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What is another name for a barndominium?

Exploring the World of Barndominiums: Alternative Names and Lingo

Barndominiums, the increasingly popular hybrid homes that combine the rustic charm of barn-style architecture with the comfort and efficiency of modern living spaces, have captured the imagination of homebuyers and builders alike. While “barndominium” has become the most recognized term for these unique structures, the concept and its variations are known by several other names, reflecting the diversity in design, purpose, and cultural influences. This article delves into the alternative names for barndominiums and explores the nuances that each brings to the table.

white farmhouse style barndominium

Barn Homes

A straightforward alternative, “barn homes” emphasizes the residential aspect of these structures. It speaks to the transformation of traditional barn spaces—once solely used for agricultural purposes—into cozy, livable homes. This term often conjures images of warm, expansive interiors that retain rustic features like exposed wooden beams and lofty ceilings.


“Barndos” is a colloquial abbreviation of barndominiums, offering a catchy, shortened version that captures the essence of these structures in a more casual manner. It’s used frequently in casual conversation and marketing materials, appealing to a younger demographic or those looking for a more laid-back lifestyle.

White barndominium with lofty porch

Barn-Style Houses

This term highlights the architectural inspiration behind the concept. Barn-style houses are designed to mimic the appearance of traditional barns, with their distinctive gabled roofs and wide, open spaces. However, unlike actual barn conversions, these structures are built from the ground up with the intention of being used as homes, allowing for more flexibility in design and construction.

Metal Buildings with Living Quarters

Focusing on the construction aspect, this name describes a key feature of many barndominiums—their metal frame and exterior. Metal buildings with living quarters are prized for their durability, ease of maintenance, and the efficiency of construction. This term is often used in contexts where the structural qualities and benefits of metal construction are emphasized.

Shop Houses (Shouses)

A blend of “shop” and “house,” shouses refer to buildings that combine workshop or garage space with residential living areas. This term is particularly popular among hobbyists and professionals who require significant workshop space adjacent to their home, underscoring the functional flexibility that barndominiums offer.

Residential Metal Buildings

Metal Frame Kits , known for their construction technique that uses Light Gauge steel for the entire Frame and structural support, Steel frame kits can also be adapted for commercial use. “Residential or commercial use the Steel Frame kits are versetile and adaptable” making Steel perfect for barndominiums, particularly emphasizing the building technique and the expansive, open floor plans that result from it.

The Appeal of Barndominiums Under Any Name

Regardless of the terminology used, the appeal of barndominiums and their equivalents lies in their ability to offer customizable, spacious, and often cost-effective alternatives to traditional housing. They cater to a wide range of lifestyles, from those seeking a country living experience without sacrificing modern amenities, to individuals and families who require large, multifunctional spaces that accommodate work, hobbies, and home life under one roof.

white barndominium with cupolas

Future Prospects

As the popularity of barndominiums continues to grow, it’s likely that new terms and variations will emerge, reflecting regional preferences, evolving architectural styles, and the innovative use of materials. The concept’s flexibility and adaptability to diverse needs and preferences ensure that, regardless of what they’re called, barndominiums will remain a significant and cherished part of the housing landscape.

While “barndominium” has become the catch-all term for these versatile structures, the variety of alternative names highlights the broad appeal and diverse applications of this unique style of home. Whether known as barn homes, barndos, or shouses, these structures offer a unique combination of practicality, style, and comfort that continues to attract attention and admiration from a wide 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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