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The Barndominium Home

Have you ever wanted to live in a Barn style home? Now you can: the barndominium!


Barn Style Living in the Modern World: The Barndominium Home

By: Meredith A. Iager

Several HGTV home shows have featured the barn style living quarters. The concept is transforming farm life into the modern era. Think of the barn loft apartment, like the one Patrick Swayze’s character rented in the 1987 film, Road House—this will give you a flavor of what the barndominium is.

Typically, many of these homes are one floor living areas especially if you want lower cost. But, you can have a second level area if you’d like. You can put up walls inside, again that depends on how much privacy you need, add in a kitchen area, bedroom and bathrooms, have wide open rooms, minus the barnyard stench! It’s a great idea for the new homesteader or city folks that want a little more room, but still live with in a distance to their job.

If you’re interested then what are you waiting for? Brainstorm some ideas and formulate plans to purchase a new metal barn home today for your brand new, barndomimium!

Spend the Night in a Bardominium Rental, Before You Buy

If you like the idea of one of these homes you may want to consider renting one of them first. The barndominium isn’t a home for everyone. This way you can see if it fits your lifestyle. Not everyone can appreciate the one-level living that is a barn style. You can check out rentals by visiting Airbnb.com for more information to test one out!

Cheaper Than an Average New Home

You can pick out the size you want for your metal building shell. It can be properly insulated, usually they feature concrete floors, though you can add specific wood or carpeted flooring to make it more home-like, add a kitchen area, plumbing, electric, add walls everywhere if you want, or leave it open. You can also add solar panels to be more off-grid, and have lower utility costs. But, these are a costly venture to begin with, perhaps something to add later on?

Whatever you choose is entirely up to you. This is why they can be very affordable and a versatile option, especially for first time home buyers. To be more cost efficient you can start with a smaller home, 2 bedrooms and 1 bath. If you need more rooms or bathrooms you can add these later on, maybe start off with a larger metal shell. It all depends on your budget. This way if you hate living in it, use it for an office space, and build a larger home.

Companies That Make Barndominiums

Many companies sell pre-done metal buildings as well as offer different package plans for you to put together. Other companies only sell the metal buildings and usually do the slab flooring, but everything inside would be up to you to complete.

If you buy the metal building many times you can work with your own set of contractors for the interior work. This way you can have your kitchen space, bathrooms, electrical and plumbing and whatever else you desire. Several companies like W.D. Buildings or Atlanta Building Company build barndominiums from start to finish, kind of like the log home builder companies you can find online.

  • W.D. Metal Buildings in Texas, designs, builds, and interior
  • Carports and More Inc., you can purchase metal buildings from
  • MetalBuildingHomes.org
  • Alan’s Factory Outlet, metal buildings, carports, etc.
  • Atlanta Building Company
  • Many other companies online, check your state

Metal Barndominium Features Are Anything You Want

Metal buildings are now not only used for outbuildings on farms and larger properties, but they could be transformed into your new Barndominium home. They come in a variety of sizes. You can always start small, this way if you want an upgrade, you could use your first barndominium as a garage or other work space down the road.

A small to medium sized barndominium home is usually from 700—1200 sq. ft. There are a variety of features just like in a regular stick built home, but things are taller, larger, like you’re inside of a barn or other kind of outbuilding. You can customize and have a wide open space, or put several walls up, just like in a traditional American home.

Basic Features of a Barndominium:

  • Metal shell barn (the building itself)
  • Come in a variety of colors for the metal building (common ones: charcoal gray, white, hunter green, navy, traditional barn red)
  • Add brick or stucco
  • Several sizes of metal buildings to choose from
  • Easy to clean concrete flooring
  • Fire resistant metal exterior
  • Buildings usually have a 15-20 year rust warranty
  • 9+ foot ceilings
  • Many companies put them together as homes, you can customize online
  • Add on slab porches; pillared decorative ones
  • Typically one floor living, though you could add a loft area (depends on how much customization money you have)
  • Add other levels/floors if desired
  • Can add a garage, or attach another building to the barndominium

Bardominium Average Costs:

  • Depends on size and customized areas
  • Average cost: $85 a sq. ft.
  • Customizations or add on features; prices depend
  • Contractor fees, depend on contractor rates and supply costs for (plumbing, electric, interior walls, bathrooms, cabinetry, etc.).
  • Average price: completed interior 2 bed, 1.5 bath home range: 80-120k (when doing the whole package through a company that provides more than just the metal building)

Now, Put Your Metal Bardominium Building ‘Shell’ on Land

Once you’ve rented one or just decided to buy a metal building for your own barndominium, you need to find acreage to purchase. Neighborhoods in the suburbs usually have tighter HOAs, while some don’t have an HOA at all. You’ll want to check with local building laws and read through the county codes.

It would be best to buy your land and understand what you can or cannot do to the property before you purchase your shell metal building. If you have some acreage outside the city areas, in a more rural setting, you are pretty much free to do what you want.

Why Build A Barndominium Home?

The Barndominium home can be the perfect choice if you have a smaller budget to work with and they are considerably less to maintain. Typically, putting up one is a faster process than average real estate sales process.

If you’d like to get in a home faster, with more options the barndominium could be a great option, provided you have a property read to place the metal building. As a reminder, it will still take time to get the interior situated but with efficient planning it can come together nicely and be a great new home for you and your family!


Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on December 08, 2019:

I'd be as happy as a clam living in one of these barn homes! Thanks for this interesting and informative article with great photos.