I am currently a third year Bsc Property Development and Surveying student at the University of Portsmouth. I am in the process of producing my final year 10,000 word dissertation, and the subject area I have chosen is barn conversions.
I understand there was a piece of research conducted in the UK in to what type of home most people aspire to live in. With the barn conversion coming in first place. However I am really struggling to find it! I just wondered if it was anything any of you had ever come across?
I aim to study architecture once I have completed this course, and one day design a super barn conversion of my own, but until then i will just spend my time on here!! haha
I have watched your blog over a couple of weeks and note that no one has replied.
Could it be that most people would not wish to live in a barn conversion?
From a practical point of view, designing and building a home from scratch is simpler and cheaper.
Finding a plot that has a good view, that is near to a electricity supply, has good pressure water and enough ground of suitable quality for a septic tank and drain field and natural gas and a bus route to the nearest town with a TESCO or other supermarket with low priced fuel, helps - as does a good sized builders merchant and a large box store that can provide all the bits you need.
You will find that as you grow older, your ideas will change...... an ideal home in your twenties is not so ideal later.
I am currently in the process of doing a barn conversion at the grand old age of 43!
Building a new home from scratch is cheaper and simpler but you will normally have a smaller plot perhaps on an estate or a garden grabbing plot and this will obviously affect your privacy and views from the property.
Part of the appeal of the barn conversion has to be location and for most people who decide that this is for them the convenience of a corner shop or Tescos etc is far outweighed by the natural surroundings and space around them.
Also regards to water, electricity and drainage - barns can run quite efficiently without being plugged into the national grid.
Most barns already have the added benefits of running water and power as often the Farmer or council have installed at some point.
Barn conversions are expensive there are no two ways about that but the rewards are worth it. They are definately not for the faint hearted though.
I think they are what many people want but they don't come onto the market that often and there's not an abundanced of them. Of course, it would be fantastic if anyone that wanted to live in a barn conversion were able to develop one themselves but some people just don't have the time or skills to do it.
I think for the size of building you can develop, the fact you have the choice of making 2 floors, mezzanine levels and even full open plan living and the location, barn conversions are truely unique and just fantastic.
I am very jealous of Elwood and I wish him all the best with his conversion!
Barn conversions, most of which are project-managed by their owners, are
more than just building projects.
This is all about challenging yourself and your (maybe) fixed ideas about
buildings in general, and your own built environment in particular.
The prospect of creating living space within what was once a utilitarian
shell has always held a fascination for people. (Viz. warehouse apartments,
railway stations, disused churches/chapels).
The barn conversion allows you to be architecturally creative without placing
too much emphasis on being architecturally "trained". Most of the structural
leg-work has been done for you, and most barns are usually incredibly
"over-designed" in terms of stability and strength, anyway.
There is an independence of spirit and passionate motivation among barn
converters not commonly found in most self-build schemes.
If you are lucky enough to find a good set of farm outbuildings waiting for
your "touch" to make a unique home, go for it ! !