How to Build Your Barndominium Budget-Friendly - The ArchDigest (2024)

Barndominiums also referred to as barndos, originated from Texas and spread across the world like wildfire. These attractive, highly customized, and sturdy steel houses are gradually springing up in rural and urban areas; and have become most homeowners’ choice of home.

These structures have a steel frame that provides many benefits over other construction materials such as wood: flexibility of design, lower construction and maintenance costs, plenty of space and rooms, etc.

While building a traditional house might be expensive, you can save money building a barndo and still get a unique design and bigger space. This article will uncover everything you need to know about building your barndominium budget-friendly.

What is a Barndominium?

How to Build Your Barndominium Budget-Friendly - The ArchDigest (1)

A barndominium is an open concept structure usually made of steel with vast spaces that combine working areas and living spaces. Traditionally, brands were used as storage houses, stables, or poultry shelters. Today, they have been converted into luxurious homes and offices.

The interior of a barndominium can be left open (open floor plan) or partitioned into multiple rooms that offer similar comfort and amenities found in traditional houses. The working space of a barndo can include simple storage, a garage, or a large workshop. Both the workspace and living area can be fully customized to meet the owner’s needs.

Should I Build a Barndominium or a Traditional House?How to Build Your Barndominium Budget-Friendly - The ArchDigest (2)

If you think of owning a home, you should probably think of building a barndominium for these reasons: It is cheaper financing a barndominium than a traditional house. The cost estimate of building a barndominium per square foot is more affordable than a conventional house.

A barndo is an excellent choice for someone who values unique design but wants to spend less. Since they are made of steel, these durable structures offer more versatility with their open spaces and high roof.

How to Build Your Barndominium Budget-Friendly

How to Build Your Barndominium Budget-Friendly - The ArchDigest (3)

Barndominiums are the newest type of home most people desire to build from start to finish. Unlike traditional houses, barndominiums are easy to build with simple designs, making them cost-effective. Here are a few tips on how to build your barndominium budget-friendly:

Be your own contractor – If you have some experience in building, you can reduce the cost of constructing your barndominium by taking up the contractor’s duties. This includes supervising workers, hiring subcontractors, and keeping the construction project on schedule. To do this, you need to understand building codes, ensure you obtain all the required permits before construction work starts, etc.

If this seems like a little too much for you to take on, an experienced metal buildings contractor will be able to do this work for you, leaving you to concentrate on other areas of the project.

Also Read: 13 Reasons Why Barndominiums Are Exploding in Popularity

Build the barndominium yourself – Building your own barndominium can help save construction costs; rather than hiring professionals, save that money by doing the work. For example, you can take the job of site preparation and ensure the ground is level and suitable for your barndo foundation. Once construction begins, you can also take up the sub-contractor job if you have experience.

Choose a budget-friendly location – The location you want to build your barndo has a substantial impact on the construction cost. For example, if you pick a remote location, it may be expensive to transport construction materials to the site. The price of land is also worth considering since they vary in different places.

Install pre-made cabinets – Cabinets are usually one of the most expensive features of a home. There are high-end custom-made cabinets that can significantly hike the overall cost of building your barndominium. However, you can cut costs by installing pre-made cabinets that are budget-friendly.

Benefits of Building a Barndominium

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Barndominiums have gradually become popular due to the many benefits of owning one. Below are a few advantages of building a barndo over a traditional style home:

It takes a shorter time to build – The structural design of a barndominium takes less time to put up. Additionally, if you opt for a prefabricated plan or use barndominium kits, it only takes a few weeks for your home to be ready. A shorter building time means saving money in terms of labor costs.

Cost-effective – as mentioned earlier, building a barn home costs less than building a conventional house. If you are looking for a budget-friendly home option, consider building a barndominium. With a barndo, you enjoy lower taxes, low insurance premiums, cheaper plumbing and electrical sources, low utility charges, etc.

Design freedom – With a barndominium, you can customize it as much as you want. You have the freedom and space to design how you want to live, whether you want an open floor concept or multiple rooms that suit your needs.

Eco-friendliness – Barndominiums are eco-friendly structures. They have excellent insulation options, energy-efficient windows, hallways that allow free circulation of air, etc.

Low maintenance cost – Barn homes are usually built from durable materials; thus, they require low maintenance. There’s no brick siding, no shingles, and the concrete floor is cheap and easy to maintain.

Longevity – This is one of the significant reasons why barndominiums are trending. They are made from steel frames and metal sheets, making them durable. Barndos can withstand extreme weather and last for years.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of your frequently asked questions:

How Cheap Is it to Build a Barndominium?

While barndominiums offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional homes, some people take it a little further to make them luxurious, thus becoming even more expensive than regular houses. However, the bottom line is that a standard barndominium with basic amenities costs approximately $180,000 and $350,000.

How Long Does it Take to Build a Barndominium?

It takes approximately between 3 to 6 months to build a barndominium. However, just like a traditional home, construction time depends on factors such as size, availability of building materials, customization level, etc. Building a simple barndo can take a few weeks to complete.

Do Banks Finance a Barndominium?

Like any other property, a barndominium can be financed by banks; whether you decide to get a loan or finance it yourself. Since barndos are not common like regular houses, you might have limited loan options.


