Barndo Designer working on floor plans
Barndo Designer working on floor plans

The Basics of Barndominium Design Trends

  • By Brando Plan team

Barndominiums are a unique and increasingly popular housing option that combines the convenience of modern homes with cost-effective building practices. For a bonus, they offer a b rustic charm of barns. Essentially, a barndominium is a type of residential building that uses the building concept of  a pole barn-style structure to create a livable space. The design trend has been gaining traction in recent years, with more and more people opting for barndominiums as their preferred type of housing.

If you’re considering building or purchasing a barndominium kit, it’s important to understand the design basics to make informed decisions. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview of the essential components of barndominium design trends.



Barndominiums, also known as “barndos,” are a type of hybrid building that combines the features of both a barn and a condominium. These structures are typically constructed using metal, red iron or wood framing, and they are designed to provide homeowners with a vast amount of living space and the ability to customize their living environment to fit their lifestyle. Barndominiums have become a popular housing trend in recent years, and they are particularly common in rural areas where land is plentiful, and zoning regulations are more relaxed. They are often used as primary residences, vacation homes, AIR BNB rentals,  or even as commercial buildings. The design of a barndominium can vary greatly depending on the owner’s preferences and the intended use of the structure. However, they all share the same basic concept of combining the functionality of a barn with the comfort and convenience of a modern home.


Understanding the basics of barndominium design trends requires a comprehensive exploration of its history. The term barndominium was coined in the 1980s when people started converting barns into livable spaces. The idea behind the trend was to create a rustic and minimalist living space that combined industrial and agricultural influences with modern designs. The popularity of this trend has been consistently growing since the 2000s, with many homeowners and builders flocking to this style. The rise in popularity can be attributed to the fact that barndominiums provide a unique and affordable alternative to traditional homes. Most Barndos are new, but some people still create barndos by repurposing existing structures; homeowners can save money while also creating a space that is both practical and aesthetically pleasing.


Barndominiums are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners and builders alike due to their unique aesthetic appeal and affordability. Originally thought of as a niche living space for those with a love of rustic country living, barndominiums have evolved to become a popular option for anyone looking for a versatile, cost-effective living space. The unique fusion of an industrial-style barn with a residential home offers endless design possibilities, which is a major attraction for the modern homeowner. Additionally, the barndominium is often more affordable than a conventional home, which further adds to its growing popularity in the housing market.

Design Elements


When it comes to designing a barndominium, the exterior is a significant aspect that can make a property stand out. The exterior design elements contribute to the overall look and feel of a barndominium. There are multiple elements that one can incorporate into the exterior design of the barndominium, such as the roofing material, color palette, siding, and accents. To begin with, the roofing material plays a crucial role in dictating the aesthetic and security of the barndominium. Most barndominium designs use metal roofing due to its durability, low maintenance cost, and long lifespan. Additionally, the color palette used in the exterior design of the barndominium can create a striking contrast with the natural scenery surrounding it. Choosing colors that complement the natural landscape can help the barndominium blend in seamlessly with the environment. The choice of siding material can also impact the home’s design and longevity. Several options include wood, stucco, metal, and concrete; each holds a unique aesthetic value. Adding accents can also enhance the overall appeal of the design. Utilizing stone, brick, or wood accents on the exterior design features will give the barndominium a rustic look. Lastly, windows and doors play a role in the natural lighting inside and adding to the exterior aesthetic value. From a functional standpoint, it is essential to choose energy-efficient windows to avoid heat loss. However, finding windows and doors that match the rest of the exterior design can create a cohesive and pleasing look.

The Best Barndo Plans in America
This Barndo uses a contrasting roof color and a brick accent around the bottom of the barndo to give it a unique design flair.


