Saturday, July 13, 2024
HomeBarndominiumWhat is a barndominium?

What is a barndominium?

Ok everyone let’s clear the air and settle this once and for all. What is a barndominium you ask? This article will explain what a barndominium is and is not. Their seems to be a lot of misinformation about barndo’s these days and I hope that by reading this article we can shed some light on the issue. Some people will tell you that a barn-do has to look like a barn because “barn” is in the name. That’s kind of true, some barndominium’s do look very similar to a barn while others do not resemble barns at all. So who is right, barn, no barn? I say both. Take a look at these two barndo’s below and tell me what you see.

black barndominium

barndominium exterior

The top image clearly resembles a “Monitor Style” barn but the one below does not resemble a barn at all. Both of these are what we call a “barndominium”. Simply put, barndominium’s are a style of homes just like a farmhouse and Shouse or Shophouses. BuildMax is redefining the way people see the modern barndominium. They are custom designing new barndo styles every week. 

barndominium vaulted ceiling

While BuildMax is inventing new ways to design these homes there are many characteristics that stay the same. Most barndominium’s have metal siding and metal roofs. Their exterior style may vary but many people love the barndo style because of the look, the cost factor and the open floor plan options.

black barndominiums

Black barndominium’s have been extremely popular and they are popping up all over the country. There is something stealthy about the black siding and black roofing that attracts young and older homeowners alike. The black barndominium above has wood accents that add a country farmhouse vibe to the look. The black awnings and corbels along with the black window frames lends to this emerging style of homes that fit perfectly in a country setting and an urban environment. 

white barndominium

White barndominium’s are just as popular as black barndominium’s. The white barndo tends to resemble a farmhouse more than the black but no matter which one you prefer the black and white barndominium movement is here to stay. Wood exterior doors and gooseneck light fixtures are a perfect accent to any barndominium floor plan you choose. 

post frame barndominum

The biggest misconceptions of the barndominium is that it must be framed with steel. This simply is not true. BuildMax designs their barndominium plans so they can be built using three different methods; stick-built, steel frame and post frame or more commonly known as “pole barn”. If you find a barndominium floor plan you like you can easily stick build the plan using conventional lumber, span the roof trusses 40-50 feet and have a very open floor plan. When you add steel siding and metal roof material you won’t even know the structure was stick-built. 

Another method of building a barndominium is to post frame the structure by using 6″X6″ post with girts and purlins to hold the metal on the side and roof. Post frame has been used for years in building traditional barns and outbuildings. This method is most popular in the south but has taken off in many areas to the nation. If you can find a post frame builder this most likely will be the most economical way to build a barndominium. In post framing there is less materials since you can space the post some 10’+ apart and only use 2″x4″ girts on the sides for the metal. Click here for a cool video of a professional post frame constructed barndominium. 

steel barndominium

The most common but not least expensive method is the steel barndominium. There are several steel manufacturers that do an excellent job with residential barndominium’s and has relationships with the top suppliers of metal barndominium’s. The hybrid metal/wood products are the most durable and cost effective method to build. Red iron post and web trusses are termite resistant and when you add steel siding and roofing you have a great fire barrier for those areas of the U.S. that are prone for forest fires.

wood barndominium

No matter what building method you choose most people always use steel siding and roofing on their barndominium. It really is the most common thing these homes have in common. Recently some metal siding companies have started selling steel siding that resembles wood siding. You get the beauty of wood and the safety of metal. Now that’s the perfect combination for the country barn lover. 


With barndominium’s so popular now there is a new kid on the block, we call it the Shouse or Shophouse you can read more about them in a recent post on our blog. They are a variation of the barndo style but have larger shops or garages attached. In many cases the shop portion of the Shouse is larger than the living space of the house. 


Barndominium floor plans are in great demand these days and BuildMax offers stock floor plans and custom designed barndominium floor plans in a variety of shapes and sizes. From a simple 1500 SF lake house to a 5000SF shophouse filled with amenities, we have them all. Many people opt to custom design their own barndominium so they can get exactly what they want. Custom designing a barndo typically costs around $1.00 to $1.25 per covered square foot to design a complete set of blueprints that include 11-15 pages of homebuilding details. 


Hopefully this article has answered what a barndominium is, and if you are interested in talking with a barndo specialist you might try calling or texting BuildMax today.

As a Internet visionary in the early 2000’s, Tony has developed several successful web-based homebuilding companies assisting thousands of families across the nation. He has been married to his high school sweetheart Arlene for 40 years. They live in rural Kentucky near their two adult children and four grandchildren.
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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