When considering building a barndominium, there are several major things to avoid to ensure a smooth and successful construction process. Whether it be failing to get necessary permits or forgetting to include important aspects, there are plenty of mistakes that can be made. Here are a few of those key points to avoid and keep on the lookout for when considering a barndominium build:
- Lack of Proper Planning: Avoid rushing into the construction process without adequate planning. Take the time to thoroughly assess your needs, budget, and desired features. Create a detailed plan that includes architectural elevations, floor plans, and a comprehensive construction timeline. Taking the time to work with experienced designers allows you to thoughtfully plan out your barndominium, and companies such as BuildMax are able to offer invaluable insight that may help you with your process.
- Choosing Inexperienced or Unqualified Contractors: Hiring inexperienced or unqualified contractors can lead to poor craftsmanship, delays, and costly mistakes. Research and select reputable contractors with experience in building barndominiums. Request references, check their past work, and ensure they have the necessary licenses and insurance before they start.
3. Ignoring Building Codes and Permits: Failure to adhere to local building codes and obtain the required permits can lead to legal issues and costly fines. Familiarize yourself with the local regulations and ensure that your project meets all the necessary codes & requirements for your specific jurisdiction; there may be special requirements based on your geographic location. Make sure your floor plans are also up to proper codes, such as the latest IRC code.
4. Overlooking Site Considerations: Carefully assess your chosen site before starting construction. Consider factors such as soil conditions, drainage, access to utilities, and any potential zoning restrictions. Ignoring these considerations may lead to unexpected costs & complications during the construction process and even revocation of your permits if you’re unlucky enough. If you’re not sure what your local zoning laws are, you can call your building department for more information on those laws.
5. Inadequate Budgeting and Cost Estimation: Avoid underestimating the costs involved in building a barndominium. Create a detailed budget that includes not only construction expenses but also land acquisition, permits, utility connections, and potential contingencies. Allow for some flexibility to accommodate unforeseen expenses as they frequently occur during the building process. Talk to a barndominium consultant and speak with local builders and subcontractors in your area to get prices for material and labor to add to your budget. This will create a much more accurate, realistic budget for you to work with.
6. Compromising on Quality Materials: Choosing low-quality materials to save costs may result in future maintenance issues and decreased durability. Invest in high-quality materials that ensure structural integrity, energy efficiency, and longevity. It’s essential to strike a balance between cost-effectiveness and long-term value. You want the best materials you can afford without breaking the bank. Often times, settling for something cheaper when beginning the build can become more costly in the long run due to poor quality.
7. Poor Insulation and HVAC Planning: Barndominiums often have large open spaces, which can lead to challenges in maintaining a comfortable indoor environment. Pay attention to insulation and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), being aware of the space you have to heat & cool by planning to ensure energy efficiency and year-round comfort.
8. Neglecting Future Functionality: Anticipate your future needs and incorporate them into the design and layout of your barndominium. Consider factors such as storage space, expansion possibilities, and potential changes in lifestyle or business requirements (pets, children, marriage, job requirements, etc.). This goes back to the proper planning stage, as you’ll want to have those details ironed out when you’re having your plans drawn up.
9. Lack of Communication and Project Management: Open and effective communication with your builder and sub-contractors is crucial throughout the construction process. Maintain regular contact, discuss any concerns promptly, and ensure everyone is on the same page. Proper project management and coordination are essential to avoid delays and misunderstandings. So many projects are disrupted each year on account of miscommunication or just a lack of communication skills in general.
10. Skipping a Comprehensive Contract: A detailed contract protects both parties and clarifies expectations. Ensure that the contract includes project specifications, payment schedules, timelines, warranties, and provisions for potential changes or unforeseen circumstances.
By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can increase the chances of a successful and satisfying barndominium construction experience. Many people overlook these details or don’t consider them and it can lead to a lengthy process with unsatisfactory results. With thorough planning, research, and communication, you’ll achieve your vision for a reliable, unique barndominium home that you can enjoy for many years to come.