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Room Above Garages – Award Winning Classic Barns

Written by Linda Parker / Freelance Writer


Award-Winning Builders – Full-turn Key Project Solutions
The Classic Barn Company are award-winning specialists in architecturally designed oak garages, oak framed outbuildings and Room Above Garages. The team offers a full turn-key project solution from in-house architectural plans to full build implementation, including landscaping and design-led exterior lighting. The repertoire is extensive and this highly experienced team is able to tackle projects that can range from simple garage/store combinations to expansive pool houses and yoga studios. Garages with room above accommodation are popular solutions to the extra-room quandry. The brochure is informative and detailed, and includes downloadable, clear and concise info regarding the whole process of starting, planning and designing a project.

 Our oak designs are individual, use traditional construction methods and win awards’

Experienced Industry Experts
For an authoritative and experienced approach to oak construction, The Classic Barn Company is at the top of their game. As an accredited member of the Guild of Master Craftsmen, the team has accumulated many years of carpentry and construction skills and experience, including an award from BUILD magazine and runners up in the prestigious national Build It awards presented in London. A recent and acclaimed project was the design and construction of an equestrian-barn building for the Riding for the Disabled Association. Andrew Guppy, Director of The Classic Barn Company, says ‘That was a proud moment for us, especially as The Princess Royal, President of the RDA later visited the project’. Andrew also contributes to industry publications and websites, as a recognised authority on rooms above garages and outbuildings.

Architecturally-led Oak Building Projects
Many of The Classic Barn Company’s projects are initiated to add accommodation and facilities to listed buildings or those that are in sensitive areas. The flexibility of the design process, plus the experience and knowledge of the design team means that these oak structures can include details and proportions that are sympathetic to the original buildings, whilst being stylish additions that expand the use of the grounds and blend in with the existing architecture. As Andrew Guppy explains, ‘We are always very aware of the features of the surrounding land and grounds, and we always want to do our absolute best to ensure that any new structure we design will sit naturally and beautifully within it’s surroundings. This creative and practical approach also includes advice and design input regarding heating, lighting, power supply and any other elements required to blend the new and old within the landscape’.  These skills are particularly important when taking into account that many of their projects are separate from the main home, such as garages with accommodation above and need to look suitably appropriate when viewed from the main home – and vice-versa, of course.

‘Our designs are architecturally-led with huge importance attached to the tiniest details’

Creating habitable space with Room Above Garages
Recent global events and more time spent at home have prompted many people to re-consider and re-assess their living and guest accommodation as well as their outdoor and recreational spaces. Room Above Garages from The Classic Barn Company can take a concept for an oak-framed garage or outbuilding that one step further to include a Room Above, which provides luxury living accommodation for guests, family and friends. Andrew Guppy adds ‘We realise that this new and extra space can also become very useful and practical for current family dynamics, where older children may be returning home after living away, or where visitors may need to stay for longer periods’. These new rooms above are a creative, high-quality way of adding much-needed classic country-style living space to garages and outbuildings, which may be in traditional country houses or contemporary barn conversions. Naturally, as every project is bespoke, each is designed to compliment and enhance the landscapes and design details of the existing home. Every oak framed structure  from The Classic Barn Company uses traditional and modern construction methods. Traditional mortise and tenon joints allow oak framing to settle, yet remain firm, straight and sturdy for years to come. Feature trusses are a sought-after design feature and become focal points of the open span roof sections. Room Above additions begin as a modular design that is perfected and adjusted to suit each client, resulting in a bespoke solution providing extra accommodation.

Planning, Advice and Building Regulations
The approach to each project is unique, working to satisfy the priorities of each client. The Classic Barn team develops a planning strategy that is suited to the size, usage and expectation of that particular proposal.

The Classic Barn Company’s offering is constantly evolving, with new ideas and design angles always being explored. Andrew Guppy explains, ‘Each project is unique, and as such, our ideas and approaches have to step up to all requests.  It’s very satisfying to work on projects that have a basis in very traditional designs and craftsmanship, yet have to address 21st century requirements. Some of our newer and unique designs involve accommodation spaces that are combined with several other usages and which are configured across ground floor level – not all our accommodation designs are ‘above’!’

The design team are able to advise on all aspects of Planning Permission, Building Regulations and Permitted Development, so at the beginning of any enquiry the team will establish the classification of the area of ground in question. Planning potential often varies depending upon the position of the new build in relation to the curtilage of the main dwelling and/or its surrounding land. Many projects sit within Permitted Development, and Andrew, along with his expert team, is able to advise and look after the relevant applications and liaisons with planning officers.

 ‘The Classic Barn Company offers one-contractor accountability and turn-key solutions’

Viewing Existing Projects
Clients who wish to get a ‘live action’ view of the team in action can visit The Classic Barn Company’s YouTube channel, and may also be able to find the episode when the company was featured on ITV, on presenter Linda Barker’s Home Show.

Of course, clients may also be invited to view completed Classic Barn Company and Room Above projects that are relevant to their ideas. Seeing projects in real life becomes inspirational and can result in a literal expansion of ideas once clients have seen the reality of the craftsmanship and design details. Many projects are within the Southern Counties and there is also a recently opened regional office in Ascot, Berkshire. For more information, contact the team for a preliminary telephone consultation, or visit the website classicbarns.co.uk to request their comprehensive brochure.