Barndominiums – Everything you need to know

Barndominiums started growing in popularity over the last few years. Maybe it’s the unique lifestyle or the sleek farmhouse charm that has been drawing people in. We tend to think it is the intriguing promise of “A dream home that won’t break the bank.” For many people, barndominiums have become a lifestyle. They are entrepreneurs and business owners who want a shop/house combination and a very short commute to work. They are outdoor enthusiasts that want a completely different lifestyle, possibly one with an open home to pull a camper inside, to live in all year round. Some just want the benefit of a Barndominium’s ability to fit large families and relatives comfortably for all the holiday gatherings. The question is, can you really build a Barndominium dream home for a fraction of the cost of a stick-built home?

What Is A barndominium

Before we talk about cost saving, let’s first talk about what exactly is a barndominium home.  A Barndo home, as they have come to be known, is a home built using the shell of a Metal Post Frame Building. Post Frame Buildings are structures used for things like horse barns, riding arenas, garages, hobby shops, hay storage sheds, machinery storage, offices, and other agricultural purposes. They can be framed up, insulated, and finished on the inside just like any other home. Many barndominiums feature an expansive, open concept living with high vaulted ceilings. Post-frame construction relies on long spanning roof trusses that are very rigid even over large spans. For this reason, load bearing interior walls are not required. This is why the interior of a Barndominium home is recognized and defined by its opened concept. The original Barndominium was first seen when the early settlers had the same idea which was building one structure for all of their needs. The barndominium included both their residence and a home for their animals in the 1800s to the mid 1900’s. More recently, we have Chip and Joanna to thank for bringing the modern Barndo living to the forefront.

Common Misconceptions

They are so cheap: The biggest misconception we have run into is that consumers believe they will be able to build the home of their dreams with a small budget. We blame social media and bait click for misguiding people. The good news is that you will, in fact, save money and time by choosing a Post Frame Construction Home.  In general, you can hope to save around 15 to 20 percent by building a barndominium. Your biggest savings will come from not needing to dig a basement foundation. Bardos can be built right on a concrete slab. Your second saving will come from the ability to save time. Barndominiums can be built faster, and time is money when it comes to construction.  It is important to remember that building the barndominium is only one part of the total cost. You will also have to get things like permits and floor plan designs, which will also cost money. I can just buy plans online: Because Barndominiums are so new to this area, we highly recommend working with a local architect that will be familiar with local permits and codes.  Spending money wisely is one of the most important things to do when building a barndominium and starting with a good set of local drawn plans will be your very first step in the right direction in getting you up to local codes and on the right path for your project to be financed. Anyone can build them: We have seen the idea of the Barndo be sold as a DIY, or a kit idea. In many ways, you will be better off having someone that specializes in Post Frame construction do the bulk of the work including building the post frame construction piece of the project. If you have ever seen the intricate design of a Post Frame building and all the puzzle pieces, you will agree it will be best to leave it to the professionals, this way, you can be certain that it is done correctly, and all the pieces of the puzzle are included and put in the proper place.


Building a barndominium is a great way to get a unique dream home while saving some money and time. Knowing how to navigate the world of bardo construction can put you ahead of the game. With the proper research and preparation, you can be living in your perfect custom and unique barndominium. We do recommend before you contact us for a custom quote on your dream barndominium that you have your land in mind as well as a set of local architect plans drawn up. It will be helpful for us to give you a quote with a set of plans to work with. Contact us with any questions you may have, we are here to help.

Barndominiums Pros

  • Cost efficient and quicker to build than conventional houses
  • Flexibility in space management
  • Lower maintenance requirements
  • May have lower insurance costs and associated taxes

Barndominiums Cons

  • Financing a barndominium can be difficult without proper plans, knowledge and guides.
  • A smaller pool of buyers due to high customization if you decide to sell.


Local Architects that are experienced in Barndominiums

Anthony H. Visco Jr. Architects

(570) 322-3460

STZ-Comprehensive Design Solutions 570-606-7946