, with the staircase that leads to the bedrooms.

The trend is to stay away from the concept of having another floor in the event that you don’t have sufficient space to do so since it could affect the overall feel of the barn. Mezzanine levels are an excellent alternative and can be a stunning architectural design feature as well.

The Bottom Line

The conversion of a barn isn’t an easy job, so you must allow ample time to complete the entire procedure.

It is crucial to work with an architect who is experienced in the conversion of barns. They can guide you on the layout to keep the charm of the barn and also get the most value from the space. They can also give it an updated look if needed.

If you’re considering renovating your barn within the next few years and need help on how to begin your plan, check out our consultation session on renovating.

Also read: What are construction cameras used for?

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Author: Mohsin Khan

Mohsin has worked as one of the experienced editors with ConstructionHow since 2020 with a total span of 5 years of experience in business PR, boasting a remarkable professional trajectory, he has collaborated with entrepreneurs and startups, and certain publications over the last few years. His unwavering interest lies in the construction industry and related materials. He believes in creating functional and aesthetically pleasing buildings, and homes that fall under the right budget. With a wide range of experience in construction, he also tapped into DIY and home improvement projects based on his extensive set of knowledge in the industry.