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Tired of traditional homes and craving something unique and trendy? Look no further – the latest craze in home design is here: the barndominium!

You can now raise your kids in a BARN! 😮😝

Those who need an alternative living space and extra space for another function often turn to the barndominium.

It is a blank canvas allowing you to create the space you need and want. They also come in all different sizes.

I am a huge fan of the flexibility many barndominiums offer, which is why this trend has become so popular in the South. We tend to have a lot of outdoor toys and need a place to keep our expensive hobbies safe and protected. Sometimes our toys are more expensive than our house! 🏎️ 🛺 🏍️

I also love combining rustic barn charm with modern comfort. There is something so inspiring in seeing the creativity that goes into these spaces. They offer plenty of room and a warm feel with open floor plans, high ceilings, and industrial elements. 

Explore this trend with us and find your dream home with a twist!

Before you send me hate mail about my belief in less house, more life motto, and writing about Barndominiums (some are massive!) The reason I appreciate a good barndo as an alternative living space is because of the flexibility and functionality it offers. After all, if you can save money by building this type of structure, you can still have more life!

Key Takeaways

  • Barndominiums are more cost-effective to build than a traditional house
  • They cost between $80 – $150 per square foot to build
  • You will often hear them called Barndos
  • A Barndominium is an alternative housing option that allows the combination of living space and additional functional space (Shop, Rec Room, Man Cave, Rec Vehicle storage)
  • Barndominiums are durable, energy-efficient, and highly-customizable.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I can earn commissions. If you decide to purchase through my links, it is at no cost to you.

What’s a Barndominium? 🏠

A barndominium is a type of residential building made of metal that combines a barn and a condominium. It resembles a barn on the exterior but is converted into a living space inside. 

They have gained popularity and are a trendy housing craze as a cost-effective and customizable option. They often feature large open spaces, high ceilings, and rustic décor while providing space for storing vehicles, equipment, or livestock. 

They can be used as full-time residences, vacation homes, event venues, or workshops. The term barndominium describes any combination of barn-like structure with living space, regardless of how much of each type of space is included.

Where did the term Barndominium come from?

Although the phrase was first introduced by Connecticut real estate developer Karl Nilsen in 1989, the surge in popularity of this architectural style can be attributed to a 2016 episode of the HGTV show Fixer Upper. In that episode, Chip and Joanna Gaines transformed a barn into a modern dwelling in Waco, Texas.

So essentially, the barndominium was birthed when someone found a fixer-upper barn and used the converted barn as alternative housing. 

I assume it was hard to spell barndominium, so you will see it often referred to interchangeably as Barndo. I am personally grateful for that!

Who Are Barndominiums For?

Barndominiums are unique and versatile house styles that appeal to various individuals and large families. They offer a rustic or industrial aesthetic with their metal or steel construction, which appeals to those who appreciate the charm of a barn-like structure. The open floor plans provide flexibility for customization, making it ideal for personalizing the living environment over a conventional home.

They cater to individuals with hobbies or professions that require a large workspace, such as woodworking or car restoration. These homes are also energy-efficient and low-maintenance due to their construction materials. 

These homes often are found in rural areas or on farms, offering a scenic and peaceful environment for those who desire a rural or farm lifestyle. 

This barn house provides a unique and affordable alternative housing choice for those seeking a distinctive property. Their appeal is that you can create your dream space from a blank canvas instead of building a traditional home.

What Can You Do With a Barndominium?

 A barndominium is a type of building that combines the features of a barn with those of a traditional home. I am not sure why someone chose to put the word barn and condominium together – perhaps because it sounds cool! Either way, it caught on!

Here are some common uses:


The most common use for a barndominium is as a primary or secondary residence. The open floor plan allows for a flexible layout, and the high ceilings create a spacious and airy feel. 

Home Office or Studio

The large open area in a home can be perfect for a home office or studio space. Whether you need a quiet workplace or a dedicated area for your artistic pursuits, the open layout allows customization to suit your needs.

