Posts Tagged ‘tourism’

Client’s Case Study Water’s Edge Glenarm

Our next Client’s Case Study takes us to our Water’s Edge B&B Glenarm project with Jenny, Pete & Norman (the dog). They give us an insight into what it’s like to build your very own B&B from a disused Police Station 

Client's Case Study Water's Edge B&B Glenarm
Our client has recently been award NI’s Best Guest House/B&B Stay

Why did you decide to build your dream home?

We wanted to leave the rat race in England and live by the sea. We wanted to run a business together and work from home. We drove past the police station in Glenarm when over visiting family and before we knew it we had bought it.

How did you come about Slemish Design Studio?

Mr Google helped. We were living in England when the purchase was going through but we wanted to use Architects local to the area where we were buying. We shortlisted 3 and asked them to provide sketches based on our brief, to tender and then to meet with us on site. We liked Slemish Design Studio’s way of thinking and their easy approach. We immediately gelled with Joe and Steven and we are certain we made the right choice.

When putting your brief together, what was top of the list?

Maximise sea views from all guest rooms and our own living areas. Retain the character of the building. Provide a flexible but workable place to live in and run a B&B from allowing us and our guests to have privacy and space.

Client's Case Study Water's Edge B&B Glenarm

What is your must-have feature you wouldn’t compromise on?

Large sea facing window in our living space.

How have/did you found the experience so far.

Slemish Design Studio was an excellent team to deal with, Joe and Steven were always on hand to talk through issues when things got tough. We lived in a camper van in our driveway during the build and sometimes things got a little overwhelming. We found that the guys made time for us, gave us sound advice and acted as our advocate when we needed any issues of a technical nature resolving.

What was your favourite part of the process?

We enjoyed seeing the building take shape after it had been gutted and we loved watching the plans come to life. We particularly enjoyed witnessing the big window go in.

During the whole process, what did you find the worst

Variations!

Have you used anything different such as MVHR/Eco etc in your house

We wanted to install MVHR and we are pleased we didn’t compromise on this. When costs increase unexpectedly it is easy to decide not to install something that isn’t a necessity. We run a B&B and we find that MVHR helps keep temperatures constant and air fresh.

How would you describe your project

Enlightening, rewarding, overwhelming, emotional but on the whole a fantastic experience, every day was a school day. No regrets.

Have you any tips for any future self-builders

Plan everything in detail, write it down, research. Give clear instructions, know what you want to see in your home. If something is really important to you do not compromise. Keep a diary, a site diary if you are living on site, but in any event a diary of works and events. We have found it really useful to refer back to both during the build and afterwards, even recently when an item failed after almost 3 years, we were able to show that although purchased on a particular date, it wasn’t installed until some time after resulting in it being within warranty leading to a free replacement. Above all, enjoy the experience, for us, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and we are so pleased we were able to be involved in the process. Slemish Design Studio enables you to remain involved at all stages of the build so that you feel part of the team.

 

If you fancy a night in a luxury and award-winning 5star B&B get in touch with Water’s Edge Glenarm

How to Convert Your Barn for Tourism

How to Convert Your Barn for Tourism

With the likes of The Giant’s Causeway, Mourne Mountains, Belfast, and more all on our doorstep here in Northern Ireland it’s no wonder that tourism is fast becoming one of our primary industries. Year on year growth, coupled with Tourism NI plans to generate £1 billion for the economy and 4.5 million visitors by 2020, suggests there will be increasing demand for tourism businesses which is why it might be the perfect time to consider a barn conversion.

If you’re considering entering the world of hospitality or thinking about opening a new tourism activity remember that conversions are closely monitored and follow guidelines set out in the PPS 16: Tourism publication.

The Conversion Process

With all of that in mind a barn conversion to tourism business can become a brilliant asset for both business and the surrounding rural community.
If done in a sustainable way, in accordance with all the required planning and building regulations, the reuse and adaption of existing and derelict farm buildings can be a great boost to the local area.
Due to the large and complex nature of barn conversions for tourism we would recommend following a clear path from start to finish, drawing on expert help if and when you need it. This planning will include the following key elements:

barn conversion in broughshane

            Purpose

As can be seen in the below section, Barn Conversion Regulations, having a clear and well-thought out purpose is crucial when seeking planning permission. If you’re starting with an unused building, and unless your chosen barn has already been converted for residential or business use, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll have to gain planning permission.

            Surveys

Due to Tourism NI’s aims for 2020 there are potential options for receiving grants and funding but this will only ever be achievable if every aspect of the project is planned and accounted for. When considering a potential project it is recommended that you draft in experts, including builders or architects like ourselves, to fully analyse the extent of the work needed.

            Services

A rural setting might be perfect for your new tourism business but it’s essential that your new barn conversion is connected to water and electric mains, sewage services and is accessible via public roads and provides adequate parking for guests or customers.
These are just a few of the elements involved in a success barn conversion for tourism project. Each project will be unique in what it requires and the facets within.

Barn Conversion Regulations

All of this planning will obviously have to include the relevant regulations and when considering your potential project you should be aware that planning permission will almost always be required when converting a barn. This is primarily due to the fact that you will be changing the use of the building from non-residential or agricultural to residential, hospitality or business depending on the path you take.

Guest Houses, Bed and Breakfast and Self-Catering all follow a similar path whilst hotels, even on a small scale, will be placed under more severe scrutiny due to the increased size and impact on the local area.

Tourism activities or businesses, such as food and craft outlets and leisure providers, will also be analysed closely to see if a countryside location is actually required or if the proposed project is needed in the rural area.

We recommend you closely study the PPS 16: Tourism publication which is available here.

Also, if you’re considering applying for funding from Tourism NI and Invest NI more information can be found here.
Finally, if you’re considering a barn conversion simply for personal residential use read our in-depth “how to” by clicking here.

Every day, when driving to client sites or meetings, we see the countryside filled with unused barns and abandoned buildings packed with potential.
If you’ve been considering a new project or just have questions on barn conversions in general get in touch or call in for a chat.