A barndominium (or barndo) is a mix of a barn and a condominium. It’s, essentially, a barn turned into a country-style open-concept living space where you can also have working quarters. Barndominiums can also be built from scratch!
These unique homes have become very popular in recent years, especially among people who want to escape the high cost of traditional housing.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Barndominium?
On average, the barndominium cost per square foot ranges from $100 to $130. A small barndominium (around 800 sq ft) costs about $80,000–$104,000, while a large one (about 2,000 sq ft) can reach $200,000–$260,000.
Naturally, the cost to build a barndominium may vary depending on the barndo’s size and complexity, as well as the type and quality of building materials you intend to use.
Key Factors to Consider When Estimating a Barndominium Cost
As you know, the cost of building a barndominium can vary significantly depending on various factors. So, let’s get more familiar with everything that affects barndominium prices and see what you can expect finance-wise if you decide to get this type of housing.
1. A basic barndominium kit costs $50 to $100 per sq ft.
You should know that the average cost of a barndominium building kit doesn’t include various amenities like insulation, porches, or cupolas. What it does include is a standard design, siding, doors, windows, hardware, and framing.
2. DIY-ing your barndo will save you a lot of money.
If you’re the one building your barndo from its foundation to the roof, you can save much more than if you hire contractors or subcontractors.
The difference in price can reach well over $100 per square foot. For example, a DIY 40×60 barndo kit can cost you as little as $20/sq ft, while the contractors would charge you much more — up to $200/sq ft.
3. Essential licensed work will cost you $85 to $95 per sq ft.
Even if you build your barndominium all by yourself, you’ll still need to include the charge of licensed professional work into your overall barndominium cost (e.g., plumbing, electricity, floor plan work, etc.). Bear in mind that location will play a vital role in the price of professional work.
4. On average, you’ll need around 8,600 sq ft of land to build a barndo.
If you own land, you’ll have a head start on this project. If you don’t, be sure to include the cost of the land into your overall budget. This can add tens of thousands of dollars to the final cost at some locations.
You shouldn’t forget the taxation costs (which owning land and building on the said land entail), either.
5. Barndos are usually cheaper than houses.
When you compare a barndominium cost vs. house cost, you’ll realize that barndos are generally more affordable. Building a traditional house will cost you $100 to $200 per sq ft, while barndos range from $100 to $130 per sq ft.
6. Turnkey barndominium prices range from $150 to $190 per sq ft.
If you hire a contractor to build your barndominium, the cost will depend on the floor plan and the general complexity of the barndo. The more porches, cupolas, and other amenities you add, the higher the price will be.
7. The complexity of design and the number of fixtures can drive up your barndo’s price.
Expectedly, a simple barndo shell with no finishes or amenities will cost less than one with all the bells and whistles.
The mere farmhouse-style living space isn’t the only thing that constitutes the price. The number of bathrooms, doors, and the overall layout (floor plan) will also affect the overall cost. For example, a 30×40 barndominium will cost around $155,000 (two bedrooms and one bath).
8. The average insulation cost ranges between $1.25 and $1.75 per sq ft.
Insulating your barndominium will add around $2,000 to your building bill, depending on your barndo’s size and the labor cost in the location you’re building.
But insulation undoubtedly pays off. Well-insulated barndos are often more energy-efficient than traditional houses, so you’ll be saving a solid amount of money on heating/cooling if you invest in optimizing the airflow.
Barndominiums are definitely worth it! You can have an inexpensive, highly-functional living space in months. And if you choose a cheaper location and do some of the work yourself, you’ll truly be able to save a lot.
With some planning and effort, your barndo can become a beautiful living place you’ll be proud to call your home.
Is it cheaper to build a barndominium or a house?
In many ways, the construction of barndos is cheaper than the construction of houses. Barndominiums usually cost $100 to $130 to build, whereas houses typically cost $100 to $200 per sq ft.
Less expensive materials and larger square footage of barndominiums make the difference even bigger.
Where is the cheapest place to build a Barndominium?
West Virginia, Alabama, and Mississippi are the best places to build a barndominium in the US if you’re looking to spend as little as possible. Barndominium prices for the initial construction in these states are $81, $86, and $89 per square foot, respectively.
Do barndominiums hold their value?
Yes, high-quality barndos made with high-grade materials maintain their resale value. However, their appreciation rate is lower compared to that of traditional housing. Because they’re cheaper to build, most homebuyers opt for building their own barndominium instead of buying one.