Barn conversions are very popular back in the UK, and are becoming more so here in France.
The only problem with their conversion (if indeed it is a problem), is that they don't usually have the features that one expects in old 'houses'. Barns don't have old stone windows, nor do they have old fireplaces, bread ovens, or other stone features. Here they will often have a large rounded, central, main door, but very few other features. Such things need to be installed, rather than restored.
Most old barns had no necessity for damp proofing either (even of a primitive nature), so unless the question is approached seriously, they can be permanently damp; some are almost a health hazard! Old houses here were mostly built over cellars, where some cool humidity was often welcomed for food preservation purposes.
Our own barn (above) is of wooden construction, and luckily has very solid foundations, meaning no damp problems, and not having stone walls means it was very easy to insulate, and is always cosy in Winter.
Some of the most beautiful of the UK's country houses are converted barns. They are often perfect for making into large open-plan living space, with wonderful roof beams and interior woodwork. No restrictive interior walls to dictate what goes where; I've seen some stunning conversions.
This particular one (below) was regarded as being so perfect that it was taken to pieces in it's native England, and shipped to New York, where it was re-assembled and made into the fabulous house you now see. I can see why they went to such trouble!
I don't like it. I can see myself permanently up a ladder swiping spiderwebs off all those beams. I prefer traditional houses with rooms that can be closed off to keep the heat or cool in or out.ReplyDelete
Our own barn has one very big room downstairs, and several much smaller rooms upstairs. We don't have all those beams as in the lower photo, but we have retained a few just to show its structure and age.Delete
Some people are homeless while others have old English barns dismantled and shipped across the Atlantic to be reconstructed at enormous expense. This really is a mad world. The simple exterior of your barn is aesthetically appealing.ReplyDelete
Only slightly sillier than taking London Bridge to Arizona. Our barn is simple; nothing 'shocks'.Delete
Like River I do not like large high roofed rooms, where does the heat go for a start. William Ronald Hearst the great American newspaper mogul, had a medieval tithe barn taken down at Bradenstoke and shipped to America to feature in a hotel. But got bored with the idea and it remained boxed for years.ReplyDelete
Nothing surprises me about Hearst; everything to excess!Delete
I love post and beam construction. High ceilings, a couple large fireplaces and glass walls facing sun south (for passive solar gain) and bringing the outside in and I'm in heaven. Your barn reconstruction is very impressive and in a very lovely setting.ReplyDelete
I think the most difficult things to get right in barn conversions are those Fireplaces. They often try too hard, and they look totally wrong.Delete
I don't like open plan. It's ok when you are a youngster living on your own. As soon as more than one is involved doors do come in handy. Not only to keep the peace and preserve some privacy.ReplyDelete
Our doors are all upstairs, where my son has his office, and the boys have their rooms. Plenty of private space.Delete
The barn conversion in you picture LOOKS lovely but I could never live in one, like most of the other comments here I like something cosy with doors, low ceilings where you can reach the spiders and keep the heat where you want it, not disappearing into the roof space.ReplyDelete
I'm more of an old cottage person myself, but I could be persuaded to live in some of the amazing conversions I've seen.Delete
I always look at the buildings with super high ceilings and wonder a: how they change the light bulbs when they go out, and b: how they heat these large rooms. I guess they're not owned by people like me on a budget.ReplyDelete
That's what they have 'staff' for. Cut logs, stoke fires, change bulbs, etc.Delete
Yet describing a house as like a barn is not a compliment.ReplyDelete
These days, in the UK, it probably means somewhere huge, old, and expensive.Delete
I love the look of barn conversions but don’t think that I would want to live in one ….. I prefer Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian houses but that’s just me !!!!! I also like modern houses but you can’t have them all !!! XXXXReplyDelete
The older the better for me. Age does something for a house, that modern doesn't.Delete
I love your barn Cro - I have seen a photograph of it before - it is just right.ReplyDelete
It's certainly very warm and comfortable, and has a pleasant garden, etc.Delete
Personally barn conversions are not for me but Norfolk has many. In fact they are all around me. I like my old Norfolk farmhouse best.ReplyDelete
I would always be happier in an older house. There's something very pleasant about knowing that somewhere has been lived in for xx amount of years (ours 300).Delete
Those comments about open beams and high ceilings are right. We've got just that, new beams , not old. They are full of dust some of which gets removed when grandkids hang Christmas decos up there. Otherwise out of mind out of sight.ReplyDelete
As for heating. You get an expert in to tell you what you need. Our wood burner heats the whole place nicely and our Aircon cools it in the summer. Mind you, our big room isn't exactly barn size.
I love the conversion in the photo. Much prefer open plan, so much air and light. As you say, there are bedrooms with doors if you want privacy
As I designed the barn interior myself, I can't say that I don't like it. In fact it's extremely comfortable, and the ceiling is at a good height. Ours is no problem to heat, on account of the very thick insulation.Delete
I guess the first thing I think of is keeping a huge space clean. I've got a bigger house than I need right now, and as I get older, I find myself craving smaller, simpler, less.ReplyDelete
Our cottage is very small, and very old, and has dust and cobwebs everywhere. The barn is big and new, and never seems to get dusty or cobwebby.Delete