Are you interested in buying or building a barndominium in Texas or Florida? Great, then you’re in the right place because figuring how much it will cost you is certainly one of the most important first steps.
The cost of a barndominium in Texas or Florida is dependent on the details that differentiate each build. The barndo shell can be as low as $20 per sq ft. And according to the International Code Council (ICC), it will cost you $122.46 per sq ft on average to have a turn-key barndo.
With such varied figures, it’s important to first figure out if a barndo is really worth it. In this article, we’ll cover that, then give you a few references for barndominium pricing and finally explain how you can get financing for your barndo. Let’s begin.
History of Barndominiums
Before we get into the pricing of barndominiums, let’s first look at where these unique homes originated.
Although they weren’t commonly known by this name, barndos have been in existence for a pretty long time. Farmers preferred living near their livestock for affordability and convenience’s sake. Therefore, they would build their homes right on top of the barns, where they kept the cows, goats, horses, or other animals.
Interestingly, even though the name barndominium gained popularity in the mid-2010s, it was actually first used in the 1980s. This is evidenced by a New York Times article published in 1989. This very first mention of barndominiums was in the state of Connecticut.
Karl Nilsen, a real estate developer in the Connecticut area, coined the term “barndominium” to describe a new type of housing that allowed farmers to live near their horses.
But it wasn’t until recently that the word became a hit together with this style of housing in Texas. The popular Fixer Upper show triggered the popularity of barndos when Chip and Joanna featured a barn to barndominium conversion on its third season.
This is where the barndominium concept first took off – in Texas – and has since spread to many other states. So if you’re ready to jump on the bandwagon, you’re right on time.
Uses of Barndominiums Today
Today, barndos are not only used for livestock and living space. The flexibility of this build allows for various home-based businesses to be done in the open space. Companies providing barndo kits report that their clients are going for barndos to cater to businesses like:
- Retailing – The spacious barndos are great for artists who want a place to make their items and display them for sale. For example, a pottery studio or a carpenter’s shop can perfectly be housed on the ground floor of a barndominium while the owner and his family live on the first floor.
- Mechanics – A barndominium is like having an extended garage next to your house. So mechanics and auto enthusiasts can safely store their cars indoors and easily access them whenever they need to.
- Bakery – Finding and setting up a good-sized kitchen in the city can cost a fortune. So, a rural-based barndominium is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to set up shop and sell their bread and cakes. The same goes for other businesses in the food industry. You can make your jam at home and sell it in the towns nearby. Even a start-up winery can be housed in a barndominium.
- Residential rentals – When not using your barndo, you could rent it out to people in the area. This can be an easy source of passive income.
These are just but a few examples of the businesses one can run in a multi-purpose barndominium. And what is more, there are many other advantages of this custom built home that make it a hit with anyone looking for an adaptable and affordable housing option. Let’s dig deeper into these benefits of barndominiums.
Why Should You Consider Buying a Barndominium?
A barndominium is a living area created in a barn to allow for multi-purpose use of the building’s open space.
Before you put your money into constructing or buying this type of housing, it’s important to understand what’s in it for you. How will you benefit from having a barndo rather than a traditional house?
This is one of the biggest reasons barndominiums have become so popular. Basically, the cost of building a barndo is much lower than building a traditional house.
If you decide to use a barndo kit for your construction, it becomes even more cost-effective. Using a barndo kit will cost you about $20 per sq ft to put up your home (but excluding the finishing and other interior features).
With the finishing included, the cost can be double that, making it as low as $40 per sq ft to own a custom home. This is, in fact, the price you can pay for a barndo with Texas Barndominium Specialists, Absolute Steel.
On the flip side, the cost of a traditional house can range between an average of $115 to $145 per sq ft. And yet this will not come with all the other benefits of a spacious barndo.
There are many features homeowners look for in an ideal house. One of them is the durability of the structure. How long will the home last without needing major repairs?
This is one of the reasons you should consider buying a barndo. Since this custom build is made of steel, it is much more durable than other houses built using other materials.
Metal barndominiums have a number of benefits that guarantee less need for building maintenance:
- Safety from the elements – metal is sturdier than wood and other building materials. It’s able to withstand storms and even earthquakes, making it safer to live in.
- Free from pests – Metal structures do not attract pests and cannot be chewed on by bugs. This is a big advantage considering traditional houses made of wooden framing often have issues with pests like termites.
- No rot – With a barndo, you don’t need to worry about mold, moisture, and eventually rot because these things do not affect the metal. Unlike wooden structures that need constant protection from these damages and decay, steel home barndominiums are easier to maintain and ultimately have a longer lifespan.
- Fire-resistant – Metal does not catch on fire like wood. So in case of a fire, you may only need to worry about deformed metal, which is easier to fix.
- Low insurance cost – Because of all the advantages of metal as a building material, insurance providers know that these buildings have lower risks. For that reason, there are much better rates for barndominiums.
- High strength to weight ratio – Metal is sturdy and tough, but at the same time, it’s relatively lightweight. This reduces materials transportation costs and offers less labor-intensive assembly process.
Barndominiums are known for being very spacious and able to serve a variety of purposes. You can create a living space, a section to store your belongings and maybe even park your car, and an area for your business, whether that’s farming, livestock keeping, or retailing.
Because barndos can be easily converted or modified to serve different functions, it has attracted many who desire a home-based business. You can take a look at the list we outlined earlier of different ventures.
Another major advantage of building a barndo is the ease of constructing this type of house. The outer design of barndominiums is simple (almost always a rectangle). This makes it easy and quick to construct.
One of the features on the inside of a barndo is the insulation. Foam insulation is great for these houses and is more efficient than in traditional houses. This insulation ensures there’s energy efficiency in your home.
