Can You Build a Barndominium In Florida? Cost, Financing & Regulations

Can You Build a Barndominium In Florida
Can You Build a Barndominium In Florida

When you hear the word barndominium, your first question is probably, “what is that?”. If that’s the case, you aren’t alone. Although they aren’t extremely well-known to the general public, barndominiums are among the hottest trends in architecture today because they offer the open floor plan and rustic design style that so many people desire. 

Barndominiums are a great option for Floridians looking to buy a home. They are cost-efficient and can be financed, offer many of the same features traditional homes do and can be built using the same building regulations as conventional homes. 

Keep reading to learn more about barndominiums, including what they are, the cost and financing options available, the building regulations, and some of the other added benefits. 

What Is a Barndominium?

A barndominium is defined as a building framed out of steel or other metal that can act as a primary residence. They can either be newly constructed or converted from a standard barn into a liveable space. 

While people have been converting pre-existing barns into living space for many years all around the country, the popularity of this architectural style sky-rocketed in 2017. After the stars of the hit show, Fixer Upper converted a barn in Texas into a chic dream home, complete with wood floors, an open floor plan, and a second-floor kitchen. 

The trend in this style of home has only grown over the years, and more people are taking advantage of the opportunity to build their American Dream without breaking the bank. 

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Barndominium in Florida?

Once the secret of the barndominium was out, it gained even more popularity as a lower-cost option for people looking to own a home. As the average list price of homes continues to rise, so does the average age of the first time homebuyer. 

In 2018, the national average price of a home was $385,000, and the average age of the first-time homebuyer was 32. Today, both averages have risen, and the average age of the first time homebuyer is now 33. 

The median cost of a home in Florida is $252,000, with an average price of $170 for a 1500 sq ft (166.7 sq yd) home. This makes Florida one of the more affordable states to live in compared to the rest of the country. However, the cost of a barndominium of the same size in Florida can go as low as $172,000, saving you a significant amount of money. 

Other factors can drive the price of a barndominium up or down, such as the materials you select for your frame, siding, interior, etc. The use of a framing “kit” will also impact the price of your barndominium, which will provide you with a semi-fabricated steel frame that you can install yourself. 

Can You Finance a Barndominium?

While barndominiums are a cost-effective option to owning a home of your own, they won’t qualify for conventional mortgages or first-time homebuyer programs. Because they are technically multi-purpose structures that often serve as both a home and a barn or workspace, and because there aren’t enough comparable sales in the market, mortgage lenders don’t consider them an actual residence. 

If you’re going to finance the purchase of your barndominium, you’ll need to work with your bank to procure a standard loan. If you are building on a piece of property you already own, a bank may issue a personal loan to foot the cost of construction on your new barndo. If you need to purchase the land you’re going to build your barndominium on; you can potentially roll in the cost of construction with that loan. 

What Are The Building Regulations? 

Although barndominiums are often a mixture of work and living space, you will still need to follow all of the building codes and regulations that you would for a normal residential structure. The International Building Code (IBC) must be cited whether you’re drawing up plans for your barndominium or remodeling an existing structure to ensure that it meets all construction regulations. 

The primary guidelines that must be followed when constructing a new barndominium to ensure that it meets all IBC regulations are as follows: 

  • Building Occupancy Classifications
  • Means of egress
  • Building heights and areas
  • Interior Finishes
  • Foundation, wall & roof construction
  • Fire protection systems
  • Building material usage
  • Pre-existing structures 

Benefits of Barndominiums

There are many benefits that building a barndominium can offer, making it an increasingly popular choice for people whether they’re looking for a temporary or weekend home or something to live in year-round. It’s no wonder why these barn/condominium hybrids are the new trend in residential living across the US. 

You Can Build One Anywhere

One of the most attractive features of a barndominium is that you can build one almost anywhere. With a barndominium, you don’t need to wait for what may seem like an endless amount of time to find your dream home on your dream property. 

These inexpensive homes can be built on an existing plot of land or one you purchase, giving you the freedom to get that once in a lifetime property you’ve always dreamed of. 

They Are Constructed Faster Than Traditional Homes

Because of the minimalistic design of most barndominiums, they can be constructed much more quickly than traditional homes, sometimes even as quickly as within 6 months. You can utilize a general contractor’s services to help build the barndominium of your dreams, or you can do it yourself if you’re familiar with construction. 

There are 6 components to a barndominium design: a concrete slab for flooring, a steel frame, a metal roof, metal exterior walls, spray foam insulation, and drywall for the interior design. If you’re planning to have a contractor build your structure, they will provide all of this for you. If you’re planning on DIY-ing it, you can purchase a barndominium “kit” that will include a partially prefabricated frame to help you get started. 

They Can Serve Multiple Purposes

The multifunctionality of a barndominium starts with its name. After all, barndominiums are a mashup of the words “barn” and “condominium”! These structures often start off as workspaces and were then converted to include living space later on. 

Barndominiums are primarily found in areas where land is plentiful, usually on a family farm or other business that requires a lot of space. Their wide-open spaces make them great for storing tractors, trucks, or other machinery required to run a business. The expansive space also allows for ample living quarters to be created. All you’ll need to do is frame out the area, and you’re good to go!

They Can Withstand The Elements

The sturdy elements that barndominiums are made from allow them to withstand the elements better than some traditionally built houses naturally. The steel frames and metal siding will protect you from the harsh wind and rain that comes with hurricane season in Florida. In the summertime, the thickly insulated walls will keep the cool air in and the moisture out. 


Barndominiums are a great alternative to traditional homes for those looking to build their dream home in Florida. Their minimalistic structures make them cost-effective options for those looking to own a home that might not be able to afford a more traditional approach. They can be built anywhere, which open up a lot of options for those looking to build new. If you have an existing structure, you can easily convert it to a barndominium, which also offers cost savings. 

These structures follow the same building regulations as conventional residential structures, so you don’t have to worry about special building codes that might prevent you from building a new barndominium. The only disadvantage of these structures is that they won’t qualify for a conventional mortgage because they’re considered a workspace first and a residence second. 

However, if you can qualify for a personal loan, you can finance the construction that way.