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  • FIRST POST
    • TamsinC
    • By TamsinC 8th Jan 18, 2:00 PM
    • 319Posts
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    TamsinC
    Barn conversion advice please
    • #1
    • 8th Jan 18, 2:00 PM
    Barn conversion advice please 8th Jan 18 at 2:00 PM
    Hello there from a newbie - we are looking at buying a house with a barn on site - very close to the house - the barn is small 34 ft x 16 ft approx; 50m2 downstairs and apparently has 2x 2nd story (mezzanine levels I'm assuming) - one at each end. We haven't seen it yet (Friday). It is grade 2 listed, black shiplap and a slate? roof, and roof beams. It has had a garage put in at one end. The roof definitely needs work - probably needs coming off completely and redoing and the shiplap definitely needs a lot of work too - and it seems silly to not do as much work as possible at the same. Assuming we get planning to turn it into something - a summer room, or a grand annex, or a holiday let - could this work be done on 80K? I do realise I am asking how long a piece of string is but could it be possible? We will have to repair it anyway - I'm thinking 10K for the roof and another 10K for redoing the shiplap if nothing else. Many thanks in advance for trying to answer the impossible.
    Last edited by TamsinC; 08-01-2018 at 2:45 PM. Reason: adding info
Page 1
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 8th Jan 18, 2:09 PM
    • 10,731 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    • #2
    • 8th Jan 18, 2:09 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Jan 18, 2:09 PM
    Grade 2 listed?? See if you can even get listed building consent for alterations before you even think about development costs. Virtually any work on the barn will require LBC.
    • TamsinC
    • By TamsinC 8th Jan 18, 2:18 PM
    • 319 Posts
    • 289 Thanks
    TamsinC
    • #3
    • 8th Jan 18, 2:18 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Jan 18, 2:18 PM
    Many thanks for the reply. Yes, I know planning is needed (and will be talking to the planning officer before we buy) but it still needs repairing regardless; would hate for it to fall down - I've lived in grade 2 listed before some have experience of houses but not barns - I would intend very little in the way of changes. All for keeping as much original as possible.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 8th Jan 18, 2:24 PM
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    Robin9
    • #4
    • 8th Jan 18, 2:24 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Jan 18, 2:24 PM
    Talk to the Conseration Officer at your local council and have a preapplication meeting with Historic England.

    What does the actual listing say ?
    Last edited by Robin9; 08-01-2018 at 2:28 PM. Reason: Added ? Re actual listing
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 8th Jan 18, 2:34 PM
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    Doozergirl
    • #5
    • 8th Jan 18, 2:34 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Jan 18, 2:34 PM
    You haven!!!8217;t said how big it is in total. 80k might be okay if it!!!8217;s mezzanine level, but really it depends on the spec required in general (pretty high if listed) and what has to be done.

    It could be reasonable, it could be optimistic, but the pay off for gaining planning for a dwelling is pretty high on a barn anyway, usually.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 08-01-2018 at 2:37 PM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • TamsinC
    • By TamsinC 8th Jan 18, 2:39 PM
    • 319 Posts
    • 289 Thanks
    TamsinC
    • #6
    • 8th Jan 18, 2:39 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Jan 18, 2:39 PM
    You haven!!!8217;t said how big it is in total. 80k might be okay if it!!!8217;s mezzanine level, but really it depends on the spec required in general (pretty high if listed) and what has to be done.

    It could be reasonable, it could be optimistic, but the pay off for gaining planning for a dwelling is pretty high on a barn anyway, usually.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    It is about 50 square meters downstairs - maybe another 20 'upstairs' - mezzanine
    it is 34ft x 16ft
    Last edited by TamsinC; 08-01-2018 at 2:44 PM.
    • TamsinC
    • By TamsinC 8th Jan 18, 2:41 PM
    • 319 Posts
    • 289 Thanks
    TamsinC
    • #7
    • 8th Jan 18, 2:41 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Jan 18, 2:41 PM
    Talk to the Conseration Officer at your local council and have a preapplication meeting with Historic England.

