I almost always wonder midway through a project, when things get tough, if it’s really even worth the trouble doing all this work myself. Then I convince myself of my resolve once again and power through. I find that it’s always worth it in the end. “Time is money” as the famous saying goes. This was potentially a direct quote from President Trump himself, if I remember correctly. If time really is money, then by every minute of your own time that you pour into your build the more money you gain in return in the form of equity. You definitely don’t want to get in over your head with any type of D.I.Y project or have too many projects going at one time. You will eventually get bogged down and the jobs take twice as long as they should or simply don’t get finished at all. Before you know it, you have a handful of unfinished projects that end up costing you more money by having to hire a professional to complete the project on your behalf. I recommend one project at a time, this way it’s much easier to stay relatively focused on finishing one thing at a time as opposed to focusing on the juggle of adding on more projects. This defeats the whole point of doing the work yourself to build equity in your barndominium. Take your time and do your research, know what you’re getting into and what skills are required for the job. Make smart choices when deciding on which project to undertake. I tend to do my projects in order of importance with the most important coming first. I typically base the importance of a project off my rough budget. How much it should cost me and the usefulness, practicality, and value it will bring to my build after the job is finished. You can determine how limited you are based on your skillset and the tools you have available to complete the job with. From this vantage point you can take a look and evaluate your options more objectively.
I started to ask myself, in what portions of my build would I see the most value by doing the labor myself? As I started doing some more intensive research, I was somewhat shocked to find out that your best shot at quickly adding value to your barndominium with a D.I.Y project is hidden in doing your floors. Most new flooring is simple to install. Tongue & groove wood or vinyl flooring being a simple option. If you’re looking for something a bit more challenging but an overall stronger and more eye appealing option, I would highly recommend installing and staining your own real wood floors, nothing says classic barndominium like stained wood flooring. Flooring can change the whole look of your interior overnight at the same time, adding equity to your barndominium, I would consider this a win-win.
The kitchen is actually a tie with the flooring when it comes to D.I.Y projects that can add equity to your home build. There are endless projects you can find to do in your kitchen and endless options for D.I.Y flooring as well. The beauty of living in a technologically advanced world like we do today is that literally anyone can go out to the salvage materials store and pick out a nice sink and simply install it with hand tools, a couple pointers from a friend, and a YouTube video. Maybe tilework is more your thing, then you can really shine and show off your handiwork. Tile is a fancy option that not everyone can afford to have installed as it’s tedious labor, in turn making it expensive labor. The same can be said for installing appliances or cabinets and countertops, I’ve installed both. It’s a pretty straightforward process that again you can watch being installed on YouTube. Seriously! Why pay for installations when you have the tools and skills to do the job right there at the build site waiting. YouTube is a fantastic resource! It’s essentially a step-by-step guide for any first-time home builder wanting to build their own home. Help with any project is only a click away. Remember that every single penny you’re not spending is adding value to your finished barndominium.
D.I.Y Doors & Windows are a tricky option to recommend to someone. Modern windows usually take a professional to install so unless you have some previous experience windows are not a project that I would feel comfortable taking on. Something I would feel comfortable with installing would be a door. Don’t underestimate the power a decorative door can have on your barndo build. It can totally alter the look of the exterior from the road. This is called curb appeal in the industry. Doors can be an easy project or a challenge depending on how many doors need to be hung and if your doors are prepped for paint or stain. Another way to add value to your project right now is by purchasing your barndominium house plans online through a company like Buildmax.com. They can build you a complete set of professionally drawn house plans down to your exact specifications. You can also purchase one of their pre-designed sets of plans that are ready today.
I want to leave you with something you can use from this article so included in this last section I’ve compiled a list of some projects that I would consider doing to bring value to my own barndo build, aside from projects already mentioned above.
Painting would be another easy D.I.Y project that you will get a really good value out of for the amount of time you put in. Painters get paid well and if you don’t mind taking the time to do the work, you’ll save some big money. It’s a good way to start adding equity to your home with little upfront investment.
An excellent D.I.Y idea worth investigating in, especially if it’s in your wheelhouse, is landscaping. I felt it was well worth mentioning for the potential value it can add to your finished barndominium. There’s more money being made in the landscaping market than ever before. Shrubs and trees, along with flower beds can no doubt make a noticeably big impression on the exterior. Landscaping can change the character of the home and at the same time boosting the curb appeal from the road. So, to simply say it brings value to your barndominium is a massive understatement.
Finishing a basement will most certainly add value to your barndominium build but could also on the same token take significantly longer than some of the other projects we have discussed in this article. Finishing a basement could mean a lot of things depending on what you want out of the space. Many people opt to build spare bedrooms such as an office, a media room, or an exercise room. You’re only limited by your imagination when it comes to how you could design and decorate your basement. Having a finished basement is going to instantly increase the value of your barndominiums. Find projects you feel comfortable doing and finish your basement at your own pace.
Don’t get in over your head, just because you can save money on a project doesn’t mean it’s the right course of action. If you don’t have the skills to do a job, it’s best to let the professionals take over. Overall, if you fail to complete the job someone else has to come in and fix it, this won’t be cheap. Just make sure you’re up to the task before you start and have a good solid plan in place to finish the job. I always recommend having someone else on hand during these projects, someone with experience. It’s always best to have an extra set of hands for the heavy lifting and it’s just safe practice. I never work at a job site alone if I can keep from it just for safety reasons. These are just a few ideas. If I can leave you with anything it would be to use your imagination and be creative with your project. Don’t be afraid to make it your own, tackle projects with confidence and determination. Allow your budget & planning to guide the way and you’ll be in your dream barndominium sooner than you realize.