Can You Build A Barndominium in North Carolina?

Can You Build A Barndominium in North Carolina
Can You Build A Barndominium in North Carolina

Barndominiums are the latest trend in affordable housing. These steel-framed buildings function as a house, shed, and barn, or a combination of all three. You may wonder if a barndominium is for you. So, can you build a barndominium in North Carolina?

North Carolina allows the building of barndominiums as long as you follow state and county regulations for the foundation and building. In North Carolina, when you build a barndominium it’s similar to building a regular home with footers, linings, and load-bearing walls. It can be built on a slab, crawl space, or basement foundation. North Carolina requires conventional 2×4 or 2×6 studs and standard ⅜ plywood. But the red iron framing wood or metal studs are used to build the high ceilings and large rooms. Any standard roofing material can be used for your barndominium.

What is a barndominium?

A barndominium or barndo as they’re affectionately called is a steel-framed building used as a home, barn, or shed. These unique homes have grown in popularity over the years. Originating in Texas, the barndominium has many advantages over a standard type of home.

What is the cost of a barndominium in North Carolina?

A barndo kit can run anywhere from $5K to $70K, depending upon the square footage and the style of the building. Building a barndominium can cost $40 a square foot up to $125 per square foot. If you choose high-end options like custom made cabinets and granite countertops that will drive up the construction costs.

One North Carolina construction company offers a 40 x 60 x 16 risk 2 certification with a walk-in door (12/14 or 10 x 10) and 4 windows for $49,000 including tax and installation. They offer solar panels, and custom made interiors.

What about financing your barndominium?

The good news is that it’s easy to get financing in North Carolina for your barndominium Basically, the financing options in North Carolina are similar to those you would receive for your traditional style home. You’ll need to secure a residential fixed-rate mortgage. Plus, you need to provide your lender with a copy of your floor plan and elevation height due to possible restrictions. To get financing, you will also need to provide

  • Up-to-date information about your credit
  • Information about your assets and debts
  • Answer questions about your financial history

Regulations for your barndominium

Before you start construction of your barndo, be sure to check your area’s zoning regulations. Every county and state set up zoning ordinances.  Some local areas have guidelines about the appearance of homes, sheds, or barns that can be built. Also, there are different building use requirements if your area is zoned residential. This will determine the size and appearance of your barndominium. Talk to your local country official about the guidelines you need to follow so you don’t end up breaking laws and potentially slowing down the building of your barndominium.

Getting a building permit for your barndominium

Building a barndominium in North Carolina is similar to building a regular house in the state. You need the same permits as you would build a standard home. Be sure that whoever is building your barndominium pulls a building permit. Never trust a contractor who says that’s not necessary to have a building permit. It’s a big no-no to not pull a building permit prior to construction. Not doing this can come back to bite you later on. Your building permit will only be given to your contractor or you when the construction plans are presented to the right government official for inspection and approval.

The information you need to provide to get your permits include

  • Height of building
  • Width of building
  • Square footage
  • Wind loads
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Layout by architect

What about zoning?

Be sure you or your contractor checks the zoning laws in your area. Some areas don’t allow metal buildings for residence. You can check your local zoning ordinances

  • Internet
  • Contacting your government representative
  • Going to the local government center
  • Talk to a contractor who builds barndominiums in your area
  • Check your city’s website for local ordinance information

What happens if you don’t get a permit?

Not getting a building permit will bring you lots of headaches. If your general contractor insists it’s not necessary, find another contractor. Without a permit, you may be fined and need to tear down the building at your own expense, even though it’s on your own property. Not having a building permit can affect your ability to sell your house later on.

What about buying land to build a barndominium?

If you want to buy land to build your dream barndo, be sure it’s big enough for the structure. There are lots of o rural areas in North Carolina that are perfect for building your barndominium.

How long does it take to build a barndominium?

Depending upon your floor plan and interior design preferences, the time it takes to build your barndominium can vary. Typically, the length of time for construction is around 6 months. But it can be longer or shorter, based on your contractor, the weather, and the time it takes to pull permits. If you already own the land and have a foundation, the building will go even quicker.


Barndominiums are a growing housing trend in the United States. Like all housing trends, there are many opinions about the pros and cons about building one of these. If you’re thinking about building a barndominium in North Carolina, it’s important to think about these pros and cons.


Costs less to build

Barndominiums cost less to build than traditional houses because of the steel framing and sides. You can purchase a barndo kit as low as $10K for a 900 square foot house. These kits provide some or all of these things:

  • Concrete slab
  • Stained concrete floors
  • Exterior doors
  • Windows-energy efficient
  • Foam insulations
  • Roof

Many kits allow you customized choices. Currently, many of the barndominium kits are in competition with other companies offering value packages to entice buyers to purchase their kits. Shop around and compare barndominium packages.

Do barndominiums hold their value?

According to North Carolina appraisers,  barndos are holding their value and sell at competitive prices. Of course, it depends where your barndo is located and what it looks like for buyers to be interested.

Barndos are safe

It’s the first question people ask barndo owners, “Is this safe?” Barndos are extremely safe since they’re made out of steel framing. In many areas, steel buildings are used for housing people during a tornado, so your barndo will be fine during a tornado because you basically live in a shelter.


Single level only

Barndominiums are limited in how many levels you can build.  Some designs have a loft option, but most barndos are single story.

Not condo living

Obviously, your barndominium isn’t like owning a  condominium. You’ll probably be living in a rural area rather than a town. You won’t have the same amenities you get in a condo residential community. Like a regular house, you’ll be in charge of the repairs, landscaping, and other needs of the property. If you’re looking for low maintenance, a barndo isn’t for you.

Once you’ve weighed all the pros and cons of building a barndominium, no doubt, you’ll see a barndominium is a great choice. The affordability and quick building turnaround of these unique homes are enticing for many people living in North Carolina. Why not join the trend?