One of the most important aspects of barndominium design is creating a warm and inviting interior space. The interior design should be carefully thought out to ensure that the space is comfortable, practical, and aesthetically pleasing. One popular trend is to use natural materials, such as wood and stone, to create a rustic and inviting atmosphere. These materials can be used on floors, walls, and ceilings to create a cohesive look. Another trend is to create an open floor plan, which allows for easy flow between rooms and creates a spacious feeling. This can be achieved by removing walls or using half-walls or columns to define spaces. Lighting is also an essential element of interior design, as it can make or break the atmosphere of a room. Choosing the right lighting fixtures, such as chandeliers or pendant lights, can add personality and warmth to the space. Additionally, it’s important to consider the color scheme of the interior, as this can greatly impact the overall feel of the space. Neutral colors, such as gray and beige, can create a calming and timeless atmosphere, while bolder colors, such as red and blue, can add a pop of personality. Another popular trend is to use accent walls to add depth and interest to a room without overpowering the space. Accent walls can be painted a bold color or covered in a unique wallcovering, such as wallpaper or reclaimed wood. Finally, it’s important to incorporate functional elements, such as storage and seating, into the interior design. Built-in shelves, benches, and even hidden storage can add both practicality and personality to a space.



As the name suggests, the foundation is the base of your barndominium and must be sturdy enough to withstand the weight of the entire structure. The foundation is the first and the most essential step in starting your barndominium construction process. Choosing the right type of foundation is imperative and depends on soil conditions, climate, and budget. The most common types of foundation used in barndominiums are slab-on-grade, pier-and-beam, and crawlspace. A slab-on-grade foundation is a concrete pad that is poured directly on the soil. Pier-and-beam foundation consists of piers, which are concrete posts that support main beams, which in turn support the subfloor. A crawlspace foundation offers a crawl space underneath the house that gives easy access to plumbing and electrical systems. The type of foundation you select may also influence other design and construction aspects of your barndominium, such as insulation, ventilation, heating, and cooling systems.

The Structure

One of the most critical components of building your barndominium is building the structure. At, all of our buildings are designed to be made with red iron steel structures. A steel structure can be welded together or bolted together, we offer both options in our Barndo Kits. The process involves creating the framework of your structure, serving as the foundation for all of the other construction elements that will be added later on. Typically, framing requires using large wooden beams, which intersect at various angles to create the internal skeleton of your property.

Steel and concrete are two popular structure options with more durability and sustainability than a wood structure and they should hold up better against natural disasters or extreme weather conditions. Regardless of the materials you choose, it’s crucial to ensure that your framing meets local building codes and regulations and is safely constructed to prevent any problems or issues down the line.


Framing the inside of the barndo to match your floor plan is what separates the rooms and creates the floor plan.  At, we have partnered with a light gauge steel framing provider to provide complete framing kits to make your build easier and cost-efficient. One of the best advantages of barndominium framing is that it allows for a lot of customization and flexibility. For example, you can decide the number of rooms you want, the size or configuration of each space, and the height of your ceilings. Additionally, you can include unique design elements, such as skylights or large windows, that will help you to maximize the natural light within your dwelling. When it comes to framing, there are a variety of materials to consider, including wood or steel.


For homeowners, the proper insulation of a barndominium can be a critical factor in its comfort, durability, and energy efficiency. Insulation is an essential part of the construction process as it can help to maintain a consistent temperature inside the space, reducing energy consumption and providing for a comfortable year-round living environment. There are numerous forms of insulation available, each with its own unique benefits and costs. Some of the most commonly used insulation types are fiberglass, foam board, and spray foam. Fiberglass insulation is an affordable option that is commonly found in residential homes and commercial buildings. Foam board insulation, on the other hand, is more expensive, but it provides excellent moisture resistance and higher insulation value in a thinner profile. Spray foam insulation is the most expensive option, but it offers the highest R-value per inch of any insulation type, making it ideal for barndominiums that require superior insulation. It is important to consider the level of insulation required for a barndominium based on climate, location, and the homeowner’s preferences for energy efficiency and comfort. Proper insulation can also assist in reducing noise transmission within the building, providing an added level of privacy and comfort.


