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Step 7 = high level design

Category: Steps along the way February 23rd, 2010 by mbc

Your design ethos will be the very highest level of your design.

Beneath that the next level of your design is to define the major systems, materials and design elements that you want to incorporate into your project. No need to be too specific initially … start vague and define…

Here’s a checklist to get you started:

Steps along the way...

When I started MyBarnConversion I meant to share some quick and easy yet hopefully valuable tips in a 'Steps along the way' series of short posts.

That series fell by the wayside, but now I've brought it back. Use the link above for a full list of my tips.

Roof – construction material, requirements for attic space?
Walls – for a conversion your hands are usually tied but you’ll need to consider insulation, finishes and any remedial work.
Floor – floor levels are dictated by a heady blend of building reg’s, foundations, ceiling height and final finishes – you need to consider each of these – tricky!
Space usages and purposes. Rooms – what, where and why?
Internal partitions & walls – materials and finishes.
Heating – space and water. What are your input systems?
Lighting – natural (free) and artifical (paid for).
Water – rainwater harvesting?
Electricity – feed-in tariffs may help you fund your PV panels or wind turbine.
Insulation – cuts across many of these items, but worth considering in isolation as well.
External space and surroundings – gardens, patios and outside rooms, again what, where and why?
Fixtures and fittings – furniture (materials and finished), appliances (energy ratings) etc.

I’ll go into each of these over coming weeks and months…

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Step 6 = define your design ethos

Category: Steps along the way November 4th, 2008 by mbc

Decide upon your design ethos.

Much as I hate the pretentious word ethos I think it’s essential to define what you want to achieve. To continue on a pretentious theme whilst shifting into the world of business speak to define your terms of reference.

For example, do you want a eco-minimalist, ‘healthy house’ or country kitchen style (or perhaps try to blend all three for a unique yet barmy finish)?

There are many ways to approach your design and approach is not something to consider as your build comes to a close and you start thinking about final finishes or at some other predefined stage but right up front before you begin to make too many decisions and draw too many lines in the sand.

What do you like, what can you afford, what will your building, building regulations and the planners allow? – Answer these questions and you’ll be getting there.

By the way – our ethos on this project is, to carry out a:

‘Healthy House’ and (not ultra) modern NOT National Trust gravel and trees in pots barn conversion.

…pick the bones out of that one!

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Step 5 = project management

Category: Steps along the way March 22nd, 2007 by mbc

Answer these:

Question: So once you’ve started, who will bring it all together?

Question: Can you handle the potential loss of control of the project of delegating some responsibilities?

Question: Do you have the experience to bring together such a complex project?

Question: Will the role be fulfilled by you or someone you pay (an architect or building project manager)?

Question: What professionals are available in your locality with the appropriate skills and experience?

I think by the time you’ve worked through those you’re going to have a pretty good idea of the way to go and the shape your project is going to take.

For us, as both of us have extensive project management experience we’ve taken the leap (along with support from a very competent designer) to manage the project ourselves.

Wish us luck!

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Step 4 = design owner / design implementer

Category: Steps along the way February 26th, 2007 by mbc

(or … will you employ an architect?)

We have some strong opinions about how we wanted the conversion to be.

We’re keen on a natural finish, wanting to avoid the dark stained timber, olde worlde kitchens & stairs and gravel often to be found in and around a stereo-typical barn conversion. Our aim is to blend traditional rustic design with modern design; the material and furnishings will reflect this blending.

So the question you need to answer is who fulfil the roles of design owner and design implementer? In other words who will derive the initial design (design owner), then carry it through to implementation in your completed building (design implementer)?

This is where an architect can come in – sharing these roles with the other stakeholders (the client, builders, planners etc.) as well as bringing experience and knowledge to your project. This will all come at a price (budget 15-20% of the total project cost). This is obviously a decision you need to make for yourselves, based upon, your aspirations skills, the clarity of your design vision and budget.

With strong ideas of our own and our inability to find a local full service architect, we chose to not employ a full service architect.

