A Comprehensive Guide to Costing Your Dream Barndominium Home

allweb Barndominium

A barndominium is a unique and increasingly popular type of residential building that combines the rustic charm of a barn with the comfort and functionality of a modern home. The term “barndominium” is a portmanteau of “barn” and “condominium,” reflecting the dual purpose of these structures as both living spaces and often, storage or workspace areas.

Barndominiums have experienced a significant surge in popularity in recent years, driven by a combination of factors that appeal to a diverse range of homeowners. The rising popularity of barndominiums can be attributed to their unique aesthetics, affordability, spacious interiors, customization options, energy efficiency, and suitability for rural and suburban living. As more people seek versatile, budget-friendly, and visually appealing housing solutions, the barndominium trend is likely to continue gaining momentum in the housing market.

The cost of building a barndominium can vary widely depending on a range of factors, including location, size, design, materials, labor costs, and the level of customization. Here we’ll list down some cost considerations for building a basic barndominium.

Factors Influencing Barndominium Cost

Location and Land Costs

  1. Urban vs. Rural Locations: The location of your barndominium has a substantial impact on cost. Urban areas often have higher land costs and stricter zoning regulations, potentially increasing overall expenses. In contrast, rural areas typically offer more affordable land, potentially reducing the total project cost.
  2. Land Size and Terrain: The size and terrain of your land parcel can affect costs. Larger parcels may require more extensive site preparation and utilities installation. Challenging terrains, such as rocky or uneven land, might necessitate additional work and expenses to make it suitable for construction.

Size and Layout

  1. Square Footage: The total square footage of your barndominium is a major cost driver. Larger structures require more materials and labor, thus increasing costs. The desired size of your living space should align with your budget.
  2. Number of Bedrooms and Bathrooms: The number of bedrooms and bathrooms directly impacts the interior layout and plumbing requirements. Adding extra bedrooms or bathrooms will increase construction costs, as well as the cost of fixtures and finishes.

Design and Aesthetic Choices

  1. Architectural Style: The architectural style you choose for your barndominium can affect costs. Elaborate or custom designs with intricate features may require more labor and materials, driving up expenses. Simpler styles tend to be more cost-effective.
  2. Exterior and Interior Finishes: The choice of materials and finishes for both the exterior and interior plays a significant role in costs. High-end finishes, such as hardwood flooring or premium countertops, can substantially increase expenses. Conversely, budget-friendly options can help control costs.

Site Preparation

  1. Clearing and Grading: Preparing the land for construction involves clearing vegetation, trees, rocks, and debris. The extent of clearing and grading required will depend on the condition of your land, and more extensive work can lead to higher costs.
  2. Foundation Type: The type of foundation you choose, whether it’s a simple slab, crawl space, or full basement, will impact costs. Basements are typically the most expensive, while slab foundations are generally more cost-effective. The choice also depends on local soil conditions and building codes.

Barndominium Construction Costs


Framing: Framing involves the construction of the skeletal structure of your barndominium. The choice of framing materials, such as wood, steel, or hybrid options, will significantly impact your budget. Wood is a common and cost-effective choice, but steel offers durability and long-term savings.

Roofing: Roofing materials like metal, asphalt shingles, or concrete tiles affect both the aesthetics and longevity of your barndominium. Metal roofing, while initially more expensive, tends to require less maintenance and has a longer lifespan.

Siding: The exterior siding material, whether it’s metal panels, wood, or other options, contributes to the overall look and maintenance requirements of your barndominium. Each material has its own cost considerations and durability factors.

Windows and Doors: The type and quality of windows and doors you choose can significantly impact energy efficiency and aesthetics. Consider energy-efficient windows and doors to reduce long-term utility costs.

Labor and Construction Fees

General Contractors: General contractors oversee the entire construction process, from planning to completion. While hiring a general contractor can simplify the project, it comes with management fees. Weigh the convenience against the added cost.

Subcontractors: Specialists like electricians, plumbers, and HVAC contractors play crucial roles in the construction process. Hiring subcontractors individually can be cost-effective if you’re comfortable managing the project yourself.

DIY vs. Hiring Professionals: Consider your own skills and the complexity of the project when deciding between DIY and hiring professionals. DIY can save money but may require more time and effort.

Barndominium Interior Costs

Kitchen and Appliances

Cabinets: The cost of kitchen cabinets can vary significantly based on material, quality, and customization. High-end custom cabinets will be more expensive, while stock or semi-custom options can be more budget-friendly.

Countertops: The choice of countertops, such as granite, quartz, laminate, or butcher block, will affect costs. Higher-end materials tend to be more expensive but offer durability and aesthetics.

Appliances: The cost of kitchen appliances depends on brand, features, and quality. High-end, energy-efficient appliances can be a substantial investment. Consider whether you need premium appliances or if budget-friendly options will suffice.

Sink and Faucet: Sink and faucet choices range from basic to luxurious. The material, finish, and design can all influence costs.

Flooring and Countertops

Flooring: Flooring materials range from affordable options like laminate or vinyl to mid-range choices like hardwood or engineered wood, and premium selections like stone or tile. Your choice will impact costs, durability, and aesthetics.

Countertops: In addition to kitchen countertops, barndominiums may have countertops in bathrooms and other areas. Consider materials like granite, quartz, marble, or laminate, and choose based on your budget and design preferences.

Lighting and Fixtures

Lighting: The cost of lighting fixtures can vary widely. High-quality, stylish fixtures tend to be more expensive. Consider the number of fixtures needed throughout your barndominium, including ceiling lights, wall sconces, and outdoor lighting.

Plumbing Fixtures: Plumbing fixtures include faucets, showerheads, and toilets. Higher-end fixtures from reputable brands can be costly, but they often offer improved durability and functionality.

Electrical Fixtures: Electrical fixtures, such as outlets, switches, and wiring, are essential for your barndominium’s functionality. While these are necessary components, they typically make up a smaller portion of the overall interior budget.

Cabinetry and Storage

Built-in Cabinetry: If you desire built-in storage solutions, such as bookshelves, entertainment centers, or wardrobes, the cost will depend on the complexity of the design, the materials used, and the size of the project.

Closets: Closets are a significant part of storage in any home. Costs can vary based on the type of closet systems you choose, such as walk-in closets or simple reach-in closets.

Appliances and Equipment

HVAC System: The cost of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system depends on the size of your barndominium, energy efficiency, and the complexity of the installation. High-efficiency systems are more expensive upfront but can lead to long-term savings.

Water Heater: The type and size of water heater you choose, whether tankless or traditional, will influence costs. Tankless heaters tend to be more energy-efficient but may have a higher initial cost.

Other Equipment: Consider any other equipment or systems you need, such as a well pump, septic system, or security system. Each of these adds to the overall interior costs.

When budgeting for the interior of your barndominium, it’s essential to prioritize your needs and preferences. While high-end finishes and appliances can enhance the aesthetics and functionality of your living space, budget-conscious choices are also available without compromising quality.

Understanding these factors and how they influence barndominium costs is crucial for effective budgeting. Keep in mind that each project is unique, and while these factors provide a framework, it’s essential to consult with professionals and conduct a detailed cost analysis tailored to your specific project to get a precise estimate of the expenses involved in building your barndominium.