Barn Conversions


An increasing proportion of buyers now look to live in a barn conversion full of character. You may well want to purchase a ‘wreck’ and stamp it with your own identity, or buy a fully equipped and modernised property. Regardless, we will find that barn for you.

The conversion of barns involves the transformation of old farming barns to residential usage. You may wish to do this yourself and task us with the mission of finding a suitable wreck; or you may want to purchase one that has already been converted saving you the hassle of building work. Either way our network of connections and local knowledge will stand you in good stead.

Nowadays many older farm buildings are being converted for holiday use (this is partly due to modern farming practices making many of the older type buildings redundant) and this might be worth considering from an investment perspective as well as from purchasing soley for a family home.

Barn to home conversion is not and does not have to be detrimental to the historic integrity of a barn site. Successful conversions can and do take place. In fact, amongst other things, the most successful residential barn conversions result from a combination of factors including a careful choice of barn. Many people consider a medium sized barn with sufficient extant windows, where the internal volume can be near completely utilized, can allow for a successful and historically responsible conversion of a barn.

While not a new phenomenon barn conversion became quite popular in the latter years of the 20th century. Changing a barn over from its historic agricultural use to residential use generally requires significant changes in the integrity of the barn and if the structure is of historic value it is inevitable that these alterations rarely completely preserves the historic character of the barn.

As many older barn designs were relatively windowless one of the key additions in barn conversion for residential use is that of windows. For a barn to be comfortable as a home walls often have to be insulated and refinished and the interior volume of the space must be greatly reduced. Other residential details and fixtures are also added such as chimneys. The barn’s site itself is often altered by the addition of close-in, driveway parking and residential landscaping.


Some barn conversions go so far as to dismantle the entire original structure, discarding the exterior and simply reusing the internal structural supports on a new building.

If there is a single rule that will lead to a successful design scheme for a residential barn conversion, it is without doubt to be ‘true to the building’, in other words to ensure that the barn retains its essential character and form, and does not simply get turned into a house. If this simple philosophy is applied to every aspect of design, from window and door treatments, to internal subdivision, the project should not go far wrong and should also be in line with the requirements of the local planning authority.

At City to Country we can advise what characteristics to look out for, and in some cases avoid!