Home Improvement

Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Barndominium Home

Ever looked at your barn and thought, “This could be something amazing?” 

You’re not wrong! 

Barndominium is the answer.

They have the power to turn barns into awesome living spaces, guest houses, workshops, or even additions to your current home. 

When compared to conventional homes, the average cost per square foot for building a barndominium is 30% lower.

This guide is here to help you make that happen. We will show you how to convert your barn into the space you’ve always dreamed of, all without any confusing jargons. 

What is a Barndominium?

A building that’s like a barn on the outside, but cozy like a home on the inside. In other terms, it basically mixes the familiar look of a barn (usually metal these days) with all the features you’d expect in a condominium (House).

Here’s what makes them special:

  • Built to Last: Barndominiums are like tough cookies. They’re usually made with metal frames and siding, so they can handle almost anything you throw at them. Plus, they’re pretty low-maintenance, which means less time fixing and more time enjoying!
  • Spacious and Open: Unlike some houses with all those little rooms, barndominiums tend to have big, open spaces with high ceilings. This makes them feel airy and bright, giving you plenty of room to breathe and spread out.
  • Flexible Fun: The best part about barndominiums is how you can use them for pretty much anything! Want a whole new home? Done! Need a guest house for the in-laws? Easy! Craving a dedicated workshop for your woodworking skills? You bet!

From Farmyard to Family Room: A Quick History

Believe it or not, the word “barndominium” is a mix of two words– “barn” and “condominium.” Funny enough, its meaning has changed quite a bit over the years.

  • Back in the Day: Way back when “barndominium” meant a whole community where people lived close to fancy horse stables.
  • Modern Makeover: Fast forward to the 2000s, and the term got a whole new meaning. People started taking old barns and actually turning them into cool living spaces!
  • Building a Buzz: Thanks to shows like Fixer Upper, barndominiums became super popular. Now, you can even have one built brand new, exactly how you dream it!

All About Barndominium Styles: Finding Your Perfect Fit

Barndominiums come in all shapes and sizes. Let’s explore some of the different types you might encounter:

Size Matters:

  • Cozy Retreat: Looking for a lovely getaway or a starter home? Smaller barndominiums offer a comfortable and efficient living space, perfect for singles or couples.
  • Family Fun Zone: Need room for more people? Larger barndominiums provide ample space for families, with designated areas for bedrooms, living areas, and even workshops.
  • Grand Design: Dreaming big? Extra-large barndominiums offer endless possibilities, including multi-story designs, home theaters, or even dedicated office spaces!

Style Speaks Volumes:

  • Classic Metal: Embrace the traditional barn aesthetic with a metal exterior. This is a popular choice for its durability and low-maintenance appeal.
  • Rustic Charm: Love the warmth of wood? Opt for a barndominium with wood siding or accents. It adds a cozy and natural feel to the space.
  • Modern Marvel: Craving a sleek and contemporary look? Modern barndominiums often feature clean lines, large windows, and unique materials for a truly eye-catching design.

Function Follows Form:

  • Basic Starter: These barndominiums focus on the essentials – a living area, bedroom(s), and bathroom(s). Perfect for those seeking a no-frills approach or a starting point for future customization.
  • Custom Creation: Have a specific vision in mind? Custom-designed barndominiums allow you to personalize everything from the layout to the finishes, creating a space that’s truly one-of-a-kind.
  • Workshop Wonderland: For the hobbyist or entrepreneur, workshop barndominiums combine living space with a dedicated area for your creative pursuits. It’s the ultimate work-live situation!

Remember, this is just a starting point! You can mix and match styles, sizes, and functionalities to create a barndominium that perfectly reflects your personality and needs.

Why Choose a Barndominium? 

Are you thinking of building a barndominium? Here are some compelling reasons why they might be the perfect fit for you:

  • Easy on the Wallet: Compared to traditional houses, barndominiums can be significantly more affordable. The simpler construction process and use of prefabricated materials often result in lower costs. Plus, their durability means less money spent on repairs down the road.
  • Built to Last: Barndominiums are tough – typically constructed with metal frames and siding, they can withstand harsh weather conditions and require minimal maintenance. Think of it as a low-maintenance sanctuary for years to come!
  • Dream Home, Designed by You: Unlike many pre-built houses, barndominiums offer incredible flexibility. You can customize the layout, choose your preferred style (rustic, modern, or anything in between!), and personalize the finishes to create a space that truly reflects your taste.
  • Energy Efficiency Champion: Modern barndominiums can be designed to be energy-efficient. Factors like metal roofing (which reflects heat) and proper insulation can help keep your energy bills low and your living space comfortable year-round.
  • Live, Work, Create, All Under One Roof: The beauty of barndominiums lies in their versatility. You can seamlessly integrate a living space with a dedicated workshop for your hobbies, a home office for remote work, or even a storage area – the possibilities are endless! It’s all about creating a space that perfectly suits your lifestyle needs.
  • Embrace the Open Concept: Barndominiums often feature open floor plans with high ceilings. This creates a spacious and airy feel, perfect for those who love a sense of openness in their living environment.

