Kent, Sussex and Surrey Barns

There is great variation in the types and styles of barns in Kent, Sussex and Surrey but the most common are oak framed 3 or 5 bay structures clad in weatherboard.

Oak frames twist and move over time and this gives the natural wavy forms particularly noticeable in the roof.

Converting a Barn in Kent or East Sussex

While we work with clients who aim to custom or self build in Kent, Sussex or Surrey, we also convert existing buildings such as barns and oast houses. Converting barns and other outbuildings has perhaps become something of a tradition in itself across the south east of England. Conversion allows decaying and redundant buildings, some with significant historic interest, to be preserved for future generations. Making these buildings habitable provides an opportunity to add a new layer to this history as well as reusing and reinventing these spaces.

Barn conversions typically provide grand open-plan spaces downstairs, usually with a double-height running from the cart entrance to its exit. Any first floor rooms often need to be ingeniously inserted within an existing timber frame to maximise available space. Some clients however will want to re-imagine their barn conversion in more radical ways. Either way, Vernacular Homes, as specialist Kent building contractors are experienced in providing all the necessary services to convert and complete your reused building.

Contact Us

Click here or call Trevor Weeks

01233 861177

We can gain planning consent for your barn conversion

We pay great attention to the architecture of barns and other buildings requiring conversion and can take you through the entire process of converting the structure using our understanding of traditional construction and appropriate design intervention to bring these buildings into the 21st century.

Gaining Planning Consent

Often these projects will need specific areas of expertise, usually revolving around –

  • Timber surveys,
  • Lime mortar and plaster analysis and
  • Protected species reports.
  • Contamination reports
  • Heritage statements
  • Listed building consent
  • Timber repair methodology

In our capacity as planning consultants Vernacular Homes is able to provide all the necessary information to put together comprehensive planning applications.

Exciting interiors

Barn conversions lend themselves to the creation of rich and unique interior spaces. The historic timbers together with double height spaces create a dramatic backdrop.

Converting a barn can also create a good opportunity to incorporate some modern design elements which sit comfortably with the historic structure.

We are experienced barn conversion specialists

Once you have planning permission for your barn, whether as a luxury standalone residence, ancillary accommodation, holiday let or business premises we are a building firm who can offer a complete service to take your barn from its current state to a unique and individual property.

Why choose VH for your barn or oast conversion?

1. We are barn conversion specialists

Along with our other services like period restorations in Kent, Sussex or Surrey, we have seen many barns, oasts and other buildings through the entire process of design and build.

We have and will convert barns in any small village or town/city area within the Kent, Surrey or East Sussex counties including:

In East Sussex:
  • Lewes
  • Crowborough
  • Heathfield
  • Hailsham
  • Horam
In Kent:
  • Tonbridge
  • Maidstone
  • Canterbury
  • Sevenoaks
  • Westerham
  • Sandwich
  • Tenterden
  • Tunbridge Wells
In Surrey:
  • Reigate and Redhill
  • Dorking
  • Godalming
  • Guildford
  • Horley

If you have a barn conversion project in any of these or indeed other towns or villages in these three areas, we can address all your requirements.

2. We are one of a limited number of companies who can manage the whole process from start to finish

If you don’t yet have planning permission for your barn conversion, we are able to work with you on the planning and listed building applications. We can then take the empty barn, oast or other building to its completion using a variety of specialists including architects, builders, joiners, electricians and more.

3. Technical expertise

Our experience with many different types of outbuilding means we are familiar with the various challenges associated with their conversion. These include the repairing timber frames and masonry structures, providing suitable additional structural rigidity and high levels of insulation to ensure these historic structures are every bit as warm and efficient as a contemporary new build.

Oak weatherboard

The majority of barns we do are traditionally weatherboarded. For some we use softwood painted or stained weatherboard while others we use oak weatherboard which weathers down in just a few years from a light golden colour to a silver grey.

Case studies

Character Barn Conversion in East Sussex

East Sussex BarnView

Character Barn Conversion in East Sussex

Complex multi-phased renovation project


Complex multi-phased renovation project

Open plan interior in stunning barn conversion.

Great BarnView

Open plan interior in stunning barn conversion.

Open plan barn conversion

Kent BarnView

Open plan barn conversion

Conversion of a traditional oast in Kent

Oast HouseView

Conversion of a traditional oast in Kent

Small character barn conversion in the Weald of Kent

Weald BarnView

Small character barn conversion in the Weald of Kent