Barndominiums – What They Are, Pros/Cons, Costs, and Examples

If you’ve never heard of Barndominiums, or if you’re curious about this lifestyle, it’s time to learn about Barndo’s practical solutions. Over the years, this idea of a modern alternative way of life has caught the attention of farmers in rural areas. The characteristics of dwellings in the form of a barn distinguish them from other farms.

Learn all about barndominiums, their pros and cons, construction costs and how to build them. At the end of the article you can see beautiful examples (and virtual videos) of Barndos’ indoor and outdoor designs.

What is a barndominium?

The word barn-dominium actually consists of two different words: Barn and condominium. In summary, the value refers to , a steel and metal building that has been converted into a residential building. Barndos interiors can be simple or complex, depending on the owner’s preference. Metal shell cabinets are quick and easy to install, for large extensions such as garages or workshops. The layout and design of the barndo’s interior offers maximum flexibility for a truly open floor plan to suit any lifestyle.

When describing a Barndo, think of a simple warehouse with a veranda and an oversized garage door. The same concept is integrated in the Barndo as a cheap, easy to build residential unit, but with a modernized look in relation to the warehouse.

Most barndo models have the following features:

  • Sliding doors for barns
  • high energy efficiency windows
  • Concrete floors
  • rustic wooden staircase
  • Vaulted ceilings up to 14 feet high with exposed beams
  • Metal gable roof
  • Speaker
  • 1 to 3 storeys high

Barn characteristics

Including apartments in a barn

  • Open Living Concept: , because barns are open and airy spaces, most barn houses also have an open living concept. After all, open living spaces are highly desirable in conventional homes because most people do not like to have 4 walls separating each room.
  • Ceiling beams with lighting: Like conventional homes, many barndos have exposed beams or ceiling beams for decorative or structural purposes. These beams are large triangular structures that give the house a rustic look. Whatever type of wooden ceiling you choose for your barndo, this feature will certainly add a dimension to the room.
  • Soffit tongue and groove: Roof edges and overhangs are parts of the edge of the roof facing downwards. Some modern barndos have wooden soffits on the side of the eaves. Tongue-and-groove walls and ceilings are usually found in rustic barns, but can also be installed in modern homes.

Benefits of barndominium

  • Universal housing: Versatility is undoubtedly one of the best features of the Barndos because of its open and adaptable design. If you like open and spacious interiors with high ceilings, then a Barndo is the house for you. The floor plan of this house style can easily be transformed into your desired living space.
  • Quick and easy to build: It can take several months or even a year to build a typical house. The good news is that Barndos is very easy and quick to build, so you don’t have to wait a few months to move into your new home. In fact, you can make a barndo within three weeks, depending on the region. Since most Barndo’s are leaving town, much of the work will already be done. All that’s left is the finishing touches.
  • Dual-use solution: , if you work from home, barndo offers you a dual-use living solution. These houses offer the self-employed the opportunity to make optimal use of their space by creating a large home office without having to sacrifice other rooms. Even those who want to run a home business can take advantage of the large storage space in a barn.
  • Adaptable interiors: Barndo interiors can be equipped with any type of material you desire. From modest furniture to luxury and design objects, you can easily adapt your barndo to your taste.
  • Theextensions are simple: One of the biggest advantages of barndominiums is the possibility to expand the available space as needed. Whether you need a double garage, extra storage space or multiple bedrooms, just add an extra wall to the structure.
  • Modern design concept: Because the Barndo’s are spacious rooms, they let in a lot of daylight without disturbance. As I said before, the modern barndo design concept allows you to design interiors to your own taste without having to worry about clouding or obscuring the space.
  • Energy saving: Most Barndo contractors use environmentally friendly materials, with excellent insulation systems and energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. This means you save a lot of money on your air conditioning and heating bills, which compensates for the initial cost of building a Barndo.
  • Ideal as a rest home or second home: For those who want to use a Barndo as a weekend retreat or holiday home, Barndos is ideal as a second home. Whether you use the barn as a guest house, playroom, office, rental or holiday home, this versatile house is an excellent option for you because of the quiet rural surroundings.
  • Durable metal: metal barndo providing maximum protection from the elements. Metal and steel do not rot or repel vermin. Unlike wooden buildings that can rot, you can be sure that your new home will be in perfect condition for years to come.

