Is A Barndominium For You? 8 Common Questions Answered (2024)

You may still have some questions. After all, building a home is a significant project, and you want to make an informed decision before getting started.

Here are eight of the most commonly asked questions about this type of home:

How long do barndos last?

How long a barndo lasts depends on its environment, quality of construction, materials, and quality of maintenance. Any slapped-together structure will not stand the test of time.

But a well-constructed barndo lasts for years, just like a traditional home, although you may need to replace doors, gutters, windows, or other elements. A well-built structure could stand firm for hundreds of years.

Are barndos hard to insure?

If you build this type of home, you should know that insuring your barndo may not be exactly like insuring a house. Not all insurance companies cover barndominiums, and some don’t cover buildings with metal siding. Others may not cover dual-purpose structures, a category most of these homes fall into.

However, depending on your situation, you can get barndominium insurance just as easily as regular home insurance.

If your home includes a workspace, the function of the workspace plays into how high your premiums are. For example, if you use potentially hazardous equipment in your workspace, your rates will be more expensive.

How long does it take to build a pole barn home?

How long it takes to build a pole barn home depends on various factors, such as size, whether you are going to DIY or hire a contractor, and how much customization you want.

A simple barndo could take 3-6 months, whereas a large custom one may take over a year. According to this article with Stacee Lynn, the Barndominium Lady, most can be completed in roughly half the time it takes to construct a regular home.

Do barndos 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.

Are barndos energy efficient?

Steel buildings such as these are typically sided with metal and insulated with spray foam insulation. A properly insulated metal building is highly energy efficient and doesn’t put a lot of stress on your heating and cooling system.

If you add other energy-efficient features such as awnings, high-performance doors, windows, and LED lighting, you can reduce your energy bills by 40%, according to

Is it cheaper to build a barndominium or a house?

The cost of a pole barn home depends on the size, materials, and method of building, but they are generally cheaper to build than a house.

One factor that plays in is that pole barn structures are easy to build, so some homeowners choose to DIY them. This saves you the money it would take to hire a contractor and allows you to shop around for second-hand appliances and fixtures.

Stacee Lynn, the Barndominium Lady, says, “Overall, I would say if you are acting as general contractor and you are a good shopper…I would say you would save around 12-15%...if you are hiring a general contractor, now you are really close to what it’s going to cost to build a traditional home.”

If you want more info from Stacee Lynn, here is an extremely helpful interview with the Barndominium Lady going over the pros, cons, and building process.

How are barndos so cheap?

These homes can save you money in several ways:

  • They are quick to build, and time is money. The quicker your construction timeline, the more money you save.
  • Their shells require fewer materials and layers. For example, a typical home exterior could consist of brick, a vapor barrier, plywood, a wood frame, insulation, and sheetrock. A typical barndo might consist of sheet metal, plywood, a metal frame, spray foam insulation, and sheetrock.
  • They lower your energy bills.
  • They don’t require a foundation like a normal house. This saves you time, materials, and labor.
  • It’s possible to assemble your own barndo kit, saving you the money it would take to hire a contractor.
  • Not hiring a contractor means you can shop around for secondhand fixtures and appliances.

Are barndos safe?

If you are worried about a pole barn home not being safe, you can put your worries to rest.

Barndos are just as safe as traditional homes and, in some ways, safer. Steel ones are tougher and safer than wood-framed ones, but both are completely safe to live in.

Steel ones are fire resistant and can stand up to wind, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes just as well, if not better than traditional homes. Also, steel has a lower electrical resistance than many materials, making it safer in lightning strikes.

These homes also tend to require less maintenance, being made almost entirely of steel.

Is A Barndominium For You? 8 Common Questions Answered (2024)


What's the downside to a barndominium? ›

Barndominiums May Lack Adequate Sound Insulation

A drawback worth mentioning about barndominiums is their potential for loudness. The primary material used in their construction is typically a thinner metal, which doesn't provide an effective sound barrier against outside noises.

What questions to ask when building a barndominium? ›

Questions to Ask Potential Builders
  • Their experience with barndominiums.
  • Construction loans.
  • Any relevant certifications.
  • Their past projects.
  • Materials and techniques used.
  • The warranties they offer.

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 long does it take to finish a barndominium? ›

All the finishing touches – drywall, paint, built-in furniture, moulding, roofing, siding, and fascia – can take 1 or 2 months, depending on the level of extravagance and detail. Minimalists will save time in this stage! All in all, most barndominiums take about 6 months to build.

Why shouldn't you build a barndominium? ›

List of the Cons of a Barndominium
  • Barndominiums are not immune to corrosion. ...
  • There is still a cost element to consider with barndominiums. ...
  • Some cities may not allow you to build a barndominium. ...
  • Most barndominiums are single-story homes. ...
  • You don't receive the same perks as you would with the typical condo community.
Dec 30, 2023

Is it hard to insure a barndominium? ›

Insurance can be complicated for barndominium homes. According to, not all insurers cover barndos, especially if they're mixed-use instead of residential only, and those that do might have barndo-specific policies.

What is the most expensive part of building a barndominium? ›

The biggest cost of building a barndominium comes from purchasing and building the metal shell, including the roof, doors, and windows. Other major exterior features that can affect the building cost include: Metal siding.

Are barndominiums worth the money? ›

Barndominiums can make fantastic homes for a fraction of the cost of traditional homes. This makes them an especially great option for those looking to purchase: A large home for less.

What is the best foundation for a barndominium? ›

Properly executed, an embedded perimeter beam concrete slab foundation formulated from high strength 5,000 PSI concrete mix designs provides ideal structural support for the tremendous clear spans and dynamic live loads generated over generations of family life within your barndo.

Are barndominiums bad investments? ›

As such, it is more difficult to assess the resale value of a Barndominium. Unlike modular homes and trailers, Barndominiums maintain their value and are likely to increase over time. If you are purely looking for a quick resale investment, a Barndominium may not be your best option.

What makes a barndominium cheaper to build? ›

Barndominiums have a quality that often makes them very customizable, which is that typical barndominiums are often constructed from a metal building. Metal structures are usually less expensive to construct than traditional buildings, which is one reason why they are used so much in commercial construction.

How reliable are barndominiums? ›

Are Barndominiums Safe? Absolutely! Barndominiums are automatically more resistant to fire because of the metal siding. Because of the materials and construction, barndominiums also stand stronger than traditional homes in harsh and severe weather.

What is the life expectancy of a barndominium? ›

Longevity: Although they may not last as long as traditional homes, a well-maintained barndominium can provide comfortable living for around 50 years. 5. Durability: Barndominiums are built to withstand the elements, ensuring they remain sturdy and reliable over the years.

Are barndominiums good in cold weather? ›

Open Layout: Barndominiums are known for their open and spacious layouts. This design can be beneficial in cold weather because it allows for efficient distribution of heat. With proper insulation and heating systems in place, you can maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the entire space.

Are barndominiums safe in storms? ›

Constructed with metal, a barndo offers superior protection from severe weather. The steel structure of a steel barndominium has a higher wind resistance than a conventional wood frame home. While the metal integrity of your home can endure a tornado, the windows and doors may not.

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.

Are barndominiums prone to mold? ›

Barndominiums offer a blend of rustic aesthetics and modern living that appeals to many homeowners. However, like any other type of construction, they are susceptible to mold growth if not properly designed, constructed, and maintained.

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