Regardless of whether you’re currently using your barn or not, you could be making huge savings on your property with some barn conversion ideas. It’s easy to keep the conversion process green, simply by using non-toxic building materials and making clever, energy-efficient use of space.
Barn conversion ideas are swiftly becoming extremely sought after ways of expanding your home or investing in new property. Rather than letting an old disused barn go to waste, it can pay to convert it into a modern, stylish living space. While barn conversion can prove to be quite expensive in the short term because of how many building regulations need to be satisfied, you’ll have a barn which is more energy efficient than it used to be. And if you plan for your barn to be in regular use, you may very well save money over time.
Depending on the size of the barn and how many repairs are needed, some barn conversion ideas can actually be cheaper than a self-build project and require fewer new materials. It entirely depends on the size and scale of the barn conversion ideas you choose.
The main barn conversion ideas which can sometimes prove to be costly is if you currently own a barn which is in such a state of disrepair that it’ll need demolishing or extensive repairing. If you’re planning on buying a new barn, this shouldn’t be an issue. Just make sure you intensively research the available barns in your area so that you don’t end up with one that provides more issues than it solves.
In order to reap the potential benefits that converting a barn can give you, just consider these three suggestions that could save you space, energy and money.
Don’t treat barn conversion ideas simply as an extension of your main house building
Regardless of whether your barn is to be used as somewhere for holidaymakers, a main home for yourself or as a home extension, you shouldn’t treat barn conversion ideas as ways of creating a traditional-style home. In other words, you shouldn’t bother with rooms such as porches or conservatories. Rooms like these don’t fit into the aesthetics of a barn and leaving them out will allow more space for more commonly used rooms such as the kitchen and living room.
A porch is superfluous in the schematics of a barn because you’ll need to build more divisions. This is unnecessary for such a small area and may make the general interior of the barn feel avoidably cramped.
A conservatory will be very poor at insulating compared to the rest of the barn. It will also be very difficult to make it consistent with the rest of your barn’s design.
The main point of barn conversion ideas is to retain the rustic aesthetic so that you have an appropriate and original décor and you limit how many new building materials are used. A porch or a conservatory will stop this from being the case.
Consider renting out your converted barn to holidaymakers
Your converted barn would be a great experience for holidaymakers. Big groups or families can save money by hiring out a converted barn rather than paying extortionate per-person hotel rates. They’re normally self-catering, which further gives holidaymakers the feeling that they’re staying in a home rather than a hotel, and saves you having to fork out for meals for your guests. It can be a great source of income which makes back the money spent on the conversion process in no time at all.
Also, unless a hotel is part of a regulated chain, such as Accor-owned hotels, or is owned by ecologically responsible landlords, it’s unlikely to be as green or energy efficient as most barn conversion ideas. And with the entire holiday party staying in one building rather than separate rooms in a hotel (where there is a TV and other energy consuming devices in each room), your carbon footprint will be a very light one indeed compared to owning other forms of hospitality.
Find a barn which is close to local amenities like shops and schools
While this won’t have an effect on how green your barn conversion is, it will affect how sustainable the barn is in the long run. If you convert a barn in the middle of the countryside, far away from the nearest basic amenities, you may have some glorious views on your hands but not somewhere that many people would be keen to invest money into in the future. Few people will be keen to maintain it and you will run the risk of it slowly decaying after your ownership has ended. As such, convincing a local planner that converting a middle-of-nowhere barn is a good idea can be hard to do.
Also, old barns often aren’t connected up to gas, water and electricity supplies. This can be extremely difficult to rectify if the barn is a large distance from anywhere. Connecting a barn up through miles and miles of fields will be incredibly expensive. You should always consider a barn’s geography before you think about purchasing it for conversion.
Once you’ve settled on what barn you’re buying and what it’s being used for, check out this great article which provides some inspiring potential design solutions.
Image: Ron Shirttagsbarnbarn conversionbarn conversionscarbon footprintco2conservatoryconservatory insulationconversionconversionsenergy efficiencyenergy efficientholidaysInsulation