Barns for Sale | abandoned property (2023)

Barns for Sale: A Complete Guide to Finding the Perfect Space

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Barns are one of the most charming and iconic types of rural architecture. These buildings are usually large and made of wood, brick or stone, with a sloping roof and spacious interior.

Historically, granaries have played a crucial role in agriculture, serving as storage space for crops, shelter for livestock, and workspace for farmers.

Today, barns have become popular as rustic, one-of-a-kind homes, vacation retreats, and event spaces.

Buying a barn for sale can be a rewarding and exciting experience, whether you're looking for a cozy country home or a project to restore and convert into living space.

In this guide, we'll introduce you to the types of barns, the factors to consider when buying one, how to find them, and the pros and cons of owning one.

Barns for Sale | abandoned property (1)

Barns suitable for conversion

Many types of barn in the UK have been converted into residential housing, especially in rural areas with a shortage of housing.

However, the most commonly converted type of barn is the traditional timber-framed threshing barn. These large open plan structures are often considered ideal for conversion due to their size and features such as exposed wooden beams and high ceilings.

Other barns such as livestock or barns are less commonly converted as they may not have the same potential for residential use due to their original purpose and design.

However, they can be adapted for other uses such as workshops or storage.

In recent years, there has been a trend towards converting modern farm buildings into residential properties such as grain warehouses or livestock buildings.

They are often more modern in design and construction, but can offer spacious and flexible accommodation.

Factors to consider when buying a barn

Buying a barn can be exciting, but it's crucial to consider a few factors to ensure you get the best value for your investment.

Here are some key factors to consider when looking for a barn.

location and surroundings

Location is a crucial factor to consider when buying a barn. The barn must be located in a convenient and accessible location.

Consider proximity to amenities, schools, hospitals and shopping centers.

You should also consider the barn's surroundings.

Is it in a quiet and peaceful location or in a noisy area?

Barn size and layout

Barn size and layout are important considerations when purchasing a barn.

Consider the size of the barn and whether it is suitable for its intended purpose.

You should also consider the barn layout and how it fits into your plans.

Does the barn have the right space for the rooms and amenities you need?

Integrity and Structural Condition

The structural integrity and condition of the barn are crucial factors to consider when purchasing a barn.

It is essential to carry out a complete inspection of the barn to check for any defects or structural problems.

Check walls and foundations for cracks, water damage, and signs of pest infestation.

You should also check the roof to make sure it's in good condition and has no leaks.

Planning permission and building regulations

Before purchasing a barn, it is crucial to check whether any planning permits or building regulations apply to the barn.

Some barns may have restrictions on the type of development that can be done in them.

Check with your local planning authority to ensure you are aware of any restrictions before purchasing.

In conclusion, buying a barn requires careful consideration of several factors.

The location and surroundings, barn size and layout, structural integrity and condition, planning permission and building regulations are all crucial factors to consider before purchasing.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when buying a barn.

How to Find Barns for Sale

When it comes to finding barns for sale, there are several ways to go about this. Here are some methods you can use:

online listings

The Internet is a great place to start looking for listed barns for sale.

There are general property websites, auction websites, and even specialized property portals such

Most of these property portals allow you to use filters to refine your search and find barns that meet your specific needs.

real estate agents

Real estate agents can be a helpful resource when looking for specific property requirements. They often have access to exclusive listings that are not available anywhere else.

Additionally, an experienced real estate agent can provide valuable guidance and advice throughout the buying process, including helping you negotiate price and navigate legal issues.


Barns are often sold at auction, which can be a great way to find a bargain.

However, it is important to research in advance and set a budget so as not to get carried away in the bidding process.

You should also be aware that additional fees and charges may be associated with purchasing a property at auction.

Local newspapers and classifieds

Local newspapers and classifieds can be a good source of information about barns for sale in your area.

Check the properties section regularly and watch out for ads. You can also place your own “wanted” ad, which can attract sellers who want to sell their barn privately.

Whichever method you choose, it's important to approach your search with a clear idea of ​​what you're looking for.

Consider factors such as location, size and budget, and be prepared to be patient – ​​finding the perfect barn can take some time.

Barn restoration and conversion

Restoring and converting a barn can be an exciting and rewarding project, but it can also be challenging. Here are some important points to consider when taking on this type of project.

Read our article about the mostcommon unexpected problems when renovating abandoned propertieslearn more.

Describe the process of restoring and converting a barn

Before starting any restoration or conversion work, it is important to assess the condition of the barn and determine what needs to be done.

This may involve hiring a professional surveyor or builder to provide expert advice.

