Average cost of building a barndominium
Average cost of building a barndominium

Average cost of building a barndominium

  • By Brando Plan team

Welcome to our guide on Barndominiums! In this article, we’ll uncover everything you need to know about this trendy and cost-effective housing option. We’ll start by defining the concept of barndominiums and their unique features before diving into the factors that affect their building costs. We’ll give you a breakdown of the average expenses for various barndominium types and helpful tips for reducing those costs. Finally, we’ll compare barndominiums with traditional homes to help you decide which is the right option for you. So, let’s embark on this exciting journey together and see what this innovative housing trend has to offer!

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Understanding Barndominiums

Definition and Concept

A barndominium is a hybrid building combining elements of a traditional home and a barn or a warehouse. The term “barndominium” is derived from the combination of the words “barn” and “condominium.” These buildings typically have a rustic, industrial aesthetic, with the living quarters often attached or integrated with a large, open space that can serve multiple purposes, such as storage, workshop, or vehicle shelter. Barndominiums have gained popularity over recent years, particularly in rural areas, due to their versatility, affordability, and durability.

Benefits and Features

Some primary benefits of barndominiums include their cost-effective construction, energy efficiency, and customizability. The open floor plan of a barndominium allows for flexible adaptation of the living and working spaces, accommodating various individual needs and preferences. The steel framing and metal exterior of these buildings provides exceptional durability, requiring minimal maintenance and effectively resisting damage from harsh weather conditions. In addition, the insulation properties of metal buildings mean that barndominiums tend to be more energy-efficient than traditional homes, resulting in lower utility bills and a smaller environmental footprint.

Customization Options

Barndominiums offer an extensive range of design and layout options, allowing homeowners to create a personalized space suited to their specific needs and preferences. Possible customizations include adding additional rooms or levels, deciding on interior walls and finishes, and choosing from various types of plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. Moreover, the exterior of a barndominium can be enhanced with different colors, styles, and materials to achieve a unique appearance and increased curb appeal.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Building a Barndominium

Size and Design

The overall size and design of a barndominium directly impact the total construction cost. Larger buildings with more square footage typically require more materials, labor, and time to complete, increasing the overall cost. Additionally, complex architectural features and unique design elements can add to the construction expenses by requiring specialized expertise and resources.

Location and Land

The cost of building a barndominium may also be affected by factors such as land prices, local labor rates, and transportation expenses for materials. In areas where land is more expensive or labor rates are higher, it is likely that barndominium construction costs will also be on the higher end. Furthermore, if the land where the barndominium is to be built is uneven or requires extensive ground preparation, this may increase the overall cost of the project.

Materials and Construction

The materials chosen for the construction of a barndominium, as well as the techniques used, can greatly affect the final cost. High-quality materials or unique finishes will typically result in higher expenses, whereas using budget-friendly materials and standard construction methods can help to keep costs down. However, it is important to remember that the durability and overall appearance of the barndominium will rely heavily on the quality of materials and workmanship, so it is essential to strike a balance between affordability and quality.

Permits and Regulations

Depending on local regulations, building permits and other related fees may be required for the construction of a barndominium. These costs vary depending on the location and specific requirements of the municipality or county. Additionally, particular building codes may necessitate specific materials or construction methods, which could influence the overall cost of the project.

Average Costs for Building a Barndominium

Framing and Foundation

The cost of framing and foundation for a barndominium typically ranges between $15 and $35 per square foot, depending on factors such as material choice, labor rates, and the complexity of the design. Steel-framed barndominiums are more expensive than those constructed with wood but offer increased durability, strength, and ease of maintenance. has an agreement with a light gauge steel company to build the internal frame panels to reduce the cost of erecting internal walls.

Exterior Finishing

Exterior finishing costs for a barndominium can range from $10 to $25 per square foot, depending on the chosen material and style. Common options include metal siding, stucco, and brick, each offering specific aesthetic and functional advantages. Additionally, factors like the number and size of windows, doors, and potential exterior attachments (porches, roof overhangs, etc.) can influence the overall exterior finishing costs.

Interior Finishing

Interior finishing costs for a barndominium will vary depending on factors such as material choice, design complexity, and desired level of customization. On average, homeowners may spend between $25 and $100 per square foot on interior finishing, with costs generally rising the more luxurious and high-end the materials and finishes are chosen. Flooring, cabinetry, countertops, fixtures, and appliances all contribute to the overall interior finishing costs, so these elements should be carefully considered when planning and budgeting for the project.

Utilities and Amenities

Installing utilities and amenities in a barndominium, such as electricity, plumbing, and HVAC systems, will typically add between $10 and $30 per square foot to the overall construction cost. The actual cost will be determined by factors such as system complexity, local labor rates, and material choice. A more significant investment in advanced systems or energy-efficient technologies may result in long-term cost savings through reduced utility bills.

