Barndominums are a type of metal building typically, and they’re becoming an increasingly popular home style for people throughout the country, but especially in Texas and the Midwest. If you’re considering a barndominium, they have both pros and cons, and we talk in detail about what to know before you invest in one below.
1. What is a Barnodminium?
A barndominium is sometimes called a barndo for short, and essentially it’s a building that’s in the style of a barn and is usually built from metal or steel, but sometimes from wood. These buildings are used residentially.
They’re often rectangular buildings with open living, and the homeowners have the chance to customize the floor plan completely.
Some barndos are barn-to-home conversions, but increasingly, people are constructing them from the ground up.
2. The Pros of a Barndo
Some of the upsides of this type of dwelling option include the following:
Flexibility: Barndos can be spacious, and as mentioned, since they’re inherently open-concept, you have a lot of flexibility in how you design the interior. You can use the inside space in whatever ways are going to suit your lifestyle. Some people will add large work or office spaces and home gyms, or they’ll actually use parts of their home for farm equipment storage.
Durability: Since barndos are made from metal or steel shells, they’re highly durable against the elements—more so, in fact, than traditional homes in many cases. They’re not only resistant to the elements but to mold and rot, and you can lower your insurance costs if you have a barndo.
Maintenance: A barndominium is a low-maintenance dwelling option. By contrast, a traditional home is going to often be built with materials that require upkeep every few years or so. A barndo has a strong base and exterior walls that are metal or steel, giving them a long lifespan that’s maintenance-free.
Low building costs: You’ll often find that you’re able to keep your costs low with a barndo. Prices can vary depending on your contractor, the kit you choose, and your building expenses, but they are usually lower than a comparable house would be.
Safety: Metal barndos are going to offer a lot of protection. If you were the victim of a fire, for example, the damages to a steel barndo are likely to be less significant, and they can provide a good shield during storms with strong winds.
Efficiency: A barndominium is energy-efficient, primarily because they’re built with steel. These metal buildings have good insulation and weatherization against natural elements. A metal roof is also going to be highly reflective, which is good from the standpoint of energy efficiency.
3. The Cons of a Barndominium
There are downsides that you have to think carefully about before you build a barndominium.
First, you should avoid this type of structure in a humid, tropical climate because it can corrode.
Depending on where you live, there might be restrictions as far as whether you can build one at all. There may also be limitations that say you can build a barndominium, but it has to be constructed with wood rather than metal.
One of the biggest deterrents if you like the overall look and style of these dwellings is that it’s tough to get financing. You might also have trouble if you want to resell it in the future. It’s going to be a limited pool of buyers who would be interested, so your home may not hold its value.
4. The Price
Barndominimums can be cost-effective, but don’t assume they are automatically the cheapest option.
They can be less expensive than building a new construction home because lumber’s expensive right now, but they might be more expensive than buying a comparable existing home. It all just depends, but it doesn’t work out that a barndo is automatically the cheaper option.
Additionally, you have to think about not just the price of the structure itself but other things like the cost to clear the land and the finishes. When you clear land, you have to grade and excavate it, and other costs include your foundation, sewage and septic system, plumbing, and electricity.
5. Local Laws
Finally, the issue with local laws is briefly touched on. You may have a hard time getting permits, and local ordinances will often have in place style and size requirements that you have to think about in your design.
If you’re buying a property that already has a barn or barndominium on it, you can’t assume the previous owners built to code.