23 Things To Know About Barndominiums

Condominiums and apartments have gained popularity over the past years because of the increase in population. On the other hand, expanding the land area is tricky. In fact, it’s impossible in some cases. When there is an anticipated shortage of land, we turn to multi-story buildings as the solution.

new barndominium

These apartments and condominiums have long been popular in the urban area, such as in the buzzing streets of New York City. However, rural areas also have their fair share of these living spaces. Barndominiums are not necessary barn condominiums. In most cases, these are metal-built barns turned into more modern living spaces.


The most important thing to know about barndominiums is about their name. The term barndominium has been around for several decades, so it is not new. Over the years, its definition went through several drastic changes.

Today, it can mean several things. Some have the most basic features while others have more modern features, such as the following:

  • Engineered concrete slabs
  • Advanced plumbing technology
  • Energy-efficient windows
  • Top-quality concrete flooring
  • Tall ceilings

The best Barndominims can hold their value very well. We tested many Barndominiums and found that those built with a walkout basement are the best barndominiums on the market.

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Barndominiums are a style of house that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, especially with the sale of kits in Utah & Indiana. While barndominiums are most commonly built on slab foundations, they can also come with a basement. Whether barndominiums are safe or not depends on the quality of the construction.

The best Barndominims can hold their value very well. We tested many Barndominiums and found that those built with a walkout basement are the best barndominiums on the market.

Currently, these concrete structures are across the United States. Some states they have a strong presence are North Carolina, Arizona, Michigan, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Indiana.

Things to know about barndominiums

If you are curious about what barndominiums are, you are in the right place. The following sections should explain in detail everything you need to know. By the end of the article, you should be interested enough to get your hands on one!

Here are all the things you need to know about barndominiums.

1. they come in several types of floor plans.

big Barndominium

One of the primary things we consider in a living space is the floor plan. There are several types of floor plans in this category. Do you want an open concept that you can customize to your liking, or maybe you want something with a loft? How many bedrooms would you like to have? Some offer as few as one. Other spaces have three bedrooms or even four bedrooms, depending on their floor area. 

It helps if you can get access to a space’s blueprint. You would get a better high-level view of what the property looks or will look like inside and out. In order to get an idea about these floor plans, here are a couple of examples.

50-foot-wide Barndominium5 beds, 3 bathrooms on 3,300 sq ft
45-foot-wide Barndominum4 beds, 3 bathrooms on 2,700 sq ft
40-foot-wide Barndominium4 beds, 3 bathrooms on 2,400 sq ft
35-foot-wide Barndominium3 beds, 2 bathrooms on 1,400 sq ft
30-foot-wide Barndominum2 beds, 1 bath on 900 sq ft

These usually have a rustic, airy vibe. It makes them a perfect vacation home, which you can pass down to several generations. They hold their value quite well, so acquiring one will likely become an asset than a liability.

Most floor plans will have at least one kitchen, living room, bath, and bedroom. The more spacious ones even have a utility room and a fireplace. If you are looking at a 2-bedroom, 3-bedroom, you will likely also have more than one bath. Some floor plans even have two or more floors, making them more spacious.

The usual floor plans you will encounter in the market are 30 x 40, 30 x 50, and 50 x 100. We always recommend checking the blueprint and consulting a real estate agent to confirm these details.

2. Several kits are for sale on the market.

Barndominum shell

The material is dependent on your preference. These kits are typically wood or metal structures. There are several factors to consider in the inclusions of a kit. Some kits only have shells.

They include windows, doors, and an empty inside. Ultimately, you will need to design and furnish the entire space according to your liking. Opting for a kit is time-consuming because it involves planning and organizing everything from start to finish.