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Cost Breakdown of Different Barndominium Types

Basic Barndominiums

Basic barndominiums are typically constructed using more affordable materials and streamlined designs, with fewer interior and exterior finishes or customizations. The average cost for building a basic barndominium ranges from $50 to $80 per square foot, making these buildings an attractive option for those seeking a budget-friendly alternative to a traditional home.

This basic design can be inexpensive to build
This basic design can be inexpensive to build.

Mid-tier Barndominiums

Mid-tier barndominiums incorporate a balance between cost-effective materials and customizable features, offering a higher level of comfort and aesthetic appeal than basic options. The average cost for building a mid-tier barndominium ranges from $80 to $120 per square foot, providing an option for homeowners seeking a blend of affordability and customization.

Luxury Barndominiums

Luxury barndominiums are designed with high-end materials, finishes, and customizations, providing a more extravagant living experience. The average cost for building a luxury barndominium ranges from $120 to $200 per square foot, making these buildings a more expensive but potentially highly rewarding option for homeowners looking for a truly unique and upscale living space.

A larger custom barndominium can be more expensive to build
A larger custom barndominium can be more expensive to build

How to Cut Barndominium Building Costs

DIY Approach

Homeowners with the necessary skills, knowledge, and time can save a significant amount of money by taking on a DIY approach to barndominium construction. While this can be a way to reduce costs, it is essential to ensure that all work is done according to local building codes and safety standards.

Choosing Affordable Materials

Selecting budget-friendly materials for the construction of a barndominium can help keep overall costs down. Researching various material options and comparing prices can help identify the most affordable choices without compromising on quality and durability.

Planning and Budgeting

Proper planning and budgeting are key to managing the overall cost of a barndominium project. Establishing a detailed budget upfront, allocating funds for various aspects of the build, and working to stick to that budget will help to prevent unexpected expenses and reduce overall costs.

Working with Experienced Professionals

Collaborating with experienced professionals, such as architects, builders, and subcontractors, can help ensure a well-designed, structurally sound, and cost-effective barndominium. These professionals will be able to provide guidance on material choices, construction techniques, and overall design to potentially save both time and money throughout the building process.

Comparing Barndominiums with Traditional Homes

Initial Building Costs

Barndominiums tend to be more affordable than traditional homes when it comes to initial building costs due to factors such as the simplicity of the design, the use of cost-effective materials, and the potential for more efficient construction processes. Depending on individual preferences and requirements, homeowners may find that building a barndominium offers a more cost-effective alternative to a conventional home.

Long-term Maintenance Costs

Due to their durable construction and materials, barndominiums often require less maintenance than traditional homes, leading to lower long-term costs. The reduced need for repairs, replacements, and periodic maintenance work can save homeowners money and time over the life of the structure.

Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

Barndominiums tend to have better insulation properties and energy efficiency compared to traditional homes due to their metal construction. This can lead to lower utility bills, reduced energy consumption, and a smaller environmental footprint, making them more sustainable in the long run.

Resale Value and Investment Potential

Although the market for barndominiums may be more limited than for traditional homes, these unique structures can still attract buyers due to their versatility, affordability, and energy efficiency. While resale value may be more challenging to predict, investing in a well-designed and properly built barndominium can be a worthwhile investment for the

1. What is the average cost of building a barndominium?

The average cost of constructing a barndominium ranges from $80 to $160 per square foot. However, this estimate may vary depending on factors such as location, materials, labor, and design features (Kosten, 2020).

2. How do barndominium costs compare to traditional home construction costs?

Generally, barndominiums are more affordable than traditional homes. The cost difference may result from reduced labor and material expenses and a more efficient building process (Meagan, 2020).

3. Which factors influence the final cost of a barndominium?

Key factors that affect the overall cost of a barndominium include the size and layout, location, design and customization, materials used, labor rates, and additional features such as insulation, plumbing, and electrical work (Kosten, 2020).

4. Are there cost-saving strategies when building a barndominium?

Yes, homeowners may opt for more affordable materials, simpler designs, and minimal customization. Additionally, they may choose to perform some of the labor themselves or hire local contractors with competitive pricing (Meagan, 2020).

5. What expenses should be considered when estimating the total cost of a barndominium?

When estimating expenses, consider aspects such as land acquisition, permitting fees, site preparation, foundation work, septic system installation, framing, exterior finishes, and interior finishing costs (Kosten, 2020).

6. Do barndominiums have lower maintenance costs compared to traditional homes?

Typically, barndominiums have lower maintenance costs due to the use of durable, weather-resistant materials, simple designs, and open floor plans that make routine upkeep less labor-intensive (Meagan, 2020).

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