    What does the actual listing say ?
    Originally posted by Robin9
    "Barn. Late C17. Weatherboarded timber frame on rubblestone and brick plinth; plain tile roof. 2 framed bays. Framing: square panels, 2 from sole- plate to wall-plate. South-west front: pair of large 2-leaf boarded doors o - centre to right and 2-leaf boarded door o -centre to le ; inserted metal- framed window to right. Interior: central tie-beam truss with raking struts, and collar and tie-beam end truss with queen struts and v-struts; single purlins with wind braces. Inserted floors at each end." that's all - it's basically listed due to curtilage (the house is also listed)
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 8th Jan 18, 3:37 PM
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    Doozergirl
    • #8
    • 8th Jan 18, 3:37 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Jan 18, 3:37 PM
    Even if the same question is aksed more than once, you only have to answer once
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 8th Jan 18, 3:48 PM
    • 2,659 Posts
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    Robin9
    • #9
    • 8th Jan 18, 3:48 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Jan 18, 3:48 PM
    Thank you. An interesting project together with the house. As you have had similar experience you will know you will need deep pockets.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • TamsinC
    • By TamsinC 8th Jan 18, 3:53 PM
    • 319 Posts
    • 289 Thanks
    TamsinC
    Even if the same question is aksed more than once, you only have to answer once
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    Yes, I was struggling with the quotes thing and then tried to delete the non quoted one and then my computer froze so I gave up - I think I have it sussed now - maybe
    • TamsinC
    • By TamsinC 8th Jan 18, 4:11 PM
    • 319 Posts
    • 289 Thanks
    TamsinC
    Thank you. An interesting project together with the house. As you have had similar experience you will know you will need deep pockets.
    Originally posted by Robin9
    indeed - we shall see
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 8th Jan 18, 4:57 PM
    • 901 Posts
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    ProDave
    There was such a barn, though very much larger in a village I used to live in. It was in poor repair and listed. The owner could not afford t repair it so eventually sold it.

    All I know is the cost to strip it back, repair and strengthen the frame, re roof and re clad it (using as much original material as possible) under the watch of the conservation officer, cost a lot more than the purchase price of the barn.

    You could no doubt demolish it and build new if they would let you.
    • DaftyDuck
    • By DaftyDuck 8th Jan 18, 5:35 PM
    • 4,193 Posts
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    DaftyDuck
    Hmmm. There's only an exterior picture of the barn, but it's clear it ius on its lasdt legs, and probably structurally compromised. You'll struggle to get planning - or LBC - to make it an independently occupiable structure. Repairs? It's more in need of complete rebuild. Given its visibility, you may be very restricted in any changes you can make to the frontage.

    Cost? If conservation officers get pernickity, it could skyrocket, and you would still end up with nothing more than a vaguely useful space.

    Mind you, I see you are used to living in listed buildings, so you might not be daunted.

    Edit: not quite as sure of its state... I may be viewing some of the wrong barn. The view on Street view is very different, so may be pre-restoration...
    Last edited by DaftyDuck; 08-01-2018 at 5:39 PM.
    • TamsinC
    • By TamsinC 8th Jan 18, 7:37 PM
    • 319 Posts
    • 289 Thanks
    TamsinC
    Hmmm. There's only an exterior picture of the barn, but it's clear it ius on its lasdt legs, and probably structurally compromised. You'll struggle to get planning - or LBC - to make it an independently occupiable structure. Repairs? It's more in need of complete rebuild. Given its visibility, you may be very restricted in any changes you can make to the frontage.

    Cost? If conservation officers get pernickity, it could skyrocket, and you would still end up with nothing more than a vaguely useful space.

    Mind you, I see you are used to living in listed buildings, so you might not be daunted.

    Edit: not quite as sure of its state... I may be viewing some of the wrong barn. The view on Street view is very different, so may be pre-restoration...
    Originally posted by DaftyDuck
    Looks like you found it - I do wonder if that's why this house hasn't sold (the barn is going to be a money pit) - we aren't bothered with getting permission to live in it - a granny annex or a studio or even a garden room would be good - but also don't want to spend many 10s of 1000s just for it to be a shed. Definitely one for a structural engineer to look at and a chat with conservation etc.
    • DaftyDuck
    • By DaftyDuck 8th Jan 18, 9:40 PM
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    DaftyDuck
    ( I wrote a long, detailed reply that vanished... this is the ungrammatical version)

    Problem with any conversion to Granny Annex or independent dwelling is the number of planning hoops you'll have to jump through - which, with Listed Building Consent combined will cripple any payback. Stick to making it a table tennis room, or study, and you might manage. Looking at the photos, the structure need some serious work, so it will be expensive!

    It has been on sale a while, with multiple agencies. There's an expression in one a bit like "slowly done up"... which implies to me a DIY job, lacking cash funds.... hence barn not done as well. So, might be dubious works under the surface. May be worth making a directed question as to any earlier surveys made...

    Personally, I don't think the barn really adds to the possibilities on that plot, that close to the main house. I note you've lived in listed buildings before, so that won't phase you. I've done quite a few listed buildings up by now, and I look for quality at the end to secure my money. That barn will be a money sink, with little return. It wouldn't be for me but, having said that, you may well see in in (especially in person) what I can't.

    I'd be interested in what you find, if you do go for a poke round. I'd keep a good eye on the house for shortcuts and botch jobs as well!
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 8th Jan 18, 9:44 PM
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    Doozergirl
    Sorry I missed it! It sounds like one I!!!8217;ve been asked to look at. Within the curtilage of a listed building and held up by wishful thinking.