If you are 100% sure about kits, the following questions you may have in mind may involve cost, delivery, and availability. Most manufacturers would include the following with the kit:

  • Stained concrete floors
  • Exterior doors
  • Concrete slabs
  • Windows
  • Roof
  • Exterior walls

It makes sense because these are the essential parts you need to have a fully-standing barndominium. However, companies and manufacturers will do things slightly differently from each other. Some companies may offer you more inclusions at the same price as a company with fewer inclusions. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, we recommend considering other factors apart from the inclusions. Brand reliability and after-sales support are the leading factors we recommend you consider.

Of course, more complex kits will cost more than simpler ones. When picking a kit, we also recommend you consider maintenance requirements. How much would it cost to maintain it? How often does it need maintenance? 

Moreover, most kits do not include the foundation of building it. It could include most or all of the following:

  • Anchor bolts
  • Foundation design
  • Wainscots / Exterior finishes
  • Insulation package
  • Site preparation
  • Site work
  • Landscaping
  • Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing requirements
  • Floor plan layout and interior designing
  • Taxes and freights

So before jumping to any conclusions, we recommend doing thorough research.

3. They can have a custom interior.

Would you like a brown, black, or white interior? These are some of the usual colors barndominium owners pick when choosing the interior color. You will have 100% customization control should you purchase a bare unit.

The interior typically depends on the overall vibe or theme you want. The most trending themes you will encounter are as follow:

  • Art deco – This interior design boasts graphic patterns, geometric shapes, polished chrome, glass, mirrors, glossy timber furnishings, and layered lighting. It expresses artistry and boldness in a single, exotic expression. Art deco is elegant and historical at the same time.
  • Bohemian – Bohemian has a more carefree vibe. It feels messy but provides a warm ambiance at the same time. Different materials and textures are combined, forming warm purple and red tones and plenty of layering. 
  • Classical – Europe pioneered classicism in the 17th to 19th century with literature, music, art, and architecture. Classicism will draw your attention to simplicity, sophistication, symmetry, and reliability. Expect heavy drapery, ornate woodwork, and gilded frames. 
  • Contemporary – Modern and contemporary often get interchanged. Remember that modern refers to an era in the early to mid 20th century, while contemporary is today’s design. The contemporary theme is ideal for customers who love to follow the everchanging trend in fashion.
  • Elegant Country – The country’s design style may fit everyone. It draws its inspiration from the calm countryside lifestyle. Anticipate seeing floral fabrics, flowery home designs, and botanical prints. 
  • Hollywood Glam – Hollywood glam is perfect for folks who love leaving a statement. Opulent furnishings, velvets, metallics, and rich color palettes make it the epitome of luxury. We recommend adding lampshades, sequinned cushions, and lights around the bathroom mirror. 
  • Industrial – Industrial design gives out a sensible and rustic vibe. You will notice exposed steel, brick, and timber. It creates an edgy living space full of character. It is a unisex vibe, which is perfect for large living spaces. 
  • Mid-century modern – There is more to mid-century modern than being a practical design. It oozes characters from the 1950s and 1960s. It is simple, scaled back, and retro. 
  • Minimalist – You can typically find minimalist designs in bachelor pads. However, you can also have the same in barndominiums. It is easy to keep clean because of having minimal decorations.
  • Nautical – Deep blue inspires the nautical style. Sailing motifs, rustic furnishings, boating ornaments, and blue color palettes define the nautical style. 
  • Oriental – The oriental style is a combination of Chinese and Japanese expressions. The Chinese style is opulent with rich purple, jade, red, and gold colors. On the other hand, the Japanese style is more minimalist with neutral colors. 
  • Retro – It is all about clean, good fun. It takes advantage of colorful art, ornaments, and furnishings. It will inspire happiness and lift your spirits.
  • Rustic – The rustic design brings the outdoor world inside your home without the risks of inclement weather, bugs, and dust. Think about unfinished stones, reclaimed timbers, and exposed beams. 
  • Scandinavian – The Scandinavian inspires the simplicity of Nordic life, which is an art itself. 

Some prefer mixing two or more themes to create a unique expression of their personality. However, provide attention to venturing into this territory because it could turn out great or messy.

