Monday, June 24, 2024
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Barndominiums: Cost-Effective Building

A fresh new housing trend has been making a splash in the U.S real estate market this past year. The barndominium has emerged as a frontrunner in the house plan arena right alongside traditional style floor plan designs that have had decades to gain popularity and amass a healthy following. Barndominiums have accomplished the same amount of popularity in a much shorter amount of time, particularly based on their affordability being one of a barndominium’s most prominent selling points. Barndominiums offer a unique blend of practicality, versatility, and cost-effectiveness that has captivated homeowners across the country. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind the comparatively lower costs associated with barndominiums and the factors that determine that low cost.

white barndominium with a wrap-around porch

  1. Repurposing Existing Structures:

One of the primary reasons barndominiums can potentially be cheaper is their ability to utilize existing structures. Sometimes, barndominiums are created by renovating or converting barns, agricultural buildings, or other industrial-type structures. While this isn’t typical, it could save a significant amount of money if done correctly. By repurposing these structures, homeowners can save significantly on construction costs. The sturdy framework and basic infrastructure of the original building reduces the need for extensive foundation work and other costly construction processes depending on the extent of the original structure. This isn’t an option I would recommend out of the gate just because of the complexity involved; I would say it’s a situational call. There are a lot of determining factors that come into play in a scenario such as this.


  1. Simplified Construction Process:

Compared to traditional construction processes, barndominiums typically have a simpler construction process. The clear-span design, commonly found in barns, eliminates the need for load-bearing interior walls. This allows for a more flexible layout and reduces construction complexity and expenses. Additionally, the straightforward design facilitates faster construction, which can save both time and money. Having the option to go with a post frame, stick built, or steel frame construction gives you some really solid options and, depending on what part of the country you’re building in might determine which option is the most cost-effective. Steel construction kits can sometimes be the simplest to erect as it all bolts together like a big erector set. So as long as you have the proper tools and machinery to position the steel beams and bolt the frame together, it can oftentimes be simpler and less time-consuming than framing up your home with 2×4 stick construction.

  1. Cost-Effective Materials:

The building materials are going to be your main expense during the construction process. Barndominiums often employ more cost-effective building materials than traditional construction, further contributing to their affordability. Metal is a popular choice due to its durability, low maintenance requirements, and fairly reasonable cost for what you end up with. Metal siding and roofing are not only cost-efficient but also provide excellent protection against the elements for many years into the future. Similarly, concrete floors and walls are durable and economical, ensuring long-term savings as well. It’s important to factor in future maintenance when choosing a cost-effective material option. You don’t want to go with a cheaper material if ultimately you’ll need to replace it or repair it in a handful of years. The most durable materials, even if more expensive up front, can be a smarter, much cheaper option in the long run, wiith much less maintenance, time, and money expended.


  1. Energy Efficiency:

Another big factor many first-time home builders neglect Is energy efficiency and that’s one thing that ends up making barndominiums so cost-effective at the end of the day. The open floor plans and high ceilings allow for better air circulation, reducing the need for extensive heating and cooling systems. Additionally, using a thermal heating solution for your flooring can drastically improve your energy efficiency. Heat rises, so when the source of that heat begins below floor level it has only one direction it could possibly go and that’s up. In the process of moving up, that heat will surely start to dissipate, but before it does it’s going to slowly and steadily heat the walls as well. This is going to keep your first floor at a comfortable temperature without ever touching your HVAC thermostat. Better insulation in your barndominium will directly reduce energy consumption and save you money on a constant basis. The savings on utility bills over time make barndominiums an attractive option for budget-conscious homeowners or, honestly, for anyone who doesn’t want to flush their hard-earned dollars down the tube.

barndominium interior great room

  1. Flexibility in Design:

Barndominiums offer homeowners a high degree of design flexibility. Since the internal layout is not constrained by a bunch of load-bearing walls, it leaves you with a wide-open floor plan. In many instances, the space can be easily customized to suit your individual preferences. This adaptability eliminates the need for expensive remodeling or renovation projects in the future. Homeowners have the freedom to allocate their budget according to their priorities such as if you and your partner decide that you want an in-ground pool in your backyard. Maybe you want to invest in high-quality furnishings, modern appliances, outbuildings, or even use that investment to add additional living space onto your barndominium after the fact. Simply having that freedom and flexibility to build your barndominium in exactly the way that you want is reason enough to build a barndominium over something more traditional. Design flexibility is going to allow you to stay within your budget and also build what you want at the same time.                                                                                          


  1. Rural Locations:

Barndominiums are frequently built in rural locations where land is much more available and costs much less compared to the same size lots in the city. There are some financial advantages to building your barndominium in a rural location as opposed to building closer to a populated city. I’ve opted to build my personal barndominium in rural Kentucky this summer while trying my hardest to stay on budget as well as make sure tasks are completed on time to keep my build on track to finish up by the end of summer. The lower cost of land in a rural location isn’t the only thing drawing people to build in a rural setting. The financial reasons are probably the deciding factor, but when you start to really look at what that money affords you is when you start to realize why rural living is such an attractive option for many first-time barndominium builders. Your money goes much farther in a rural location. You’re going to be able to afford more overall as well as having the luxury of plenty of land between you and your next-door neighbor, so privacy won’t be an issue like it would be within the city limits. All the while having the luxuries of rural living right at your fingertips.

black barndominium with large barn doors leading to the entryway

Barndominiums have gained popularity due to their affordability and unique blend of practicality and comfort. From repurposing existing structures, to utilizing cost-effective materials, employing simplified construction methods, and focusing on energy efficiency, these homes provide a budget-friendly alternative to traditional housing. With a plethora of flexible designs to choose from online that genuinely appeal to those seeking a rural lifestyle, barndominiums continue to upset the real estate market by offering a cost-effective housing solution without compromising on the quality of materials or aesthetics.

Brianna Euler
Brianna Euler
From a young age, Brianna has had an interest in reading, writing, and nature. When she isn't researching or writing for her own enjoyment, she enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with her two dogs.
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We are super excited with results and service. Tony offered really helpful suggestions. Our dream build was pretty complicated but he and his designer were able to meet our needs.

James B

Recent Client