Further advantages of metal protectors :

  • Metal is a durable and robust material that is an excellent long-term investment.
  • Metal sheds are resistant to natural disasters and difficult elements such as hurricanes and earthquakes. They are also fire resistant, unlike wood, which can quickly catch fire.
  • Metal barns are easy to maintain compared to wooden barns . It is not necessary to paint and colour the structure regularly. A little cleaning from time to time is enough.
  • Wood is an expensive material, while metal is cheaper and stronger than. This makes the metal friction rail a cost-effective choice for construction.
  • Compared to a wooden house, insurance premiums for steel beams are lower than because of the strength of the material.

Disadvantages of barndominium

  • Higher start-up costs: Although the cost of building a steel framed apartment is much lower than in a traditional house, the initial construction is always more expensive, especially if you hire contractors. Savings can only be achieved by reducing the amount of finishing material and reducing labour costs. If you decide to take the construction project in hand, you can opt for a detached house, which is less expensive than a three-storey renovation. That said, the budget you set aside for the construction of the Barndo depends on the size and space of your new house with a metal frame.
  • Rural life: Due to lax building regulations in rural communities, barndominiums are often more popular in these areas than in urban areas. While it is true that you have more design options and more space in the country, you should also consider travel costs, especially if you have to travel to work. There is also the issue of distance from friends or family, which can be a problem for some people.
  • Maintenance is your responsibility: If you live in a barn, you will not enjoy the same benefits as condominium apartments. That’s because the Barndo’s are independent units located outside the city, so you don’t live in a community. You are responsible for the maintenance and repair of the house and its surroundings. If you are looking for a maintenance-free home, this option will not meet your needs.
  • Metal roofs are noisy: Metal roofs are not the best properties to block outside noise. Even if you use the highest quality insulation material, the sounds outside are usually louder because of the metal or steel roof. If it’s z. B. Whether it’s raining or snowing, you’ll hear loud noises in every room. The sound gets even louder as the snow turns into ice and starts to slide off the roof. This can be a potential disadvantage, especially for people who are sensitive to noise.

Barndo construction costs

Barndo's construction costs

If you want to build a Barndominium from scratch, you will have to pay about $ $30 per square foot , depending on the area. The purchase cost of the 30 x 40 barndo is about $36,000. There are also finishes that increase the price to about $80 per square meter. You’ll probably want to add a kitchen, a few bathrooms and bedrooms to make more of them. Some builders charge up to $150 per square foot for full construction, which means they build barndos, install high-end finishes and build custom cabinets or countertops for your kitchen. That’s about $180,000.

However, you can also choose an even cheaper option by purchasing the prefab barndo kit. It’s an unassembled house that literally comes in a box. You can do the installation yourself or hire a contractor to install a steel frame on your site at a fraction of the cost of a traditional house.

Barndominium kits are available in different styles and models, ranging from small houses to luxurious and modern homes. The frame is almost always made of metal or steel, and the interiors can be designed as desired.

One of the greatest pleasures of choosing a kit at home is the time and money you save. It is not necessary to wait a few months to build a complete house, and the whole project costs a fraction of a traditional house. In fact, you can save up to 50% by choosing a kit instead of building a barndo from scratch.

Home kits vary in style and features, so it’s more economical to choose a basic model and adjust it over time if you can afford it. In addition, there are construction companies that sell Barndo Shell ‘s for just $10,000 for a mid-size kit. These companies deliver the hull to your property, unload the metal frames and all you have to do is assemble the kit or ask someone to help you.

There are also large companies that sell more than just a building envelope. For example, they can install entrance doors, structural concrete panels, stained concrete floors, polystyrene insulation, roofing and energy-efficient windows, to name but a few of the services offered.