When designing a barndominium, it is important to consider the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. This system is responsible for maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature and ensuring fresh air circulates throughout the space. There are several options to choose from when it comes to HVAC systems, including traditional central air conditioning and heating units, radiant heating systems, and geothermal systems. Central air conditioning units are popular and efficient choice, but they require proper sizing and insulation to be effective. Radiant heating systems use pipes under the floor to heat the space, creating an even and comfortable temperature. Geothermal systems are another option, which use the earth’s natural temperature to heat and cool a space. When deciding which HVAC system to use, it is important to consider factors such as climate, energy efficiency, and budget. Additionally, proper insulation and sealing of the space is crucial to maximizing the effectiveness of the HVAC system. Overall, a well-designed and properly installed HVAC system is essential to a comfortable and functional barndominium.



Aside from the layout, size, and materials used to construct a barndominium, other factors need to be considered to estimate the cost of building one. A significant factor that affects the cost of building a barndominium is the location where it will be built. Building costs in the city are higher than in rural areas because of the availability of construction materials and labor. The choice of contractor is also another critical factor in estimating the cost of building a barndominium. Different contractors offer different prices for their services, and it is essential to choose a contractor that provides the best value for money. The complexity of the design and layout of the barndominium also affects the cost of construction. A simple and straightforward design, such as a rectangular or square floor plan, is more cost-effective than a more intricate or custom-made design. The type of foundation and roofing used to construct a barndominium also affects its total construction cost. A monolithic slab foundation is more affordable than a pier and beam foundation. Lastly, the selection of systems and fixtures for the barndominium can significantly affect the total construction cost. The cost of electrical, plumbing, and heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system can vary, depending on the desired quality and features. It is vital to choose high-quality, durable, and energy-efficient systems and fixtures to have a more comfortable and cost-effective living space.


When it comes to barndominium design trends, one of the most important factors to consider is cost. Building a barndominium can be a cost-effective alternative to a traditional home, but it’s essential to understand the various factors that can influence the overall price. Comparing costs can help you determine the best options for your budget and lifestyle. Some of the most significant factors that affect barndominium costs include location, size, materials, and design features. Location is often one of the most significant determinants of cost, with more desirable areas often being more expensive. Size is another crucial factor, as larger barndominiums typically cost more to build and maintain. Materials can also significantly impact costs, with more expensive materials like metal roofing or hardwood floors driving up prices. Finally, design features such as custom cabinetry, high-end appliances, or an open-concept floor plan can also contribute to a higher overall cost. It’s essential to carefully consider these factors when comparing costs and determining your budget for a barndominium project.


When it comes to building a barndominium, like building any home, budgeting is a crucial step that you cannot ignore. It is essential to have a clear understanding of your financial limits and to plan accordingly. Before you begin the project, you need to decide on the size, style, and other necessary features of your barndominium. Once you have a clear picture of what you want, it will be easier to allocate the necessary funds for the construction. Additionally, it would be helpful to have a buffer fund in case of unexpected expenses that may arise during the construction process. A good way to start setting up your budget is by researching the average costs of building in your area. You may also opt to hire a professional builder to help you determine the cost estimate of your project. Be sure to take into account the costs of permits, materials, labor, and other expenses such as transportation costs and utility hookups. It is important to note that there may be differences in the cost of building a barndominium compared to a traditional home due to its unique design and features. To save on costs, you may use salvaged or recycled materials, which not only reduces expenses but also adds character and charm to your home. You may also consider a more minimalistic design or opting for a DIY approach. However, it is important to remember that cutting costs does not mean compromising quality or safety. It is always best to work with experts who can guide you through the budgeting process and ensure that your barndominium is built to last and is a sound investment for the future.



