What You Need to Know About Barn Conversions

Windows for barn conversions - Westcoast Windows

When you want a new home with a lot more character than you will find as standard across the UK, you might want to think about a barn conversion. By simply finding, buying and converting an old barn, you will be able to create a beautiful home with high ceilings that is spacious and airy. More importantly, your new home will be full of character, charm and history.

  • Where to Buy Barns to Convert? 

There are a number of search engines that have been created with the sole purpose of doing just that. By using ‘On the Market’, ‘Barnsetc’ or any other site that specialises in this, you will be able to find a number of barns that are for sale in the UK. They will also list an already converted barn conversion Essex, Kent or other location that is for sale.

  • How Much Will it Cost to Convert a Barn?

It is never easy to put a definitive figure to this question as there are so many factors that will have an effect on the answer. The size of the barn, its location, its age and the amount of work that will be needed to convert it will all affect the overall costs involved.

In most cases however, barn conversions will cost a bit more per square metre than what a completely new home build will cost. This is usually because it can be costly to retain the original existing structure while also upgrading it. 

  • Will I need Building Regulations Approval?

Yes, and you will generally have three different routes to take in order to get them. 

  • Submit a Building Notice: This basically tells the local council that you are going to start a barn conversion. With this method, you can get started straight away but you run a number of risks by doing so. First of all, the build will undergo regular inspections as you build and this may require you to make expensive changes as you go along.
  • Submit a Full Plans Application: With this method, you will be submitting your full plans for the conversion and will wait until they have been approved before starting. This can take at least a month before a decision is made but at least you should not have to make any changes as long as you stick to those original plans.
  • Use an Approved Inspector: The final method is to employ an approved inspector. He will work alongside your building contractors to ensure that your barn conversion always complies with any building regulations. This method will cost the most but will allow you to start straight away and minimise the risks of having to make any changes.
  • What About Planning Permission?

Every case will be different and for that reason, you should check with your local council first. Permitted development rights were loosed in 2014 to allow any contemporary barn conversion

to not necessarily require full planning permission. However, there are numerous regulations and rules that will need to be complied with so it is better to be safe than sorry. 

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