This week we have moved fully into our additional office at the Byre Workshops, Winterbourne Medieval Barn, (grade II*) listed barn conversion. It has got us thinking about some of the amazing barn conversions we have helped with over the years and some of our more recent projects.
We are pleased to have received two commissions this month for two listed barn conversions in North Somerset, to help take our clients through planning and building regulations consents and provide structural reports, we can’t wait to get started! When dealing with a barn conversion it is important that your design team understands the regulations and restrictions of such developments.
We have designed several class Q barn conversions in recent years, (a class q barn conversion allows agricultural structures to be converted not usually allowed under planning policy). These often represent challenges because they are not always traditionally constructed and have to be really thought about in terms of the build technology to make them viable barn conversions under the legislation.
This barn conversion and almost all conversions require a structural report to be submitted to the local authority to substantiate the conversion. When providing such reports it is important your building surveyor or structural engineer understands the restrictions of the planning policies and tailors their report to include the information required by the council.
We have seen many cases where a barn conversion has been unsuccessful in achieving planning as the structural report is not adequately designed to convey the structure of the barn in the right way. Often this might take the form of a traditional RICS style building survey which is wholly an inadequate approach for a barn conversion.
The many listed barn conversions we have worked on previously such as this beautiful barn conversion in Wiltshire pictured below, has taught us that such applications will normally need to be accompanied by not only basic plans but much more detailed joinery sections, method statements, enhanced recording of the structure, traditional repair methods and analysis.
The local authority in this instance insisted that to facilitate the barn conversion every piece of timber within the structure was surveyed and recorded with recommendations made for their repair or replacement. We analysed and recorded each timber individually and suggested/detailed historic timber repairs such as scarf joints where appropriate.
It is important when choosing your designer or architect that they have experience in delivering a barn project and that you recognise the additional investment in the design information that will be required at the planning stage.
The drawings below are of a listed barn conversion in South Gloucestershire. Our client is currently carrying out the repairs and we should have some exciting pictures to follow in the coming months from the lovely Morag McDonald or Documentary Image. This project was really interesting as the barn had almost been reduced to rubble, fortunately with useful dialogue from the conservation officer and the planning consultant Chris Dance of LPC we were able to negotiate its restoration through the planning framework and to protect what was left of this very old structure.
In some instances, local authorities like to see that new build properties in rural locations have an agricultural aesthetic to mimic that of a barn. The project pictured below was one where we helped deliver the technical stages of a barn style project in Wiltshire. We were able to negotiate and successfully discharge the planning conditions and help the owners gain building regulations consent for the project.
Interested in a barn conversion, how can we help?
I have enjoyed working with Western Building Consultants on a complicated project for about 4 years now. During that time they have without fail given me a high level of customer service, being welcoming, responsive and competent.
As a customer I particularly appreciate that WBC are value for money. They also stick to their quotes and don’t add a lot of extras. Help and advice is always forthcoming generally at no extra charge.
Thank you so much for all your advice today. That was so very helpful, not only with the structure of the property but especially with your comments about the whole set up. I can see that we were within a gnat’s whisker of entering a complete can of worms… Thank you so much for saving us from making a stupid mistake.
Thanks to you both your help in this matter – you were both extremely efficient and accommodating (more than I can say about other companies I contacted).
Your professionalism has been invaluable, thank you.
Thank you for your extremely comprehensive report. It will be of immense help when deciding on the works we would like to carry out on the property. We have decided to take your advice and move into the property and live in it for a while to assess our requirements.
Thank you for your prompt service, could not have asked or expected more. I note your comments and in an ideal world everything would have been 1.
Will not hesitate to recommend you, and will make a point of letting the estate agent know this too.
I just wanted to say thank you very much for your thorough and clear report. It is written in an informative and jargon free way which has made a pretty hefty document ultimately digestible and easy to understand.
Hello Kerry, Many thanks for the report and invoice receipt.
Please pass on my thanks to Paul for the survey. In my working life, I read many stock survey reports – I work with social housing providers to set up their asset management strategies – and this was one of the clearest and most comprehensive I’ve seen.
Dear Paul, Thank you so much for your fast response and the detail in your report is very very good and greatly appreciated. Thank you for your efforts.
Many thanks for your swift and thorough return of this report, we so appreciate you getting this back to us on such a tight turn around this week, and on the first read it seems extremely clear and comprehensive.
Hi Kerry / Paul, Thanks for sending the survey across.
I’d also like to thank you for your excellent service and professionalism. I considered many surveyors before choosing to proceed with you and it’s clear that I made the right choice. I won’t hesitate to recommend you to family, friends and colleagues in the future.
“We have commissioned three building surveys from WBC until we found the house that was right for us and all thanks to you”
I never expected so much detail, the report was really great and there were things I never even considered, even being in the construction trade
The report was brilliant and went into so much detail, having had reports from other surveyors in the past this report was far superior
“Highly recommended. Good customer service over the phone and by email. Very quick: from the initial phone call booking a site visit to me receiving the calculations took only 8 days.”
“We used James Dean …Western Building Consultants as an architect. Very good”
“Good surveyors & structural engineers that we used were www.westernbuildingconsultants.com
We were really happy with them, they came highly recommended by several people”
“Excellent service and help from the initial design/planning stage through to the end of all works”
“I can recommend Western Building Consultants. They are great on structural calculations, advice and technical drawings to whatever extent you want. We used them for advice and calcs for taking out our main load bearing wall downstairs. They were recommended several times over when we started looking.”
“Superb, professional, efficient, friendly, positive”