When it comes to maintaining the exterior of your barndominium, there are several key aspects to keep in mind. First and foremost, ensuring that your roof is in good condition is paramount in preventing leaks and avoiding costly water damage. Regularly inspecting your roof for any signs of wear and tear, such as cracked shingles or loose flashing, can help you catch any potential issues before they turn into larger problems. Additionally, regularly cleaning your gutters and downspouts can help prevent water from accumulating and causing damage to your foundation or siding.

Another important aspect of maintaining your barndominium’s exterior is keeping an eye on the condition of your siding or cladding. Whether you have opted for wood, stucco, brick, or another type of material, it is crucial to keep it clean and free from damage. Pressure washing or using a soft-bristled brush and mild detergent can help remove dirt, grime, and other debris that can accumulate over time. Additionally, keeping an eye out for any signs of rot, cracking, or other damage can help you address any issues before they become more extensive.

Regularly inspecting and maintaining your windows and doors can also help improve the energy efficiency of your barndominium while also keeping your home secure from unwanted intruders. Ensuring that your windows and doors are properly sealed can help prevent drafts and keep your heating and cooling costs down. Additionally, regularly lubricating hinges and keeping locks in good condition can prevent potential break-ins or other security issues.

Finally, paying attention to the landscaping and overall curb appeal of your barndominium can help improve its overall value and aesthetic. Regularly trimming trees and bushes away from your home can prevent damage from falling branches and leaves. Additionally, planting shrubs or trees strategically around your property can help improve shade and privacy while also enhancing the overall look of your home.

All in all, maintaining the exterior of your barndominium requires regular attention and care. By keeping an eye on key areas such as the roof, siding, windows and doors, and landscaping, you can help keep your home in top condition while also enhancing its overall value and appeal.


When it comes to maintaining a barndominium, it is important to pay attention to the interior. One of the most prominent features of a barndominium’s interior is the flooring. Choosing the right type of flooring is crucial as it can affect the overall look and feel of the house. A popular trend in barndominium design is stained concrete flooring. This option provides a durable and low-maintenance surface that can be customized to match the house’s aesthetics. Other flooring options that are commonly used include hardwood, tile, and carpet. However, it’s important to note that these materials may require more upkeep and can be susceptible to moisture damage. Another aspect of interior maintenance is the walls. Barndominiums are known for their open floor plans, which means that walls are a significant aspect of design. One trend in wall design is incorporating shiplap or other textured materials. This adds dimension to the walls and also helps to create a cozy and rustic feel. Additionally, keeping the walls clean and free of damage is important as they play a significant role in the overall aesthetic. Lastly, lighting is an essential aspect of both design and maintenance for a barndominium interior. Natural lighting is a priority, and window placement should be carefully considered to maximize the effects of natural light. In addition to natural lighting, the use of rustic light fixtures such as lanterns and chandeliers can add character to the interior. Overall, maintaining the interior of a barndominium requires attention to details such as flooring, wall design, and lighting. By keeping these aspects in mind, homeowners can ensure that their barndominium looks and feels its best.


One of the critical aspects of maintaining your barndominium is addressing seasonal concerns. As the seasons change, there are various steps you should take to ensure your barndominium remains in optimal condition. In the summer, it is vital to keep your barndominium cool to prevent your air conditioning unit from overworking itself. Installing a radiant barrier in your roof and sealing cracks and gaps can help immensely with this issue. During the fall, cleaning gutters and downspouts is critical to ensure proper drainage and preventing clogs from causing damage. During the winter, you must take measures to protect your pipes from freezing to prevent costly repair bills. This can be achieved by insulating your pipes and turning off exterior water sources. Spring brings its own set of maintenance requirements, such as cleaning out debris from gutters and checking the exterior of your barndominium for any damage that may have occurred during the winter. By following these seasonal tips, you can help ensure your barndominium remains in excellent condition year-round.



From improved flexibility and cost-effectiveness to the ability to customize every nook and cranny, barndominium design trends offer a range of benefits that traditional homes do not. One of the most significant advantages is the level of customization that barndominiums offer. While conventional homes may have a limited number of floor plans or designs, barndominiums can be built to suit the unique needs and tastes of the homeowner. Furthermore, barndominiums can be constructed to fit a range of budgets, making them an attractive option for people looking to build a home that won’t break the bank.

