Vernacular Homes - barn conversion - Kent, Sussex, Surrey

Barn Conversion, Surrey

“We’re so pleased that we chose Vernacular Homes, because we really felt they worked with us and listened, so that we got the home we wanted.

When we first met with them, we’d had two other quotes already, but we just didn’t gel with the other companies. The moment we met Trevor and the team they immediately gave us a great deal of confidence in their ability to work with our vision. They came across as specialists and showed us lots of their previous work, even taking us on a site visit to Kent. The fact they’re a family business really came through; honesty and authenticity just oozed out of them. Pricewise, they were in the middle of the quotes we’d had, but what we really liked is that they were very comprehensive in how they created a budget.

This was our first project and so we perhaps had a slightly naïve approach but we found their guidance to be gentle and sympathetic. The customer is always right but sometimes we weren’t – and in those instances, they took the time to listen and give advice without being prescriptive. During the whole process, there was never any friction or cross words; it all ran smoothly.

The quality and workmanship have endured. We’re very happy with the barn and there is very little that we would change. The fitting and everything internally worked extremely well. We went big when it came to the windows and the light is just fantastic. We’re also really happy with the use of timber; in some barn conversions, the amount can be a bit overwhelming, but we went for minimal timber and it works so well.

We also expected that there might be an element of movement in the wood as it’s a live product and it could have affected the plaster, but we’ve never had any problems – structurally, it’s still very sound. That’s down to how it’s been built and assembled and the people working on the job: the tilers, joiners, electricians – everyone vernacular brought in, was of such a high standard. There were minor snags as you’d expect with any build, but Vernacular Homes has always been very responsive and still are today; I feel I could pick up the phone any time if I needed them.

The shape and layout is my favourite thing about the house now. It’s always hard with a barn to make it work because you’ve got one big open space, but it works really well; it’s U-shaped, with a south and west wing with a large courtyard area so it creates a big impression when you come through the drive. I also love the curve in the roof; it had a natural ‘wave’ in it that falls down into the front porch; rather than straightening it, they incorporated it into the design.

Some people thought we were mad when we first bought the barn, as it was in such bad condition but now, every time someone visits, they comment on how fantastic it looks.

This was always intended to be a family home that we could live in for the long term and that’s just what it is. We have five children and although they don’t all live at home now, it’s perfect for when they all come and visit.

I always recommend Vernacular Homes and have had several visits from their prospective customers who we’re always happy to show around.”

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