Vernacular Homes - barn conversion - Surrey, Sussex, Kent

Barn Conversion, Surrey

“We moved to the area in 2010 and lived in the grange before we had any work done. The plan was to convert the barn first so we could live there while the grange was refurbished. I first approached Vernacular Homes as I was looking for someone with barn conversion experience. Trevor was the first person from the team that I spoke to and he was very accommodating. They’d worked on around 40-50 barn conversions so it was clear they had a great legacy and history. Trevor came and looked at the property which was a hay barn, and within a week he’d given us an estimate. They clearly know how to price a project because we ended up coming within just 5% of that original estimate. That really impressed me – to hit that kind of budget so closely.

“When I met the rest of the team, you could tell how good they were. I liked that they were a family-run business; you just got that extra sense of customer service, and felt that they really wanted to do right by their client. It’s personal; you’re not dealing with a corporate machine.

“The planning process was very smooth even though we changed from a four to a five bed property. We added a significant amount of square footage and an amazing atrium. We did all this in conversation with the team pre-planning.

“The barn was in fairly good condition and Trevor was confident that it wouldn’t require a major rebuild. He was very confident about material selections and walked us through the whole process. Aesthetically, where they’ve needed to add timbers it’s been done very sympathetically. The craftsmanship with the wood is excellent. The timber is naturally misshapen and knarled, but the detailing in the plasterwork around the beams is exceptional; I’ve had a lot of properties refurbished and this is some of the best plaster work I’ve ever seen.

“I love the atrium in the barn. The two barn doors are all now glass and double height, and there’s a walkway on the first floor; it’s my favourite spot when I’m working from home.  I sit at the dining room table in the middle of the room and have light flooding into it. I love the feeling of light and space.

“For the work on our existing house, the grange, originally we were thinking of using a company with more experience of old buildings. Although it’s not listed, it has that appearance. However, we were so pleased with the end product of the barn and their approach to sourcing, hitting the budget, and quality, we just knew we wanted to use them for that project too.”

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