Anyone build a Barndominium?
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
Venom16730 15-Aug-23
RonP 15-Aug-23
Sivart 15-Aug-23
Robear 15-Aug-23
TXCO 15-Aug-23
fuzzy 15-Aug-23
Catscratch 15-Aug-23
Bigdog 21 15-Aug-23
Pop-r 15-Aug-23
LBshooter 16-Aug-23
RonP 16-Aug-23
Franzen 16-Aug-23
Catscratch 16-Aug-23
Franzen 16-Aug-23
Bigdog 21 16-Aug-23
Buckdeer 16-Aug-23
Lewis 16-Aug-23
Beendare 16-Aug-23
Catscratch 16-Aug-23
WV Mountaineer 16-Aug-23
cnelk 16-Aug-23
Pop-r 17-Aug-23
LINK 17-Aug-23
Robear 17-Aug-23
Saphead 17-Aug-23
echozarn 18-Aug-23
Franzen 18-Aug-23
MQQSE 11-Oct-23
Catscratch 11-Oct-23
Buckdeer 12-Oct-23
Don 12-Oct-23
sureshot 13-Oct-23
rickepanton 05-Feb-24
From: Venom16730
15-Aug-23
Im just curious has anyone gone the route of building a Barndominium?? Im doing some research now and tossing it around. Prices seem to be pretty good .

From: RonP
15-Aug-23
as you know, they are essentially pole building construction with livable space to suit your needs. nothing too special about them.

i have not built one but have been in a few at various phases. the owners are mostly people that travel a lot in their RV and have toys such as a boat and atv/utv.

other than the potential to save construction cost, which really isn't much different than conventional stud framing on a concrete slab, there is no big advantage to them.

From: Sivart
15-Aug-23
I was told, not sure if true, that banks don't do long term loans on them. If that is the case, that would certainly effect resale value.

That said, I am looking into one as well.

From: Robear
15-Aug-23
We built a couple years back. After doing a lot of research and considering our extremely experienced general contractor’s advice, we went the route RonP talked about. Regular stickbuilt on a slab. Very happy with it.

From: TXCO
15-Aug-23
We priced out doing a custom barndo and it was the same if not more than a stick frame by the time it was all said and done. I think if you keep it reasonably small and modular, you can save some some money. They can be as nice or as basic as you want.

From: fuzzy
15-Aug-23
I haven't but I've been involved in the process on several. It can be simple or near impossible depending on your local code officials

From: Catscratch
15-Aug-23
We looked into them (as well as a modular, Morton building, steel building with inside finished by myself, and any other means we could find and research to build a house). Decided on stick built with a full basement. The contractor finished the upstairs, I finished the basement myself. Me finishing the basement made the bank loan smaller and we were move-in ready when the contractor finished. I didn't find a cost advantage to the barndominium. In fact the bank wasn't keen on it due to there not being any comparables locally.

From: Bigdog 21
15-Aug-23
Out side maintenance is pretty close to none of using all metal my barns built in the 70s still look the same just a little fade.

From: Pop-r
15-Aug-23
I've built several. They are very functional for people who don't require the traditional home. I can build one way cheaper than someone can say a stick framed, brick home on a slab when you get to comparing usable footage space. Bigdog is right...the only maintenance in 40 yrs might be to replace the screws.

From: LBshooter
16-Aug-23
is it safe to assume that stick built is stronger when it comes to storms?

From: RonP
16-Aug-23
"is it safe to assume that stick built is stronger when it comes to storms?"

there are some variables of course and ways to make the two types of construction more equal. but in general, the way the wall sheathing is nailed on a stick built home will make it less likely to be damaged by forces from wind than the typical pole building construction.

you can build stud walls between poles of a barndominium and attach wall sheathing the same way you would on a stick frame. but, this gets back to the above point that there is then less, if any, cost benefit.

From: Franzen
16-Aug-23
Never heard of this term. Often called a shouse here. Common metal sheds of this variety are likely to be engineered to barely meet requirements, which is one way they make money. They can be custom-engineered, but this costs more. If engineering is done on a stick built house, it is likely not done in the same manner. Many stick framed houses are not engineered, but just built with a proven system.

I'm not really following the difference in maintenance suggested. You can stick frame a house with a metal roof and siding that would last the same? A shouse can be a consideration if you are looking at having a relatively bare bones living space, but if you want a "normal" living space, I would look elsewhere.

From: Catscratch
16-Aug-23
I'm a little confused. Why would a shouse have a different interior than a stick built? The one's I've been in had just as many interior walls and rooms as any other living structure. Maybe I'm missing something?

From: Franzen
16-Aug-23
Catscratch, whose post are you confused with? I didn't see anyone post about the amount of interior walls.

From: Bigdog 21
16-Aug-23
If you try to build one use a moisture barrier before you put the metal on ,steel sweets alot. And best to insulate roof with the roll out roof insulation Before steel goes down. And last make sure your getting load barring trusses not standard.