Cost of a Barndominium
Now let’s get into the money matters. How much is a barndominium in Texas or Florida?
Quoting a specific price for a barndo is not that simple. There are different factors that affect the cost of these houses. What is more, the varied styles and finishings make each barndo unique and of a different price.
Let’s go through a few sources we’ve looked at that give an idea of how much you’ll be spending on a barndominium.
According to Home Advisor’s report, the cost of a barndominium is $30,000 to $120,000, or $30 to $40 per sq ft. This is much cheaper than any other method of construction.
On the other hand, if you decide to buy a barndo, you can look at some of the top real estate companies to see the price ranges. Zillow, for example, has a wide range of prices for barndominiums of the same size. For instance, a 1,200 sq ft barndo in Texas can cost $199,900. You can also get one at a slightly lower price of $164,900 or higher at $285,000.
Absolute Steel is a specialist company in Texas for barndominiums. According to their website, you can have a barndo at a price as low as $40 per Sq ft.
For a more research-backed estimate of a barndo price, we looked at the Building Valuation Data of ICC. They give the average cost of new constructions and always update their list every six months. If you look at the table, homes are under Residential R-3, and post-frame construction is Type VB. That means the average square foot construction cost is $122.46 as of February 2019.
All in all, it’s difficult to assign a specific price to a barndo because different companies have different charges and the specifications of every homeowner are different. Therefore, each barndominium is different and individually priced.
Cost of a Barndominium in Texas and Florida
So, what about the price of a barndo in Texas or Florida, you ask? The figures we’ve mentioned above can be used as a reference for acquiring a barndominium in any state, including Texas and Florida.
How Much Does a Barndominium Kit Cost?
A barndo kit is a prefabricated home section made for quick and easy installation. These modules are manufactured at the company’s plant and delivered to the construction site where the homeowner can set up on his own or hire a contractor for the installation.
A barndo kit is often provided together with a floor plan. The building companies offer the floor plans to help set up and trigger ideas on how to design the interior of the home.
One of the main advantages of a barndo kit is that it’s cheaper than constructing a house from scratch. Barndominium kits cost $5,000 to $70,000. But this also depends on the size of the home and the style.
Also, it’s much easier to assemble your barndo if you have a kit. This can take you just a few days or weeks.
Now that you have an idea of the cost of barndominiums, the next big question is, “where do you get barndominium financing?”
This is usually one of the major challenges people face when they first want to construct a barndominium. But why is that the case? Well, first, just getting a construction loan ( since, after all, most barndominiums are new builds) is usually harder than getting financing for an existing house.
Secondly, barndominiums are relatively new in the market, so most lenders are still warming up to them. That said, there are still a good number of lenders who are willing and already lending towards barndominium construction.
A good place to begin is approaching credit unions or local banks where you’re already a customer. The existing relationship may increase the odds of getting financed. If you don’t succeed, look into farm credit lenders and online mortgage brokers. And finally, the other options are national lenders.
No matter which lender you approach, there are things you need to prepare and present to them in order to increase your chances of getting a loan. Let’s dig deeper into this.
Basic Requirements for Getting Barndominium Financing
It’s important to meet lenders when well prepared with the following:
- Solid plans
- Bids from contractor or subcontractor
- A good credit score
One of the secrets to being taken seriously by lenders is showing how committed you are to the process of building. This requires that everything you present looks professional and not just like a last-minute thought.
For example, your house designs should be professionally done. If you can’t afford an architect, look for online sites that deal with barndo blueprints. You can also invest in a house design software that creates 3D drawings that look very professional.
Next, ensure you are as detailed as possible. This helps assure lenders that you will follow through with the investment. As a guideline, think of things that raise the lenders’ confidence about your ability to repay the loan. Also, make sure everything you do shows that this is a well thought out plan.
Basically, these are some of the items you will need to get the attention of lenders:
- Designs with schematics
- Interior details
- A valid supply list
- Realistic timeline
- A list of subcontractors with current bids (if you’re acting as owner-builder)
- An appraisal
In short, make sure you cover all your bases to avoid being caught off guard and making lenders have second thoughts about your project.
Consult With Current Barndo Owners
The best way to get relevant information on financing is by talking to other barndominium owners who’ve successfully received funding for their construction. Ask them for tips. Inquire about any questions that were thrown their way by the lenders so you can be well prepared if asked the same questions.
You can also get a lot of information on public forums and Facebook fan groups with people who’ve gone through the process of getting their barndominium financed. Just read on other people’s experiences and you’ll acquire some highly specific information.
Getting a barndominium is certainly a great idea, and figuring out the cost you are likely to incur is part of the first steps you need to take. But the figures you are going to come across, including those quoted in this article, are only a reference point. Each barndominium is unique, and its cost depends on the specifics, including size, style, and finishing.
More often than not, current barndominiums are new builds and so you’re likely looking at constructing your custom home. With this in mind, you may require financing for the same. So get all the necessary details ready to meet with the lenders.
If you plan yourself well, you are well on your way to owning your beautiful barndominium, whether it’s in Texas, Florida, or any other state.
- Site House: All About Barndominium, Floor Plans, Benefit, Cost / Price and Design
- Hansen Buildings: How Much Will My Barndominium Cost?
- International Code Council: Building Valuation Data – FEBRUARY 2019
- Home Advisor: How Much Do Metal Homes Cost?
- The Texas Mortgage Pros: Barndominium Financing: How To Find A Mortgage Lender
- Barndominium Life: Financing a Barndominium: How to Find a Lender
- Architecture Lab: The Rise of Barndominiums and Why You Should Buy One
- Allied Buildings: Steel Building Barndominiums
- Absolute Steel Texas: Texas Barndominiums History: The Many Lives of the Barndominium