Converting a barn or other agricultural building into a modern residential or commercial space is an enormous undertaking, and more often than not an enormous investment too. As such, you may be tempted to cut costs by not hiring an architect to oversee the conversion process -- after all, they aren't doing any of the back-breaking labour you are, so why should they get paid?
However, professional oversight of your barn conversion by an accredited architect is always a sound move, and one that can pay for itself over time. Your barn was never originally meant for human habitation, and the extensive modifications required to convert it into a home or commercial space can be much more effective when chosen and specified by an architect -- here are just some of these vital modifications, and how they can benefit from architectural oversight:
Installing proper heat insulation is one of the most important aspects of any barn conversion, turning a draughty open space into a snug shelter that protects inhabitants from both punishing heat and bitter cold. Architects will be able to advise you on the best types of insulation to use, as well as the most effective places to install it. Wall spaces, open roof rafters and lofts will all need insulation to prevent excessive heat exchange, and hiring an architect to oversee this process will ensure that no trouble spots are overlooked.
A barn will almost certainly need new windows installed to increase natural light levels within, but simply throwing up windows wherever there is room for them is not an efficient approach. Architects can advise you on the most effective places to place windows, ensuring that they maximise interior light levels while minimising the amount of heat that is lost or gained through them. A particularly important aspect of window placement is the direction they face in in relation to the sun -- for example, a architect will ensure that bedrooms are not fitted with brightly-lit, east facing windows.
If your barn is in decent condition it will probably still be waterproof, but replacing unforgiving metal roofing with quieter, less utilitarian materials is a key part of many barn conversions. Hiring an architect gives you an expert's opinion on the best roofing materials to use, along with ways they can be integrated into the overall aesthetic of your conversion. As one of the most easily-visible parts of your barn, the materials your roof is made from should be suited to their rural surroundings, and architects can recommend suitable materials that combine traditional looks with modern durability.