Instead of building your home the traditional way, why not go for a barndominium? This metal build is energy efficient, faster to construct, and cheaper than a conventional home. But what exactly is the cost of a barndominium?
The cost to build a 4-bedroom 2000 sq ft barndominium depends on the location, design, interior finishes, among other factors. To acquire the basic barndo shell, the price is as low as $20 per sq ft, while several barndo owners report that a complete barndo can cost you $95 to $125 psf.
With that in mind, we’ll go ahead and look at the factors that can affect these prices and probably increase the basic cost. In this article, we’ll also detail the benefits of building a barndominium and finally shed some more light on the cost of building this unique living space.
What Is a Barndominium?
The word “barndominium” is a combination of two words “barn” and “condominium.” This literally translates into a barn that has been converted into a living space, which is what used to happen back in the day. But currently, a barndominium refers to a metal building created into a living space.
Most barndominiums are constructed using prefabricated sections. These are professionally made modules of a house manufactured in a controlled environment then later transported to the building site. So all that remains to do is assemble the pieces and fashion your home.
But apart from being a home, a barndominium can be left as an open floor layout and used for different functions including:
- Storage for various items
- Meeting area
- Entertainment center
Check out this tour of an outstanding barndominium home:
Pros of Building a Barndominium
There’s a great allure for barndos since its appearance on Fixer upper. But do you know what the hype is all about?
Barndominiums have several benefits compared to conventional housing. Here are some of the advantages that draw people to choose these custom-made homes.
Quick and Easy Construction Time
Barndominiums are easy to make, especially if you use the construction kit. It’s possible to assemble the house on your own after the kit has been delivered to your building location. But if you choose to have a contractor help you out, that’s still okay, and the cost will still be relatively lower as compared to a traditional house.
Assembling the barndo kit to create a metal building takes a really short time, and this is another advantage of building a barndominium. Depending on the size, you can have your house up and ready to use in a matter of days or weeks.
Multi-Purpose Living Space
Because barndominiums have an open layout, they are quite easy to customize and transform into whatever you would like the space to be. Whether it’s a restaurant, an actual barn, or a shop, the choice is yours.
This versatility is one of the biggest advantages of these steel buildings. Some people even choose to use their buildings for more than one purpose. For example, you can have a shop at the bottom and customize the first floor to be your home.
As you customize your barndominium, there are several additions you can make to the metal shell. One of these includes adding insulation. Foam insulation can be sprayed on the walls for thermal protection. This is much more efficient in barndos than in conventional houses. So you don’t have to worry about losing heat.
Here’s a video you might want to look at to understand why foam insulation is more efficient in a barndominium than in a conventional home:
Steel components are generally more durable than other construction materials like, say, wood. They last longer because they are less affected by environmental impacts.
Steel is also a stronger material than wood and can withstand fires. They are not affected by mold, moisture, or pests.
You can customize the interior of a barndo as you wish. If you want to put up walls to section out spaces and create extra rooms, there are little to no restrictions since all the load-bearing external metal walls of the home handle all the build’s weight.
Also, if you prefer a more spacious look, barndos are your best choice. The open floor layout and high ceilings create a nice, open feeling with free air and light flow.
This is probably one of the biggest selling points for barndominiums, their affordability. Since steel is cheaper to produce than most traditional building materials, barndominiums end up being more cost-effective than traditional homes.
What is more, having sections of the house prefabricated makes the construction even less expensive- the reason why most people prefer to buy the material kits to build their barndos.
And when it comes to setting up the kit, you can cut the cost of hiring an architect or contractor since the materials kit comes with a comprehensive and easy to follow assembly instructions.
Table: Comparison of the pros and cons of steel and wood barndominium:
|Steel Barndominium Building||More durable|
Fast and easy construction
|Concrete foundation required|
More upfront costs
Fluctuation of prices
|Wood Barndominium Building||Lower initial investment|
|High labor costs|
Lots of maintenance costs
Factors That Affect the Cost of Building a Barndominium
What does a barndominium cost? That’s the big question.
The simple answer is that it depends on various factors. If you buy the shell of a metal construct without including any finishings or other features, it will be about $20 per square foot. Other factors will raise this cost to approximately twice the amount. So your total cost will probably be $40 per square foot.
Here are the factors that can influence the cost of a barndominium.
Size of the Metal Build
The size of the barndominium you decide to build will influence the amount of money you’ll spend. Smaller constructions are cheaper than building a bigger one, but the cost per square foot will most likely be less for a larger home.
A house finishes are some of the most expensive costs of building a home. Examples of things included in finishes are: painting, adding tiles, putting up countertops, plastic lamination, etc.
The fancier your choice of finishes, the more money you’ll have to cough out.
