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Everything You Need to Know About Barndominiums

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When some people hear the word “barn” their noses wrinkle automatically at the thought of cows and other farm animal smells. While for others, the thought of sprawling fields and rain hitting a tin roof could not sound more appealing.

The rustic barn style living has enticed homeowners over the years and has only increased in popularity over time. The romanticized idea of farm living but without the 5 am rooster calls or smelly horse stalls that need to be cleaned. Or for some maybe those characteristics are included too! Due to this increase in popularity, the concept of barndominiums has steadily been on the rise.

What is a barndominium?

A barndominium is a play between the words “barn” and “condominium”. Typical to what you picture when you think of a traditional barn, a barndominium is a metal building with a modern living space inside. Though forget everything else that comes to mind when you think of living in a barn because some of the new barndominiums can compete with the fanciest of high dollar living.

These housing models can range from the very basic necessities to having high-tech modern features such as:

  • Energy-efficient windows
  • 9-feet tall ceilings
  • Plumbing
  • Stained concrete flooring
  • Engineered concrete slabs
  • Foam insulation

Why choose a barndominium?

When compared to a standard home these days, barndominiums have surged in the housing market due to their many appealing benefits. 

Durable

Due to barndominiums being built out of metal, their durability is incredibly higher when compared to standard homes built out of wood. No matter where you live and what natural disasters your home endures, barndominiums can weather the majority of it. Its sturdy build gives greater protection against severe storms and even earthquakes and metal material will usually only potentially deform in extreme heat rather than combust in flames. Additionally, metal doesn’t attract damaging pests nor mold in the same way that wood homes typically do either.

Low Maintenance

Following the durability factor, barndominiums are renowned for their low maintenance requirement. When your home is built of metal, there’s no need to constantly pay for pest protection or worry about damage to your interior framework. 

Plus, when you take wood out of the equation, you also don’t have stress about expensive treatments to protect your home from wood rot or mold. These low maintenance factors combine to provide a longer lifespan for your building.

Energy-Efficient

As the cost of living goes up, the appeal of energy-efficient spaces has increased. With barndominiums, if you use the right type of insulation, they are extremely energy-efficient. These homes come with the ability to install energy-efficient windows, heat deflecting roofs, and many more modern, energy-efficient features. Plus, the recyclable material makes for the ideal long-term sustainability option.

Customizable

One of the large reasons why barndominiums have boomed in popularity across all demographics is the customizability. Whether someone is looking for a cozy family home or a true half house, half barn situation to share with their furry friends, a barndominium can be transformed to meet that dream. 

Due to the large layout, these types of structures are ideal even for those not necessarily looking for a home but instead an office building or warehouse. With a barndominium, you can personalize the layout structure as well as add multiple modifications to fit your personality and needs.

Affordable

Finally, we come to the affordability factor. This is one of the biggest reasons why many homeowners are moving to barndominium housing. With house prices skyrocketing and interest rates climbing, it’s no wonder people across the country are looking for cheaper alternatives. Just the material alone can translate to cheaper insurance due to the material’s durability and less in maintenance costs as well. Then depending on how much work you’re willing to put in, the costs for just the structure itself can be as low as $20 per square foot which leads us to our next section.

How much does a barndominium cost?

As barndominiums have sprung up in the housing market, their custom designs options have greatly expanded as well. Barndominiums can range from a simple petite 700 square foot one-bedroom to elaborate five-bedroom homes with added stables and workshops. For this, the cost of buying a barndominium can vary greatly depending on what you’re looking for.

Nowadays, a basic conventional home in a good neighborhood will average you about $145 per square foot for a 2,000 square foot home, bringing you to about $290,000 to buy a home. This, of course, can vary as well going as low as $115 per square foot or $170,000 for a 1500 square foot modest home, to up in the $400,000+ range for a larger home with more amenities.

In contrast, in the upper figures, a barndominium can cost you between $95 and $125 per square foot or around $220,000. With a barndominium at this price range, it can include granite countertops, roll-up doors, and many other high-end features. Then even in the $75 to $95 per square foot price range, a barndominium builder can offer their customers an engineered foundation, unlimited exterior doors, premium windows, and a metal shell. 

In that option, all you’re left to handle is the final finishings of the inside. These estimates make barndominiums extremely affordable when compared with traditional homes.

How much does it cost to build a barndominium?

The true DIY nature of a barndominium is what really draws many people into their charm. As HGTV shows such as “Property Brothers” and “Fixer Upper” have romanticized the idea of customizing homes, more and more new homeowners are choosing to dive in that world of building their own home. Not to mind the, even more, cost-effectiveness aspect when compared to buying a home outright. For that reason, many choose to go the route of building their barndominium from the ground up. 

The cost to build a barndominium can vary depending upon the location, the materials you use, the features you add, and of course the builder you work with. Though when compared to the costs of building a traditional home, the costs tend to be significantly lower. When you decide to build a barndominium from scratch, you can choose to go from the lowest option of a basic kit to more elaborate features and assistance with a prefabricated setup. 

Though even when you buy one of these prefabricated barndominium kits, the final price can still be a bit elusive due to the high range of options for customizations such countertop options and flooring. So ultimately, the final price is completely up to you as the owner.

The most cost-effective option – DIY kits

One of the most appealing characteristics of a barndominium is its customizability. If you choose to build a barndominium, the most cost-effective route is to start from the bare bones with a kit. A kit in most cases includes just the minimum supplies for building the structure of your barndominium. Being the most basic option, this can run you on average about $20 per square foot. Or in other words, $10,000 for a 900 square foot home.

Though with being so cost-effective, this does require the most work out of you as the homeowner. With most metal companies, when you order a simple barndominium kit all they are expecting is to drive out the materials in a loaded-down semi and offload them onto your property. The rest of the work of putting together your house such as the framing, windows, doors, plumbing, drywall, etc. is left up to you!

If you’re not a natural handyman or blessed with an array of construction worker friends, you’ll need to add at least $40 to $50 per square foot for the additional labor and materials for the actual construction of your home. All in all that still brings your total build cost to around $60 to $70 a square foot, almost half of what a conventional home will run you.

In conclusion

Barndominiums combine all the best components of the countryside living with the modern-day requirements of energy-efficient, yet affordable new homes. The costs for buying a barndominium can vary greatly but in the end, even the most high-end designs typically run much lower than the price of a traditional housing structure. Then when you add in the benefits of their durability and low maintenance care, barndominiums can prove to be one of your smartest investments when considering future homeownership.

Furthermore, the ability to completely customize these structures whether you choose to go with a prefabricated kit or start from the very basics opens up an endless number of options for building your dream home. Between their affordability, customization options, and durability, it’s no wonder why these homes are quickly becoming the number one homeowner’s choice. 


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