It costs $113,000 to $550,000 to build a barndominium. The national average is around $250,000 to $270,000 across the country.
The main factors that affect the cost include building size, construction materials, site accessibility, labor cost, permits, and finishing materials.
What is a Barndominium?
A barndominium is a hybrid residential structure that combines elements of a barn and a condominium. It typically features a steel-framed, metal-clad exterior and an open-concept interior accommodating living spaces and functional work areas. Barndominiums have gained popularity due to their cost effectiveness, durability, and customization options.
Itemized Price Breakdown for Building a $270,000
(National Average Cost) Barndominium
- Exterior shell: $40,500 (15%)
- Framing: $27,000 (10%)
- Windows and doors: $13,500 (5%)
- Porches: $8,100 (3%)
- Carport: $8,100 (3%)
- Trim and beams: $10,800 (4%)
- Electrical: $16,200 (6%)
- Plumbing: $16,200 (6%)
- Sheetrock: $8,100 (3%)
- Flooring: $16,200 (6%)
- Countertops: $8,100 (3%)
- Custom Cabinets: $13,500 (5%)
- Septic: $13,500 (5%)
- Light Fixtures: $5,400 (2%)
- Plumbing Fixtures: $5,400 (2%)
- Cultured Marble Showers: $5,400 (2%)
- HVAC: $13,500 (5%)
- Appliances: $13,500 (5%)
Factors that Affect Barndominium Building Cost
The cost of a barndominium is heavily influenced by its size. Average prices for common sizes are 30×40 (1,200 sq ft) at around $110,000-$140,000; 40×60 (2,400 sq ft) at $225,000-$290,000; and 60×70 (4,200 sq ft) at $390,000-$505,000.
The choice of materials can significantly affect the overall cost. Using higher-quality or more expensive materials will increase the price while opting for more affordable alternatives can help reduce costs.
Difficult-to-access building sites can increase costs due to the need for additional equipment or labor to transport materials and complete the construction.
Estimated per square foot prices for various professionals are: architect ($1.50-$5), draftsperson ($1-$2), carpenter ($1.50-$4), electrician ($2-$8), flooring professional ($1-$10), interior designer ($2-$12), landscape designer ($1-$6), and plumber ($1-$4).
Obtaining a permit for a barndominium can cost between $500 and $2,000, depending on the location and size of the project.
Choosing finishing materials, such as flooring, cabinets, and countertops, can greatly impact the final cost. Higher-end materials will increase prices, while more budget-friendly options can help decrease costs.
Predesigned plans are generally more affordable than customized plans, as they require less time and effort from the architect or designer.
Cost of Land
Land prices vary depending on location. In states where barndominiums are common, like Texas, average land prices range from $1,000 to $4,000 per acre.
The type of foundation affects cost. Concrete slab foundations cost around $4-$8 per sq ft, while concrete block or masonry foundations can range from $5-$10 per sq ft.
Septic Tank Installation
The average cost for septic tank installation is between $3,000 and $9,500, depending on tank size and local regulations.
Costs for utilities, such as water, gas, and electricity, can vary widely based on location and accessibility. These expenses need to be factored into the overall budget for a barndominium project.
Can I DIY build a barndominium?
Both DIY and hiring a professional have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to building a barndominium. The best choice depends on your skill level, budget, and preferences. Here are the pros and cons of each approach.
DIY Barndominium Construction
- Cost savings: Building a barndominium can save you money on labor costs, which can be a significant portion of the overall project budget.
- Personal satisfaction: Taking on a DIY project allows you complete control over the building process and can provide a sense of accomplishment once completed.
- Customization: A DIY approach allows you to make changes and customize the project as you see fit without consulting a professional.
- Time-consuming: A DIY barndominium build can take longer to complete, especially if you lack experience or are learning new skills.
- Potential mistakes: Without professional guidance, you may make mistakes that could lead to structural issues, code violations, or increased costs to fix problems.
- Limited expertise: You may not have the necessary skills or knowledge to handle every aspect of the construction process, which could compromise the quality of the finished product.
Hiring a Professional for Barndominium Construction
- Expertise: Professionals have the experience and knowledge to ensure your barndominium is built to code and with quality materials, reducing the likelihood of issues down the road.
- Time savings: Hiring a professional can speed up the construction process, allowing you to move into your new home more quickly.
- Reduced stress: A professional will manage the project, handle permits, and coordinate subcontractors, which can alleviate the stress and workload associated with a DIY build.
- Increased cost: Hiring a professional can be more expensive due to labor costs and design, permitting, and project management fees.
