Barn Conversion: Pros and Cons

Barn Conversion

For a spacious property full of character, charm and history, a Barn Conversion might be your ideal project.

Lovingly restoring an old rural building into a unique home can be an exciting challenge and one that remains hugely popular across the UK.

So, if you’re thinking about buying or constructing a barn conversion, we’ve collated some of the pros and cons for you to consider:


  • A barn conversion is the pinnacle of a unique, character property. With centuries-old structures, countryside views and endless possibilities in terms of design and layout, you’ll be sure to have a one-of-a-kind home. This can make it a very good investment that holds it value well, especially if the conversion has been carried out to a high standard.
  • With their solid structures and high ceilings, a barn conversion can offer some dramatic and striking design characteristics, such as mezzanine floors, vaulted ceilings and feature staircases. They’re ideally suited for open plan living, and by incorporating lots of tall glass in the design, they can let in lots of light and incredible views.
  • By keeping some of the original features, such as beams, exposed brickwork or stone, a barn conversion will be full of character and can perfectly combine traditional and modern designs. We love the idea of incorporating a sleek modern kitchen with bare brickwork and natural wood for a timeless look.


  • The cost of converting a barn into a habitable living space can be higher than a new build or renovation of an existing house. This is often due to the need to add services and utilities like gas, electricity and water to the building, as well as potentially having to make structural improvements such as underpinning the foundations. The local planning authority may also insist that you only use materials that are compatible with the original building, which can make them more expensive.
  • The size and space of the structure can make it difficult and expensive to heat, especially if it’s not connected to the main gas network for central heating. However, this can be overcome quite easily with the right insulation and by exploring alternative, eco-friendly options such as ground source heat pumps or biomass systems. 360-degree burners are also very effective at heating large spaces, not to mention creating a beautiful focal point.
  • Due to a change in planning regulations in 2014, it’s possible to complete a barn conversion without having to acquire full planning permission. However, this doesn’t apply to all conversions and there may be some complexities involved so it’s important to check upfront what permissions you need for your property and design.

There’s no doubt that a barn conversion can be a daunting yet hugely rewarding project to take on. There’s no challenge that can’t be overcome with the right construction company by your side who can help you to assess what you might need to consider right from the start.

With Papps Cock & Co, our experienced team will help you plan and prepare for your barn conversion project. You will get a dedicated project manager who will share your passion for creating a beautiful character home and will work tirelessly to deliver it on time and on budget.

Every great project starts with a conversation, so contact us or give us a call now on 01202 946644 – we’d love to hear from you.

Construction / Renovation / Refurbishment /
Construction / Renovation / Refurbishment /


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