Is a “Barndominium” right for you?


Metal barnNever heard of a barndominium before? That’s alright—I hadn’t, either, until recently. It’s a play on “barn” and “condominium” but the end result is more like a house than a condominium. They are growing in popularity, but they’re not right for everyone.

A barndominium is basically a metal building (not a pole barn) that has all the rest of the normal house things in it: plumbing, electricity, room divisions, pretty much whatever you want. It’s customizable within the area of the metal building.

Since a barndominium is made of metal, you won’t have to pay for roofing (though the metal will likely dent with hail). You won’t have to pay for bricking either, which is a positive factor for some people. Some people just like the look of it, which is a perfectly good reason to build one.

On the inside of the metal building, though, you’re still building an actual house. If what’s driving the desire to build a barndominium is cost, it’s likely not going to be cheaper than a traditionally built house. Usually when we price it out, the cost difference is minimal to nothing. What you save by replacing the brick with metal, you lose by installing a metal roof.

You’ll probably still need to install wood-framed walls, if you want to insulate it and be able to hang pictures, curtains, or a TV. Plumbing and electricity will still need to be installed, too, since you’ll probably want bathrooms, a kitchen, and good lighting. Metal buildings often come as a kit, which means you’ll essentially be a contractor, and will need to hire subcontractors.

Barndominiums are going to present a challenge during the appraisal. Banks are usually pretty open to financing a house, but not a metal building with a house in it.

If after reading all of that, a barndominium is still the best fit for what you want, that’s great! We’re happy to build them. As long as you’re building one because it’s what you want to do, and not to save money, we’d love to work with you on it. If your main motivation for a barndominum is budget, let’s have a conversation about what home plan would get you the most home for your budget.

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  1. I’m looking for a house and came across a barndominiums. I had no idea that a these existed, and I think it’s cool that they’re becoming more popular. Thanks for the cool information about barndominiums.

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