How Much does it Cost to Build a Barndominium?

How Much does it Cost to Build a Barndominium?

Updated on

Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.
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Price: $90-$130 per square foot.

Barndo! Once I saw a barndominium, I fell in love and built one myself. However, finding out how much a barndominium costs to erect would be can be a bit tricky. Here, I will discuss everything you need to know about the prices of the project. How much does it cost to build a barndominium, and where should you start?

Before we proceed, are you wondering where the name came from?

Add a barn to a condominium, and you get a barndominium. (Barn+Condo= Barndo). Easy. Let's dive right in.

Building Barndominium Timeline

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This timeline will help you build a mental picture of where your costs might go. Consider this section a snapshot of the things you will do.

  1. See a location you love and secure it.
  2. Get building permits.
  3. Order for a barndominium kit.
  4. If you are not getting a kit, find a contractor or a builder.
  5. Create access. i.e., a road leading to the location if there are none.
  6. Ensure utilities are available for the building process to start.
  7. Bring in the building materials assuming you already know the design and the materials needed. Talk to your contractor before buying anything.
  8. Start with the foundation.
  9. Build the barndominium shell.
  10. Work on the interior. Here are great interior design ideas that will come in handy for your new home.
  11. The exterior has to look good too. Here are great landscaping ideas to make your home beautiful.
  12. Invite your friends and celebrate your achievement.

What Are the Costs of Building a Barndominium?

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The cost of building anything will have a lot of factors that affect the budget. For that reason, there is never a blanket cost but estimates. Here is where your costs will be going when building a barndo. To make planning easier for you, we will discuss the factors to help you arrive at the total cost more easily.

1) Land

Price- Depends on the location.

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If you own the land you are building on; you can skip this part. However, if you are getting new land, you need to complete the process before you commence any construction. For example, maybe you are leasing land, and your barndo will be a gallery. Ensure everything is right with the land before commencing construction.

Once you have the land, let's get the permits.

2) Permits

Price: $1,000-$2,500

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It is a bad idea to start any building process without a permit. A permit is the first thing you must get. After all, knowing the building rules in the state you are in is a responsible thing to do. Permits sometimes come at a cost, and you need to save money for that.

Some permits might take a while, but the time it takes to get a license should not be very long. Inspections need to be done to ensure you are building at the right place, and the process can take a lot of time.

3) Barndominium Kit

Price Range: $6,000-$75,000

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A kit comes complete, and all you need to do is incorporate it into your design. A kit is just the outer shell of the barndominium to which you add the other components and create a beautiful home.

4) Labor

Price- Up to $250 per hour

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Without labor, the things you buy will sit there, and nothing will happen. So to avoid wasting material and having them sit out for too long, you need to know who is going ot help you put up the barndo. You can find local companies that provide labor.

Here is a very important factor you need to consider. Labor does not only mean the guys are doing the actual heavy lifting. For example, here is how I managed to divide my labor.

  • Engineer
  • Architect
  • General contractor
  • Interior designer
  • Plumber
  • Electrician
  • Landscape architect
  • Draftsperson

You need to know that there are different modes of calculating labor. For example, the contractor might get a percentage of the project's total cost, while the plumber might need to be paid per hour. The hourly rate from the listed labor costs may reach $200 per hour on the higher limit.

5) Building Materials

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Once you pay for labor, it is time to get the materials. The materials depend on what you will be using the barndo for. For example, I use my barndominium as a living space, which means I got materials that would make life in a house possible.

Some materials you should consider are:

  • Flooring which is charged per square foot
  • Plumbing
  • Painting
  • Doors
  • AC
  • Drywall
  • Insulation etc.

Everyone providing the labor above will give you a list of things you need and the correct quantities you need to buy. However, many of the materials you buy will depend on what you want to do with the barndo and how you want the exterior and interior to look.

Extensively consult your labor providers. They know best.

6) Foundation

Price- $5,000-$25,000

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A house can not be without foundation. Even a mobile home needs to stand somewhere. Unfortunately, the foundation comes at a cost that might include excavation. After all, even metal buildings require a concrete foundation to stand on.

A basic barndominium needs a foundation as part of its layout. This goes for most constructions, especially a traditional home.

7) Utilities

I did my due diligence to get all the labor I needed. However, I almost forgot that the labor was only supposed to help connect me to the utilities. You should pay attention to getting utilities, especially when building a new barndominium where a house has never been before. However, if you have an existing barn, there is a chance some utilities were already around.

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Utilities that you will need to access include water and electricity. Getting power to your place can be costly if the powerlines are more than half a mile away. Utilities can be a headache if you do not pay attention to them.

Remember to get a water purifier installed if you want clean water in your house at all times.

8) Fixtures

The good thing about involving a builder in this process is that you will reduce many barndominium costs because they know what you do and do not need. Alternatively, you could get barndominium building kits. The kits provide everything you need, and you do not have to rely on your memory for anything.

