How Long Do Barndominiums Last? Durability & Resistance.

How Long Do Barndominiums Last
How Long Do Barndominiums Last

A barndominium is a portmanteau of barn and condominium. They are typically designed with an open floor plan and barn-like features. Many people have also converted regular barns into barndominiums in the last decade, and even more, are opting to build barndominiums instead of regular houses.

A steel barndominium can last for well over 50 years, while wooden barndominiums can stay strong for almost a century with routine maintenance in terms of longevity. A barndominium, known for its simple yet solid structure, is typically made entirely out of either steel or wood. 

Barndominiums are quickly gaining popularity in the 21st century, with more and more people opting for sturdy yet classy buildings. Let us have a look at the longevity and endurance of a barndominium in comparison with a regular building.

Durability of Barndominiums

One of the reasons more people are choosing to build barndominiums is because of its high level of durability. Most barndominiums are made out of steel, a highly resistant material that can withstand a lot of impact and damage. 

Concerning the durability of steel, let us focus on the plus points of a steel barndominium below:

  • It is resistant to environmental elements.
  • Its material prevents it from easy combustion, unlike regular buildings.
  • It is not prone to be damaged by pests like termites and other bugs that chew through wood.
  • Its steel walls won’t rot, which means you get to have a home lasting for a long period of time with minimal maintenance.
  • It also has a strong foundation made out of concrete, which adds to its sturdiness and durability.
  • Barndominiums generally have strong poles and beams that support the entire structure, ensuring that there is very little chance of the building ever collapsing from heavy snowfalls, blizzards, or winds.

The Resistance of Barndominiums to Natural Elements

Since we’re talking about how long a barndominium will last, let’s analyze wood and steel barndominiums’ resistance to natural elements separately, as both the materials have vastly different properties.

Steel Barndominiums

  • Steel is known for its strength, and a steel barndominium has the ability to withstand and thrive in volatile conditions.
  • The flame retardant nature of steel makes it a safer investment, both physically and financially.
  • An insulated barndominium can withstand heavy rainfall, snowfall, and strong winds, with little to no damage to the building.
  • Any steel structure is usually built to resist winds up to 120 Mph (193 Kph).
  • Steel can also withstand excessive snow loads.
  • It is far more resistant to water than wood, so it will not rot or warp. Additionally, moisture penetration from heavy and prolonged rains will not be able to seep into the building. 

Wooden Barndominiums

  • Wood is not moisture resistant, which means that heavy rainfall can lead to moisture penetration. This can then destroy the inner walls of your barndominium. While wood can be made water-resistant, it will end up being an additional cost when compared to a steel barndominium.
  • Wood is known for its strength and durability, so it will be able to withstand strong winds and snowfall.
  • Another problem with wood is that it can easily be destroyed by termites and other pests unless you regularly invest in preventive measures. Wood is also prone to rotting, fungus, and mildew if it is not thoroughly maintained on a regular basis.
  • Though there are certain chemicals that can make wood fireproof, it can never be as resistant to fire as steel. Additionally, making your wooden barndominium fireproof will end up costing you a pretty penny.

From the comparative analysis above, it is quite clear that steel barndominiums offer more protection and durability to natural elements than wooden barndominiums.

The Resistance of Barndominiums to Natural Calamities

It goes without saying that people who reside in areas prone to natural disasters prefer buildings made out of steel due to their strength and resistance. 

  • Steel barndominiums are a safer option when it comes to earthquakes, as they are engineered to endure seismic tremors up to the seismic level 4 activity.
  • They can absorb more energy than other materials and do not attract lightning.
  • Even when lightning strikes, a barndominium can protect the people and electronic devices inside the building if it has a proper lightning protection system, which will ensure that the energy is grounded in the earth
  • Steel has the highest strength-to-weight ratio among most construction materials and is the best defense against destructive winds. A barndominium that has been made of steel stands a better chance at withstanding tornadoes and hurricanes than a regular or wooden building.
  • As mentioned earlier, steel barndominiums are not prone to water penetration and will work more effectively than wooden structures in places that receive heavy rainfall. Even during floods, steel barndominiums can easily recover from calamities with very little damage due to the building’s structure and material.
  • They are also the safest houses to reside in during an occurrence of a wildfire. While other houses can catch fire quite easily, a steel barndominium can withstand fire for quite a long period of time. Additionally, sparks that reach the structure will not ignite or let the fire spread.

The Longevity of a Barndominium

Barndominiums are generally built with an extremely sturdy foundation. It has a concrete base, on top of which is the steel building construction. This strong foundation is the reason for its excellent resistance against earthquakes.

Steel buildings are known to last well into the future, and the simplistic yet sturdy construction of a barndominium will certainly contribute to its longer lifespan. Steel is also a durable metal that can withstand the test of time, so with regular care and maintenance, it can last for more than half a century.

How to Maintain a Steel Barndominium

How long your barndominium lasts ultimately comes down to how well you maintain it. We’ve already seen that steel barndominiums are sturdy and can withstand natural and climatic factors quite effectively. The ultimate result of whether or not a barndominium stands the test of time lies in the owner’s hands. 

Let’s have a quick look at the maintenance requirements of a steel barndominium:

  • Regularly clean leaves and debris on the roof to prevent water from stagnating anywhere on your barndominium. A clean roof ensures that water flows properly through the gutters and drains. 
  • Every now and then, check for ground materials like mud found at the bottom of the wall panels. Prolonged moisture against panels for a certain period of time can lead to rust formation.
  • Metal barndominiums are mostly held together with screws and fasteners, so regularly check if all the fasteners are tight, as changes in the weather can sometimes loosen fasteners. 
  • Clean the walls with water now and then to prevent dirt and dust from forming a layer on it.
  • Repair any scratches you find on the walls. Scratches are generally no big deal, as long as the metal substrate underneath the finish is not affected.

It is advisable to clean your barndominium once every 3 to 4 months. However, if your barndominium has just been through a heavy storm, you will have to clean and inspect the building immediately.


To summarize this article, the longevity of a barndominium depends on its material. Like any metal building, a barndominium will have high durability and resistance, making it a wonderfully safe and versatile structure that’ll last for over 50 years. All you will have to do is invest your time and energy in the regular maintenance of the steel roof and walls.