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Drywall Alternatives For Your Barndominium

Exploring Drywall Alternatives for Your Barndominium

Barndominiums, known for their versatility and open-concept living, provide a unique opportunity to explore alternative materials that can enhance both the functionality and aesthetic appeal of your space. While drywall is a common choice for interior walls and ceilings due to its cost-effectiveness and ease of installation, several alternative options can offer distinct advantages, from durability and moisture resistance to a unique visual appeal. This article delves into some of the most compelling drywall alternatives for your barndominium, highlighting how each can contribute to creating a space that is not only beautiful but also practical.

1. **Wood Planks and Shiplap**

Wood planks or shiplap can infuse your barndominium with warmth and rustic charm, making them a popular choice for those looking to add character to their space. Wood is versatile, allowing for staining, painting, or distressing to achieve your desired look. Beyond aesthetics, wood planks provide excellent insulation and can be relatively easy to install, making them a practical choice for both walls and ceilings.

Using wood planks and shiplap as alternatives to drywall for barndominium walls can significantly enhance the aesthetic appeal and warmth of your living space. These wood options offer a blend of rustic charm and modern elegance, making them perfect for the distinctive style of a barndominium. Here’s a closer look at the benefits, considerations, and design possibilities when choosing wood planks and shiplap for your walls.

Modern gray sofa with pillows in front of an empty brick wall. Square composition. interior template. designer copy space renders with blank picture poster frame copy space. wooden coffee table, large plant, and wall lamp.

Benefits of Wood Planks and Shiplap

1. **Aesthetic Appeal**: Wood planks and shiplap brings natural beauty and warmth to interiors, creating a cozy, welcoming environment. The texture and depth they add to walls can make rooms feel more inviting and lived-in.

2. **Versatility in Design**: Whether you’re aiming for a rustic, farmhouse look or a sleek, contemporary design, wood can be finished in various ways to suit any style. Staining, painting, or whitewashing wood planks or shiplap allows for endless customization options.

3. **Durability**: Wood walls are inherently durable and can stand up to daily wear and tear better than drywall. They’re less prone to damage from minor impacts, making them suitable for high-traffic areas or homes with pets and children.

4. **Installation and Repair**: Installing wood planks or shiplap can be a straightforward process for those with some DIY experience. Additionally, repairs are generally simpler with wood, as individual planks can be replaced without the need to patch and repaint entire sections of wall.

5. **Insulation and Acoustics**: Wood provides natural insulation, helping to keep your barndominium warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It also improves the acoustics of a room by dampening sound, a benefit in open-concept living spaces.


– **Cost**: Depending on the type of wood and finish selected, wood planks or shiplap can be more expensive than drywall. However, considering their durability and the value they add to your home, they can be a worthwhile investment.

– **Maintenance**: Wood walls may require more maintenance than drywall, especially if they’re left unfinished or with a natural stain. To keep them looking their best, you may need to periodically clean, stain, or seal the wood.

– **Moisture Sensitivity**: Wood can be sensitive to extreme humidity changes, leading to expansion or contraction. In very damp environments, it’s essential to choose woods that are resistant to moisture or treat them with a protective finish.

Green Southwestern Accent Wall

Potential Design Ideas

– **Accent Walls**: Use wood planks or shiplap on an accent wall to create a focal point in your living room, bedroom, or kitchen. This can add texture and interest to your space without overwhelming it with wood.

– **Ceilings**: Extending wood from the walls to the ceiling can create a cohesive, cabin-like feel. This is especially effective in rooms with high ceilings or loft areas in your barndominium.

– **Mixed Materials**: Combine wood with other materials like metal, brick, or stone for a dynamic, layered look. This approach allows you to enjoy the warmth of wood while incorporating industrial or modern elements.

– **Colorful Finishes**: Don’t be afraid to paint your wood walls. A bold color on shiplap or wood planks can transform a room, making it brighter and more contemporary.

Incorporating wood planks and shiplap into your barndominium’s design offers a fantastic opportunity to create a space that’s not only beautiful and warm but also reflective of your personal style. These wood options provide a durable, versatile alternative to drywall, with the added benefit of bringing a touch of nature into your home. Whether you choose to use them throughout your barndominium or as accent features, wood walls can make your space truly stand out.

2. **Plywood and Oriented Strand Board (OSB)**

Plywood and OSB are durable, cost-effective alternatives to drywall. These materials offer a unique, industrial look that can be painted, stained, or left as is for a more rustic appearance. Plywood and OSB are stronger than drywall, providing better resistance to impacts and wear. They’re particularly suitable for workshop areas or spaces where durability is a priority.

3. **Metal Panels**

For a modern industrial vibe, metal panels, including corrugated metal, can be an excellent choice. Metal panels are durable, fire-resistant, and easy to clean, making them ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and utility areas. They also reflect light, which can help to brighten and enlarge the appearance of a space.

Cement Panels

4. **Cement Board**

Cement board is a robust, moisture-resistant material perfect for areas prone to dampness. While it is heavier and requires more effort to install than drywall, it provides a solid, durable surface for high-moisture areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Cement boards can be finished with paint, tile, or plaster to match your interior design.

5. **Reclaimed Wood**

Reclaimed wood offers an eco-friendly option that brings history and unmatched aesthetic depth to your barndominium. Each piece of reclaimed wood carries unique marks and patinas, contributing to a rich, textured look that new materials cannot replicate. While sourcing and installing reclaimed wood may be more labor-intensive and costly, the result is a space filled with character and warmth.

Beautiful Reclaimed wood floors.

6. **Brick and Stone Veneer**

Incorporating brick or stone veneer can add a touch of natural beauty and timelessness to your barndominium. These materials provide unmatched durability and can serve as stunning accent walls or focal points. Although brick and stone veneers require a substantial support structure and can be more expensive, they offer a classic look that never goes out of style.

7. **Wainscoting**

Wainscoting is a decorative wall treatment that adds elegance and architectural interest to any room. Available in wood, PVC, or MDF, wainscoting can be painted to complement your decor and is typically installed on the lower portion of walls. Besides its aesthetic appeal, wainscoting offers practical benefits, such as protecting walls from scuffs and impacts.

Acoustic Panels come in different shapes colors and sizes

8. **Acoustic Panels**

For those concerned about sound insulation, especially in open-concept layouts, acoustic panels can provide both functional and aesthetic benefits. These panels, available in various materials, including fabric and foam, can significantly reduce echo and noise, enhancing the acoustics of your space while adding a modern design element.


Choosing an alternative to drywall for your barndominium kits walls and ceilings allows you to customize your space according to your specific needs, preferences, and style. Whether you’re drawn to the warmth of wood, the durability of metal, the rustic charm of reclaimed materials, or the elegance of wainscoting, there’s an option to suit every taste and functionality requirement. Each alternative offers its unique set of benefits, from moisture resistance and durability to aesthetic appeal and insulation properties, enabling you to create a barndominium that is not only visually stunning but also practical and comfortable.

Aaron Scott
Aaron Scott
Aaron Scott is a freelance writer and researcher that has written hundreds of articles for online companies in the area of construction, design, finance and automotive. He's a Southern boy that enjoys creek fishing, hunting and camping. He's rarely seen without his trusted beagle hound "Scooter"
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