Barndominium Cost vs House: What is Cheaper in 2023? (2024)

There has been a rising trend in homeowners opting for barndominiums vs traditional homes recently. Capitalizing on a nostalgic, farm-style aesthetic, yet integrating comfortable living quarters with lush and modern amenities, barndominiums have certainly carved out a well-deserved niche in the home design scene.

Barndominium Cost vs House: What is Cheaper in 2023? (1)

It’s important to break down the numbers when comparing barndominium costs vs house expenses. To do so efficiently, it’s best to account for what makes these two structures similar as well as what sets them apart.

Barndominium vs House Cost Comparison

Take a look at some of the factors to consider when weighing the cost of a barndominium vs a traditional house:

Barndominium Cost vs House: What is Cheaper in 2023? (2)

Design Differences that Affect Cost of Barndominium vs House

For those who aren’t familiar with this popular hybrid building concept, a barndominium is a structure that combines the classic exterior design features of a barn with modern livable spaces throughout the interior. Most barndominiums are open-concept, featuring large multi-purpose rooms that can be rearranged and used in a variety of ways. Maximizing interior space is one of the key components of barndominiums. This open-concept design can be a cost advantage, as multi-purpose spaces can be used for different activities, cutting down the need for additional square footage.

Vertical wood-style siding is another key feature of barndominiums. Some traditional homes are also seeing a renewed interest in board and batten siding and other farm-style exteriors, and builders still have more siding styles to choose from when building a traditional home vs. a barndominium. However, there are many more durable options for getting the wood-look of a barndominium than ever before, and lots of homeowners are opting for more durable products, like TruLog steel siding. Durable siding options like these can cut down on barndominium maintenance and repairs, ultimately saving money in the long run.

Barndominium Cost vs House: What is Cheaper in 2023? (3)

Renovation vs. New Build

A barndominium can be created in two ways: either undergoing massive renovations to convert an existing barn into a livable structure or by creating an entirely new building from the ground up. Both strategies offer unique benefits and challenges which can ultimately affect cost calculations when comparing barndominium vs. house building projects.

For example, those working with an existing barn can easily save thousands of dollars by using the existing foundation and walls, turning renovation efforts towards the interior. In this situation, calculating the cost of a barndominium vs. a traditional house project certainly turns in favor of the barndominium when working with an existing structure that is architecturally sound.

Ready-Made Barndominium Kits

The rising interest in barndominiums has spawned another option for those who don’t feel a spark of inspiration to design their own structure. Ready-made barndominium kits are a more affordable option for having a barndominium on the property in a short period of time. Some of these ready-made barndominium offers actually deliver a pre-built barndominium structure to the property, drop it off, and let you take care of the rest. Others provide all the materials needed to construct a barndominium according to the included design.

Basic barndominium kits are a great option for individuals who want to hit the ground running as soon as possible and for those looking to cut down on costs. One of the lowest prices on the market for barndominium kits works out to be about $20 per square foot, which is incredibly more affordable than producing an original design and hiring contractors to get it done.

Barndominium Cost vs House: What is Cheaper in 2023? (4)

Cost of Barndominium vs. Traditional House

Calculating barndominium cost vs. house cost can be tricky, but there is a ballpark estimate that builders generally work from. 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. When building a small structure of around 800 square feet, this cost difference may not seem like a big deal. However, the difference in the cost of a barndominium vs. a traditional house project certainly becomes more apparent when comparing larger structures with 2,000 or 3,000 square feet of living space.

It’s important to remember that this particular estimate illustrates the base price to be expected when comparing barndominium vs. house costs. When building a more luxurious barndominium with high-end features, like granite countertops and sliding glass doors, the estimate can jump up to around $125 per square foot.

Since there is such a huge degree of variation when it comes to features, fixtures, and amenities, it can be difficult to compare the cost of a barndominium vs. house. For most builders, the total costs come out to be relatively comparable. The numbers are merely estimates for general structures, and the final cost per square foot doesn’t necessarily account for all the stylistic design components and extra commodities that homeowners can choose to include in their plans.

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Labor Costs

Labor costs can influence which structure, barndominium vs house, is more cost-effective, and the materials play a big role. TruLog’s board and batten siding, commonly used for modern barndominium exteriors, simplifies installation with an easy-to-use design that allows individual panels to lock together securely. Compare it to a brick and mortar exterior for a traditional brick home, and the answer is clear: the barndominium’s siding won’t require nearly as much labor. Modern material swaps can save builders both time and money.

Our Pick: Barndominium Construction

All in all, when comparing barndominium vs. traditional house building projects, there is an incredible amount of variation possible. Sticking to modern materials, using existing barn structures, and maximizing multi-purpose living spaces are a few of the possibilities that allow barndominiums to come out on top.

Contact Trulog today for more information on cost-effective, wood-look barndominium siding products.

Barndominium Cost vs House: What is Cheaper in 2023? (2024)


Barndominium Cost vs House: What is Cheaper in 2023? ›

Current estimates value an average 2000 square foot barndominium at around $200,000 USD making the average cost per square foot about $100.00. This is at the lower end of the price range for a similar traditionally built home, which is estimated to be between $110.00 to $170.00 dollars per square foot.

Is it cheaper to build a barndominium or 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.

How much does it cost to build a 2000 square foot 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.

How big of a barndominium can I build for 200K? ›

How big of a barndominium can I build for $200K? On the high end, barndominiums have an average cost of $150 per square foot. At that price, you can estimate a building of around 1,333 square feet for $200,000.

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.

Why are barndominiums hard to finance? ›

Lenders may perceive them as riskier investments due to their unfamiliarity with the structure and potential resale value. – Appraising barndominiums can be tricky because there are fewer comparable properties (comps) available. This can lead to lower appraisal values, making it harder to secure a loan.

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

Steel framing, popular in barndominium construction for its durability and resistance to pests, can be more expensive than traditional wood framing. Framing costs can range from $20 to $50 per square foot, making it one of the most significant portions of the construction budget.

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.

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

Are barndominiums safe in a tornado? ›

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.

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

Crafting a Barndominium on a $100k Budget

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 is the lifespan of a barndominium? ›

How Long Do Barndominiums Last? As long as you keep up with the occasional maintenance of the roof and siding, you can expect to enjoy your barndominium for 50 years or possibly even longer.

How many bedrooms can you put in a barndominium? ›

It isn't uncommon to see plans that have anywhere between two and four bedrooms. Some particularly spacious barndominiums, like our Cedar 4 plan, have more than four bedrooms.

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 problem with the barndominium? ›

Without adequate insulation, these structures can become uncomfortably hot in the summer and chilly in the winter, resulting in increased heating and cooling costs. 2. High Maintenance: Barndominiums often feature metal exteriors, which can require more maintenance than traditional siding materials.

Are barndominiums hard to sell? ›

**Selling Challenges and How to Overcome Them**

Initially, barndominiums faced skepticism from traditional homebuyers and real estate professionals due to their unconventional nature. Concerns about financing, insurance, and resale value were prevalent, potentially making them harder to sell.

Is a barndominium as strong as a house? ›

Barndominiums have the strength and durability that comes with being made from metal, making them just as safe or even more secure than a traditional home.

Will a barndominium last longer than a house? ›

Durability. Barndominiums are extremely durable! Their metal or steel shells help make them resistant to mold, rot, and the elements—more so than a traditional home! Not only do you get peace of mind knowing your home is more protected, but you can also keep insurance costs low by having a barndo.

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