4. The cost of building one differs.

white Barndominium

You must expect to pay anything from USD 100 to USD 130 per square foot. However, the cost is variable and depends on several factors. It includes things such as:

  • land ownership
  • availability of sewer, water, and electricity
  • and the structural type.

If you are thinking of getting an uninstalled shell type, we anticipate the following prices:

  • USD 26,000: 30 feet x 50 feet x 14 feet
  • USD 60,000: 60 feet x 80 feet x 16 feet
  • USD 87,000: 80 feet x 100 feet x 14 feet
  • USD 91,000: 80 feet x 100 feet x 16 feet

You can also build your own barndominium, which could help you save labor costs. At least half of the cost would come from the foundation and the building shell. These kits are pre-engineered and are ready to assemble as soon as you receive them. For more context, a 72 feet x 40 feet unit would cost from USD 153,000 to USD 182,000.

5. Small ones exist for people who do not need lots of space

These small structures are stunning. Because of its space, we recommend starting small and working your way up. It is an excellent option for people who only have a small living space need, such as small families, empty-nesters, and retiring.

There are a few advantages to a small footprint, including the following:

  • Maximize use of the small floor space
  • Cost-effective
  • Proper insulation installation makes cooling and heating easy
  • 2,000 square feet or less area

Getting a kit is arguably one of the best options for building it. These kits are prefabricated to your build site. It means you do not need to spend time sourcing materials, so everything fits together. Getting a kit is an excellent choice if you do not have the time to design the exterior or building from scratch.

Several kit providers offer help and assistance during the entire building process. We think getting support from the kit provider is one of the advantages.

A typical floor area is 30 x 40 square feet or 40 x 40 square feet. You would be amazed to know that even these floor areas can accommodate up to three bedrooms. We think having an open concept maximizes space. You can combine the living room, dining room, and kitchen. It creates an inviting vibe. 

6. Waking up to a simple barndominium home is a dream

There are a few options for a simple living space. Several companies include essential components. They consist of:

  • primary and secondary frames
  • trims
  • closures
  • exterior metal sheets
  • building instructions, and fasteners.

Price is subjective, which is dependent on the floor plan. Prices start at about USD 10 per square foot. They are easy and quick to assemble. The following are some simple floor designs we recommend:

Design 1: Three-bedroom with a shop area

For aspiring unit owners who wish to have ample area for a shop without sacrificing bedroom, kitchen, and living room space, we recommend selecting a barndominium with a large shop area. Depending on the size, the shop could eat up to half of it.

However, you will still have enough room for three bedrooms.

If you need a laundry area, you can use a portion of the shop and turn it into a laundry area. The price for this kind of property will cost about USD 200,000. 

Design 2: 800 square feet mini barndominium

If you only have limited space, you can do so much with an 800 square feet space.

A design similar to this could cost you at least USD 76,000. 

Design 3: Two-story floor plan

A second floor is an excellent solution if you have a limited floor area. It effectively doubles your living space.

The ground floor of your living space can have:

  • a kitchen
  • living room
  • dining room
  • and one bedroom.

The second floor can have multiple bedrooms, depending on your needs. 

These properties are at least USD 180,000. 

Design 4: The big family floor plan

If you are a big family, we highly recommend having at least:

  • four bedrooms
  • a study
  • a family room
  • a kitchen
  • and a garage.

It should be at least 1,889 square feet and cost you at least USD 179,000. 

Design 5: Couple’s floor plan

Couples who do not have kids can opt for a compact floor plan, providing enough living space for their needs. Aside from the bedroom, you could also have enough area for:

  • two closets
  • a porch
  • a kitchen
  • a living room
  • and a storage area.

7. A 40 x 60 option with a shop floor plan is the perfect size for a small family.

Do you have a small family of four looking to move into a new home? We think a 40 x 60 square feet area is excellent for your needs.

Assuming you dislike multi-stories, you can have all bedrooms on the ground floor.