Important Considerations for Your Barndominium

While barndominiums offer a ton of exciting possibilities, there are some important things to think about before you break ground. Here’s a clear-cut roadmap to navigate before turning your dream into reality:

  • Know Your Zone: Every area has zoning regulations that dictate what kind of structures can be built. Check with your local zoning department to ensure barndominiums are allowed and understand any size or style restrictions that might apply.
  • Permit Power: Building anything usually requires permits. Research the specific permits needed for your barndominium project and factor in the time it might take to obtain them.
  • Financing Finesse: Financing a barndominium can be different from financing a traditional house. Talk to lenders familiar with barndominiums to explore your options and secure the best loan terms for your project.
  • Location, Location, Location: Just like any house, choosing the right location for your barndominium is necessary. Consider factors like access to utilities, proximity to roads and amenities, and any potential scenic views you might want to enjoy.
  • Building Buddies: While barndominiums may seem simpler than traditional houses, building one is still a complex project. Hiring experienced builders who specialize in barndominium construction is key. They will have the expertise to navigate the process smoothly and ensure your barndominium is built to the highest standards.

Note: Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Talk to experienced barndominium builders, research online resources, and get all the information you need to feel confident before embarking on your barndominium journey.

With the support of Russell and Dawson Inc., an integrated architecture and engineering firm, we’re excited to share this insightful blog post with you.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Barndominium?

Building a barndominium can be an exciting and cost-effective way to achieve your dream home (or guest house, workshop, etc.). However, the final price tag can vary depending on several factors. Here’s a breakdown to help you estimate the potential costs:

The bigger, the Costlier: The square footage of your barndominium is a major cost driver. Generally, expect to pay more for a larger space.

Material Musings: The materials you choose can significantly impact the cost. For example, a basic metal exterior might be more affordable than opting for a wood or brick facade.

Customization Cravings: The more you customize your barndominium, the higher the cost might be. Fancy finishes, high-end appliances, or complex layouts will add to the overall price.

Location, Location, Location: Building costs can vary depending on your location. Labor costs and local building codes can influence the final price tag.

Here’s a rough estimate to give you an idea:

  • Basic Barndominium (smaller size, simple materials): $65 – $85 per square foot
  • Standard Barndominium (average size, moderate customization): $85 – $120 per square foot
  • Custom Barndominium (larger size, high-end finishes): $120 – $160+ per square foot

Remember, these are just ballpark figures. The best way to get a more accurate estimate is to talk to experienced barndominium builders in your area. They can factor in your specific needs and local considerations to provide a more precise cost breakdown for your dream barndominium.

Let’s Design Your Ideal Barndominium!

Now that you’ve explored the practicalities, it’s time for the fun part – designing your ideal barndominium! Here are some tips to get your creative juices flowing:

Floor Plan Fun:

  • Open It Up: Barndominiums often shine with open floor plans. This creates a spacious and airy feel, perfect for entertaining or simply enjoying a sense of openness.
  • Zone It Out: Even with an open concept, consider incorporating designated areas for living, sleeping, working, or hobbies. This helps maintain a sense of organization and functionality.
  • Think Outside the Box: Don’t be afraid to get creative! Lofts, balconies, or even dedicated mudrooms are all possibilities to personalize your space.

Lighten Up!

  • Embrace Natural Brilliance: Large windows and skylights are your friends! They soak your barndominium in natural light, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere while reducing reliance on artificial lighting.
  • Strategize Your Lighting: Plan your lighting layout carefully. Task lighting in work areas, ambient lighting for living spaces, and dimmer switches for mood control all contribute to a comfortable and functional environment.

Save Money, Save the Planet:

  • Energy Efficiency Matters: Consider energy-saving features like insulated walls and roof panels, energy-efficient appliances, and even solar panels. This not only helps the environment but also reduces your long-term energy bills.
  • Local Matters: Familiarize yourself with local building codes to ensure your design adheres to regulations.
  • Sustainable Solutions: Explore sustainable building practices like using recycled materials or incorporating water-saving fixtures. It’s good for the planet and can add a unique touch to your barndominium.

 Ready to explore the possibilities? Here are some next steps:

  • Research online: Dive deeper into the world of barndominiums! There are tons of resources available to help you learn more and get inspired.
  • Talk to a barndominium builder: Connect with experienced professionals like Russell and Dawson who can answer your questions and guide you through the building process.
  • Embrace the dream! Barndominiums offer a unique and exciting way to turn your dream home into a reality.

With the support of Russell and Dawson Inc., an integrated architecture and engineering firm, we’re excited to share this insightful blog post with you.

For more interesting blogs visit: www.rdaep.com

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