With traditional office space becoming more costly, many small businesses have been exploring alternative forms of office space. Barn conversions are a popular option – they’re often just the right size for small businesses. You could be looking to convert a barn for your own business to use, or you could be looking to rent out the converted barn to other businesses. Whatever the case, here are just a few tips for helping to get your barn conversion right.
Consider the location
If you want your barn to be used as an office, you need to be certain that it’s in a good enough location for employees to commute to (and possibly clients to travel to). In other words, you don’t want it to be too remote. Make sure that the barn isn’t too far away from major settlements.
Planning permission will likely be required for your barn conversion. You’re more likely to have your plans accepted when converting a barn into a commercial building than you would do converting a barn into a residential building. It does however depend on the age and location of the barn, as well as the modifications that you would like to make.
Understand the costs
Conversion costs can vary depending on the features you’d like to add. Research into all the features you’d like to add and the cost of adding them. Make sure that you have a budget and try to stick rigidly to this to avoid costs getting out of control.
Focus on providing the basics
Your barn conversion doesn’t have to be too elaborate. Focus on the features that are most important for an office before considering fancy aesthetic features. The most important features include:
- Electrics: Your office needs an electric supply. Consider looking into private power pole installation to help link up cables or consider a private electric generator. After this, focus on adding electrical sockets and lighting.
- Fire safety: In the event of a fire, there needs to be suitable exits. Adding a smoke alarm could also be vital.
- Toilets/kitchen: There will need to be a bathroom for employees to use. A basic kitchen for making tea and coffee could also be a worthy feature.
- Heating/cooling: Your office needs to stay cool in the summer heat and warm in the winter cool. Consider installing a HVAC system to regulate the temperature. Features such as insulation could help to reduce heating usage.
- Security: Features like a burglar alarm and security lighting will help to keep your office secure and could also be worth considering.
- Basic comfort: You’ll likely also want to consider installing new flooring (which could be carpet, vinyl or laminate wood), as well as boarding the wall and adding windows to provide natural light.
Preserve some features
Your conversion could get rejected if you plan to completely remodel the barn – especially if it’s an old building. Try to preserve some of the original building whether it’s the wooden exterior or beams and joists on the interior.