Today, barndominiums have become the most sought-after housing trend in the world. Its many advantages have barndominiums a preferred option over traditional housing style. Building a budget-friendly barndo goes a long way in saving you construction and maintenance costs. However, you still get plenty of living and working space at an affordable price.

We have given you the essential tips on how to build your barndominium budget-friendly. If you are looking for a combined living and working space and want to enjoy an affordable and low-maintenance home, opt for a barndominium.

How to Build Your Barndominium Budget-Friendly - The ArchDigest (2024)


What's the cheapest you can build a barndominium? ›

The cost to build a barndominium is $65 to $160 per square foot or $130,000 to $320,000 on average for a 2,000 SF home. Barndominium prices depend on the size, materials, and interior finishes chosen. Barndominium kit prices are $20 to $35 per square foot for materials only.

What I wish I knew before building a barndominium? ›

Here are the most important things to know about building a barndominium.
  • Obtain a permit for your project. Photo by Bridger Steel, Inc. ...
  • Test the paint. Photo by Justin Doyle Homes. ...
  • Prepare for surprise costs. ...
  • Plan for electrical work. ...
  • Choose your windows and doors wisely. ...
  • Add insulation—it's important.
Mar 14, 2022

How to make a barndominium cheaper? ›

Here are 15 ways to save money when building a barndominium.
  1. Purchase a Barndominium Kit.
  2. Build the Barndominium Yourself.
  3. Act as Your Own General Contractor.
  4. Take on More of the Less-Skilled Jobs.
  5. Choose Premade Barndominium Blueprints.
  6. Buy Ready-to-Assemble Cabinets From Wholesalers.
  7. Purchase Building Materials and Supplies.
Apr 17, 2023

How big of a barndominium can I build for 200k? ›

On the high end, barndominiums have an average cost of $150 per square foot. At that price, you can estimate a building of around 1,333 square feet for $200,000. That is the cost of doing it yourself.

How big of a barndominium can I build for 100k? ›

Maximizing open communal areas and minimizing hallway footage amplifies perceived space too. With pragmatic design selections, $100k gives hope for wonderfully livable 900-1,000 sq ft barndos in rural regions.

How much would it cost to build a 5000 sq ft barndominium? ›

In general, building a barndominium will cost about $62-$136 per square foot. Compare that to a traditional home build at $100-$150 per square foot, and it's easy to see why barndos are an affordable custom home building option!

What are the negatives of barndominiums? ›

If you're considering building or buying a barndominium, consider this list of downsides before you sign your name on a dotted line:
  • Location Limitations. ...
  • Financing. ...
  • Corrosion. ...
  • Noise. ...
  • UV Exposure. ...
  • Wiring Challenges. ...
  • Reselling.
Oct 19, 2022

Why are barndominiums hard to finance? ›

Getting a home loan for a barndominium can be tricky since many lenders are unfamiliar with these types of structures. However, it is far from impossible. You just need to be able to fulfill your lender's requirements as well as the stipulations set out by your particular loan program.

Are barndominiums hard to insure? ›

Insuring a barndominium does require a specialized approach due to its unique characteristics, but don't let that keep you from following your plan of building your dream Barndominium because finding an insurance company that deals in barndominiums isn't all that difficult, it's typically a google search away like ...

How much does it cost to build a 2000 square foot barndominium? ›

The average cost of a 2000 sq ft barndominium is about $75,000 to $150,000. Just buying the kit is substantially cheaper. However, a variety of factors influence the price: DIY vs hiring a contractor.

What flooring is best for a barndominium? ›

Polished concrete, epoxy coatings, and barndominium stained concrete floors have the strength to outlast almost any other residential or commercial flooring option.

Is it cheaper to build a 1 or 2 story barndominium? ›

Obviously, a single Story home is Going to Cost Less to build, it has a smaller overall footprint and uses fewer materials. This choice significantly impacts the overall design, functionality, and, most crucially, the cost of the project.

How big of a house can you build for 250k? ›

Square footage impacts cost
Size of homeExpected cost
2,000 square foot home$200,000 – $400,00
2,500 square foot home$250,000 – $500,000
3,000 square foot home$300,000 – $600,000
5,000 square foot home$500,000 – $1,000,000
3 more rows
Nov 30, 2023

How many square feet is a 40x60 barndominium? ›

40x60 (2400 square foot)

How fast can you build a barndominium? ›

The construction time can vary based on size and complexity, but generally, barndominiums can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to build, which is often faster than traditional homes due to prefabricated elements.

Are barndominiums cheaper to build than a house? ›

Cost of Barndominium vs.

The most common estimate asserts that a new barndominium with basic amenities will cost about $30 to $40 per square foot to build, compared to the cost of building a traditional home is around $100 to $200 per square foot.

Can you build a house with $100 K? ›

With the average house costing more than $300,000 in the U.S., it's not surprising that more and more people are choosing smaller homes. Housing prices are only expected to continue soaring, according to Zillow, so many are wondering if it's possible to build a house for just $100k. Yes, this is a possibility!

How much do most barndominiums cost to build? ›

On average, a 2,400-square-foot barndominium costs about $120,000 to $500,000 or more to construct with a builder, according to HomeAdvisor. Barndominium kits from companies like Worldwide Steel Buildings start around $10 a square foot and can go up to about $30 a square foot.

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