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Barn Conversion Insurance

Insure your converted barn – it’s all part of the idyllic dream of a holiday in the English countryside, staying for a week or two in a converted barn, your own slice of a rural lifestyle that has almost disappeared, The British barn conversion is fast becoming the’de-rigueur” property to purchase not just in the United Kingdom but in France & parts of Spain as well. Also proving popular is the purchase of a barn conversion to be used as a second home or holiday property, this is appealing to many people as the property can be purchased as something to look forward to on retirement and in the interim years, it can be rented out to provide an income. With regards to Barn conversion insurance, two problems face the would be barn converter:-

Holiday Homes-often insurance companies shy away from this type of property, mainly because of the long periods of un-occupancy and the associated increased chances of a loss.

The Construction-well it’s true not all barn conversions are the same and some are mainly constructed of stone but, some have a good deal of timber in the construction and this is a big no no with many insurers.

Insurance Protection for a Barn Conversion

The combination of the two above mentioned risk factors means that you may struggle to find insurance, but approaching a specialist company will usually prove fruitful. Overseas property insurance covering all the usual perils you would expect from a home insurance policy is available and the fact that the property is a barn conversion can be factored in as well. If you intend to rent out the property, make sure any policy you purchase includes the correct form of liability insurance cover. You may need to advise the insurance company that the property is also to be used as a holiday let as well as your own second home. As well as problems relating to insurance, lovers of barns find that the actual price of conversion can be a little more that the cost of simply construction a new property on the site. Barns are often listed structures and almost all of them were constructed without reference to any building regulations. Usually, some fairly substantial works are required to bring them up to scratch and the cost can be tempered a little by the fact that they are zero rated for VAT purposes.

UK Barn Conversions – in the United Kingdom, barns (with perhaps of the exception of the parochial tithe barn) fall under three main classifications.

• Box Barn Construction – The building is entirely supported by the four walls

• Post and Truss Barn – The building consists of an internal timber frame which supports the entire weight of the roof by adjoining vertically placed posts.

• Cruck Framed Barn – The roof is supported both by the walls and internal A frames

Planning a Conversion – you may be lucky to find a barn that has already been converted to use as your dream holiday home but prices are no longer cheap and often a fully converted barn will come at a premium. Europe is still littered with properties to convert but before you take the plunge, consider the following.

• Make a detailed check of the buildings planning status. If it comes with planning consent, this may add a fair amount to the price. If you are going to buy a barn without planning permission your going to have to be fairly confident of obtaining planning permission.

• Try to employ local people with experience of barn conversion work, a good local architect will prove invaluable. Remember, a derelict barn without planning permission, is basically just a derelict barn. You are more likely to obtain planning permission if you include sympathetic building techniques and materials in your plans.

• Many barns are listed structures so the conversion work may been even more complicated even if you can obtain planning permission.

• Think about how well the property would lend itself to a be a Holiday Home, how close is it to local services, can you easily install water & electricity and does the property have good access (if all seasons).

• Is it actually feasible to renovate and improve the existing structure, some barns are in such a poor state that they are only fit for demolition.

• Obtain detailed costing’s before you start to ensure that you have enough funds to complete the project.

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