Can You Build A Barndominium in Texas

Can You Build A Barndominium in Texas
Can You Build A Barndominium in Texas

When HGTV’s popular show hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines turned a barn into a gorgeous home, the concept of a barndominium caught on. Today, the Lone Star State leads the nation in barndominium popularity. You may wonder if a barndominium would work for you. So, can you build a barndominium in Texas?

Barndominiums are a growing trend all across the United States, but especially in Texas.  Originating in Texas, these steel framed homes have wide open spaces and affordable price tags are turning potential home buyers’ heads.

What is a barndominium?

Barndominiums or barndos as they’re affectionately called, are steel framed constructed buildings built on a slab, crawl space, or basement foundation. Similar to any house you’d build in Texas, a barndominium has footers lining all the load-bearing walls.

The outside of a barndominium can be painted metal, stone, brick, or board and batten cedar depending upon what look you want. The roof is made using normal roofing materials such as shingles, painted metal, wooden shingles, slate, or clay tiles.

The inside layout and design of your barndominium is your choice. Normally, drywall is used, but many many builders offer 1×12 tongue-and-groove pine which gives the home a warm, cabin feel. Accent walls can be stone, tile, or laminate. All these customized details cost extra, but add a personalized touch.

A barndominium floor plan is similar to a barn with sliding barn doors, a rustic style wooden staircase up to a loft, and huge ceiling beams. Although not all barndos have a loft, they are a great addition serving as an office or extra living space. Most barndominiums floor plans include a living room, kitchen and dining area all in one large open room. In Texas you can use your barndominium for a weekend retreat, a vacation home, but most people use them as their residence.

What is the cost of a barndominium in Wisconsin?

Barndominium kits include the plans and materials at a reduced price, but usually not building costs. The kits are pre-designed plans. They can be built quickly and customized to your specific desires. You choose the square footage size and the plan you like. Any adjustment or customization will cost you extra.  There are a good number of Texas contractors with experience building barndominiums. Some of these contractors offer plans and their own barndo fabrications. It’s thought that in most cases you can spend around 50% less buying a barndominium style house if you build it on your land.

One barndominium listing in Greenville, Texas offers 8.8 acres with 1,084 square feet, two bedrooms and one bath for $225,000. This is just one example, but there are many barndominiums for sale all over Texas if you’re looking to move into one somewhere in the state.

Cost of a barndominium kit?

Some barndominium kits sell for as low as $40 per square foot. The price depends upon where your land is, any customized details you want and upgrades or finishes. Basic models, around 1,000 square feet, are the least expensive to buy. Barndominium kits typically include:

  • Stained concrete floors
  • Foam insulation
  • 9-foot ceilings
  • Energy-efficient windows


If you’re already a customer of a Texas bank, it will be easy to get a loan from the bank to build your barndominium. Your bank will only give you the loan if you have these things ready to present.

  • Solid building plans
  • Good credit already
  • An approved contractor or subcontractor
  • Bids for the job
  • blueprints with schematics

There are different types of loans you can get, some people have gotten a construction loan to build their barndominium.

What about zoning in Texas?

Before you begin construction of your barndominium, you’ll need to be sure you are compliant with your local area’s zoning regulations. Your local government agencies determine the zoning ordinances. Some areas have rules about what the outside of your house can look like, so be sure to check the ordinances in your area. Be sure that your barndominium site is zoned for residential and not construction. As well as appearance and use zoning regulations,  there are usually requirements about the height of a building. Before you build your barndominium, be sure to consult with the local building official to make sure your project is totally compliant with the area zoning regulations.  If you find out that your barndominium isn’t compliant with the zoning ordinances, there are several things you can do

  • Modify the specifics of your project to make it compliant
  • Ask for a waiver from the zoning board
  • Get approval from your neighbors to win the approval from the board.

Getting a building permit for your barndominium

Building a barndominium is similar to building a regular house in the state. You need the same permits as you would build a standard home. 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.

Texas building permits are necessary for any new construction in the state. Building regulations are created by your local government in your area. Generally, the building permit application requires that you provide basic information about your property and building project. You must provide

  • The properties address
  • Property owner’s name and contact
  • Your contractor, architect and engineer working on your building project
  • Whether it’s residential or commercial
  • Description of the work
  • Proposed cost of the construction


If you own your land in Texas already, the cost of building your barndo will be considerably less. If you’re buying land to build a barndominium, be sure the property is big enough for the house. When you buy vacant land, be sure to check all the county’s regulations. Some of them are obscure deed restrictions that could ruin your plans to build your dream barndo. The average size you’ll need for a residential property in Wisconsin is 8,600 square feet or approximately 1/5 of an acre.

How long does it take to build a barndominium?

Depending upon the size and design of your barndominium and whether it’s a prefab kit, it takes around 6 months, but customization, weather and other unexpected issues can slow down the building process.


Barndominiums are growing in popularity. Steel buildings are usually pretty boring, but barndominiums take a steel building o a new level with beautiful exteriors and interiors. It’s a rustic barn home at a low-cost price. So, if you’re thinking that a barndominium could be perfect for you, here are some pros and cons to consider before you purchase a kit, or land, or hire a contractor.


Cost less

Steel houses cost approximately 30% to 40%  less than a wood-framed home.

Quicker building time

Starting with the construction, standard homes take almost twice as long to build as the average barndominium. A traditional house can take months to build, but a steel-framed barndominium can set up in a matter of days or weeks.

Lower maintenance

Steel lasts a long time, plus the standardization of the steel exterior makes it easy to build and maintain. Barndominium owners who’ve owned their barndo for over a decade say there is virtually no outside maintenance. In general, barndos have a much longer lifespan than a regular house.

Barndos are safe

It’s the first question people ask barndo owners, “Is this safe?”  They  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.



Barndominiums are metal buildings. Because of this, the outside metal can corrode due to humidity. Most of the inside maintenance is low, but you will need to keep an eye on the outside.

Live away from a city

Because barndominiums are similar to barns, you can’t really build one in a city. So, if you want to be in a city, a barndominium may not be for you.

There are some pros and cons of building a barndominium. For many people, the pros outweigh the cons. The affordability and quick building turnaround of these unique homes are enticing for many people living in Texas. So, why not join the growing trend and build yourself an adorable barndominium?