Barndominiums offer a unique, rustic aesthetic that many homeowners find appealing. With a range of design options and materials to choose from, barndominiums can be customized to fit both modern and traditional tastes. Additionally, since many barndominiums are built on large plots of land, they provide ample space for outdoor living and entertainment areas. This additional space is perfect for families or those who enjoy hosting friends and loved ones.

Another advantage of barndominiums is their ability to incorporate environmentally-friendly features. With advances in eco-friendly materials and building techniques, it’s now easier than ever to build a home that has minimal impact on the environment. Additionally, many barndominiums feature energy-efficient appliances and systems, further reducing their carbon footprint. This makes them an excellent choice for homeowners who want to minimize their impact on the environment while still enjoying the benefits of homeownership.

Finally, barndominiums offer a level of flexibility that traditional homes simply can’t match. Since many barndominiums are designed as open-concept spaces, homeowners can easily adapt the layout to suit their changing needs. This is particularly beneficial for growing families or those who work from home, as it allows them to create a workspace or additional living space without the need for expensive renovations.

As barndominiums continue to gain popularity, it is essential to remain up-to-date with the latest design trends. One of the most significant trends for the future is the integration of smart technology. Home automation systems, such as voice-activated assistants, smart thermostats, and app-controlled lighting, are becoming increasingly common in modern homes, and barndominiums are no exception. In addition to technology, homeowners are increasingly interested in creating eco-friendly and sustainable living spaces. This sustainable design trend includes incorporating energy-efficient features, such as solar panels and low-flow plumbing fixtures, as well as using recycled materials in construction. Another trend is the incorporation of outdoor living spaces, including patios, decks, and porches, which provide additional recreational areas and a potential source of ventilation during hot weather. Another trend becoming popular in barndominium design is the incorporation of unconventional building materials such as pre-fab panels. These types of panels provide a quick and reliable way to construct a home while minimizing waste. Finally, with the rise of remote work, homeowners are looking for ways to create a functional home office within their barndominium. As a result, barndominium designs are now incorporating flexible office spaces that can be easily converted back into a living area when not in use.

Barndo Design FAQ

1. What is a barndominium?

A barndominium is a type of home that is commonly built on a rural property, typically using a prefabricated metal barn as the base for the structure. It incorporates both living quarters and storage or workspace under one roof.

2. How is the design of a barndominium different from a traditional home?

Barndominiums tend to have a more open floor plan, with fewer interior walls and more exposed structural elements. They also often feature industrial or rustic design elements, such as metal siding or wood paneling. Additionally, they may be designed to accommodate large trucks or equipment that would not fit into a traditional home’s garage.

Some popular features in barndominium design include using reclaimed or salvaged materials, incorporating outdoor living spaces like patios or porches, and installing energy-efficient systems like solar panels or geothermal heating. Additionally, many barndominiums are designed with multi-generational living in mind, with separate living areas for extended family members.

4. Is it possible to customize the design of a barndominium?

Yes, barndominiums can be highly customizable to fit the owner’s specific needs and preferences. Design options include different roof styles, window configurations, interior finishes, and more. Some companies even offer fully customized barndominium plans.

5. Are barndominiums a cost-effective housing option?

Barndominiums can be a cost-effective housing option, as the prefabricated metal structure can be less expensive than traditional building materials. Additionally, the open floor plan can help to reduce construction costs. However, the cost of a barndominium will vary depending on the size and level of customization, among other factors.

6. Are barndominiums energy-efficient?

Barndominiums can be energy-efficient if designed with proper insulation and energy-efficient systems. Some common energy-efficient features include radiant floor heating, solar panels, and spray foam insulation. Additionally, the open floor plan of a barndominium can allow for natural light and ventilation, further reducing energy usage.

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