Retail or Commercial Space

Some people use a portion of their space as a retail or commercial space. With the rise of e-commerce, having a physical store can be a unique selling point. The open concept of a barndominium provides ample space to create a storefront or showroom.

Workshop or Storage

The versatility of the interior makes it an ideal space for a workshop or storage area. Whether you enjoy woodworking or automotive hobbies or need extra space for your belongings, the open layout can be customized with shelving, workbenches, and equipment.

Barndo Gallery

What Are The Advantages Of Barndos ✅


Barndos are usually more cost-effective to build than a house that is “traditional” or other types of construction. This can be attributed to several factors:

Construction Costs

Barndos are typically constructed using pre-engineered steel building components, often cheaper cost to build than traditional building materials such as wood or brick. This reduces construction costs significantly.

Speedy Construction

The construction process and timeline are often faster to build than traditional homes. Since many components are pre-engineered, they can be easily assembled, thus reducing labor costs and time.

Multi-Purpose Design

Barndos may offer a flexible design to those needing to combine a living area and other uses, such as storage, workshop, or hobby space. This eliminates the need for separate buildings, reducing overall costs because you build a fully custom space under one roof.  

Energy Efficiency

Seel is a naturally energy-efficient material that can reduce energy loss and improve thermal performance. Additionally, the design element of barndos allows for better natural ventilation and lighting, improving air quality while reducing the need for artificial lighting and cooling systems. This leads to lower energy bills and long-term savings.


Barndos are durable and can last for decades with proper maintenance. The wood components of barndos are strong and designed to withstand wear and tear. Steel framing is highly resistant to rusting or corrosion, allowing it to remain intact over time.

Because of the durability of these materials, barndos tend to require minimal maintenance compared to other construction methods. This means that property owners can save money on repairs or replacements over the long term.

Environmental Benefits

Barndos also have a positive impact on the environment. Wood and steel use allows more recyclable materials to be used in construction, reducing waste and limiting environmental damage caused by other building materials such as concrete or brick. A solid choice if you’re looking to do your part. 


Barndos are designed to withstand the elements. Steel frames and wood components, such as siding or roofing, are very strong and resistant to damage from wind, rain, hail, snow, and extreme temperatures. The materials used for barndo construction typically require low maintenance and can be expected to last for decades with proper care. 


Barndos are highly customizable, allowing for unique designs and versatile floor plans. Due to the strength of steel framing, modifications can often be made without compromising structural integrity. This makes barndos ideal for those who want to customize their space or need a structure that provides flexibility in design. 

What Are The Downsides of Barndos? 😫

Financing For Barndominiums may be Harder

While the barndo may be growing in popularity, they are not as common as traditional homes, which means some lenders may hesitate to issue loans for them. Additionally, because they can be used for residential and commercial purposes, determining what type of loan is needed or accepted can create confusion.

Custom Barndominiums and Resell

Barndominiums are not for those who plan to resell their property in the near future. Due to their unique nature and potential zoning issues, they can be harder for buyers to find and value than traditional homes. Since a barn home may be more difficult to finance, it could narrow your resell buyer pool.

The good news is because barndominiums are becoming increasingly popular, more lenders are getting on board with their lending products. 

Zoning restrictions

Zoning restrictions vary depending on the location and local ordinances. It is important to check with the relevant authorities or consult a professional to ensure compliance with the specific regulations in your area.

popular barndominium sizes 1

How Much Is A Barndominium? 💵

The cost of building a house depends on location, size, finishes, and specific design features. However, on average, the cost of a new barndominium can range from $ 80 to $ 150 per square foot. So, if you are considering a 2,000-square-foot home, the cost could range from $ 160,000 to $300,000. 

If you can do some of the work yourself, you can easily build a barndo for $ 100 per square foot, which is much cheaper than traditional home costs. 

What’s the Difference Between a Barndominium and a House?

 A barndominium and a house are different types of homes with distinct characteristics.


