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.

How to Build Your Barndominium Budget-Friendly - The ArchDigest (5)

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 is the most expensive part of a barndominium? ›

The most expensive part of building a barndominium is often the interior finishes. Customization, high-end materials, and intricate designs can significantly impact the overall cost.

How to make a barndominium cheaper? ›

Building a Barndominium on a Budget: 8 Unique Tips to Consider
  1. Choose an Inexpensive State.
  2. Use a Kit.
  3. Simplify Your Design.
  4. Do Work Yourself.
  5. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances.
  6. Hire an Experienced Builder.
  7. Use a Detailed Plan.
  8. Track Spending.
Apr 19, 2023

What do 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 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 is the downside to a barndominium? ›

Pros of barndominiums include a cheaper cost, fully customizable space, and lower maintenance. They're also highly durable with lots of extra room and are a more eco-friendly housing option. Meanwhile, cons include higher upfront costs, difficulties finding financing, and not all cities allow them.

Is it possible to build a barndominium for 100K? ›

It is not an impossibility that you can build a barndominium for 100K. However, it is not too common. If you seek to go that route, you need to cut down on expenses and do most of the work yourself. You will need to find the right piece of land to erect your barndominium.

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.

Do barndominiums hold their value? ›

Barndominiums normally retain their resale value and may even increase in value gradually, although more slowly than a standard home. However, these homes are still rare in some parts of the country, and it may be challenging to get an accurate appraisal in an area where there are few.

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

To answer the title right out of the gate, A small one, With a budget of only $100k assuming you have property cleared prepped and ready you would most likely be looking at a 1000sqft barndominium or depending on the material you use maybe a sub 1000sqft dwelling.

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.

What comes in a barndominium kit? ›

On average, a barndominium kit includes:
  • Pre-engineered metal roof.
  • Metal walls.
  • Exterior doors.
  • The windows.
  • Insulation ( may or may not be included)
  • A tool kit list (items that you need to buy in order to build the barndominium)
  • A complete step-by-step instruction guide.

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 long does it take to build a 3,000 sq ft barndominium? ›

Building Timeline Overview

For a DIY-inclined owner with sufficient time and adequate skillset, constructing a basic 3000 sq ft barndominium yourself using pre-fabricated steel building components could conceivably only require around 5 months from breaking ground to securing an occupancy permit.

How long does it take to build a barndominium from scratch? ›

Most builders provide a ballpark estimate of 6 months for building a barndominium from the ground up. However, this is an average, and it tends to be an extremely fickle estimate, as every project can/will have a variety of factors that add extra time – or allow for shortcuts.

Are barndominiums cheaper to build than a house? ›

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 barndominium for 70k? ›

After everything was said and done, Todd's barndo came in around $70,000. This was a few thousand over his budget, but he was able to build a barndominium with his own hands (and lots of help). His end product is full of character and rustic charm. Although the materials were purchased cheap, they do not look cheap.

How much do most barndominiums cost to build? ›

A barndominium typical costs between $112,800 and $540,000 to build, with homeowners across the country paying a national average cost of $265,000.


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