Winter Planning for a Spring Barndominium Build
If you are planning to build a barndominium this spring, then the winter months are an ideal time for preparation. Taking the time to do your research and make sure you have all of your resources in place before starting construction can be invaluable in ensuring a successful project outcome. Here are some steps to help you get started on planning your barndominium build during the winter months.
Determining what you can afford and what your project is going to cost are two key budgeting numbers you really need to know before going to far. The formula that most bank use to determine what you can afford for a mortgage is (your monthly take home pay X .28) So if you take home $7,000 a month multiplied by .28 = $1,920 that’s the maximum mortgage payment you can afford. This includes PITI (principle, interest, taxes and insurance). You can figure your mortgage payments by using an amort calculator from BankRate.com
Budgeting the cost of your barndominium requires a bit more research that a formula. While building a barndominium can cost less that most conventional style homes you’ll need several things in place before anyone can give you a quote. BuildMax offers barndominium kit prices in steel, conventional wood and post frame methods but a kit is only one factor in the overall price of your budget. Most people that spend extra time planning usually save more money. To determine the cost of your home you will need 3 primary things: plans, materials and a builder.
Note: Because there are so many misconceptions about barndominiums we have taken the word off our house plans. Our plans are titled “Custom Home Plan BM2500”. Keep in mind that Builders, Bankers and Building departments may interpret ‘What is a barndominium‘ differently. Our definition of a barndominium is this; “a barndominium is a style of architecture with an influence of country, farmhouse and modern design that draws inspiration from traditional barns” That doesn’t mean that a barndominium has to look like a barn but the style of architecture is inspired by the elements of a barn like wide open spaces, sliding barn doors, lean-to porches and much more. Most BuildMax house plans don’t even resemble barns, they are beautiful barndominium styles that would be perfect in a neighborhood or rural setting. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t build a barndominium in your county, can you imagine someone saying that you can’t build a country style home? I don’t think so. It’s an educational issue not a homebuilding issue.
The first step to planning and budgeting is to decide on the size, shape, and style of your house plans. Start by researching floor plans at BuildMax.com. You can also find inspiration from pictures of barndominiums on Pinterest and Google, which may help to give you ideas on design elements to incorporate into your own build. Once you have an idea of what your barndominium could potentially look like, purchasing a set of detailed floor plans is highly recommended. This will give you a clear and accurate picture of the total space available and help you quote out your material package. A builder will also need a full set of plans before they can give you an accurate estimate. If you plan to modify an existing barndominium floor plan or custom design a new house plan, winter is the perfect time to get started as modifications and custom plans usually take about a month or so to complete.
The next thing to check off your list is land. If you already own land that’s great but even if you own land there are a lot of things to consider. Has the land been ‘perk tested’ for a septic tank or does the property have access to city sewer. What about water? Is it available at the street or do you have to drill a well. If the property is in an HOA (Homeowners Association) it may have more restrictions that a lot in the county. You also need to consider that some HOA’s have month dues that will add to your budget. If you don’t have land yet you can always go to Zillow.com and locate land for sell, you can also filter the recently sold properties so you can determine what land has been selling for in your area. If you do own land keep in mind that you can use the land as your down payment at the bank. If you have owned the land for several years you may be able to use the appreciation of the property as equity also.
Determining what building materials to use is now as simple as a phone call to a BuildMax representative. BuildMax is the first barndominium company to offer their house plans in kits. We offer steel, conventional wood and post frame barndominium kits. This is a huge advatange to the homeowner since it allows you to shop between the different homebuilding methods. For instance, when wood went sky high during the 2020 pandemic, steel was cheaper than wood and building a barndominium in steel was the best option. But as of the time of this article that’s not the case. Today wood homebuilding packages can be as much as 25% less than metal building homes. The advantage to wood framed barndominiums is there are more builders familiar with wood framing than steel framing which makes it easier to find framers to build your barndominium. BuildMax uses 29 Ga metal siding and metal roofing on all their homes but you can also use Hardi-board siding or board and batten. Keep in mind that the home building package is just one line item on your budget and there are a lot of other items that make up the total budget.
Finally, make sure to check with your local building codes and regulations prior to construction. As you are planning for a barndominium build, there may be special requirements that need to be followed in order to ensure that the construction is up-to-code. It is also important to check with your local building codes and regulations prior to construction in order to make sure that the construction is compliant with any applicable laws or ordinances.
The builder is a major key to your homebuilding project and overall budget. Finding a good builder can be challenging but don’t give up. Do your due diligence asking for references and following up with them to make sure the building you choose has done what they promised and the homeowners were satisfied with their performance. BuildMax may be able to help you find a reputable builder in your area. To save money let the builder know that you have your own homebuilding kit that will come with everything needed to dry-in the house. A dry-in package includes framing, siding, roofing, windows and doors. Most barndominium kits come with a complete construction package that explains how to build the house.
Finding a good construction lender that has a one-time close is a great benefit. A one-time close or CTP (construction to permanent loan) is a loan that funds the build during construction and then when the home is completed the loan rolls into a permanent 30 year mortgage without another closing. Construction lenders use a draw schedule to fund the project. As work progresses the builder will request draw payments. Usually the bank will hire inspectors to visit the site and make sure the work has been completed before funds are released. Getting a pre-approval before going to far in the process may be a good idea. Also remember that the higher your credit score the better rate you will get and better rates mean you can afford a higher mortgage.
By taking the time to winter plan for your barndominium build upfront, you can be sure you’re building the best structure possible. Remember to research zoning laws, consult with experts, and explore floor plans and design elements before beginning your project. Keep in mind that winter isn’t that long and spring will be here before you know it so get started today. Click here to read our article on creating a barndominium story board.