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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > January 2020 > Family affair

Family affair

Laurence and Debbie Osborne worked with their architect son and their contractor son-in-law to add a stunning extension onto their 18th century barn
PHOTOS RICHARD DOWNER

Debbie and Laurence Osborne had long dreamt of extending their 18th century barn by adding a sundrenched garden room, where they could sit and enjoy views of the outdoors. However, due to their property’s grade II listed status, plus its position adjacent to a grade I listed manor house, the couple weren’t optimistic about their chances of obtaining planning permission and listed building consent.

“We always thought it was a bit ambitious,” says Debbie. But a chance conversation with someone from English Heritage who happened to be visiting the nearby manor house generated some intriguing nuggets. “His opinion was that it’s better to upgrade period homes to modern standards of living, provided the original structure is conserved. It turned out he was more than happy with a proposal for an ultra-modern extension.”

It was in this way that Debbie and Laurence’s plans began to gain momentum. “English Heritage said that any extension we ended up building should be able to be taken down again, with no evidence of the new structure having affected the existing barn,” says Debbie.

Countryside home

When the couple first viewed the barn, back in 2000, it was love at first sight. “We were keen to move out of the hustle and bustle of town life and into something a bit more rural,” says Debbie. “We bought the barn from a builder who converted it for us, to our own design specification.” When the pair first saw the agricultural structure, it was the unusual scissor truss roof that had initially captured Laurence’s attention. “The design for the conversion completely ignored this feature, so we re-jigged the proposal – the barn already had planning permission – to establish a lounge on the first floor that made the most of the timber structure overhead.”

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About Build It

The January 2020 issue of Build It is packed full of practical advice, inspiring readers' homes and expert guidance on everything from planning and design through to budgets and specifying materials. The January 2020 Edition includes: - Future-Proof Your Self Build - Are Woodburning Stoves Really Eco Friendly? - Renovation Design Details - Draught Proofing a Period Home - Planning Secrets: Keeping Your Neighbours Happy - Sound Proofing: How to Create a Quiet Home ... and much more!