The hot new trend in home building today is barndominiums, which are modest 2-3 bedroom homes attached to a larger structure like a barn or a shop. You want to build one, but as you’re searching for the right one to build, you’re thinking how much this will cost you. How much does it cost to build a 40×60 barndominium?
The average cost of a 40×60 barndominium depends on whether you choose a DIY kit or a general contractor, what options you select, and if you choose a shell vs. a full kit. You will pay $20 per square foot for DIY kits, but up to $200 per square foot if you choose a contractor and building company.
Depending on your choices, you could spend a little or a lot. To find out how to figure out a customized cost, read on.
What Are Barndominiums?
The word is a mix of “barn” and “condominium,” which means that either an existing barn has been renovated into a living space or an apartment has been built on top of a barn. The building is usually made from steel and is rather industrial in appearance.
In the past, barndominiums were apartments on top of barns so that people could be closer to their animals. It then morphed to renovating barns for living spaces, and the trend took off from there. Today, the industrial look of steel buildings and luxury furnishings in the country is hot.
Here are some of the reasons why barndominiums are a hot trend:
- They are versatile. You can turn them into garages, shops, restaurants, luxury homes, and bed and breakfasts.
- You can have as much space as you need or want. Barndominium living spaces can be large for large families or smaller for smaller families. If you need a large garage or shop to work on equipment, then you can create that with only one or two bedrooms in your living space.
- The structure is durable and can withstand most elements. Most barndominiums are constructed using metal frames instead of wood, which holds up better to pests or rot. A metal building also faces stronger storms and keeps the house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
- It is quick and easy to construct. Part of the frame is already built when it reaches your build site, so it takes less time to put together and finish than it would a conventional home.
- Barndominiums are cost-effective compared with conventionally built homes. You were waiting for this, right? A barndominium costs between $70 and $95 per square foot to build, compared to conventional homes that cost upwards towards $155 per square foot to build. That works out to be between $168,000 and $228,000, depending on your choices and options.
DIY Kits vs. Contractors: Which Is Better?
If you built your own house using a kit, your cost could be as little at $20 per square foot for a 40×60 barndominium. But if you’re using contractors or subcontractors, the price will go up considerably to $120 per square foot or higher.
A kit that you build yourself is dropped off at your property, and then it’s up to you to complete the build according to code. You save the most money by doing all the work yourself, depending on if you know what you’re doing. If you don’t, it might be cheaper and wiser to hire a contractor to handle the building details.
When you’re building the barndominium yourself, your kit will include a list of the items you need to get from your local hardware store, including:
- Drywall for the interior walls.
- Doors and windows to finish the exterior.
- Plumbing and electrical supplies.
- Countertops, cabinets, and flooring to complete the interior.
These items add more to your final cost when completing the project yourself. But when you hire a contractor to complete the build for you, you save yourself the hassle of getting all those extras. The cost of the extras is figured into the final price of a contractor.
Which is better? That all depends on your budget, construction experience, and time constraints.
Details Matter: Your Choices Determine the Final Cost
Whether you choose vinyl or marble countertops, oak floors, or carpet will determine the final cost. The more expensive your options are, the higher the final price will be. Choices such as pure wood or wood facsimiles impact the cost, while decisions of real marble countertops or marble-looking vinyl for your counters can make or break your budget.
If you’re on a budget, several attractive options won’t break the bank. If you can afford it, you can put in the luxury items that make your barndominium an extension of your personality.
Your cost may also vary on whether you choose to put in a gymnasium, indoor pool, and sauna, or any other luxury installment. Or you can make it quite simple by sticking to the basics with a 2-3 bedroom family home and turning the rest of the building into a storage facility or a shop.
But whatever you choose, remember that your choices determine your final cost.
Some Companies Include Everything in the Final Cost/Others Do Not
Some companies, to entice you to do business with them, will include only the cost of the building kit, but not the other expenses, like construction or delivery costs. When contracting with a company, be sure you are aware of the full price before signing any documents.
But that doesn’t explain the final cost when customers change options at the last minute. According to the owner and CEO of Texas Barndominiums, a final cost of $168,000 might not be the actual cost when customers create changes before the kit is delivered. It might not include upgrades or options that people may want.
The prices on any website are approximated and may not reflect the actual amount of your new barndominium.
Read everything and have your final options chosen before signing the final revision, if any.
How to Calculate the True Cost
You’re going to need the following information before you can calculate the final cost of your barndominium, which assumes you already have the land and water/sewer rights at your disposal.
- The cost of your foundation, which is usually a concrete slab (which is generally around $4-$6 per square foot).
- The price of materials includes the building kit itself and the materials to finish your new home, including the niceties that make a house a home.
- Labor costs and contractor costs, in case you aren’t skilled enough to do it yourself.
- Delivery costs, which are usually a small percentage of the building kit cost.
Once you have those figures, you will have the final price. As each item has a variable cost, depending on your choices, you will have a different price than what you can find online. But the average cost will be close to a conventionally built home.
An average estimate of the true cost of a barndominium will usually be around $95-$125 per square foot.
The “Average Cost” Depends on if You Buy a Full Kit or Just the Shell
You can buy the “shell,” which is the frame and the walls, roof, windows, and doors, or you can get a kit that includes everything that makes a house livable, like plumbing and electrical fixtures. The average cost to build a 40×60 barndominium will depend on if you buy a shell or a full kit.
Why would you only want a shell when you’re building a barndominium?
- When you want to customize your home in a way that a full kit can’t provide you.
- If you plan on creating a restaurant or lodge, which requires additional costs, a shell kit might be a better option.
- If you have a different plan for the inside other than what a kit would give you.
The cost for a steel 40×60 building is $19,200, with additional features costing about $2-$5 more per square foot. That price doesn’t include the delivery cost, concrete slab set up, or the cost to build it.
A barndominium can be an affordable option when you need a lot of space. If you have a farmette, it will allow you to live next to your animals for less money. Or if you have a large family, you may be able to turn the entire 40×60 building into a living space with several bedrooms.
Maintenance costs are generally going to be cheaper with these homes because they are framed and sided with steel. Steel doesn’t rot, nor does it burn very easily. Metal siding and roofing also lasts through several storms without peeling, chipping, or fading. So you will have a beautiful home for many, many years without a lot of upkeep.
- Allied Buildings: Steel Building Barndominiums–All You Need to Know
- General Steel Buildings: 40×60 Barndominium Design
- Barndominium Life: Barndominium Cost Per Square Foot: A Complete Guide
- Home Advisor: How Much Do Metal Homes Cost?
- Metal Building Homes: The Year of the Barndominium
- Buildings Guide: How Much Does It Cost to Build a 40×60 Building?
- Architecture Lab: The Rise of Barndominiums and Why You Should Buy One