As you can see, the cost of building a barndominium should not be such a frightening prospect, as long as you plan carefully and weigh your options in advance. To help you better plan your Barndominium expenses, please consult the guide below:

Key factors influencing the final cost of Barndominium:

  • The type of metal you choose to build your barndo will influence the price, as will the other materials needed for the roof and columns.
  • The size of your barndo affects the value of the building as it is calculated as per square foot. While large barndos usually cost more than small ones, their total material costs are lower.
  • Keep in mind that the more windows and doors you want for your barn, the more it will cost you. The same applies to any other architectural element you add to the property.
  • Choosing the interior finish of your barndo can lead to price fluctuations. Marble, for example, is a high-quality material for floor coverings, which increases costs. If you are on a tight budget, choose ceramic tiles or composite floors. Another way to save materials is to order them in bulk instead of batches.
  • One of the biggest advantages of Barndos is the flexibility in the roof design. You can choose any type of roof that suits your budget and the local climate.
  • The next important point to consider is the price of the insulation material. The thicker the insulation, the higher the price. So in terms of energy savings, it pays to spend more money on quality insulation.
  • The last consideration that affects costs is how to build your barn. If you have the time and experience, consider ordering a prefabricated metal kit and do all or part of the construction yourself. This of course saves you money because you do not have to hire contractors for the entire project. However, if you need to hire builders to build a barndo from start to finish, consider the kit prices, shipping costs and labor. It is best to get two or more offers before you go down this road.

Things to consider for the construction of the Barndo.

Before you start building your barndominium, it’s a good idea to think about how you’re going to use it. For example, is this your main residence ? Rental property ? Seminar? Or should it be used as a holiday home? With these matters in mind, you can make an informed decision about the number of rooms, furniture and storage requirements. Once you have determined the destination of your barn, you can calculate the costs for its construction.


Building permits shall be obtained before, during and after the construction of the barn. These permits cover construction, occupation, installation of septic tanks, electrical wiring, plumbing and much more, depending on the area in which you are going to live.

Total barndo

Just like any other residential building, your Barndo plan can be as small or as big as you like. Here are the most common barndo sizes:

  • 30×40
  • 40×60
  • 40×75
  • 60×60
  • 60×70

How to build a Barndominium

  1. The first step is to decide if you want to build barn yourself or if you want to hire contractor . Here are some options you might want to consider:
  2. Have contractors build the entire building from start to finish.
  3. Have contractors build the basic structure of the barn so that you can do the rest yourself.
  4. Build the hull yourself and have it finished by a contractor.
  5. Buy a kit, have it delivered and hire contractors to assemble it on site.
  6. Buy a kit, have it delivered and do all the work yourself.

In the light of the above, the advantages and disadvantages of each option should be carefully evaluated in terms of labour, time, cost and the final result of the project.

  1. The next step is to make a floor planfor a barn: Once you’ve decided how you want to build a barn, you have to make a floor plan. You can buy such plans, have them filled in by experts or make them yourself.
  2. If you do not plan to build the barndo yourself, you must now take Route and hire contractor. Take the time to search and find reputable companies that specialise in steel construction. Ask for an estimate and references before proceeding.
  3. You are now ready for permit , to obtain the necessary permits for the construction of a barn. When you hire contractors to do this work, they will take care of all the necessary permits and documents.
  4. Once you have completed all of the above steps and received approval, you must apply to for a loan from a bank or lending company. This is only the case if you do not have the cash flow to finance the entire construction project. It is best to have a realistic construction schedule and a professionally designed floor plan to increase your chances of approval.

Here is another short video that shows how to build a barndominium.

4 Examples of barndominium

1. Single storey barn with interior

Visit this white/brown bungalow with a retractable garage door in the same colour as the rest of the exterior. This barn is distinguished by its stone and wooden columns that complement the metal structure.

2. Two-storey barndo with lots of character

barndo biplane with tons of character Source : DigsDigs

This modern two-storey barn is steeped in charm and character. The exterior elements blend in perfectly with the traditional features of the floor plan of this house, thanks to the sliding doors that form a simple but beautiful house. Matching shutters and wood accents enhance the visual appeal of this barn.

3. Above average Barndo in simple design

The next example is a large two-storey barn with a metal roof and columns around the construction. The attached double garage has a fiberglass door with matching black roof and columns.

4. Barndoin the style of three recruits.

Barndo : Digsdigs

The latest example is a beautiful rustic barn with large weathered wooden doors, metal fittings and two barrels for a truly traditional touch.


If you have succumbed to the idea of living in a unique house, closer to nature and far from the hustle and bustle of the city, a barndominium would be an ideal investment. The barndo’s offer many open spaces, access to land and the possibility to adapt it to your wishes. With a careful budget and the necessary permits, you can build your own barndo in no time!

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