Thursday, February 29, 2024
HomeBUILDMetal Barndominium VS Wood Frame home: Which is cheaper?

Metal Barndominium VS Wood Frame home: Which is cheaper?

Steel Barndo Kits vs. Stick-Built: A Value Comparison

white barndominium with large barn doors

Many considering jumping on the barndominium trend get stalled sorting the financial trade-offs of prefab steel structural kits versus conventional light wood framing. Both deliver homes blending country character with modern finishings, so weighing expenses and benefits helps determine the ideal structural starting point.

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On the surface, ordering pre-engineered barndo building components for onsite assembly seems the faster, simpler and cheaper route. Complete building packages encompassing framing, sheathing and accessories quote around $35-$50 per enclosed square foot – routinely below equivalent stick-built residence pricing. Factory component optimization even promises cost predictability resisting lumber’s ongoing inflated volatility.

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Ah – but there’s the budget-busting rub hiding behind the initial price tag! Because a move-in ready barndominium demands much more than just the shell system’s upfront price suggests. Necessary additions like insulation, utilities rough-in, and interior finish materials often double or triple total expenditures – negating any framing cost savings against wood construction. Excavation and specialized equipment needs further narrow the value advantage.

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Moreover, builder familiarity plays a role. Local construction crews understand standard building techniques, while unfamiliar steel kits intimidate some. And good luck finding specialty subcontractors available promptly for custom metal structures in rural locales! Coordinating unfamiliar teams risks delays and communication stumbles compounding costs.

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Below is a general price comparison between a 2,500 square foot metal barndominium kit home and a traditionally stick-built home of equivalent size:

Barndominium Steel Building Kit:

– Structural framework package (posts, beams, girts, purlins, roofing, fasteners) – $70,000
– Additional materials & labor:
– Excavation, site prep – $15,000
– Foundation & flatwork – $30,000
– Insulation, utilities rough-in – $25,000
– Exterior finishes (siding, roofing, etc) – $35,000
– Interior (drywall, paint, flooring) – $50,000
– Total Estimate – $225,000

Traditional Stick-Built Home:

– Lumber framing materials & labor – $55,000
– Additional materials & labor:
– Excavation, site prep – $15,000
– Foundation & flatwork – $30,000
– Insulation, utilities rough-in – $22,000
– Exterior finishes (siding, roofing, etc) – $30,000
– Interior (drywall, paint, flooring) – $45,000
– Total Estimate – $197,000

In summary, while the initial structural kit costs may appear cheaper upfront for metal barndominiums, finishing interior spaces and coordinating less familiar contractors often eliminate any total savings versus standard wood frame construction. However, on the flip side of the coin, you’re getting a more robust structure for the money. Location and complexity also influence pricing differences.

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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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