These things should fit comfortably in this space:

  • A master bedroom
  • two bedrooms
  • a kitchen
  • a living room
  • a dining room
  • and a garage

In most cases, you still have enough room to fit a shop area, a porch, and a laundry area.

8. A cheap interior design will save you cash.

If you have a tight budget, one of the aspects where you can cut costs is interior design.

Instead of having several designs inside, you can opt for a plain wall with a few shelves. Fancy lights or chandeliers will add to the overall cost, so we recommend choosing simple lights.

Should you like to add a personal touch to your home, there are several ways to do it with a low budget. The following are worth noting and trying:

  • Add trim to your curtains
  • Hang prints, which will add more life to your home
  • Pot a plant and place it in an area with ample lighting
  • Mask or hide any cords or extension wires
  • Convert old, unused plates into wall art
  • Remove unpleasantly looking items
  • Paint the kitchen cabinets
  • Use a wine bottle as a vase

9. You Can Get a Liveable barndominium in Florida in about six months


Most houses take at least a year to complete. In Florida, most manufacturers guarantee six months or less turnaround time. Aside from living earlier in your new home, you can also save on labor costs.

Barndominiums in Florida are easier and cheaper to maintain than in most areas in the United States. Most providers use steel to build these structures, which is perfect in Florida because of the high humidity and moisture. They are less likely to rot and form mildew.

The average cost is about USD 112 per square foot, excluding furniture, appliances, and cabinetry. These can quickly elevate the overall cost, so keep these factors in mind.

10. The average cost in Texas is USD 100 to USD 150 per square foot.

It is nearly impossible to say the exact cost of building a structure in a particular city because of factors we need to consider.

Considering the typical cost we see in Texas, barndominium prices range from USD 100 to USD 150 per square foot. You may encounter advertisements that cost less. However, these are typically lacking in key features.

These have similar tax rates to the usual houses since tax assessors assign a value per jurisdiction and not per house type.

Similar to other areas, kits are also an option in Texas. You can also build from scratch if you want to customize every part of it.

11. Farmhouse styles have a country flair

Are you looking for a home with a country vibe? These are also available in farmhouse styles. The good news is they have metal structures, making them more durable than the old-fashioned farmhouse.

You can identify these with welcoming porches, big kitchens, and board-and-batten siding. Although there are several variations to the farmhouse style, its core vibe remains present.

The bedroom count is dependent on your needs. Some farmhouses have as few as one bedroom, while others have as many as four. There are also two-story ones.

12. How much it costs to build them depends on several factors.

Cost is probably the leading concern of several aspiring barndominium owners. After all, having one would not be possible if you cannot afford it.

Aspiring owners may spend at least USD 62 to USD 136 per square foot. More popular areas are more expensive, with some ranging between USD 100 to USD 150.

The following are the key factors you must consider before building:

  • Location
  • Labor/Assembly
  • Materials
  • Insulation
  • Foundation
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Sewer
  • Siding
  • Roofing

13. Get yourself a black barndominium if you want to stand out.

Most barndominiums have a white or brown exterior. However, they are rarely in black, or so you think.

A black exterior is the recent craze. These are mysterious and stealthy but inviting and classy.

Before jumping on the bandwagon, black fades faster than your typical brown or white. In effect, you will need to repaint more often, making it expensive in the long term. Unless it is necessary to paint it black or you have spare money for maintenance, we recommend against it.

14. Modern designs resemble regular houses.

No one said you are not allowed to have one that resembles a regular house. Maybe you want the core characteristics of a barndominium but prefer the look and vibe of a modern house structure. You will enjoy this type. Most modern styles have an open concept where the shop area is oversize. 

15. These are ideas you will surely appreciate.

The following ideas should help you get started building your dream home. We hope these ideas are helpful and you can find inspiration from them.

Two-tone paint on the exterior

The sides of a barndominium are metal, making it durable and resistant. These sidings are easy to maintain and are low maintenance. It opens up to a world of several color combinations and possibilities.

