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Your barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

Category: Conversion Design Advice October 19th, 2012 by mbc

This comment from robertloxton was posted on one of my how much does a barn conversion cost posts the other day.

Hello,
I bought a threshing barn and subsequently got pp for conversion to one dwelling. There are so many different ideas and prejudices out there about how and where to go about this.

The best advice I had…..was to make sure you applied for what you really wanted for yourself. Not to be unduly influenced by other peoples experience. Sometimes you find that experience (including professional) is 20 years old….and in truth matters have moved on. The economy has moved on.

So my answer is to spend a huge amount of time reasearching and establishing for yourself what you want. Head up the applications yourself and use the professionals as back up to you. Don’t let them be the lead players.
Clearly you have to be doing this in an informed way. But rocket science it ain’t.

I think there are some really important points in there…

I’m not anti-architect, I’ve never used one myself but I know a few and value their advice and opinion. But Roberts point on your conversion being about “what you really wanted for yourself” is key to personal success for most fool-hardy instigators of conversion projects. I’m not wanting to pick on architects, but I see them as a key source of opinions that differ from your own and the most likely to be able to shift your project away from “what you really wanted for yourself“. By all means seek advice, explore differing opinions and adjust your own thoughts, but I strongly believe that you should own the overall vision for the conversion yourself.

It can be alluring to seek advice and delegate decision making, to play the part of a patron rather than project manager, but that’s rarely the route to personal success and the satisfaction gained from a vision made real that should come from a successful conversion. Unless you truly have more money than sense & a willingness to create the vision of others then conversion is surely not for the weak-hearted.

It was never planned this way, but I realise now that the name of this website enshrines this approach, it is after all, MY Barn Conversion.

If you enjoyed that post, then read these…

Parasitic architecture
Whilst bringing to mind images of ticks and leeches, parasitic architecture is an umbrella term, used to refer to self-contained new buildings that are attached to an existing structure.

tag: ‘Architecture

Build in Technology
Whatever the original structure, a conversion means major building work.

tag: ‘advice

Shelving and storage
I have a lot of shelving and storage to build, install or buy for the barn.

tag: ‘design

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