- Less control: Working with a professional may limit your ability to make changes or customize the project as easily as possible in a DIY build.
- Finding a reputable contractor: Finding a trustworthy and reliable contractor can be challenging, and you may need to spend time researching and interviewing potential candidates.
Tips to Save Money when Building a Barndominium
Plan carefully: A well-thought-out design and budget will help you avoid unexpected expenses and changes during construction. Consider your needs, preferences, and plans when designing the barndominium.
Choose a simple design: Opt for a straightforward layout and avoid overly complex designs that require more labor and materials. A simpler design will also reduce the time and cost of construction.
Comparison shop: Obtain multiple quotes for materials and services for the best prices. Compare prices from different suppliers and contractors before making a decision.
Use prefabricated kits: Consider using a barndominium kit that includes pre-cut and pre-drilled materials. These kits can reduce labor costs and construction time.
DIY where possible: If you have the necessary skills and experience, take on some of the work yourself to save on labor costs. Be realistic about your abilities and consult professionals when necessary.
Reuse and repurpose materials: Look for opportunities to use reclaimed or recycled materials in your construction, saving money and giving your barndominium a unique character.
Opt for cost-effective materials: Choose affordable yet durable materials for your construction, such as metal siding and roofing, which can reduce costs without compromising quality.
Group purchases: Coordinate with other builders or homeowners in your area to buy materials in bulk, which can help you negotiate better prices with suppliers.
Energy efficiency: Invest in energy-efficient materials and systems, such as insulation and windows, to reduce long-term utility costs.
Time your build: If possible, schedule your construction during the off-peak season when contractors may offer lower rates due to reduced demand.
Monitor progress: Stay involved in the construction process and regularly check the progress to ensure everything stays on schedule and within budget. Address any issues or concerns promptly to avoid costly changes or delays.
Be patient and flexible: Be prepared to compromise and prioritize your needs to stay within your budget. This may involve adjusting the size, finishes, or features of your barndominium.
Benefits of Building a Barndominium over a Traditional House
Cost-effective: Barndominiums are typically less expensive than traditional houses, as they utilize pre-engineered metal building kits. This can lead to significant savings in both construction and labor costs.
Faster construction: The pre-fabricated nature of barndominiums allows quicker construction times than traditional houses. This can be especially beneficial for those with tight deadlines or who wish to move into their new home as soon as possible.
Customization: Barndominiums offer a high level of customization, allowing homeowners to design the interior layout and exterior appearance to suit their preferences. This flexibility enables the creation of a unique and personalized space.
Energy efficiency: Metal buildings are known for their energy efficiency, helping to keep heating and cooling costs low. Proper insulation and the use of energy-efficient materials can further enhance the efficiency of a barndominium.
Durability: Barndominiums are built with steel frames, making them highly durable and resistant to damage from natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. This structural strength contributes to a longer lifespan and lower maintenance costs.
Low maintenance: Metal structures require minimal maintenance compared to traditional houses. There is no need for painting, and the materials used are resistant to rot, termites, and other common issues plaguing traditional homes.
Multi-purpose use: Barndominiums can accommodate living spaces and functional work areas, such as workshops, storage, or businesses. This versatility allows for more efficient use of space and suits various lifestyles’ needs.
Adaptability: As the needs of a homeowner change over time, the open floor plan and adaptable nature of barndominiums make it easier to modify or expand the living space without the need for extensive renovations.
Resale value: Due to their unique design, durability, and energy efficiency, barndominiums can have strong resale value in the market, making them a sound investment for homeowners.
Environmentally friendly: The use of metal materials and energy-efficient designs can help reduce the environmental impact of a barndominium, making it a more eco-friendly housing option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is cheaper to build: a barndominium or a house?
Barndominiums are generally cheaper to build than traditional houses due to their pre-engineered metal building kits, which reduce construction and labor costs. However, the final cost depends on design, materials, and location.
How long will it take to complete a barndominium?
The construction time for a barndominium varies depending on size, complexity, and weather conditions. Typically, it takes 4 to 6 months to complete a barndominium; the timeline can be shorter or longer based on individual circumstances.
How long does a barndominium last?
Barndominiums are known for their durability, featuring steel frames and metal exteriors. A barndominium can last for several decades with proper maintenance, providing a long-lasting and low-maintenance living option.
What are the few drawbacks of building a barndominium?
Some drawbacks of building a barndominium include potential financing challenges, as not all lenders are familiar with this type of construction; possible limitations due to local building codes and zoning regulations; and a less traditional appearance, which may not appeal to all homebuyers.