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VAT and Conversions

Category: Barn Conversion Journal September 23rd, 2012 by mbc

I was tweeting the other day about VAT on conversions.

An article in Homebuilding Magazine titled (somewhat harshly) ‘Incompetent Inland Revenue, helpful H&R‘ provided the ‘revelation’ that the conversion of a building that hasn’t been occupied for 10+ years (or ever) is VAT exempt. Although 5% VAT is payable during conversion it can be reclaimed at the end of the project.

Personally I thought that was bloody obvious.

HMRC provides the following guidance (a simple Google search on “VAT on conversions” will get you there):

Where the building is a conversion, it must be of a non-residential building. That means a building that has either never been lived in, or hasn’t been lived in for the last ten years – not even on an occasional basis as a second home. Illegal occupation by squatters doesn’t count, however, and you are allowed to live in the property while the work’s being done, as long you move in after the work has started.

From – VAT refunds on self-build new homes or non-residential conversions

I don’t know, but perhaps, equating conversion to self-build, this level of lazy ‘uninformation’ is what holds back the UK from anything but novelty levels of self-build.

My question is…. is it too much to ask people to do their homework when undertaking one of the largest investments of their lives?

(Hope I’ve not just jinxed my own VAT reclaim with my wise-ass comments…)

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Building Progress August 2012

Category: Barn Conversion Journal September 11th, 2012 by mbc

Shelving and lime mortar dominated August.

In the utility room, work continued installing shelving, using wood reclaimed from the animal stalls that once occupied the current kitchen. Using the same materials, I also built a wide high-level shelf in the kitchen that runs level with of the top of the kitchen cupboards and hides the slightly off centre vent pipe for the kitchen extractor fan and provides some more much needed storage.

I’ve also tidied up around the foot of the external walls, filling any small gaps that remained in the pointing or in the join between the wall and path. I also needed to rebuild the thick mortar foot of the whitewashed gable-end wall. The mortar footing hides the cable that runs from the satellite dish into the barn. The whitewashed gable-end really catches the weather and with two window sills dripping onto the footing it had crumbled over the last couple of years. So I rebuilt it using a stronger lime mortar mix – TWICE! The first attempt got washed away in places, despite being covered, by the soggy summer.

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Summer holiday

Category: Barn Conversion Journal September 5th, 2012 by mbc

image

We’ve been staying here amongst other places.

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Wabi-sabi and my mossy step

Category: Barn Conversion Journal August 21st, 2012 by mbc

I was just about to begin stripping the moss from the shaded face of the garden steps when I was reminded of the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi.

Wabi-sabi, is a Japanese aesthetic concept that beauty can be found in impermanence, transience, and imperfection.

So embracing the concept, I saved myself a job, spared the moss and left the steps alone…

From Barn Conversion 2012

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Building Progress ~ July 2012

Category: Barn Conversion Journal August 2nd, 2012 by mbc


Painting of the internal door frames is now complete. Undercoat plus three coats of eggshell and I’m happy with the finish. I’ve removed all the masking tape I used and sanded down the doors where a little wayward paint had landed, so job well and truly done and dusted.

The utility room, the last room to be decorated, has now overtaken most of the rest of the barn in its level of completeness. Having been painted last month, I then installed skirting boards and have started installing shelving, using wood reclaimed from the animal stalls that once occupied the part of the barn where the kitchen is now.

I started work on a large high-level shelf that will run at the same height as the top of the wall cupboards in the kitchen and help tidy up the slightly off centre vent pipe for the kitchen extractor fan and provide some more much needed storage.

I’ve managed to sort out my EPC for the barn and the ‘HETAS certificate of compliance‘ that is needed for the stove and flue installation, so it’s been a hot month for documentation!

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Progress

Autumn 2013

Right that’s the summer over with, now I can get on with some real work without the distractions of other things (like holidays and playing with children, all that enjoyable stuff that gets in the way of progress)… With few major jobs (painting, boxing in – nasty stuff!) left inside, mainly fiddly things that need […]

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