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Getting the stage of buying materials and fixtures right will greatly impact your final cost and reduce the pressure of such a project. While I did not have to rely on a barndo kit because I got help from a builder, you can get them to save time.

9) Septic Tank

Price- $3600- $9,800

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I am glad I paid a lot of attention to a septic tank. This is important for your health, and you do not want trouble with the locals. By building a good septic tank, you are protecting the foundation of the house because water will flow to the right channels.

10) Interior

The interior walls of the house will require paint. We have the best color combinations to help you choose the right color for your house. Other than the colors, other interior finishes will depend on your taste. Be it granite countertops, an open style kitchen, an open layout, or a closed one, ensure the interior is warm and welcoming.

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Whenever I mention the word interior, the first thing that comes to mind is interior design. However, there are things like the HVAC system or the spray foam insulation that you need to have taken care of first. For example, does your floor need heating if you live in a cold area? I realized mine did at the nick of time.

11) Exterior

A good exterior will make you perceive your home positively. You can start with the exterior walls by having them painted nicely.

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There are great landscaping ideas for your home that you can use to make your outdoor spaces beautiful. Buying the plants and laying cabro will come at a cost. However, working on your exterior is essential as it helps maintain a welcoming facade from the outside.

You can achieve good landscaping at a low cost. Luckily, a barndominium home is a low-maintenance cost investment that will serve you for a long period.

12) Staircase

A barndo is larger than a typically built home. Hence, you can play around with ideas in the interior, including a second floor. A barndo is just an old barn with high ceilings; you can take advantage of this. But, first, you need to know the ins and outs of building a staircase. After all, most barndominiums are capable of having an extra floor inside.

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If your floor plan accommodates a second floor, you are lucky because you will maximize the space inside the barn.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Barndominium

While looking at how much a barndominium costs, you get to a point where you are like, " is it worth it?" Weighing out the advantages and disadvantages will help you know if you are ready to go for a barndominium or not.

Pros of a Barndominium House

a) Low Building Cost

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The cost of building a barndominium is relatively lower than other houses. Additionally, you can construct one as your DIY project. This way, you will save a lot while building a custom home that fits your needs and style.

b) Ample Space

Unlike a traditional house, the barndominium has enough space for you to experiment with. You can build your dream home simply because space constraints are not holding you back. In addition, there are a lot of custom barndominium floor plans you can pick ideas from to spice up your abode.

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There is no need to live in a barndo, only to have an interior like the one you would find in traditional homes.

c) Durable

There is a barn I have always seen since I was born, and nothing about it has changed. This shows just how long barndos last. So getting my barndominium was a huge win, and I am lucky it is here to live here.

d) Flexible

I had many ideas for my barndo. Since I am an artist, I wanted to have two floors: the lower floor as my studio and gallery and the upper floor as my office or residence. Similarly, you can simultaneously turn your barndo into a garage or coffee shop and living space.

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There is so much you can do with the interior of a barndominium, and the only limit will be your imagination.

e) Low maintenance

There is lots of work and effort that goes into maintaining a house. Since I moved into my barndo, the maintenance cost has been significantly lower than in other houses I have lived in. The house is made of steel, to begin with. The only thing you need to do to a steel barndominium is insulated it, and you will be warm inside.

f) Stylish

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While barns are mostly found in rural areas, barndos are some of the most stylish houses you will see in modern settings. A barndo has the potential for unique houses with limitless design options. There is no turning back once you see some barndo ideas online. They look magnificent.

g) Fast Building

You can put together a barndo by yourself in no time. This is one of the best things about the structures.

Some Downsides to Barndos

a) Noise

Unless you do very solid soundproofing in your barndo, there is a chance the house might be a bit noisy. This is because the metal can pick noise from outside more easily than other materials. However, this is a downside that has a solution. I have done soundproofing in my house, including on the windows.

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b) Permits

Not many cities will give out permits for barndos easily. Luckily, you can not start the construction before you get a permit. So, ensure you get the right papers beforehand.

c) Wiring and Plumbing

A barndo is not a very common housing style. Therefore, you must consult HVAC professionals, plumbers, and electricians before putting interior fixtures. While wiring barndos are a bit of a challenge, it is possible.

d) Hard Market

Barndos are highly customizable homes, and the interior design can be altered to one's taste. For this reason, it isn't easy to find a market for a barndo during resale. However, if your design is nice, you will get a buyer. Plus, the new owner can always make adjustments to fit their needs.

Frequently Asked Question about Barndominium

How Long Does a Barndominium Last?

A barndo is a metal building and is therefore susceptible to external elements like rusting. However, if the shell is well taken care of through painting, the house can last over 70 years and upwards of 260 years. So if you live in a coastal region, you must consider ways of caring for the metal shell covering the barndo.

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While the barndo is an affordable option, it can get expensive quickly if you do not take good care of the building.

Final Thoughts

I am enjoying my stay in my barndominium. The sunrise is great because my windows are larger than you could have in a normal house. You will be the proudest person once you are done building and moving into your barndo.

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About the author

Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.
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