With their exposed stone and brickwork, characterful beams and rural setting, barn conversions are the ideal canvas for a set of minimal sightline sliding doors.

Converting a redundant barn into a contemporary home has long been a dream for anyone who loves the idea of being surrounded by nothing other than rolling fields and farmland. Minimal sightline sliding doors are a great way to combine this immersion in nature with contemporary living.

frameless sliding doors


Building in the countryside

Tight planning restrictions mean it’s almost impossible to build a new house in the middle of the countryside. As a result, converting a barn is one of the only avenues open to explore.

In 2014, the planning system was changed to make it easier for barns to be converted into residential use in parts of the countryside that aren’t national parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Since then, the number of conversions has increased year-on-year.

It could be that the process is about to become easier. The Government’s Levelling Up department held a consultation over the summer of 2023 into new legislation to allow more farmers to turn agricultural buildings into homes. It proposes to loosen the planning systems in national parks and other conservation areas in order to bring prosperity to towns and villages within them. We’re waiting to find out what happens next.

frameless sliding doors


From barns to homes

The barn conversion trend got going in the 1990s when lots of disused agricultural buildings were picked up by those able to see how the large, unbroken floor plans and period details could make for eye-catching open-plan living spaces when restored.

Most agricultural barns fall into two categories: traditional stone or brick-built buildings and workaday steel-framed structures often called “Dutch barns”.

Typically, older style barns were built and used for keeping livestock as well as for storing feed and machinery. The aim was to keep the elements out and, as such, there was no need to have lots of windows.

One of the challenges when converting these into homes is that planners will often insist that the new design uses the existing apertures as windows and doors, particularly if the building is listed.

When changes are proposed, conservation officers will want to see the original fabric of the building preserved. With modern barns, the process is easier as there will be fewer restrictions on making new windows and openings.

Opening corner sliding doors by Ultraline


Why our doors are a perfect fit

In both instances, minimal sightline sliding doors work well. Not only will they help to bring lots of light inside but they also make the most of the picturesque rural views.

A combination of very large glass doors (ours go up to 4.2 metres wide and 3.2m in height per panel) with an ultra slimline frame (ours are just 20mm wide), will mean the barn doors become virtually invisible because there are fewer dividing lines interrupting the view.

The main area of glazing will often be the large central entrance. This will invariably open into a cathedral-like double-height space. If lucky, the barn will have had two entrances facing each other. Swapping the original doors for glazed sliding doors or a fixed piece of architectural glass will guarantee an instant wow factor with light flooding in through the glass.

The overall impact is particularly powerful when the internal aesthetic of the barn is modern. Large expanses of glass blend harmoniously with industrial elements such as exposed brickwork and polished concrete.

Finally, another advantage of having minimal sightline sliding doors is they optimise the indoor/outdoor feel when the doors are open. Choosing a door system with a flush track (where the door track is at the same level as the flooring) helps establish a seamless transition between the inside and outside, making the most of the spectacular rural setting.

Related read: What to consider when choosing glazed sliding doors

Thinking about installing minimal sightline doors for your building project? Give us a call to find out more about Minima’s sliding doors.