Barndominium 101 - Hitchings Insurance Agency (2024)

If you live in rural USA you may have noticed a new trend. You have probably seen people living out of barns. No, not a traditional barn but a fancy barn. In the insurance industry, they are referred to as barndominiums but I’ve also heard barndo or shouse. If you know someone that has recently built one, you may know they can be difficult to insure. What is a barndominium and let’s review why they are different to insure.

What is a Barndominium?

A barndominium is a mix between a house and a barn. Instead of having a home with a detached pole barn, these buildings put the two structures together. It adds the convenience and size of a barn and adds it as part of the structure. There are several factors that also make them different from a traditionally built home.

They are usually built with metal construction due to the barn which adds a rustic style to the home. Additionally, there is an open layout and the entire barndominium is incredibly customizable. Plus with the barn attached to the home and the simplicity of them, the cost to build can be lower. It’s a quicker build and the homeowner can save on labor costs and also customize the home to fit their budget and needs. While there are many pros to these homes, they can be difficult to find insurance for.

Why is Insuring a Barndominium Challenging?

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. These homes are built differently with their metal construction and there isn’t much data on these homes from an insurance standpoint. Insurance is entirely based on data and how carriers interrupt that data guides them in making decisions. For barndominiums, there’s little data there and many carriers are hesitant to insure them. At the moment, it’s too big of a risk for them and some decide not to insure them at all.

In addition to the lack of historical data, these homes oftentimes come with commercial or farm exposure. Due to the barn and style of home, many times it’s business owners with equipment or farmers building these homes. Many personal home insurance companies then prefer for these homes to be insured on a commercial farm policy instead. While this is often the case, it is not the truth in all circ*mstances. Lastly, the location of these homes is often rural. Insurance carriers want to know how far your home is from the responding fire department. The combination of a rural home and non-standard construction is too much for some carriers to consider the risk.

Where do I find insurance on my Barndominium?

You came to the right place to find insurance! Working with an independent agency like us is the best place to start as we represent several insurance companies. Our knowledge and experience allow us to know which options will fit your needs best. Here at Hitchings Insurance, we are an independent agency and we only represent A-rated companies in the insurance industry. There are several carriers we work with that will insure barndominiums. Contact us to review your insurance on your barndominium!

Barndominium 101 - Hitchings Insurance Agency (1)

Barndominium 101 - Hitchings Insurance Agency (2024)


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.

Can you insure a barndominium in Texas? ›

You weren't born in a barn but you can live in one. With Germania Insurance, we have unique coverage for barndominiums that Texans love. This new trend in construction involves constructing a residential space within the larger structure designed to be used as a barn.

Where is barndominium from? ›

The term barndominium was originally coined by Karl Nilsen, who was a real estate developer in Connecticut. Barndominium is derived from using a combination of the words "barn" and "condominium". The original use of the phrase referred to a master-planned development that centered on living near horses.

What are the negatives 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

Why can't you finance a barndominium? ›

Many USDA lenders are unfamiliar with these structures and may be reluctant to finance their purchase. Borrowers may also experience added difficulty when seeking a USDA construction loan to build a new barndominium, as some USDA lenders, including Neighbors Bank, do not offer this loan type.

How much does a 2000 sq ft barndominium cost in Texas? ›

Pricing for a slab vary from location to location based on soil or rock that has to be excavated. With a general contractor we tell people to budget $100 to $130 per sq ft for the living area. A 2,000 sq ft living area could cost $200,000 to $260,000 to build.

Do you pay property taxes on a barndominium in Texas? ›

The total property tax rate applied to a barndominium in Texas is the sum of the rates set by each local taxing unit where the property is located. These rates can vary significantly from one area to another, affecting the overall tax burden.

How well do barndominiums hold up in hurricanes? ›

A barndominium is more likely to survive a Category 3 hurricane compared to a regular home. Similarly to tornados, while the structural integrity of your barndo is sound, the windows may not be.

What is the most expensive part of a barndominium? ›

What is the most expensive part of building a barndominium? The most expensive part of building a barndominium is often the interior finishes. Customization, high-end materials, and intricate designs can significantly impact the overall cost.

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

What is the lifespan 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 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.

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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