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Step 3 = property

Category: Steps along the way July 7th, 2006 by mbc

Start the ball rolling Visit estate agents and search the internet for properties in your chosen area.

Find something that you like in your own time. I hate the stress of needing to find a property. Let it happen, it will.

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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 […]

I’m having a moan on twitter… https://twitter.com/barnconversion/status/368427314868396032

A lovely Flemish barn conversion

I love the interior of this conversion and the great use of horizontal slats on this conversion. I retains the essential ‘barnyness’ of the building… flemish-barn-by-arend-groenewegen-architect

Coming soon, my barn conversion guide… Interesting earthship greenhouse project on Kickstarter

I really like this Kickstarter project >> The Farm of the Future: Earthship-Inspired Greenhouse This project is “Prototyping the First 100% Off-The-Grid, Affordable, Low-Maintenance Greenhouse using Earthship Principles and Aquaponics“. If any of those words meaning anything to you you’ll be interested in the project if not, pass it by… It’s already funded so I […]

Barns

Barns Gallery on Remodelista

There is a lovely gallery of barn related inspirational photographs available on Remodelista.

Barns – the Long House

Situated on the North Norfolk coast, this is a building to admire…

Barns – the Balancing Barn

A stunning piece of architecture, although not entirely to my taste…

New fast-track planning permission for the development of barns proposed

The Daily Mail reports on a new fast-track route through planning controls for the conversion of barns…

De-assembled, re-assembled, re-cycled barns

“A bit like a private sector, modernising, repurposing St Fagan’s…”

Design

What is a shadow gap?

A shadow gap – a mysterious dark place between two plains…

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

Thoughts on making YOUR barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

Building Regulations, Approved Documents Part D – Toxic substances

An overview of Building Regulations, Approved Documents Part D – Toxic substances

Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part C Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture

An overview of Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part C Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture

Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part B Fire safety

An overview of Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part B Fire safety

Architecture

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

Thoughts on making YOUR barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

The Stirling prize 2012 winner – the Sainsbury Laboratory

The 2012 Stirling prize was won by a outsider, the Sainsbury Laboratory…

The Stirling prize 2012

I think that this years Stirling prize has some exciting projects on the shortlist…

Our engineers … our architects – Le Corbusier

The efficient, shiny world of construction in 1923…

Design in Storage

When designing a layout it’s easy to forget to plan for storage…

News

Green Deal slow beginnings?

Oh dear! The green deal hasn’t got off to a very auspicious start… As reported in the Telegraph today since it was launched nearly a year ago just 12 homes have taken advantage of the Green Deal with a few hundred more in the pipeline. 71,210 households had been assessed for Green Deal measures such […]

The property roller coaster – planning reform to be rethought

Eric Pickles vague compromise on planning reform keeps the house happy (for now).

Energy policy, smoke screens, fracking, confusion and big bucks

There seems to be only one thing that is certain in the world of energy policy and that is that costs will rise annually above and beyond anything that inflation can currently throw at us. Beyond that, smoke screens & confusion seem to reign. Take the recent news for example… It’s reported today that the […]

Flanking manoeuvres and good design…

It seems that the government are undertaking flanking manoeuvres on the green belt…

Green Deal Launch

The Green deal launched in the UK on Monday of this week. Fanfares? fireworks? a deluge of marketing? … read more …

Plaid Cymru’s Green New Deal promise

The leader of Plaid Cymru has promised a “Green New Deal” to rejuvenate the Welsh economy and help maintain Wales’ position at the forefront of Green policies.

Permitted development extension limits to be doubled

The government is due to announce a temporary increase in the maximum depth of extensions that can be built under permitted development rules.

Lloyd Khan, making shelter simple.

I wanted to share an interview with Lloyd Khan that I recently found…

Just what is ‘sustainable development’?

Sustainable development – with the term now enshrined in planning law, what does it mean?

Sir Patrick Abercrombie – “It is a matter for serious thought…”

While reading up on the response of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) I came across this quote from Sir Patrick Abercrombie…