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What is a Good Size For a Barndominium?

Determining the “Perfect size” for a barndominium depends on various factors including personal needs, lifestyle, budget, and the land available for construction. Barndominiums, known for their versatility and efficiency, offer a unique blend of residential and potential workspace within a single structure. This adaptability makes them an appealing option for a wide range of individuals, from families looking for a comfortable living space to artists seeking a combined living and studio area. In this article, we delve into what constitutes a good size for a barndominium, supported by reasons and valuable insights.

white barndominium with 3 car garage

Understanding Barndominium Sizes

Barndominiums typically range from small (around 1,000 square feet) to large (over 3,000 square feet), with the dimensions significantly influenced by the intended use and the occupants’ lifestyle. The “good size” is subjective and can vary dramatically from one owner to the next

When considering the size of a barndominium, several key factors play a crucial role in determining the most appropriate dimensions for your needs. Here’s a list of considerations to take into account:

1. **Purpose and Use**: Determine the primary function of your barndominium. Will it serve as a primary residence, a weekend retreat, a workspace, or a combination? The intended use greatly influences the required size, as living spaces, workshops, and storage areas each have different space requirements.

2. **Family Size**: The number of people who will be living in the barndominium is a critical factor. More family members typically mean more bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces are needed, thus requiring a larger size.

3. **Lifestyle and Preferences**: Consider your lifestyle and any specific preferences or needs. For example, if you enjoy entertaining, you may want a larger kitchen and dining area. Hobbyists might require additional space for a workshop or studio.

4. **Future Expansion**: Think about potential future needs, such as a growing family or the desire to add a home office. Opting for a slightly larger size or designing the layout with expansion possibilities in mind can save you from costly renovations later on.

black barndominium

5. **Budget**: Your budget plays a significant role in determining the size of your barndominium. Larger structures cost more in terms of materials, labor, and ongoing maintenance and utility expenses. Establish a budget early on to guide your size decisions.

6. **Land Size and Constraints**: The size and characteristics of your land can influence the size of your barndominium. Local zoning laws, building codes, and the physical features of the site (such as slope and soil type) may impose limitations on the building’s size and placement.

7. **Design and Aesthetics**: The architectural style and design elements you prefer can impact the size. Open floor plans, high ceilings, and large windows might necessitate a larger footprint to achieve the desired aesthetic and feel.

8. **Energy Efficiency**: Larger homes can be more challenging and expensive to heat and cool. If energy efficiency is a priority, you may opt for a more compact design or incorporate energy-saving features to offset the size.

9. **Resale Value**: Consider the marketability of your barndominium if you plan to sell in the future. While a larger, customized barndominium may be perfect for your needs, it might not appeal to the average buyer, potentially affecting resale value.

10. **Regulatory Restrictions**: Check with local authorities for any restrictions on building sizes in your area. Some jurisdictions may have limits on the ratio of building size to land size (coverage ratio) or maximum allowable square footage.

11. **Storage Needs**: Evaluate your storage requirements for both personal belongings and any equipment or vehicles. Sufficient storage space can prevent the living areas from becoming cluttered and maintain organization.

12. **Outdoor Living Spaces**: If you value outdoor living, consider how much of your land should be allocated to patios, decks, gardens, or other outdoor features, as this may influence the Barndominium Floor Plans.

By carefully considering these factors, you can determine the most suitable size for your barndominium that meets your current needs, allows for future changes, and aligns with your budget and lifestyle.

white barndominium with large barn doors

Ideal Size Ranges

1. **Small Barndominiums (1,000 – 1,600 sq ft)**: Ideal for individuals or couples, these compact barndominiums can offer a cozy living space with 1-2 bedrooms and baths, alongside a modest living area and kitchen. They are budget-friendly and easier to maintain.

2. **Medium Barndominiums (1,600 – 2,500 sq ft)**: Suitable for small to medium-sized families, this range allows for 2-3 bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, and more generous living and dining areas. It can also accommodate a small workshop or studio space.

3. **Large Barndominiums (2,500 – 4,000+ sq ft)**: These Barndominium Floor Plans are the best for larger families or those requiring substantial workspace, offering 3-4 bedrooms, several bathrooms, spacious living areas, and ample room for workshops, garages, or studios.

Statistical Insights

While specific data on barndominium sizes is limited with Barndominiums being so fresh to the market, the trends in traditional home sizes can provide some context. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 Characteristics of New Housing, the average size of new single-family homes was approximately 2,322 square feet. This figure suggests that a barndominium falling within the medium size range (1,600 – 2,500 sq ft) could align with the average American family’s space requirements, providing a useful benchmark for prospective barndominium owners.


A “good size” barndominium balances the occupants’ needs and desires with practical considerations such as budget and land constraints. For those seeking a blend of living and working space, sizes in the medium range offer flexibility without excessive maintenance demands. Ultimately, the ideal size of a barndominium is one that supports the owner’s lifestyle and goals, providing a comfortable, functional, and efficient living environment. As the popularity of Steel Frame barndominiums continues to grow, their design adaptability ensures that, regardless of size, these structures can meet a wide array of needs, making them a viable option for an increasingly diverse audience.

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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