Our last article in our buyer’s guide for old barns for sale focused on the DIY aspect and how much a barn conversion would cost to carry out.
One reason that barn conversions are so expensive is that there are so many expenses before building work actually begins so carrying out a full survey and then perhaps ecological surveys as well means the price is quite expensive to begin with.
On top of this there’s also the issue of connecting what is a remote building to services such as the utilities including water and gas.
Looking at buying antique barns for sale
However, these aren’t the only expenses that someone looking at buying antique barns for sale should be expecting since the planning permission process can be involved and, depending on the local authority and their criteria, can also be expensive as well.
Before 1996 when the building regulations were tightened up, barn conversions were carried out with little or no interaction with the planning authority so the quality of the work they had done varied hugely.
Today, the criteria for converting a rural building are tighter but in recent years the government has made gaining planning permission easier but it’s still not plain sailing.
Consider barn conversion ideas
Our first tip when looking is to consider barn conversion ideas with a view to converting them is to consider whether the barn would get planning permission and do not take for granted that it will.
This also means that anyone buying a barn that hasn’t got planning permission already in place is taking a very big risk which could also turn into a very expensive mistake as well.
At this point, someone who is buying a barn to convert needs to ask why the current owner has not applied already for planning permission and, if they have, what was the outcome.
Take on a planning permission consultant
This is where another expense is worth considering and that is to take on a planning permission consultant who can help guide the owner through the process and use their experience to gain permission.
Architects also have lots of experience in the process, particularly those who have dealt with barn conversions previously in the area.
Those who have gone down this route previously will advise that someone should put an option on a barn subject to it getting planning permission to avoid a hefty bill for not getting permission.
It therefore makes more sense for anyone looking to buy old barns for sale to buy one that already has planning permission in place and while this may cost slightly more initially it does remove the possibility that planning permission will not be granted and the owner will then be left having to sell a redundant farm building.