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 is the downside of barndominiums? ›

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 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

Why are barndominiums hard to insure? ›

While a barndominium is very similar to a traditionally built home, insuring them can be much more difficult. There can be several reasons why insurance companies are hesitant to insure these structures. The primary reason is that these homes are non-standard construction, which means they lack historical data.

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.

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.

Why are barndominiums hard to finance? ›

Banks require appraisals to determine the property's value, which in turn, informs their lending decisions. Because barndominiums are relatively unique and fewer in number compared to traditional homes, finding comparable sales (comps) necessary for accurate valuation is difficult.

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.

Are barndominiums bad investments? ›

In summary, barndominiums make wise value investments thanks to lower initial costs per square foot, flexible use cases, and rising property demands over upcoming years as inventories remain limited. Position your unique barndominium advantageously to reap financial returns for the decades ahead!

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 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.

Do barndominiums hold their resale 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.

Do barndominiums leak? ›

Barndominiums, especially those constructed with high-quality steel frames and metal roofs, are unlikely to develop leaks when properly designed and installed. These materials not only provide structural benefits but also contribute significantly to the longevity and maintenance ease of the home.

What are the downfalls of barndominiums? ›

If you're considering building or buying a barndominium, consider this list of downsides before you sign your name on a dotted line:
  • Location Limitations. ...
  • Financing. ...
  • Corrosion. ...
  • Noise. ...
  • UV Exposure. ...
  • Wiring Challenges. ...
  • Reselling.
Oct 19, 2022

Do barndominiums get struck by lightning? ›

So while barndominiums do carry a slightly elevated lightning strike risk compared to traditional stick-built homes, the damage is unlikely and very rare, especially with the proper lightning rod and grounding precautions installed that are highly recommended in rural locations.

Is rain loud in a barndominium? ›

The most common metal roof options for barndominiums are corrugated galvanized steel or exposed-fastener panels. Corrugated panels in particular amplify noise as rainwater runs down the valleys and ridges. Flat, concealed-fastener metal panels offer a quieter alternative.

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.

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.

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