A house is typically built using traditional construction methods and materials, such as wood framing or concrete blocks for walls and a roof made of shingles or tiles. On the other hand, a barndominium is a metal building that combines a barn-like structure with living quarters. It usually has steel framing, metal siding, and a metal roof.


A house is exclusively designed for residential living, while a barndominium combines a barn or storage area with a living space. Barndominiums often have a large, open storage area or workshop adjacent to or underneath the living space.


Houses are typically designed with various architectural styles, from modern to traditional, with various exterior finishes. Barndominiums, on the other hand, have a rustic or industrial look due to their metal construction. However, interior finishes can vary and depend on the owner’s preferences.


Houses offer flexibility for customization and design options to meet individual needs and preferences. Barndominiums take customization to a whole new level. Customization will vary widely depending on the need of the space. 

What Are The Cheapest States To Build A Barndominium?

The cost of building a barndo varies by state, but the cheapest states to build barndos are typically in the South and Midwest. 

Materials may be cheaper in these states due to lower labor costs and fewer regulations. Some states also offer incentives like tax credits or abatements that can reduce building costs. 

How Long Does It Take To Build A Barndominium?

The amount of time needed to build a barndo can vary depending on the size and complexity of your project. Generally, it takes around three to six months for an average-sized project to be completed.

Larger projects may take longer, up to nine months or more. Factors such as weather conditions or delays in obtaining permits may also affect the build time.

Is A Barndominium Right For You?

Barndos can be a great solution for those looking to escape city living. They offer the freedom of open living space and the affordability of traditional frame construction.

However, before settling on a project, it’s important to consider all the pros and cons. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Is this location isolated or close to amenities?
  • What will be the total cost of the project?
  • How much maintenance will be required? 
  • Do I have all the necessary permits and local approvals? 


Building a barndominium is an exciting and cost-effective way to enjoy life in the country. It can provide comfort, privacy, and all modern living amenities. However, weighing all factors before making such a big decision is important.

With careful planning, you can create the perfect home away from home that will last for years. With endless options to create your custom space, deciding what to build and how to use the space may be hard.

Once you’ve answered all the questions and done your research, you can confidently move forward in this unique building type that might be the perfect solution for your needs.

Happy building!

Frequently Asked Questions

 Are barndominiums good in cold weather?

Barndominiums are well-suited for cold weather climates. Proper insulation and ventilation can help keep the temperature inside comfortable in any season. Many builders offer options such as radiant heat flooring to add an extra layer of warmth. 

Will a barndominium last longer than a house?

Barndominiums are built with materials designed to withstand the elements. Steel framing is designed to resist pests and other damage, extending its lifespan. Proper maintenance and upkeep can also help ensure your barndominium lasts for years. 

Are barndominiums safe in bad weather?

Barndominiums are typically built with steel frames and other materials designed to withstand high winds, heavy rain, and snow. However, they should still be properly secured to prevent any damage caused by extreme weather conditions. Storm protection features such as impact-resistant windows or doors can keep your family safe.

Are barndominiums loud when raining?

No, barndominiums are not typically loud when it rains. The steel frame and other materials used in their construction help to provide excellent insulation and noise reduction. 

Why are barndominiums becoming popular?

Barndominiums have gained popularity because they offer a unique and stylish alternative to traditional homes. They have a rustic charm and can be customized to suit individual preferences.

Are barndominiums more affordable than traditional homes?

Barndominiums are often more affordable than traditional homes. The construction costs are typically lower, and they can be designed to be energy-efficient, saving on utility bills in the long run.

What heating and cooling options are available for barndominiums?

Barndominiums can have various heating and cooling systems, such as HVAC units, radiant floor heating, or ductless mini-split systems. The choice depends on your preferences, climate, and budget.

Do barndominiums require different insurance compared to traditional homes?

Barndominiums may require specialized insurance coverage due to their unique structure. It’s important to consult with an insurance provider to ensure proper coverage for your barndominium.

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