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Why Barndominiums Aren’t as Cheap as you think

Debunking the Myth: Why Barndominiums Aren’t Necessarily Cheap

When it comes to modern housing options, barndominiums have gained significant attention for their aesthetic appeal and supposed cost-effectiveness. However, there’s a common misconception that barndominiums are cheap. In reality, the costs associated with building a barndominium can be quite similar to, or even exceed, those of traditional homes, especially when considering custom-built properties. Here, we explore why barndominiums are often on par with custom homes in terms of costs.

grey barndominium farmhouse

Understanding Barndominiums

Barndominiums are Custom Built Homes Styled like traditional barns on the outside and like a brand new home on the inside. Barndominiums originally referred to barns converted into living spaces. But today, they are more commonly purpose-built structures that combine residential living quarters with versatile open spaces such as workshops, garages, or large storage areas. Their design flexibility and modern aesthetic have made them a popular choice among those looking to build personalized homes.

Customization and Quality

One of the primary reasons barndominiums can be as expensive as custom-built homes is their high level of customization. Unlike standard homes, which might be built en masse in a subdivision, barndominiums are typically designed from the ground up to meet specific needs and preferences. This customization can involve:

– **Unique floor plans:** Tailored to individual lifestyle requirements, including open spaces for large gatherings, specialized rooms for hobbies, or accommodations for home businesses.
– **High-quality materials:** Owners often choose upgraded materials for durability and aesthetics, which can increase the overall cost.
– **Advanced features:** Integration of modern technologies for energy efficiency, such as superior insulation, advanced HVAC systems, and solar panels.

Construction Costs

While the basic shell of a barndominium can be more straightforward and potentially cheaper than traditional construction, the interior finish-out often accounts for a significant portion of the budget. The cost can quickly escalate depending on choices in:

– **Interior finishes:** Custom cabinetry, high-end appliances, and luxury floorings, such as hardwood or high-quality tiles, can be quite costly.
– **Site preparation and foundation:** Depending on the location, extensive groundwork may be required to prepare the site for construction, which can add unexpected expenses.
– **Utilities and services:** Especially in rural areas, extending utilities like water, electricity, and internet can significantly increase costs.

Regulatory and Permitting Costs

Barndominiums must comply with much of, if not all of the same building codes and regulations as traditional homes. In many regions, obtaining the necessary permits for a barndominium can be as complicated and costly as for any other new construction. These regulatory requirements can include:

– **Building permits:** Ensuring the structure meets local codes for safety and design.
– **Zoning laws:** Navigating zoning restrictions can be complex, especially if the land was not previously zoned for residential use.
– **Environmental assessments:** In some areas, environmental impact studies are required before construction can begin.

Market Comparisons

In the real estate market, barndominiums often compare more closely with custom-built homes than with mass-produced housing. They are typically constructed to owner specifications, which means they can feature high-quality construction and unique design elements that command a premium price. As a result, their resale value can be quite favorable, reflecting their custom nature and appeal.

white barndominium with 3 car garage

The notion that barndominiums are inherently cheap is a misconception. While they offer unique advantages, such as design flexibility and the potential integration of living and workspaces, the costs associated with these benefits can make them as expensive as, if not more than, traditional custom homes. For those considering a barndominium, it’s essential to budget realistically, acknowledging that this style of home is, in essence, a custom-built residence tailored to specific desires and needs.

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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