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Does Converting a Barn Make Sense?

A converted barn can make a beautiful home, you can let your imagination run wild and create the home of your dreams. Make it traditional rustic and homey or convert it into the most contemporary, modern space you can possibly think off, oozing with style and state of the art luxuries.

Just rewind a second though from dreaming of your perfect converted barn, they come with a few issues along the way, you should give some thought to.


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After you have chosen your perfect barn to convert you must notify the local authorities to see if they need prior approval for;

  • Transport
  • Noise impact
  • Contamination
  • Flood risk
  • Whether the location might be impractical to change the building from agricultural to residential use

If the authorities deem any of these things do not comply with their standards, they have the power to put a stop to any project.

Do not throw the towel in yet though, if you have done your research, and chosen your building carefully, you should get the go ahead no problem.

The considerations don’t stop there; another thing to think about is cost. Conversions can typically cost 120 pounds per square foot whereas new builds around 80/90 pounds.


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Another cost related issue is heating of the conversion after it is built. Older conversions can typically be expensive to heat but huge improvements in building technology are now improving the thermal efficiency of newer built barns. It pays to do some investigations before you commit to anything.

Something else to consider is your intended converted barns limitations. That beam going across the middle of the room, you have to step over at the moment, can you remove that? Will you get the permission for that extra building to use as a garage?

If your conversion is near to other farm buildings or conversions, will your privacy or views be limited? You might have shared access to a driveway or have communal areas. Also you will surely find yourself further from amenities like shops or transport.

Make sure you scrutinise any rights of way around your intended barn conversion area. Has a neighbour retained a rights of way access for their farming machinery? If your property has a public right of way on the land you will need a specialised insurance, if anyone hurts themselves there, you could be liable.

The enormous financial and emotional stress of converting the barn yourself is normally the biggest drawback. The conversion work can end up being more expensive than building a property from scratch.

It’s not impossible though, make sure you follow all the proper channels and do your research. Things worth doing are not meant to be easy. If you do succeed, you will have the home of your dreams to live comfortably in for as long as it makes you happy.