Type of Metal
This refers to the metal used for the external frame of the barndominium. The price of this component will depend on your supplier and the time of purchase.
As we’ve already seen, one of the upsides of a barndominium is its energy efficiency. So, even though insulation will influence your total cost, it is not something to bargain too much. Putting up quality insulation and the appropriate thickness will, in the long run, help you save on energy costs.
When it comes to making your home stand out and look unique, you may want to add some decorations. But remember that each additional feature means an extra cost. Architectural features like the number and size of doors and windows, also impact the total cost of putting up your barndominium.
This is another architectural feature that influences the cost of building to a significant extent—the type of roof and its design impact your home’s cost.
Cost of Building a Barndominium
It is difficult to assign a specific price for building a barndominium because different companies will have different charges, which may also change from time to time. Also, the finer details of the finishes that owners want to include makes every barndo cost different.
On average, the cost of building a barndominium is $30,000 to $120,000. This amount will cater to the barndo kit and assembly but does not include all the finishes inside the open space. So, for a basic assembly without including additional services, a barndominium will cost you $30 to $40 per square foot.
You will need to invest some more money in this instance to make the barndo livable.
For a simple formula to arrive at the total cost of building, these are the three variables to consider:
- The barndominium kit
- The finishing materials like paint, cabinets, and drywall.
- The labor costs
The sum of these costs will give you the total cost you expect to incur in building your barndominium.
Requirements for Building a Barndominium
For you to get the correct or most accurate costing of a barndominium, remember to factor in all the requirements, i.e., the three variables: the barndo kit, finishing materials, and the labor.
The barndo kit comes as a package, and the price will depend on where you buy yours from. As for the labor, you can choose to go for a DIY project and do all the work yourself. If not, then you can hire a contractor to work for you.
The other requirements we would light to outline are the finishing materials. These are all the items that go into transforming your open space into an actual home. Here’s a list of things you will need to buy and install:
- Interior framing – wood studs
- Drywall – for interior walls
- Paint – for the walls and ceiling
- Doors – exterior and interior ones
- Fixtures – sinks, toilet, shower, etc
- Electrical – wiring, boxes, etc
- Cabinets – for kitchen and bath
- Roofing (if not included in the kit)
- HVAC (for heating and cooling)
Cost of Building a 2000 Sq Ft Barndominium
As we’ve already stated, no one price fits all barndo houses. Every build is unique, and so are the costs incurred. So the figures in this article are best used as a reference and not the actual cost that one will pay for their specific home.
Here are a few floor plans for a 2000 sq ft barndo you can go through:
According to several barndo owners on Facebook, the total cost for a turnkey or a completed DIY barndo is about $95 to $125 per square foot. That means a 2000 sq ft barndo can go for $190,000 to $250,000.
From our other findings, Texas Barndominium Specialists, Absolute Steel, you can have your completed DIY barndo at the cost of just $40 per square foot if you buy your kit from them. So if you want to build a 4-bedroom 2000 sq ft barndo, that can cost you as little as $80,000, but you will be doing the work yourself.
From these examples, you can see how varied the cost of building a barndominium can be. This goes to show that you need to do your due diligence before going out to set up your home. A more specific quote from the company and contractors that you will work with is a good place to begin.
Check out this video that gives a detailed guide on how to calculate the price per square footage of a barndominium:
Barndominium Cost vs. Modular and Traditional Homes
Comparing the price of building a conventional home vs. a barndominium may help you appreciate just how much more affordable a barndo is.
As we’ve already established, steel, used to make the barndominium, is generally cheaper than other construction materials used in other conventional builds. The use of pre-fabricated sections and the ease of assembling them also increase the cost-effectiveness of this house type.
On the other hand, conventional homes and modular homes incur a higher cost because of the expensive materials and complexity of setting up, which necessitates hiring contractors and architects.
Here’s a table display of how the average costs of these different housings compare:
|Housing type||Average cost|
|Barndominium||$30,000 to $120,000|
|Metal home||$73,400 to $228,000|
|Modular home||$180,000 to $360,000|
|Traditional house||$166,173 to $477,308|
Building a barndominium is more affordable than traditional housing. But that doesn’t mean that all barndos are cheap. The cost of constructing a barndo depends on a variety of factors, including its size, design, and interior finishings.
It’s up to you how much you will put into your living space. So before you set out to build, get all the details and specific quotations so you can be sure what it will cost you to build your new unique dwelling.
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- Green Building Elements: Barndominium Kits
- Hammons and Associates: Barndominiums vs. Conventional Homes
- Metal Building Homes: The Year of the Barndominium
- Metal Buildings: Barndominium Ultimate Guide