From: Buckdeer
16-Aug-23
We see alot of them around here and I will say with the thinner metal the biggest issue I hear is that contractors staple the tyvec on and when the metal gets hot you can see the staples that dimple the metal.I know of one they just replaced all the metal on 1 side.Way to get around this is staple top and bottom.If I did one I would spray foam

From: Lewis
16-Aug-23
I have seen several around us and they are interesting as I gotten older I do like the idea of all being on one level.Lewis

From: Beendare
16-Aug-23
My take; a barndominium is a way to build max square feet at the lowest cost per sqft.

What makes a home better is space planning, function and the homes systems. Big open spaces aren’t necessarily better in any of those regards.

I would work with the site and build a passive home with conditioned attic space and an ERV. These are very efficient and create a comfortable interior 24/7.

From: Catscratch
16-Aug-23
Frazen, it was your post that said a shouse had bare bone living space compared to a stick built. I took "bare bones living space" to mean kind of lacking interior walls. I guess I might not know what you mean if that's not it.

16-Aug-23
It’s like anything else. If you’ve got the money, you can build anything as efficiently as you want. And, while I like the idea, I will never see the benefit of building on a slab.

From: cnelk
16-Aug-23
If you’re going to build on slab, put hot water heat in the concrete.

I built a barndo almost 30 years ago and they can be very cost effective and efficient - especially if you do the work yourself

From: Pop-r
17-Aug-23
PEX has made it a daydream.

From: LINK
17-Aug-23
You’re saving money by not using studs and sheathing on the walls and roof. Maybe save money on trusses but I would still want a normal spacing on trusses. A local guy is building a stick grand metal wrapped house. The insurance adjuster made him deck it after the roof felt squishy with wood perling. The savings is in the metal being your sheathing and exterior. With kids my shop all ready has dints and dings and after a few years you can’t match the metal. I don’t care on my shop but don’t want that for a house.

From: Robear
17-Aug-23
I agree with putting radiant heat in the slab. We did the house, covered breezeway, and the 46x60 attached shop. It is so nice having warm floors in the winter. We also have a regular heat pump system, but it never kicks on unless it is extremely cold out. I just keep the shop at about 50 degrees. I can work out there in just a hoodie, and it is warm enough to keep the duck boat and related gear thawed out so I don’t have to worry about missing any days. In my part of the world, we don’t have birds very often.

From: Saphead
17-Aug-23
I built one on the South Dakota Wyoming line. Saved a lot of money over a conventional stick built house. The finish side looks like a regular house inside. There are hundreds across Wyoming and South Dakota. They handle all the weather that we get just fine.

From: echozarn
18-Aug-23
I have done just what you are asking about last summer. I will be happy to answer any questions as I did everything myself except the shell and concrete. I know that there are some downsides but also many positives. You do need to consider the loan part if your requiring that. Some lending institutions will not do a conventional/fixed rate mortgage on a Shouse. By the way we really like ours and I'm in Minnesota.

From: Franzen
18-Aug-23
Catscratch, I suspected that was the case. To clarify, the last part of my post was only referring to the cost benefit factor. In my opinion, there may be some cost benefit to building a shouse if taking a less is more approach and building something more along the lines of a bare bones living space. A lot of people are okay with that, and for some cases it makes sense. However, once you start moving towards more of a traditional buildout, I think you lose that substantial cost benefit. Maybe the original construction cost still wins out, but does the end value? I'll add that I don't believe the market is the same as it was 10-20+ years ago.

From: MQQSE
11-Oct-23

MQQSE's embedded Photo
MQQSE's embedded Photo
I built one. I can honestly say that once you get going, it’s easy to add all kinds of stuff and ratchet the final price way up there. Having said that, I can’t imagine not having the final product, as we use it all the time.

From: Catscratch
11-Oct-23
MQQSE, that's a beautiful place! Nice job!

From: Buckdeer
12-Oct-23
One thing to watch for especially if it gets real hot there is if you use the thinner metal don't staple your tyvek except on ends.The staples will show through the metal if in the middle of sheet

From: Don
12-Oct-23
I’m planning to build one on 200 acres of my future, still not bought retirement farm. 7 years, 3 months, and 12 days to go!

From: sureshot
13-Oct-23
One of the biggest benefits of barndominium where I live, Illinois, would be the significant property tax savings over the life of the building.

From: rickepanton
05-Feb-24
I was in the same boat, just like you, doing some research and pondering the idea. Prices really caught my attention – they're often quite reasonable compared to traditional homes.So, I decided to take the plunge and build one. Let me tell you, it's been quite the journey. The freedom in design is amazing – I could customize it to my liking, blending that rustic charm with a modern twist.Also, I recently separated my gardening plots from the patio with some metal privacy screens. I found them at https://www.luxuryscreens.co.uk/product-category/metal-screens/. They added a unique touch to my outdoor space and gave me the privacy I was looking for.

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