When doing a barn conversion, people usually choose to retain the charm and essence of the barn and not simply turn it into a regular home, and we share the same feeling.
With this concept in mind, the work done on all the elements of the barn, such as internal elements, doors, windows will also have to comply with any regulations and requirements from the local planning office.
There are several style approaches when it comes to barn conversions, one of them is leaving some of the sections of walls exposed creating an interesting design feature. Or, more recently, customers choose a clearly contrasting mix of new and old materials, bringing character to the whole project.
One of the main issues with any of these approaches is to have the building properly insulated, according to the regulations, which can pose a challenge for brick or stone walls, due to their solid construction with no cavities. With timber barns this aspect will be easier to manage, because the contractors will be able to add more easily the necessary insulation.
Most like the roof will need repairs during the barn conversion, and this will mean removing the existing covering to both make the repairs and also add the extra insulation needed. Usually it is preferred to keep as much as possible the charm of the original materials, and the irregularities the roof might have gotten over time. The necessary repairs can be made and insulation added without changing the materials and avoiding a perfectly symmetrical roof with modern tiles but no character.
This can also be a requirement for listed building, where the like-for-like materials must be kept, but invariably new materials will also need to be purchased. In this situation, the new material is used as much as possible in less visible places. Original materials may be expensive to procure or unavailable so a carefully thought mix of old and new materials should be used for the roof work.
The end result must be weathertight, and the use of a breathable membrane will provide adequate ventilation, but the charm and character of the old roof should be preserved as much as possible.
The doors and windows
Most of the times, the original window openings are usually kept, at least for the first level, with the possibility of making changes to the second level. When any new openings are inserted in the building’s design, it should follow the pattern of the existing building or other barns in the area. The local planning authority can also determine the style you can use for these. Generally they are simple, robust, with a functional style. Same goes with doors.
When possible, you should salvage and repair any original windows. Use the window styles of other barns in the area as a template in case you can’t salvage the old windows and you need a replacement.
The openings the barn has can be smartly used to provide both ventilation and natural daylight through glazing, which can be fixed or not. Large door entrances that many barns usually have can be fitted with glazed doors and fixed frame sections.
Try to follow the original utilitarian design when it comes to the design of the doors and windows, also when it comes to doors furniture.