Have you dreamt about living in your own barndominium? Barndominiums are a stylish and affordable way to get into the housing market. They can offer the benefits of a detached, single-family home without the high cost.
If you are interested in living in barndo, this article will help you make an informed decision. We'll cover all aspects, from construction costs to financing options and by the end of this article,you’ll know if this is for you. Let’s get right into it.
What Is A Barndominium?
The term 'barndominium' or 'barndo' refers to a unique type of housing that has features of a barn with living space. They are metal structures and come in different sizes.
A barn is a building typically used for storage, farming, or other activities. They range from sparse hunting cabins to high-end homes. They are typically made with steel and wood and use a building technique called post-frame construction.
There are three types of barndominium:
Why Should You Consider A Barndominium?
Barndos are becoming a popular option for people who want something different than a single-family home. You can get all of the benefits of a single-family home without spending a fortune.
Almost all barndominiums feature:
Barndominiums are also an excellent option for those who want to live in a rural area. They offer the perfect blend of country living and modern amenities.
Another reason to consider a barndominium is that they are versatile. Barndos can be used for various purposes, such as a home, office, or studio. They are also an ideal option for those who want to downsize or live in temporary housing.
What Are The Benefits Of Barndominiums?
Building a steel barndominium has many benefits not found in other types of housing. The benefits include, but are not limited to:
In a nutshell, a barndominium is ideal for those who want to upgrade from a small cabin or move into something quickly.
Now you know what a barndominium is, let's consider how much a traditional house costs to build and then compare this to what a barndo costs.
Cost Of Building A Traditional Home
According to the NAHB Economics and Housing Policy Group, it costs about $300,000 to build a house in the U.S.
More specifically, Americans who are considering building vs. buying and end up going with the latter, end up spending between $100 and $200 per sq. ft. on building a new home. This means a 2,000 sq. ft house can cost between $200,000 to $400,000 to build.
The majority of the costs depend on your home's size, finishes, and features. If you want granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and hardwood floors, you will need to increase your budget. Labor makes up close to half of the build cost, with permits, design fees, and materials making up the rest.
That's a lot of money, but there are ways to reduce those costs.
One popular option is to build a barndominium instead of a traditional home. Barndominiums offer all the benefits of a conventional home (and more) at a fraction of the cost.
Which Is Cheaper: Building A House Or A Barndominium?
Barndominium kits are less than $70,000, depending on size, and include the roof, beams, and walls. The exterior framing is done off-site in a factory, reducing labor costs. This means you may spend less on materials and finishes, with most savings on interior finishing labor.
A barndo's steel construction will save you money in the long run because it is a more durable and long-lasting material than wood. You won't have to worry about making repairs or replacements as often.
It usually also takes less time to build a barndominium than a house. This is because post-frame construction is much faster than traditional construction methods. Your barndominium floor plan designs can be less restrictive because the load-bearing walls are always on the exterior walls.
A load-bearing wall is a wall in your house that helps support the roof and other parts of the structure. It is important to have these walls intact, as they help keep the house standing during major storms.
Thanks to their energy efficiency and insulation levels, barndominiums will keep the heat in during the winter and out during the summer months, which means lower utility bills for homeowners.
Barndominium Cost Per Sq. Ft.
A typical new barndominium kit or shell with no finishes can cost as little as $30-$40 a square foot. When you add insulation, utilities, flooring, paint, cabinets, and lighting, the costs could rise to around $75 - $160 a square foot.
Here is a range of estimated construction costs based on a basic barnomium to something turnkey:
Types Of Build
Price per Sq. Ft.
Total Cost to Construct
This table shows that you can get a turnkey 2,000 sq. ft. barndominium for around the final cost of $320,000. Remember the costs not factored in are location, cost of land, or permits.
Additional Barndominium Costs
While a barndominium is potentially cheaper than a traditional house, it's important to remember that the cost savings come from using less expensive materials and a faster construction time.
One of the most significant expenses is the land your barndo will sit on.
Here are a few additional construction costs you need to consider:
These costs vary based on where you are in the country and the type of barndominium you choose to build. Always talk to several building professionals to get an accurate estimate of how much your barndominium will cost.
Cheapest Way To Build A Barndominium
If you are looking for the cheapest way to build your house and willing to do all the labor yourself, it can set you back as little as $80,000 to build. A basic barndo shell goes for around $10,000. The right way to find out is to get quotes from multiple contractors and research the price of kits from different outlets. That way, you can find the best deal that suits your needs and budget.
Where To Build A Barndominium
The best places to build your barndominium are in rural areas such as farms, ranches, and mountain homes. They have fewer regulations when it comes to construction permits. You can even build it on vacant lots in an urban area if you want the luxury of living near town with the privacy of acres of land surrounding you.
Things To Consider Before Building A Barndominium
The following are a few points to keep in mind before making a final decision.
Some might consider these as negatives, but it totally depends on your point of view when it comes to each factor.
Barndominium Costs - FAQ
See the most asked questions
While a barndominium may not be the first choice for some when it comes to tornado-safe housing, it is still a viable option. Metal buildings are actually very sturdy and can withstand quite a bit of damage. In fact, the steel structure can withstand winds of up to 150 mph.
Many people choose to build their barndominiums out of metal precisely because of their durability in severe weather conditions. If you are located in areas prone to tornadoes, make sure to talk to your contractor about ways to increase the safety of your barndominium.
You may want to add storm shelters or reinforced walls and ceilings to help keep you and your family safe during a tornado.
There's no definitive answer to this question. Barndominiums can last anywhere from 10 to 50 years or more. It depends on various factors, including the weather, the materials used in the construction, and how well it has been maintained. Barndominiums are known to be incredibly tough and long-lasting, so you can rest assured that your investment will be well worth it.
Conclusion: Barndominiums Are An Affordable Option For Housing Without Sacrificing Quality
Choosing to live in a barndominium can be a great way to get into the housing market without breaking the bank.
They offer all the benefits of a detached, single-family home but are much cheaper to build and maintain. However, there are some negatives that you should consider before deciding if this is the right choice for you. Make sure to complete your due diligence before deciding whether to build one or sticking to a traditional-style house.