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Finding a Good Building site for a Barndominium

How to Find a Good Building Site for a Barndominium

Building a barndominium offers a unique blend of rustic charm and modern amenities. Selecting the right building site is a crucial first step in the process, as it can significantly impact the construction phase and your satisfaction with the final outcome. This how-to guide provides detailed steps on how to find an ideal site for your barndominium, ensuring that you consider all necessary factors.

Step 1: Define Your Needs and Preferences

Before beginning your search, clearly outline what you need and want in a property. Consider the size of the barndominium, the lifestyle you envision, and any specific requirements such as accessibility for the elderly or space for large vehicles. Additionally, think about your preference for the surrounding environment — do you prefer secluded woodland, open fields, or something close to urban amenities?

Step 2: Understand Zoning and Building Regulations

Research local zoning laws and building codes in the areas you are interested in. These regulations can affect everything from the maximum size of the building to the types of activities you can undertake. Contact local building departments or consult with a land use attorney to understand the specific restrictions and requirements of each potential site.

Step 3: Evaluate the Topography

The physical characteristics of the land can greatly influence the ease and cost of construction. Look for a site that matches the design and floor plan of your barndominium. Flat land is generally easier and cheaper to build on, while sloped lots may offer better views but require more extensive groundwork. Consider how the landscape will affect drainage, the foundation, and the overall design of your home.

Step 4: Check Soil Conditions

Soil type can impact the foundation of your barndominium. Some soils may require special treatments or more expensive foundation systems to ensure stability. It’s advisable to conduct a soil test, which can provide information on the bearing capacity, drainage properties, and potential for expansion or contraction.

Step 5: Assess Accessibility and Infrastructure

Ensure that the site is accessible via roads that can accommodate construction traffic and is connected to necessary utilities like water, electricity, and sewage. If utilities are not readily available, you’ll need to consider the cost of installing them. Additionally, evaluate the availability of internet and cell service, especially if you plan to work from home.

Eco-Friendly & Sustainable Living

Step 6: Consider Environmental Factors and Risks

Investigate potential environmental risks such as flooding, wildfires, or extreme weather conditions. Sites in flood zones or wildfire-prone areas may require additional insurance and preventative construction measures. Also, consider the site’s orientation for natural light and energy efficiency. South-facing properties can maximize solar gain, which is beneficial in colder climates.

Step 7: Plan for Future Development

Research the area’s future development plans through local planning offices. Knowing whether new schools, commercial developments, or highways are planned can help you anticipate changes in the environment and property values.

Colorful clouds at sunset from Red Rock Lakes NWR *Credit-On the wing Photography*

Step 8: Visit Potential Sites

Visit each potential site multiple times at different times of the day and during different weather conditions. This will give you a better understanding of the daily experience of the location, including traffic patterns, noise levels, and general activity. It’s good to spend some time at the site to get a good feel of the surrounding environment. Can you hear any Highway traffic? can you hear the neighbor’s animals?  Are there any secluded parts of the property in which to build? How close are the nearest houses to the property? These are all great questions to ask yourself, once you start you’ll continue to ask yourself these and other questions when you’re looking at a potential property it can save you a lot of headaches in the future.

Step 9: Consult with Experts

Before making a final decision, it might be beneficial to consult with architects, builders, or a Company that specializes in exactly what you’re trying to accomplish with your build. They can provide valuable insights into the suitability of a site for a barndominium, based on their previous work experience. They Will oftentimes see issues with a property that the owner wasn’t even aware of previously simply due to their experience working on various job sites and having that expertise in clearing and prepping land for building on.

Step 10: Make Your Decision

After thorough research and consultation, weigh all factors to make an informed decision. Remember, the right site not only fits your immediate needs but also accommodates potential future additions or modifications that you may decide to build later, leaving space to expand may be a wise decision at a future time, if not, that is perfectly fine as well It’s always there as an option.

*Landscape photography by On the Wing Photography by Mia McPherson

Finding the perfect site for your barndominium is a major undertaking that sets the foundation for your new home. By methodically assessing each potential site against these criteria, you can ensure that your chosen location will meet your needs and provide a satisfying, long-term living environment.

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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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