Conversion of a 19th century methodist chapel

Project Details

In 2022 Clwyd Home Improvements took on the conversion of an 1800s methodist chapel in North Wales. Until Covid the chapel was in full use and upon purchase was complete with all its fixtures including pews, pulpit, and organ. 

We completed pre-application planning permission with the local authority before the auction to assess if the council supported the change of use. In May 2022 we were successful at auction and immediately laid out plans with an architect to draft the plans while bearing the comments on the pre-application in mind. Planning permission itself took over 6 months to be granted.


The chapel was an open-plan single-story room with an empty loft space and an adjoining vestry. The main room suspended floor sloped towards the pulpit which is standard in the construction of religious buildings. 

Suspended floor, ceiling and all walls were stripped out completely. The vestry was taken down to create back garden space and a 2nd floor added. This created a utility room, porch, downstairs toilet and a large kitchen/lounge/diner. 

Upstairs, 3 moderate sized bedrooms, a bathroom and an office have been added.

To meet with regs a sprinkler system had to be installed and fire escape windows installed in the upstairs bedrooms. The downstairs floor consists of an insulated concrete slab that supports the roof after alterations to the trusses. More insulation, underfloor heating, and a cementous screed. Building regs require the property to meet the U values required of a new build. To achieve this all external walls are battened and insulated with 80mm of PIR insulation. The roof consists of 170mm of PIR insulation and the loft containts 300mm of mineral insulation. 

Project Result

Bethel chapel now consists of 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, office, utility, porch and a large open plan kitchen/living room/diner. 

2/3 off-road parking spaces have been added, closed off back garden and a block paved front garden area. 

All windows have been replaced with UPVC, 3 new windows, a large bifold door into the garden and 8 roof lights have been installed. 

Sprinker system, underfloor heating, and a new combi boiler have been fitted. The chapel contains 2 bathrooms with showers and a freestanding bath. 

The 90sqm downstairs has been tiled to offer the most efficiency for the underfloor heating and create a large open-plan living area. 

The chapel offers all the quirks of a chapel conversion but all the efficiency and benefits offered by a modern new build in the perfect combination of history and modern technology. 

This project had challenges and rewards and we at Clwyd Home Improvements look forward to the next one. 

Project Challenges

The project has come with a variety of challenges but the main one was getting all the permissions needed from the local authority. Trying to avoid any delays we ensured we completed all searches and tests they would require to support the application but unfortunately, this didn’t help and it took over the 27-week deadline to get a response. 

The conservation officer proved helpful in gaining the permission in the end and also the help from a local councilor to try and get a response.

Unfortunately, we understand these things are unavoidable and we continued with the project as much as we could while we awaited the planning permission.