I often find myself wondering if building My own barndominium is still worth the money in the current climate we find ourselves in:
To Barndo or Not to Barndo? Evaluating the Investment in Today’s Market
Barndominiums remain wildly popular thanks to HGTV nostalgia for Fixer Upper-esque rural renovations. But with higher steel prices and labor shortages, is transforming old barns or sheds into homes still a smart investment? We break down the cost-benefit to help guide build-vs-buy decisions.
The Building Cost Case
Constructing a barndominium runs just $100-$200 per sq. ft – 60% less than $300+ per sq. ft. for conventional homes. You invest mainly in structural enhancements and finish work rather than full ground-up building. Current steel pricing certainly exceeds 2020 lows but hasn’t impacted barndominium structural frameworks drastically since they utilize cost-efficient 29 gauge steel. Better to pay 10-15% more on framing now than accept perpetual rising lumber expenses.
Yes securing contractors proves tougher these days across all residential projects. But barndo’s flexibility around DIY finishing means you dictate timing. Whether tackling the full custom build or hiring pros amidst their availability, you control priority and process. Stick framing and basic mechanical/electrical skills grease the skids for substantial sweat equity opportunities insomnia of handing your vision fully over to a builder.
Strong Resale Value Potential
Average sold barndominium price per square foot holds its own easily against traditional housing in 2022/2023. Buyers enthuse over the expansive footprints and rustic pastoral character that suburban developer homes just can’t replicate. Limited inventory also sustains favorable valuation for those entering the market. Steel barndominiums in particular offer durable construction and desirable flexibility that reassures investors if holding long-term.
Building one’s own barndominium makes even more sense considering today’s dense housing markets and elevated mortgages. Anyone priced out of their preferred neighborhood can erect custom rural living at reasonable cost instead. Controlling more of the construction without fully outsourcing gives owners both cost transparency and peace of mind around quality. Just ensure proper permitting and inspections to guarantee code compliance. For those willing to balance sweat and savvy, barndos remain a worthy endeavor sure to return lifestyle and equity payoffs for years to come.