Contrasting or complementary colors will make your home stand out from the rest. You can also add accent colors wherever it is appropriate.

Covered porch

A covered porch allows you to relax outside while protected from rain or sun. You can optionally install lights and fans too. 

Screened porch

Aside from extending or covering your porch, you can also install a screen to prevent mosquitoes and insects from getting inside. Moreover, it should also prevent other small insects from getting inside.

16. Get more space with a 2-story design

Several barndominiums only have one floor. If you require extra floor area but only have a limited lot area, we recommend a 2-story or higher unit.

Lot area refers to the total area of your property, while floor area refers to the area of each floor. Most floor plans will have at least one bedroom on the ground floor and the rest on the second. The ground would have a kitchen, laundry area, living room, and dining room as a bare minimum.

You may opt to decide on a different setup depending on your needs. 

17. Indulge in a luxury build

Luxury barndominiums are available to customers who can afford them. These customers need to expect to pay more than the typical price.

We characterize these luxury units with posh interior and exterior designs and a wide open space inside. The average price of these units is USD 250,000.

18. Get yourself a garage if you own or anticipate having a car.

We recommend one with a garage space if you own or anticipate having a car. Most barndominiums do not have a garage, so it might be challenging to look for one.

The garage can either be an attachment to your home or a separate building. Those with a large lot area have the option of choosing either setup.

19. A 2,000 sq. ft. build usually takes three to six months to complete

A 2,000 sq. ft. barndominium takes about three to six months to complete, depending on several factors such as design and budget. It could cost somewhere between USD 200,000 to USD 260,000 to build.

20. You can have up to a 5-bedroom house with a lot area of 2,000 sq. ft.

Assuming you have at least 2,000 sq. ft., you can have a 5-bedroom unit without a problem. Should you decide to have one floor, you can have all five bedrooms on a single floor. However, we think a 2-story five-bedroom barndominium is ideal.

These units have at least two baths. Bigger cut ones can have a bathroom for each bedroom and one shared bathroom. Other areas of the home may have bigger cuts, such as:

  • the kitchen
  • dining room
  • and living room

It’s done to accommodate more people.

21. A basement is a great place for home theater.

Not all barndominiums have a basement floor because it adds to the total construction cost. It is an excellent addition to your home if you have the budget. We recommend leveraging the basement floor for storage or entertainment area.

There are several foundation types, such as crawlspace, partial, full, and walkout basements.

Type of basementDescription
Crawlspace It is a short basement, which typically provides access to electrical and plumbing work.
Partial BasementBuilt within the parameter of a barndominium but does not cover the entire floor area. The surrounding area is a slab foundation.
Full BasementThe floor matches the area of the entire house above it. For example, if the ground floor is 2,000 sq. ft., the basement also measures 2,000 sq. ft.
Walkout BasementSloped terrains use a walkout basement with the back sitting at the slope’s bottom. 

22. Designs with a wrap-around porch is nice to have

A wrap-around porch encloses two or more sides of the barndominium. If you have the extra space for one, we recommend having it. It does consume quite some area. The wrap-around porch would be an excellent place to spend early mornings or late evenings.

23. Here are five steps in financing your project

Owning one is a dream for aspirants. There are several ways to get it, but we will discuss financing in this section. Here are five steps to consider when financing a unit. 

  1. Consider the upfront obligations – Barndominiums require about 25% to 40% down payment because they are specialized buildings. Make sure you have enough money for the downpayment.
  2. Double check your credit score – Your credit score plays a huge role in financing. Make sure you have a good credit score prior to applying.
  3. Reach out to a farm credit loan officer – Contact a farm credit loan officer for a higher approval chance.
  4. Check the document requirements – Like other loans, you need to submit document requirements. It includes things such as proof of income, proof of identification, recent tax returns, and a recent bank statement.
  5. Additional documents – As soon as you get pre-qualified, you will receive a list of additional documentation needed, if required. 

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