Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.
Thinking of farm diversification? Turning your unused farm buildings into holiday lets could be a profitable option. Barn conversions are always popular choices for UK holidays, especially if they come with a lovely rural location.
Short breaks to the country have never been more popular and the staycation market is booming. Developing a holiday cottage can provide your farm with a new income stream and keep it profitable.
Tax incentives and grant schemes
Successful holiday lets can be extremely profitable for owners – especially if you can maximise occupancy levels through the year and achieve top rates for your property.
What’s more, owners can claim capital gains tax relief if your property qualifies as a Furnished Holiday Letting (FHL).
You may be able to get tax relief on furniture for your holiday let.
Plant and machinery capital allowances are also available for items such as furniture, equipment and fixtures. You may also be entitled to a grant under a government farm diversification scheme such as LEADER so it’s well worth checking out what is available in your area.
Keep the character of your property
If you are converting a historic barn, then try and keep as many original features as you can. Exposed brickwork, wooden beams, original signs and stable doors will always be popular and can be combined with luxury touches to really good effect.
Think about the name too – if it can reflect the heritage of your building this will help draw potential guests’ interest and really show what your holiday cottage is all about.
Utilise space wisely
Open-plan living space can work really well in a barn conversion and is always a winner with potential guests. Double height ceilings can inject wow-factor and can be combined with a mezzanine bedroom to maximise your space.
Don’t cram in too many bedrooms – it’s better to have a couple of good-sized bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms than three smaller bedrooms. Having a downstairs bedroom with a wet room will also mean you appeal to anyone with reduced mobility.
Embrace your farming heritage
Working farms can be very appealing to families who will love getting fresh eggs for breakfast and helping feed the baby lambs in spring.
Try to incorporate some of your own products into a welcome hamper and think about some of the experiences you can offer to your holiday cottage guests.
What’s normal to you will be a fantastic rural experience to guests who live in the city!
Keep things cosy
It’s well worth investing in a wood-burning fire as this is top of the list of requirements for many potential guests. Not only does a wood-burner keep things nice and cosy in the colder months but they can be a real focal point in a holiday cottage.
Underfloor heating also adds a luxury touch and helps ensure however cold things get outside, the holiday cottage will always be toasty and warm.
Stand out from the crowd
As more farms diversify into the holiday cottage market it’s important to ensure your property stands out from the crowd.
Luxury properties will always do well – people want better than they have at home so it’s worth investing in quality fixtures and fittings.
Try and be creative, too – barn conversions on our website include features like dining tables that can be pool tables and even an infra-red sauna in the bathroom.
Outside space can be a big selling point too, so make sure you maximise any stunning views. Hot tubs are perennially popular but BBQs and outdoor dining areas will also bring in the bookings.
Think of your outside space as another room and plan it out just as carefully. Hammocks, swing seats and summer houses can all be really good additions.
Gorgeous Cottages are the booking agents for a range of holiday cottages. Give the team a call on 01642 263 249 if you are thinking of becoming a holiday cottage owner.