The process typically involves several steps, including:

  • planning and design
  • Obtaining the necessary permissions and authorizations
  • Site preparation and demolition (if necessary)
  • Repairing and reinforcing the structure
  • Installation of plumbing, electrical and heating systems
  • Interior insulation and finishing
  • Landscaping and exterior design

Explain the costs involved

Restoring and converting a barn can be an expensive project, with costs varying depending on factors such as the size and condition of the barn, the extent of work required, and the quality of materials used. It's important to set a realistic budget and take into account any unexpected costs that may arise.

Some costs to consider:

  • Initial purchase price of the barn
  • Professional fees (surveyors, architects, engineers, builders, etc.)
  • Materials and equipment
  • Planning licenses and fees
  • Labor costs

Common challenges and pitfalls in barn restorations and conversions

Restoring and converting a barn can present a number of challenges and potential pitfalls, including:

  • Structural issues such as rot, rust, or damage from pests or weather
  • Planning and building regulations that must be adhered to
  • Difficulties in obtaining necessary authorizations or permissions
  • High costs and unexpected expenses
  • Complex or unusual design considerations
  • Delays or complications due to weather or other external factors

It is important to be aware of these challenges and plan accordingly to minimize their impact on the project.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Barn

If you're considering buying and converting a barn, it's important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of buying a barn.


Unique Character

The barns have unique features and charm, making them stand out from other properties.

A converted barn can be a unique and interesting space.


Barns offer a lot of space, which makes them ideal for a variety of uses.

You can convert a barn into a spacious family home or use it as a workshop, studio or storage space.

Rural Location

Barns are usually located in rural areas, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

If you are looking for a quiet and peaceful environment, a country barn could be the perfect option.

profit potential

If you are willing to put in the work, barns can be an excellent investment.

You can buy an abandoned or unconverted barn for a relatively low price, restore it, and sell it at a profit.


High restoration costs

Restoring and converting a barn can be an expensive and time-consuming process.

Depending on the condition of the barn and the extent of restoration work required, you could spend a lot of money.

limited amenities

Barns are typically located in rural areas, so access to amenities such as shops, schools and health facilities may be limited.

This can make daily life more challenging, especially if you have a family.

Planning and building regulations

Before converting a barn into a living space, you must obtain planning permission and comply with building regulations.

This can be a complex and time-consuming process and there is no guarantee that your application will be approved.

Structural Issues

Barns are often old structures, so they may have structural issues that must be addressed.

This can be expensive and time-consuming, and it's important to conduct thorough structural research before making a purchase.

In conclusion, buying a barn for sale can be a unique and rewarding experience, but it's important to consider the pros and cons before deciding.

If you are willing to put in the work, a barn can be an excellent investment, but if you are looking for a property that requires minimal effort, a barn may not be the right choice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can abandoned barns be restored and converted into livable spaces?

Yes, abandoned barns can be restored and converted into livable spaces.

However, restoration can be challenging and expensive, especially if the barn is in poor condition.

It is important to carefully assess the condition of the barn and develop a detailed restoration plan before starting the project.

Also, it may be necessary to obtain planning permission from the local council before converting the barn into a habitable space.

Are abandoned barns cheaper than other types of barns?

Abandoned barns are often sold at a lower price than other types of barns, but this is not always the case.

The price of a barn will depend on several factors such as location, size and condition.

Sometimes an abandoned barn can sell for a higher price if it is located in a desirable area or has a unique architectural design.

It is important to carefully evaluate the price of a barn before placing an offer, considering the cost of restoration and conversion.

Are there any restrictions on what I can use a converted barn for?

Depending on local planning policies, there may be restrictions on the intended use of a converted barn.

For example, some councils may restrict the use of converted barns for commercial purposes, such as running a business on the property.

It is important to check planning permission and local planning policies before purchasing one.barn for conversion.

How long does it take to restore and convert a barn?

Restoring and converting a barn can take anywhere from several months to a few years, depending on the size and complexity of the project.

Can I do the restoration and conversion work or do I need to hire professionals?

Although some DIY enthusiasts can handle certain aspects of the project, such as interior finishes or landscaping, it is generally advisable to hire professionals andessential merchantsfor more complex and technical jobs, such as structural repairs and installation of plumbing and electrical installations.

How much does it cost to convert a barn into a living space?

The cost of converting a barn into a living space can vary widely depending on many factors, but is generally in the range of £100,000 to £300,000 or more.


Overall, buying a barn can be an exciting and rewarding investment.

However, it is important to carefully evaluate the different types of barns, consider the factors that may impact your purchase, and develop a detailed restoration and conversion plan.

By following the information in this article, you can be sure to acquire a barn and transform it into a livable space that suits your needs and lifestyle.

Always consult professionals, such as surveyors and real estate agents, to ensure a successful purchase and conversion process.


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Last Updated: 03/06/2023

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