    The people already own that money pit and aren!!!8217;t selling it though and it has permission for the conversion
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 8th Jan 18, 10:51 PM
    • 5,224 Posts
    • 13,932 Thanks
    EachPenny
    Looks like you found it - I do wonder if that's why this house hasn't sold (the barn is going to be a money pit)....
    Originally posted by TamsinC
    If I've found the right one then I wonder whether road noise is the issue for the house. It is very close to the road and there is a limit what you can do in an old listed building to keep the noise out.

    If you haven't, then you ought to view the house (or at least visit the location) at different times of day and different days of the week. If there is a rush hour, then what is the traffic like then? Also late at night/early morning, do you get speeding cars? And what about buses and lorries, they generate a lot more noise and vibration than cars.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • TamsinC
    • By TamsinC 9th Jan 18, 8:58 AM
    • 319 Posts
    • 289 Thanks
    TamsinC
    If I've found the right one then I wonder whether road noise is the issue for the house. It is very close to the road and there is a limit what you can do in an old listed building to keep the noise out.

    If you haven't, then you ought to view the house (or at least visit the location) at different times of day and different days of the week. If there is a rush hour, then what is the traffic like then? Also late at night/early morning, do you get speeding cars? And what about buses and lorries, they generate a lot more noise and vibration than cars.
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    We have sat outside for quite a while on various different days and times and the traffic is fine - it's actually a very quiet road. We go to see it this week and some searching questions will be asked.
    • TamsinC
    • By TamsinC 9th Jan 18, 9:04 AM
    • 319 Posts
    • 289 Thanks
    TamsinC
    ( I wrote a long, detailed reply that vanished... this is the ungrammatical version)

    Problem with any conversion to Granny Annex or independent dwelling is the number of planning hoops you'll have to jump through - which, with Listed Building Consent combined will cripple any payback. Stick to making it a table tennis room, or study, and you might manage. Looking at the photos, the structure need some serious work, so it will be expensive!

    It has been on sale a while, with multiple agencies. There's an expression in one a bit like "slowly done up"... which implies to me a DIY job, lacking cash funds.... hence barn not done as well. So, might be dubious works under the surface. May be worth making a directed question as to any earlier surveys made...

    Personally, I don't think the barn really adds to the possibilities on that plot, that close to the main house. I note you've lived in listed buildings before, so that won't phase you. I've done quite a few listed buildings up by now, and I look for quality at the end to secure my money. That barn will be a money sink, with little return. It wouldn't be for me but, having said that, you may well see in in (especially in person) what I can't.

    I'd be interested in what you find, if you do go for a poke round. I'd keep a good eye on the house for shortcuts and botch jobs as well!
    Originally posted by DaftyDuck
    Thank you for that You have confirmed what I thought. The more I look at the phots and remember what we have seen from the road the more I see how bad it is. We shall be seeing it this week and asking some direct questions about surveys etc.; the last thing we want is a money pit. I'd happily take the house (if not a bodge job) and gardens and not have the barn - but couldn't let the barn fall down either. However, I'd rather spend more on a house than spend money on a glorified shed (no matter how lovely it COULD be).
    • DaftyDuck
    • By DaftyDuck 9th Jan 18, 9:55 AM
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    DaftyDuck
    Note that, being listed, you may have to spend a fortune on the barn!

    Have a look at the barn timbers, particularly structural elements. Are the joints sound, or rotted and wormed? Are the bases of the timbers sound? Is the cladding recently shifted from the frame? Slow movement is fine. If any of the frame timbers are fractured, worry. Take a hammer (a stone will do, and be more subtle and bash the frame timbers. If they all ring dull, deep and similar, there's hope. If some give a dull squishy thunk and others ring high, the stress on the frame has shifted onto some beams, more problems to sort. Old dry wood with old woodworm is no problem, wet and fresh worm... mmmm!

    Has the roof frame shifted owing to excess weight? It might have been thatched originally, and structure be too weak for the weight.

    Obviously rot, worm and damp, but look for vermin damage as well. Old timbers can have an unlimited life if dry and cared for. I've happily stripped down a mainly thirteenth century timber frame, replaced about 1% if that. The early 20th century bit... mostly rotten.

    Then, be realistic. What can you actually do, with an unlimited budget, in a relatively small space? Do you want it, really?

    Your point about spending on a house, not a glorified shed is VERY valid... That is never going to be glorious, even with a vast spend. Buy a house without barn, you'll get another bed and reception, and a similar spend on that, on rooms you'll use daily, that will give you more reward over time, and leave some cash in the bank!

    Edit to add... Sniff! What does it smell of? Mould and damp, or dry and straw-like? Acrid rat/mouse droppings???
    Last edited by DaftyDuck; 09-01-2018 at 9:59 AM.
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