The siding on your barndominium could be the one thing that finally tips the scale and really sets your barndominium apart from every other metal building or shophouse on the market in your area. Many factors go into choosing the correct siding for your barndominium project. Style and design are always a deciding factor. You obviously want your finished home to look amazing. Choosing the appropriate siding materials for the weather conditions in your geographic area is often overlooked and regretted later. Some other factors include local building codes and special specifications outlined on your barndominium house plans. So, how do you decide what’s best for your specific build and what are some of your options to begin with?
I was always under the impression siding options for a metal framed barndominium are aluminum in assorted colors. Well, that was only because aluminum sheet metal siding is the standard go-to material and certainly the most cost-effective option a builder would provide. Many barndominium owners/builders wanted different siding options, as conventional homes have. The options are available and in many diverse types of materials. We will explore the amazing benefits and not so amazing downfalls later in this article. The materials that are used to side the exterior of your home can greatly impact the temperature situation on the interior of the home. Insulating a steel framed building can tend to be difficult in colder climates. Metal is a notoriously poor insulator of heat; that is why you don’t see open-air metal coffee mugs sitting around the office. There are other materials much more suited for the job.
Living in the grand technological age that we do insulating steel structures continues to evolve at a rapid pace allowing ever more efficient materials to be developed, incorporated, and ultimately injected into the residential construction market. We are going to focus a lot of this article on wood and metal siding as they are the most popular options on the market today and both come in many different configurations, colors, shapes, and textures.
A wood sided barndominium has a traditional farm like feel which is what most people who are building a barndominium want. They want a story book look to their home whether they are building a log style cabin barndominium or a country cottage or a beautiful farmhouse in a field. Wood has a feel and style that a metal sided barndominium just can’t touch. I’ve noticed more barndominiums being built today with wood siding to get that fresh off the farm feel and I know that at some point in their planning they must have weighed the pros and cons of wood versus metal siding. It’s the first rational question to ask yourself when building a home. There are many more risks involved in siding your home with wood siding. Whether you choose slats or paneling, any wood components are going to be much more susceptible to the environment. The most obvious risks are that wood tends to swell and shrink over time due to temperature and moisture fluctuations in the environment. If left untreated, the wood will rot over time due to the constant moisture. Bugs like to eat wood and make their homes in any wood structure that they can burrow down into. Preventative wood treatment is necessary when it comes to something you’re going to live in potentially forever. Mold and mildew can be a concern when wood gets wet and starts to dry out. Treated lumber is typically enough to prevent anything substantial from forming, however, keep in mind this surface is a prime environment for molds and bacteria to get a solid foothold. Wood is a very high maintenance material to keep up, if done properly it can be hands down the most beautiful and awe-inspiring exterior or interior material you can use in your build, which is why it’s so popular in the barndominiums and shop houses across the country. However beautiful the wood siding is, as we mentioned earlier in the article there are other materials that are better suited for the job.
Metal siding and the development of more robust materials and alloys have come a long way in recent years. Metal siding companies have seen a need for cost-effective alternatives to wood siding that look remarkably similar but provide more stability and longevity than wood. You can order textured metal siding for your barndominium build that looks identical to wood logs or aged barnwood. Instead of wood, which has many problems of its own you’re getting metal that is highly resistant to fire, mold, bacteria, and insect burrowing. Metal becomes a strong barrier for pests, it is highly durable, and fairly energy efficient. The specific metal used is an extremely durable material, designed specifically for architectural stability to withstand winds and rain in extreme environmental conditions. Metal is much stronger than wood and has become the preferred option for most first time barndominium builders, no matter what area of the country they plan to build in. Having a sturdy structure is paramount to the life of your barndominium. It must stand through the worst of storms and come out just as beautiful on the other side.
Polymers and vinyl are a couple of additional options I wanted to quickly touch on. They usually get lumped together because they are similar in appearance and feel. At first glance it’s hard to tell the difference. They are both cost-effective options, however vinyl has dropped out of favor with the public. Vinyl emits toxic fumes that are expelled into the environment when it catches fire, which has made it an unpopular option in recent years. Polymer on the other hand, unlike vinyl, has texture to the material and matches together perfectly so it’s seamless. Polymer siding is not toxic, easy to clean, and at such a low cost and high efficiency, it is a great contender for an alternative to wood siding.
Stucco: Builders in hot & dry areas of the country have a unique opportunity and one you might want to consider; it’s called a stucco exterior. Stucco is a spanish-style cement that is affixed to the outside of the home usually caked onto wood or wire to assist in bonding the cement to the structure. Once it dries it becomes extremely hard and adds a tremendous amount of structural integrity to the exterior of the home. Stucco is a great insulator of heat; it harkens back to the technology of native cultures across the world, constructing mud huts out of water and dirt and allowing the mud to bake in the sun and harden to a rock-like material. Obviously, stucco isn’t designed for wet climates; it’s more commonly seen in the Southwestern regions. Stucco could easily be a great alternative to metal or wood siding depending on what area of the country you plan to build your barndominium.
In today’s market, you have your options of materials in every texture and color imaginable, just make sure to do your research and make a smart choice for your specific project. Remember the risks involved and take any preventative steps to avoid negative implications later after the build is complete.
With all the options for siding on the market it’s easy to get swept up in all the hype. You should consider asking yourself these questions before making a purchase on siding material. Is it a practical option? Is it going to last? What kind of longevity do I get with the product I’m going with? Is it going to be something I must constantly maintain or is it something that I can buy once and it takes care of itself? These questions help keep you on track when making an important decision on a house build. You must live with the siding that you choose, so make sure you really like the color and style that you go with.
Although, this is an entirely different topic for another article, you also want to make sure the color you choose matches your roof correctly. Oftentimes, I drive past newly constructed homes and think, who was in charge of the color matching of that project? The color of the roof needs to complement the color of the siding. The most popular color combination of 2020 was white siding with a black roof, traditional farmhouse style. We will have to wait to see if that trend continues through the remainder of 2021, as it is projected to. I do not see the barndominium trend going away anytime soon, it has just begun. Buildmax is a company that has many floorplans and custom barndominium designs online to choose from all of the plans allowing for any of these siding options to be used. The barndo movement has gained enough traction and momentum to really make a positive impact in the steel frame construction industry, bringing the trend into the mainstream. Now that you know that there are many options to choose from when shopping for siding material for your new barndominium build; what will you end up choosing for your home?