Saturday, June 15, 2024
HomeBarndominiumShop House Designs and Barndominium Floor Plans: Exploring the Pros and Cons

Shop House Designs and Barndominium Floor Plans: Exploring the Pros and Cons

When it comes to designing a barndominium or considering alternative living spaces, shop house designs and barndominium floor plans have gained a significant foothold in the industry in recent years. The popularity has sky-rocketed with more and more companies coming out of the woodwork to stake a claim in the emerging industry. These unique and versatile structures offer a combination of residential living and a functional workspace, but they also come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages compared to traditional home designs. 

In this article, we will slightly delve into the world of shop houses and barndominiums, exploring some of their top benefits and drawbacks in contrast to conventional housing options, and in the process, hopefully gain an understanding of the sharp incline in popularity that’s recently been sweeping the nation. white shophouse with 2 car garage and gable over the front entryway

Shop House Designs:

Shop houses, often referred to as shophouses or shouses, are a distinct architectural style commonly found all over the world in some capacity or another. They were traditionally built to accommodate both commercial businesses on the ground floor and residential living spaces above. However, the concept of shop house designs has transcended geographical boundaries and has become increasingly popular worldwide due to their unique charm and versatility. In the US, you’re most likely to see a two car garage that would constitute the shop portion of the home with the rear or the upstairs being the living quarters. These are very common in the southern United States but have spread all over in the past 5 years. They are very practical especially for someone who will need a shop on a daily basis, ie: mechanic, auto repair, wood-working, metal/ machine shop. The options are literally endless. I’ve seen shop houses used as day-care facilities, yoga studios, and even converted into a corner store with rooms on the 2nd floor for residential purposes. Shop houses are the ultimate utilitarian style home, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be absolutely stunning on the inside.

white barndominium with grey roof and attached garage

Pros of Shop House Designs:

  1. Dual-functionality: One of the main advantages of shop houses is their ability to combine a living space with a commercial or retail space. This feature makes them an attractive option for individuals who want to operate a small business from their premises or rent out the commercial space for additional income. Just having the extra shop space can be great for storage, or act as a simple 2-car garage. 
  2. Efficient use of space: Shop houses often make efficient use of limited urban spaces. The vertical design allows for compact living quarters while utilizing the lower floors for commercial purposes, maximizing land utilization in urban areas by building upward opposed to building outward.
  3. Architectural styling: Shop houses are known for their distinctive architectural features, such as intricate facades, colorful shutters, charming balconies, and colorful metal siding. They can many times add character and uniqueness to neighborhoods and provide a glimpse into the cultural heritage of a certain region. Many people think the shop houses lack styling cues, and that they are kind of boring in comparison to other designs. They do tend to be more simplistic on the outside than most barndominium style builds. Although the exterior designs may be more simplistic, you still have the entire interior to style in any way you desire. This is where we see these mind blowing luxury interior designs but you can’t tell from the exterior until you step inside to reveal all the luxurious trappings like wood floors & stone countertops, etc.
  4. Proximity to amenities: Since shop houses are sometimes located in bustling urban areas, residents there would have easy access to amenities such as shops, restaurants, and public transportation, enhancing convenience and quality of life. In the United States, you’re likely to find shop houses in a more sparse rural environment just as you are with barndominiums. By having a shop attached to your home it allows for you to have the space to work and also allows you to have what you need on hand and ready to go. Having that extra space can really come in handy.

barndominium interior master bathroom

Limitations of Shop House Designs:

  1. Limited space: Shop houses often have limited floor space compared to traditional homes, particularly when the commercial area occupies the ground floor. This can present challenges for individuals who require larger living areas or have a growing family. Shop houses generally have smaller living areas due to the larger shops attached. 
  2. Noise and privacy: Living above a commercial space or an active shop means there may be increased noise levels during business hours, or even if it’s your private shop the sound will travel. This could potentially impact the residents’ privacy and tranquility. However, with proper insulation, noise levels can be reduced. 
  3. Maintenance and renovations: The preservation of historical shop houses may come with strict regulations and guidelines. Renovations and modifications to the exterior or structural elements might be subject to approval, limiting design flexibility. However, if you realize this before the build you can adjust for certain maintenance and renovations for later on to make that process easier. 

white shophouse barndominium with 5 car garage

As you can see, shop house designs offer a variety of pros that can really set them above traditional homes. While it does have cons, those can also apply to traditional homes, such as the noise and privacy. Shop houses are truly a great option for everyone and are a game changer for those with businesses.

Brianna Euler
Brianna Euler
From a young age, Brianna has had an interest in reading, writing, and nature. When she isn't researching or writing for her own enjoyment, she enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with her two dogs.
- Advertisment -


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